Posts Tagged ‘Paradox Development Studio’

Yes We Khan: CK II Horse Lords Expansion Out Now

By Adam Smith on July 14th, 2015.

I was the first member of my family to go to university. Before my ascent of the ivory towers of academia, the Smiths had known how to work with their hands. No more. Currently, I’m the last of my line and the most impressive thing I’ve handcrafted in my life is a spicy avocado wrap.

If your family tree is in danger of withering, Crusader Kings II’s [official site] new Horse Lords expansion has fresh solutions. While Christian leaders lock children in a tower, you could take a more nurturing approach as a new nomadic clan leader over on the steppes of Central Asia. Send your kids out into the world to make a name for themselves as mercenary warlords. That way they might forge a dynasty rather than fretting over the lack of fresh coriander.

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Europa Universalis IV: How To Survive A Long War

By Rob Zacny on May 13th, 2015.

First off, let’s not fall to finger-pointing of the laying of blame. It’s nobody’s business but your own why this article is suddenly relevant and important to your well-being. Europa Universalis IV [official site] is a game of ruthless caprice, where even slight mistakes, misjudgments, and lapses in attention can bring you to ruin.

Perhaps you declared war on someone the day before they hit a new level of military technology. Maybe you gambled that your enemy’s powerful ally wouldn’t actually bother to travel across Europe to fight you, but they did, and now they have arrived, unwanted and obligatory guests at your war, and they look hungry. Or maybe you just got unlucky, and your enemy had a military genius in their back pocket while you’re stuck with the equivalent of Ambrose Burnside.

The point is, you’re losing a major war in EUIV, and you’re losing it badly. And getting out isn’t going to be easy. If it were easy, if it were just a matter of agreeing to a minor settlement, you wouldn’t hesitate. But no, this is a war that poses an existential threat.

It seems like all is lost. But this is why EUIV is a game where it pays to never give up, and never reload. The chances are, you can not only survive this crisis, but come out of it almost unscathed.

You might be watching a rout unfold, but here is how you turn that into a victory.

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Europa Universalis IV Adds A Little Common Sense

By Graham Smith on May 8th, 2015.

Common Sense prevails! At least in Europa Universalis IV [official site], since that’s the name of its new expansion. It won’t let you shrug off the monarchy like it ain’t no thang, but it will add “new tools so players can manage the growth of their domains”, and “adds depth to domestic rule and adds a number of major changes to diplomacy.” Come see a teaser trailer below.

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Breaking History: A Crusader Kings II Journal – Part One

By Adam Smith on April 9th, 2015.

Let’s Play Crusader Kings II [official site]. Or rather, let’s watch Crusader Kings II play itself.

Partly inspired by the ongoing Civ V AI Battle Royale and partly by my own longstanding interest in the interplay of game mechanics without player intervention, I’ve decided to run a Crusader Kings II campaign, beginning at the earliest possible start date. I’ll be running the game in observer mode – that is to say, there will be no human player – and I’ve drawn up a set of rules to govern which parts of the world I’ll be observing most closely. Empires will rise, Kingdoms will fall. The mighty will end up rotting beneath carparks in Leicester.

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Subverting The Nazis: Alternative Hearts Of Iron Playstyles

By Adam Smith on February 28th, 2015.

Hearts of Iron [official site] is the one Paradox grand strategy series that I’ve been unable to befriend. Partly that’s because it’s a more guided experience, a game about a specific war rather than a historical sandbox and it’s partly because of the micromanagement involved in production and resource chains. Hearts of Iron IV might change that, with its cleverly streamlined factory operations and improved minor nations. More on that later this week.

First of all, I wanted to discuss the difficulty of playing the bad guys.

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Hands On: Hearts Of Iron IV

By Adam Smith on February 24th, 2015.

Hearts of Iron [official site] is my Moby Dick. I’ve spent an inordinate portion of my adult life playing grand strategy games, particularly those of the Paradox variety. I’m slightly unusual in that Europa Universalis wasn’t my gateway game – I entered the fold by means of the first Crusader Kings, which swiftly became one of my favourite games, despite its problems. From there I moved to Europa Universalis II and struggled to infiltrate the colonial powers of Victoria. It wasn’t until the sequel that I learned to enjoy the nineteenth century.

Hearts of Iron IV might finally bring me into the heart of the twentieth century.

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Old World, New World: EU IV – El Dorado

By Adam Smith on February 19th, 2015.

Europa Universalis IV’s [official site] fifth expansion will be released on February 26th. It adds automated land and sea exploration, with chained story events involving expeditions to the New World, as well as increased depth for Aztec, Mesoamerican and Incan cultures. Separate to those thematic expansions, there will also be a custom nation building tool, with RPG-style point allocation for national traits, leader stats and territorial possessions. There is also an option to begin with a randomised world, reminiscent of the Shattered World mod for CK II.

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Crusader Kings II Is Three Years Old And Free For A Week

By Adam Smith on February 17th, 2015.

Crusader Kings II [official site] is three years old, which means we’ve delayed too long. The little blighter should have been married off to its own cousin at least a year ago and is probably plotting to have us all killed even as I write this.

To celebrate the occasion, Paradox are allowing people to play the base game for free on Steam, from now until February 23rd. It’ll also be discounted by 75% throughout that period, so if you finally decide to take the plunge, you can buy in for £7.49. It’s my favourite game of the last five years and quite possibly my favourite game of all time. Here’s my review. Thoughts on its growth over the last three years below.

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The Sims Medieval: Latest Crusader Kings II Expansion Out

By Alice O'Connor on December 17th, 2014.

Important decisions for a ruler.

SEDUCE YOUR RELATIVES

Few games would boast of allowing that, perhaps only cracking a nervous joke in patch notes addressing the bug’s removal, but it’s a proper listed-in-the-trailer feature of Crusader Kings II‘s latest mini-expansion. Way of Life launched yesterday, injecting a little more personality into your pawns. WoL lets you give characters a “focus”, a passion in life that they’ll follow and pursue. Some folks like gossip, some are happiest when hunting, and some, well, some really want to marry their cousin. CK2 is basically a weirder, stabbier, and more difficult version of The Sims anyway, right?

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A Family Affair: Crusader Kings II – Way Of Life

By Adam Smith on November 24th, 2014.

Crusader Kings II is almost fully grown. As a kid, it didn’t have the breadth of thought to explore more than one belief system and certainly didn’t know how a Republic operated. With age came wisdom and the youngster was soon travelling all over the world to learn about different cultures and faiths. As part of the MA in Early Medieval History that it completed recently, CK II wrote a biography of Charlemagne and now it has left the cloisters of academia and is ready to enter the real world. The school of life. I give it two weeks before it’s bedding its own father in law and having its brothers chopped into messes.

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Art Game: Europa Universalis IV: Art Of War Expansion Out

By Graham Smith on November 4th, 2014.

I like to avoid conflict Europa Universalis IV as much as possible, preferring to play small nations prioritising survival, and seeing what happens if I decide to convert to protestantism. The new Art of War expansion might compel me to dabble more deeply with the grand strategy game’s options for aggression and conquest, though. It’s got 100 new countries, it revamps the Reformation to encourage more religious conflict, and it makes it easier to gather soldiers and form armies.

It’s out now and there’s a launch trailer below.

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Grander Strategies: EU IV And CK II Expansions

By Adam Smith on October 13th, 2014.

I haven’t checked in on Europa Universalis IV or Crusader Kings II for a while, but both games continue to expand in my absence. For Crusader Kings II, the Charlemagne expansion pushes back further into the early medieval period, with another hundred years added to the timeline and enough features to make the DLC equivalent in size to the gargantuan Old Gods expansion. EU IV’s Art of War expansion might be even larger and is certainly the grandest piece of DLC for Europa Universalis to date. As the name suggests, the focus is on military campaigns, but every system in these games is linked, so it’ll affect far more than the fracas. Videos below.

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Monty’s Icons: Hearts Of Iron IV

By Adam Smith on August 20th, 2014.

In the distant year of January 2014, I saw an early version of Hearts of Iron IV at the annual Paradox convention. It was one of the games that I was most interested to see because of the four Paradox grand strategy series (Europa, Crusader Kings and Victoria being the others), the World War II simulation HOI is the one I’ve never quite managed to get to grips with. In fact, I have about as strong a grip on it as I do on a family of eels in a bucket of caviar. Or a MOBA. The military emphasis doesn’t fit with my usual strategic styles of play and I fear the micromanagement. How pleasing, then, that the latest entry combines streamlined production and an equisite battle planning system, which you can glimpse in the trailer below.

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