Gold For The Old Gods: Crusader Kings II DLC And Sale

The Old Gods expansion for Crusader Kings II is out now. It costs £9.99 and for a few short hours, the base game is actually cheaper than its expansion thanks to a 75% price reduction. The Old Gods moves the start date back a couple of centuries and adds playable pagans, among other things. I’ve played CK II more than any other game in the last 12 months and it’s going to end up at or near the top of the list over the next 12 as well. That’s at least in part thanks to the DLC, which has opened up new features, factions and play styles. I shall be playing with the Old Gods tonight. I hope they’re friendly.

I didn’t expect to see you down here, below the drop. Now that you’re here, you might as well read a short paragraph in praise of the way Paradox have handled CK II since release.

DLC normally makes me recoil like a vampire in the church of the garlic Messiah, but the three large expansions for CK II add significant content. It’s tempting to call them ‘essential’ but that would suggest the base game is lacking. It isn’t, and free updates are available alongside new content, patching and adding features for those who don’t buy. This has been a fine example of strong post-release support.

Still here? This is Thor you.


  1. Choca says:

    Hope you pagans have seen the glorious launch trailer : link to

  2. Discopanda says:

    It’s the best CK 2 expansion pack yet. Check out Magnus.

    link to

    He usurped his titles through a peasant rebellion age age 25. He’s Slow (dumb), but also a Scholar. However, he’s also Kind and Gregarious, hence his nickname of “The Merry.”

    This is him at age 84, where he’s gone a bit… loopy, but is now the chieftan of FIVE separate provinces! link to

    He died at the ripe of age of 92, but not of old age. He was assassinated. Magnus was never gonna go down without a fight.

  3. meloncrab says:


  4. golem09 says:

    I have been trying to get into this game about 4 times, but I just failed every time.
    Does anyone know a good youtube video of some guy just playing a normal game (not a tutorial) for 1-2 hours, with slight explanations of what he’s doing, and why?

    • BTAxis says:

      Yeah, I’ve suffered the same fate. I just can’t get into this game, which I think is because I can’t get a grip on it.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        I struggled for ages with this game, but I watched this chaps vids. Quite good and engaging. It basically taught me how to play.

        • TheTaxManACometh says:

          Quill18 is the best person for all Paradox Games. He loves them and is really good at explaining them. He also did some Let’s Explain videos. If you are interested in learning about the grand strategy games subscribe to his you tube page. Also if you want to ask him questions, follow him on Twitch. Then when he streams you can watch and talk with him.

        • AvistTorch says:

          Thanks for the video recommendation. I’ve dipped my fingers into CKII a couple times, but it’s like a Total War game where I haven’t ever really gotten to playing it for days on end, yet I’m so sure I someday will so I keep buying all the expansions when they go on sale.

          Maybe this time will be the charm.

    • lordcooper says:

      I don’t. Picking an Irish count and mucking about for 3-10 hours seems to suffice for most people though.

      • iniudan says:

        Irish count no longer the easy mode, at least if you start in 867 (in 1066, they still are), playing in Ireland is a good way to get bullied by whatever Norse happen to sail by and if you happen to form Ireland, get ready for them trying to start invading you, with the help of prepared invasion, which basically is, for two years Norse will get free troop showing up in their land to prepare for invasion.

    • SKapsniak says:

      SeeKayEm99’s Guide For Newbies, I thought explained stuff pretty well. With the standard Irish count.

      …or TekkorGJC playing as Slavonia, but that gets really really long (watching all 98 parts just to get an idea of how to play would probably be excessive).

      • jimbobjunior says:

        I’ll second SeeKayEm99’s videos.

      • iridescence says:

        I love Tekkor’s Croatian saga. I’ve been following for a long time now and watched all 98 episodes. His commentary is highly entertaining and he takes his time so it’s a good one for new players to watch. I also found SeeKayEm’s Ireland videos good when I was learning the game although that’s more of a straight up tutorial with less in the way of entertainment value.

        One thing I’ve found is that, a bit counter-intuitively, starting as a big kingdom is much harder at the beginning than starting out as an count/earl in a safe area of the map. You can always create/ take over a kingdom later but when just starting out it helps a lot to only have a few vassals and holdings to worry about.

    • Malk_Content says:

      link to

      Bear in mind that this is slightly out of date with the latest patch, which modifies things like Tech. On the other hand the new system is far easier so you shouldn’t have any problems if you understand the old one. The vid series above is fairly good, as the guy playing it sets out long and short term goals for himself so you can understand why he is doing things.

      I’m not very good at it, but I know enough to have fun so if you ever have any questions I don’t mind folks adding me on steam and asking away.

      link to

    • nizzie says:

      If you or anybody else just needs questions answered, add me on Steam (same user name).

    • Lord Rhinowolf says:

      link to I think that this guy is very good but he mainly does playthroughs with mods

  5. GenBanks says:

    I can tell I’ll have fun with it once I properly learn the ropes. But there are so many ropes… I’ve made some half decent progress in a campaign where I inhereted a bunch of land from a neighbouring kingdom by entering a war of succession. But then another character stopped liking me and I lost my gains. It does capture very well the often futile and cyclical nature of war and political squabbles I suppose.

    • soulblur says:

      The Republic was a relatively easy way to play. More like a parallel game to the main CK2 than a complement to it, mind you.

    • Syphus says:

      That’s the beauty of this game, it kind of “resets itself” over and over again. Sure you can play in a way where you are the emperor of a gigantic stable realm, but that’s just boring. Some of the most fun I had was playing a muslim, and I had carefully prepared for his death, only to have him live well into his 90s. Needless to say when he finally died the kingdom broke up in just about every way possible…leading to over 100 years of trying to put it back together.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I have bought every CK2 DLC there is, including all the cosmetic stuff, like the face and unit packs. When any other publisher/developer offers stuff like this to buy they only get an irritated frown from me, but I’ve had so much fun with Paradox games that I don’t mind giving them some more money once in a while.

  7. BobbyDylan says:

    With the exception of Bad Company 2, CKII is my most played game, and by far my most played game in the last 12 months.

  8. NathanH says:

    The 867 start date is currently somewhat unbalanced, but bundles of fun. And if you start playing and are worrying that the Vikings are gobbling up everything in a thoroughly unhistorical fashion, don’t worry too much, because they seem to suffer a lot after a few generations.

    • MobileAssaultDuck says:

      That’s generally how the Norse and Tengri are balanced. They can easily conquer territory compared to most, but they don’t have access to more stable succession laws, so once the conqueror himself dies it is very likely his land will be split among his heirs and vassals and fall apart.

      • iniudan says:

        Also add that Norse, if not reformed are very easy to convert, you can basically just send your bishop to them and hope they don’t sacrifice him at the next Blót, if they don’t you have chance to start converting them.

        Which I highly suggest you do, if you happen to be on their raiding path, for if Norse reform their religion, you in for a whole lot of trouble, if your not an unreformed pagan (the low supply limit in unreformed pagan territory is quite a helpful protection)

  9. soulblur says:

    I think Paradox has got a good track record with DLC. Sure, they do release a lot of cosmetic stuff (shields, unit sprites) and the occasional whopper (the unit designer?), but generally, their DLC has been really good. EU3 had brilliant DLC that kept it playable well past when I would have thought it would last. CK2 DLC has been good as well – I’ve bought most of it and it really adds nuances and additional flexibiility to the game, which is great. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a game of CK2 though. The last DLC didn’t help that – my Shia Fatimid Empire is mighty, but I get a bit bored and depressed constantly trimming back my own family (this is a euphemism for having jailed and killed every male relative from a rather large family – certainly over 100 characters, many of them children).

    • Lacero says:

      If you were norse you could sacrifice them after jailing them…

    • BobbyDylan says:

      My Girlfirend is not longer horrified and shocked when I exclaim in joy after succesffully smothering one of my children.

    • TheTaxManACometh says:

      Turn up the difficulty. Play one county and try to create an Empire, will keep you going and takes a long time to get established. One of my best games was to take a single county in the HRE and create the kingdom of Germany then split from the HRE. Extremely tough if you do not assassinate the emperor.

      • Syphus says:

        Play them based on their traits…when you get stuck with an absolutely horrible guy, making choices “in character” can be way more fun than playing the “right way.”

  10. revan says:

    Best CK II DLC without any doubt. Whole dynamic of the game is changed. War, pillage, rapine and looting are the names of the game here. It’s easy to gain large swathes of territory fast – England reeling under tender cares of my Nordic barbarians just a few hours in is a testament to that – but trying to hold it all together is something entirely different. Great job, Paradox!

  11. TheTaxManACometh says:

    I have over 500 hours on CKII and another 400 hours on EUIII. These are some of the greatest strategy games.Like the writer here, it is nomber one on my list of most played since it’s launch and will continue to be until later this year when EUIV comes out.

    If you have a couple of freinds makes these even better, whether you play as cooperative nation crushing all or versus one another just a great time. If you like Civ but want something more, dive in!

  12. Zealuu says:

    The free Norse doomstacks in England if you go with the early start seem to be a bit much. Since most of the stack is counted as “special event troops” they don’t count towards the “no raised levies” limit when declaring war, and being pagan you’ll never rile up your vassals by having them raised constantly.

    As Ivar the Boneless, King of Some Useless Islands Next to Scotland, it took twelve in-game years for me to declare myself King of Ireland as well as gobble up half of Scotland and most of Wales (while Jorvik took big chunks out of Northumberland, Mercia and Wessex). Then he died, and I decided to continue playing as the youngest son (Strong + Quick!) instead of the heir to make things more interesting. If I’d had the presence of mind to kill of most of Ivar’s already-spawned brood early, holding everything together would have been fairly easy even with pagan succession laws. Now that’s all in the hands of the AI.

    The special event troops for Harald Fairhair in Norway (he’s the easiest starting character to unite the kingdom, for obvious reasons) are much better balanced, only giving him a slight edge that’s more about keeping the greedy Swedes out than helping to subjugate the one-province Norwegian lords.

    Going to try an Iberian Muslim in 867 next. Charles Martel, eat your heart out.

  13. Shar_ds says:

    Argh! I don’t need this! I’m already playing Blood Bowl (in the fine RPS leagues) and SimCity 4…

  14. Didden says:

    If I wasn’t so in to Hearts or Iron 3 Black ICE mod right now, I’d be playing this. But damn… Japan just did pearl harbor, so I’m busy

  15. Jimbo says:

    I finally played my first game of CK2 today!

    I started as King of Gallica, my vassals almost immediately went to war against each other and then BOTH of my brothers (neighbouring kings) declared war on me, invaded with ~8x as many soldiers as I had and crushed me.

    I guess I’ll just wait for Rome 2 :(

    • MrLebanon says:

      Or try again!

      Losing is half the fun, a good article about it: link to

    • Entitled says:

      Or just continue playing the same game. Even if you were crushed, unless your dinasty was exterminated or all your lands lost, you are still in game for the throne.

    • Didden says:

      Try playing as Ireland, and look for some of the youtube demo’s showing you how to play from the start there. You picked one of the hardest places on the map to play, because its fought over by many different factions.

      I’m sure Rome 2 will be good, but the strategy AI and structure of the Total War games isn’t a scratch on what is on offer here, once you grasp the nettle.

  16. Voronwer says:

    I really, really want to get this game since I tried out the demo. It seems wonderful and I’m excited about it, but I want to get the entire experience and get the GOTY edition with all the shiny DLC. They’re trying my patience, though. What are the odds that I’ll be waiting another year or even more? Should I just give up and get it now?

    • Earl Grey says:

      I’d say it’s worthwhile getting it now, for I doubt a GOTY version will be offered beyond package deals. The complete pack is selling for cheap on steam, which has the base game and all the DLC minus the new Old Gods content.

      As most of the new mechanics that the major DLCs introduce are added to the base game through patches. The only thing you would really be missing is the ability to play as the factions covered in their respective DLC (as in the case of the Old Gods; pagans and the 867 start date). Considering you’ll have a big dollop of fun with the political backstabbing offered up just by Christiandom, you can pick up the new content whenever you fancy.

      • Voronwer says:

        You, Sir, are a bad influence. And not just because Earl Grey has been my favourite tea since the first time I heard Jean Luc Picard utter the words “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot”.

        I’ve bought the package and will wait with great anticipation for the new DLC to go on sale too. *shakes fist and pokes Steam to be faster*

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        You, sir, have the same name as my cat.

  17. oyog says:

    I really, really wish there was a wiki for CKII that was as comprehensive as the Dwarf Fortress wiki.

  18. nindustrial says:

    I have been waiting with bated breath for this DLC since it was announced. Glad to hear it’s great (as expected, Paradox rocks!). But I’m also scared to buy it because I know I’m going to suddenly wake up in a fog a month from now and wonder what happened to my life. CKII is hands-down my most-played game ever, and I haven’t even really touched the Republic yet (have it, haven’t really played as one).

  19. Scelous says:

    I wish I could get into this game like everyone else is, but when playing it, I just can’t understand the appeal. I realize what’s going on — the mechanics aren’t an issue — but CKII just feels soooo dry and boring to me. I feel like I’m working on an accounting spreadsheet.

    • TWChristine says:

      I’m in the same position as you. I absolutely love the stories that come out of this and Eve, but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to get into either one. I think I might still give this a shot again. The base game for $10 is quite good, and then maybe hold off until a sale for the expansion. But then again, a summer sale is probably on the way and perhaps it’ll be even cheaper?

  20. derbefrier says:

    I was so gonna buy the new expansion yesterday but decided totry out kerbal space program first. I’ll eventually get back to CK2 :)

  21. mattevansc3 says:

    Its a very rare thing to love a game you are cack at…it also doesn’t help that I keep trying to build an empire from my birth place down in South Wales. Best result so far? Took over another county and didn’t get slaughtered by England.

    • MrLebanon says:

      What you gotta do is infest England..get it to Vassalize you, stir instability, plant your dynasty members everywhere… Take the throne!

      Not easy… But easier than going on a conquest route….

  22. frenchy2k1 says:

    For those that do NOT have the game yet, amazon has a nice pack on sale including Crusader Kings 1 (complete), Crusader Kings 2 + all DLCs (excluding old gods, it stops at Republic), for $15.

    link to

    Lots of game for little money… Offer should run till May 31st.

    Base game alone is $10.

  23. KafFiend says:

    So there I am, happy after retaking Sicily from the Africans and now concentrating on those pesky Arabs in Syria.

    Then all of a sudden the vikings are sighted off Syracuse, having sailed through the Russian river networks to steal my gold. My armies can’t respond quickly enough and they make their getaway, their boat laden with Byzantine loot.

    I’ll remember this Vikings, so will my family. Reprisals will come in time and I will force you all to bend the knee to the restored Roman Empire…

    Assuming I can survive that long without my family becoming a mess of inbred freaks.

    • MrLebanon says:

      You know, North Africa is Arab too ;)

      Unless Mali/abyssinia has taken over Sicily… Then I will keep quiet

  24. Chris says:

    @Jimbo: Try an easier start than Galicia, or turn down the overall difficulty level whilst you are learning the ropes.