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Yes We Khan: CK II Horse Lords Expansion Out Now

One giant steppe for CK II

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.

Every new Crusader Kings II expansion contains additions that seem obvious in retrospect and others that I would never have imagined. The larger map that comes with Horse Lords allows for the inclusion of the Silk Road, which can be controlled and raided, temporary fort structures and new rules for the management of nomadic clans. There are also new methods of dealing with underlings - have them become tributaries instead of vassals, so that they simply give you stacks of gold instead of demanding constant attention.

Here's a summary in Paradox press release form:

• Larger Map: The steppes of Central Asia are now open for you to conquer or develop
• New rules for nomads: Now distinct from other pagan tribes, the Mongol and Turkic nomads draw strength from open pastures and large populations
• Clan management: Struggle alongside rival clans within your nomadic nation, even launching civil wars to keep your khan on top
• Tributaries: Vassals are often a lot of trouble, so why not simply force a conquered enemy to send you a load of gold every now and then?
• The Silk Road: This great historical trading route linked the Mediterranean and the Far East. Exploit its wealth or pillage its trade posts
• Forts: New temporary structures you can build to hold enemy territory while your army marches onward

I haven't had a chance to look pre-release but I've corralled the Horse Lords into my computer and will try to take a look at them later in the week.

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