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Crusader Kings 2

Discussion in 'Gaming and PC Discussion' started by Coyote, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Coyote

    Coyote He howls n' stuff

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    So I, as a 60 year old ancient fuck, just threw my firstborn son in prison and tortured him almost to death after he attempted to seize the throne from me and I stumbled across the plot. I then proceeded to raise his son (that is, my grandson) so that I'd have someone to pass the kingdom to whole after my son's death. During this process, I arranged a marriage between my grandson and a princess of the Holy Roman Empire, age 30. Political alliance, you understand-- Not that I've ever needed it, but it's nice to be able to call in Big Daddy Emperor if I find it neccesary.

    Of course, after I died, it only took a matter of months for my damn fool son, weakened by torture, to kick the bucket in turn. End result: a 20 year old, headstrong, educated individual inherits Ireland with an alliance with the strongest Christian power in Europe.

    This lasts for a decade and a half, until the Austrian bitch is barren, and I feel the need to off her in an "accident" with the help of most of my court. (They understand the need for a strong succession, and I've been bribing the shit out of them-- You know how it goes.)

    My next marriage? A 20 year old Welsh princess. Because fucking young meat is awesome, she's smart enough to act as a genetic roto-rooter, and because fuck fighting the Welsh again.

    Tell me of your struggles for the power and the glory, DLP.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  2. Coyote

    Coyote He howls n' stuff

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    Continuing adventures!

    So the grandson from the previous post reached fucking 90. In the 1200's. That officially makes King Ua Brian the most doggedly ancient son of a bitch Ireland ever saw.

    In his 70 years on the throne, he finished unifying and centralized power in Ireland, and then through a series of brilliant marriage maneuvers (I couldn't have figured this shit out sober, is what I'm saying), managed to put his second and third sons on the thrones of a couple of French duchies. Holding enough French land that he was officially an elector of France, he stalled the French king's consolidation of power for long enough that a rebellion in Aquitine got off the ground, and consume half the French lands before peace was reached.

    Then disaster struck. Scotland invaded. Thousands of Scottish peasants died on Irish land, and their blood fertilized the soil for a great harvest.

    (I didn't say it was a disaster for the Irish.)

    Of course, after having ended the war with a Scottish surrender and annhilating their army, the Irish king was left with a problem: Namely, that Scotland would pull the same shit a few years down the line, and there was no guarentee that his realm would be held together so strongly when that happened.

    So he declared war once again, this time aiming to acquire the Isle of Mann. After all, the Scottish dogs would want to reconquer ancestral lands before they tried to acquire new ones, and it's not like the Isle of Mann ever fucking mattered in any capacity, ever, so its loss would hardly be felt.

    What he failed to account for was hundreds of vikings sailing over to rape Scottish sheep and eat Scottish women while he distracted them in a shitfight over a worthless rock in the water. His last breaths were spent laughing at the misery of his hated enemies.

    The king is dead. Long live the king!
     
  3. Innomine

    Innomine Order Member Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I am so fucking confused.
     
  4. Coyote

    Coyote He howls n' stuff

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    I was very drunk when I did all of this, because Ireland. Trust me, I was just as confused as you are.

    Seriously though, I'm just trying to illustrate a few hours of playing this game. Nothing I'm describing is a particularly complex plot, this is the type of thinking that you just need to use to get ahead. And this is why CK2 rocks, despite no one fucking playing it because it looks like a boardgame and has a difficulty curve like a brick wall.
     
  5. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Haven't played 2, but I had a lot of fun with the original. I did feel vaguely guilty that one time when I sent assassins after my character's nephew just a couple days after the kid was born, but hey, that's dynastic politics for you.
     
  6. Hashasheen

    Hashasheen Totally Sirius

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    That and it lacks a bit of the battle enjoyment one can have in the Medieval Total War series. Paradox games in general are a bit hard for me to figure out and play, but I love the AARs and I'm considering getting the original CK sooner or later and going crazy with it.
     
  7. Coyote

    Coyote He howls n' stuff

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    ...Not to diss Total War games; I enjoyed them, but you'd be better off comparing this game to Civ or some shit. There's a completely different focus to the two games, and they're not even meant to be similar despite having roughly the same subject matter.

    Total War is about tactics. CK2 (and, for that matter, every Paradox game) is about grand strategy and diplomacy. And while I agree with your assessment, it's somewhat similar to saying that HL2 is more action-packed than Portal was.

    Also I'd reccomend getting CK2 over CK1. Interface is a bit better. (It's still a clusterfuck.) And as for the learning curve... Sorry, man, that's just a bitch, there's nothing really to it but slogging away and failing for a couple of hours until it clicks.
     
  8. Scrib

    Scrib The Chosen One

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    Every time I see an AAR about a Paradox game I want to play it. Then I boot it up, stare at the overly dense UI and back the fuck up. It's like the house after a party, you're so busy trying to figure out where to begin that you're paralysed.

    But I have some free time this weekend so I ask, how is the Diplomacy AI? I've been playing MEII :TW and it is pretty much worthless. Burning shit up as a Mongol loses it's lustre after a while.

    I heard that there was an awesome Westeros mod out too, anyone tried it?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  9. Coyote

    Coyote He howls n' stuff

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    The AI's diplomacy is ruthless and opportunistic, but not particularly far-sighted. That said, balancing between external and internal politics is, er... rough. In any case, it's far, far better than MTW diplomacy AI.

    Also, re: the Paradox UI, there is one good thing about it: Once you've figured it the fuck out for one of their games, you can quickly pick up and learn all the rest.
     
  10. World

    World Oberstgruppenführer Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Decided to check this game out after playing HoI 2 and EU 3. After first failing by giving my son an electable title and thus making everything he inherits electable, I started anew and have so far brought about half of Ireland under my thumb with the help of a band of mercenaries. I ran out of CBs though and couldn't afford to keep them around much longer. Now the treasure chest is mostly empty, and the vassals are not very happy - we'll see whether Connaught will use their CB and seize the day...
     
  11. Ayreon

    Ayreon Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    My King of Aragon decided to kick the bucket before he could produce a proper son and my daughter rose to the throne instead. Because they are ungrateful bastards, three of my vassals almost immediately rose up in rebellion because they didn't want to be ruled by a woman.
    Not a big problem yet, as I had built up my demesne over the previous hundred years to deal with these kinds of problems.

    It became interesting, when - just as I had beaten down the Duke of Valencia and was preparing to mop up the other two rebellions in my Italian holdings - the Sheikh of Mauritania (who controlled modern day Morocco, Algeria and Southern Spain) decided to get the territory back my father and grandfather had painstakingly acquired from the heathen swine.
    At first I thought this would be an easy victory - his 3.500 strong army was decisively beaten by my 5.000 men near the Mediterranean coast.
    Then my scouting galleys brought me reports of his real army of 13.000 nearing my forces. My victory was just over his vanguard!
    So I immediately sent word to a Holy Order to help me in my hour of need - I had to use up all the goodwill I had acquired with the church up to that point to convince them to aid me - and they came to help me with over 7.000 brave knights.
    My own army had retreated in the face of the overwhelming enemy forces and had left Murcia to the mercy of the enemy, but after I had reinforced them with those brave crusaders I was ready to face the Moor.
    I won a great victory and immediately sent the crusading knights to pursue the remaining retreating forces - my own (few) remaining men were sent to their home provinces to raise new troops for the coming battles - a new generation of young men had reached they age when they could be 'convinced' to 'volunteer' in my armies.
    The knights managed to completely destroy the routed enemy forces and capture half a dozen of the enemies' leaders, but were themselves reduced to every 6th man by the attrition of these harsh battles, so I sent them home again with great thanks for their valor.
    The best captured generals of the enemy immediately lost their heads.

    This is when the enemy showed up on my doorstep with another 11.000 men.
    The remaining hostages were ransomed and the money used to hire mercenaries for cold hard cash. (There were no more holy orders available because the Croatian King had already sent those to their death in the Libyan desert.)
    Those joined my newly raised levies which were now a bit smaller than at the start of the war, but we were finally reinforced by the combined forces of my Italian vassals after the rebellious ones were finally sent to prison. (Though I immediately forgave one of them and released him from prison to curry favor with my other vassals for being so merciful, so they would send me more soldiers.)
    I managed to beat this army too, but my own army suffered horrendous losses too. I sent the mercenaries to again follow the beaten army and they too managed to capture valuable hostages, which I again ransomed to gain gold to hire fresh mercenaries because they were used up.
    This pattern repeated for two years with the ruler of Mauretania and I both calling up all our soldiers again and again and loosing most of them again in battles.
    Luckily my father had been very cautious and had saved up quite a bit of gold, so I was able to hire fresh mercenaries again and again to give me the decisive edge in the battles and I made slow progress.
    Finally after years of warfare, rebellions began to pop up in the enemy realm and they had to concentrate on their domestic affairs.
    So I got the Moor to sign a humiliating peace treaty forsaking the territory my father had conquered and delivering dozens of chests full of gold to me. My Queen would be known forever as Francesca the Great. But I knew this wasn't the end. You can't trust them, they will not honor this treaty and will come knocking again on my doorstep in my lifetime.

    Unless I come knocking on theirs first.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  12. Tehan

    Tehan Avatar of Khorne DLP Supporter

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    1066, pre-Hastings. I start as William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, liege of the King of France, with nought but a dream, a bulging war-chest, and dispensation from the Pope to roll into England and claim the throne for my own.

    Two years later, I had a hard-won victory that chewed through most of my war-chest but left me as the brand-new King of England, no longer under the command of the now-my-equal King of France. The Godwinsons had put up one hell of a fight, and as a result all I had conquered personally was the south-eastern quarter of England - with the Invasion casus belli, you not only usurp the title upon victory but also gain personal control of everything you were occupying when peace is declared. So I had a nice, fertile breadbasket of four duchies, but the rest remained with their original owners.

    I handed out two of the duchies to cousins - members of cadet branches of the de Normandie dynasty - and settled down to wait for rebellion. Because, you see, the entire south-western quarter of England was ruled by the former King, now a mere Duke, and for some reason he absolutely hated my guts. And rounding out the picture, the entire northern half of England was ruled by a single man - a Duke four times over. A quadduke, if you will. Considering that my shiny new demesne refused to contribute a damn, as dissatisfied as it was with being recently conquered, he could easily have crushed me, had he decided to do so.

    Conflict came quickly, but from an unexpected quarter - France, miffed that I had slipped it's leash, declared war. A conflict over a county that was part of a duchy that one of it's vassals held the title of. Nothing like a good war to unite the subjects and show what happens if William the Conquerer (no longer the Bastard) is crossed. The levies are called into service, a few mercenary companies are called into play, and they land on the shores of Normandy, expecting a long bloody battle, and instead run into scraps.

    You see, France wasn't doing too well back in the late 1000s. The Duke of Aquitaine, who controlled two thirds of the country, was part of France in name only, and the rest of his subjects barely gave the King the time of day. What levies the King could call into service were tiny - but, out of obligation or bravado or sheer stupidity, often lead by important figures. Mayors, Bishops, Counts, Dukes... nary a skirmish went by without some important personage ending up in my dungeons. Between ransom and looting, I made a tidy profit on the war, even after the mercenaries were paid - and, just to put the cherry on top, managed to force the French King to pay reparations.

    (had one poor Duke spend four years in my dungeons until his frankly pathetic holdings managed to eke together the required ransom, poor sod)

    The former King rebelled soon after, of course, under guise of a plot to lower crown authority - he managed to draw my niece into the plot, the rat. But with my war-chest bulging with French gold, I managed to put the rebellion down, and jailed the pair of them. I weighed my options carefully - I could execute the rat, but then his titles and claims would just fall to his son, who would be no more impressed with me. I could banish him, siezing all his holdings and wealth, but it would cause outrage among my other vassals (they get uneasy when their fellow dukes are so cavalierly treated, no matter the justification). A quick excommunication could have given me all the excuse I needed for the banishment, but it seems the dear ex-King had been living up to his surname of Godwinson, and had been sucking up to the Pope all this time, and the Pope refused to excommunicate him, the pricks. So I wavered between leaving him in jail to rot and releasing him to start repairing the rift between the Godwinsons and the de Normandies.

    Then, like a fucking idiot, I picked option C: C for cold, hard cash. I charged him a Duke's ransom for his freedom, and he paid, even more pissed at me than before, and back out in the wild where he could plot and scheme freely. With that taken care of, I turned to my next problem.

    My eldest son and heir was in a coma - he had been in the front lines of the war with France, and had taken a blow to the head for his pains. And it didn't look like he was going to wake up. With my Dukes as rebellious as they were, I couldn't afford an incapable King. The immediate thought was assassins, but while William was an absolute demigod on the battlefield, he wasn't as skilled at subterfuge - and for some reason, every competent Spymaster I managed to get my hands on died suspiciously. And if the assassins flubbed it, well, attempted Kinslaying would lose what few friends I had. And since my immobile son was a Count in his own right, I couldn't make him a bishop and let the succession fall to my second-eldest. So my eyes turned to succession law.

    Currently, it was Agnatic Primogeniture - eldest son gets the lot. I considered Elective, where the electors of my fief vote for their preference out of my male heirs, but considering that, of nine elector titles, three belonged to the ex-King and four to the northern Lancaster-York bloc, I wrote that off. So that left me a single possibility. An odd little Basque custom - cognatic succession. Eldest *child* inherits.

    You see, my comatose heir had two elder sisters.

    Naturally, my sons were FURIOUS. Fortunately, neither of the conscious sons held titles, so it was fairly easy to set them up with their own Bishoprics, removing them neatly from the succession (but still allowing them to create shiny new baby de Normandies to give titles to in the future). It didn't stop one of them from sending assassins after their dear sister, though, until one finally succeeded - but she had started on babies early, and my new heir was a six-year-old lad named William, for his grandpa.

    Things got less hectic after that. A son-in-law, married to one of my daughters for exactly this purpose, managed to leverage his frankly amazing skills in diplomacy into finagling me a claim to a Welsh duchy, and I moved in, splitting it neatly between one of my daughters and a cousin (who fought over who got to be duke for the rest of the game, naturally). I turned my eye to Ireland, and started whispering in ears - for every succession, there's a second son or runner-up that has, if not a valid claim to the earldom, then a claim that looks valid if you tilt your head, squint, and throw enough soldiers at it. Half of Ireland fell under my control as brothers, uncles, and sons of rulers swore fealty to me in exchange for putting them on various thrones.

    I played games of marriage. Fearing for my son's safety with all those outraged uncles hiding knives under their new bishop's vestments, I married him off to a nice French lass - the Duchess of Aquitaine, who's father and brother both tragically perished with a little help from Norman daggers. He left England to crash at her place until gramps finally gave up the ghost and made him King. William lost his wife of forty years, and remarried at 62 - to a 19-year-old Castillian princess. The perks of rank, I guess, especially considering he fathered a child. I named said child Mishie, in honour of our own who has recently started playing CK2, but he died at a very young age - whether from the normal ravages of medieval conditions or the knives of his frustrated half-brothers, I can't be certain. Pity, since he would have inherited his mother's claim on the Castillian throne, which I could have leveraged into a series of Iberian holy wars that would have made the Pope *very* receptive to excommunication requests... but what's past is past.

    King William the Conquerer of England passed from this alternate version of our vale of tears in the Year of Our Lord 1097, a full decade after his real-life equivalent did (and with one more Spanish princess in his bed). The main variance occurred in the very beginning of our tale - instead of being able to parcel out England among his cronies, my William was forced to deal with three quarters of his new fief being ruled by unfriendly Saxon dukes. Another is that real William never bothered to investigate opportunities in Ireland - possibly because it was a horrible idea, and sure enough once William shuffled off each and every one objected to the rule of a newly-crowned Norman, especially since William had oh-so-foolishly jacked up taxes because everyone respected or feared him enough to put up with it (and because his new demesne refused to churn out a profit for decades). Oh, and ex-King's son (ex-King had finally died) and two of my daughters joined the general rebellion, as well as some of my cousins who still had holdings in Normandy. This part was partially mirrored in real life, except instead of rebellious vassals seizing an opportunity to rid themselves of Norman rule, it was two brothers going to war over who was *really* supposed to inherit the throne.

    It was just after grandson finally won that war (and replaced those treacherous Irish dogs with his young cousins - seven of them, to be exact, none of them old enough to rule without a regent) that good ol' quadduke finally threw his hat into the ring with a list of demands. I refused, he rebelled, and it was at that point I decided to quicksave call it a night.

    Where'd I go wrong? Well, if you know history, you'll know that William's historical ascension to the English throne owed quite a bit to the Norwegians kicking the shit out of them because they wanted the throne, too. In my version of history, they instead opted to stay home - probably because next door in Sweden, King Erik the Christian and Jarl Erik the Pagan were kicking twelve shades of shit out of each other and Norway was waiting for an opportunity to capitalize on that, instead. So where historical William had a fuckton of angry vikings to soften the English up for him, all my William had was Frenchmen and mercenaries. If I had managed to get a stronger grip on England before signing peace, I could have parcelled it out to my friends and family instead of having to deal with the goddamn locals.

    And another thing I fucked up - I got too used to Big Willy's big willy. He was the Bastard, the Conquerer, and the Great, and about the time he forced reparations out of the King of France at swordpoint everyone decided they didn't want to fuck with him. So I jacked up taxes on the feudal lords to make up for the money my demesne didn't want to give me, because I was a Norman and they were Saxons, and everyone went along with it because they didn't want to be on Big Willy's shit list. But when Little Willy inherited the throne, softened up from a life of luxury as the house-husband of the Duchess of Aquitaine, he was looking at a bunch of Saxon and Irish vassals that were paying completely unjustified taxes on top of the levies they owed, as well as the last Saxon King plotting in the wings - and, most cunning of all, the quadduke waiting in the wings.

    Things look fairly bleak at this point, but there's still some hope. The Scottish have a princess of marriagable age, that could seal an alliance to bring them in to this little shindig. And though all it would take to steal all of the Duchess of Aquitaine's lands would have her squeeze out a child, she's proven annoyingly barren thus far - so if I abandoned that possibility and shoved wifey dear out a window, Little Willy might be able to secure an alliance with Scotland. At which point I can settle down, consolidate, lower taxes, use my control of half of Ireland to claim the title of King of Ireland and start browbeating the rest of them under my banner, steamroll the remaining holdouts in Wales, wait for new wifey to birth an heir and start stabbing my way through the Scottish line of succession... then form the Empire of Britannia.

    Or I could get caught trying to stab the Duchess of Aquitaine in the throat, have the rest of my vassals turn against me for kinslaying, and watch everything Big Willy worked for collapse into dust.

    This is one hell of a game.
     
  13. Wildfeather

    Wildfeather Seventh Year Prestige

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    So.... I take it this worth it for the $40 from steam? Or wait for a sale, borrow it from a friend?
     
  14. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Paradox games are generally worth the money you pay. They're one of the few companies I'm willing to fork out the cash for straight away, instead of 'borrowing it from a friend' first, then deciding whether the game is worth the pay out. This one looks like a lot of fun, since I've always preferred extensive diplomacy over outright military action.
     
  15. nairit

    nairit Second Year

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    Err.... question: If I am pretty good at EU3, can I jump straight into this or do I have to fuck around with it till it clicks?

    Or should I just beg my friends to hold my hand the first few games so I can learn?
     
  16. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Looks to have a much more in depth diplomacy set up than EU3, though probably not as complex as Vicky 2. So it's probably not as bad as that learning cliff, but this is a Paradox game, so chances are you're going to fail in everything until you work out the underlying principles of the system.
     
  17. Wildfeather

    Wildfeather Seventh Year Prestige

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    So, I'm fairly sure the tutorial was almost worse than useless. The war tutorial did not help me understand how to actually conquer anything. I think if I just siege the shit out of enemy places, eventually my war score goes uo enough I can eventually contact enemy leaders and be like " I'll stop beating up your stuff if I can keep what I already beat up.". Other than that, I have no idea -having been through the whole tutorial- how I can act on my ambition ( I picked man of virtue for a William campaign) or if it matters who I send my daughter to educate with. Relating to the campaigns, I can't seem to find an easy one to wet my teeth with, so I just picked William. Is there a guide to read somewhere?
     
  18. Tehan

    Tehan Avatar of Khorne DLP Supporter

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    Not exactly. The casus belli used determines what the effects of win/loss/stalemate are - independence wars, for example, have them breaking free of their liege if they win, and them being jailed if they lose. Holy Wars give you the duchy you name during the start of the war, and all counties and baronies inside it. There's a larger list here. There's only a few CBs where what counties you've taken matters, and sieges are easier on your levies and get you money, while battles are faster and get you prestige (and have the possibility of jailing enemy leaders, from barons and mayors all the way up to their leader, which can be ransomed for a decent lump sum - and jailing the enemy leader is an automatic 100% war score).

    Ouch. Piety is hard to build up in the British Isles, where all the pagans are far away from your swords. All you can really do is throw money at the church - 'buy indulgences' under the intrigue screen, which charges you a painful amount for 25 piety. Another option if you're desperate is turn over counties to control of the church - Grant Lanted Title for the county to the bishop of the local bishoptic, making the bishoptic the new capitol of the province and upgrading the dude to a Prince-Bishop. But turning over land to the church means fewer levies than if you had left it in the hands of a count, fewer taxes than if you had given it to a mayor, and fewer everything than if you had kept it in your demesne.

    A better ambition for William is the prestige one - become renown or whatever it's called. While things are still turbulent from your takeover, you can gain prestige by successfully quashing rebellions. While things are quiet, you can gain them from fairs, hunts, feasts, and tournaments. And successfully accomplishing it gives you a relations boost with pretty much everyone.

    See the square box with the rest of a character's stat modifiers? It'll say something like 'flamboyant schemer' or 'strategic genius' or 'midas touched' or whatever. That's the education modifier - it comes from who educated them. Children also tend to get similar stats and modifiers (sloth/diligent, greedy/charitable, brave/craven, etc) to their educator. Also, people you trust with your children get +20 to relations with you, and if you educate them yourself you get fairly frequent events where you get to choose how they develop. If memory serves, William starts with awesome as fuck stats, so training your kids yourself is probably the way to go - I usually keep my daughters in my court via matrilineal marriages to increase the number of dynasty members I have to give lands to, but that's a matter of personal preference. If you'd instead rather marry them off to foreign princes to secure alliances, then their education is less important - might as well use it for the relations boost with one of your vassals.

    This guy has done a few in-depth looks at facets of the game, but really the best way to learn the game is hard-won experience. William the Bastard is a tough choice as first ruler. Scotland would probably be easier while you're learning the ropes - most of their vassals are pretty easy-going and there's no looming threats. After you've picked up the basics, Sweden, Denmark, and the Russian dukes are good intermediate-difficulty choices.
     
  19. Coyote

    Coyote He howls n' stuff

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    Re: Piety, there's also events that fire during fairs/hunts that give you piety and raise relations.

    As far as ambitions go, the order of difficulty is typically piety > prestige > wealth. 500 ducats is easy as fuck to pick up for a westerner with a decent desmesne, and prestige is barely any harder.

    Also, while I'd file them under intermediary, the tiny Irish dukes/counts are fun as shit, too. They're far enough away that the only one under any threat is Ulster, and that's from Scotland. They're all lowest-level play in regards to economy and troop amounts, but that gives you time to figure out how to act instead of just react.
     
  20. Tehan

    Tehan Avatar of Khorne DLP Supporter

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    Which reminds me - when you raise kids, pretty much every event has the option of 'thank god/pray for god to fix it'. Which usually just makes matters worse, but gives you piety. Adopt a couple of wards of courtiers or non-dynasty counts and use them as piety mills.
     
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