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  #21  
Old Sep 19th 2014, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Crusader Kings II

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I had a spare hour last night and decided to fire this up and try and figure it out. Started is Desmond (the most southern county in Ireland). I had good numbers for my character, mostly decent on all stats and an effective 30+ for martial, which I thought would really help in battle. I spent a while getting everyone married to suitable partners and sent my chancellor (diplomacy of 14) off to fabricate a claim in Thormond so I could take it and establish the Duchy of Munster. My martial upped my levies by 50%. I made some extra money via random events. Everything seemed ready to roll...

...eight very long years later I still had no claim to press anywhere. Then my chancellor slept with my wife so I had to throw him in prison, which ended his fabricate claim mission.

Did I miss a crucial step somewhere or just get really bad luck when it came to fabricating a claim? When I next have to time to give it a try I think I'll pick someone who starts with a cassus belli
There are some things you could do (like looking for a character that has a cassus belli and inviting them to court), but sometimes that happens.
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  #22  
Old Sep 19th 2014, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Crusader Kings II

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
I had a spare hour last night and decided to fire this up and try and figure it out. Started is Desmond (the most southern county in Ireland). I had good numbers for my character, mostly decent on all stats and an effective 30+ for martial, which I thought would really help in battle. I spent a while getting everyone married to suitable partners and sent my chancellor (diplomacy of 14) off to fabricate a claim in Thormond so I could take it and establish the Duchy of Munster. My martial upped my levies by 50%. I made some extra money via random events. Everything seemed ready to roll...

...eight very long years later I still had no claim to press anywhere. Then my chancellor slept with my wife so I had to throw him in prison, which ended his fabricate claim mission.

Did I miss a crucial step somewhere or just get really bad luck when it came to fabricating a claim? When I next have to time to give it a try I think I'll pick someone who starts with a cassus belli
A couple of points...

1. A chancellor with diplomacy under 15 really sucks! I find that a chancellor with 16+ scores will almost always get a claim within 5 years or less. Chancellors less than that, could take a real long time - though sometimes you get lucky and a (13) Chancellor forges a claim in under six months! I read a recommendation on the net that if you don't get a good chancellor (random) at the start of the game, just restart the game.

2. Even if you did succeed in fabricating a claim against Thormond, you'd probably get your butt kicked when you tried to attack him because he's a Petty King (Duke) of Munster and you are just an Earl/Count - unless you have a shit load of gold to pay for mercenaries, or some really good allies, his army is going to be bigger than yours. Best rule of thumb in the game is don't pick on people stronger than you - pick on the weak!

3. Starting off as a solo Earl/Count like Desmond is an extra challenge for a beginner. The traditional recommended 'beginner start' is Murchad, the Petty King of Munster (that's what I did). There are several good reasons for this, not the least of which is that he is a Duke and begins the game with a 'de jure' claim on Desmond (because he is the Duke of Munster and thus is the 'de jure' liege of Desmond). He also has a pretty big family to begin with (all males), including an adult son.

* * *

On this basis, I'd recommend restarting as Murchad of Munster - and if you don't get a 15+ chancellor, restart the game because it makes a huge difference playing Ireland at the beginning of the game when forging claims seems fairly easy. After 1100, forging claims seems to take a lot longer.

If you do play Murchad, then you begin with a 'de jure' claim on Desmond. After you turn Desmond into your vassal, you can plot to 'revoke' Ormond or Desmond. You really should want to make at least one (or both) of these counties part of your demesne rather than just vassals. That's how you build up the strength you will need to be able to defeat the other guys in Ireland.

To become King of Ireland, you need to control 7 of 13 counties plus 2 ducal titles in Ireland. With Murchad, I went for the Duchy of Ulster (with 4 counties) as my primary target, though any 7 counties will do. It might take you more than one leader's lifetime to get there...
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  #23  
Old Sep 19th 2014, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Crusader Kings II

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There are some things you could do (like looking for a character that has a cassus belli and inviting them to court), but sometimes that happens.
That won't work with the 1066 Ireland start because Ireland is so isolated and peaceful no one has any claims and there are no existing wars or rivalries, you start with no money and no prestige, and little to work with. You have to forge claims to get anywhere.
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  #24  
Old Sep 19th 2014, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Crusader Kings II

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One of the most entertaining games I ever played was when I started out as the Duke of Antioch. I originally was working toward establishing an independent Syrian empire when a huge civil war broke out that was trying to depose the Byzantine Emperor.

Originally I wanted to stay neutral in the war and so I just ignored every call for aid. But then I noticed that the rebels, who were kicking butt and already in control of Constantinople, were fighting to put my character on the throne. The rebels end up winning, my duke became emperor and all was good. my character was young and competent and just married. A healthy dynasty was on the way that going to restore the glory of Rome.

Well the one problem was that my family was not very fertile. My character only ended up having one daughter, but she had the genius trait and was an all around awesome character. When she got to the throne I had to spend years putting down rebellions and plots, but it was worth it and she ended up having a successful 35 year reign.

What made the game interesting was that same story continued for my next two successors. For around a 100 years the Byzantine empire was ruled by three successive Empresses who were all geniuses and had awesome stats. The Empire expanded and gradually even recovered Jerusalem.

After close to a hundred years of an Empress a male finally inherited the throne, but everything came crashing down. The Sultan of Egypt managed to conquer all of Persia, North Africa, and even Muslim Spain. With literally the whole Muslim world was united My empire could not even come close to matching their army in the field. The first thing they did was crush me.

I love this game because of the story lines it produces.
Indeed, I'm starting to see the character of the game and how it changes and defines itself.

I've been trying my hand with William the Bastard and the invasion of England - that's rather challenging, but it is interesting to see how things play out differently each time I restart the game. Sometimes France is really antagonistic and belligerent, other times France wants to marry my daughter. Likewise with William's sons - sometimes they are rebellious and unruly bastards and other times they are not.

Btw, assassinating Harald of Norway seems to be necessary to make William's conquest successful, since there are three big armies in England (England, Norway and William) and that's just nasty.
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  #25  
Old Sep 23rd 2014, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Crusader Kings II

Update for Munster/Ireland start game...

My last post had King Brian the Lion admiring his Polish dynastic lands, anticipating his future Swedish inheritance and planning his acquisition of the English throne. Well, things just didn't play out according to plan...

The Swedish duchy inheritance just evaporated, the Polish holdings went no where and the plan to acquire the English throne ran up against the brickwall of an 'elective monarchy'. King Brian the Lion was followed by King Wulf the Fowler (named for his grandfather English King Wulfric the Great, an ill-fated attempt to pander to my future English subjects). He was a falconer, hence the nickname. King Wulf married an English Duchess. King Arthur the Noble followed after King Wulf and he was Duke of Kent in his own right, but still couldn't get anywhere with the ducal electors. Apparently they didn't like the Irish upstart King and called me a foreign conqueror.

So, now it is around 1240 AD and even though I control all of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany & Normandy, the fight to control England is going to be a long and slow process - acquiring it piece by piece, so I've decided to chalk this game up as a good learning experience and move on to a new game. I'm in the top five for Empire size and 3rd place in overall score, so I'm doing well, I'm just getting frustrated dealing with all my bad decisions from years gone by and the slow progress with England. The Empire of Britannia seems still quite a distance away. France barely even exists anymore - the HRE extends to the shores of the Atlantic (they gobbled up Burgundy & Aquitaine).

Lesson learned: If you are lucky enough to send your dynastic sons out to foreign courts to marry the titled heiress of a duchy or county, make sure they have a good intrigue skill or all the children born of the marriage will just end up dying mysteriously and the whole enterprise comes to nothing.
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  #26  
Old Sep 23rd 2014, 06:13 PM
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My new Game is Duke William the Bastard in the Stamford Bridge scenario.

As I mentioned previously, this is damn freakin' difficult. I had to re-start a half-dozen times before I succeeded and that was almost entirely due to the successful assassination of the King of Norway. I picked up that idea/strategy from some comments posted to a walkthrough for this scenario on the net - apparently there is quite a bit of discussion about this scenario due to the initial battle challenge. The first time I tried it I got slaughtered.

In a nutshell, William has about 9000 men and money to hire 4500 mercenaries. Ideally, one needs additional help from William's willing ally the Duke of Flanders, and I got this the first time through, but every restart after that, the HRE declared de jure war in Flanders right away and tied down my allies so I got no support.

The Norwegians have landed in York with about 9000 troops and King Harold of England has about 13,000 troops just sitting there watching the Norwegians seige York. No matter what I do, King Harold ignores the Norwegian army and just waits for William's army to land and then attacks immediately. With a geographic defense bonus and William's superior army and battle skills, Duke William usually will win that battle against King Harold, but the problem is that the instant that battle is over, the Norwegians decide it is a good time to abandon the seige of York and attack William's ragged but victorious army. My sixth time through, the assassination plan worked and the Norwegian army quit the field just as it was marching towards me.

Anyway, that's only half the fun. After surviving that, you have to seige as much of England as you can before the time runs out and Harold of England surrenders - except, half your army got wiped out in the battle with Harold and no more money for mercenaries, so the siege process is slow. By 1070, Harold surrenders. Problem here is that Harold's half-brothers Eadwin and Morcar still control 4 duchies and 5 counties between them, plus several more vassal counties - pretty much all of northern England - and they are your vassals and they will hate you like the devil forever.

And of course, all of one's own Norman nobles all have the "ambitious" trait (every freakin' one of them!) so they are a handful to deal with at the best of times and you just have to give counties to these guys because one has no other option (no doubt, this is part of the scenario). And of course, this is when France decided that it was time for a 'de jure' war to reclaim Normandy which I barely win and almost went broke hiring mercenaries - but that bought me 10 years peace with France.

And just to make things extra fun, King William's number one son and heir Robert is basically psychotic. Luckily, he self-destructed before causing too much damage. Number two son Richard got the full 'grooming of the heir' treatment as well as a prestigious marriage/alliance with France. He subsequently dropped dead at age 24. That left me with son number three - William the homosexual. Luckily I had trained him to be a warrior-bishop so he was well groomed for the King role - except for the fact that the feudal-medieval world isn't very liberal with respect to same-sex issues. When King William died, the whole kingdom errupted with every single vassal going red-line. It was ugly.

Needless to say, William II's coronation was greeted with 'round two' of the French de jure war for Normandy because the truce ended when King William died. Let's just say that the first ten years of William II's reign was rather rocky! By that time, William had proved his mettle in battle and earned the nickname of William the Bold.

Almost exactly ten years after the 2nd French-English de jure war for Normandy followed the third war. This time England kicked butt (and takes the Vexin) and William the Homo was finally secure in his throne - after spending 20 years in almost constant war. Eventually, all his vassals and even the bishops loved him.

So that's where I'm at. It is just past 1105 now, King William the Bold is getting old and things are a bit quiet right now. The trecherous brothers Eadwin & Morcar have been completely eliminated from England and Normans rule it all.

Btw, King William the Bold's court is rather colorful as it includes an Italian homosexual warrior-dwarf who serves as the King's Marshal and principal general. King William himself is having an affair with the Earl of Sussex. William's wife has acquired the 'impaler' trait, though I don't know where that came from - it wasn't there when he married her! Oh, and I tried like heck to invite a Spanish dwarf-poet to come to court at Westminster, just because it sounded like a good idea, but he was working as a spymaster in some Spanish backwater and wouldn't come.
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  #27  
Old Sep 25th 2014, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Crusader Kings II

Hey NS, got a question for you...

What do you do with those 'expansion slots' you have in your holdings where you can build a new castle, temple or city?

The AI gets into it bigtime. I normally invest my extra gold into building revenue and levy improvements in my baronies (and universities & monastic schools as well). Would expansion slots be better investments?
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  #28  
Old Sep 25th 2014, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Crusader Kings II

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Hey NS, got a question for you...

What do you do with those 'expansion slots' you have in your holdings where you can build a new castle, temple or city?

The AI gets into it bigtime. I normally invest my extra gold into building revenue and levy improvements in my baronies (and universities & monastic schools as well). Would expansion slots be better investments?
That is a tough one. In general I would say that if you plan on keeping for a very long time the holdings you have then yes, the expansion slots are a good idea. There are some holdings that are just plain better than the rest and if you happen to possess one of those than I would say expansion is good. However, spending cash on a poor holding with only one expansion slot is a waste.

That being said I can think of a lot of scenarios where I would want to fill those slots. Specifically, if i needed to build a church to get rid of an heir or if I was convinced I was going to make a bid for the throne soon and needed those extra troops.
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  #29  
Old Sep 26th 2014, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Crusader Kings II

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That is a tough one. In general I would say that if you plan on keeping for a very long time the holdings you have then yes, the expansion slots are a good idea. There are some holdings that are just plain better than the rest and if you happen to possess one of those than I would say expansion is good. However, spending cash on a poor holding with only one expansion slot is a waste.
Yes, I'm talking about one's core demesne holdings - like your capital duchy.

I'm playing England right now and Middlesex county (London) has three open slots, while the counties of Winchester, Oxford, Gloucester and Dorset all have two open slots each. These are the historical 'crown estate' counties in England (the old Kingdom of Wessex) and I intend to keep them as the crown estate, so it makes sense to develop them. So far, I've been using my extra cash with castle and military upgrades (like Longbow ranges!).

I'm thinking to invest in the expansion slots since I have good cash income. Creating new baronies produces the highest revenue and additional military power, but they count as an additional "holding" for your demesne limit. So if you have the demesne capacity to hold them, they are the best things to build, but otherwise, you are just playing big cash to create a new minor vassal that gives you very little benefit (not worth the investment). And I'm always at my demesne limit with counties.

So the choice seems to be between creating new Bishoprics or new Towns. I'm inclined towards creating towns since they appear to generate more tax revenue than Bishops, though they produce less levy numbers. And more gold income is always good.

Anyway, I appreciate your feedback.

Btw, I find the casualty rate for generals to be extremely high (especially versus rebel uprisings). If I don't like any of my vassals (or sons) they became "wing" generals. I've gotten rid of several this way so far.

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That being said I can think of a lot of scenarios where I would want to fill those slots. Specifically, if i needed to build a church to get rid of an heir or if I was convinced I was going to make a bid for the throne soon and needed those extra troops.
If you need extra troops in a hurry, then building a barony seems like a rather slow and inefficient method. For the same money, you could hire way more mercenaries and use them for a year. I certainly have found hiring mercenaries to be a very useful strategy, if used wisely - it can be disasterous if one is not prudent about it since they have a monthly fee that is seriously nasty (I like to hire mercenaries for the initial big battles and then dismiss them after you defeat the enemy army, then use my own cheaper troops for the slow sieges that follow afterwards).

Nominating a son to a bishopric is one of the most useful things in the game though. Pretty much the only way to work with gavelkind succession rules!
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  #30  
Old Sep 2nd 2016, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Crusader Kings II

Ok. I'm going to try this again. Paradox is having a major sale on Steam, so I'm giving CKII another try, now with some DLC. Dropping $5-6 to pick up
  • 'Legacy of Rome' (because it seems to add interesting stuff)
  • 'Way of Life' (because the story-elements appeal to me)
  • and 'Rule Designer' (don't judge me!)

Surely making an already hyper-complex game even more complex is the best way to get into it. Right? Right!

Updates to follow...
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