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Old 2012-02-07, 14:33   Link #1
DonQuigleone
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 26
Crusader Kings II (PC)



As a Paradox Fanboy I feel it is my duty to start a thread to discuss the imminent release of this game.

Most of you are probably wondering what the hell I'm talking about, Crusader Kings II is the next grand strategy game being put out by Paradox Interactive. It's somewhat unique because unlike the average grand strategy game, you play not as a country, but as a dynasty. You set out to conquer your neighbours, assassinate your rivals and maybe, just maybe, take back the holy land for the forces of christendom.

If you're thinking "This sounds like Medieval: Total War...", you wouldn't be far off. There are some crucial differences, Crusader Kings has no tactical battles, you only do country management. Crusader Kings is also a lot deeper here, because you have to handle all your feudal relationships, which are often rather ... personal (The Duke of Lorraine probably wants to kill you because you knocked up his wife behind his back...).

In fact, it's entirely possible to acquire more land and power in this game without going to war at all, dynastic succession is a big deal. So if I marry the eldest daughter of the King of Scotland, and I ... ensure all his heirs are dead, then my son via that daughter will inherit both the scottish crown, and my crown!

Of course all your vassals are probably going to be busy trying to bump you off as well...

Anyway, this being a strategy game, you're going to spend all your time staring at images like this:
Spoiler for size:


On that map, you can play as any Christian Count, Duke, King or Emperor that existed between 1066 and ~1360, while the game ends in 1453. So you can play anyone from William of the Conqueror of England to Henry II, count of Lorraine.

Though you often get lots of more personal events:
Spoiler for size:


The game is going to be available over steam, gamersgate and retail later this month, but just yesterday they put out a demo, so we can see what it's like in action.

The demo is only 400 megabytes to download, so give it a go and see what it's like.

I look forward to seeing what you guys think of it. Don't you just love sinking your teeth into a huge complicated strategy game?
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Old 2012-02-07, 17:14   Link #2
Hooves
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I personally like most of Paradox Interactive's works. So I'll definitely give this a shot.
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Old 2012-02-19, 19:32   Link #3
erneiz_hyde
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I am grateful and grudging to you Don.

Grateful for introducing me to this great game, and grudging because said game have stolen all of my precious time and attention

I've tried playing Connacht(I claimed the King of Ireland), Brittany(somehow expanded to the mediterraneans, but my dynasty line ended), and lastly, Rus(I got a whopping 5500 score on my first character, but then he died and the constant civil war prompted me to ragequit).

Is there any advices to make myself a better player? My general playstyle is trying to have as many city markets as possible earlier on to have a stable income, then expand the military.

I haven't really tried taking territories using succession titles (mostly they happened accidentally as I play), so I need advice to be able to better monitor this aspect of the game (my dynasty ended once because I neglected this).

Also, being Catholic rocks. Later on you can hire Knights of St.John and the Templars for negligible amount of money! Though if you're playing Island countries like England or Ireland, you wouldn't be able to ship these knights to enemy land anyways lol.

My current goal is trying to have the focus to play the game from the start all the way to the 1300s. Now I know that large territories WILL be broken down between my vassals, I'll just have to ensure that these land owners doesn't get too unmanageable by my main successors.
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Old 2013-10-01, 23:23   Link #4
Mr Hat and Clogs
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/cast resurrection

Got this game the other day (well, I got EU4 a few days before hand to, which led me to getting this), and wow.. it's fun. But holy crap it can be brutal, although probably doesn't help I jumped in the deep end without knowing what I was doing. The "difficulty" indicator is incredibly misleading.

The most frustrating thing though for me, is watching my army which can outnumber the enemy (sunni nations) almost two to one get roflstomped even when they have the terrain advantage, never mind when I have to attack them from taking my provinces... holy crap I'd be better off just surround the province they're in with as many troops as I can and when they move dogpile them with the rest. The real kicker though is I have better tech than them to.

I've learnt to NEVER declare a Holy War unless I can outnumber them like five to one at least or I can zerg the provinces I want before reinforcements can get there even though it looks like the best way to take mass swaths of land rather than one province at a time every ten years (seriously is there a better way? I can't marry into those family because of religious differences)

Really it seems imitating the blitzkrieg is the best way to overwhelm. Because my other strategy of forming my army up before trundling into their territories doesn't seem to work when I try it. I guess getting troops, any troops, into their provinces to start sieging can slow or prevent them fielding their armies? It is satisfying to see your guys swarm into an enemy nation taking province after province (are some nations able to 'capture' provinces faster than others? Because when the arabs invaded in one of my games they took provinces in like fives seconds flat)

Honestly I find the fact I can't form my army before declaring war to be kind of annoying. I'd love to be able to get my armies into position for invasion before dropping the hammer.


Anyway, enough whinging about that, I love the political stuff though. I've led quite a few factions and an insane amount of plots. I keep killing the leaders of the Arabic nations to the south east of my empire, and they keep revolting against each other. Although it's getting harder and harder to do as time goes on and slowly the Abbasid Empire is eating up the surrounding territory. Really need to beak them up again some how.

The Empire is in a pretty good state though atm. But I'm dreading the day the Empress dies, oh god that is going to be painful. She's loved by everyone (well except this one lord, but he's a leader of one of those Arabic nations I reacquired and pressed into my service, I may kill him off though), with 80-100+ across the board almost, and has really high Diplomacy and intrigue, and pretty high Stewardship. Her son though doesn't match that, so the transition is going to be VERY painful but I've got loads of titles banked to give away and much money to gift when that day comes. My luck it will happen in the middle of a war with Abbasid. Hell even a few of the Arabic leaders like me, despite my propensity to murder them and their heirs repeatedly until they have civil wars. I'm annoyed though, I NEARLY would have inherited Scotland... SCOTLAND... as Byzantium. My daughter married matrilineally into the Scottish royal family, as the second son... but I couldn't get a plot down to kill the first heir... it kept failing. I managed a Matrilineal marriage for my other daughter with the 2nd or 3rd Prince of Great Moravia, but her husband was murdered - kharma I guess. Need to work out how to deal with Bulgaria at some point.

This was taken about 10 years ago, I've expanded further east now, I found it hilarious at the time. Also, why are all my prisoners women? Whenever I take over a province all the men seem to hightail it and leave the women behind (to be *ahem* converted).
Spoiler for When you REALLY want someone dead...:

Have to say though, there is something cool (and narcissistically pleasing) about the titles you can get in the for your character. Like, my current Empress would be introduced something like:

Quote:
Most Pious Augusta Anastasia Anastaria 1st 'the Wise', Basilissa of Byzantium, Queen of Greece, Serbia, Sicily and Anatolia, Duchess of Thrace and Adrianopolis, and Countess of Constantinople, Thrake, Adrianopolis, Kaliopolis, Philippopolis, Korinthos and Melitene.
Dunno if I should be called 'the wise' though, 'the cruel' maybe or 'the child murdering psycho' - I have quite the body count to my name, I've killed off entire families I think. I have given away some of the Royal titles to my son and grandson (Anatolia and Sicily), I wanted to give one each to my children but apparently I can't give them to my daughters, have to change the laws I guess, somehow get a Basque into the family.

Overall it's a great game, and I've only got a rough idea of what I'm doing - mostly I just bumble along and throw money at any problems that pop up until they go away (had +32g per month somehow, usually +22g)... hmm wonder if I could bribe arabia to leave me alone while I go retake the rest of Italy - although my son is married to the daughter of the King of Italy, but can't remember if she is inline for succession - my grandson however, hmm might have to prune the Italian royal family a bit. So not looking forward to succession in my Empire though, thankfully the Empress is only 47, but still that's getting along.



Side note, where the hell is the save converted for EU4? I purchased it but can't find where to use the damnable thing. It shows up in the modlist but yeah...
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Old 2013-10-02, 05:21   Link #5
Jazzrat
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First off, welcome to the wonderful world of eugenics simulation. Don't be afraid to murder your children for greater good of the empire.

Combat is fairly complicated in it's calculation. If you are losing fights where you outnumber your enemies 2 to 1 then you might have to check the following factor.

1) Your general, having a good general makes a world of difference. My martial 28 ruler with 2 martial 20+ generals have beaten army where they were outnumber 2 to 1. In short, try to have someone with martial 8+ as general minimum and the more positive combat trait the better.

2) Army composition, this helps determine what sort of tactic your army will more likely to use. Since you are Greek, just use all catapracht (knights + horse archer retinue) army as your main killer stack and levies as filler (siege/reinforcement). Use http://ckiiwiki.com/Combat_tactics as reference to how to modify your army to get a better chance at using good tactics.

3) Tech level difference. Your capital tech level only affects army raised in your capital and nowhere else. To help propagate it to all your other province, make sure you have monastic school and university built in province neighboring your capital. Morale is pretty significant in determining how well your army do in combat and to raise it, you need high Military Organization level. Also muslim state gets a huge morale bonus with low decadence level. Fighting them when they have low decadence level puts you at a big disadvantage.

As long as you have all those in good order, you should have enough to negate terrain bonuses. My last game as the Norse, I have 3 stack of 12k huscarl retinue as my main combat force that can be deployed anywhere prior to declaration of war and will blitz in as soon as the war start to kill enemy forces before they can rally up and end the war without needing to siege too many province.
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Old 2013-10-02, 06:02   Link #6
erneiz_hyde
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Ah the thread that started it all. Crusader Kings II was my first ever grand strategy games and it was here that I got introduced to it. After a long and painful journey I was feeling a little proud when I finally achieved this:
Images
size
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

I started as Venice in 864 and is now The Patrician Emperor of Roman, Latin, Italia, Hispania, and some other titles. I still got about 60 years left until the end and I'm quite sure I can finish the job and paint the whole map, but I was very exhausted (and bored) after weeks of playing this so I'll put the game off till later.
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Old 2013-10-02, 07:24   Link #7
Mr Hat and Clogs
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Generals? We can set people as generals? I know you can in EU4, but I couldn't see where in this, I thought it was based off of the where ever you go the unit (ie the Vassal) or your Strategos (Head of the Military)

Oh.. retinues... yeah, those are a thing. I had totally forgotten about them, didn't quite understand them. They just build up over time yeah? They can be around even when you declare war? Usually i had just been using Levies, mine and my Vassals. I do remember hearing about a Cataphract somewhere.

Ahh, I thought I could only increase the Tech for your Capital Provence, and just mouse over the other Provence's while the tech window is open for comparison. For upgrades though, I've purchased a few things, I keep forgetting, but mostly it upgrades to levie size and the like, or tax rate - castles and barracks and stuff.


edit: hah, nice map. Thats my goal for Byzantium, then transfer it into EU4 and take the rest of world.
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Old 2013-10-02, 07:40   Link #8
erneiz_hyde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Hat and Clogs View Post
Generals? We can set people as generals? I know you can in EU4, but I couldn't see where in this, I thought it was based off of the where ever you go the unit (ie the Vassal) or your Strategos (Head of the Military)
You need at least Low authority Crown Law to do this iirc. Every army stack has three flanks which can be lead by a general, so you can have 3 generals per army stack. It's on the window that appears whenever you select an army.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Hat and Clogs View Post
Ahh, I thought I could only increase the Tech for your Capital Provence, and just mouse over the other Provence's while the tech window is open for comparison. For upgrades though, I've purchased a few things, I keep forgetting, but mostly it upgrades to levie size and the like, or tax rate - castles and barracks and stuff.
That's true, but buildings and advisors help spread the tech to your other provinces. As for upgrades, don't bother with upgrading your vassals' holding if you still haven't upgraded yours. The tax and levies they pay to you fluctuates too often too much to be a stable source of income early on, so just focus on improving your own castle holdings. If you started as a OPM (one province minor), it's even better to revoke all holdings so you have full control over all resources.

edit: speaking of opms, I'd like to share a strategy here.

Breed your dynasty like rabbits, fabricate claim on everything, give all excess holdings to your dynasty, and use the Elective succession law. Never again you game over because of no dynastic heir!
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Old 2013-10-02, 07:58   Link #9
Jazzrat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Hat and Clogs View Post
Generals? We can set people as generals? I know you can in EU4, but I couldn't see where in this, I thought it was based off of the where ever you go the unit (ie the Vassal) or your Strategos (Head of the Military)
When you select your army, you can click on the character name to change general. Your marshal only affects council actions and military tech growth.

Quote:
Oh.. retinues... yeah, those are a thing. I had totally forgotten about them, didn't quite understand them. They just build up over time yeah? They can be around even when you declare war? Usually i had just been using Levies, mine and my Vassals. I do remember hearing about a Cataphract somewhere.
Retinues are basically your standing army, they start off at 1 person and reinforce itself up to 500 per unit. They are maintainence free and only cost gold when reinforcing and able to reinforce itself on field. You can have them around when declaring war. It's a pretty broken army in comparison to levies and mercenary but overall the best type army to use. Cataphract is greek cultural unique retinue and apparently the best type since you get knights which is the strongest type of unit and horse archer which a lot of culture don't have access to. Use a greek general to lead them so you have access to their cultural tactic that further power them up.

Quote:
Ahh, I thought I could only increase the Tech for your Capital Provence, and just mouse over the other Provence's while the tech window is open for comparison. For upgrades though, I've purchased a few things, I keep forgetting, but mostly it upgrades to levie size and the like, or tax rate - castles and barracks and stuff.
While you can't directly help your vassal tech growth, you can promote it. Tech growth bonus is based on around

a) how many province in your country already have the tech, every province that have the tech gives a flat % bonus to level up province that doesn't have that tech

b) structure bonus, having monastic school and university

c) neighbour bonus, neighbouring province will help promote province with lower tech level to grow

My current strategy is to control counties around my capital and build up lots of city with university to help spread the tech out. You can help your vassal out afterward by building city/church in their empty spot but only after you finish developing your own counties first.
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Old 2013-10-02, 08:00   Link #10
Mr Hat and Clogs
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How can you increase the potential on Assassination Plots? I know how to add people to a plot, I mean increasing the %. For example atm, Caliph of Abbasid only has a potential of 35%, I'd like to see that vastly increased so I could launch a plot against him. I can put my Mystikos there for an extra 9% or so to. Do i just have to wait for him to spread propaganda or something?

Yeah, when I don't have my advisors off stopping plots or factions I have them back at Constantinople spreading tech.
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Old 2013-10-02, 08:45   Link #11
Jazzrat
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Plot power is based on character intrigue stat and I believe their rank also adds additional %. In order to increase potential plot power, I generally would put my Chancellor in to sow dissent to lower vassal-liege opinion and my spymaster to build spy network to spread rumors though that's purely experiment on my part.

Generally it's very difficult to plot against rulers that have established themselves cause their vassal have positive opinion of them. Check their vassal page first, if most of their vassal and court have high opinion of them, it's kinda pointless to try and plot against them.

As for your advisor usage, if your capital have the highest tech already and isn't gaining passive bonus to the next tech level (the gear icon is grey), i would advise putting them on neighboring counties because advisor research action only works on passive bonus gain.


Quote:
Breed your dynasty like rabbits, fabricate claim on everything, give all excess holdings to your dynasty, and use the Elective succession law. Never again you game over because of no dynastic heir!
I use a selective breeding strategy especially on my current Norse game. Each character have a 16 code genetic in them to determine their traits so avoid marrying within the dynasty as much as possible with the exception of characters that possesses genius or strong or both traits because those can be inherited. Always marry someone with those traits even if they are lowborn. The prestige penalty is pretty minute especially later on. Here's one of my super ruler with strong and genius trait.

He was the second son of my previous emperor with an african concubine that manage to inherit genius and strong trait. The first son got nothing so was assassinated in order to make sure the empire is under a strong ruler.


Vice versa, weak and imbecile characters are usually killed off or marrying them to rival dynasty to pollute their line. Also for pagan countries, you want to avoid long succession war until you reformed your religion because they come with a massive -40 opinion on short rule and mandatory gavelkind succession so it's not a good idea to have too many direct offsprings. I would keep small family to keep the number of claimants down and use the extended family (kinsman) to expand my dynasty.

Later on, to gobble up huge tract of land you'll want to marry someone with claims to your dynasty and use it during succession war. Make sure they are your vassal though by giving a county somewhere and they are a rank lower than yours or they ll just leave your kingdom/empire to take up their new position.
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Old 2013-10-02, 09:20   Link #12
Mr Hat and Clogs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzrat View Post
a) how many province in your country already have the tech, every province that have the tech gives a flat % bonus to level up province that doesn't have that tech

b) structure bonus, having monastic school and university

c) neighbour bonus, neighbouring province will help promote province with lower tech level to grow

My current strategy is to control counties around my capital and build up lots of city with university to help spread the tech out. You can help your vassal out afterward by building city/church in their empty spot but only after you finish developing your own counties first.
So having Cataphract 3 training ground in every city in the County of Constantinople add their bonuses together? Thought that might have been the case

So you strip the titles from your Mayors, Barons and Bishops in your own Counties? Doesn't that destroy your Demesne limit?

Quote:
Make sure they are your vassal though by giving a county somewhere and they are a rank lower than yours or they ll just leave your kingdom/empire to take up their new position.
I read somewhere that it's kind of smart to destroy the majority of the titles in the game except the ones you yourself use. I should really destroy the Kingdom's of Anatolia and Scility, but I gave em to my son and grand son

ahh, god damn Abbasid empire.. just declared war... hope my 60 odd thousand troops are enough.. hah...
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Old 2013-10-02, 09:29   Link #13
Jazzrat
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The cultural building bonus isn't cumulative, they only affect the levies raised from that castle. For example

County capital with lvl 3 training ground will have heavy cav with lvl 3 bonuses from their levy
barony within the same county with only lvl 1 training ground will only have lvl 1 bonuses from their levy.

Retinues doesn't get that bonuses because they come with innate maxed lvl bonus.

You don't need to control cities and church to build improvement in them. As long as they are directly under you, you can build in them. Your counts/dukes counties, you can only build city/church/castle but none of the improvement structures.

Quote:
I read somewhere that it's kind of smart to destroy the majority of the titles in the game except the ones you yourself use. I should really destroy the Kingdom's of Anatolia and Scility, but I gave em to my son and grand son
It depends on how you organize your empire. Having dukes and kings means their levy can be raised immediately within any county they control. I can easily pop a 20 to 40k levy from them immediately instead of trying to rally up a whole bunch of 4 to 5k levy armies from all over the place. Their levy also isn't affected by their vassal opinions so you only need to manage opinion with one king instead of 4 dukes to get maximum levy.

Main thing to watch out for is you don't hold any of their de jure county/duchy and they aren't too powerful for you to handle in event of an succession/independence war.
My current nordic game, I rule as king of denmark and only have 4 counts under me while i control 8 of the remaining county within denmark so there's no duke within denmark that will desire the country from me. The rest of my holdings are
controlled by their respective kings with the exception of england which is under an archpriest that's getting out of control in terms of power but generally loyal to me because i'm the head of the religion.
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Old 2013-10-02, 11:47   Link #14
MrTerrorist
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Originally Posted by Mr Hat and Clogs View Post
Also, why are all my prisoners women? Whenever I take over a province all the men seem to hightail it and leave the women behind (to be *ahem* converted).
What do you mean "converted"? Did your Empress made her enemies wives/daughters her harem?
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Old 2013-10-02, 11:51   Link #15
Blaat
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I tend to play this game when a new season of Game of Thrones starts, I wonder why.
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Old 2013-10-02, 18:02   Link #16
erneiz_hyde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzrat View Post
He was the second son of my previous emperor with an african concubine that manage to inherit genius and strong trait. The first son got nothing so was assassinated in order to make sure the empire is under a strong ruler.
Right, pagans! I can't for the sake of it figure out how to play them. After having almost extensively Elective, I can't figure out how to use Gavelkind succession. And some of the countries can be hell to do a reform as, so I'll have stick with it in the majority of early game.
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Old 2013-10-02, 19:22   Link #17
Mr Hat and Clogs
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What do you mean "converted"? Did your Empress made her enemies wives/daughters her harem?
Where else are they to go after the Empress has killed their husbands and taken their lands? She has to look out for the other women in this world of backstabbings and murder. But yeah, if she can, she educates the youngins so they can be incorporated into productive little members of society - the elders are a bit harder though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaat View Post
I tend to play this game when a new season of Game of Thrones starts, I wonder why.
Speaking of... Game of Thrones CK2 style
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Old 2013-10-03, 05:50   Link #18
Jazzrat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Right, pagans! I can't for the sake of it figure out how to play them. After having almost extensively Elective, I can't figure out how to use Gavelkind succession. And some of the countries can be hell to do a reform as, so I'll have stick with it in the majority of early game.
I've only played norse extensively so here's my strategy. For gavelkind, just have one son to hold onto your counties. Marry someone older so their fertility window is small (women loses all their fertility by the age of 45) and use concubine if you need the extra chance at a son later since you set concubine aside once they have bear you a son.

In order to deal with the -40 short rule penalty, have a big fleet of galley to store up raiding loot and park that fleet near one of your port but don't dock it. Once your current ruler have passed away, immediately dock the ship to get a prestige boost to your new ruler. Maximum prestige gain is +20 so that's half the short rule penalty gone right off the bat. Immediately take all your levies (pagans can have vassal levies raised without penalty) and raid nearby counties to get the viking trait which will give another +15 opinion with all the norse.

Keep doing this until you are ready to reform the religion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Hat and Clogs View Post
Where else are they to go after the Empress has killed their husbands and taken their lands? She has to look out for the other women in this world of backstabbings and murder. But yeah, if she can, she educates the youngins so they can be incorporated into productive little members of society - the elders are a bit harder though.
Here's something fun you can experiment with captured heir. You can forcefully educate them as long as they are your prisoner so assign them a guardian with either gregarious (higher cultural conversion), zealous (higher religion conversion or diligent (both). Once they are an adult, release them and watch their country erupt into civil war once they inherit.

For pagan players, you can take other lord's wife as your concubine and get prestige bonuses depending on their ranking. I haven't manage to get someone with a strong claim yet but it should be interesting to take a young queen or princess with inheritable claims and have them bear you a child to use in succession war.
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Old 2013-10-03, 07:16   Link #19
Mr Hat and Clogs
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^ Oh that is just mean. Love it.
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Old 2013-10-03, 11:15   Link #20
MrTerrorist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Hat and Clogs View Post
Where else are they to go after the Empress has killed their husbands and taken their lands? She has to look out for the other women in this world of backstabbings and murder. But yeah, if she can, she educates the youngins so they can be incorporated into productive little members of society - the elders are a bit harder though.
You know, i can imagine what goes on in your Empress' court.

Minister: Your Highness! Good news from the Front lines.

Empress: From Greece i presume?

Minister: Yes. We have finally defeated the last of the Greek warlords.

Empress: Excellent. All of Greece is under my rule.

Minister: But that's not all! King Richard IV of England congratulates you on your victory and wants to form an alliance with our Empire to attack France.

Empress: Another ally. Good!

Minister: Wait! There's more! Hungary has realize their futility in resisting us and has finally surrender with their King sending one of his daughters to marry one of your sons.

Empress: Three good news in a single day. What a blessed day. Minister, send word to the Archbishop for a prayer of thanks and have the capital prepare a victory festival for this association!

Minister: Of course your highness!

Empress: By the way, what happen to that Greek Warlord?

Minister: The man killed himself rather than accept defeat. His young widow on the other hand tried to escape the country but our spies manage to stop her and as you requested, no harm has come to her.

Empress: Good work. I heard the Warlord's wife is a beautiful young girl. Bring her to capital, i want her to be part of my harem where i will "personally" train her.

Minister: Of course you Highness. But...may i be frank. Don't you think you have enough concubines for your harem?

Empress: Why shouldn't i? My harem were once wives, sisters and daughters of men, pathetic no excuses of men who constantly mock me when i took over the throne, laughing about the idea of me becoming Empress and thinking they could beat me because i was a woman. Well whose laughing now? Their kingdoms are gone, their lands taken, their supporters either switch sides or killed and their armies are no more thanks to my forces. And those men are now dead or ran far away like the cowards they are. Besides, these women becoming my harem was best thing that has ever happen to them. I love them equally, give them education, to be free to be their own woman and taking care of their needs. Now if you excuse me, i'm off to my personal chambers. The Countess and Duchess awaits for me.

Minister: My apologies your Highness. It's good to be the Empress.
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