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 Crusaders Kings 2

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:24 pm

So I bought the Conclave and Monks & Mystics DLC and played a couple of hours with them. So far, the only secret society open to vikings (that I know of) is the Fellowship of Hel, but you need to be a "sinner" to be allowed to enter it (which I'm not). And there are no societies for "straight" pagans (you also have to pretend to convert to your liege's religion to be able to create your own secret religious society). I did find, though, a set of modding guidelines to add a society yourself. I might try it out, for the heck of it.

A weird thing also happened. When I fired up my game, my succession law was changed from elective gravelkind to agnatic gravelkind, which sucks because my eldest son is a useless garbage... Laughing  Since I had just changed a law and hadn't realized I could only change one law every 10 years or so, so I command consoled brought it back to elective gravelkind. Weird how it changed in the first place, though. :/

With conclave, it seemed to have added more difficulty in managing the vassals. My relationship with them, generally, took a dive. I've juggled with money in order to keep most of them from joining factions (I once saw my strongest king being in a independance faction. I almost had a heart attack, but with some money, I was able to bring him back into the fold. I can't wait until three years time when I'll be eligible to change the law so I can revoke titles. I have quite a few asshole vassals that are in plots not agreable with me. It'll enable me to flex my muscles a bit (I can emprison them now, but it's useless if I can't safely take the title out of their hands.)

I've also added a new member to my hairy amazons. A Portuguese princess, no less. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:32 pm

Another Amazon? Nice! Very Happy

Conclave does make the game more difficult but the favour system opens up possibilities. You have to keep balancing things around, it's much more involved and a bit tricky (which is probably a good thing though).

I'm looking forward to hearing your opinion about these changes.

As for secret societies I guess the Fellowship of Hel is probably the equivalent of Satanists for these Pagans. Like I said I haven't played a Pagan in ages so I wouldn't know.

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:39 pm

Yeah, exactly, the Fellowship of Hel is the norse pagan equivalent of the satanists. But while christians also have other societies (like the Hermatic society), norse pagans only have the one. So if you're playing a humble, kind and diligent viking emperor like me, you're out of luck. Laughing

But if I'm able to successfully mod my own society, I might make the hairy amazons concubine society a reality. Razz (I'm half kidding. I might only make a shieldmaiden society, a sort of Valkyrie order. That'd be cool).

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:02 pm

Incredibly cool! Hairy Amazons for the win!!! cheers

I guess it makes sense that Catholic Orders are not available and that you don't have the option to get into the Hermetic Society either.

Maybe if you end up reforming the Pagan faith you will have more options? Frankly I have no idea.

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:14 pm

Hehe, no such luck, I already reformed the pagan faith. I say I'm emperor, but in reality, my main title is "Fylkir", the religious head of the reformed norse germanic religion.

In the aftermath of doing so, I also discovered that it kind of screws your people a bit, as the germanic people who cling to the "old" religion (unreformed germanic religion) are technically considered heretics. So relationships might take a hit. And lately, I noticed that more and more characters share the suomenusko pagan religion that is the thing in the eastern part of my empire (around Finland). I might have a three way religious problems in the future (reformed germanic, unreformed germanic and suomenusko religions). The revoking titles laws have three levels : not allowed, allowed for treason reasons, allowed for religious reasons. I might get to the third level in 10/15 years, so it's possible I might be able to expel all heretics from positions of power. We'll see. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:40 pm

Interesting. Would you say you would be better off not reforming then?

I've never reformed any Pagan religion (spoiler alert I'm really not that much into playing Pagans). Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:08 pm

Good question. I'm still not sold on reforming the religion. If you intend for your tribal lands to go feudal, then you need to reform the religion as it's one of the requirements. However, there are some advantages to being an unreformed pagan that disappear or are replaced by something else (possibility to conquer coastal counties, once-in-a-lifetime foreign nation subjugation, etc).

But, one advantage is, as you're the head of your religion, you can order holy wars on whole countries. I haven't tried it yet, but it can definitely speed up the conquest process, though if you declare a holy war on, say, a christian country, other christian countries may jump in to support their brother and sisters of faith.

I did defend myself quite a few times against christians in their holy war for some of my counties and sure enough, the Jomsviking holy order (who are landed with three counties outside of my empire) joined in on the fun.

While my games in Europe were interesting, I think I'll have trouble going back to feudal lords after this game. The MEGA advantage of pagans is to attack without true casus belli (attacking someone of a foreign religion is casus belli enough for pagans), which really speeds up the game. Though it's a fun challenge trying to fabricate casus belli causes for war, I felt it was sometimes rather tedious and time consuming.

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:48 pm

I think Jade Dragon adds some new options to declare wars or maybe that's the patch? I can't tell.

I'm more into the political game myself which is why I enjoy playing a Christian lord. I've tried Muslims and although there are advantages it's just so hard to get anywhere without saying war if you're not at the top of the food chain whereas you can play a lowly count in the Byzantine empire and become the Basileus if you play you're cards right and get lucky.

The one thing I do like about Pagans is the Blot. Now that is fun!

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:31 pm

I don't know. The idea of the blot is fun, but it's nowhere near as important as it should be. It was a very important religious activity in real life, but in CK2, you basically get to freely execute up to 4 people, getting a small amount of prestige and piety per execution. Most of the times, you have two guests who do something idiotic and you get a relationship hit with them. Then, everyone goes home. You could skip it and it wouldn't really matter. Still, executing catholic ex-leaders of counties you just conquered has its charm... Smile

So my Scandinavian Fylkir/emperor is almost 66 years old. He'll be kicking the bucket soon. I really like the idea of elective gravelkind because of the unpredictable aspect of it. I like dealing, for better of worst, with whoever is elected. You have enough meticulous planning otherwise in the game, it's fun to have an relatively unexpected surprise on your lap (you can look at the possible pretenders, but there can be last minute change in your vassal's vote). But with that said, man do the vassal often pick the worst possible characters... Laughing. For the longest time, the leading heir was a thirty-year old something skill-less leper. A LEPER, for f**k sake! What vassal thinks "yeah, that would work". Meanwhile, I was the only one nominating a 19 year old genius (married with a genius wife with a genius kid), whose skills were ALL between 12 and 20. Last night, I was seriously toying with the idea of imprisoning the leper and executing him, absorbing the tyranny hit, but thank god there were voting changes and another heir was designated. He's not a super nice choice (20 in diplomacy, but complete scrap in the other skills), but the best worst choice among the nominees (excluding my genius nominee).

I've also instigated a few lightning wars at the same time (augmenting my threat level to 28% in the meantime), but I wanted to make a quick headway in England before my heir will have to consolidate power upon inheriting the reigns. With my vassal's own wars, I've now have all of Scotland, one county shy of all of Ireland, almost all of Wales and the 15 or so counties I don't have in England are all now landlocked, which makes is easier to conquer as the troops can't escape via boats to ride to your capital to screw things up (this has happened). I've also been able to create the kingdom of England so it won't be automatically created upon my character's death, and the newly king won't automatically be independent (this has happened).  

I also had a nice moment when my character's best friend, the king of Ireland, was usurped by another character. I thought "OH NO YOU DIDN'T!". Needless to say, the new king of Ireland's carriage mysteriously fell off a cliff.  scratch    (I had brought all the other kings in the plot and had about 320 % plot power and could have gotten to 800%. Dude was not liked... Laughing )

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:50 pm

If you can't get your genius heir in place then it's a real shame! Think of the incredible line you could get with so many geniuses!!!

Seems that taking over Britain is the way to go when playing a Viking (after all that's what usually happen in most games as well except my last game in which for some reason the Umayyads got there and really did a number on the map of Western Europe).

Quote :
Dude was not liked...

Short reign penalty is a bitch.

We may rage at the game but at times those penalties can be useful. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:14 pm

Yeah, it would be a shame not to have geniuses sitting on the throne. At a last ditch attempt, I might imprison and execute all nominees except the genius in hope he gets elected by default as the next emperor. Who cares if my vassals are royally (get it?) pissed. My current character is 66. For a viking, that's pretty old.

Though his kids don't matter all that much. Only 1 or 2 of all my 6 rulers, so far, were children of the preceding one. It just has to be a character from my dynasty. But as my first character had like 12 kids, who in turn had 10 or 12 kids, there's A LOT of different choices for nominees. Smile The genius guy is from my dynasty, but not a close relative at all. I only became aware of him because I was looking through the list of possible nominees.

What I like about Britain is that it's an island. You have so many countries and kingdoms fighting for the same scraps of land in Europe that whatever you do, you're stepping on multiple toes. In Britain, you only step on British toes, which you're conquering anyway. And it's less likely that someone out of the blue will try to invade. Right now, I have enough territory to create the British Empire, but as I already have the Scandinavian empire, I'm afraid if I have two that they'll be separated upon inheritance and I'll be back to square one. I just hope because the title can be create that the game will create it for a vassal, free of charge (which the game does for kingdoms). That's infuriating.

I don't even think the king of Ireland I plotted against had that big a penalty for short reign. I think he was just an asshole nobody liked. Seriously, how can you get to 800% plot power against you for just having sat on your throne not long ago?

I've also managed to clean the house a bit. I no longer have any vassals that aren't reformed norse pagans. There are still a dozen or so rulers that are either heretics or suomenusko, but they're not direct vassals of mine, so I can do nothing to oust them. Religious purity for the win. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:20 pm

Some traits can really make a guy unpopular and new sovereigns do get a penalty (just don't ask me the exact number). Perhaps he did something nasty (tyranny costs 40 points).

In any case you shouldn't create a second empire level title as it will mess things up (unless you can be 100% sure you will be able to hold on to both with the same guy).

Conquering Britain is pretty safe for you considering the most obvious threat is you. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:20 pm

Played a bit last night and things sped up. I was getting used to the idea of my heir being the 20-in-diplomacy-and-not-much-else guy, but lo and behold, a few voters changed idea and, once again, THE F**KING LEPER took the lead. That was too much. I imprisoned him and cut off his head. NO MORE LEPER! I received the tyranny hit with my vassals as well as the kinslayer trait (the leper was distant kin), but I didn't much care. The Leper's votes were recast, but it was pretty much 2 votes for every pretender and 3 votes for the 20-in-diplomacy guy who became my heir apparent again. Then, I noticed I hadn't yet created the kingdom of Finland. I handed it over to the genius guy I'm nominating as heir. As another vassal had voted like me and as my now-king-nominee had a vote, he voted for himself. Which brought the vote to 3, which matched the lead candidate, which (probably because I'm the tie-breaker) put him in the lead!! Very Happy

And as prophetic as it was, 68 years old Emperor/Fylkir Haesteinn died of natural causes a couple of days later (seriously. I didn't console command kill him or anything. It was legit random death of old age. I felt like Luke when his torpedoes successfully entered the Death Star's vent.). Long live Emperor/Fylkir Kettil "The Just"! Smile

The good : No single skill is great (not like Haesteinn's 36 in diplomacy...!), but every single skill is above average. His worst skill is actually diplomacy with 12. He has 21 in stewardship (+3 because of the ruler focus). I know the stewardship skill is really important, but the carousing focus not only improves diplomacy by 3, the carousing action enables you, a couples times per year, to party with a character (or group of characters) and have a good probability of becoming best friends. If that happens with your strongest vassals, you're basically set.  Another good thing is that Haesteinn left a handful of change to Kettil. You know, just 3200 gold pieces! Very Happy  That's quite a fortune by viking standards and quite a bit of dough to hurl at the malcontent vassals. Smile

The bad : it turns out that not all is well in Kettil's marriage. They hate their guts. Mostly because the wife shagged Kettil's FATHER, whose's also Kettil's rival... Can't make this things up. Laughing  Kettil actually hates his wife because she's, and I quote, "a cheating harlot". Laughing  I could divorce her or plot to kill her, but there's really nothing out there to marry. It's a desert. And the wife still has the genius trait, so if they copulate again, there's a good chance of having another genius baby. I did the next best thing. I imprisoned Kettil's father and stripped him of his jarldom. He still has a county, but I released him (and gained +6 with my vassals), gave his old jarldom to someone else and transfered Kettil's father's vassalage to the new jarl. But it turns out Kettil's father is not so dumb. 5 minutes later, he started a war to reclaim the jarldom. So I'm keeping his old prison cell warm. I can do this all day, dude.

The ugly : So I think I've finally understood the perils of elective gravelkind in regards to higher tier titles (or maybe it's just with tribal elective gravelkind). Once your old leader kicks the bucket, the titles that are not included in what the elected heir receives are divided among the old leader's biological children (and as I understand it, any uncreated kingdoms are automatically created and given to the children as well). These biological children then have a choice to peacefully and automatically go independent. So never, ever, land your biological children with anything important in elective gravelkind.

Three sons of Haesteinn have gone independent and refuse to bend the knee : one only controls the Zeeland county (off the coast of Holland), but it's a key county as it's one of the norse holy sites I was controlling. It's also highly coveted by the nearby catholic kingdoms, so I can't let a single county lie around to be collected by someone else. Another son was automatically named king of a new norse sounding kingdom I have never heard about. I think the game pulled that out of it's ass. And the third son is king of both England and Lithuania. Urgh. All in all, that's 19 counties that were previously part of my empire that went independent. It'll take a while to bring it back into the fold. Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:09 pm

Wow, that was quite a stroke of luck!!!

It's good things turned out the way they did, otherwise it would have been really frustrating to deal with all the trouble that may have happened with another heir.

I personally like switching focus and I do prioritise the ones that increase fertility if my ruler doesn't have a decent heir yet. After that getting a Health bonus is something that can be useful if you want to keep your current guy around for a while longer (with some luck). I'm playing with Reaper's Due so illnesses can be a real drag...

Love reading about the messy affairs of your vikings! This is my favourite part in the game, all the messy stuff that we couldn't really make up.

Not sure about kingdoms being created that way. I guess that if enough territory gets into an IA's hands they will create the title which can cause some trouble if they break away from the fold. The thing about creating kingdoms is that since Charlemagne the game allows more leeway when it comes to new kingdoms provided the size limit is reached.

I'm not a big fan of elective myself as it is a bit risky if you run out of luck (the same could be said about direct lineage if your heir sucks and if you get rid of your first heir and end up with your favourite heir kicking the bucket too soon but still I hate not being in control of the elective process).

In any case regaining what was lost or consolidating your hold is the major stake in the game and the one thing that prevents the player from steam rolling all over the map.

I can't say I'm blaming you for not letting go as it is a real pain to see some hard won titles potentially going away from you.

So what's the plan? The Zeeland guy shouldn't be too much of a problem but you can expect the neighbours to get involved. What concerns me is the king of England and Lithuania. Two crowns are too much for one guy especially if that guy isn't your guy. He needs his head to be chopped off and sooner rather than later.

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:46 pm

What irks me the most about the kingdom creation thing is that it costs you so much (a kingdom is 400 gold and 400 piety, i think), but your children get it for free even though they can't pay the costs. It undermines and devalues the work you have to put in it. It should be eliminated and replaced by a strong claim or a special ambition or something to let them do it on their own. My two cents.

Like I said before, I rather like the unpredictable aspect of elective gravelkind (even though your vassals might vote for a freaking leper. I'm not getting over that one). When I installed the last two DLCs I bought, the succession law inexplicably changed to agnatic gravelkind, but the oldest son was shit. I felt no remorse correcting the bug.

So yeah, my work is pretty much cut out for me. Zeeland is pretty much my number 1 priority as I don't want foreign powers seizing the opportunity. But what will complicate things is the threat level. The defensive pacts that will form between wars will force me to wait a while between each conquest. But I don't think it will be too complicated, as I have a de jure reason for the conquests of the other two independent kings. I even checked, I can actually declare war against the king of England and Lithuania for the de jure conquest of both kingdoms at the same time. You just have to be strong enough to fight him off (and then deal with him as a vassal. Luckely, Kettil has 17 in intringue. Better than my previous character's 4 in that skill... Laughing ). If my levies and those of the vassals that decide to back me up (if some of my vassals like him more than me, they might decide to sit that one out) aren't enough, I still have about 1900 gold left. I could hire a lot of mercenaries.

And I also noticed that, because of Kettil's pride and envious traits, I can now join the Followers of Hel secret society. I might try to join, for the heck of it.

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:21 pm

Can't say I disagree with you when it comes to the creation of kingdoms. I do believe that it works that way just to mess with us.

I hear you when it comes to avoiding foreign involvement in your affairs.

I don't like defensive pacts (I've turned them off in my games) so I can't really comment on that. Do you actually like that feature? I really can't be bothered with all that (there is a reason why I'm not such a big fan of Europa Universalis IV).

As far as England and Lithuania it doesn't look like it should be a problem at all which is good news.

If you decide to join the Followers of Hel you may want to save before and make sure that you watch your back. There are things to gain but you may not like what it entails. The most interesting thing may be actually finding out who is actually a Follower of Hell in your court. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Yesterday at 9:49 pm

I've played a bit CK2 over the week-end. First order of business, have a good old Blot to amass a bit of prestige and bolster my image to the masses. My last leader left a lot of gold, but a few catholic prisoners too. Smile

With that out of the way, I went after the first of the three norse independents, the Zeeland guy (although I was apparently mistaken. He controlled three counties total, not just one). I had to act fast as there were already two of my vassals that waged war against him. I wanted to be the one two because Zeeland is highly coveted by nearby catholic kingdoms and I have more pull if war comes than random lowly chiefs. I was able to assemble my army and quickly strike at unattended counties. Eventually, I came out victorious. One down, two to go.

At that point, I noticed the Nordriki King (second norse independent) is engaged in a war against one of his rebelling vassals. I checked at the "enforce demands" outcome if I joined in on the fun. It said
that the Nordriki kingdom would be allocated to Kettil Tronde. My leader's named Kettil. And from house Tronde, so I'm feeling it. So I go up to the vassal and ask "Hey, do you mind some help?", to which he evidently responds with "hell yeah!". After a bunch of battles that I win, the rebellious vassal wins.... but nothing changes. I don't know what happened, but the same guy is still king and still independent. But since I only joined the war and not started it, I'm not the one stuck with a truce. And since I just beat his ass silly, I know he has squat as levies. So we go to war again, claiming Nordiki. After a relatively quick war, I came out on top. Two down, one to go.

Then there is the King of England and Lithuania. Well, one of my vassals went after Lithuania and managed to nab it to bring it back into the fold. In the insuing chaos, the king of just-England-now got gouged by catholics : Brittany traversed by boat to claim the three southern-most Irish counties. The nearby Hwrice kingdom (in England) nabbed a formely norse county, the same with Mercia. The English kingdoms title was destroyed, presumably along with the former king (also known as the idiot who went independent and lost everything to the enemy in less than a couple of years). So I,ve managed to reclaim most of what was lost on succession, with the exception of 5 counties.

Now, with all that action my threat level was 55%, and it was estimated that it would that 113 months to bring down to 0. I certainly was not going sit on my hands for 10 freaking years (I accept threat level, although gamey, as a device to force you to slow down as to not bulldozer over everything. But 10 years is ridiculous). There's no command console to lower it, so I went inside the game's code (found a thread online about this) to augment monthly threat level decay from 0,39% to 447%... Laughing Brought it back to 0,39% once I was done.

(also, I attacked Hrwice and since took back the county they claimed).

I was also roped in the Followers of Hel society (I didn't even signal I wanted to join. They seeked me out). After a couple of hours playing with it, here's my thoughts : I find the whole secret society thing quite underwhelming. Outside of the long society entry event chain, there aren't much interaction. The missions they offer aren't that interesting. There is absolutely NO indication of the chance of success with each mission, which is stupid, because you end trying missions that you can't possibly succeed at. I get it that putting chances of success is "gamey" (yet that's what plotting does), but you actually have to amass "dark power point" monthly and you spend these points of missions. If THAT isn't gamey, I don't know what is. The powers to wield are also not that interesting. There are better, non-secret society alternatives for all of them, IMO.

There are funny moments to the whole thing (like my character getting the trait "frail" after an animalistic orgy my concubine (who's also a Follower) organized for me). I also don't think magical powers belong is an otherwise straight "historical" game. I actually got the effect "magical affliction" that decreased some stats for apparently going on too many society missions. It's ok to add stuff like the "possessed by the devil" trait, because people actually though they were possessed. But actually having magical powers breaks immersion in this game for me.

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   Yesterday at 10:26 pm

Good job on crushing all those bastards. You've secured your guy's legacy, for now at least!

How are defensive pacts treating you? To me it seems like to much hassle but I'm not really sold on the idea.

By the way you can turn off supernatural stuff when starting a new game.

These events are a bit of a novelty item but the perks they give at higher levels can almost break the game...

I mean if you manage to get to the top of that secret society and amass enough dark power you can cause a lot of mayhem and even cheat death for quite some time. But I concur that it's a bit gamey and basically it's another layer of risk/reward stuff to manage.

With that being said all the crazy stuff is at least entertaining, but it doesn't really help if you want a more "serious" game (that being said any historical veracity goes out of the window as soon as you start the game because things always tend to have unexpected outcomes -which is not necessarily bad).

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PostSubject: Re: Crusaders Kings 2   

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