Crusader Kings II: I'm Starting to Get Excited

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Being a Brit I've a strong inclination to go for the Anglo-Saxons too. I could stretch to the Irish or Scots, but I think your other suggestions would be a little too unfamiliar for a starting block. I'll probably also start down the pecking order too, at least until I get to grips with the game and its mechanics.


I downloaded the demo yesterday and have printed out the guide I linked to above. I'll give the guide a read tomorrow (hopefully) and then give the demo a bash. I'll aslo have a look in the library for some literature on the period. If I'm going to invest in such a deep game I may as well do some homework towards it.


Thanks for your time and help. Maybe we'll meet ingame one day?

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Sure. :) Let me know if you end up getting it. We can do a WPC MP game. I know there's at least two other guys here who play CK2.


If you play Anglo-Saxon England, you'll immediately be embroiled in war because the game starts right before Stamford Bridge.


If you start as a lower-ranking lord, may I recommend playing as Waltheof, Earl of Northampton/Huntingdon? He was one of the few Saxon earls who actually survived the conquest, so hopefully in-game you'll be able to survive any of the possible outcomes, which generally include wins by England, Normandy, Norway or Denmark or a weird split between two or more of the above.


Wes thu hal!

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I'll certainly take your recommendation up. No point in getting dogpiled on my first game! ;)


I'll also reread Mr Schama's A History of Britain this weekend (or start to) and try to remember who I lent my DVDs to......

Lots of reading this weekend - nothing new there then! :)

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Schama's History of Britain = awesome. Both the books and the show. I'm especially a fan of the pre-modern episodes. I must have watched the "Conquest" episode a dozen times.


If you're looking to brush up on your medieval history, I might recommend Thomas Asbridge's The First Crusade: A New History. He also apparently has a newer volume out on the Crusades that's more comprehensive.

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Requested from Auckland libraries:


The Crusades : the authoritative history of the war for the Holy Land / Thomas Asbridge.

The Crusades : the war for the Holy Land / Thomas Asbridge.

The First Crusade : a new history : [the roots of conflict between christianity and Islam] / Thomas Asbridge.


One of them should fit the bill!


Thanks Alexander! :D

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You're welcome.


Well, that should keep you busy for the time being. If your interest continues down the line, there's plenty more where that came from that I can recommend.

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I think Tom's review of CKII on qt3 might sound harsher than it is. He loves the game(he loved CK1), but i think he was just getting frustrated that he could not tell in detail what his choices might lead to, in part because of not being familiar enough with medieval terms, but mostly down to insufficient information in the tutorial and manuals. This is quite common for paradox games, they are very complex and CK(including 1) was always more vague in general as you are primarily dealing with 'people' rather than a more clear war-strategy game. I always liked that about CK1, it made it a bit different from other straight-out war games.


Also keep in mind the game will improve, both through better documentation and patches, so it should be a no-brainer if you like the period and setting imho :)

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Played the demo a bit this weekend. Spent about an hour browsing through the interface, and another hour playing maybe 1 year. Looks pretty good, much more complex than CK1 though, it will require some time to really understand all the new features. I think i'll wait though, maybe for a sale, or expansion, or a few more patches for balance things out....either way, don't want to start with a new complex game at the moment.

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My story won the best CK2 AAR contest. My reward is a collection of about 45 Paradox games on Steam, worth around $400. I'm not even sure what to do with it all.


And well deserved it was.:) As I said in the voting thread, I had you and the General more or less tied. I'm glad you both got the prize!


As for CK2 in general, I think it is a testament to the game's good quality that I still am eager to play after being in the tester group since alpha.:b: New patch coming this Friday, if everything goes well btw. Not a leak, it's official. It will be save compatible, and this is the preliminary change list:





- Revised the Message Setting system

- Religion groups are now marked playable in the religion file (no more hard coded rule)

- AI: Improved marriage acceptance. Smarter about "Desires Better Alliance". Values prestige gain or loss higher.

- Added some useful status info to the delayed character tooltip (similar to the info in debug mode)

- Cooldown added to excommunications (only for the same Pope though)

- Doubled the flanking damage bonus in combat

- Increased the flank leader Martial skill bonus in combat by 50%

- Nerfed taxes given by bishops to Anti-Popes by 50%

- Holy Orders now cost maintenance if you're in at least one offensive, non-Crusade war

- Halved all peasant revolt risk factors

- Added an "Isolated County" revolt risk modifier and cut the special events that used to simulate it

- Peasant Army size is now determined by the biggest holding garrison size (so they will always be dangerous)

- The Succession War CBs now have the proper success outcome

- Fixed a bug with the usurpation of titles that would hand over all vassals too

- AI: More wary of expensive assassinations

- AI: Fixed some issues with the correct Casus Belli choice

- AI: Tweaked vassal revolt risk to depend more on ambition from traits

- The duchies of Cornwall and Brittany are now de jure part of the Kingdom of Wales

- Buffed the Caliphates and the Seljuks. Nerfed the Byzantines.

- Added vassal Seljuk mercs; the Ghilman

- Now shows a portrait of the target in available player plots

- Hooked in missing plot icon in available player plots



- Upped the chances of dying due to disease a little bit

- Increased the effects of the genius, quick, slow, imbecile and inbred traits

- Reduced the levy size effect of some of the "recently occupied" modifiers

- Nominated bishops are now properly disinherited at once

- Combat events will not happen until three days into a combat (to avoid commander deaths and such when overrunning tiny forces)

- When an Anti-Pope is installed in Rome, the old Pope no longer becomes an Anti-Pope

- Waived the opinion penalty for held elector titles for elective duchies and below

- Fixed a CTD issue that could occur in tooltips when hovering over Holding modifiers as they expire

- Vassal mercs can now always be employed by their liege, no matter their religion

- Scaled wealth effects and triggers are now based on nominal peacetime income

- Fixed an error in the opinion warning when banishing characters (not the correct figure.)

- The game will now also auto-generate an appropriate number of traits for children with not enough scripted traits

- Added a text warning/explanation for DoW on a revolter

- Traits are now read from multiple files, facilitating modding

- Fixed an issue with event ids in a namespace

- Fixed an issue with flipping "random god names" tooltips in fire event effect tooltips

- Fixed a bug with the decision 'Demand Duchy from liege' with duke tier lieges (should not be available)

- Fixed a tooltip issue with the "any" type event triggers

- Better tooltips for event triggers 'higher_tier_than' and 'lower_tier_than'

- Re-enabled selection of the same type of plot again for players

- Fixed an issue with save/reload of the last selected plot/ambition

- Fixed an issue with protected inheritance not always working under Gavelkind


- Exported the max duchies held opinion penalty to defines

- Exported the tax penalty for bishops loyal to the Pope or Anti-Pope to the defines

- The "recently conquered" holding penalties are no longer applied during civil wars or wars between vassals

- AI: Fixed a bug where the AI would grant titles to vassal mercs

- Added 'same_guardian' trigger

- Slightly nerfed William of Normandy's initial army size

- Switched the portraits of Harold and William the Conqueror

- Changed some title colors to conform better to their cultural region

- Added proper history for the Prince-Bishopric of Agen

- The Earl of Atholl is now a _legitimate_ bastard

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And well deserved it was.:) As I said in the voting thread, I had you and the General more or less tied. I'm glad you both got the prize!


Thanks very much, so am I.


- Switched the portraits of Harold and William the Conqueror



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OMG, I'm getting sucked into this game good and proper!


Read loads at the weekend (Schama, Guide, Tutorials, Forums etc) and played a couple of games on the demo (Waltheof, Earl of Northampton (totally went over my head and didn't know what to do to help my king against the invasions (Norway took over England!)) and The Duke of Munster (better, but still didn't know what to do after I had took over the only De Jure county I had a claim to)). I think 20 years is too short to get much of a meaningful look into the thick of the game depth, but I'm gradually learning more about what the game has to offer.


I've now taken to watching a few 'let's play' movies on You Tube, and now things are starting to click in to place much better.

I watched one with the same Duke of Munster that I played and he seemed to be having much the same problems as me, only more so (I coughed up for some mercenaries as soon as I could and pressed my claim - he waited for ages for his army to grow naturally and, IMO, lost the impetus to expand further into the centre of Ireland).


The next one was of some Duke in Spain and this one turned out to be a lesson in warfare against the infidels and plotting against his various brothers, including the King of Leon. There still seemed to be a great deal of mistakes and a lack of knowledge - I guess everyone is still learning the game.


I have now started watching someone playing the King of Denmark. I'm only on episode one at the moment, but this guy seems to know a bit more about what is going on and looks like he will be concentrating on the family tree aspect of the game and expansion via exploiting his relations and diplomatic ties.....


One thing I have noticed while watching these videos is how dynamic the environment is. Using England as the benchmark, I have seen it stay English and remain stable, stay English and expand into western France, become the Kingdom of William and remain England, but then fragment into civil war after his death and the death of his heir, and become part of Norway once Harold beat William to the prize. Just watching the game as a fly on the wall is fascinating. Once I get entrenched in a real game it is just going to be awesome.


Needless to say that this has now become and urgent purchase for me. The only question is, can I hold out until the weekend........


Look out for an AAR here at WPC! :)

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Yep, it really does suck you in.


You make several good points. I also agree that Saxon England is a good benchmark. It almost never turns out the same way twice. :)


Hope you enjoy the game!

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I'd appreciate it if, when I start my AAR, you (and our other resident CK2ers) could comment on any glaring mistakes/ommisions that I might make. The sooner I get to speed and on top of the learning curve the sooner we can get some MP action going, which I think could be awesome fun.


Do you know how the MP aspect is implemented? As I haven't registered the game yet I can't access the MP (or mod) subforums at Paradox - a strange choice as it could very well put off some potential purchasers.....


Also, do you make sunstantial notes when you are playing? I can imagine that the web of intrigue gets very deep once you get into things and keeping up with who is who and under whom could get very complex without some sort of system.....

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I'd be more than happy to comment on your AAR.


I still don't know how MP is implemented, as I haven't tried it. All I know is that Steam tells me I have a code I'll need to enter at some point if I want to play MP.


I don't make a lot of notes while I play, I just take screenshots (using F11) as needed. Some people do find it helpful to take a few notes of what's going on. What I tend to do is to play a few decades, then take a break from playing and write about those decades for several updates, then play some more and write some more... and so on.


I do prep my updates before I post them though. I write them in Word, prepare my graphics and music, and proofread endlessly before I post them.


So I've only played my game up to about 1210, and I started in 1180. :p

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I've just started re-reading your AAR, this time it is making a great deal more sense and I can relate your words to the game now, so that helps immensely! It certainly shows that you have spent a great deal of time and effort to make it perfect, both in content and presentation.


Out of interest, how much of the information is taken from in-game sources, and how much from your knowledge of history?

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Simple, any historical reference to something not in the game comes from my own personal knowledge. :) I prefer to spice up the bare-bones of the game world with a historical flair.


The details are what make the world feel real and immersive. :D

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The next one was of some Duke in Spain and this one turned out to be a lesson in warfare against the infidels and plotting against his various brothers, including the King of Leon. There still seemed to be a great deal of mistakes and a lack of knowledge - I guess everyone is still learning the game.


I think that's the one I'm watching now. The guy seems to be a good enuf player, but admits at the beginning, he knows little of this area of history. His mangling of words is amusing: vessel for vassal, reagent for regent, his hair instead of his heir, the buy-zintine empire, gen-OH-a rather than Genoa & he's in Spain but doesn't know that double-L is pronounced as a "Y" and that "j" in pronounced as an "h". I'm learning lot game play from his though.


Where'd you find the demo? I looked on the Paradox website & on Steam, but didn't see it. :(

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Demo links:


Youtube videos I've followed:






One thing I've noticed about these videos. Everyone seems to be near the bottom of the learning curve (but they're good for learning some ins and outs of the interface and learning the basics) and everyone gets easily distracted (an easy thing to do as there is so much going on and a huge amount of depth to the game. It's so easy to 'just have a quick look at something' and then find yourself drilling down deeper and deeper into things - much like surfing on the internet at an interesting topic.


You'll also probably want to play a few games of the demo, starting in different places to see the variety of challenges on offer. From my very limited experience so far - Spain is good for offensive play, England is good for defensive play, Ireland is good for looking at some independent realms, Denamrk is good for looking at the complexities of the relations system. With only 20 years of play time in the demo you won't get to get a feel for the breadth of the game, so having a few tries and focusing on one aspect would seem to me to be the best policy.


Personally I'm going to have one more try at the demo tomorrow and then take the plunge on Friday (a new patch is supposed to be coming then). I'll then spend Friday and Saturday setting up my first proper game, then Sunday and Monday (days off) gettign stuck in. That's the plan anyway...... ;)

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One thing I've noticed is that the first thing everyone does first is get married. (This isn't so important in a 20-year demo game, but if you're want to play a dynasty that lasts for hundreds of years, you'll need an heir.)


Right now, I'm waiting for my replacement motherboard to arrive, so I can play this game on my desktop.


Edit: I just went back and watched your Denmark video. It was VERY helpful because it's the only one I've seen which went though and explained all the tabs. :b:

Edited by Zkribbler

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Yes, getting married is very important, not only for siring heirs but because half of your queen's skill points are added to your king's base scores.


Marrying someone with high skills and high rank can do wonders for you. Marriage alliances aren't too shabby either.


So look for a genius girl from an important family. :nod:

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Yeah, yeah, I know I'm weak! Couldn't wait until Friday, so I'm DLing as I type!


Who to play for my first dynasty.........

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Congrats on the new game, Rob! :D


On who to play... decisions, decisions.


Why not try the Hauteville family in Norman Sicily? They have an awful lot of potential to expand.

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Are saves compatible between patches? If so I may start tonight, if not I'll choose a ruler tonight, but won't start until I get the patch.

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Saves are compatible. I guess there always is the chance of odd stuff happening, but compatible they are.

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