Hello again folks, I do believe it is time for another dev diary!
We've basically covered most of the features in the game by now, so I thought I'd change tack and talk a bit about what we've been up to in the last week. Much of the focus lately has been on war and peace, both the rules and the AI behaviour. I am pleased to report that we've now got vassals within the same realm fighting each other like the vicious bastards they are.
We have also changed the rules a bit - vassals are now allowed to declare war on independent rulers, but independent rulers still cannot declare war on vassals. Thus, we now have William of Normandy as a vassal of France while invading England on his own. An unforeseen consequence of this is that he now tends to call in his father-in-law, another French vassal, Duke Boudewijn of Flandres to help him out. Marriage matters folks, and don't you forget it!
On a related note, Duchess Matilde of Tuscany, vassal of the Holy Roman Emperor (and the most eligible bride in Europe), tends to open the game in 1066 with a rather bad move, attacking the Pope to seize Orvieto (which is de jure part of her Duchy of Spoleto.) Other times, the Pope usurps the title Duke of Spoleto, and then Matilde feels obliged to attempt to take it back.
Either way, the unfortunate Duchess tends to get a rather nasty surprise. She has forgotten an important lesson that you might remember from an earlier diary - the Pope gets taxes from loyal bishops around Europe, making him a very, very rich man. So, while he has few levies of his own to raise, he can basically afford to hire every mercenary company in Europe! Even the mighty Holy Roman Emperor sometimes loses to the might of the Vatican.
...and there was much balancing.
Until next time!