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Thread: Managing Revolting Dukes - Questions

  1. #1

    Managing Revolting Dukes - Questions

    I have a few questions for the community regarding revolting vassals (specifically Dukes). First I should give a little background on the campaign that is puzzling me.

    I started as the Duke of Anjou and in the first generation I picked away at the ducal claims that I had aside from the one on William the Conqueror. At the second generation France was embroiled in a civil war over crown authority plus succession law. I used my alliances to claim the Kingdom of France for my own, leaving the previous king with minor holdings in Sardinia.

    Anyways the now Duke turned King had plenty of brothers and were eventually given some nice titles as the kingdom was quelled and reorganized. Skipping ahead the king dies giving way to his 8 year old son (3rd generation). The young king has brothers, sisters, cousins and uncles that should be relatively interested in his maintenance of authority. The succession brings about a few revolts including an uncle trying to claim the throne; pretty reasonable reaction in my estimation. I was backed by the strong Dukes of Toulouse, Aquitaine, Poitou and Anjou; therefore all the revolts were quelled no problem. Now I have a few prisoners and within two years I released the majority as a gesture of goodwill to my vassals. From the age of 9 to 11 following these developments I faced multiple revolts from the same uncle and all the dukes I handed nice territory. Usually these were the result of various types of plots. The only loyal people are the old de jure dukes.

    Taking this in mind, why would the vassals that I invested keep revolting, despite their consecutive losses? It seems to me that wars initiated by plots donít result in the regular peace time and if not shouldnít they suffer from the same multiple declaration penalties?

    Also why isnít releasing an imprisoned vassal shortly after war reflected as a very generous thing in the game? These people keep revolting and even when they do so three times, I still suffer penalties from executing them. I mean what king (even then) would be unjustified in executing or banishing such a vassal?

    Anyone else have similar experiences, thoughts or insights they wish to share?

    Thanks in advance,
    kilarious

  2. #2
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    If a vassal is revolting over and over, imprison him and leave him in there. It won't hurt relations with anyone except him, and he can't revolt while he's in prison. Unless you absolutely need the +10 to vassal relations that you get from releasing him, you should probably keep him in jail. The AI doesn't learn when they lose a war, so if they see what they think is a good opportunity, they will revolt again.

  3. #3
    Captain Zaldax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilarious View Post
    Also why isn’t releasing an imprisoned vassal shortly after war reflected as a very generous thing in the game? These people keep revolting and even when they do so three times, I still suffer penalties from executing them. I mean what king (even then) would be unjustified in executing or banishing such a vassal?
    This. I mean, I can understand the relation bonus for releasing them (technically that is a merciful act), but when it comes to revolting vassals, I think the current opinion penalties for banishment and imprisonment are a little off...

    Now, if I just imprison someone for no reason, and then execute or banish them, that's tyrannical -- there should absolutely be a penalty there. But why can I only revoke one title from a vassal who revolts? I don't think many kings would let a duke who just lost a civil war just walk away reduced to a count of several provinces...

    Also, I feel like there should be a reduced penalty for executing or banishing characters who you've justly imprisoned for things like plots. Personally, everytime I see a message about a plot for the throne being discovered, I execute the plotter, if nothing else but for flavor reasons. The way it stands now, though, I either have to let them rot in prison,and encourage them to revolt to get them there in the first place (which creates issues when all of your vassals are rotting in the dungeon...)
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  4. #4
    While I haven't had revolts yet, I'm having similar problems with family vassals. They are all busy assassinating each other, allowing titles to funnel down to one or two individuals. I'm quickly approaching the situation where I will have a single Kinsman with four duchies and a few extra counties that has claims on all my King titles just spoiling for a fight with all of the negative relation modifiers they get. To me it's beginning to look like the smartest way of dealing with family members is to just keep them away from any titles as much as possible and allow randoms to hold them. That way the AI really has to work at building their dynasty/holdings to pose any real threat, rather than just getting trigger-happy with the execute plot and assassinate buttons.

    It's a shame because I've worked very hard to install my dynasty members as my vassals. If they didn't have such an easy time accumulating a powerbase I probably wouldn't care so much about the other issues.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaldax View Post
    This. I mean, I can understand the relation bonus for releasing them (technically that is a merciful act), but when it comes to revolting vassals, I think the current opinion penalties for banishment and imprisonment are a little off...

    Now, if I just imprison someone for no reason, and then execute or banish them, that's tyrannical -- there should absolutely be a penalty there. But why can I only revoke one title from a vassal who revolts? I don't think many kings would let a duke who just lost a civil war just walk away reduced to a count of several provinces...

    Also, I feel like there should be a reduced penalty for executing or banishing characters who you've justly imprisoned for things like plots. Personally, everytime I see a message about a plot for the throne being discovered, I execute the plotter, if nothing else but for flavor reasons. The way it stands now, though, I either have to let them rot in prison,and encourage them to revolt to get them there in the first place (which creates issues when all of your vassals are rotting in the dungeon...)
    Theres no penalty for imprisoning someone who revolted against you and theres no penalty for imprisoning the leader of a plot.

    Getting to revoke one title and keeping the vassal in prison for as long as you want seems like punishment enough to me. Taking all titles and leaving his dynasty and heirs with nothing does seem tyranical to me and is something that should have a neggative effect on your other vassals.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by drbottstein View Post
    Theres no penalty for imprisoning someone who revolted against you and theres no penalty for imprisoning the leader of a plot.
    Right, I know that. But, thinking back to the time, I don't think most monarchs just let traitors linger in the dungeons -- that's still a potential enemy. The usual remedy for dealing with traitors remained, in most cases, the ax. (or sword, or what have you.)

    Quote Originally Posted by drbottstein View Post
    Getting to revoke one title and keeping the vassal in prison for as long as you want seems like punishment enough to me. Taking all titles and leaving his dynasty and heirs with nothing does seem tyranical to me and is something that should have a neggative effect on your other vassals.
    But if he was a traitor, why would my other vassals dislike me for punishing him? Historically, I'm not going to hand the (potentially quite large) domain of an executed, traitorous vassal back to his family. All that would do is create yet another enemy, which I'd just have to fight again and again until all the dynasty's titles were gone. (and in the cases of AI-created super-counts and super-dukes, that can take ages.)

    In fact, the punishment for treason was usually death....so why does everyone get so mad when I carry it out! I don't think abolishing the death penalty was a serious debate during the middle ages. :P

    I feel like the best solution would probably be to mitigate the opinion penalties regarding "lawful" (i.e. with a valid cause for imprisonment) executions and banishments with my loyal vassals, and just bump up the penalty with the deceased/banished individuals family and/or dynasty. I feel like that might model things a tad bit better.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaldax View Post
    Now, if I just imprison someone for no reason, and then execute or banish them, that's tyrannical -- there should absolutely be a penalty there. But why can I only revoke one title from a vassal who revolts? I don't think many kings would let a duke who just lost a civil war just walk away reduced to a count of several provinces...
    I can think of a few examples where rebels walked off scot free. You have to realise that in the generic feudal system lords basically had a right to revolt - a lordly revolt was considered a safety mechanism against a tyrannical King, and tended to be treated relatively leniently. Even if the King was victorious many other Lords would frown on what they saw as excessive brutality against somebody who was, in their view, probably just a misguided idealist. Even Lords who agree with you tend to hold their right to revolt highly so will frown on any attack on it by proxy.

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    Captain delimeat567's Avatar
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    When they revolt, never forget to imprison them, and strip them of a title. It is harder to assassinate someone while they are in prison, so if you want to do that, you can release him and build up a spy network in the area. But, don't rely on that.

    If you want to try to force a revolt, my personal favorite method is doing what you would do in real life: show him disfavor. Take him off your council if he is on one, and everytime you get a decision to go against him, do it. Although slower than some of the more gamey methods, it is more satisfying when his fall is complete. If you don't care much for immersion and whatnot, then just put him on your council temporarily then fire him, giving you a quick -20 to relations, then combine that with all the other various negative decisions and he will eventually get so mad that if you try to revoke a title, he will rebel (without you getting a penalty). Simply put him down and imprison him, then revoke a title (he is now seen as a traitor). When he asks for better conditions, give him the one that decreases his health.
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  9. #9
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    Ah, royal justice. A few points. First, I agree that the current system for tyranny is more or less where it should be. Under a very stratified system such as feudalism, you don't want to go around executing people at or near the top. The system thrived on unequal justice: a peasant leads a revolt because his daughter was violated by a local nobleman and he gets the axe. A duke leads a revolt that turns half the realm to ash and he gets to sit in the tower thinking about what he's done for a couple of years.

    On managing revolters, I think that maybe the plots needs to be tweaked a bit. Right now, the AI vassals need more constructive sorts of ambitions than "plot against my liege" and "see my wife dead."

  10. #10
    Can you name a few examples of dukes executed because they revolted? or just a few examples of executed dukes?
    Peasant leaders - yes. who cares about peasants? But gentry are the salt of the land. they cannot be treated like dirt.

    for the OP:
    1. it is unwise to give landed titles in your realm to your family. Kievian Rus was destroyed because of this policy.
    2. you can give landed titles to other people. I found that it pays of to give a landed title to a landless guy in your vassal council. This way you will have one more inherently loyal vassal without much ambition and he can have good stats. I know no other way to headhunt that cool M25 marshal that my unruly triple duke is using against me. As an added bonus - pick old people with old wives and no children, this way you will be a a heir to his land and will be able to repeat the trick once he dies.
    3. Try to limit ducal power as much as you can. Create a prince-bishop and give him churches in all duchies (you may want to create several prince-bishops to divide power). Create lord-mayor and give him town vassals in all duchies (you may want to create several lord-mayors to divide power). Then create duchy with only castles under it. this way you will have bishops and mayors without army to oppose you and dukes without money to oppose you.
    4. marry your male children to the landed females elsewhere. They will be landed and they will not cause you much trouble until one of them ascends to the throne of HRE while having claim on you.

  11. #11
    Thanks for the thoughts guys and gals.

    Back to an original question: does anyone know if plot initiated wars result in truce time like regular wars? I can't for instance declare war on England twice in a decade without getting a heafty penalty, so why can vassals revolt every year with diplomatic impunity? Maybe we need a 5 year truce to signify them regaining strength for if and when they want another kick at the can.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by kilarious View Post
    Thanks for the thoughts guys and gals.

    Back to an original question: does anyone know if plot initiated wars result in truce time like regular wars? I can't for instance declare war on England twice in a decade without getting a heafty penalty, so why can vassals revolt every year with diplomatic impunity? Maybe we need a 5 year truce to signify them regaining strength for if and when they want another kick at the can.
    Yes, this time equals the time of imprisonment of revolted vassal.

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