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Thread: Tips for a starting as a lowly Count

  1. #1

    Tips for a starting as a lowly Count

    I thought I'd go for a challenge this time and start as William de Warenne, 1st Earl (Count) of Surrey. And blimey is it hard. After 20 years I have one excellent son who I am grooming for Court Chaplain, and five daughters who I've yet to marry off. However, I'm struggling to really see where I can go from here.

    So does anyone have any tips for starting as a Count in a kingdom where you cant attack fellow vassals?

  2. #2
    Field Marshal Hootieleece's Avatar
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    Early Betrothal to eldest daughters of titles with Agnatic-Cognatic Sucession laws. Then assasinate male heirs. Also marry atleast one of your daughters matrilinearally. So you have more heirs of your dynasty.

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    Field Marshal Zarine's Avatar
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    There are many valide strategy. The marriage strategy from Hootieleece are almost the best one.
    For marriage I would also advice to marry as much as possible inside your kingdom to other count/duke who share the same liege as you do. This will allow you to call them into the war.

    For the war, if the law in the kingdom allowes it inside the realm, try to catch as much claim from small count sharing either the same liege as you or directly under the king.
    If law doesn't allow war inside the realm, try to find some small country that you can attack (very rare).

    You can also try to highjack your liege war. For instance, while inside the HRE, when he declare war to Pommerinia. You declare war for the same province (if possible) and now your only task is to put your army in the province the HRE will try to siege and always have one step ahead for it. You'll earn warscore but not the HRE and you'll be able to get the good peace and get the land.
    Warning: you must be sure not to loose your troops to the ennemie army.

  4. #4
    Good marriages are essential - marriages and assassinations are the key to success. However, tips can offer you only a general advice as much depends on what is currently going in your game.

    - Check out powerful Counts and Dukes around you and see who would be keen on marrying his daughter to your eldest son.
    - Marry your daughters matrimonially to family members who are just outside the line of succession and will have claims on their father's and grandfather's titles in the future if their predecessors will start dying (and death in game comes in many forms).
    - Keep good relationships with your neighbours and powerful Dukes of the realm. This way they are more likely to back up your further plots (like deposing your liege or lowering crown authority).
    - You can keep good relationship with your King also, as sometimes your rivals try to assassinate you and the King can be willing to give you claims on their title(s). He is more willing to transfer vassals that should be directly yours when you reach the title of Duke (which is not impossible, nor takes ages, literally speaking, with right decisions and right moves), too.

    Remember that playing as a Count is a waiting game, mostly revolving around intrigues, politics, assassinations and marriages. It's a whole different kind of the game, on different level.

  5. #5
    Invest in your holdings! First thing you want to do is build income generating buildings so you can rack money to build levy generating buildings. Also, TAX THE CRAP OUT OF YOUR VASSALS. As a count you probably don't have a lot of vassal bishops and mayors. You can award them honorary titles to keep them happy or even plant your chancellor on your own county.

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    First Lieutenant Habraka's Avatar
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    I always start as a single or sometimes double count, starting as a Duke is "too easy" for me personally.

    Depending on where and when you start, you should be able to get a county here or there either by marriage, fabricating claims, holy war, invasion CB, etc... In one of my latest games I invaded Scotland with an Invasion CB with 5 Flemish counties, with no duchy to my name. Conquered it fairly easy, and went from count to king.

    Also, buildings help a lot, especially when you're just starting out. You can fairly quickly go from the standard 3.0 fortress to 5 or 6 in 3-4 years, which, again depending on where you are playing, might give you an edge over your neighbours/enemies.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dauncosony View Post
    Invest in your holdings! First thing you want to do is build income generating buildings so you can rack money to build levy generating buildings. Also, TAX THE CRAP OUT OF YOUR VASSALS. As a count you probably don't have a lot of vassal bishops and mayors. You can award them honorary titles to keep them happy or even plant your chancellor on your own county.
    If you can sit tight for a few years, you can gain enough money to hire out a small mercenary band - and then pick on a similarly small neighbor, or assassinate your way to gaining more land. Of course, you still need to invest some time and effort into getting a claim on your neighbors land. Sometimes its as easy as convincing your liege that they are about to betray them

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    Aedile Demi Moderator Tamerlan's Avatar
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    Arrest and ban your barons and mayors and possibly bishop, and get some new courtiers. Put your steward on tax collection.

  9. #9
    Revoke titles to get all your castle baronies under your direct control and tax the hell out of cities and churches. You demesne limit will be your most underused resource as a count and your invulnerability to revolt your most valuable asset. Build up your holdings, especially with an eye on income generating buildings. Try to find a way to wage war and conquer surrounding counties (this could take some time...) and independence from your ducal liege with the help of almighty mercenary bands. Your goal for marriages and your assassination war chest should be to get your hands on a ducal title. Well, that's it, from my experience.

  10. #10
    It was all going so well! I ruled Surrey and Sussex, and had set my son up perfectly to become Duke of Kent.

    ...and then, just before I died, the silly bugger went and converted to Catharism. I died, he inherited, and the King immediately revoked all his titles and ended my game. I should've thrown him in the dungeon or something, bah. Lesson learnt!

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    In my first game I played as the Breton earl of Cornwall in the second 1066 scenario -- it seemed an interesting part of the world and you have links with (Norman) England, France and Brittany... but eventually I realized that I had married matrilineally because I was a bastard and so all of my heirs (I had about five children with decent traits) were of my wife's dynasty, and as soon as I died it was game over.
    Yeah, well... sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frenz0rz View Post
    I thought I'd go for a challenge this time and start as William de Warenne, 1st Earl (Count) of Surrey. And blimey is it hard. After 20 years I have one excellent son who I am grooming for Court Chaplain, and five daughters who I've yet to marry off. However, I'm struggling to really see where I can go from here.

    So does anyone have any tips for starting as a Count in a kingdom where you cant attack fellow vassals?
    Yeah, I've got a tip: just play like you would. I mean seriously. It may be hard and you may not end up achieving a huge result. Who cares. Just have fun. Personally, I like playing a like a good Christian lord. No assassination, no unjust wars, good of the people and so on. If I played as a vassal, I'd probably try to play as a good vassal, trying to do more than just my duty to the liege. Doesn't mean I'd feel bad about upgrading my title via marriage/inheritance, resulting in independence.

  13. #13
    General tnick0225's Avatar
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    My AAR covers my first time playing as a count, but anyway I just sat back and played the marriage game really. Since your small you need to start out with small ambitions and use those to unlock the ability to handle bigger things like usurping a duchy or claiming a duchy or other county. All in all when you start as a count you really learn how integral marriage and blood alliances are in game. Because without them your Count will forever probably be a count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamerlan View Post
    Arrest and ban your barons and mayors and possibly bishop, and get some new courtiers. Put your steward on tax collection.
    Take the gold from the banished vassals and put it towards upgrading your best castle. Then do as others have said, try to move up in the world through marriage.
    A multitude of rulers is not a good thing. Let there be one ruler, one king.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tnick0225 View Post
    My AAR covers my first time playing as a count, but anyway I just sat back and played the marriage game really. Since your small you need to start out with small ambitions and use those to unlock the ability to handle bigger things like usurping a duchy or claiming a duchy or other county. All in all when you start as a count you really learn how integral marriage and blood alliances are in game. Because without them your Count will forever probably be a count.
    Out of curiosity, how much did you grow playing like that?

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