4/5 games I start as a count.
A count, specifically changing my heir to a wrong culture count, always seems to turn out that way.
I start as a count 80-90% of the time, never started king or emperor. In fact, I usually get bored rather quickly after I become a king or emperor and start a new game. All the fun to be had happens at the lower ranks.
I usually start as a Duke. Kingdoms are fun to play in Iberia and only fun Empire game is Latin Empire game
I enjoy playing as the underdog - find a dynasty with only one person, so no huge family I need to think about... I start from scratch... A count...
I don't like to start out with too much, its rather overwhelming...
I tend to like to start fairly small, but not tiny. So, Dukes usually, or the small Iberian Kingdoms (Navarra and Aragon mostly). I find starting with a single county under my control (especially an underdeveloped one) just leaves me waiting a lot before anything happens.
My last 2 games were as count of Napoli and Count of Capua. As Count of Napoli I tried very hard to keep my Greek culture, I expanded through to the Byzantine Empire (I inherited the Duchy of Epirus) but I found myself to becoming Sicilian very fast, becoming King of Sicily and Africa because of expansive behavior. It was a very fun (but hard!) game.
Currently in my Count of Capua game, about 110 years and 5 characters in. Am the Duke of Capua now, and have good holdings in Tunis and I even inherited stuff in Hungary (Vas and something left to it) and also conquered a Serbian county for the heck of it.
This has been a very hard game so far, but now my demesne is too big (have 8 holdings, but can only hold 6)
Oh and I'm a dwarf.. That isn't helping either, tried to marry a tall woman but my son is still a dwarf.
When I started playing this character I had the "short reign" penalty. This gave quite the chuckle.
tl;dr starting as (independent) all the way!
I like to role play and make matches so I prefer a King. I get a lot of enjoyment out of making a good match for my sons and daughters. I don't like to expand by military so being a King and having a large realm is ok, I won't be taking over anyone else anyway.
Traits: Thrifty clerk, Poet, Kind, Deceitful, Charitable, Wroth, Proud, Ambitious, Arbitrary, Homosexual, Zealot
Count, nearly always. Starting as king kind of feels like cheating to me (though that's nonsense of course), being on top of things right from the start. Sometimes I pick a Duke, but I enjoy having "earned" everything I own by the end of the game.
"I shiver all over when I see your lovely tan, and I can tell by your clear blue eyes you're a sailor man." - Turbonegro
Count, although sometimes a small two county Duke. I pick a Duke when I don't feel like going through the first decade waiting to forge a claim on my neighbor, which gets me back into the same place.
Count, but i think it depend on your goals, or maybe size or your goal ambitions.
EX: Trying to exterminate a religion, a Dynasty or whatever this big, may ask a bigger start.
Now starting smal and getting bigger always is more rewarding.
The Lord is as a man of war, Almighty is his name.
The rest is marketing.
Usually start as a Count or a small Duke.
I still can't decide who to be.Maybe a duke cos' i always start as a king :-)
Well I've only played one game so far, as King of Aragon. But I'm thinking about trying my hand at a duchy.
I almost always start out as a count, but my next game I might play a duke of Brittney and just try to spread my bloodline everywhere without growing my actual realm unless it is by inheritance.
Almost always Duke. Once in a blue moon try a count but never King. The problem with being a count is that things move really slow at first. Maybe an Irish Earl may get the ball rolling faster but I have no interest in that part of the world. I have played (notable) as a Swedish duke, a Welsh duke, an Italian duke and my last game a ERE duke that end up as Despot of Georgia and Alania. The only part I dislike being a duke is most of the dukedom in the game practice gavelkind and that means all your hard work will be split down. I have a fantastic first game as duke of d'anjou but unless i have a kingdom, i can't move forward.
When I give the poor food they call me a saint, when I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist - Dom Hector Camara
Out of the crooked timber of humanity, No perfect human was ever made - Lord Hoffmann
Count or Duke, like most other people -- my favorite game I started as the Count of Braunschweig, who is a vassal of the Duke of Saxony. I got lucky with some forged claims early and grabbed Lubeck and Hamburg. I then followed that up with a DoW for independence, then immediately usurping the title of Duke of Holstein, which ends the war (of course, Saxony attacked me two months later; however, we had almost the same amount of provinces and I'd managed to save up just enough to beat up his main army with the Breton Band). I then used my de jure claims at the right time to take Holstein from Denmark, which kicked off some sneaky 50 years where I cautiously used various claims to take Jutland piece by piece (thankfully Denmark and Norway have almost constantly been at war in this game, allowing me to nibble away at the Dane's backside). Then I had a shocking moment where the BE successfully pressed claims on the HRE, creating a new Roman Empire. I had about four months to get used to fuschia being everywhere before basically every single vassal in the old HRE declared war (and a fair bit of the BE as well). There were so many revolts that there were almost no provinces to siege -- those that could be were crammed with armies of 9 to 10 realms, all suffering attrition in their attempts to drive out the Empire. I never saw a single BE doomstack before hitting 100% and becoming independent, along with most of the old HRE (Bavaria is still part of the BE and some bits of Italy as well). I'm not planning to be a Duke for much longer though, I'm hoping to add to the list of melancholy Danes.
I usually start as a duke. I feel like it gives me more to do in the opening years than one can do as a count, while still providing challenges both within and without the realm you serve. I also sometimes start as a count, but almost never as a king unless my long-term goals are ones I don't typically have for my duke/count games.
Begin with count is much more funny, but there are few independent counts at game and fighting an independence war at game begining to get a ducal title is not funny. so many times I play Duke.
"That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach" (Aldous Huxley)
Count, I find that I enjoy a humble beginning more fun with my strive towards making myself King.
Of course.. I have yet to rise above Duke.. with exception of one invasion game where i made myself Queen of Hungery.
“It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so what.” - Stephen Fry.