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Thread: Many Small Dukes vs. Few Super Dukes

  1. #1

    Many Small Dukes vs. Few Super Dukes

    Okay, so in my current (and first game) as Earl of Dublin I have reached a point (1356) where I have the thrones of Ireland, Wales and Norway each obtained through inheritance. Ireland and Wales I got early enough that I was able to control my duchies counties; each duke has one county and all other counts are under him in his de jure borders, works fairly well. Haven't had a succession crisis at all.

    Once I inherited Norway however, it was a completely different ball game. Norway had a duke that held 7 duchies (York, Herford(?), Orkney, Iceland, and the ones in Norway) This guy was a pain! He immediately revolted and I basically had to fight the entire kingdom. Imprisoned, revoked Herford and left to rot in my Obillite.

    This revolt made me think of something though. Even though multiple dukes make it so that when one revolts it is not a big deal, every time I had a succession I was pretty much trying to suck up to all of them. What if I just had a few relatively powerful dukes, (two to three duchies) with counts directly under them instead and just tried to appease those guys. Would it be harder? Would it be easier? I don't really know. I might try that in my next game to see how it goes. Please however post your thoughts on the matter, I am very interested in knowing what the general consensus is.

    P.S. One main reason I ask is that the heir of the Duke that revolted has not given me any problems at all (Well besides that he desires the kingdom of Norway) and has made it relatively easy to manage my Norwegian lands because I have not paid attention to them at all.

  2. #2
    No duke should have more than 1/6th of your kingdom. easy enough to take down, yet limits the number of dukes to control. Only problem is when your dukes take other dukedoms. My duke in France(with me as HRE) somehow managed to get half of France without my involvement and probably controls around 1/3 of my total army size due to being far more advanced than in central HRE.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by sTeeL86 View Post
    No duke should have more than 1/6th of your kingdom. easy enough to take down, yet limits the number of dukes to control. Only problem is when your dukes take other dukedoms. My duke in France(with me as HRE) somehow managed to get half of France without my involvement and probably controls around 1/3 of my total army size due to being far more advanced than in central HRE.
    Sounds like you got your work cutt out for you

  4. #4
    LOL. I freak out when any of my Dukes rule over more than their single own duchy, and I've assassinated entire Dynasties more than once to prevent marriages between Dukes to lead to 'mergers'. Any Duchess in my realm(s) are instantly betrothed to whatever is available to minimize risks.

    When in doubt, always stab Juliet in her sleep.

    I assume that reveals what strategy I prefer in regard to Ducal hegemons

  5. #5
    I assume that reveals what strategy I prefer in regard to Ducal hegemons
    Your point is well seen XD.

    I also went down a similar path down in my games, trying to limit the power of my dukes but now I have reached a point where I have one very large Super Duke, and yet he hasn't really given me any big problems. Of course this could be because he owns the poorest provinces in my realm so he really CAN'T do anything about it.

  6. #6
    General nyah's Avatar
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    My preferred method of keeping dukes weak is to allow them to fight amongst themselves, although sometimes this does create larger entities. I have two or three large duchies with gavelkind succession that keep splitting and reforming which doesn't bother me too much. I've seen a plot a couple of times where other vassals of mine plot to request a large duke to grant one of his duchies to a vassal, had one who agreed the request too.

    One particular vassal who was already quite large inherited two more duchies from outside my realm and I spent about 20 years with him in prison organising revocation plots against him, which he had to agree to once I had the required support. Eventually I had him down to a single province count.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alerias View Post
    LOL. I freak out when any of my Dukes rule over more than their single own duchy, and I've assassinated entire Dynasties more than once to prevent marriages between Dukes to lead to 'mergers'. Any Duchess in my realm(s) are instantly betrothed to whatever is available to minimize risks.

    When in doubt, always stab Juliet in her sleep.

    I assume that reveals what strategy I prefer in regard to Ducal hegemons
    Assassinating can backfire horribly, though, if your dukes have a habit of marrying each others' sisters.

    In my recent game, I noticed one of my dukes was fighting Scotland and well on his way to seizing their crown (and thereby leaving my kingdom). I assassinated him, hoping that with a toddler on his throne his war would not succeed.

    Unfortunately, they had intermarried with the other big ducal dynasty in my kingdom, and the OTHER duke's wife is now only one murder removed from taking over the toddler's duchy. If they inherit, their combined lands will be as large as mine.

  8. #8
    Well honestly , medium ca is like cheating in this game. Get that and no one will ever pose a realistic revolt risk.

  9. #9
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    I tend to have small dukes but some of them destroy my plans inheriting one duchy after another. Anyway, I don't care

    I would say that, if you own elective kingdom(s), you could go and make only one duke for every duchy belonging to that/those kingdom(s), so you know your heir will always be chosen, since there are only 2 electors: You and your superduke, so in case of stalemate, your vote wins

    I will try it next time I take a kingdom...
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kynaz View Post
    Well honestly , medium ca is like cheating in this game.
    Thats quite an exaggeration. In fact, its a reasonable stabilizer, that everyone has within 20 years of game start anyway. Without Medium CA its simply impossible to keep the realm well ordered, everyones fighting all the time. After Medium CA, you still have to watch like an hawk who marries whom and who dies where, but its manageable. I definitely feel Medium and up is more fun to play as a ruler, and Limited or lower more fun to play as a vassal; so its all about starting as a vassal in a low authority realm and becoming the ruler in time before authority climbs too high. Seems all fine to me.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alerias View Post
    Thats quite an exaggeration. In fact, its a reasonable stabilizer, that everyone has within 20 years of game start anyway. Without Medium CA its simply impossible to keep the realm well ordered, everyones fighting all the time. After Medium CA, you still have to watch like an hawk who marries whom and who dies where, but its manageable. I definitely feel Medium and up is more fun to play as a ruler, and Limited or lower more fun to play as a vassal; so its all about starting as a vassal in a low authority realm and becoming the ruler in time before authority climbs too high. Seems all fine to me.
    I think you're exaggerating too. When playing my Kingdom of Syria I managed to rule as three kings under absolute ca with a pretty big kingdom. After that I had a bloody succession war, but still, I managed to keep it for about 50 years with only 3 or 4 minor rebellions (minor counts). You just need to be very careful in the first year of your reign and arrange good marriages with your dukes.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Narestel View Post
    I tend to have small dukes but some of them destroy my plans inheriting one duchy after another. Anyway, I don't care

    I would say that, if you own elective kingdom(s), you could go and make only one duke for every duchy belonging to that/those kingdom(s), so you know your heir will always be chosen, since there are only 2 electors: You and your superduke, so in case of stalemate, your vote wins

    I will try it next time I take a kingdom...
    Clever, but seems more like a gamey loophole, than anything else. You are of cource free to play the game however you like. But if this works as good as I think it might, then it should be fixed with a negative modifier, perhaps linked to the super duke owning over 50% of the kingdom?
    Last edited by Eirik Bloodaxe; 31-05-2012 at 21:28.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Dysydent View Post
    I think you're exaggerating too. When playing my Kingdom of Syria I managed to rule as three kings under absolute ca with a pretty big kingdom. After that I had a bloody succession war, but still, I managed to keep it for about 50 years with only 3 or 4 minor rebellions (minor counts). You just need to be very careful in the first year of your reign and arrange good marriages with your dukes.
    I'm not sure I understand what part of this disagrees with what i wrote? I've managed to have 40 crowns all under myself with high authority (WC), I certainly wasn't saying it's hard or anything. I was simply saying that using Medium CA and up isn't "cheating". I could have done it with low authority too, but it would have been a bummer to see so much chaos in the realm all the time. It rubs my OCD itch the wrong way I guess.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alerias View Post
    I'm not sure I understand what part of this disagrees with what i wrote? I've managed to have 40 crowns all under myself with high authority (WC), I certainly wasn't saying it's hard or anything. I was simply saying that using Medium CA and up isn't "cheating". I could have done it with low authority too, but it would have been a bummer to see so much chaos in the realm all the time. It rubs my OCD itch the wrong way I guess.
    Oh, I must have misunderstood your words
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