Clarifying Coalitions

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rageair

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I'm gonna take some time to clarify some misconceptions regarding coalitions. There's a LOT of assumptions and outright lies circulating both here on the Paradox Forums and on Reddit. Here we go:

1. Coalition Members judge you on an individual basis, depending on a combination of many different factors. Infamy is not a constant value affecting everyone equally. I.e.:
  • Proximity/distance to you (In general, nations that neighbor you or are within 2 sea zones will want to join).
  • Amount of Infamy (You'll have a larger coalition at 100% infamy than 26%).
  • If you have a CB against them.
  • Their size in comparison to you.
  • Their army size in comparison with you.
  • There's also a hard block where you can't have a coalition member that's 90% or larger than their targets realm size (so the HRE could never coalition France, for example).
Some people groundlessly claim that large Kings and Emperors would care about the Infamy of small Dukes. This is objectively false and would never happen.


2. If you get a non-aggression pact or alliance with a coalition member, they will instantly leave the coalition against you. This means that it's more important than ever to have a large family and marry them off tactically. Remember that you can use favors to force cross-religious marriages, and as such you can also remove threats of foreign religions from your coalition.


3. No, the Pope won't defend the Abbasids if you decide to Holy War them. Even if the Abbasids and the Pope is in the same coalition against you, they won't necessarily join wars declared on each other. CB's marked as 'Holy' will not incur the wrath of your coreligionists, this most notably applies to the common 'Holy War' CB.


4. Infamy & Coalitions is designed to be a challenge in the mid-to-late game. You will be hard pressed to even gain a coalition unless you're ruling a very large realm or attack multiple neighbors very rapidly. It was designed like this on purpose. Also, the infamy decay scales on your size. Some example scenarios:
  • France 1066, 184 realm size. If you take all of de jure Brittany in 1 day (total of 6 provinces) you'll just hit 25%. Your infamy decay allows you to get rid of this Infamy in 7 years, but remember that it's only infamy over 25% that matter, so values between 0-24% will not see you have a coalition at all. So in other words, you have to wait but three months until the coalition's gone.
  • HRE 1066, 375 realm size. Now, with a nation this large you'll inevitably gain a coalition when taking a large chunk of land (i.e. the duchy of Obotritia, a common target, 4 provinces). If you wish to wait for the coalition to pass, you need to wait three years (a minuscule time in a game spanning up to 700 years). Though remember, if you're strong enough you can just fight your coalition.

5. Coalitions are not designed to ruin your nation, merely to contain it. Coalitions will not attack you with the implicit intent of dismantling you. This is not EU. Coalitions are defensive by nature, and while coalition members can start offensive wars against you, they won't join if the goal is to take a lot of land from you. It's very, very uncommon for the AI to do this.


Tips & Tricks
If you're having a hard time with coalitions, here's how I deal with them. I play the game a lot, and I find that there's several interesting ways to work around coalitions. Here's a picture of my currently ongoing game, where I'm at 100% infamy (note that I'm not trying for a World Conquest, if I were I'd be much bigger):
hn9NKlB.jpg
As you can see, the coalition against me is but a fraction of my massive size (my realm size is 1000+). How come I don't have a massive coalition against me? One of those you've seen posted around the forums? This is how I do it:
  • Non Aggression pacts! I have a massive family, and have nestled my family's blood into almost every other major nation in Europe. This allows me to keep all powerful nations out of the coalition, as they're either of my family or married to my close kin. This requires careful planning though - but that's what a dynasty simulator like CK2 does best!
  • Favor usage. By buying favors off of foreign rulers who are in distress, i.e. when they need money for a costly war, I can force NaP's on them through marriages/betrothals. This has allowed me to force both Christians and steppe people to leave me alone.
  • Infamy-clearing conquest/independence grants. Sometimes I decide to invade a nation just to remove it as a potential enemy. I claimed many major European Kingdoms for characters who could be considered my friends - groomed by me and married to my close kin. I then grant them independence. This results in a loyal ally who not only won't join coalitions against me, but also support me in my wars! I also lose a large chunk of Infamy (in my case 100%).
  • Attacking revolts. Major revolts of other nations don't join coalitions. This is by design, as there's an inherent danger of attacking a revolt - if it ends, so will your war. I've used this to opportunistically expand my realm wherever there's strife.
  • Let my vassals expand for me! I make sure to set up my vassals in such a fashion that they have juicy targets next to them. Infamy gained by vassal conquests is but a fraction of what you'd get yourself, and vassals don't trigger coalition wars!
Though most importantly I've paced myself. I've realized that I don't have to be at war constantly to do well. I spend a lot of time managing my council and my vassals while waiting for infamy to tick down.

Notes
We're aware that a lot of the info presented here is obscured or not available in-game, we're working on making the information readily available to the player.

We're planning a few tweaks to how infamy is gained, currently adding individual infamy-levels to different types of CB's and re-balancing how many nations join against you at various levels of infamy.

Note that this thread only exists to explain to you how the feature works and how you use it. Please keep discussion civil.
 
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RforRush

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Seems coalitions are very easy to avoid. Maybe you should make them harder.
 
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Groogy

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Seems coalitions are very easy to avoid. Maybe you should make them harder.

The point is that they are supposed to be avoidable and act as a motivator for you to play CK2 as a game where dynasty and ties between rulers are important and not just steam roll forward blindly. So no I don't think we are going to make them harder to face right now because we don't want to punish the player, just steer him a little.
 
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Rostan

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Cross-cultural coalitions are still a possibility (a very immersion-breaking one for me), and there is no absolute cap on distance from which coalition members can join (which opens the door to EU4-style "world wars" even if likelihood of participation is scaled based on distance).

Anyhow, I asked for a refund for Conclave and will just play 2.4.5., which is fine enough as well.

I personally DO play the game trying to act like a medieval ruler and expand slowly. However, when I do expand by lategame, I do not want the nice, fuzzy feeling of medieval immersion that CK2 gives to be spoiled by those ridiculous EU4-style World War 2-like cross-cultural coalitions, even if defensive.
 
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Groogy

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Cross-cultural coalitions are still a possibility (a very immersion-breaking one for me), and there is no absolute cap on distance .

There is an absolute cap, it's the same as your diplomacy range.
 
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DàbiànLājīdàrén

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Tbh... every patch somebody complains about something. I haven't gotten any trouble from coalitions yet so I have no idea what everyone is even talking about.
 
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Seelensturm

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Is this WAD or an exploit?

I'm sure people already know about this, but here's a little mechanic I stumbled upon. Even if you have a massive coalition against you can buy a favour against your intended target and then force them into a non-aggression pact via betrothal. After you break the betrothal it gives you a window to attack your target without his buddies.
 
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The point is that they are supposed to be avoidable and act as a motivator for you to play CK2 as a game where dynasty and ties between rulers are important and not just steam roll forward blindly. So no I don't think we are going to make them harder to face right now because we don't want to punish the player, just steer him a little.
That was just trolling, but thanks for the answer. I hope people will someday learn how to avoid coalitions and stop complain.
 
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Centuria

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I still dont see why the religion of targets matters so little. If i went on the warpath against muslims, i would hardly get anything besides a ''nice moves bruh'' from the King of Sicily and other christians. In the current system, religion almost doent matter. In your own example Grogy: The Duke of Obotritia is a godless pagan. Why would anyone in christendom care even remotely? Now the other nearby pagans sure would be on high alert, but France and Hungary wouldnt really care. In the current system, taking a kingdom = instant global coalition.

This is objectively just a system to make us eat smaller chunks per war, which makes for boring gameplay given how the Warscore changes and shattered retreat, the other two transplanted EU4 mechanics, makes all wars a long slog. If i play as the King of Mali, i can eat the whole world county by county. But taking Morroco makes all of christendom go Code Red Emergency.

There is a absolute cap, it's the same as your diplomacy range.

Diplo range is way too big in earlier starts. Getting a literal coalition from Ireland to Cathay for making a Kingdom tier claim war cant possibly be the system WAD.
 
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DàbiànLājīdàrén

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I still dont see why the religion of targets matters so little. If i went on the warpath against muslims, i would hardly get anything besides a ''nice moves bruh'' from the King of Sicily and other christians. In the current system, religion almost doent matter. In your own example Grogy: The Duke of Obotritia is a godless pagan. Why would anyone in christendom care even remotely? Now the other nearby pagans sure would be on high alert, but France and Hungary wouldnt really care. In the current system, taking a kingdom = instant global coalition.

This is objectively just a system to make us eat smaller chunks per war, which makes for boring gameplay given how the Warscore changes and shattered retreat, the other two transplanted EU4 mechanics, makes all wars a long slog. If i play as the King of Mali, i can eat the whole world county by county. But taking Morroco makes all of christendom go Code Red Emergency.



Diplo range is way too big in earlier starts. Getting a literal coalition from Ireland to Cathay for making a Kingdom tier claim war cant possibly be the system WAD.

Well the Khwarezmids and Karluks both invited the Kara Khitai to invade their Seljuk masters, and they're all Muslims while the Kara Khitans were Buddhists. So it's not really unheard of. Real politics win against religion every time.
 
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[qoute]

Too far, imo. Should be more regional, like in EU4.

Agreed and not only the range is the problem, the culture/religion is one too ; First game since I buy Conclave, started in 769 as a random earl... Ten years later Charlamgne inherit Karloman's land, as usual, and a coalition is formed against him and his Francia, Coalition with inside the Khan of Avan, the Pope, The danish viking king, the Ummeyad sultan and every single duke/count in the British Isles (except me)... Well Ok, it has almost no consequencies. Karl did nothing during a few years and the coalitions vanished after a time... but it's really disturbing and annoying as a player to see this sort of things when you like to be immerged in the game. I'm not against uchrony, but... this was not an uchrony, this was total nonsense...

I'm not aggainst the principle of coalitions in itself, but... not that way.
 
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Well the Khwarezmids and Karluks both invited the Kara Khitai to invade their Seljuk masters, and they're all Muslims while the Kara Khitans were Buddhists. So it's not really unheard of. Real politics win against religion every time.

That is so representative of the medieval era. Almost like the French-Ottoman alliance on the EU4 forum.
 
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Religion mattered a lot less in the Steppes and Central Asia in general in the timeframe than in Europe. The Nomadic system reflects that quite well, there might makes right. Medieval Europe was much less pragmatic, except in a few cases, like alliances in Iberia. The Crusader States and Georgia happily asissted the Mongols, when by all accounts they should be in a ''coalition'' against them, because the Hordes would inevitably endanger them. But they *really* wanted to Deus Vult.
 
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Adrized

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Thanks for the clarification, but I'll still play with the No Coalitions mod. I still don't like the idea at all.
 
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DàbiànLājīdàrén

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Religion mattered a lot less in the Steppes and Central Asia in general in the timeframe than in Europe. The Nomadic system reflects that quite well, there might makes right. Medieval Europe was much less pragmatic, except in a few cases, like alliances in Iberia. The Crusader States and Georgia happily asissted the Mongols, when by all accounts they should be in a ''coalition'' against them, because the Hordes would inevitably endanger them. But they *really* wanted to Deus Vult.

Except Berke declared war on the Ilkhanate specifically because he was Muslim and Hulegu was going around sacking Muslim cities left and right.

Rashid al Din specifically quoted Berke saying,

"He (Hulagu) has sacked all the cities of the Muslims. With the help of God I will call him to account for so much innocent blood."
 
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Evrach

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And this kind of things was the exception, not the rule... If you see multi-confessional multi-ethnies multi-continental coalitions spreading each time an Empire conquiers a duchy....
 
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Centuria

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Matters less =/= doesnt matter. Religous strife is always a go-to cause for conflict, which leads back to my point that the current system weights in religion way too lighty, and in too long of a range from you. People who dont even know each other exist, like Khirgiz Khans and Irish Cheifs, allying against the big bad Emperor of Distant lands because he took a Kingdom in some wild place in a claim war instead of county by county.
 
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riadach

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I know during the wars of the kings of opposition in Ireland (macrocosmic I know), it was common for provincial kings to coalesce together to oppose a rising high-king. They'd even get behind a rival candidate and then drop him like a hot potato when the initial target was defeated.
 
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