Crusader Kings II - Dev Diary 9 - Mercenaries and Holy Orders

Crusader Kings II - Dev Diary 9 - Mercenaries and Holy Orders

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Doomdark

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Greetings friends, 'tis I, Doomdark, your faithful purveyor of hopes and dreams!

This month, I shall speak of those who know no loyalties and would shamelessly sell their services for money. No, I don't mean prostitutes. No, not politicians either. I am speaking, of course, of mercenaries! Brave, yet prudent, these companies of professional soldiers were the closest thing to standing armies around for much of the Crusader Kings II period. In the game, there are a number of predefined mercenary regiments that can be hired by anyone with sufficient funds (though not heathens and infidels - there are limits, even for soldiers of fortune.) As long as they get paid, they will fight loyally, and, unlike regular levies, they even reinforce, albeit slowly. They do not come cheap however, and woe to the lord who cannot pay their fee. At best, mercenaries who do not get paid will simply abandon their employer. At worst, they will defect to the enemy. Some disgruntled but enterprising condottieri might even attempt to seize land to call their own (as, for example, the Victual Brothers actually did with the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.)

CrusaderKing2_DevDiary_09_01.png

Yes, mercenaries can seize territory, at which point they start acting like regular states. This brings us to the in may ways similar, but rather more pious, knightly orders. These humble soldiers of God can be hired not for gold, but for Piety. However, they will not fight brothers of the faith, and they will request ownership of the holdings that they seize (acceding is a very pious act). Landed mercenaries will retain their standing army, though it will no longer reinforce (eventually, it might thus be lost), and everyone will have a Casus Belli on them. Landed Holy Orders can still freely call on their main force, however. (If lost, they can raise it again through a special decision.) Similarly, the Byzantines have access to the Varangian Guard, which is treated much like a "vassal" mercenary force.

CrusaderKing2_DevDiary_09_02.png

Should a mercenary regiment or a Holy Order lose its last holding, it will return to being a landless entity available for hire.

CrusaderKing2_DevDiary_09_03.png

Here's a bonus screenie of what occupation looks like in the terrain map mode.

CrusaderKing2_DevDiary_09_04.png

That's all for now. Next month, plots and intrigue (unless I change my mind!)

Henrik Fåhraeus, Associate Producer and CKII Project Lead
 

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I especially like the part about Holy Orders. Will it be possible that Holy Orders are vassals of Kings in the demense they control, or will they be independent?

Oh, and by the way, province names are rather difficult to read on the physical map (see Gotland). How about an outward white "shine" effect of the letters, so they better contrast with the background?
 

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I must say, the merc system is looking good!
I especially like their ability to seize land and how this mechanic gives the orders a way to survive.
 

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Looks great, loving the portraits.
Are there events/diplomatic options to perhaps offer mercenary states a place in your realm?(What first came to mind was gaining from a neighbour's inability to pay the forces hired by them, but also that you may pay off the mercenaries who seized land in your realm with offical holdings?)
 

Doomdark

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I especially like the part about Holy Orders. Will it be possible that Holy Orders are vassals of Kings in the demense they control, or will they be independent?
They can be vassals, as the Knights Hospitaler are in the third screenshot.

Oh, and by the way, province names are rather difficult to read on the physical map (see Gotland). How about an outward white "shine" effect of the letters, so they better contrast with the background?
Yeah, that is planned.
 

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Sounds very interesting. :) A lot of depth to troop mechanics.
 

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Although I understand some of the reasons for not allowing infidels to get christian mercenaries it was not that uncommon for such situations to happen.

El Cid for example was a military leader who was willing to sell his services to the infidels.

Since mercenaries can revolt and take your land in case you can't pay, could we grant a title to the mercenary leader instead of gold? This would of course have some negative consequences since you would be granting a title to a mercenary.
 

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Woot !!! This is something I have long since wished they would do in CK1/2. :) Awesome!!

@ Doomdark / Devs:
Can characters change their affiliation from, say, a court to a mercenary troupe or a holy order? And back again?

As in, you have a younger brother, who's a court retainer with or without a position, but some day he decides to join the Holy order?

And the other way around: 20 years later, he's suffered a wound to his leg and retires from the holy order, and comes back to f.ex. your own court (or the court of a friend who's a ruler himself)? You might want to give him an honorary position (and a nice wench ;) ) and have him tell his adventure stories to your own sons after dinner.
 

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Good to see most of the stuff in thid developer diary, but I have one other thing to say.

That map is goddamn f***ing ugly, at least in the Poland and Prussia region. Pardon my expressions, but I don't remember when have I last seen a more inaccurate and uglier version of the map of the local regions. Please, please change it. From what I've seen in other developer posts you're not planning on changing the map much, but please do it. I have no words for how bad it is.
Please accept my apologies for how I worded it, but for an old "map maniac" it pains me, almost physically, to see that.
 

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The Catalan Company, among other historical mercenary companies and holy orders. I almost cry, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. That was brilliant!
 

Panjer

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If a mercenary takes over a province what kind of country will it be? A County? A republic? Something special? Can we then reload and play as said mercenary?

Will mercenary companies have multiple characters? (Mercenary leader and his chief luitenants)

Could the Varangian guard theoretically change sides during a civil war?

Do you have any idea how hard it is to wait for this game to come out, especially when it gets better and better with each dev diary? :D
 

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This month, I shall speak of those who know no loyalties and would shamelessly sell their services for money. No, I don't mean prostitutes.
actually it's a shame :D

lovely dev diary ;)
 

BRK

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Must say the maps, the interface, etc look beautiful; aesthetically it just feels very polished and regal, even the shade of dark blue for the buttons looks great. Vicky 2 is beginning to look dated, AFAIC!
 

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Good to see most of the stuff in thid developer diary, but I have one other thing to say.
That map is goddamn f***ing ugly, at least in the Poland and Prussia region. Pardon my expressions, but I don't remember when have I last seen a more inaccurate and uglier version of the map of the local regions. Please, please change it. From what I've seen in other developer posts you're not planning on changing the map much, but please do it. I have no words for how bad it is.
Please accept my apologies for how I worded it, but for an old "map maniac" it pains me, almost physically, to see that.
Look at Germany in EU3 DW if you want to see an inaccurate map. I had to come over it, so will you, hopefully ;)
But if the developers are interested in help regarding the maps, I'd be willing to make some necessary changes to province borders in Germany, if you send me the bmps in advance. Whether you use the proposals or not will be up to you then. But a map where Mainz does not even touch the Rhine - the mistakes are so many, that it's hard to know where to end when one has begun - is simply a joke. There were so many plain to see geographical errors on the EU3 map, that I do not expect map accuracy from CK2. It would be nice, but Gameplay in the end is more important.
 

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Wonderful DD! But I wonder how large courts mercenary groups and religious orders will have?
Also, will there be any orthodox religious orders?
Another thing, will mercenaries be area-specific? With that i mean if some mercenaries can only be hired in Europe while some mercenaries can only be hired in the Middle east etc. ?
 

Doomdark

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Wonderful DD! But I wonder how large courts mercenary groups and religious orders will have?
Also, will there be any orthodox religious orders?
Another thing, will mercenaries be area-specific? With that i mean if some mercenaries can only be hired in Europe while some mercenaries can only be hired in the Middle east etc. ?
Well, almost. The Muslims, for example, have access to the Hashishim.
 

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Map for Poland is bad. Like, really, really bad, you wouldn't even believe how much if you knew. So here's how to change it for better!
-current Kujawy should be concentrated more on Vistula river
-current Sieradzko-Łęczyckie should be more to the south, below Vistula
-city of Opole is actually to the south-east of current Lower Silesia province
-Czersk and Jaćwierz are cities literally unheard of and completely unimportant not only in era covered by CK2, but ever
-current Plock should be located more to the west
-Lubusz province is too big
-current Kaliskie should be to the south, but not exactly in current Opole
-generally speaking, redo Polish map based on this (in Polish, but I couldn't find anything else quickly)
 
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