DLC idea - Qabila - Desert tribes, Slaves, Cadet branches and enhanced islam

DLC idea - Qabila - Desert tribes, Slaves, Cadet branches and enhanced islam

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Lemont Elwood

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How much of the Sahara could one realistically fill in with no-Holding provinces? I've been considering, for a long time, the possibility of Berber hordes that bridge the gap between Mali/the Kanem area and the North African coast.
 

elvain

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it depends. Despite the popular sentiment Sahara (at least its large parts) was populated. So there could be quite a few provinces for those Saharan Berbers. The question is how necessary they would be. Do you know the SWMH map in HIP mod? In that mod I have filled the inhabited parts of Sahara and before a massive merging there were some 35-40 provinces in the Sahara itself. Then West Africa could have as much as another 30 provinces and I am not counting Maghreb, which could have as much as 40 provinces. But that's maximalistic and perhaps a little excessive approach.


Now the number was dramatically reduced and still I think that Shara does not need to be entirely populated. In fact there were empires stretching across the desert only in the westernmost part (Adrar-Mauretania) and the eastern (Kanem-Kawar-Fezzan).

You can also check my WIP mod In my signature (the screenshot from the first post was taken from there). There I take minimalistic approach, with the main goal to make West Africa worth playing (in fact very little is necessary for that - 1 new corridor through Hausaland-Kanem and Fezzan with 11 new provinces, and 3 more provinces for West Africa itself).


If we are talking about populating the Sahara, I think that up to 10 proinces could cover the Sahara pretty decently (on the top of those 14 provinces added to West/Central Africa and Fezzan.
But I don't think that the game really needs to fill the Sahara.

tl;dr
So final conclusion: For interesting West Africa and interesting Berber nomadic gameplay all we need is those 14 provinces added in my mod + perhaps some 5-6 provinces on the border between the Sahara and Maghreb, that is 20 provinces, half of them nomadic.
 
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This is an awesome idea actually, I remember reading that the reason why Arab states relied so heavily on slaves to govern was because slaves were outside the system of tribal loyalties. Pair up powerful Arab tribal mechanics with a better system for mamluks/ghilmans and you have a much more accurate and much more interesting Arab world.
 
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I really like the concept and would consider buying this islamic dlc (again). But at this point, I dont believe that Pdox is capable of designing a working, challenging and fun decadence mechanic.
 
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elvain

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This is an awesome idea actually, I remember reading that the reason why Arab states relied so heavily on slaves to govern was because slaves were outside the system of tribal loyalties. Pair up powerful Arab tribal mechanics with a better system for mamluks/ghilmans and you have a much more accurate and much more interesting Arab world.
Yes, that is the plan. Right now it is terribly uninteresting and flat - frankly despite I really like the medieval history of the region and islamic dynasties, I don't find playing as them any interesting now.
Having interacting with slave soldiers and tribes and Asabiya providing you some interesting ways of play could make it little better. Especially if some new aspects of islam would be added... I need to put everything down... the system may look complex, but with everything completed the parts fit each other and will make more sense than now...
Also the goal is to remarkably change the militery system so it will be ballancing between the power of the tribe, his own dynasty members and the mamluks/ghulams - each providing great bonuses, tools and some interesting gameplay, but at the same time threatening the ruler.

I really like the concept and would consider buying this islamic dlc (again). But at this point, I dont believe that Pdox is capable of designing a working, challenging and fun decadence mechanic.
Hopefully this wil be able to provide them a comperhensive source of ideas for some sensefull mechanics

Anyway this DLC could also include a new bookmark based in 960's/970's with the expansion of the Fatimids (typical state using combination of tribal and slave armies), the dawn of Qarmatians, the starting crisis of Iqta-based Iranian Buyids and slave-based Samanids, and the eve of Turkish expansion, with their slaves ascending to power inside Persian states.
 
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it depends. Despite the popular sentiment Sahara (at least its large parts) was populated. So there could be quite a few provinces for those Saharan Berbers. The question is how necessary they would be. Do you know the SWMH map in HIP mod? In that mod I have filled the inhabited parts of Sahara and before a massive merging there were some 35-40 provinces in the Sahara itself. Then West Africa could have as much as another 30 provinces and I am not counting Maghreb, which could have as much as 40 provinces. But that's maximalistic and perhaps a little excessive approach.

Now the number was dramatically reduced and still I think that Shara does not need to be entirely populated. In fact there were empires stretching across the desert only in the westernmost part (Adrar-Mauretania) and the eastern (Kanem-Kawar-Fezzan).

You can also check my WIP mod In my signature (the screenshot from the first post was taken from there). There I take minimalistic approach, with the main goal to make West Africa worth playing (in fact very little is necessary for that - 1 new corridor through Hausaland-Kanem and Fezzan with 11 new provinces, and 3 more provinces for West Africa itself).

If we are talking about populating the Sahara, I think that up to 10 proinces could cover the Sahara pretty decently (on the top of those 14 provinces added to West/Central Africa and Fezzan.
But I don't think that the game really needs to fill the Sahara.

tl;dr
So final conclusion: For interesting West Africa and interesting Berber nomadic gameplay all we need is those 14 provinces added in my mod + perhaps some 5-6 provinces on the border between the Sahara and Maghreb, that is 20 provinces, half of them nomadic.
I can't actually check your mod on account of my Probation. :(
 
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Yes in a patch this would be possible. But unlikely for CK2 I think... But we can still hope for CK3. Paradox ffixed the bad Shogunate mechanics from EU3 in EU4 too. :)
Well then if this isn't going to happen for CK2, elvain has outlined a nice design concept to be included in CK3 :D
So either way, not a bad idea to post it, and Paradox should really read this because they can't screw up decadence again in future iterations...

Edit:
Anyway this DLC could also include a new bookmark based in 960's/970's with the expansion of the Fatimids (typical state using combination of tribal and slave armies), the dawn of Qarmatians, the starting crisis of Iqta-based Iranian Buyids and slave-based Samanids, and the eve of Turkish expansion, with their slaves ascending to power inside Persian states.
If it was another DLC featuring a bookmark, why not a 632 AD one? That way, you could have all the way for Islam to go, and people not interested in playing these characters would get a whole other world as well.
Though that would arguably be a massive undertaking, and at least a $20 DLC...
 
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Well then if this isn't going to happen for CK2, elvain has outlined a nice design concept to be included in CK3 :D
So either way, not a bad idea to post it, and Paradox should really read this because they can't screw up decadence again in future iterations...

Edit:

If it was another DLC featuring a bookmark, why not a 632 AD one? That way, you could have all the way for Islam to go, and people not interested in playing these characters would get a whole other world as well.
Though that would arguably be a massive undertaking, and at least a $20 DLC...
More like another game. That time period... even parts of what CK2 currently represents... needs a more demographics-focused game to properly represent it.
 
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I can't actually check your mod on account of my Probation. :(
Unfortunately I can't do much to help you... but you can still find it on steam workshop, under the same name.

If it was another DLC featuring a bookmark, why not a 632 AD one? That way, you could have all the way for Islam to go, and people not interested in playing these characters would get a whole other world as well.
Though that would arguably be a massive undertaking, and at least a $20 DLC...
I don't think I would support (and even less suggest it) pushing the start date this far. I even think that 769 date is bit too early for a game like this.
Anyway I believe 969 or 971 would be much better simply for the reasons I have stated above - it has many more interesting places to play in the islamic world where the new mechanics could be fully employed, while in 632 or 640, or even 660 or any date in the beggining of islamic expansion the only usefull new mechanic would be the tribal mechanic, while the mulk government, the slave soldiers and other tools suggested here are products of islamic civilization which all emerged after the Abbasid revolt in 750, and most of them even later.

btw, hopefully I will soon be able to complete another chapter, this time about slave soldiers and governors...
 
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I can't actually check your mod on account of my Probation. :(
I believe its on the steam workshop as well

Also, the map suggestions for vanilla in the OP are great and really need to be part of vanilla imo
 
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However since they already did a Muslim dlc and because this would be such a deep and complex system I can't really see them doing this.
Sadly such a DLC would never happen... because the DLC model didn't support DLCs which requiere other DLCs.
I don't know. I can see them doing something to flesh out Muslims more. After all, they gave away Tribal government for free. And that was basically The Old Gods 2.0. Granted, I think giving away Tribals for free was a mistake (custom titles should've been the free feature), but whatever.

It's sad, because Sword of Islam was the first DLC, and now, compared to other cultural DLCs, it's shallow and outdated.
 
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Now this is the type of map expansion and existing mechanic overhauls I would like to see. Unlike the people who want China (although a cool idea) this is something I believe would be doable, make sense in terms of the time and place of CKII, and wouldn't absolutely destroy performance.

Honestly a really nice idea that I would love to see implemented one day (either here or in a CK3).
 
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Yeah, "second" DLCs are actually pretty common. I remember being pissed when Charlemagne launched with the features that should have been in Legacy of Rome (that is, Imperial Administration). So, if you wanted a proper Byzantine experience, you paid twice.

Likewise with Tribal governments, as someone noted above. You got a glimpse at it with The Old Gods, but proper implementation didn't come until Charlemagne.

I wouldn't mind paying for a "Clans of the Sands" or "Voodoo Chiefs" DLCs to finally get proper Muslims and West Africans.

I don't really see how West Africa can work with the game, though. I usually defend map extensions, but West Africa generally doesn't hook up in a way that's realistic. It doesn't even fit in the EU4 timeline. I would hope that any expansion that helped flesh out West Africa would also at least attempt to represent the fact that Whites and jungles don't get along, so that you don't have Spaniards rampaging through the Sahel.

But, you also have the Chinese Question if you make the West Africa historically powerful/secure... in that it may end up blobbing all outside of its home territories. I think having Nomadic-province bridges pretty well solves that issue, in that there are diplomatic connections, but no real "invasion routes." Which is how it should historically be. Maybe an African king could end up transitioning into a horde, and you'd have a Black invasion of Sicily, settling down when they get there. THAT would be fascinating to make an AAR out of.
 
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why should we have to pay to fix something we already paid for?
 
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elvain

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Part 3 The Mamluks - slave soldiers and governors

As already mentioned at various places, one of essential differences of muslim states was the existence of Slave armies, which, since the Abbasid period, were meant as some kind of balancing power to Arab tribes and their military influence.
Therefore Mamluks/Ghulams or Slaves should be available to all islamic sedentary governments (Iqta and Mulk-which will be described later).
These slaves will be indicated by special traits
  • Ghulam
  • Freed ghulam
The ghulam characters can be bought at slave markets, but buying them can be done similarily to "buying" a noble, or another character in the intrigue menu. The difference is that each ghulam costs some money (originaly the ammount should be minimal, some 0.1 monthly).
They keep their original culture and with little differences in regions where they are bought, they would be recruited from following cultures:
  • Turkish (or turkish group - The Karluk, the Oghuz
  • Slavic (this means slavic group)
  • Georgian and other caucasian cultures
  • Armenian
  • East and West Africans
Unlike the cultures, they will mostly not keep their original religion, but most of them will be converted to Islam. However, if they are christian, some of them (50%) may keep their original faith, but all of them will have the cynical trait. Also having the Ghulam trait (not the freed ghulam) should block the characters from getting zealous traits.
The cultural aspect may play some role, because when treating other slave characters, the culture should play important role (in relation to their owner/liberator the cultural relations should be ignored and instead there should be big relation boost in favour of the owner (at least +20 relation)

The Ghulam characters can serve as:
  • concubines (female)
  • military commanders (of either retinues or slave companies)
  • captains of slave companies or
  • slave governors (most probably this should be available only to freed ghulams)
The ghulams can be freed (and this will be rewarded with piety) either via diplomatic window, or via event - at request.
The freed ghulams can marry either slave women or even free women (according to islamic teachings they should be able to marry up to 2 women) and have children with them. Their children will, however inherit the freed slave trait.
Normal ghulams can marry only slave women (in history, they could also free, but for gameplay reasons this should IMHO be limited) and only if their owner agreed.

Slave governor
- he serves basically like a normal viceroy - normally at a duchy tier level
- having the slave governors makes the kingdom/sultanate/malikate more stable. However for every slave governor, the ruler receives malus in 'Asabiya, because the tribals consider this as weakening of their own position (and it actually is the case)
- if the governor is a normal Ghulam and not a freed one, it should also raise decadence, because islamic clerics would regard it unislamic to have a slave ruling over free muslims
- he should, however, be able to assign his own son (if he has some) to the position of local count or a military commander on his territory.
- Children of ghulams (nor freed ghulams) do not inherit claims, but when their father dies AND they are in position of captain of slave company or a count within he father's viceroyalty, they may (70% in case of commander, 60% in case of count) ask the ruler to inherit the office. (with the absence of claim, this could be treated as ambition typical for ghulam(freed ghulam) characters to inherit father's office.

Slave company
- it should work similarily to a mercenary band or holy order, but unlike them it should work as standing army - an attempt to dismiss the army will always cause discontent and may lead to revolt with territorial claim.
- the slave company will be duchy tier title and thus it will only be available to k_ or e_ titles
- the ruler can have more than one slave company employed at once
- the basic power of a company is 1000 men (with 3 regiments of 300/400/300 each with slave commander)
- they will be managed in separate section of military screen (unique for iqta and mulk governments), where the player can buy both slave companies and also new squads for already existing company (right-click at the leader -> buy troops -> a unit of 300 men with a commander from the same culture as the captain's will be added to the company).
- the ghulam company will be remarkably cheaper than mercenaries, but will cost (monthly) gold. Part (1/5-1/2?) of the expense will turn into personal wealth of the captain. After few years in service, the captain may demand his (company's) salary to rise. Refusal, obviously, reduces loyalty and if is constant, may lead to rebellion.
- if the captain is a freed ghulam (and has enough money), he should be able to buy new troops himself and make his company stronger
- the reinforcements are slower than in case of mercenaries or holy orders and are on expense of the captain.
- each leader of a ghulam company acts independently (it it isn't already obvious), like vasal dukes in feudal Europe, and at war, the company acts like mercenaries - is directly controlled by the ruler (unlike the tribal armies of other clans from the same Qabila, who work as allies)
- an experienced captain who served his master for longer than 10 years may ask for government position, most probably a governor seat. He can be promised a future seat (like unlanded princes in feudal Europe) and if another slave governor dies, the promise comes into effect as auto-assignment.

Ghulam events
  • a new Ghulam appears - distinguishes himself in a battle - a young ghulam appears at the court waiting for job assignment
  • internal strife within a ghulam company - especially when the company is larger (1600+ men), there can appear to be hostilities among various groups of slaves and if untreated, it may reduce the company's morale ("leave them alone -> morale is weaker for 18 months). The result could be splitting the company ("Don't let the feud weaken my ghulams, split the company -> opinion malus from captain, a new slave company emerges with one of the former's commanders as leader), other possibility is increasing the salary and last thing could be to get rid of unstable ghulams ("Kill those problematic slaves" -> 50% of 1/3 or the company, or one squad gets killed, 50% chance that a new company emerges being at war with both the original company and the ruler. Can be appeased with land-assignment or acknowledgement and employment as new ghulam company.
  • Ghulam commander/captain asks for reward, solutions can be "give him money", "liberate him" -> a ghulam becomes freed ghulam, "assign him to a landed office" -> he becomes a slave governor; or lastly his request can be ignored -> opinion malus
  • Ghulam wants to marry a women (can simply be accepted or refused either increasing or decreasing his opinion. Accepting the request adds piety (removes prestige) and vice versa, accepting may result in a child which may in future demand to inherit father's office.
generaly, freeing a slave is regarded as pious, but it may create prestige penalty. At the same time employing slaves as military commanders, employing slave companies or assignment of land to ghulams decreases the 'Asabiya and may result in intra-Qabila war with other clans inside the Qabila will demand more land/offices for themselves and less for slaves in order to improve the 'Asabiya.
 
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why should we have to pay to fix something we already paid for?
as said above, if you have bought Charlemagne, you basically did paid for fixing something that shold already be in, the same with Horse Lords, Way of Life, Sons of Abraham or conclave. You can take it as paying for something that should have been part of the game already, or you take it as new mechanics which expand the game experience.

As already shown, this DLC should also feature a new bookmark between 867 and 1066 as well as minor map expansion in Africa, and (possibly) map fix. Do you feel this as something you already paid for? You didn't, because it isn't in game.

But I understand that if you only read the title and the first sentence of the OP, you may have the feeling that this is about fixing decadence. No, it's not. The idea of this DLC is not to fix Sword of Islam, but to offer new mechanics to those part of game, which have been overlooked so far - that is the desert tribes and their specifics and the specifics of islamic government (employment of ghulams/mameluks and little different role of islamic clerics than in christianity).
 
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as said above, if you have bought Charlemagne, you basically did paid for fixing something that shold already be in, the same with Horse Lords, Way of Life, Sons of Abraham or conclave. You can take it as paying for something that should have been part of the game already, or you take it as new mechanics which expand the game experience.

As already shown, this DLC should also feature a new bookmark between 867 and 1066 as well as minor map expansion in Africa, and (possibly) map fix. Do you feel this as something you already paid for? You didn't, because it isn't in game.

But I understand that if you only read the title and the first sentence of the OP, you may have the feeling that this is about fixing decadence. No, it's not. The idea of this DLC is not to fix Sword of Islam, but to offer new mechanics to those part of game, which have been overlooked so far - that is the desert tribes and their specifics and the specifics of islamic government (employment of ghulams/mameluks and little different role of islamic clerics than in christianity).
I disagree about the others you listed. All of the CK2 DLCs, save for Legacy of Rome, have justified their existence through some major mechanic that is thematically distinct from the rest of the game. I feel that it's fair to take the starting position of Christian Feudalism and then build around that. Even mechanics that affect the base game tend to be improvements that are worth keeping separate.

The problem I have with LoR is that it was marketed as the "makes Orthodox nations actually fun" (which really means, "makes Byzantines actually fun") DLC, but it failed to do anything with the Byzantines to actually model their political situation. Did it add appointed governors? No. Did it add palace coups? No. All it did was add ahistorical standing armies that nobody can agree on how to balance, and VERY simple decisions to feed some players' fascination with gorn.

If they ever did a DLC with an actual trade system or naval warfare, I would be likewise upset about The Republic, since that one did very little mechanically.

My apologies, though, if I've gone too far off topic.
 
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NP, I think this is actually something quite a few people see as downfall of this DLC idea - that it is a "fix" or expansion of something we already have in game and paid for. Anyone who have red more than the title and first sentence of OP knows it's rather the oposite.

The point with all those DLCs I mentioned was that they actually do expand something what was somehow already content of some previous DLC, but they take another directions, which I do regard positively. ToG introduced Pagans, CM (or its patch) gave them tribal mechanics, the HL gave them nomadic mechanics. It could have been regarder as expanding something we already paid for, or introduction of more depth. I believe it's the latter.

This is meant in similar way. We have Islamic DLC, we have nomads, but the desert (islamic) nomads aren't there and are poorly represented. You also wouldn't need neither SoI nor HL to get these mechanics. You won't need decadence for this to work as intended, the Asabiya concept should work better and - in fact - replace it, but if you have SoI and decadence, it will be expanded and fixed for you when used in combination with Asabiya.

I also see that I somehow overlooked part of your previous post...
I wouldn't mind paying for a "Clans of the Sands" or "Voodoo Chiefs" DLCs to finally get proper Muslims and West Africans.

I don't really see how West Africa can work with the game, though. I usually defend map extensions, but West Africa generally doesn't hook up in a way that's realistic. It doesn't even fit in the EU4 timeline. I would hope that any expansion that helped flesh out West Africa would also at least attempt to represent the fact that Whites and jungles don't get along, so that you don't have Spaniards rampaging through the Sahel.

But, you also have the Chinese Question if you make the West Africa historically powerful/secure... in that it may end up blobbing all outside of its home territories. I think having Nomadic-province bridges pretty well solves that issue, in that there are diplomatic connections, but no real "invasion routes." Which is how it should historically be. Maybe an African king could end up transitioning into a horde, and you'd have a Black invasion of Sicily, settling down when they get there. THAT would be fascinating to make an AAR out of.
There were and are suggestions for West Africa. You know, it isn't the jungle part of West Africa which is in game, but the Sahel and that's just fine.

They did have their clans and partialy an edited Mountaineer Qabilas could be applied to some of West African cultures (the Mandé, but that would require introduction of Soninke, who were little different). There could (should) be trade route running to West Africa with events and tools for gradual islamization of the region without military interventions (there weren't any, actually, even the Almoravid conquest of Ghana seems to be a misinterpretation), but at the same time the nomads did live on the southern fringes of the Sahara and did interact with West Africans. They would indeed be a very hard obstacle to overcome, so their expansion beyond Sahara should be hard. OTOH, the game should enable it to some extent and also should offer you something to play with there for those 150 years before you manage to become strong enough to cross the Sahara*. And still the Qabila mechanics should prevent you from rooting out the Sahara and make it the land of Sedentaries, perhaps via new special settlements (oases) which would have locked government system for their direct ruler, which would cause problems to anyone who subjugates them.

* the nomads should then work as is the intention of the Qabila system - they will be subordinated, but still fairly independent and should be able to make holding Trans-Saharan empire so hard that After Crossing the Sahara, one should be forced to split his empire in 2 on each side of the Sahara, unless he's Saharan nomad (Almoravids), or make his northern dependencies virtualy independent (Fezzan under Kanem in 14th century).
 
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