• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Jmjjmj

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15 years of marriage .....

What a great game. I have never had a game with such memorable stories. Most computer games I play, even Paradox ones, remind me of the old Matthew Broderick movie War Games. No matter which plan or country I take, it ends up the same (me conquering the world--or coming close).

However, with CK there are stories and characters and so much more.

Here are just a few dying to be told:

I. Just a Gigolo: It's 1098, and I am King Mikkel of Denmark (reign 1094-1126). My cousin has no prospects of inheritance, so I encourage (ok...order) him to marry the (crappy stats) heiress to the German Duchy of Brandenburg. He obliges, and produces a son (crappy stats) that I ennoble with some spare province to ensure his inheritance becomes part of my realm.

Having disgorged (so to speak) all of her treasure, the mother is dispensable ... and, shall we say, has an unfortunate accident.

But ... what's this? The heir to the Duchy of Saxony, an infinitely greater prize, is a young boy whose mother is the eldest daughter of the reigning Duke. But she is also a widow ... how convenient. So I track her down in her native county and send my cousin to court her. They fall deeply in love and marry (after I lavish copious quantities of gold on her liege) and she moves to my court with the the heir to Saxony (what a dear child; I love him as I do my own son) in tow (as well as a second worthless son and a daughter).

One problem... At the age of 33, will she bear my cousin a son to make the heir, or will I have to ennoble the dear child myself to gain the prize? Several years and no children later, I am losing patience and I am worried about the health of the Duke of Saxony. I really want a Knytling to inherit Saxony, not a von Pfirt.... So, when the daughter turns 16 ... the mother has an accident ... and so does the second son .... It was such a shock, I cannot recall which happened first. My cousin skips the mourning period and marries his step-daughter. Sure enough, within a year she delivers a boy ... and she dies of sheer exhaustion, no doubt, within the month. Poor dear. And the poor von Pfirt heir to Saxony, he is inconsolable over the death of his mother, brother, and sister, all within eighteen months of each other. I try to stop him, but he throws himself out a window. Did I already say, "poor boy"?

I give the infant a title and wait for the inevitable.


II. King Mikkel I becomes Ahab of old: I'm sure my cousin counts on a nice retirement as the father of two dukes. But I must admit that I too covet the counties of Hamburg and Brandenberg for the Royal demesne. Alright, I also covet the Ducal titles as well. I want nothing to interfere with the health and well-being of my cousin's sons, (the first of which inherited Brandenberg -- I honestly cannot remember if the Duke had a natural death or not) while I was waiting for the heir to the duke of Saxony to be conceived), so I go to work on the rest of his family.

His eldest brother dies unexpectedly in 1108. The eldest sister is deceased, and her son dies in 1108 in some forsaken county somewhere in the baltics.... The two youngest sisters are minors and thus are spared tragedy. But the middle sister is married to the Count of Kurs, and they have two young sons. A double-tragedy. The mother dies of heartbreak soon thereafter (no more sons to interfere you see).

Well, finally some reaction. Someone from Kurs assasinates somebody or other ... I cannot keep them straight.

Well, in 1109, I finish off the two standing between my cousin and me: His eldest brother's son and his other brother.

Two years later, the old Duke of Saxony dies, and his four-year-old great-grandson inherits. Shockingly, my cousin is arrested immediately and condemned to death for plotting against his own son.

No one stands between me and the duchies. (In the alternate cyber-universe, do you think he ever suspected what I was doing?) One brother, or the other, will have a short-lived inheritance.

Two more assasinations, and the duchies are mine! (Good spymaster = failed retributions) I sit back to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Or is it my cousin's labor? It was clearly a labor of love....


III. King Mikkel I meets Ahab's fate: Fifteen years later, the King is on his second wife and planning for the future. On February 7, 1126, his wife dies unexpectedly. One day later, on February 8, 1126, King Mikkel dies as well, at the age of 49. Neither was ill or otherwise gave any indication of poor health. Nor was there any indication of foul play (can a character be assassinated without giving any indication of it to the player?). Cyber-divine justice, perhaps?


IV. Return to Normalcy: King Mikkel I is succeeded by his son, Mikkel II, who reigns for 45 less-turbulent years. He gives up the evil ways of his father and becomes a crusader, amassing 27,000 piety and 13,000 prestige (much more than that, in fact, before he started grabbing titles with impunity). Unlike his father, he never takes a county by other than legal means, through usurping title or dispossessing heathens. He dies at 75.


V. Unexpected change of plans, part 1: He is succeeded by his son Harik, who needs some quick piety to erase the last of Mikkel's title-grabbing sprees (as well as a larger demesne -- Mikkel II had lingered for years with old crusade wounds and stress and so Harik's inheritance was much reduced from what it should have been).

So King Harik starts a war in Iberia against the Emirates of Seville and Valencia and sits back to let the new counties fall into his lap. Except that he is captured in the first battle.

What a quandry for his son Abel. If he redeems his father, the kingdom will lose half its gold (20,000) and a great deal of prestige. If he doesn't, well ... there is a 75% chance his father will die. What to do ....

It's not even a close decision, is it? The county simply cannot afford to lose all that gold and prestige. Why, it'd be like starting all over....

The heathens are not impressed. Oh well. Long live King Abel.


VI. Daughters and more daughters: In fifteen years of marriage, King Abel has eight daughters and no sons. (Is that a genetic coding or just luck?) While he never gives up hoping for a son, King Abel plans to marry his choicest (second-eldest) daughter Ingerid (10-13-7-12 raw stats) to his brother's eldest son Rolf (9-8-9-10, 10 health and 10 fertility -- yes, I peek). If the resulting son is better stats than the father, King Abel will change the succession law to semisalic and let the grandchild inherit immediately rather than only after his brother and his brother's son. As King Abel would only be 44 when his daughter turns 16, there should easily be enough time to raise a child and elevate him (presuming there would be a "him") in the line of succession if merited.

One of the great joys about being the King is interfering in the natural order of things and rearranging other people's lives. Why else would you endure such a demanding lifestyle?

VII. Unexpected Change of Plans, part 2: Fourteen years after his succession in 1170, having squandered most of his prestige on plucking rebellious provinces in the low countries away from his ally the not-so-bright King Konrad of Germany, King Abel begins a second Iberian war to beef up his piety and improve his reputation which has been badly damaged by the grab of three counties in Holland (on top of Brabant, Gent and Dauphine Viennois he had taken a few years earlier in a war with his erstwhile -- and future -- ally King Konrad).

Alas, King Abel is killed in battle against the superior heathen armies of the emirate of Cordoba. His brother, now King Hardeknut, has to disband the Royal army so he can emerge as its head and send it back to the battlefront.


Epilogue: It's now three years later. The war has been prosecuted successfully to a conclusion. Most of Iberia is in Danish hands. Denmark's reputation is now only slightly tarnished -- an improvement from his predecessor.

With Princess Ingerid about to reach her majority, the court is making plans for a Royal wedding. But to the King's second son Ernst (8-10-7-10)instead of his brother Rolf. The King has recently been made aware of his Steward's daughter, Maria, who seems to be able to turn straw into gold. (Her raw stats are 9-8-10-14)
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Iberia in Danish hands? :D Well well, that should make an interesting play.

You should try to convert the end of the game to EUII if you have it. Bring the Danish empire to greater glory!

And yes there are many interesting stories to tell in CK. Why...just last night, I married my granddaughter. :rofl:
 

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I almost married a granddaughter last night before I realized she was the granddaughter. The current king's first wife had died, so I thought I would remarry the king since he only had one son with his first wife and needed at least one more ("heir and spare") for the security of the family line. There was one young (17) female courtier with good stats available, so I clicked the marriage thing and then saw she had the same family name as the king. I checked her out and sure enough, she was the king's only son's daughter. Not wanting to go Roman yet, I married a courtier from another county. :rofl:
 

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King Of Nines said:
I checked her out and sure enough, she was the king's only son's daughter. Not wanting to go Roman yet, I married a courtier from another county. :rofl:

Maybe I should have done that. I was just looking at stats and age. I figured, "Hey, young girl, fertile, she'll give me babies."

Hopefully no Hapsburg traits will come into play later on :eek:
 

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Henry v. Keiper said:
Maybe I should have done that. I was just looking at stats and age. I figured, "Hey, young girl, fertile, she'll give me babies."

Hopefully no Hapsburg traits will come into play later on :eek:

I've seen a few hunchbacks, but no "inbreds" so far.