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Ciccillo Rre

Alluccate: "Viva 'o Rre!!!"
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Oct 16, 2011
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Hello everyone! Yesterday I completed the last Monarch Journey with gold in all challenges and I would like to share pictures of my empires for all the Journeys. I find this a good way to celebrate the great game that CK2 is, just before the release of its successor! These screenshots are taken from my last savegames for each Journey; I tried to consolidate a savegame when I got sexy enough borders. Some of these savegames are worth to be played further; as I said in another thread, it would be great if the savegame files could still be accessed even if the Challenges are taken down.

Even if I played bronzeman, I almost never reloaded the game before getting gold in each challenge (after this was done, I took some more liberty). Exceptions are the Liao challenge, where I reloaded on occasion in order to get the 200 provinces mark (I am not that expert of nomads) and when I did clerical mistakes, such as selecting the wrong CB or the wrong option in an event. In such cases, I would reload the last autosave on January 1st.

Without further ado, here are the screenshots.

1. Konan de Rennes, and descendants. The very first challenge, I concluded it as soon as I got the very sexy borders from the 15 provinces mission. It is also one of two challenges where I did not create an empire. Natural continuations of this game would aim to the creation of the empires of Francia or Britannia, but I would find it cooler to culture-shift to Norman, win a crusade, and attempt the creation of the Empire of Outremer.

1 - de Rennes.png

2. Llywelyn Aberffraw, and descendants. In this challenge I successfully invaded England with the first character. The rest of the game was spent consolidating the Empire of Prydain and trying to get those nine dynastic dukes in order. I tried to inherit France/Aquitaine, but to no avail.

2 - Aberffraw.png

3. Saad Mordechai Al-Dawla, and descendants. An extremely fun game, played as a Jewish vassal of the Ilkhanate most of the time. Lots of intra-dynasty intrigue; the Plague transferred the kingdom between agnatic branches of the dynasty. With the last character I managed to create Israel, make it an Empire, and win Egypt for a vassal in a Great Holy War, even if lacking some provinces.

3 - al-Dawla.png

4. Konstantinos Angelos, and descendants. A typical long Byzantine-into-Roman game. I shifted to Roman culture (but not Hellenic religion, for roleplay reasons) only when I managed to re-create Justinian's borders. Would it be possible to get the classical Roman borders by 1453 in this savegame? Perhaps, if one manages to get a claim on that huge Britannia...

4 - Angelos.png

5. Louis Karling, and descendants. This is also a classical Karling game, and so one that can quickly get boring. If I were to continue this game further, I would culture-shift to German, create the HRE, shifting it to Primogeniture, and attempt a world conquest. The current eastern borders are not so sexy, but it is a mess of an empire to control.

5 - Karling.png

6. Shajar al-Durr Bahri, and descendants. After the first character it became a typical (male) Sunni middle eastern game. It was fun to repeal the first couple of crusades, but it got tiring afterwards. It took me ages to eradicate the Abbasids and usurp the Caliphate. After Jihads are accessed, the game becomes too easy.

6 - Bahri.png

7. Pavao Subic, and descendants. This was a fun game, but I had to restart it several times in order to get a good opening. I managed to inherit Hungary when I was already established in the Balkans. Note that all duchies in the empire of Carpathia are viceroyalties. Solid empire.

7 - Subic.png

8. Arwa Sulayhid, and descendants. I also restarted this one several times as I tried to actually convert Hindus (with restricted diplomatic range!) before realizing how futile that was. After I had become big enough and created the Shia caliphate, the game got too similar to the Sunni Bahri game from two challenges before and I stopped it. A natural continuation would aim at neutralizing the crusader states that have emerged in the Levant following the collapse of the Sunni religion.

8 - Sulayhid.png
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9. Harald Yngling, and descendants. A classic CK2 game; after the initial war I chose to focus on Scandinavia and take a conservative approach to the British Isles and Normandy. Note that the Teutonic Order is my vassal in Karellia.

9 - Yngling.png

10. Hetum Hetoumi, and descendants. A very fun game! The empire of "Greater Armenia" is just a renamed Nicaea. I had too many accidental revolts, which prevented the kingdom of Anatolia and Trebizond to de jure drift into it by the end of the game (if only I had a few more years). In this game the Plague broke the direct male line from Hetum.

10 - Hetoumi.png

11. Kulin Kulinic, and descendants. The easiest, shortest and perhaps least memorable of the challenges. Like in the Breton de Rennes game, I stopped this one at the king tier too as I was somewhat bored and unsure how to continue, short of re-doing a Carpathia run that I also had had with the Subic dynasty. Perhaps wait for a Crusade for Thrace and aim at the Latin Empire?

11- Kulinic.png

12. Liao Hongji, and descendants. I had to restart this and pick the "historical" option for Mongols (so as they would not arrive too soon) because I am not too expert of nomadic gameplay, as I wrote in the OP. However, it would be fun to retry this so as to aim at a more consistent transition to feudal and perhaps shoot at the Chinese Imperialistic government.

12 - Liao.png

13. Basarab Basarab, and descendants. Here I also wanted to avoid another Carpathia and thus after a few restarts I expanded into the land of Rus' via marriage! It was not exactly easy as good marriages would be refused, but I managed to get one for the kingdoms of Chernigov and Vladimir - after I was already consolidated as a Russian in Galicia-Volhynia - for an uncle character that was sixth in my line of succession but who was... preceded by females only (and I was playing as a queen). So it turned out that the trickiest part of this game was to get agnatic succession at a very precise moment. I could not conquer Novgorod in time, but I am still quite proud of this game.

13 - Basarab.png

14. Mindaugas Gediminaitis, and descendants. A typical pagan Baltic game, I made into the Wendish Emprie easily. I stayed as a vassal of the HRE for a few years before creating the empire so as to get pretty western borders, but that prevented Galicia-Volhyinia to de jure drift into the empire in time. At some point I vassallized the Teutonic Order, but they broke off a few years later. Sad.

14 - Gediminaitis.png

15. Botstain Stenkyrka, and descendants. I restarted this one way too many times, since Republic gameplay is not exactly conducive to pretty borders. Thus I decided to forget about mainland Scandinavia and focus on the southern side of the Baltic and - importantly - the trading posts empire. Got 75 total at some point (of which my house built 23 before the limit went down to 17; those 23 were all fully upgraded). Unfortunately, an HRE embargo mandated by the Hansa erased ten posts, bringing the total down to 65. Thus I later declared war for Hamburg and destroyed the Hansa in the process.

15 - Stenkyrka.png

16. Stefan Nemanjic, and descendants. In this game Stefan himself became a saint (in addition to conquering Bulgaria and managing to get a nice marriage that would earn the kingdoms of Croatia and Hungary for his grandson) and I was worried that this would complicate the dynastic beatification challenge. At the end however I got six total dynastic blessed characters, of which one was Stefan, two were other Kings I played who carried his bloodline, and three were vassal dukes: the initial landless brother of Stefan and two descendants of his. The rest of the game was spent re-establishing the Orthodox religion and the Komnenian borders in the Aegean area after the Catholics had destroyed Byzantium. I culture-shifted to Bulgarian so as to create the pretty empire of Bulgaria via decision. Even in this game the direct male line from Stefan was broken by the Plague. This game is noteworthy even for other reasons: while not shown in the screenshot, the HRE controls almost all of Iberia and North Africa and is Orthodox; while England, Wales, Ireland, France, Brittany and Aquitaine are united under the (Catholic) Latin Empire!

16 - Nemanjic.png
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I didn't do every challenge, and I didn't often continue the games for very long after succeeding, but I also had some fun moments that are worth sharing.

The Breton Crusaders - Finished the challenge just before the first crusade, and went on crusade for old times' sake. Surprisingly, I won, so I switched to the kingdom of Jerusalem and started Bretonising the Levant. Note the sexy borders of the kingdom back home, and that the Crusader queen of Egypt is my daughter and my tributary. This game is quite close to forming Outremer... but I'd already done that a couple of times, so I moved on.


The Angelid Restoration - It's as if the previous 200 years never happened! Note that Byzantium is now Catholic - this is because one of my successors was a secret Catholic... so I ran with it. Now there is only one true branch of Catholicism. Also note that the Latin Empire has migrated to Jerusalem (and is my tributary). The Seljuk blob to the East is both a major threat and an interesting avenue for expansion...


The Bosnian Heretics - Part of this challenge was to have heretical courtiers and/or vassals. What's the best way to do this? Convert to Bogomilism immediately! As you can see, it worked out pretty well - the Fourth Crusade shattered Byzantium and I picked up the pieces, despite the major threat from the HRE. My realm now covers Bosnia (of course!), West Bosnia (Croatia), North Bosnia (Hungary) and East Bosnia (Bulgaria). South Bosnia (Serbia) will soon be mine too!


The Viking Merchants - Sweden was being badly mismanaged, so the house of Stenkyrka stepped in to restore order. The best way to do this, of course, was to hearken back to their glorious martial history. Now, as well as monopolising the Baltic trade, Gotlanders regularly depart on glorious raids in Iberia and Africa. They are, of course, careful to only raid infidels. (This was the run where I discovered that the bloodline city buildings give disease resistance - I'm going to beeline for that in my other runs! Also, the original character was canonised - but with a bloodline that's only active with Swedish culture :-/)


Louis the Immortal - I think this is only the second time ever that I have successfully completed the immortality quest. The messy borders are the weird result of an an earlier claim war on Italy. But the outstanding claims on East Francia and Bavaria are juicy - with a claim war and a really really boring invasion, Louis could definitely restore the Frankish empire.


Armenia Restored - This was a tough challenge: there are so many angry and powerful neighbours. (It took a few restarts to not be holy-warred in the first year.) I eventually succeeded by extensive use of tributaries and mercenaries. (At one point, I had tributised everyone in range: Cyprus, Antioch, Jerusalem, Venice, Latin Empire, Nicean Empire and Hospitallers.) Offscreen, the Mongol Empire has fractured (via independence factions), Georgia was inherited by Seljuks (?!) and the Crusades failed (repeatedly). Armenia is the only Christian power remaining in the region - but it's strong enough that it could feasibly create a Miaphysite Levant. (The saintly bloodline gives faster conversion.)

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Great! It seems that for those two challenges where I did not create an empire, Konan's and Kulin's, you played a strategy very similar to the one I would like to pursue! Hopefully I can still access those save games tomorrow.

Anyways, thanks for the stories and I hope that other people can share theirs!
Don't have screenshots for all of my Monarch's Jounreys, but thought I'd share the latest one I have been playing. I have not quite reached all the goals, still need to finish upgrading the palace, but have achieved something else of note. Even more surprising, the man who mated with his bear cousin was recognized by the Church as a saint and gave all these bears a Saintly bloodline.

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