Is there a most balanced start date?

Is there a most balanced start date?

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StefanFan

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1066 is where the vanilla game starts (before they added 936 in latest patch)
Ireland 1066 is pretty safe but also could be boring depending on your playstyle/expectation as no much happens there. You did the tutorial in Spain, if you like it, maybe try to unify the peninsula? Forming Hispania can be a nice challenge
I heard the duke of Apulia, 1066, is a good start too
Enjoy
You should answer asap because now I have an easy day and I can play :p Two questions, 936 was added in last patch of CK2? Second one, how is it balanced and why do you prefer this over 1066?

Third edit question :D Could I do an Ireland on 936, to learn the easy things first?

I like the map of 936 too, because Central Europe is less blobby.

Cheers
 
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R.Graymarch

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Two questions, 936 was added in last patch of CK2? Second one, how is it balanced and why do you prefer this over 1066?
1/ Yes, 936 was added in a surprise patch
2/ No idea, I never played it. But I read many people who like it. Apparently, it's a middle ground in Europe between 867 (pagans are powerful, christian may lose) and 1066 (pagans are very weak, HRE is here and everything is more stable)

Could I do an Ireland on 936, to learn the easy things first?
I would say, only if you are feudal (and not tribal). But overall, I don't recommand Ireland, nothing much happens for a long time there.
 
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You should answer asap because now I have an easy day and I can play :p Two questions, 936 was added in last patch of CK2? Second one, how is it balanced and why do you prefer this over 1066?

Third edit question :D Could I do an Ireland on 936, to learn the easy things first?

I like the map of 936 too, because Central Europe is less blobby.

Cheers
1066 used to be balanced in that the regional blobs kept each other in check and didn't have uncontrolled expansion. So by the end game you'd typically see the same blobs still exist. Well aside from any run over by the Mongols, anyways.

That has changed since Jade Dragon. Now France is much more aggressive in Iberia, while HRE often force vassalizes entire kingdoms like Poland, Hungary, Croatia, and Sicily. Makes them unstoppable.

Holy Fury has only made it worse since the Crusades barrel through any opposition with ease these days. They will demolish Egypt and/or Byzantines with no issue, normally solid regional blocs that historically were under no military threat from Crusaders. More importantly they anchor their respective religions, and demolishing them has wildly negative implications on how the world turns out.
 
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StefanFan

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Good, so I decided to do this. 1066 starts until I get the hang of the game. First one, Ireland. When I get bored, Duke of Apulia. Third game will be unite Hispania under some flag, and fourth Poland. After that, we shall see. Probably going to play a few game in 936 too, to feel the differences.

Most probably my first 50 games will all be European. Here is my CK2 spreadsheet, if anyone wants to use/edit it. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nAeK6Tj-3AgCyJliFbzMmgic7Oq2PV1ODOCu_GWSF2Y/edit?usp=sharing

Thank you all.
 
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ThePettyQueen

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A couple of notes for your spreadsheet:

* Your own fleets are very expensive - unless your culture is Norse, Norman or Berber, then you only pay 1/10th of what others do. (Duke of Apulia is Norman.)
* Giving titles to close relatives can be risky, due to claims, but more distant dynasts usually make good vassals.
* Republics don't actually become merchant republics unless they're duchy-level, and have a coastal city as their capital. (Make sure it's the de jure capital - the AI likes to move their capital to the de jure location, even when that's directly detrimental to them.) Merchant republics also have tons of ships.

I haven't seen any mention of the game settings. There are some - how many depends on DLCs - that will have a bigger impact than others. Defensive pacts comes to mind... You can also change things like revolt settings etc.
 
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Snake_Squeezins

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Good, so I decided to do this. 1066 starts until I get the hang of the game. First one, Ireland. When I get bored, Duke of Apulia. Third game will be unite Hispania under some flag, and fourth Poland. After that, we shall see. Probably going to play a few game in 936 too, to feel the differences.
Those are good starts. 1066 Apulia is in the heart of the action from day one. Try 1066 William the Conqueror, too - it's a lot of fun. The small kingdoms in Spain are also enjoyable. If you want to play as a vassal (which is fun - accumulate power, become a superduke, and take over from within), then Duke of Bohemia can form a kingdom very quickly, while Duke of Anjou is one of my favorites.

936 is the most fun for me because there are no guaranteed steamrollers. People sometimes mention Umayyad but I have never seen them get out of control. The King of Italy (House Bosonid) is fun, as are the big dukes in Italy and France.

As mentioned above, in 1066, HRE usually absorbs Poland, Hungary, Denmark, etc, while France quickly absorbs Barcelona, Valencia, and Mallorca, and the two of them very quickly exceed the capacity of neighboring countries to resist them. Both blobs tend to form quickly and Europe becomes much less fun afterwards. The only way to stop it from happening is to do it yourself - a strong King of France, Italy, or Sicily under player control can contain the HRE, but alliances and marriages beyond your control will still mean that Poland, Hungary, Denmark, etc get absorbed through dumb AI.

Important tips on game settings:
  • Disable secret societies. For me, there's nothing that ruins a game like an out-of-control, unkillable, heretical cult that converts your entire kingdom out from under you.
  • Also disable Seduction and Intrigue focus, which are two other drags.
  • Supernatural events are dependent on your taste, as are Satanists. (It's worth playing at least one game as a line of full-on Satanists just to see how it goes, especially if you get the demon spawn story arc - if you saw "The Omen," you'll know it when you see it.)
 
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StefanFan

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I will add your start suggestion to my list. Probably going to move to 936 quick if 1066 is too blobby, I really hate that. One of the reasons I never really played CK2 until now was that when I first saw the game, the first start, 700 or so, was so blobby it just killed any desire to play it. And I thought it was the default start up, because in EU4 the first date is the default start date.
 

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I will add your start suggestion to my list. Probably going to move to 936 quick if 1066 is too blobby, I really hate that. One of the reasons I never really played CK2 until now was that when I first saw the game, the first start, 700 or so, was so blobby it just killed any desire to play it. And I thought it was the default start up, because in EU4 the first date is the default start date.
The earliest start (Charlemagne) is by far the blobbiest and thus is the least fun for me. Try it at least once if you have the DLC, but I think it's the consensus pick for worst and least balanced starting date. If you end up discovering that you prefer to play as Pagans then maybe it offers some decent value, but it would still be blobby as hell.
 

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Famous Last Words :D

Unify the island, it's already a good challenge. Enjoy the game^^
 
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One minor but fairly important note if you play in Sicily and want to form the MR of Amalfi.

If you do so in 1066 do your best to prevent the formation of the Duchy of Salerno. Duke of Salerno will have de jure claims on Amalfi, will press it, and will destroy that specific Merchant Republic.

In earlier starts this is less of an issue as Amalfi is it's own duchy.
 
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You should answer asap because now I have an easy day and I can play :p Two questions, 936 was added in last patch of CK2? Second one, how is it balanced and why do you prefer this over 1066?

Third edit question :D Could I do an Ireland on 936, to learn the easy things first?

I like the map of 936 too, because Central Europe is less blobby.

Cheers
936's main advantage, balance-wise, is that it doesn't have as many blobs or event troops. Basically it's the period between the final collapse of Charlemagne's Empire and the reformation of the Holy Roman Empire (one of the interesting characters, Otto, the King of Germany, is the one who refounded the Holy Roman Empire, and he has a few events to give him claims/wars; he's definitely worth a playthrough at some point to try it out). Likewise the Abbasids are in shambles at the moment, with the Middle East divided among several powers. On the other hand, you do end up with a united Muslim Andalusia, which is generally strong enough to unite the peninsula and push into Aquitaine even as an AI, but that's no different from the 867 or 769 start dates.

Meanwhile, you still have several pagan nations that are reasonably strong (Denmark and Sweden are still pagans, while Norway is ruled by a Christian but has almost all pagan vassals and a pagan brother/heir who is likely to assassinate him if he doesn't take prompt action which the AI doesn't always do). On the other hand, the Catholic kingdoms are better off than they are in 867 (for starters, 867 sees Vikings with ludicrously huge starting armies in the process of conquering England; in 936 England is already unified), so are somewhat less likely to collapse into a mess of heresy and rebellions (which is the most likely state of Catholicism in the CM and TOG start dates unless the player is involved).

I forget whether Ireland is still tribal or not in 936 (honestly I haven't played an Irish game in years, and I've never played one there in 936); if it is, then I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner.

My last comment about blobs: remember that you don't have to play as the top liege. Indeed, one of the best parts about CK2, and which distinguishes it from other Paradox games, is that playing as a vassal is perfectly fun and reasonable. Remember, you aren't playing as "the Spirit of the Nation" like you would in EU or HOI, you are playing as "the Spirit of a Dynasty." Playing as a vassal within a big blob offers its own challenges and opportunities, as you have to deal with both your vassals below you and your liege above.
 
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* Republics don't actually become merchant republics unless they're duchy-level, and have a coastal city as their capital. (Make sure it's the de jure capital - the AI likes to move their capital to the de jure location, even when that's directly detrimental to them.) Merchant republics also have tons of ships.
For these reasons, duchies that consist of an island of 1 or 2 counties make the best MRs--Venice, Gotland, Crete, Man, and a few others.

As for game settings, I think your idea of playing with the default settings at first is a sound choice--you can play around with the settings later, once you have a better idea about how the game works. You will find that there is a good deal of differences of opinion about which settings are best.
 

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Question. If I change to Primogeniture, and then I create the Kingdom of Siciliy, do I lose primogeniture? Or how this work. Thanks.
When you create a title, it receives the same succession law as your primary title. So if you adopt Primogeniture then create the Kingdom of Sicily, the kingdom receives Primogeniture.
 
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