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Field Marshal
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Oct 23, 2003
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It's time again for an AAR with stellar economic management (loans ahoy!), some abuse of the engine, and some questionable decisions. In other words, a naggy AAR.

I've got a chapter or two written, and hope to start posting tomorrow...

Patch: v1.03b
Difficulty: Hard
Starting Character: Oberto di Parma (Count of Parma and Corsica)
Starting Liege: Matilda, Duchess of Toscana
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Table of Contents

Count Oberto di Parma - b. 1033, r.1062, d.January 1, 1087 (assassinated via plot by estranged wife)
Count of Genoa, Parma, Capua, Salermo, Girgenti, and Malta
Prestige: 661
Piety: 224.8
Final traits: Tough Soldier, Honest, Brave, Wroth, Kind, Stressed

Chapter 1 - Oberto di Parma
Chapter 2 - Genoa
Chapter 3 - Coming of Age
Chapter 4 - Capua
Chapter 5 - The Love Story of Oberto and Sancha
Chapter 6 - Salermo
Chapter 7 - Plots and Counterplots
Chapter 8 - The Plot Thickens
Interlude - the World in 1088

King Oberto I di Parma - b.1054, r.November 30, 1086, d. November 23, 1130
King of Sicily, Duke of Lombardia, Sicily, Salerno, Count of Salerno, Taranto, Siracusa, Girgenti, Trapani, Malta, Parma, Pavia, Lombardia, Genoa, Corsica
Prestige: 3646.6
Piety: 1044.8
Final traits: Midas Touched, Falconer, Chaste, Arbitrary, Diligent, Gregarious, Ambitious

Chapter 9 - To Defect, or to not Defect
Chapter 10 - Emerging from the Shadow of Toscana
Chapter 11 - Duchy of Lombardia
Chapter 12 - Duchies of Genoa, Salerno, and Sicily
Chapter 13 - Bravery at Nice
Chapter 14 - Restless children, plots, and beaches
Chapter 15 - Duchies of Mallorca and Modena
Chapter 16 - The Ultimatum
Chapter 17 - Revenge is a dish best served...sober
Chapter 18 - Rebels without a clue
Chapter 19 - The Rise and Fall of Adelheid
Chapter 20 - Kingdom of Sicily

Interlude: Kingdom of Sicily, 1121

Chapter 21 - A new wife, a new outlook on life
Chapter 22 - A pointless war in Barcelona
Chapter 23 - The Death of Oberto I

King Oberto II di Parma, b.January 4, 1092, r.November 23, 1130, d.December 11, 1131
King of Sicily, Duke of Lombardia, Sicily, Salerno, Count of Salerno, Girgenti, Capua, Malta, Lombardia, Corsica, Parma, Pavia
Prestige: 565.8
Piety: 503.6
Final traits: Scholarly Theologian, Quick, Falconer, Honest, Kind, Charitable, Patient, Slothful, Zealous, Stressed, Smallpox

Chapter 24 - The Epic Tale of King Oberto II

King Oberto III di Parma, b.April 21, 1109, r.December 11, 1131, d.

Chapter 25 - Ambitions, Assassinations, and Apulia
Chapter 26 - Holy Toledo
Chapter 27 - Oberto the Holy
Chapter 28 - Expansion in Spain
Chapter 29 - The Virtuous di Parma family
Chapter 30 - All in the Familia
Chapter 31 - King of Leon
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Chapter 1 - Oberto di Parma

We start with Count Oberto di Parma. Oberto has never been married, but has 2 non-bastard children. Apparently, he's a bacteria, and divides by fission. Since he's unmarried, I need a wife. He's also the duke of Parma and Corsica. He's brave, cruel, and honest...and you may never see another character with this few traits again.


When starting the game, the first things you need to do are:
* Give your council some tasks
* Pick an ambition
* Get married (if you aren't)
* Choose new guardians for your children (if you want)
* Institute your first law change
* Update tech focuses (I pick Castle Infrastructure, Legalism (for + demense), and Siege Equipment).

First, since I'm not married, I pick the ambition "Get Married", which gives me a cheap 10 piety. Then, I send my son off to Duchess Mathilda of Toscana's court to a guardian - this will give me a +20 relations boost with her. I'd rather keep high relations with my liege lord than find out the hard way that I'll end up in her oubliette.

I'd love to marry the Duchess (my liege), but she'll only accept a matrilineal marriage. No dice there...but I can marry Princess Sancha of Aragon, picking up 72 prestige in the process. I also marry off my son, Oberto, to Prince Emma Capet, giving us more prestige. My daughter, Gioditta, is also married off to a Capet, which will give me another quick prestige boost.


As for laws, I increase City taxation (to Medium). Cities have the most money, so that's whose taxes you raise. The law change goes through smoothly - as long as your vassals are happy, you can push through law changes relatively easy. The larger your realm, the harder it is (since it's hard to keep a 100+ vassals happy).

Finally, I send out my council. My Chancellor will fabricate claims on Genoa, my marshal will train local troops, my steward will collect taxes, my Spymaster will go to Tyana to steal tech, and my Chaplain is going off to Rome to improve relations with the Pope. The idea here is to expand and try to get the Pope on my side for some expanded options.

After 15 days, the marriages have gone through (I have gained 122 prestige from them), and I get 10 piety from my ambition to Get Married. I don't really have any other useful ambitions or plots (I don't want my wife dead, I don't want to plot against my liege unless I have a good idea that it will succeed, I'm too dumb for the council, and I'm not up for Amass Wealth yet), so I let that go.

Oh look, it's my normal luck - my first Councillor has died after a mere 60 days.

Chapter 2 - Genoa

I go to replace my Lord Spiritual (Chaplain), and find that all the replacements suck. It's a bad sign with your best candidate is slow. This is a consistent problem in smaller courts, though later I'll show some useful ways to get better candidates.


On January 6th, 1067, my chancellor manages to fabricate claims on Genoa. That was fast, and it's followed up by an instant declaration of war. No point waiting. Luckily, numbers win here - Genoa has more buildings (for more troops), but I have 2 counties.


On April 4th, my Chancellor dies in battle in Genoa. Early on, you sometimes have to let important people lead a flank, due to lack of decent leaders. Later, you can afford to keep them safe. I replace him with my father (diplomacy of 11) for lack of anything better.

10 days later, the battle is over - numbers win when both sides have crappy leaders.


Luckily, I have enough troops left to actually siege - it would have monumentally sucked otherwise. An attack by a last minute Genoan army happens to trigger an event that gives me +1 martial, bringing me to 6.


In July, my duchess asks to pass Minimal City Taxes. If she wants to be poor, I'm OK with that. Over in Genoa, another attack by 10 people helps Oberto upgrade his education (net of +2 martial)...I'm OK with this!


August brings a tithe event from my Steward (13.73 gold), which will help me once I start expanding buildings. As of patch v1.03b, your army will rarely cost more than your monthly income...the same cannot be said for mercenaries.

The months pass sitting outside Genoa's walls, shooting dice and throwing darts, until victory! That doesn't mean I'm necessarily done - Genoa has 3 other holdings (barony/castle, bishopric/church, and another city), but it does mean that my men can celebrate with diarrhea...because disease strikes at the same time.


In this case, however, I hold his only holding (the rest are vassals), so the Doge is forced to agree to peace and hand over Genoa.


With the fall of Genoa, I have some problems: I can't create the Duchy of Genoa because my liege is a Duchess. If I were directly under the King, I could create the duchy. Genoa's primary holding is also a city, which means I'll have a huge malus to tax income...on a city that has a base tax of 23.4. I'll deal with that in 5 years - conquering a city results in massive penalties for 5 years, along with extra penalties for 10 and 20 years if the holding is wrong culture or religion. For now, I'll just have a big 0 on the balance sheet from Genoa.


Over on the Ambition tab, I now have a new plot: Kill Countess Barbara of Monferrato. I get this because she's Orthodox and Zealous, so we hate each other with a passion (-78 relations). I start the plot for lack of anything else to do (it gives +1 intrigue), but the plot fizzles over time (I can't get enough backers). You can see that after almost 2 years, I can't get the plot power past 43%, and I need 50 to even try. Plots have scope - so I cannot ask the Emperor to help me whack a courtier - in this case, only other denizens of Monferrato can get involved. One way to try and get more people in on the plot is to send your chancellor or spymaster to increase relations or create a spy network, but that requires some luck. Larger plots have a larger scope, which can help if you have alliances.


And to close out the chapter, Bavaria revolts. Guess how I knew there was a war on?

Great to see another AAR from you! Needless to say I'll be following. I've not yet picked up CK2 yet so learning some of the basics from following this will prove very handy. A good, solid start having expanded your realm already, hopefully you can deal with the Duchess soon.

I have noticed a slight error though.

My Chancellor will fabricate claims on Genoa, my marshal will train local troops, my steward will collect taxes, my Spymaster will go to Tyana to steal tech, and my Chaplain is going off to Rome to improve relations with the Pope.

Shouldn't this actually read; '...my steward will begin filling in loan applications...'?
Informative as always Naggy, i'll be sure to follow!

morningSIDEr, Tanzhang (譚張), Maximus_96, loki100: welcome to the AAR!

CK2 shows even more UI improvement that we've seen in Paradox Games, and if you've played CKI, you can REALLY see the difference in how things make more sense visually. Patches and expansions will add more of those second and third order effects that we've come to love...but right now, the game is relatively straightforward as a Count, somewhat so as a Duke, and then becomes a crown of thorns for Kings and above (as we'll see).

One thing: the old CK "Meteoric rise followed by being beaten to death by poisoned spiked whiffle bats" trajectory is alive and well.
03 - Coming of Age

My wife has a bouncing baby girl, Agnese. It's a nice touch that you can name your kids. PROTIP: Play an Irish or Scottish character, and name your child Guyver or Gruber.


Later, my marshal triggers an event related to his work training troops - a bonus to levy reinforcement. Every single council action has these events, and their rarity is based on the councilmember's skill. Highly skilled councilmembers get good events more often, where as low skilled ones are more likely to trigger bad events. There are unlisted events (such as the Marshal dropping catapult stones on his feet) that also can pop up.


On November 1, 1070, my son Oberto comes of age and is Midas Touched. His traits are Chaste, Arbitrary, and Diligent - not great, but not bad. A child's stats and traits are based on parent's stats and their guardian's traits and stats, along with events that pop up along the way. Keep an eye on their guardians - I once had a guardian become a lunatic, and my poor child came out warped.

Oberto is betrothed still to Princess Emma, who is now 15. Almost time for a marriage!


On May 12th, my spymaster kicks the bucket, forcing me to make my wife spymaster. With an intrigue of 6. She's craven and trusting - a great combination for a spymaster, right?


Now that I have some spare money laying around, I can start improving my castles. Every holding type has improvements that can be bought. Some improvements make your holding more durable to sieges, some give flat boosts to the levy, one gives a % training/levy boost, and some give income boosts. Not only that, but you can pay to improve the holdings of your vassals.

Baron level Vassals in the 1066 start are typically dirt poor, given that they have unimproved holdings. They also only pass up a fixed amount of tax, so improving a bishopric or barony that you don't own may not be worth it. However, city improvements are definitely worth it, as you can get a very high base tax city where the Mayor can start building other improvements. With Harsh taxation, you can get 45% of their tax, making built up cities as lucrative as any castle.

Here, I'm adding a Castle village to Parma. I want to make sure that I don't hand off any expanded holdings to vassals or second or third sons, where they don't do me any more good.


My nephew comes of age on January 1, 1071, who is also Midas Touched (but not as good as Oberto). I marry him off and keep him around to spit out di Parmas. I also marry off Oberto (the son) to Princess Emma of France (as she just turned 16), giving him 52 Prestige.

On July 18th, Parma's castle village is finished - I'm on my way! Unfortunately, I'm too busy fighting in the independence wars for the Emperor to celebrate.


On January 1, 1072 (notice a pattern with the pregenerated charaters?), my niece comes of age and is married off to the King of France.

In July, my Chancellor finally manages to get a relations boost with my liege, Matilda. This lets me ask for a title...(a decision requiring 25 relations)


To which she replies "Drop dead."

She's craven and trusting - a great combination for a spymaster, right?

Absolutely! I'm sure her having as much intrigue as a soggy piece of carrot, happily ignoring any threats she stumbles upon because she trusts those responsible to act correctly, will not prove in the least bit damaging.

Some more good progress made, a useful improvement to Parma completed, victories won, family members married off and sadly a hugely irksome liege standing in your way of further titles. She need pay, and with such a skilled spymaster (spymistress?) as your wife, I'd certainly consider sending in the assassins!
Absolutely! I'm sure her having as much intrigue as a soggy piece of carrot, happily ignoring any threats she stumbles upon because she trusts those responsible to act correctly, will not prove in the least bit damaging.

Some more good progress made, a useful improvement to Parma completed, victories won, family members married off and sadly a hugely irksome liege standing in your way of further titles. She need pay, and with such a skilled spymaster (spymistress?) as your wife, I'd certainly consider sending in the assassins!

Yes, I'm sure assassins that attempt to poison the duke's brussel sprouts will work well. Maybe they'll present poisoned haggis, too?
Chapter 4 - Capua

On October 15th, 1072, Kaiser Heinrich passes away at 22, replaced by Kaiser Lothar-Udo I. Lothar-Udo has 4 negative traits to one positive, and 3 stats that are 5 or less. This reign will go well!


Ghiberto, my nephew, comes of age as a Grey Eminence on January 1st. If there was a trait of meh, he'd have it. I want him to whelp lots of little di Parmas for later duchies and the like.


Later that month, my liege, Matilda, declares war on the Sheikh of Palermo, with a goal of taking Capua. Rather than let her steal that glory, I declare war as well and race to beat her there.


In June, my Lord Spiritual manages to score a relations boost with the Pope. Sadly, I don't find any real use for it before it expires.

Oh look, another nephew comes of age. Maimed, cruel, gluttonous, homosexual. Another stunning catch for the feudal ladies!


In this case, I marry him off to a German Princess. True love!


In February 1075, I win my war for Capua, because Matilda ran into the Sheikh's (now Emir) army, while I landed in Capua behind it. There is a lot to be said about being first!


Taking a province from a heathen causes all of the province titles to pass to you, which usually instantly puts you over the demense limit. Here, I'm at 7/6, so I dump a city off to a mayor. I want to hold on to the bishopric, in case I need to butter the pope up for a plot soon. That leaves me with a demense of Parma, Corsica, Genoa, Capua, and barony level holdings of Aquino and Gaeta in Capua.


I dump my old plot that was going nowhere, and decide to switch to the ambition of Amass Wealth. Amass Wealth happens to be repeatable, and gives +1 stewardship - all it takes it being relatively broke (easy to do after building things) and then getting 500 gold (easy to do if you're a duke or above).


Apparently, all this success was very stressful...

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Good stuff, nice to see you are proving a wonderfully helpful vassal, aiding your liege in war by nicking the province she was after and leaving her to fight the enemy by herself!
All right, another naggy AAR! I do like the tutorial bits you've included; I never played CK I and am trying to work things out for myself.