• 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

KingHaydenIII

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I'm going to share a few of my games over the last year, the first being a continuation of my French Carthaginian Empire, I'm copying and pasting the introduction from the previous Carthage post from about a year ago:

"I started as a custom French count of Gallura, aptly naming the family as House de Gallura. After quickly uniting all Sardinia and Corsica in a single kingdom, I spent the next century building up the power and wealth of the family before eventually marching on Africa. Establishing Carthage as the capital of this new Crusader Kingdom, the Grand Harbour of Carthage was built by successive scions of the family; being finished briefly before declaring the Empire of Carthage.

As for the rest of the world, England reigns supreme over the British Isles and the Kingdom of France, while the HRE managed to conquer Poland early on. The Piast dynasty become titular Kings of Jerusalem through conquest, before losing it to the Seljuks. The Byzantine Empire has re-emerged as a world power, after with a little help from a previous King of Africa a exiled claimant to the Imperial throne, Theophylact Komnenos who incidentally is tied to the House of Gallura via marriage and a Catholic to boot was installed as emperor after a short war. Egypt was then restored to Byzantine control by means of a Crusade by Theophylact and the Piast now-Duke's of Jerusalem submitted as vassals to the emperor, which allowed for the end of the schism not long after!

As for the Mongols, well they converted to Catholicism and are giving the Turks a right rogering from behind!"


Carthage.jpg


The better part of a century later and Carthage reigns supreme over the western Mediterranean whereas the Komnenoi, firm allies of Carthage hold sway over the east. However, problems from within are endemic due to the presence of powerful scions of the House de Gallura hold vast swathes of the empire and threaten to plunge it into civil war.

1.jpg


Bonus:

The tendrils of Gallura spread far and wide, with the eponymous Geoffrey the Great taking Scotland into the Galluran domains.

20190807221235_1.jpg
 
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KingHaydenIII

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This one was from quite a while ago, and I abandoned it in favour of playing one of the updates!:

The House of Flanders sit comfortably upon the Imperial throne on Constantinople, having swiftly seen off the last remnants of the Byzantine and Bulgarian empires. Establishing Catholicism in the Orthodox Balkans has not come without cost, with rebellion after rebellion breaking out among the perfidious Greeks. The Schism has been forcibly ended, with the Church being united under the rightful rule of Saint Peter's successor. Thankfully, the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum tore itself apart, allowing for imperial forces to eliminate the various Turkish emirs and reclaiming Anatolia for the Imperium Romaniae.

The empire arguably remains the most stable realm in Christendom, with the various other realms fraying at the seams, mostly due to internal squabbles. The empire's future lay east, but they will need to contend with the rising powers of the Steppe and the Indus...

1.jpg
 

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KingHaydenIII

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Again, this is from an earlier version:

The founder of the Kingdom of Zabul, the Zunist Firuz, the master of war managed to establish Zunism as a major player in the region. The Kingdom straddles two worlds, with the forces of Islam to the West, and the fractious kingdoms of India to the east.

20190413150446_1.jpg


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By the close of the millenium, the Zunbils have managed to unite India in the light of Zun through many, many holy wars. India is in now in a position to launch Great Holy Wars to the West, the first to fall was Khorāsān, Persia is next...

20190516203709_1.jpg
 
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KingHaydenIII

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Starting with the reign of Basil the Makedonian, the Byzantines initiated the long-overdue revival of its imperial power. After restoring the empire's territories along the Danube, the subjugation of the Croats and Serbs progressed in earnest. The King of Croatia was defeated, his family brought back to Constantinople as hostages, and his rule reduced to that of an Exarch. His hostage son was educated in the Greek Orthodox fashion, and upon the suspicious death of the King, took the crown as a faithful vassal of the Makedonian dynasty. The fractious realms of Italy were conquered, yet again and brought into the Byzantine fold.

1.jpg


After the Balkans were secured, the eastern territories of Anatolia, the Levant and Egypt were slowly but surely recaptured for the Empire, restoring imperial power to a level not seen for centuries!
However...

3.jpg


As the Byzantine Empire rises from the brink of destruction, the Empire of Persia rises from the ashes under the Buyids, setting the stage for the renewal of ancient conflict. Rather than waiting for the forces of Islam to take Christian territories by storm, the Makedonian dynasty under Alexandros the III took the Hejaz in a surprise attack and smashed the Kaaba, reducing Mecca and Medina to a smouldering ruin.

2.jpg


Not twenty years later, Alexandros the III, with the assistance of imperial scholars discovered that he was descended not from mere Makedonian peasants, but from the ancient King of Makedonia, Alexander III the Great!


4.jpg
 

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KingHaydenIII

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Just as the previous Byzantine game, this Persian one is still ongoing:

The House of Kareni, a scion of Parthia have rose from being petty Daylamite lords to restorers of Ērānshahr! The prophesied Saoshyant rose to restore Zoroastrian lands from the vile infidel, re-establishing righteous rule to the oppressed and began to fightback against such a hated foe. On his death, his son, Mardavij ascended the throne intent of extirpating Islam and eventually, conquering once and for all the ancient enemy, the Greeks.

1.jpg


Persia on the eve of the great conquests.

2 in honour of.jpg


After conquering the Caliphate, the Shahanshah in his infinite mercy, and in emulation of the great Cyrus, allowed the Jews to return to the Holy Land, providing a safe-haven for those oppressed in Europe and beyond. However, the arrangement has proved troublesome in recent years, with Israelite lords mounting raids against the subjects of Persia. If the raids continue, a difficult choice will present itself: to conquer Israel or make of it a vassal to Persia.

3 israel.jpg


Decades later, in emulation of the Achaemenid Empire of old, Anatolia and Egypt have once again been brought under Persian rule.
4.jpg


While Islam was slowly receding in its ancestral homelands, the Kingdom of Guge converted to Sunni Islam en masse. Judging the survival of Islam so close to his borders intolerable, the Shahanshah had a Purgyal princess abducted and married to one of his many bastards. Not long after, a war was raged to claim the Kingdom in the name of the princess was waged, and sure enough, it was conquered and a Zoroastrian queen, with her Karenid husband alongside ascended the throne and pursued a ruthless policy of mass conversions was carried out on the population. Over the decades, with the assistance of the Karenids in Persia, the newly-formed House of Purgyal-Kareni have managed to assert themselves as the rulers of the Tibetan Empire and look poised to conquer India, bringing yet another realm under the sway of the House of Karen!

5 Purgyal-Kareni.jpg


Outdoing the Sassanians before them, the Karenids manage to take Constantinople after a lengthy and costly siege. Lacking any real support, the vassals of the Byzantine Empire assert their independence and the Emperor is reduced to but a mere Despot, and even that is unlikely to last long as all Europe shudders at the predatory power of a resurgent Persia!

6 End of empire.jpg
 
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Lider_Picaro

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View attachment 532061
The largest empire I have formed to date, out of my favorite religion in HIP. Startdate was 867. No crusade has been called yet (but a few jihads)

Both Occitania (controls all of norway) and the Holy Roman Empire have been formed entirely on their own by the AI, quite impressed by that.
How is Occitania formed???
 

grzegorz444

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Nothing special, but nice campaign
1066(Conqueror) scenario
Son of Roussel de Bailleul of course
8 years reign currently, after crush 4/5 rebellions situation becomes quite stable, trying build dynasty
20200624215329_1.jpg
 
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Wroom

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Screenshot (171).png


Truly has Islam never had so puissant a servant.

I orginally started out in Egypt but the Abbasids backstabbed me and took ALL of fucking Egypt in one war, never figured out how they did that. This shattered my empire and left me with just my Greek provinces which there of doubtful loyalty. In the end I persevered, continuing to push north into the ruins of the Byzantine Empire until I had restored myself to emperorship, embracing Greek culture in the process.
 
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hko2006

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Picked up CK2 again after a few years, I play Karen/Gilan almost exclusively, last post of my Karen here (in 2016!)
Play a few runs of Gilan again, it is easier than I remembered, I believe it's because Ray and Fars/Pars are no longer part of Abbsai Empire and up for grab. And AIs are more aggressive so Abbsai Empire is almost always at war so they are less likely to attack me.

1st run, Seljuk came and rekt me back to a count in Baghdad, I rage quit.

ck2_1.png


2nd run, I notice Seljuk likes to attack Nashaphur so I avoid taking it and let Taheri Shahdom buffer it for me. After Seljuk take over Taheri, I swear fealty to Abbsai Empire to let the two fight over my title (Daylam Shahdom). Seljuk invaded for Daylam Shahdom two times, both won but only the second time Seljuk took the Daylam Shahdom title and I am back to an Amir under Seljuk (didn't got kicked out this time unlike 1st run) . Now with unjustified conquest, I allied remaining Zoroastrianism Amir/Counts and unjustified conquest any Muslim counts near me, successfully expand under Seljuk's nose. When Seljuk's got revolts, I joined, the new Emperor was weak and low on event troops, I fought and gain my independence and quickly rebuild the kingdom and later Persia Empire. Also the first time going for bloodline ambition, went for the benefactor.

ck2_1.jpg


But because I like elective, so Daylam and Persia Empire are both elective, even dynastic elective doesn't help much because of cadet branch can also run for Emperor. So I struggle to keep myself the Emperor. AI also like to vote for middle age to old man so they usually have less than a decade of rule resulting in very quickly build up of imperial decay (absolute crown and imperial admin also made it quicker). I observe 200 years to see how things go. It takes a long time but surely going down. This is the first time I see (my) empire rise and fall. RIP Persia Empire 1115 - 1399. Also, my house has 3k prestige but with only 5 living members (539 total), the head is a mere count in Hayk (Armenia). China in 1417 moved in to the power vacuum and set up shop in Merv.

3rd run WIP
I learned from 1st run not to take Nashaphur and 2nd game that Amol is too small for capital so I try Gavelkind and Isfanhan as capital. I also converted my culture to Parsi for the sweet heavy infantry retinue and special buildings. Isfanhan's duchyhas two trade post so money is not a problem anymore, plus 3 castles give you a solid levee base, 4 province and 8 castles total in the duchy. I also keep almost everyone counts so I can have more direct vessels, instead of always creating duchies.

Then I encountered a constant crash on 1126.06.13 I reloaded a few times but still crashes, so I opened the save file and edited all dates of 1126.06.13 to 1125.12.31, a day in the past of the autosave of 1126.01.01. Lucky nothings seems broke and it run past 1126.06.13 without crash.

I go for the founder bloodline this time because I have the money. But I got "dealings with death" then I almost got it so I loaded. I am also constantly fighting with Seljuk just north of Nashaphur (hence the 8 foreign war wins) but Persian heavy infantry are very strong, Seljuk's armies just melt away when melee phase begins.
ck2_19.jpg


Finally got the bloodline nine years later.
ck2_20.jpg


A rival vassal plotted against me I tried to revolt his titles, resulting in a war while crusade was preparing to fight against me. I also wanted realm peace to make sure my vessels have both troops and money to fight but a vessel blocked it. Lucky, Byz took the hit for me.

ck2_21.jpgck2_22.jpg

3k income, first time getting this high, thanks to 3 trade posts, China golden age plus trade contract. I spent most of the money building holdings in undeveloped counties, like the steppes which I will soon regret.
My duchy vessel Pars holy war his way to Jerusalem and made Al Sham Shahdom which makes Pars no longer my direct vessel which is a bit annoying, but (lucky) his heir plotted against me so I revoked kingdom titles from plotters (or I plotted to revoke them), as I planned to use Primogeniture afterward.

ck2_23.jpg


No heir alert, oh I haven't seen you in a long time. 4 sickly infants whenever it was a boy, but girls are fine, I wonder why. Things got desperate so I first invite maidens in from other courts to seduce and then just employ them, make them concubine if resulted in a baby, after some trying, finally got a boy.

ck2_24.jpg


China wants me to become tributary, too bad I never tried peace deal and it is too late now when China is expansionist. I tried to fight but occupying 19 holdings in the fringe of my empire plus 10% from prisoners were enough for their 100% warscore, despite I had 1248 holdings. Our armies didn't even meet. It was frustrating so I loaded. Don't build holdings in the steppes if you want to fight China.

TIL you can change warscore calculations in https://ck2.paradoxwikis.com/Defines#Warscore
namely NDefines.NMilitary.VASSAL_SETTLEMENT_WARSCORE_MULTIPLIER = 0.3 and NDefines.NMilitary.TOTAL_OCCUPATION_SCALE = 0.8 to reflect that you don't care fringe counties.

ck2_26.jpg


I soon died after I loaded. Then China just great invaded me. So I made this monster. Still 119k after transferring vassels
ck2_28.jpg
ck2_30.jpg
 
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KingHaydenIII

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Just thought I'd post my last game before CK3 comes out, my Reformed Slavic Rurikid game:

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After much backstabbing and bloodshed, the grandson of Rurik of Novgorod, Rurik II has managed to forge the Kievan Rus! Continuous campaigns against fellow Slavs, Khazars, Finno-Ugrics and more recently the Balts.

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To unite the disparate peoples of the empire, Rurik has pursued a policy of religious reformation; combining elements of indigenous Slavic beliefs and elements of his ancestral Asatru customs into a coherent and fearsome religion to rival the Abrahamic religions.

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However, this has not come without cost. Proving his Norse ancestry, Rurik is personally responsible for hundreds of deaths, mostly of prisoners and personal slaves once he was finished with them. The civilized world trembles at the very mention of his name.

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While thoroughly rejecting Christian Europe, he has proven himself not above adopting their administrative apparatus; rapidly feudalising the tribal Rus peoples, not without some difficulty. He also understands the importance of the centralising power and prestige in Kiev, even building a great temple in an attempt to rival St. Peters in Rome or the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
 
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Panoramic361

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I noticed that the Karling Queen of Italie had converted to Adoptionism, the Catholic heresy, and since the two things I love most are giving the Catholics and the Karlings grief, I blessed her with luck. She won her claim wars for Lotharingia and Bayern, but then a vassal revolt of angry Catholics forced her to abdicate for her son -- as it turns out, from her first marriage to who else? -- a Macedonian ERE baslieus. So now the Adoptionist Macedonian King of the Franks (well at least a lot of them), a Karling on his mother's side, has a weak claim on the ERE, which is currently in the midst of civil war....

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