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    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

Werewhale

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Saltborn
A Crovan AAR


Referred to in-game as the Duchy of the Isles, the real-world Kingdom of the Isles, or sometimes Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, has a centuries-long history of viking influence, beginning with the sacking "of all the Isles of Britain" in 793 according to the Irish annals and hosting the appearance of several named vikings such as Soxulf in 837, Turges in 845 and ah screw this crap.

This is me, Duke Gudrod Haraldson Crovan of the Isles:


I'm a fairly good diplomat but mediocre in everything else. Also, I am a Norwegian and my vassals are all either Scottish or Irish, all of them hate me and each is about as strong as I am. Furthermore, The Isles are de jure a part of the Kingdom of Scotland, so King Malcolm hates my guts as well. My only redeeming quality is wedding the daughter of King Harald of Norway, making anyone think twice before attacking me.

So what can I do?

Werewhale's Crusader Kings 2 Tip #1: In order to resist expansion, one must expand himself.

The primary target is the Isle of Mann, a de jure county of the Duchy of the Isles, ruled by an independent and friendless Count. After that, the obvious path to glory is the conquest of Ireland, one independent ruler at a time, while minding the network of alliances that so often appear in such clusters.

Of course, all this speculation is rendered totally moot by the fact that I can barely field enough men to siege a single castle.


And with a monthly income of 1.11, it's going to take a while to build up the infrastructure to be able to invade much of anything. So in the meantime, I kill time by taking a look at the Council screen:


At least I have a good Marshal, whom I send to Train Troops in my only province. The Steward will be sent to Collect Taxes in the same, while the Spymaster and Chancellor go to my more disloyal vassals in order to improve relations or, failing that, discover plots. The Chaplain will research Cultural Tech until I feel like sending him off to kiss the Pope's arse.



This happens all the time. I 'Ignore' it every time, so I won't bother to post it again.


My daughter Helga is peddled off like a cheap whore as soon as she turns 16. Earl Domnall is the Count of Oriel, an Irish province. I think I was hoping to get some sort of claim that way. Or maybe I was just getting rid of her before she would have the time of whining about her single status and all the major players Want Better Alliances.


That I actually chose this option goes to show how awfully boring October is in the Isles. 7 months of income for Religious Flexibility? Gudrod, how many heathens do you see around here? Bah.

The leisure time offers me an excellent opportunity to watch the intrigue of my vassals, however...


Turns out that Carrick and Galloway are owned by close relatives, and Count Mac Congáil is ruthlessly getting rid of his kinsmen in order to move himself up the inheritance ladder.

Werewhale's Crusader Kings 2 Tip #2: When your vassals are fighting one another, they aren't fighting you.

...

...

...

Tradeeladeedaah...

...

Hmm, oh look! My Spymaster has a bit of a frowny-face, let's fix that.


Werewhale's Crusader Kings 2 Tip #3: Honorary Titles cost nothing. Use Them.



At least I'm gettin' some, right guys? C'mon guys, yeah!

Also, the succession is secured. I'd hate to give it up to my half-brother, who is an even greater buffoon than me. I name the kid Harald in honour of his grandfathers. Yes, both of them.

Hey, how's the military situation, anyway? Maybe I should think about invading Mann, eh?


Well damn. I'm not sure what happened here but my guess is that the Count of Mann was the father of this guy Fingal, who inherited the island when he died. Furthermore, our friend Mac Congáil is Fingal's son, but Fingal has another son, Gofraid, who will inherit Mann when he dies according to Gavelkind law, while Mac Congáil gets Galloway. But Mac Congáil wants the whole cake, so he's sending all he's got at the kid.



THEN




Finally, in 1074, I decide to take up hunting to keep me sane. I really see no reason to pick the other options in this event-chain, except for getting the 'Falconer' trait. You get a good trait and an opinion bonus with everyone who shares it.


Now, a look at how my finances are doing:


Ah, excellent! A 40% increase over nine years! If I can keep this up, I'll hit my target of +10/month in just under 50 years!


My wife decides to plop out another son. Which would be great except my Gavelkind succession means that even if I manage to get another fief, my holdings will be split up between my sons. This is also the reason I haven't created the Duchy of Galloway, of which I control 2/3 counties. If I would, my heirs would be split into two separate states. This way, they will at least be united. Somewhat.



Mac Congáil is up to his old tricks, succeeding in offing his baby brother. This pisses old man Fingal off something fierce, so he asks me to deal with the situation. I give him a claim to his boy's titles, deeming it the most appropriate way to pour oil on the fire. I'm not too bothered about the opinion malus. If Mac Congáil succeeds, he is going to have a devil of a time keeping his barons and bishops in check.

Meanwhile, I busy myself with raising my heir Harald.


I am not raising a fat-ass, and luckily for him he loses the 'Gluttonous' trait. As a general rule, the seven deadly sins are bad traits and the virtues are good.


I teach him bravery so that his vassals may respect him.


What am I, a saint? 'Proud' gives a prestige boost with no downsides except an opinion penalty from 'Humble' characters.


I'm so proud of him! 'Deceitful' gives a boost to Intrigue.

He becomes 'Just', 'Charitable' and 'Zealous' as well, providing considerable boosts to vassal opinion and piety. Seeing that my boy is turning out to be a strong and solid man of integrity, I trust him to continue on his own.

 

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Werewhale

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My name is Harald Gudrodson Crovan of the Isles and I'll turn 15 in November. Mom's helping out with the details of being a Duke but I think I could handle it on my own. I'm really mature for my age!



Sister Eldrid went off to marry the guy she had been betrothed to. I wish I could remember who Fedelmid MacMac is. Probably the heir of some Irish county, Dad was always trying to butter those guys up. Turns out he's the heir to the County of Carrick, the son of our friend Mac Congáil, who has succeeded in gaining control of his father's holdings by himself. This means he controls 3 out of 5 provinces in our little realm. The marriage was probably supposed to ensure good relations. It also gives children of the union claims on our titles. Oops.


I thought I was being really clever when I invited this guy over to my court. I was looking forward to pressing his claim in Wales, proving my worth in combat and expanding my realm, when I realised he wouldn't become my vassal at all, since Perfed-mumblemumble is not a de jure part of any title I hold. Owain still languishes in my court with no-one willing to pursue his claim.


Instead I came up with this method of expansion. I marry the Countess of Atholl, and our kids will inherit us both! Perfect!


Today I turned 16! I am a man full-grown now, but I have to wait a bit before I can marry my beloved Catriona. I got my grades, too. Apparently I'm a thoroughly mediocre man. That will not do!


I'll show them all!

Starting with you!


"Werewhale, what are you doing?"
Now now, bear with me. As a Lord, I take a -75% modifier to income from personally held cities. With City Taxes at 25%, this would mean nothing changes except I don't have to deal with a mayor who might pay me less than normal. BUT, if I plop down a Steward to Collect Taxes, I get a +x% modifier on the tax income. This +x% is NOT added to the result after the Wrong Holding penalty, but stacks with it. So if your Steward gives a +40% boost, you go from 25% tax to 60% tax, almost doubling your income. This early in the game, the city only barely reaches my capital holding in income, but later on as you finish more upgrades you can get huge amounts of cash this way. And with no other viable means to expand, I feel this is a strong move.

The levies are still crap, mind. And make sure your vassals are in a good mood. Here, Harald's traits cancel out the opinion penalty for revoking a title.


Yay, I can finally start makin' babies! She first suggested we marry matrilineally. I had almost accepted before I read the fine print. Watch out for that.


I gave that bitch a horse. Bitches love horses. 15 gold is a small price to pay for a happy wife.

Meanwhile, I receive disturbing reports from Ireland.


Meath has been expanding like a plague with inheritances and warfare alike, and seem hell-bent on taking over the whole island. I'd like to say that I'll have to step up my own efforts, but my Chancellor has been hard at work trying to fabricate some claims on Ulster since I began playing, but with nothing to show for it.


My brother Halfdan comes of age, turning out as a fairly good soldier and commander. He'll probably start pestering me soon for a title, but firstly I don't have any to give and secondly he's an ambitious twat so I wouldn't give him any even if I did.


Dad was wrong. Spring is apparently the most boring time in the Isles.


Aw man, I love these people! Still, that's my nephew she's plotting to kill, someone should do something.

Yeah.

Someone totally should.

But now for something completely different:

I've been spending most of my money on economic improvements. This means my levies are still diminuitive, but in the long run I'll have more economic momentum to keep building. It's a give-take affair with no clearly superior choice between going for military or economic upgrades early. For me, it seems to pay off going this route, since no-one has attacked me.

Yet.


God damn you, Fedelmid! How can you get a claim like it ain't no thang while I'm out in the cold for years? This is not what I had in mind when I mentioned expanding into Ireland!

Carrick now controls 4 out of 6 provinces in the realm, but one will take five years to assimilate. Bah. I move my efforts to Tyrone, the neighbouring province, and cross my fingers.


YES! It only took 4 more otherwise uneventful years, but I finally have a claim to press! A quick look at the diplomatic mode reveals that Tyrone only has the Welsh duchy of Deheubarth to call, so I'm safe to go to war for this.


I won't beat around the bush: They didn't put up much of a fight. Also, what you see there is my maximum army. Yup. I am not a major player.

Yet.

The bad news is that I have two sons: Gunnar and Torgil. I still have Gavelkind(Past-Werewhale thought it would be more fun to keep it that way. I don't like Past-Werewhale), so he will inherit Tyrone(but still swear fealty to Gunnar).

Meanwhile, I find out that good old Fedelmid of Carrick-and-most-everything-else, my brother-in-law, has gotten himself a claim on Teviotdale, which is a part of Scotland. I consider for a while if I should think about pressing it when I realise I don't want him growing even stronger. Screw that.

THEN!


ohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrap

It begins. The Duke of Moray fabricates a claim on Innse Gaill, my starting province, and the only province of mine that actually generates income. Fffffffffffffffffff

I just hope Scotland keeps himself busy elsewhere.

Right?


To make matters worse, I'm falling behind in the Scramble for Ireland.


Way behind. Meath just needs one more province before he can crown himself King of Ireland. That will make further expansion... difficult.

"But Werewhale! Just create the Duchy of Ulster and conquer those two little guys on your border!"

I wouldn't gain anything but two unruly vassals. With No Feudal Taxes, I get no money, and with the Declared War and Foreigner opinion penalties, I would gain little to no levies either. I'd much rather fabricate a claim and take the provinces for myself. Even if it takes twenty years to get a return investment.

Then again, it's only a matter of time before the Scots come at me, so I take things easy, stock up on cash and pray they pick a moment when I am strong enough to-


There is absolutely no way that this could ever go horribly wrong.
 

loki100

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well someone had to let the Crovans out ... good start

but with one problem:

you need to keep to the rules on screenshots, no more than 20 per post (& that includes smileys etc

No need to adjust what is there, just keep to this in future.

You're also find it makes the AAR a bit easier for potential readers, its often the case that 'less is better' for screenshots
 

Werewhale

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This is me, Gunnar Haraldssen Crovan of the Isles.

As you can see, I'm a pretty cool guy. Temperate, smart, popular, realistic and confident. You can also see my asswad little brother in Tyrone. He's an idiot, but he's my brother, so he can stay there. Still, he seems to think he should be the Duke, not I, so we're not on good terms right now. I mean come on, it's obvious I deserve it more than him, even if I weren't the older brother. What's he doing in Ty-rone anyway? Learning to read or some crap? I'm so much older and more experienced, just bein' straight-up awesome and making out with the hottest chicks.


(No, not with Sigrid. Eurgh! She's my aunt!)

All in all, things are pretty sweet here in the Isles. What could possibly


I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT A CATHAY IS

okokokokokokokok

I can handle this!

I can handle this!

I can handle this!

Hey wait a minute. That's not Scotland attacking me. It's just the Duke of Moray on a private adventure. I might actually win this!

Ok. First things first. We've been expecting this, so we have some cash stored up. There is only one thing to do!


A skirmish in December results in the capture of the Bishop of Elgin. I don't know where Elgin is but I look forward to ransoming him when the war is over.

A quick look at the finances reveals that I have three years to win this war, not counting loot and army losses.

In the middle of this, I decide to grow up.

I skimped on my diplomacy classes(I can let my Chancellor do all that stuff anyway so why bother?) but I've got the clandestine stuff pretty well covered.

I decide to show dad and gramps how it's done and choose to Become Exalted Amongst Men. The current war should put me well on my way. Assuming that I win. Which I will.


BOOM HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES HUH?!


AND DON'T YOU EVER COME BACK HERE!

Ah, that was certainly exhilarating. Sadly, I don't gain any prestige from the peace deal itself, but Moray loses 200, a lot for an early-game duke, and the claim. Boo-yah.

With my throne secure, it is time to secure the succession. Looking through the BrideFinder, as well as ringing up a couple of kings manually, I find no beneficial alliance opportunities at all, so I'm forced to look for other aspects in my potential wife. How about ohsweetmama look at this broad:


Screw the prestige hit, it's time to murder my way to the top. Just after I get on top! Right guys? Whoo! Women! Misogyny! Ha!

Meanwhile my sisters come of age. Gjertrud becomes an Intricate Webweaver and Ragnhild Maria a Grey Eminence. Both have decided to adopt Welsh culture. I have to be more careful in the future when choosing guardians. I don't want to end up with a Greek heir and get all kinds of trouble. Anyway, Gjertrud hates my guts something fierce, so I'm keeping her close. Ragnhild Maria is more pliable, and has a respectable diplomacy stat of 22. Maybe that could attract someone powerful to make an alliance with the House of Crovan?


BOOM! Danish warshield is activate!

After that, what do? Well, my Chancellor still hasn't managed to get me a claim on Tyrconnell(the county to the west of Tyrone), so I decide to go against the advice of Dad and create the Duchy of Ulster in preparation for subjugating the Irish counts by force. I do this to make sure I get there before Meath, who has annexed Connacht by this time. I can worry about their loyalty later on.

On March 15, Earl Áed of Tyrconnell swears fealty to me after a lopsided war.

The next couple of years float by gently. I buy a bird for my darling wife, then spend six months in the town square buying baubles that catch my eye. On May 22 in the year 1112 we have a son, who we name Bård. By the end of October 1114 she's pregnant again. Things are pretty good, but I'm not content. It irks me to no end that my good-for-nothing little brother is hanging out in Tyrone, which should, let's face it, rightfully be mine. I'm the elder and wiser, he's just a little brat. It's time I made use of my wife's affinity for cloak-and-dagger operations!


And I thought family dinners were awkward before!


[HR][/HR]
Last post before I go to sleep. I'll be posting less frequently after this(I'm aiming for an average of 3-5 times a week), I just wanted to get off to a good start. Thanks for the comments! I hope to keep you entertained for while!
 
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Alex Borhild

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Hilarious. I look forward to following the adventures of the Kings of the Isles (and hopefully, of Ireland).
 

Stuyvesant

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Ah, the Crovans, such fond memories... Just watch out for outhouses and bears, okay?

Anyway, you seem to be much more successful than the previous incarnation of the Crovans that caught my attention. So things will be different this time round. Good luck and let's see if you can steer clear of the bad luck that haunted the aforementioned Crovans. :)
 

Werewhale

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AAAAAAAAAAAA WHAT WILL I DO

Hey wait a minute, didn't I effortlessly whoop this guy's ass three and a half years ago?

Yes.

Yes I did.


OH SNAP!

One month rebellion. That has got to be some kind of a record, and I don't mean the good kind!

Furthermore, because Earl Áed is a filthy traitor, I can revoke one(1, uno) title of my choice from him. After much deliberation I claim the County of Tyrconnell. Looks like creating the Duchy of Ulster is paying off after all!

I failed to foresee another consequence of this action, however. As I now control two counties, they can be split between my two sons. While Bård inherits my primary title, Duke of the Isles, and Innse Gaill, which is a part of aforementioned duchy, Harald will inherit the Duchy of Ulster, along with the County of Tyrconnell. I really have to get working towards Primogeniture...

That is complicated, however, by one very(rightly) angry vassal:


But then, just before Christmas, I get a piece of very very disturbing news:


Mine brother, thou hast verily been burned!

The twit is unmarried, having just barely come of age, and has no children. He will rot in the dungeons untill the day he dies, and then TYRONE IS FINALLY MINE AHAHAHAHA!

I go to tell Mother the good news but I find that she has died in her sleep.

I really should feel bad about that but...


I had a devil of a time feigning hysterical sorrow at the funeral when all I wanted was to sing and dance.

There's really not much for me to do now but wait for my brother to die and leave his title to me but to quietly develop the holdings I have and kick my feet up and relax.

Ah...

THEN:


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

okokokokokokok!

EVERYBODY JUST CHILL DOWN

HELMSMAN, ACTIVATE THE DANISH WARSHIELD

FOOLISH DRUNKARD, NOW YOU SHALL FEEL THE POWER OF


And that's after I joined every one of his stupid Baltic ventures! GAAAAAH UNGRATEFUL BASTARD

OK, I can still handle this. I'll just buy more mercenaries. If I can beat off Moray, I can beat off Scotland. Just needs more mercs is all.

First things first, getting rid of that pesky siege in Atholl:


YES!


YES!


AAAAAAAAAAAA REGROUP REGROUP REGROUP


YES YES YES TAKE IT


YES TAKE IT YOU SAUCY MINX BEND OVER AND TAKE IT


OOOOOOOOHHHHHHMMMMMMMYYYYYYGGGGOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDD


OHYESOHYESOHYESOHYESOHYESGODGODGODGODGODYESYES
HHNNNNNNNNGGGGGGHHHH



...

 

USSR

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Aww, not the pc... how will you continue this awesome aar without ur pc :(...

PS Subscribed
 

Qorten

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It's funny, but don't take the 'fuck-and-shit-words' too far please (and stop the penis pictures, this is a family friendly forum).
 

Axe27

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How I feel when I'm winning a war: "Now I need to get the sieges going."
How I feel when my King dies fighting a tiny levy: "FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-*ragequit*"