Crusader Kings 2

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Anyone else playing this? What do you think of it so far?

RPS has their review up: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/02/23/wot-i-think-crusader-kings-ii/#more-95722

I'm tempted to agree. Been having a lot of fun. At first it seemed a bit dry and overwhelming, but once I got out of my Total War fueled "must conquer everything" mindset it feels more natural.

Sent an email to a friend this morning detailing my first game thus far...it's a little sketchy and light on details and not remotely well written (sorry for that, limited time to polish something up at work), but it gives a good indication of how a game might progress. It's contained below in spoilers.

Anyone who likes strategy titles should take a look at the demo, at least. The game seems to have an almost Dwarf Fortress level ability to generate amusing tales of disaster.

I've been thinking of checking this out actually, as it really sounds like my kind of game. War, deceit and corruption. Good stuff!

Meh.

I own a good number of Paradox strategy games and have gotten kind of sick of them for now. I don't like the idea behind the game either. That's not to say others won't have fun with it though, and I hear that the game has gotten really good reviews.

Hm. I was considering waiting until the price went down a bit, and until the game was patched (I'm a Hearts of Iron III man, so I'm just programmed to wait for patches), however your thread has convinced me.

Once I get a bit of cash in my bank account, I'll pick the game up. I was always more of a fan of complex war scenarios (hence HoI III) than family politics, but you sold it pretty well.

On that note, how is the warfare in this game? I love me some military strategy, even when it isn't the game's primary focus.

And, how's the performance? Is it playable, or should I wait a while?

Octorok:
On that note, how is the warfare in this game? I love me some military strategy, even when it isn't the game's primary focus.

And, how's the performance? Is it playable, or should I wait a while?

Performance is fine. It's been rock solid for me so far, and it's not the kind of game that would make a system struggle.

Warfare is definitely not the game's strong suit. It's almost entirely hands off in terms of the actual battles. The dynamics of levies...how you get them...how many you get and why...is pretty fascinating though, and incredibly complex.

BloatedGuppy:

Octorok:
On that note, how is the warfare in this game? I love me some military strategy, even when it isn't the game's primary focus.

And, how's the performance? Is it playable, or should I wait a while?

Performance is fine. It's been rock solid for me so far, and it's not the kind of game that would make a system struggle.

Warfare is definitely not the game's strong suit. It's almost entirely hands off in terms of the actual battles. The dynamics of levies...how you get them...how many you get and why...is pretty fascinating though, and incredibly complex.

Shame. I understand that depth in some areas results in less focus on others, but I'm a military thinker at heart.

"They insulted our kingdom? WAR!"

"There was a vague political scandal? WAR!"

"They own land that I want? WAR!" and so on.

Octorok:
Shame. I understand that depth in some areas results in less focus on others, but I'm a military thinker at heart.

"They insulted our kingdom? WAR!"

"There was a vague political scandal? WAR!"

"They own land that I want? WAR!" and so on.

The hardest thing to get used to is the fact that, unlike in Total War (which is the closest cousin I can think of to CK2), I can't just storm over the border and start attacking things because I'm feeling like a dick. You need Cassus Belli to declare war. So you need some kind of claim on the land you're trying to seize. Either because you had your Chancellor forge some documents giving you a bogus claim on them, or because you found some 2nd cousin who had a distant claim and you married them into your dynasty so you could press their claim.

It's all very complex.

Needless to say just rampaging away isn't a great idea though. Too many provinces of too many different cultures and you're going to be in near constant rebellion, with all your subjects hatching plots to destabilize you. In that respect I actually prefer it to Total War, where, once you've reached a certain critical mass, your eventual victory is essentially assured.

BloatedGuppy:

Octorok:
Shame. I understand that depth in some areas results in less focus on others, but I'm a military thinker at heart.

"They insulted our kingdom? WAR!"

"There was a vague political scandal? WAR!"

"They own land that I want? WAR!" and so on.

The hardest thing to get used to is the fact that, unlike in Total War (which is the closest cousin I can think of to CK2), I can't just storm over the border and start attacking things because I'm feeling like a dick. You need Cassus Belli to declare war. So you need some kind of claim on the land you're trying to seize. Either because you had your Chancellor forge some documents giving you a bogus claim on them, or because you found some 2nd cousin who had a distant claim and you married them into your dynasty so you could press their claim.

It's all very complex.

Needless to say just rampaging away isn't a great idea though. Too many provinces of too many different cultures and you're going to be in near constant rebellion, with all your subjects hatching plots to destabilize you. In that respect I actually prefer it to Total War, where, once you've reached a certain critical mass, your eventual victory is essentially assured.

This was also (to a point) true of Victoria II. You could, technically, fight a war without a cause, but it was a pretty terrible idea, especially as a small nation.

I guess that's part of the fun. Finding interesting and imaginative ways to spark off a war you want. Makes you feel extremely Machiavellian, which cannot really be said of most other strategy games.

In fact, in any video game, it's those moments where you're forced to think creatively and you can't simply rely on everything to go "mechanically" that are by far the most rewarding.

I'll just post some observations I made to a friend on Steam chat here of my experience with the demo. I've got the game as well, but I haven't been bothered to chronicle my rise to power mediocrity managing to stay alive. Or my current juggling of vassals, grumpy family members, the king wanting my titles and that damn aunt in Menorca that keeps revolting all the time. I totally should have though. And next game I start I'll do a full AAR.

Fragments of Duke Vratislav II of Bohemias diary, dated between 1066 and 1084 by historians at the University of Prague:

So, my wife told me that my youngest brother was plotting to assassinate my other brother, next eldest from me and next in line of the duchy. So now my youngest brother is in prison, the bastard. Now to see if I can get his title revoked and give that to my third brother who hates my guts.

Also, I think I will betroth my 4 year old son to the 47 year old mother of the current German Emperor. Should give me a bit of prestige and she will likely die before it can happen.

Just betrothed my daughter to the eldest son the of German Emperor.

I released my brother Ota from prison, figuring he had learned his lesson after 2 years in the dungeon. He then proceed to kill our brother and his wife. I attempted to put him in prison again, but he fled and raised a revolt. He then managed to convince my nephew of my oldest and dead brother to join him. So I crushed Ota and stuck him in prison and am dealing with my nephew now. Ingrate. I gave him a county, married him to the queen mother of Poland and set him up with a title because I felt sorry for his dad kicking the bucket when he was a kid. This is the thanks I get? He's going to the dungeon as soon as I can manage it.

Aside from that, I've been busy marrying off my daughters and finding suitable girls for my sons and making sure they got educated in the great courts of Europe. One is at the court of the Emperor, one and the King of Poland, who is my brother in law and one at the court of the duke of Bayern or some such, who is the father in law of my oldest girl.

I had 5 brothers. The eldest was dead before game start, I inherited his duchy. I have 3 younger brothers, but the next eldest was killed as I told, by the youngest. So now, until my boy comes of age my middle brother is my heir. So I need to watch out for him. And the youngest in in prison, hopefully along side my nephew of my oldest brother soon.

The nephew was thrown in the dungeon, but mysteriously he died from an acute case of assassination while in there. Poor lad.

This is a nest of vipers! Now my damn nephews old hag of a wife is trying to kill my youngest brothers daughter. I can't have that. Might wreak havoc on the inheritance set up I'm trying to produce.

Now my eldest son is finally of age.

That's my boy! Plotting behind his fathers back. I currently have inheritance rules that means that the eldest of the dynasty takes all. My son don't like that, so I sent his mum to spy on him after I granted him a county. A month later she discovered his plot to change the laws to primogeniture inheritance. Ambitious boy!

However, I think I'll let the plot brew for now. I want to change those laws myself but can't do it without angering my middle brother. So I'll see if my son can fix it. Though it's reason for concern that my traitor youngest brother is backing him. It might have been a mistake to release him from the dungeon.

I really, really recommend this game to anyone who likes fun. To paraphrase Adam Smith from RPS: anyone who don't like the game is dead inside.

BloatedGuppy:

Octorok:
Shame. I understand that depth in some areas results in less focus on others, but I'm a military thinker at heart.

"They insulted our kingdom? WAR!"

"There was a vague political scandal? WAR!"

"They own land that I want? WAR!" and so on.

The hardest thing to get used to is the fact that, unlike in Total War (which is the closest cousin I can think of to CK2), I can't just storm over the border and start attacking things because I'm feeling like a dick. You need Cassus Belli to declare war. So you need some kind of claim on the land you're trying to seize. Either because you had your Chancellor forge some documents giving you a bogus claim on them, or because you found some 2nd cousin who had a distant claim and you married them into your dynasty so you could press their claim.

It's all very complex.

Needless to say just rampaging away isn't a great idea though. Too many provinces of too many different cultures and you're going to be in near constant rebellion, with all your subjects hatching plots to destabilize you. In that respect I actually prefer it to Total War, where, once you've reached a certain critical mass, your eventual victory is essentially assured.

Well, thats going to be a bit of a bitch when I get around to playing it. "Ok suckers, now that I have the crown, lets attack France. Why? Because its fucking France. Fuck those guys. I cant? Fuck. Well, I guess Germany then. No? Russia? Spain? Poland? Maybe Turkey? No? What the hell man. I thought killing brown people was encouraged in the times we live in."

Like a true king...

EDIT: Oh, I forgot. Hows the diplomacy? Because I am a sucker for good diplomacy. I could look over a lack of big battles if the diplomacy is good.

teh_gunslinger:
I'll just post some observations I made to a friend on Steam chat here of my experience with the demo. I've got the game as well, but I haven't been bothered to chronicle my rise to power mediocrity managing to stay alive. Or my current juggling of vassals, grumpy family members, the king wanting my titles and that damn aunt in Menorca that keeps revolting all the time. I totally should have though. And next game I start I'll do a full AAR.

Yeah I think this game would support some fantastic "Let's Play" threads, if you were willing to put a little zest into the storytelling. It's not quite at a Dwarf Fortress level of complexity in terms of being a hilarious failure-generator, but it's close, and it's about 10,000,000 times easier to play.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
EDIT: Oh, I forgot. Hows the diplomacy? Because I am a sucker for good diplomacy. I could look over a lack of big battles if the diplomacy is good.

Pretty good. Miles better than most games of this type, keeping in mind that a significant portion of your diplomatic score comes from "State Diplomacy", which is basically just how high your diplomacy score is (plus your wife, plus your Chancellor). But then there's stuff like...they hate you because you're patient and they're bold, or because they have a line on a title of yours, or because you've been raising their levies too often, or because you insulted them at the last feast, or because you're a leper. I'd like the opportunity to have more interactions with people outside of random events, but the system in place is functional and can produce some amusing results.

Here's a tip...don't legitimize your bastards if all your vassals are kinsmen. They don't think it's very funny.

That looks awesome, I hope it has a demo as I really need to check this out.

Dandark:
That looks awesome, I hope it has a demo as I really need to check this out.

It most certainly does.

http://www.fileplanet.com/224596/220000/fileinfo/Crusader-Kings-II-Demo

Is one spot I found it. Not sure why it's not on Steam, but I'm sure it will be at some point soon.

It is a truly brilliant game!

In my first game I I started as Count von Weimar, promptly stole the Duchy of Meissen from my brother....then my character was assassinated leaving his quite literally idiot son to rule over his lands, my vassals did not like that one bit. By some miracle (or as I thought at the time) I managed to become Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, lord over most of middle Europe. However no one likes an idiot on the throne, after five years 75% of my vassals turned on me and obliterated the Royal army within five battles. After a further two months of fighting I was forced to surrender to the rebelling Dukes, thus ending my campaign.

It was BRILLIANT!!!!

BloatedGuppy:
It most certainly does.

http://www.fileplanet.com/224596/220000/fileinfo/Crusader-Kings-II-Demo

Is one spot I found it. Not sure why it's not on Steam, but I'm sure it will be at some point soon.

Hmmm... thankee... thread bookmarked, I'll have to check that out later...

Wondered what you meant when you referenced this game upon replying to my post in that TW thread... looks intriguing. I take it it's all about what you can... contrive, regardless of what it is in regard to (i.e. politics/diplomacy).

SckizoBoy:
Hmmm... thankee... thread bookmarked, I'll have to check that out later...

Wondered what you meant when you referenced this game upon replying to my post in that TW thread... looks intriguing. I take it it's all about what you can... contrive, regardless of what it is in regard to (i.e. politics/diplomacy).

Well, if you took Medieval 2, and stripped away the RTS combat, and beefed up the turn based campaign map game several times over, you'd have Crusader Kings 2. So in terms of whether it would appeal to a Total War fan, it's kind of down to why you like Total War. If it's the RTS portion you enjoy, you'll be missing it here. And I do miss that, a little bit. But my favorite part of Medieval 2 was the dynasties, and the characters, and the stories that could rise up out of them, and Crusader Kings 2 takes that element and hits it out of the park.

And like Octorok says, the game is much less...mechanical...than Total War. In Total War, I can win my campaign in the first 10-20 moves. Sure, it's not over yet, but it's basically over...it's just a matter of playing out the string. Once you've consolidated your power base, you're pretty much going to roll downhill to the inevitable win. Same with games like Civilization. It takes a pretty stupid player, or a difficulty setting that allows for wild AI cheating, to get around this.

CK2...you could play your entire dynasty out and never get out of a single province. Things can, and will, escalate out of your control, often in ways you never could have anticipated. That's fun.

Looks like a slightly more compelling Europa Universalis 3. Can't wait until I have money again so I can buy it.

i think this is the game i've been looking for, in long time. With hearts of iron 3 as an exsample, there was to much to do (in my opinion) and you could not really get your own story going. Total war was a littlemore personal, yet the diplomacy is and will always be kinda dumb. And as a history freak it fealt kinda wierd attacking russia with prussia in Empire: total war, because it was part of my global domination plan. and you could win the game by buying countries "trust" when you got 1000000 a turn, yet this seems to get more of a story with it, and yet hold i compelling and new with every game. I SHALL TRY IT

I bought it, but I still can't find the time to play it. Good to see that my instincts were right and that it's another great RTS. Let's see how it pair against my favorite RTS of all time - Knights of Honor!

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Well, thats going to be a bit of a bitch when I get around to playing it. "Ok suckers, now that I have the crown, lets attack France. Why? Because its fucking France. Fuck those guys. I cant? Fuck. Well, I guess Germany then. No? Russia? Spain? Poland? Maybe Turkey? No? What the hell man. I thought killing brown people was encouraged in the times we live in."

Like a true king...

EDIT: Oh, I forgot. Hows the diplomacy? Because I am a sucker for good diplomacy. I could look over a lack of big battles if the diplomacy is good.

That's how my Brother plays. Dukes it out for a few decades as "Ultra-Aggressive Switzerland" eat up huge chunks of Austria, Italy and France and then comes and asks me why the whole of Europe hates him.

It's more like Game of Thrones the game than the actual Game of Thrones game.

I'd get it, but I'm short on cash, not sure if it's for mac, and don't think my computer could handle it (it starts to run slowly when playing Hearts of Iron 3)

I got it on release day, had to decide between GamersGate or Steam. So glad I chose the former, meant I could actually play it before 18:00 my time!

I've been enjoying it immensly, especially have played the first Crusader Kings, being able to see all the improvements.

Started as the Duke of Leinster (meant count of dublin, but he's the son, so he inhereits both right away) and have worked my way to Kingdom of Ireland, Wales, Scotland, 1 Duchy in England, 3 in Iberia and 2 in Africa.

4th best military might in the world!

Sam,

El Dwarfio:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Well, thats going to be a bit of a bitch when I get around to playing it. "Ok suckers, now that I have the crown, lets attack France. Why? Because its fucking France. Fuck those guys. I cant? Fuck. Well, I guess Germany then. No? Russia? Spain? Poland? Maybe Turkey? No? What the hell man. I thought killing brown people was encouraged in the times we live in."

Like a true king...

EDIT: Oh, I forgot. Hows the diplomacy? Because I am a sucker for good diplomacy. I could look over a lack of big battles if the diplomacy is good.

That's how my Brother plays. Dukes it out for a few decades as "Ultra-Aggressive Switzerland" eat up huge chunks of Austria, Italy and France and then comes and asks me why the whole of Europe hates him.

Trust me, when im done with the game there wont be a Europe left to hate me...

BloatedGuppy:
Once you've consolidated your power base, you're pretty much going to roll downhill to the inevitable win.

You sure about that? I dont know if I suck or if im putting the difficulty high, but I have been locked in decade long power struggles (that I have occasionally lost) with one faction in numerous Total War titles.

BloatedGuppy:

Dandark:
That looks awesome, I hope it has a demo as I really need to check this out.

It most certainly does.

http://www.fileplanet.com/224596/220000/fileinfo/Crusader-Kings-II-Demo

Is one spot I found it. Not sure why it's not on Steam, but I'm sure it will be at some point soon.

Thanks for the link, im downloading now.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
You sure about that? I dont know if I suck or if im putting the difficulty high, but I have been locked in decade long power struggles (that I have occasionally lost) with one faction in numerous Total War titles.

Well, I did specify that you can crank the difficulty level to give yourself something of a challenge, but the higher difficulty levels in TW don't result in a smarter AI or more interesting game play, you just take massive diplomacy penalties for no reason, and the enemy troops get huge combat bonuses, so now their spear levies are fighting like dismounted knights. It's not a particularly compelling way to implement a difficulty spike. The same is true of Civilization, where higher difficulty just means the AI is cheating its ass off. The result is a game that, while it may be mechanically challenging, it feels hollow and artificial.

And I'm not hacking on TW or Civ either, I love both those series intensely. I just appreciate CK2's ability to create a more organic challenge.

BloatedGuppy:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
You sure about that? I dont know if I suck or if im putting the difficulty high, but I have been locked in decade long power struggles (that I have occasionally lost) with one faction in numerous Total War titles.

Well, I did specify that you can crank the difficulty level to give yourself something of a challenge, but the higher difficulty levels in TW don't result in a smarter AI or more interesting game play, you just take massive diplomacy penalties for no reason, and the enemy troops get huge combat bonuses, so now their spear levies are fighting like dismounted knights. It's not a particularly compelling way to implement a difficulty spike. The same is true of Civilization, where higher difficulty just means the AI is cheating its ass off. The result is a game that, while it may be mechanically challenging, it feels hollow and artificial.

And I'm not hacking on TW or Civ either, I love both those series intensely. I just appreciate CK2's ability to create a more organic challenge.

Man, fuck this shit. I need to go scratch together some money. I need (ok, want) this game. The more I hear about it, the more I want it.

*Checks Steam*

Yeah, looks like it doesnt use any additional DRM either. Definitely a must buy. Expect me to come into this thread tomorrow or so and over my first impressions.

Alright, I've picked it up, and yeah, it's fun. I started as Munster in Ireland in 1066 or thereabouts, and by 1110, I've managed to unite the Kingdom of Ireland. Booyah! Now it's on to Wales. Maybe England too, though it actually belongs to Norway now.

Also, Mercenaries are awesome. Mercenaries: for all your unfriendly neighbor disputes.

http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?684

Some good AARs on the forums, there, for people who like that sort of thing.

Fat_Hippo:
Also, Mercenaries are awesome. Mercenaries: for all your unfriendly neighbor disputes.

I almost find mercenaries a little *too* indispensable when fighting at the Earl/Duke level, since actually having enough levies left over to crack open a siege after winning a field battle is rare. That said, I've read a few guides that underscore repeatedly how essential building up your holdings is, which is absurdly expensive, and having mercenaries funneling away your gold non stop would make that next to impossible.

The old guns or butter debate. But yeah, if you're a smaller duchy or earl and you fear incursion, it's good to keep a "float" of about 100 gold in case you need some last second mercenary intervention.

Fat_Hippo:
Maybe England too, though it actually belongs to Norway now.

Interesting. England threw off Norway in my game, and then a series of civil wars, and is now completely united. I WANT to unite Wales and declare myself a King, but I'm more than a little afraid of what England will do about that now that they're completely unoccupied. It's a little terrifying having a neighbor 10 times your size.

BloatedGuppy:
I almost find mercenaries a little *too* indispensable when fighting at the Earl/Duke level, since actually having enough levies left over to crack open a siege after winning a field battle is rare. That said, I've read a few guides that underscore repeatedly how essential building up your holdings is, which is absurdly expensive, and having mercenaries funneling away your gold non stop would make that next to impossible.

The old guns or butter debate. But yeah, if you're a smaller duchy or earl and you fear incursion, it's good to keep a "float" of about 100 gold in case you need some last second mercenary intervention.

Interesting. England threw off Norway in my game, and then a series of civil wars, and is now completely united. I WANT to unite Wales and declare myself a King, but I'm more than a little afraid of what England will do about that now that they're completely unoccupied. It's a little terrifying having a neighbor 10 times your size.

That's true, in these low-level conflicts of 1-2 province duchies fighting each other, it basically boils down to being able to afford mercenaries or not. If you have a casus belli on someone, and the money for cheap mercenaries + 5 months of wages, so about 90 gold, you WILL win, if he can't field his own. He may have 500 troops, you have 2'000. He simply can't win.

Now that I've taken Ireland, I've been investing a lot in economic buildings, to get my taxes up. It's a good feeling, going from 1 gold monthly income to 14.

One of the things I love most about these games is how history diverges, like the example of whether England can hold its own or not against Norway. Stuff like this can totally change how the later game develops.

I gotta love how everybody says "Oh, Hearts of Iron 3 was too complex for my tastes, but Crusader Kings II/Victoria II is a piece of cake". Are you people mad?!

My brain must be wired up poorly, because I look at the supply system of HoI3 and think "Yup. Crystal clear." and yet I earlier looked at Crusader Kings II and thought "Holy Hell, it's like if my iPod headphones could manifest themselves as game mechanics."

Nonetheless, I'm pleased with the purchase. EU3 never sat quite right with me, whereas this fills the "Medieval Era" niche perfectly for me.

It's the first game in a long, long time where I was forced to break out a pen and paper to help me keep track. I found that was an easier way of visualising the various family trees, relationships, claims on territories etc.

Octorok:
It's the first game in a long, long time where I was forced to break out a pen and paper to help me keep track. I found that was an easier way of visualising the various family trees, relationships, claims on territories etc.

The claims really get me. So far I've just married people off willy nilly, just looking for the best prestige marriage available, or the best collection of stats available, without thinking about the ramifications of what I've been doing. Lord knows how many far flung cousins now have tertiary claims on my titles. It's actually kind of terrifying.

Marry your daughters matrillianiary and keep them around. Allows you to breed more people of your dynasty. Encourage them to breed, and have the children educated with someone who has the "Content" trait, so the kids will get it to.

Then, give them a single Dukedom and 1 county! (I've actually modded it slightly so the "Same Dynasty" bonus is +25 instead of +5, meaning that my kinsmen are actually more trsutworthy and don't want to eat my spine for my crown!)

Meh. I just tried it and my biggest problem was that I loaded it up, looked at the map and went "Crap. Now what do I do" then got bored and quit. IM hoping I can get into it some other time but I have no idea how to play it.

Sam Eskenazi:
Marry your daughters matrillianiary and keep them around. Allows you to breed more people of your dynasty. Encourage them to breed, and have the children educated with someone who has the "Content" trait, so the kids will get it to.

Heh...I tried that in a previous game. Sadly the daughters in question were all ambitious and proud. You can imagine what happened as a result of that.

Dandark:
Meh. I just tried it and my biggest problem was that I loaded it up, looked at the map and went "Crap. Now what do I do" then got bored and quit. IM hoping I can get into it some other time but I have no idea how to play it.

The tutorial isn't particularly gripping, and is unfortunately a little buggy in spots. There's a PDF manual online that you can get the same information from. If it helps, my initial reaction to the demo was virtually identical to yours, and I turned it off on the first tutorial bug thinking "I guess this isn't my cup of tea".

Really, my advice would be to start very small, as an Earl or Count, to get a handle on things. Most people recommend Ireland as a starting nation, and I concur.

I didn't really start warming to it until the first time things went completely haywire. After that I was pretty absorbed.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked