Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Let's Play CK2: The Song of our People

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Vaarna_Aarne, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Vaarna_Aarne Ask me about anime Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    Denmark and Poland were too busy warring with each other over crown claims to notice me. Sweden was dealt with permanently early on, and Norway is constantly on the lookout against Danish-Lithuanian invasion. Generally as a pagan you're golden once you have an entire duchy and then some under your control, since Warrior Cult really gives you a defensive advantage early on (you essentially have double the manpower for each province for first half of the game).

    As for Golden Horde... You'll find out soon enough (tomorrow).
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  2. Kayerts Savant

    Kayerts
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    Ha, fair enough. It'll be interesting to see your approach.
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  3. Vaarna_Aarne Ask me about anime Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    The Duchess of Bjarmia revolts against the newly ascended King Otso I, but the rebellion is quickly and effortlessly put down. This is why you keep your vassals dispersed and weak.

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    Third time's the charm. The Golden Horde has converted twice before this, first to Catholicism, then to Sunni and now they're Catholic again. This is a major Bad Shit thing, since Mongolians never lose their "wtf is this shit" tribal invasion casus belli. Something has to be done.

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    The former Duchess is stripped of her ducal title and thrown into the deepest pits of the dungeon. You should never let a vassal you revoked titles from leave the dungeon, either assassinate them or let them rot. They have a -80 relations to you, and I don't think it ever goes away.

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    With the fall from grace of the House of Pryazha, a hopefully more loyal duke is appointed in Samoyedia. He is Romuva for now, but the Romuva Question is being dealt with.

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    :rage:

    I'LL SHOW YOU ACTION!

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    A conspirator is jailed in Ääninen.

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    The Piasts have been driven out of Poland. The house of Pomorski is the new dominant dynasty, but Piasts would regularly challenge them for the crown of Poland from Denmark-Lithuania, but always unsuccesfully as eventually the Piasts would once again start infighting over the crown of Denmark-Lithuania.

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    The political borders. As you can see, Golden Horde poses a major threat and must be dealt with. However, due to Mongols being cheating bastards I can't fight them directly...

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    Romuva is being stamped out in favor of the old gods of the North they displaced (somehow).

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    The problem seems to be House Bidz, but eventually they will all convert.

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    Like I said, eventually.

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    Our trusted ally, the High Chief of Livonia dies. His son is talented, and takes his father's place as our Marshal. The Duchy of Livonia is by far my most trusted region in the realm, it has never rebelled and has always stood by me and provided ample levies.

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    There's a war going on in Bjarmia. The Chief of Dvina is trying to institute elective monarchy...

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    ... And our old foe, the former Duchess is trying to regain her ducal power.

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    I decide to support the High Chief of Bjarmia, and send guards to imprison his enemies. The Chief of Dvina is easily caught and thrown into the dungeon. Countess Vanamo eludes the guards and rallies her forces to war. I prefer it this way...

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    ... For crushing her is no effort at all. But more importantly, I can strike the final blow against her, and revoke her title. One of our long-standing enemies is ousted from the politics of the realm, and stability is greatly improved in Bjarmia.

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    High Chief Andyamo is victorious. Romuva is further culled from the elites of Bjarmia.

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    Countess Pilvi is one of our most potentially dangerous enemies. Luckily, she is old and without children, thus she can be easily replaced...

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    It seems he's contemplating suicide.

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    We begin the War Of Assassins against Golden Horde. Several Khagans are found with their throats cut in a span of a few days, causing anarchy and chaos in the empire (this is also what made me start thinking about fixing the independence CB, NO ONE of those fighting against them succeeded).

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    I mean, if they can just handwave this kind of rebellion with a series of white peaces, something is fucked up.

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    Rostov is the only duchy that remains loyal to the Tsar of the Golden Horde, because the Duke is too much of a pussy to rebel. This must be rectified.

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    This is his heir apparent.

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    This is the boy Tsar. Notice how delicious the trainwreck from having the head of a huge realm being assassinated can be.

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    I don't know where this asshole came from, but he's perfect for our goals (= not Content).

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    He switches his style though. Not sure if Duke sounds more prestigious than Prince-Archbishop.

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    We continue to foment inanity in the Golden Horde. Otso I dies after what seemed like an eternity, and his aging grandson takes the throne as Armas I.

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    The Tsar was too old, he had to die.

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    I can deal with an older Tsar, as long as...

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    ... EVERYONE is pissed.

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    We hold a Grand Tournament and discover the meaning of "brethren before wenches"...

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    ... And promptly die. The grandson of the king (who looks suspiciously like GarfunkeL) is coronated as Otso II. It's slightly troubling that Otso II was wounded in a hunting accident before his coronation. Hopefully nothing bad happens.

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    There's an internal squabble going on in the Duchy of Karelia. We don't bother to get involved.

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    We marry the daughter of the Chief of Pohjanmaa.

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    King Otso II sees that the time has come to strike outwards and expand! Our spymaster is sent to fabricate claims on Novgorod.

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    We imprison the Countess of Satakunta in order to make sure shit stays quiet while we wait for our health to recover.

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    Huzzah! It is time to get busy!

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    The War of Assassins continues. Come at me bro.

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    Well, I didn't plan on killing you anyway. There's enough problems for you already, and your heir is an adult.

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    We resist the temptation to experiment on sex change operation as a form of torture.

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    This is a really good event, it can give you the Charitable trait. Also, our son has a stutter, but luckily nothing particularly severe.

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    There's some hijinks going on in the realm while we attack Novgorod. We jail the perpetrator, since it's the least troublesome way.

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    Khwazirim is weak, and falls easily to our mighty assault.

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    One of the most valuable provinces in Europe is under our rule. However, there's something amiss, for the Khwazirim-Ilkhanate split had left certain holdings in Ilkhanate hands. This means war! Which we'd have anyway, since our spymaster is busy making new claims. The Duchy of Novgorod shall be conquered utterly and added to our realm.
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  4. Kayerts Savant

    Kayerts
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    :bro:
    You sneaky bastard, that was great. Loved the War of Assassins and the suicidal courtier.
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  5. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
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    You'll end needing to hire a Potato Twitcher to prevent the assassins of kings of causing havoc.
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  6. Vaarna_Aarne Ask me about anime Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    But... I am the assassin of kings (technically khagans).
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  7. Luzur Prestigious Gentleman Good Sir

    Luzur
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    Finlands sak är Vår, ya know.
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  8. Vaarna_Aarne Ask me about anime Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    As we left, we still had Ilkhanate baronies left to mop out from our newly acquired Novgorod (obviously ancestral land stolen by evil X-men).

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    Assaulting and driving out the Easterners is a simple task for our mighty armies, now we will simply wait.

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    Bol Dorki is a castle built here by the conquering Mongols, and our target. As you can see, our cities and temple are still run by Muslims (both Mongol and Russian) even after conquest, so something must be done about that too...

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    The Russian mayor is the first to be evicted from these blessed lands. Amazingly, the new bastion of Orthodoxy in Rus, the duchy of Vitebsk takes him under their wing as he is exiled.

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    The Sheikh of Tikhvin will face exile next. Also, we are working on forging claims in Bezhetsky Verh, to create a land connection for our people across the majestic lake Ladoga once more.

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    The Sheikh of Tikhvin, a vile Turk, flees rather than face the execution that'd surely await him.

    You can revoke titles from vassals that belong to a different religious group. As you might expect, this is very useful for "ethnic cleansing" of the court for Pagans due the Pagan player usually being the last of his religious group.

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    We appoint a proper shaman to Tikhvin. This actually marks the beginning of the ascension of a new landed noble house to our ranks, as from here onwards House Maunu would grow in importance and gain great holdings for such a new house.

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    The Mufti of Luga is sent an ultimatum. Leave, or face the armies of the Finns.

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    He accepts our demands and is exiled. I must say, the Orthodox Russians are rather forgiving for traitors and collaborators.

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    The war for Bol Dorki continues. Eventually the Ilkhanate will give in.

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    Even with war raging, things go by peacefully, with minor disputes between subjects occupying far more of the king's time.

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    An envoy from the shores of Aral arrives at last, bearing news of the Khagan's willingness for peace rather than continue a fruitless war.

    Meanwhile, the duchess of Karelia is plotting. We disregard her "evidence", for we are Just and above such vicious small-minded feuds.

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    Bol Dorki is ours, marking total conquest of the province of Novgorod.

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    A young nobleman from the shores of Estonia is made Hetman of Bol Dorki, so as to build a new minor house in the court. It is wise to give baronies to new and unknown houses, to ensure loyalty and weakness, and of course new breeding stock for the royal family.

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    Our boy is a man now. He is pretty good, but could be better, needs Ambition and Diligence to be a truly great king.

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    Prince Kullervo is married to the daughter of the High Chief of Bjarmia, thus securing good relations there. Sadly, father-in-laws and brother-in-laws don't have relationship bonuses.

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    Years later, the High Chief rewards our confidence and produces claims for Bezhetsky Verh. To war!

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    The county belongs to the aforementioned Duchy of Vitebsk, the strongest Rus power in the aftermath of the decline of the Golden Horde. They are no match for our fierce warriors, for Christ is a weak god who only enslaves free men.

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    A Vitebskian army of 4000 men is crushed by our massive band of 18000 warriors in the Battle of Zarechnaya, in Bezhetsky Verh. The mayor of Borisow is sacrificed to the Bear for strength, and his remains are fed to the fishes of Ladoga for the favour of Ahti.

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    Vitebsk still has armies, but they are needed to fight against remaining Muslim successor states in Rus. We march to their capital unopposed and lay siege.

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    Our daughter is married to our loyal allies, the House of Turku and the new High Chief of Livonia.

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    Vasilko, true to his title as the Ill-Ruler, is forced to accept our demands.

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    Russian Orthodox mayor of Sonkovo is exiled, and he flees to his homeland of Vitebsk.

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    We briefly contract measles.

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    Current borders. Our aim is to seize the duchy of Novgorod and spread our people and faith there.

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    In quick succession, our good ally the High Chief of Bjarmia produces claims for both Velikiy Luki and Pskov.

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    As a kind soul, King Otso II spends much of his time tending his garden.

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    Velikiy Luki is currently out of our reach, but luckily within months we also gained claim on Pskov. Vasilko's son is about to learn why his father feared the Men of the North and their pagan gods.

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    All of Pskov is quickly seized by our massive army there.

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    Koz'ma sees that it is better to concede to us than for Vitebsk to burn. No doubt he intends to strengthen by conquering the small Muslim states around him (at this point Russia is in religious upheaval due to Ilkhanate and Golden Horde).

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    In the next five years, Velikiy Luki is also seized, and Muslim heathens are driven out one by one (the network of baronies is pretty impressive.

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    Russians...

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    ... And Mongols alike are thrown out. As you can see, there's been a culture shift in Velikiy Luki. It's a Persian province now, something that will eventually be rectified I'm sure.

    We realize that Golden Horde is awfully close to recovering, so new War of Assassins is begun. The Khagan is killed and we send assassins after his teenage son as well.

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    The guardian of the boy, Bishop Kirill, doesn't take too well to this and tries to poison us. Luckily we have produced claims on Zaozerye, and so we can march to war in revenge.

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    Even with their power broken by decades of rebellions, the Russo-Mongol armies are nothing to scoff at. This will be the bloodiest war we have waged.

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    As the main army attacks the Westernmost horde and our other forces are gathering for the fight, King Otso II has a new side emerge as he becomes wroth with his despicable enemies and fight relentlessly to kill them all.

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    The battle of Zaytsevo is over. It is one of the bloodiest seen in Europe, with thousands dead and dying. It also marks the greatest military defeat the Golden Horde has ever suffered.

    As poetic justice, Bishop Kirill took part in the battle and is slain at the blades of free men. Russian bishops and counts fall prisoner rather than face his fate. They are thrown to rot in the dungeons of Kalevan until suitable punishment is decided upon.

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    The army is chased to the fields of Glushkovo, and more nobles fall prisoner. They are brought before the King in chains, and beheaded.

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    Golden Horde is fighting rebels in Chud and Vologda. Our three great armies converge on Chud, aiming for fast victory against the horde there.

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    The bishop spared at Zaotsevo has the nerve to complain. But we are just, so he is spared the Oubliette.

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    Timur approaches. Contracts with the Elite Ninja Assassin Corps Finnish Branch are renewed.

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    Seems to me Tsar Feodor could use some instability in his realm...

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    But before we see to that, he admits defeat and Zaozerye becomes our possession. Plans of expansion into Hlynov in addition to Novgorod are being drawn, in order for more defensible borders to be made. And you know, it's totally within our ancestral claims and all that.

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    This is the present map of Europe. Denmark-Lithuania is united again for a change, Sweden is recovering after centuries of rebuilding and has joined the Holy Roman Empire, and the effects of our assassinations in Golden Horde and Ilkhanate have been delicious. I despise having large, stable countries near me.

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    The religious map. Orthodoxy is actually most common in the Middle-East now due to me never noticing that the Byzantine Empire is an unstoppable juggernaut if left without player attention, so it's not a rare religion despite being almost extinct in Rus.
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  9. Kayerts Savant

    Kayerts
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    Was there much you could realistically have done to stop it? Sure, there's always murder, but even a drooling, inbred child empress is pretty capable of squashing any rebellion against the crown.
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  10. Vaarna_Aarne Ask me about anime Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    I did take a look at things later, but actually even instability by murder isn't an option. Even with a female toddler with no heirs the lowest possible relations for Byzantine vassals was 20, which is IMO total bullshit.

    In general, BE needs some major fixing. For one thing, it needs a major penalty modifier for the first century of the game that makes it a veritable paper tiger any of its neighbours could beat, removal of the BE title as a de jure title and made into titular only (so they have harder time controlling their massive area), AND some hardcore CBs and bonus troop events for some mean oiled Turks next to them, so they're likely to end up hunkering down in their core territory in Thracia. Basically, if you ask me playing the Byzantine Empire and not collapsing like a house of cards should be THE challenge of the game.
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  11. Kayerts Savant

    Kayerts
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    Agreed that it's got issues in-game. Part of it's that Paradox gets a bit dreamy-eyed at any mention of ~*~THE SECOND ROME~*~. But the bigger problem is in how favorable CK2's mechanics are to big countries. The other empires at least come with weaknesses--the caliphate has to deal with a constant stream of crusades, the Mongols' invasion mechanics doom them to eternal civil war, and the HRE at least has the potential to be invaded by powerful Catholic kings. (Only a human will be able to pull it off, but the option's there.) The ERE's more or less ironclad, though. Even the Mongols can't launch a proper invasion on them. It's easy for a human to take their throne by marriage, but that's it.

    Better CBs would help. If you go with a historical start during Alp Arslan's wars, the Turks get an occupational invasion CB, which seems fair. I don't really follow the reasoning behind your other changes, though. The ERE had some setbacks but was historically p. damned strong throughout most of the 12th century under the Komnenos dynasty. Also, it's not clear that making the imperial title titular wouldn't actually a buff; titular titles can never be usurped, and if some asshole player institutes elective succession for a titular title, then he'll be the sole elector and can name his heir at will.
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  12. Vaarna_Aarne Ask me about anime Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    The thing is that titular title prevents them from exerting de jure control over a large area, making things more chaotic. Most importantly, it means any territorial losses are likely to be permanent.

    Similarly, I think there should be a REALLY hard time to change HRE away from Elective, and BE should be hard-locked from messing around too much with the title. Then again, I personally find Elective to be far too stable, HRE should be largely occupied with wars over the throne, with Crusades being among of the few things that can stabilize things there long enough for outward expansion.

    The Komnenos period shouldn't be a period of exceptional power either, as the BE depended on crusaders to achieve reconquests. If anything, BE should with 99% certainty stability in an area like this

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    and generally just manage to hope that crusades keep Muslims off its back.


    And generally I think an Imperial title should have a lot of bad sides to it, right now it's just milk and honey to start as an Emperor.
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  13. Kayerts Savant

    Kayerts
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    Shifting to a titular state wouldn't make territorial losses permanent, since they'll mostly be lost to Muslims, against whom the ERE has permanent casus belli.

    I agree elective succession is a little too awesome right now.

    The historical events that led to the ERE's :decline: are hard to model within the existing mechanics. Romanos's ascension and the subsequent disaster at Manzikert, as well as the Fourth Crusade, were both aberrations. It'd be silly to try to make some monocausal argument that without those two events, the Empire would have stayed strong, but I'm not sure how you'd go about getting the game to generate that or events like that. Richer options for scheming, and AI that will actually wait until you're relying on them to betray you, might be a step in the right direction.

    Incidentally, if you choose a historical start shortly before Manzikert, the various character stats are funny; Romanos has 0s for intrigue and learning, while Alp Arslan is rocking a military score in the mid 20s and generally being ridiculous.
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  14. Vaarna_Aarne Ask me about anime Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    :lol:

    But really, something needs to be done with BE. Actually, another thing I was thinking is limiting Holy War CBs due to how outrageously good they are (and of course, the fact they make pagan conquest ahistorically quick). It really should require 1) being neighbours and 2) papal permission to get those, and they in general should be for Catholics only. Similarly, after a short time pagans should start get Unification CBs for their religion and culture group, Lithuanians obviously being first in line, and later on events that give an option to convert peacefully (if there is one, I've never seen those).
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  15. Luzur Prestigious Gentleman Good Sir

    Luzur
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    heh, Castille and France joint-rule England.
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  16. Vaarna_Aarne Ask me about anime Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    Actually that's a pretty funny thing. You see, Castille got roflstomped by Muslims after initial success and became a minor power of a handful of provinces in Iberia (only holding on to their crown because of general chaos in Iberia)... Until the Castilian King somehow inherited the English crown. They didn't conquer anything in England.
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  17. Vaarna_Aarne Ask me about anime Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    So did wise old King Otso gaze Southward
    Looking for long lost lands
    Raising his sword to rouse the North
    Did he march against men of Rus
    To reclaim land of dead kin

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    The war against Vitebsk starts off with a astounding. Several noblemen and clergy are captured in a single decisive battle where the ground shook from thousands of warriors clashing. Free Tshude against pampered noble and subjugated serf, the outcome was obvious.

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    In his infinite kindness, King Otso has the captured leaders beheaded for a quick, clean death. Even he cannot show mercy to hated foes, the Christmen.

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    Even the Duke of Vitebsk himself falls captive, bound by net and rope on the battlefield and dragged down from his horse.

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    His young son is the future heir, making his execution a politically tempting move even if his release would end the war in our favour.

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    The duke is barking mad, foul spirits residing in his brain and heart. He is a cruel, wicked man, and it is a matter of honour to put him to death.

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    The duke's head is crushed and his heart impaled, his broken body and the spirits trapped within left to the great bear to cleanse.

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    The new duke understands we mean business, immediately conceding to our demands as our messenger rides to their castle.

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    The boy-duke is sixteen summers when peace is declared and Vitebsk driven further down South. Life is good.

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    The Russian Christian nobility has to be dealt with so our people can have living space.

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    They are all stripped of their titles...

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    ... And exiled.

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    Which is the only way to deal with their kind.

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    A quick campaign is made against the crumbling Golden Horde, the Tsar quickly yielding to our ancient (month-old) claims.

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    More exiles.

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    They scatter to all corners of Europe, for Catholic pigs...

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    ... Are welcomed...

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    ... Almost everywhere.

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    The might of Finland grows. Wearing his crown on a troubled brow, Otso turns his eyes to his next target, the Duchy of Vladimir and the county of Syrj.

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    The war begins auspiciously with execution of cowardly enemy noblemen. Sadly, the war ends indecisively as King Otso passes away in his sleep. His body is buried on a small island in Lake Onega, forever serene. His son Kullervo rules briefly but slips on a sausage two years later at a grand feast and splits open his hunchback, his precious goo stored within escaping and leaving him a lifeless empty sack.

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    Otso's young grandson Asikko takes the throne. Word reaches the new King of an overlooked holding in the lands of Vitebsk, the castle of Kapyl perched on top of a great hill overlooking the surrounding lands. A new piällysmiäs is appointed from amidst distinguished landless warriors, Armas Sydänmaa, and the castle is renamed Kaukometsä. Hopefully there will never be refugees from there.

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    The bonds between the house of Turku and house Karjalainen remain strong as always. Our cherished older cousin High Chief Mielitty of Livonia looks out for his extended family and calms the chiefs of Bjarmia, a traditionally unstable region.

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    Mielitty is married to our aunt, one of the daughters of King Otso II the Magnanimous.

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    Two of our uncles inherited the claim on Syrj. We decide to wage war for to install one of them. Family out of the court is not to be trusted, but surely we can take care of him easily if he is indeed a viper.

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    Asikko believes that his is a grand destiny, and he acts as befits a great warrior king. He personally cleaves the prisoners in two equal halves and cast their bodies to the river, gaining favour of Ahti.

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    Our fearsome armies crush Vladimir with ease, and Syrj is given to our uncle.

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    Asikko grieves the death of his beloved mother, but soon realizes his grief and anger are putting him on a path to dishonour and evil. Remembering the songs of his dear mother, he embraces kindness and gentleness to his fellow man.

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    An excellent swordsman and unparalled tactician, there are few in Europe who would dare to face King Asikko in the field of battle. History would remember him as a powerful warrior who treated conquered serfs with dignity and compassion. He was a man of few words and illiterate throughout his life, but it did nothing to diminish his legend.

    [​IMG]

    Asikko embarks on grand building projects. A city is built in Chud to make room for settlers from the North.

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    And in Syrj, a great wooden temple is constructed in the forest, farmland and villages cropping around it as settlers move to the area.

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    Finally, a new fortress is erected in Toropets, seized from Vitebsk by King Asikko. The Russian language and people are in retreat, the old ways and people returning to the far North of Rus.

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    Asikko looks after his son, hoping to raise him brave and wise. He tries his best to instill the virtues of the heroes of old in him.

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    Meanwhile, a coup has taken place in the Karelia.

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    One of the stronger chiefs, Jalo, makes his move against the weakened house of Pryazha, and makes himself the High Chief of Karelia.

    [​IMG]

    The mark has been left in history. King Asikko I the Great joins the illustrious ranks of mighty rulers.

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    The Mohammedans that we've only glimpsed in Ultima Thule have declared holy war against their Christman enemies. We scoff at their foolishness.

    [​IMG]

    Our people will never understand how the beliefs of the men to the South could split so.

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    His power brings Asikko to the edge of paranoia, but he resolves to remain brave and true to his upbringing.

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    A mistake was made, and a Chiefdom was given to a Shaman. Beloozero revolts in religious fervor, but surely our spells are stronger than theirs. Ukko will not strike us down!

    [​IMG]

    The new Duke of Bjarmia is given an additional title to improve the stability of the realm. He is a scoundrel, but strength comes from unity!

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    His father was a good man however, and his guidance will be missed. A powerful warrior and a good man, he was the tutor of our second son Untamo.

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    Beloozero is stripped from the Shaman of Pechory, and he is imprisoned. Tapani is a trusted man, so he will not be put to death and his imprisonment is merely house arrest.

    [​IMG]

    The chiefdom of Beloozero is bestowed upon a talented young man named Sampo, his name echoing that brilliant long lost artefact of prosperity. May his wits and cunning bring equal prosperity to his chiefdom and house!
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  18. Kayerts Savant

    Kayerts
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    618

    I think this is a point where Paradox is sacrificing realism for gameplay. Having a near-inexhaustible source of wars and land grabs ensures that the player doesn't run out of things to do, plus it makes life more interesting for players who start in the south. Of course, you can argue that since they're giving up on historicity here, they should do it for the ERE, too.
    Regarding this:
    I assume you're role-playing, but you do know you can force a captive enemy leader to sign a treaty to spare his life, then execute him anyway for being an honorless dog? Not sure if Ukko would be on board with that, but sneaky ol' Odin thinks it's gravy.
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  19. Vaarna_Aarne Ask me about anime Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    26,386
    Location:
    Kalevalan Kankahilla
    MCA Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Actually if the current enemy ruler dies, the successor is also more likely to give in. But yea, capturing the ruler jumps the warscore to 100%.
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