Saturday, February 18, 2012

Strathearn Dynasty Pt 1 - Count Muiredach of Strathearn

This is an AAR detailing a playthrough of Crusader Kings 2 starting from a single dynastic character. I have a soft spot for Scotland, so this first one is based there.  

Count Muiredach of Strathearn
As the Count of Strathearn, a small province in the middle of Scotland, I had a lot of work to get my Strathearn dynasty established and stable, let alone dominating Europe. First things first, a good wife with good breeding potential.

With kids on the go the dynasty is looking a little more secure, but with only one province I can't really do much on my own at the moment. I don't even have the troops to hold a siege, let alone win a stand-up battle. Regardless, we're certainly not going to be a dynasty of note with only a single county to rule. Plans are put in place to drum up any claims at all (even if I need to make them up myself). Fife next door is the first target as it doesn't have any real ties to the Dunkelds who hold the Scotland throne at the moment, or the Lothien dynasty to the south. The Earl of Lothien is also happy to accept a marriage betrothal with my heir to give ourselves an alliance of sorts.

Ulster is the next focal point as a gateway into the north of Ireland. We manage to line up another marriage to their eldest daughter, but her younger brother is currently the heir to the independent county. He had a slight accident that night though. Unfortunately the perpetrators were caught and leaked our involvement, which brought about a reciprocal poisoning attempt. Might have been a bit soon with the knife, as the betrothal still needs to be validated in a couple of years. Anger subsided by the end of the year when the old  Earl of Ulster passed away and left my son's bride in control.  
With the years passing I finally get my Lothien bride, and with it a strong ally to go after Fife. The fabricated claim had been in place for a while and Lothien's support (even though it needed a little pampering) was the last piece of the puzzle. The Mac Duibs didn't stand a chance with their 400 strong against our invading 2000.

With Fife added to Strathearn, there's the opportunity to create the Duchy of Albany. Even though it covers Gowrie, the existing seat of the Scottish kingdom, it had been let in decline over the past century. It solves a current problem quite neatly though. With Gavelkind succession, there was the potential that we would only hand over 1 province to our first heir, Gille-Crist, with Lorenzo pocketing Fife along with his grip on Ulster. I don't want to go back to being a 1 county leader, so a Duchy allows us to keep the forward momentum going. At 58, Muiredach was unlikely to see out the several years of fundraising to establish the Duchy, but as luck had it he fought off 2 illnesses to see the Duchy complete.

Duke Muiredach of Albany. Nice ring to it. King Muiredach sounds better though. The Duchy allows us to press claim on the mountains of Atholl, and with fresh leadership devoid of Dunkeld family ties it's a pretty easy decision to grab it. We called on Lothien again, but they, too, had Lothien ties that kept them on the sideline. No matter. With 2 provinces to draw troops from we had the advantage ourselves. Rather than forcing a fight, both sides were happy to trade sieges. Once again with 2 provinces, the sieging race was heavily stacked in my favour and took less than a year to bring them into line. 

Scotland wasn't without external pressure as a William-the-Conquerorless England pressed for a claim to Cumberland. They fought off several internal splits to complete the deal, but the real concern was our inability to meet their numbers on the field. 3000 to ~2400. England is definitely going to be a big pain in the future.

At 62, Muiredach finally passed on, leaving a somewhat smooth transition to Gille-Crist and the next chapter in the House of Strathearn.