Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Crusader Kings 2: A fresh Start

After playing through the Bo’ness clan into a position of ruling Britannia, I had made a couple of errors along the way that stalled the main goal; to build a strong Scotland for Europa Universalis IV. The critical failure was to claim Ireland and England. Even though I wasn’t going to do that at the start, it seemed an easier way to conquer the remaining parts of those kingdoms. Scotland still remained the primary title, but Ireland and England ceased to convert culturally to Scottish control.

Another misstep was to aim for Seniority succession. By the time the Bo’ness clan had embedded itself all over Britannia, there were ~120 living descendants in the family tree. This amount meant that the claimants were lining up and getting any more that 5-10 years out of a ruler was going to be lucky. It turned into an old-aged concession as more and more resources were spent just keeping everyone together during the early stages of a King’s rule. Seniority succession DID come in handy in the early game as that was how I claimed Lothian, and brought in multiple titles from passing on to another branch of the family. I was also hoping that the rapid succession changes meant an additional boost to score as there were more people coming in with an already established piety & prestige score, but the amount was dwarfed by a couple of years in the top job. For this playthrough I’ll aim at Primogeniture succession. This should make passing control from one generation to another even easier without the risk of breaking apart the realm, albeit not able to gather any more provinces from the succession itself. Hopefully the additional stability of a long rule will make up for the lack of gaining provinces. There might even be opportunity to start as succession, then swap to primogeniture, but I might just try to build it straight from the start and compare it to the Seniority succession game.

When considering starting again I also thought back to the start of the game. Even though I owned the ruler designer, I didn't really like the way it allows you to pick your traits from the start. Yes, they are somewhat balanced by points and age, but it felt a little contrived. For this playthrough I thought of using the ‘Invite a noble to court’ feature to randomly generate my dynasty line. Unfortunately in testing you cannot use the ruler designer to change the player from a save game, only from the starting periods. Another thought I had was that I'd created the Bo'ness city in Lothian that had spawned lowborn mayors with the Bo'ness title, so I tried to replicate that by playing forward until I could create the city, then promote the Mayor to an earl of the province. Unfortunately it also brought the city with him to the top title, turning it into an unplayable republic (even though I have the republic DLC :/). The final solution was to invite nobles to court after the city had been created in to hope that one would be of Bo'ness heritage. First one was that, excellent!

Another benefit to this method is to let the game play through a couple of years to get the political engine going. This makes it a little more natural to join in as well as having all the good unattached nobles be locked away by other nations.

 New Game, New Rules 

Considering the aims of this game, the current imposed rules for this playthrough are to be:
- Create a random character of the Bo’ness line
- Always have Bo’ness as the capital
- Do not own titles above Scotland
- Spread Scottish De Jure titles as far as possible

To keep Scotland strong I’m also going to have, as a general rule, Scottish courtiers and Scottish mentors. This might get a little muddy when bringing in people for marriages, but we’ll see how we go.