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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

CK2 Tyrion Lannister (1310 Ottomans) Campaign AAR

Post 1 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-05-03 20:06:32 UTC

CK2 campaign Tyrion Lannister: 1310-1311 (fail)

I decided to give it another try and this time maybe not end up accidentally castrated in process. I wanted to start in the earliest possible date as a 1-province titular king, but that crashed the game, so I'm here in 1310 as 7-province titular king.

Goal of the campaign: before the end of game control two empires or empire and caliphate. I took the name of Tyrion because of my ruler designed traits:
• Possessed, Wounded, Clubfooted, Harelip, Hunchback, Lisp, Ugly, Dwarf, Lustful, Deceitful, Craven, Arbitrary, Cynical
• Genius, Ambitious, Sayyid
• all points saved put into diplomacy, stewardship, and intrigue
• (I accidentally left myself with Amateurish Plotter instead of getting better education, oops)

That gives me a total of 30 diplomacy, 6 martial, 32 stewardship, 40 intrigue, 11 learning, 4.0 health, and 70% fertility at age of 16.

The first order of business was borrowing money from the Jews, kicking the Jews out, and giving all that Jew gold to charity for some quick piety. Then straight to Mecca! Oh and there were still 5 members of Ottomans dynasty to kill, including duke of Nikea under me. These will all be my lands.

While I was away on my pilgrimage, Jihad for Andalusia and Crusade for Jerusalem started, as well as assortment of minor holy wars in Anatolia. Back from Mecca (which failed to lose me any decadence) I commenced Ramadan, and started looking for a wife. That instantly got me into this new "too distant to interact with" mechanic which is so fucking stupid I stopped the game to turn it off.

OK, time for 4 lowborn wives with good traits (a downside of nonstandard game starts is that nobody has any daughters who could be used for alliances, for Muslim it's even worse since women can't inherit any claims), quickly fulfilled ambition to improve martial, killed one Ottoman character, increased crown authority to Low, and started two county conquests.

While I was doing that duke of Epirus decided to holy war me. They weren't too hard to defeat. Unfortuntely Byzantines successfully holy warred one of counties I was conquering, and instead of ending the war that got me into war against Byzantines. WTF game?

Then an inevitable 2:1 battle happened, which was unsurprisingly lost even with hills and minor river crossing modifier, and I decided against continuing this campaign too ;-)

The primary problem this campaign was mostly the fucking ruler designer, which broke dynastic links to the rest of my family, and thus more or less halved my levy. It seems that vassal levies are way lower this patch than they used to be, even when vassals love you (as they started to with +75 defending against infidels modifier). I intended to assassinate my way to unified country, but that was probably a bad idea, straight revocation would have worked better.

The second problem was game deciding that I'm at war against the Byzantines. Most wars end when owner of the target changes, so I expected that to end as well and made zero preparations for it (like mercenaries or assassins against the emperor).

The third problem is how due to nonstandard start date I had no way to get any alliances ever, while Christians had a ton of pre-generated alliances.

Post 2 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-05-04 00:59:47 UTC

CK2 campaign: "Tyrion Lannister" (vanilla Ottomans): 1310-1319

Another try, with similar ugly dwarf in 1310 Ottoman start, except now with diplo 25, martial 25, stewardship 26, intrigue 25, learning 8.

I decided to make different mistakes this time - so I instantly arrested and banished the Ottoman duke of Nikaea, kicked the Jews out (some things never change), got 4 wives, recruited ton of skirmisher retinues, and went to Mecca.

Once back, I used my army - now twice as big as in previous campaign (confirming that tyrannical way of managing vassals is superior to intrigue and politics) to holy war king of Georgia for duchy of Kartli. I need to get bigger army than Byzantium as soon as possible.

Meanwhile things were going about the same way as expected - Byzantine holy wars, jihad for Portugal, crusade for Jerusalem (pope got captured, Crusade instantly failed). That's a shame, since, I'd love all blobs to by East (Golden Horde, Ilkhanate, Sultanate of Egypt) to fall apart, but that will need to wait.

Now I want to crush Byzantines as fast as possible, since his heir is an Italian Catholic with no dynastic connection whatsoever (huh?), but that has to wait since they're allied with a Miaphysite king of Armenia for some strange reason, and Armenia is a bit too far to holy war.

For now it was time to crush count (self-proclaimed "king") of Saruhan, and Catholic knights of Rhodes. Oh and by the way WTF happened to fleet levies in this patch? 0.45 gold/month per ship? What kind of insanity is this? I'm pretty sure fleet costs used to be way cheaper once. Fortunately Rhodos is connected to Anatolia by a strait, so it wasn't needed this time, but it will be in the future.

Anyway, things were going well, both wars ended quickly, but there was a much bigger problem - while I was expanding fast, so was Byzantine Empire, and it still wouldn't benefit me to start a direct war. Eliminating their Christian allies (mostly Armenia) and cleaning up Turkish OPMs who would inevitably fall prey to them were two priorities, as that had a double benefit of strengthening me and weakening the Byzantines.

Cyprus seemed like a relatively weak link, being Catholic and allied with Armenia but not Byzantines. I took a quick break for Furusiyya tournament and to let my levies replenish while Armenian-Byzantine alliance was apparently losing a holy war on one of Turkish OPMs. That was an unexpected development.

I got second place in the Furusiyya, which required a celebration with a holy war against Armenia. I was really tempted to declare another against Byzantines who were weakened by their failing war and some plague in Balkans, but then a lot of Balkan Orthodox rulers might rush to help them.

While this was happening Byzantines got weakened even more by Genoese attempt at conquering coast of Constantinople. Bulgaria had some claimant war, Serbia was fighting Venice, etc. This was about as good an opportunity as they get.

Oh course the game decided to be really mean to me. First everyone Orthodox joined, which I could handle. Then that Italian Catholic inherited Byzantine empire, so everyone Catholic joined as well (Orthodox rulers stayed in the fight). Now I really see the value of EU4's 60 day war joining limit. Even Genoa peaced out their invasion of Constantinople and instantly joined on their side against me with their armies already there. Pretty much the only thing it didn't do but could was having Golden Horde (who recently went Orthodox) join the war. It took some extremely massive effort to win this, and that included blind use of assassinate button against Venice to get at least one country out of the war (that one was so lucky, I probably should have hired ton of mercs instead for that money).

Then it turned out that "Invasion" CB I had is just like shitty papal claim invasion, not like awesome Tengri invasion, so Byzantine emperor still exists holding 3 counties in Anatolia de jure kingdom, and half of my vassals in Greece are Catholic or Orthodox Greeks. Oh well, that's still 10 counties in one war instead of 3, and I'll figure out what to do with those Greeks eventually.

My realm size went all the way from 27 to 94 (9th largest). The most difficult part of the game is behind me now. Unless Aztecs, Egyptians, or one of two Mongol hordes decides to attack me, I should be fine. Consolidating my possessions in Greece, Balkans, and Anatolia might take a while, but hopefully it won't be too hard. The only very high risk is if the Golden Horde decided to get involved on Orthodox side. At some point I'll need to burn all Venetian and Genoese trading posts in the area as well - they are both way too powerful.

And while all that was happening, Aztec invaders conquered Scotland and Morocco. That's fun.

Post 3 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-05-04 13:02:48 UTC

CK2 campaign: "Tyrion Lannister" (vanilla Ottomans): 1319-1328

Let's face it - my first decade was not the most stellar performance by me. It looks like I forgot how to play CK2.

Forgotten technique one: declare separate wars against every single alliance member on the same day. That's pretty much the opposite of good EU4 strategy, even if multiwars weren't just banned by the engine due to abuse potential.

So here's the war list:
• Bulgaria for duchy of Moesia (helped by the Golden Horde)
• Wallachia for duchy of Wallachia
• Epirus for duchy of Epirus
• Serbia for one border county
• Athens for duchy of Athens
• Naples for duchy of Achaia
• Venice for embargo

My armies were one quickly gathered stack of 20k, my enemies were something in 100k-150k range total, but AI doesn't join stacks with others in unrelated wars, so I had numerical superiority in most of these wars.

First, Venice landed 13k in Constantinople, which needed to be quickly dispatched. Unfortunately it seems that everybody decided to siege Constantinople with over 40k troops total - mostly from Golden Horde, but they had a ton of friends, so I was forced to ignore that and focus on more peripheral wars.

First fell Epirus (no backers), then Athens (backed by Byzantium only), then Venice gave me about 1200 gold, which should hopefully weaken them in the future.

That left 4 wars to go, including two really nasty ones. First, I reraised vassal levies, hired some holy order, recruited more retinue (I have enough skirmishers, some cultural retinues won't hurt since Turks have relatively nice ones).

I did some whackamole with enemy armies, then I've noticed that Golden Horde decided to pack their stuff and go home. Oh well, better take Moesia before they change their mind again, and then onto Wallachia.

By the way here are two tricks. Trick one - Leave war target as undamaged as possible, once taken raise all troops from them, only then distribute lands there to new vassals. That gives you 100% levy instantly. It could have been exploited harder in older patches, raising levies twice, they "fixed" it so you can't raise both own and vassal levy, but it's still pretty effective.

And trick two - you can increase crown authority once per lifetime per title - and if you create new title it will have same crown laws as your current title, so I had Ottoman titular sultanate at minimal, increased that to low, then created Greece, increased that to medium, and made it my primary title. Medium is really important since that allows me to perform religious cleansing and get rid of all the Christians for greater stability of the empire. There are still some Sunni Greeks I asked nicely to convert before, which is not optimal, but it will have to do.

The multiwar hit another bump in 7k Orthodox uprising, and all that time more and more Catholic countries were joining on Naples side. That delayed the wars considerable, since I had to take the time to crush the revolt, reraise troops again, and go for Wallachia, and Serbia.

War with Naples was at very unfortunately -82%, and another Orthodox revolt erupted on Cyprus. Don't those peasants have anything better to do than revolting? Apparently now more mobs can even join in the middle of a revolt, and new peasant mobs spawned in Georgia, Bulgaria, and Rhodos, so I was facing 20k rebels and 30k Catholics with less than 20k of my own troops.

Anyway, Naples offered me white peace which a more reasonable person would have taken, but I never play reasonably. Instead I ignored 30k+ they had in Greece and invaded Italy for some warscore. This made them split their armies into more manageable chunks, which I could then take advantage of by safely sieging whatever I wanted and crushing smaller stacks.

My size increased from 94 to 138, and now I'm 8th largest in the world. Aztecs doubled their possessions and still have most of their event troops left. Georgia, Venice, and Byzantium all successfully holy wared Turkish minors I left alone. It's good time to cleanup various Orthodox minors - as long as I don't holy war Catholics it's not too bad.

Maps: my country in Greek purple, and all 7 wars (other countries joined after Golden Horde dropped out).

Post 4 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-05-04 23:02:48 UTC

CK2 campaign: "Tyrion Lannister" (vanilla Ottomans): 1328-1338

I had to take it slow to let levies recover, so I did a slow conquest of 2 Greek and 1 Turkish OPM. I got into marriage alliances with sultans of Egypt, Africa, and Mali (too far to matter, unless Aztecs decide to DoW me), betrothing one of my daughters to Shia kid ruling over Ilkhanate, just in case. I plan to crush Golden Horde at some point - it might be easier than fighting the Catholics or the Aztecs.

And so it was time for a 7-way war:

• Byzantium - invasion of Anatolia
• Karaman - de jure over county of Silifke
• Georgia - claim over duchy of Trebizond
• Genoa - de jure for city barony within Constantinople county
• Bulgaria - holy war for duchy of Karvuna
• Serbia - holy war for duchy of Rashka
• Trebizond - toly war for duchy of Cherson (OPM)

One against Karaman failed since Ilkhanate inherited it somehow (2 counties), and Karaman Revolt (2 counties) got independent as a double-count, then accepting vassalization, so it was pretty decent outcome anyway. Hungary sided with Serbia, so I left them for last, but other than that nobody received any help, and level of resistance I faced was pretty close to nil.

I invited the Jews back in (I thought I would only be able to do that as the next monarch, apparently there's a timer), and started the next set of wars:

• Venice - invasion of Greece (they have tiny bits scattered all over the place, that's the only way to get them without 5 wars)
• Hungary - holy war on Pecs (can't afford second invasion now, but I want to invade Croatia once I can so non-Croatian duchy for now)
• Transylvania (OPM) - holy war
• Euboia (OPM) - holy war
• Trinacria (Sicily basically) - holy war for Sicily
• Bulgarian revolt - Conquest of Styrmon (since I have truce with Bulgaria, and that CB should not end war if revolt ends)

Actually I screwed up that Hungarian CB, I forgot I can buy piety for gold as Muslim, and I have tons of gold. Oh well.

I called sultans of Egypt and Africa into these wars. Hungary got itself a marriage alliance with the Golden Horde, which jumped right in, but didn't actually send any troops. I organized assassination campaign against the queen, the khagan, and basically everyone I could get a knife in, just to be sure.

Egypt decided to not only show up but even sieged a bunch of Venetian holdings. Of course game engine decided to fuck up and Venice kept county of Lykia, but without any baronies in it. And Africa decided to show up in Sicily, doing pretty much nothing, then charge at Hungarian doomstack and lose me some warscore for no value. Oh well.

As usual the last war (that damn duchy deep in Hungary) took about as long as all other put together. Too bad AI needs so much beating to agree to white peace (EU4 equivalent of attacker conceding defeat) by that time one might as well push for victory instead.

This decade saw nearly doubling of my territory from 138 to 266 (5th largest).

Aztecs lost most of their event troops and are down to 55k event troops + 20k other troops (divided between Britain and Spain/Morocco, so not too hard to take half of them), but managed to conquer themselves up to 3rd largest empire. Instead of making good use of what's left of their troops they're wasting them on getting involved in embargo wars between Italian trade republics. Aztecs are somewhat underwhelming since they showed up a century later than they were supposed to, and Europe advanced quite a bit in that time - otherwise they'd probably have taken France too by now and were fighting HRE instead of Genoa.

Golden Horde, after my assassination and sowing dissent campaign is currently falling apart to multiple rebellions, hopefully for good.

I need 80% of Byzantine de jure territory to usurp empire from that 1 county "emperor" living in exile in Italy. Ilkhanate controls 14% of Byzantine territory, so I might just be able to get to required 80% without any wars against Ilkhanate, but it shouldn't be too hard if I have to do it. They're the same dynasty as the Golden Horde, so they're technically allied, no idea if they'd help same dynasty infidels or not.

Coming next is some combination of:
• various claimant wars against North African minors (great staging group for a showdown against the Aztecs)
• invasion of Naples (necessary to get Byzantine empire)
• direct attack on the Golden Horde (mostly to weaken them, but then Tartaria is a real thing)
• embargo war against Genoa (free money)

The big question is where do I plan to get my second empire level title - and I mean a real one like Arabia, Persia, or Tartaria, not fake ones like Carpathia or Italia. It's also a judgment call if I expect the Golden Horde to collapse (in which case there's no hurry), or to defeat rebels (and so I should urgently go help the rebels).

I'm getting a bit old, so I set up my 4 sons as multidukes (not the best number for 4-wife Muslim, I got huge number of daughters instead). If I manage to get to emperor level in this lifetime, I'll try to get them some minor vassal kingships like Georgia, Bulgaria - it would probably be a bad idea for succession to give them anything big like Greece or Anatolia, at least at current size of my empire.

Post 5 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-05-06 02:00:47 UTC

CK2 campaign: "Tyrion Lannister" (vanilla Ottomans): 1338-1344

The mystery of "Would Golden Horde and Ilkhanate honor their dynastic alliance even though they're in different religious groups" got answered positively by Egyptian attack on Ilkhanate (and I had to refuse call to arms, there's no point getting into wars against stronger opponents if I get no value from it).

As my levies are extremely depleted I only got into a series of minor wars - mostly claimant wars in Africa, where I conquered all territory held by Muslim minor pretty quickly. At one point I even got into my first war against the Aztecs - a minor holy war defending a Muslim duke who was being attacked by two minor Aztec vassals. The nice thing about minor Aztec characters is that they don't have any of invasion troops, so they're not a big deal to defeat. The Muslim duke got defended all right, then I assassinated him, and pressed claims for his duchy against his son.

To get around truce timers I spammed assassination button a lot. Here's a trick I discovered - instead of spamming assasination button directly on a king (350 gold a try), first spam it against his spymaster (only 50 gold a try if he's insignificant), then you can go on a killing spree before unpausing and catch the king with no spymaster. See also: next season of Game of Thrones.

I inherited duchy of Samos and I decided that I might just as well set up a trade republic there - it's good if someone fills the void created by all the embargoes against Italian trade republics. I burned all Genoese trade posts this time - maybe it's good time to burn some Venetian ones next, as they respawned quite a bit and I conquered some more territory. I don't need that money as such, I just want to weaken them as much as possible.

I'm 50, in relatively poor health,, so I need to think about succession. My 5 sons have pretty similarly-sized domains:
• Tywin - duchies of Achaia and Aegean Islands
• Kevan - duchy of Karvuna and county of Vidin
• Lancel - duchies of Anatolia and Thracesia
• Jaimie - duchy of Rashka and county of Zeta
• Tytos - duchies of Krete, Sicily, and Abkhazia

I want the youngest of them to inherit, since he's a genius with amazing stats 19/23/18/19/17 and pretty much no bad traits.

In this short period of time my realm size increased from 266 to 377, and I'm now the largest in terms of both territory and army. The Golden Horde unfortunately stabilized. At least the Catholics have a fun series of antipope / antiking of France wars. That sounds about right for that time period. A really weird one is a 3-count owning Northern half of Brittany with 25k event troops - I have no idea what event they could be from, fortunately they are involved in French/antipapal wars so their event troops won't last long.

Due to gavelkind dynastic mess I delayed do the invasions of Croatia and Sicily I wanted to do - invasion would die halfway through if that old bastard died, and he indeed did a few years later. Now the upside of this gavelkind mess is that it will only take a few assassinations to separate Croatia from Hungary, and run double invasion maybe.

I need to be cautious for some time as:
• My levies are seriously depleted after pretty much every war - I raise levies before they're full, and then form doom stacks and assault everything as fast as possible. And regardless of tactics, I get in a lot of wars.
• I'm facing relatively strong countries in every direction - Golden Horde, Ilkhanate, Egypt, Aztecs, and Catholics (who can be assumed to all join in if I declare an invasion). I'm technically allied with Egypt and Ilkhanate, but they might value their dynastic connection with the Golden Horde higher than marriage to my daughter
• I'm at risk of a huge succession crisis happening anytime soon. No idea how easy or hard that's going to be.
• 30 year crusade timer just ran out so a new crusade might be called as soon as pope is out of his current wars

Any one of these is fine, but if I got a multi-way succession war, a rebellion to lower crown authority, and a crusade while fighting Aztecs with leftovers of my troops, that wouldn't be pretty.

Some other things I've noticed:
• All realms have been ridiculously stable compared with earlier start dates. Much larger retinues and lack of gavelkind probably have a lot to do with it. I hoped for some good openings against my enemies, but so far that mostly didn't happen.
• The new system where everyone in a revolt is grouped under a temporary title holder makes it really hard to take advantage of foreign unrest compared with how easy it used to be.
• There's been huge number of religious revolts in Ilkhanate and Golden Horde. Part of it is how religiously diverse their lands are, but it might also have something to do with them being Shia and Orthodox - two religions with close to zero authority, or it might be a coincidence.
• The new decadence system seems much easier than the old one. I was at 0% in like a year or two of gameplay - in spite of being cynical, deceitful, and generally a horrible person, and even AI is in 10%-20% range.
• I'd love to get the caliph to call a Jihad on someone, but he doesn't seem interested, and I don't see any option to ask him for a Jihad. I thought Sons of Abraham DLC would have added that.

Post 6 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-05-09 00:13:14 UTC

CK2 campaign: "Tyrion Lannister" (vanilla Ottomans): 1344-1351

So I decided to have some fun with Hungarian (gavelkind)-Croatian (elective) kingdom and spend a 1000 or so on assassins to make sure they go separate ways. With my levies being depleted to 21k/64k I couldn't really do anything about it right away, and there was a change they'll unite eventually, but it was a good shaping operation.

Croatia instantly erupted in two revolts, which meant I couldn't actually attack it since I'd not take rebel's land even if I won. So instead I attacked Golden Horde in a quick holy war for Crimea.

It was a lot of fun, since Golden Horde and Ilkhanate were busy fighting Egypt, and Ilkhanate decided to call me to defend them against some irrelevant Persian peasant revolt instead of joining on Golden Horde's side against me.

I conquered Crimea with relatively modest resistance and founded my second trade republic there. They'll have harder time getting things going as Genoa still controls all trade over in duchy of Crimea, but I'll crush Genoa sooner or later and someone will need to get into that power vacuum. I thought being outside my de jure territory would exempt them from harsh city taxes and levies in current patch, but apparently they still apply, leaving me confused.

It seems that instead of having minimum crown authority I suspected initially, the game now has some stupid low multipliers to levy size (all the way down to 0.25x). I really hate this patch, even though that change probably hurts AI a lot more than it hurts me (and the mystery why massive AI empires are so weak got solved).

The Caliph had a brilliant idea to call a Jihad for Aztec-held Mauretania, against Aztec's nearly 100k troop total (retinue, levy, and event). I had high hopes for that - if Jihad won, Aztecs would be crushed, and I could claims against whoever took control of Mauretania while invading other Aztec-held lands without any major resistance; or if Jihad failed but at least weakened Aztecs significantly, I could take Mauritania somehow.

I didn't want to lose any of my troops fighting Aztecs, but I joined the Jihad mostly to make battle warscore deteriorate more slowly since it's a ratio to all troops on each side. I made a bit of mistake not doing that immediately, probably should have done that sooner since a bit of negative warscore already accrued by that time, but I wasn't sure about my Crimean war then.

I still wanted to expand. Now blobs to my East were pretty busy so there was no risk there. There was still risk of succession crisis (not much can be done about that), and a possible crusade. So what's the best way to prevent a crusade? Well, attack pope directly of course! He can't DoW me if we're already at war!

So while starting a war against the pope I had no particular intention of finishing early, I also DoWed republics of Venice and Ancona (for their capital duchies), kingdom of Sicily in an invasion, and just to be sure Sicilian rebels for one of their duchies (which ended inconclusively very quickly).

Ancona fell first. Then Sicily. Apparently nobody cared that I wanted to take half of Italian Peninsula - or to attack the pope for that matter (who still managed to gather nearly 30k troops somehow on his own). But how dared I declare for war 1 county duchy of Venice? All Christians to the holy banners and defend Venice!

Now I was technically losing my three other wars hard by that time - and my possessions were sieged in Ancona, Temes, Tlemcen, anh Anatolia, so I couldn't even realistically reraise any troops without sorting that out first. I had to recall my troops and go play some whackamole before getting into any offensives.

To make matters even more annoying some adventurer started plotting against me, and I was called into anti-Egyptian independence revolt - which I accepted even though I'd love to see the rebels win, and me clean all that up with claimants.

The Jihad was going so poorly that I pretty much gave up on that one. It eventually failed without significantly weakening the Aztecs. At least it didn't decrease Sunni religious authority from its +100 where it was thanks to all other wars won.

I won against the pope eventually. I was totally willing to surrender my worthless tribal king title to the adventurer (and it would also give him one of my counties somehow), since he'd become a 1-county king and not much of a threat, but then I reconsidered since I think he'd keep his event troops (not totally sure about that) - and he made it so easy by splitting his 26k army into two easy 13k stacks, which I promptly defeated.

Eventually I just white peaced Venice - the entire Catholic Europe was on their side, my armies were depleted, and it was overall pretty pointless to put that much effort into getting a single county.

In these seven years my realm size increased from 377 to 461, putting me far ahead of anyone else - unfortunately my armies are still considerably weaker than Aztec armies.

Now I just need one more push against Croatia (extremely weakened by all the faction wars), plus enough distraction wars on the side to divide the Christians, and I might just be able to become the Byzantine emperor. There's a pretty serious problem of me being 57 years old already, and I seriously underestimated how powerful pope and Italian merchant states would be.

Crusade or Aztec counterattack are still very possible. At least all 3 blobs to my East are busy, so I don't really expect much action from there anytime soon.

And I figured out WTF was the problem with ship costs - apparently nonpagans pay 10x as much as pagans (which is total bullshit mechanic - 2x would be reasonable maybe, but that's just crazy) and I played as various pagans for the last few campaigns, so I remembered the much lower cost. Oh well, it's mostly my vassals paying for all that, not me.

Post 7 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-05-10 00:32:11 UTC

CK2 campaign: "Tyrion Lannister" (vanilla Ottomans): 1351-1356

The gays hate me! One minor side effect of being the ugliest person in the world (-130 total attraction) is that any gay dukes will also hate me. The nice thing is that most people don't really like gay dukes so plotting against them is pretty easy.

I took a few months to recover troops, then declared another set of wars:
• invasion of Croatia
• invasion of Hungary
• holy war for duchy of Carinthia against HRE (just to make sure HRE stays separate from other wars)
• completely pointless wars againsh Verona, Firenze, Pisa, Siena, and Lucca - just to divide Catholic response

Oh and the really nice thing is that Ilkhanate seems to be finally falling aparet - against 2nd Zoroastrian attampt at liberation of Persia.

What was most surprising was how little resistance I faced. I managed to end all wars except Hungary and Verona by 1354 when Catholics started waking up to the fact that their world is collapsing fast and joinig already nearly lost fight. There was a slightly more pressing problem of another host with 30k invasion (this is somewhat immersion breaking - I get it that they scale adventurers to target army size to provide some challenge, but random dude has larger army than Holy Roman Emperor)

One year later it was all over, and my realm size went all the way from 461 to 598. Except that Persian revolt was still going on, and Byzantine "emperor" was at war, so I couldn't take over his title. Unfortunately his one county was too far to declare war on, so I did another set:

• Pope for duchy of Latium
• Kingdom of Aragon for all of it
• Republic of Genoa for duchy of Genoa
• Duchy of Lombardy for all of it
• Anti-HRE revolt for duchy of Austria

I got Latium and Aragon, and the game decided to go full bug mode. First, since it was an invasion I got all those Catholics as vassals, so I started revoking everything and then giving away whole duchies to my sons. I mistimed that and I gave away some duchies before I got answer from various mayors and bishops. In older patches that meant simply rejected offer, which is not a big deal - this time instead I got instant 5 single-baron revolt against my tyranny. That apparently also give me +125 crushed a major revolt modifier with all vassals. That's pretty ridiculous, and extremely exploitable as well.

And second, the game decided that my son Tytos is not only no longer my heir, he's not even in the top 3. I have no fucking idea what the game is thinking - he's twice as strong as the next most powerful son in realm size, armies etc. He also refuses to get married at age of 29, in spite of having ambition to get married (he made a bastard daugher on the side).

Unfortunately console command recalc_succ didn't fix the succession, but at least quitting and reloading the game worked.

And good thing I did so, since king Tyrion soon received blow to his head in battle of Genoa and soon died at ripe age of 62, so close to imperial coronation.

It's not too bad time for sucession - my realm is by far the most powerful of all with size of 663 - nearly twice the next largest Golden Horde; Catholics are much weakened with only 28.8 religious authority; Egypt, Ilkhanate, and Mali are my allies (and also allied with some of my brothers, so not obvious whose side they'd pick in a succession war); Golden Horde is fighting 4 simultaneous revolts, Aztecs have depleted most of their event troops.

I don't want this to become a world conquest game. I'm definitely going to attempt stabilizing the realm (hopefully won't be too bad) and become Byzantine Emperor. Then I'll set some final goals for the campaign, which will probably be finished in my current character's lifetime.

Post 8 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-05-10 21:04:42 UTC

CK2 campaign: Emperor Tytos Lannister, son of king Tyrion (vanilla Ottomans): 1356-1361

Retrospectively I'm a bit disappointed that with such potentially fun traits like Possessed and Dwarf I never got any events for them. It was partly a minmax attempt, but also partly I wanted something unusual to happen.

Anyway, the realm needed an immediate rearrangement since I succeeded to the throne with 18 counties (and demesne limit down from 12 to 8, mostly due to lack of any wife), 7 duchies, almost no prestige, in the middle of multiple (mostly minor) wars and rebellions, and with many of my most powerful vassals being my half-brothers and title claimants, who hate me and feel they should be sitting on the throne instead of me.

The most annoying thing was that while AI forgot to get me married, it didn't forget to choose a school of islam (Mu'tazilite vs Ash'ari). That gives me +25 with same school, but -50 with the opposite school. In theory it's worth bonuses it brings (+5 learning or +1 piety/month respectively), but right now it's extremely annoying.

I gave up most of my titles, setup new trade republic in Krete, filled my council with the best people in the world (or decently skilled dukes as the second best thing), politely asked Genoa to surrender, found myself some wives (as Muslim it's important to get your first wife, then get others, if you send multiple offers simultaneously you can get responses in different order than you've sent them, so someone else is going to end up as your first wife), and unpaused the game.

I am actually fairly amazing:
• 30 years old
• 22/24/18/17/17 stats
• Brilliant Strategist
• Sayyid, Genius, Charitable, Kind, Patient, and Brave
• Mu'tazilite
• Cynical (for Christians that only negatively affects church religion, for Muslims apparently it affects everybody's the same way piety works for Muslims differently, I did not know that before)

There's a reason why my father picked me even out of 6 sons he had.

With traits like that most vassals are actually fine with me, except my half-brothers. My two most powerful bastards are in fact my half-brothers - 5 year craven old legitimized bastard who hates me, and 38 year old content just 3-duke, who's mostly OK with me.

Anyway, I finished holy wars against duchies of Genoa and Lombardy, white peaced one for Austria, usurped Byzantine Empire, and started rearranging the realm - shifting my demesne out of Anatolia and into Italy somewhat. I even created and gave away minor kingdoms of Serbia and Bulgaria, and titular kingdom of Ottoman Turks to my brothers. It turns out being a vassal king gives -25 opinion penalty now. Seriously? Vassal kings were already really an extremely bad mechanic for power level, and I'm going for it only dynastic roleplaying reasons, and now there's an extra penalty on top of that?

Oh well, roleplaying it is, that lame game realm stability is pretty ridiculous. So brother, how would you like to be a king of Anatolia? All my demesne is in Greece and Italy now, but there's also a bunch of kingdoms (Sicily, Africa, Hungary) I hold with no family members to give them to just yet. Oh and you bastard, how would you like to be a king of Croatia? Sure, why not.

Usurped kingdoms of Hungary and Sicily with their zero crown authority were just a burden, so I destroyed them, which instantly increased my levies by quite a lot since medium crown authority now applies instead of zero. Oh, and what is this fatwa option? I can ask my court imam to fatwa decadent dukes and revoke their titles freely? Oh well, duchy of Thesalonika, you're getting a new ruler for no good reason.

Anyway, time for some endgame. First, I expelled the Jews and gave all their Jewgold to charity for some quick piety, then started invasion of Cumania against the Golden Horde. Which was an amazingly fast and easy conquest, with my first son getting the whole kingdom. I left the task of sorting out heretics from believers up to him. Ilkhanate even sided with me on this one, but did nothing anyway.

I assassinated Sultan of Egypt, hoping to get multiple claimants to his 3 kingdoms. That didn't work - I got one of his daughters with weak claims I could normally push since the new sultan is a minor, but apparently as a Muslim I can't even do that.

So a bit more rebel whackamole, and the last act of the campaign - invasion of Mauretania and destruction of what was left of Aztec event troops. That was quite a bit more fighting, but by that time my forces were extremely overwhelming, so my second son is now king of Mauretania.

And that's it for this campaign. I technically didn't end up creating the second empire (I'm at 78% for Carpathia and 61% of Italia, so it wouldn't take much effort to technically do that), but with every other major power except Egypt broken, and no good reasons to go against Egypt, I decided to call it a day.

Some fun final observations:
• All religions have their authority crushed, other than Sunni at 100.0, next places go to Miphysites and Paulicians at 44.2 each. Catholics are 4th at 37.9, and even Nestorians at 0 provinces have 31.5 authority. I feel religions get way too much authority from their head's piety and diplomacy - and religions without head like Hindu and Aztec are going to inherently lose, no matter situation on the ground.
• Realm stability is weirdly high. I had zero vassal problems, some adventurers, huge number of religious rebellions, but it all added up to not much. Borders like HRE-France which in old patches would go back and forth stayed in place the whole campaign.
• Grouping rebels under single temporary title makes a lot of sense, but it guarantees far too much realm stability - in old patches, all neighbours would descend upon realm in a civil war trying to claw whatever they could. Now, they can't.
• The game has just so many bugs - mostly minor, but I don't remember half as many issues with EU4.
• I absolutely hate the nonsense that you can't usurp a title of someone of another religion if they have even one holding in their own realm, or if they're at war (unless against you, obviously). One-province kings and emperors are just far too stupid.
• Warscore system sucks hard, especially how it doesn't scale by war type. It's trivial to get to 100% and get a whole kingdom without getting past border counties. But if you have 3 de jure baronies claims against Venice? Now do that 3 times, with 10 year truce timers in between. On the other hand AI is absolutely atrocious at using it - Persian rebels against Ilkhanate sat at +80% for a decade until Ilkhanate got their levies back and crushed them. EU4 on the other hand feels a bit too strict.
• New levy system with artificially lowered levies outside your primary title feels extremely artificial, and I suspect it hurts AI far more than it hurts me.
• Supply limits early game are fine, then late game they are extremely punitive. In EU4 timeline that's reversed. But does CK2 even need supply limits? The game apparently thinks not, with so many troop types completely attrition-free. Again, it mostly hurts AI, and the only gameplay value is protecting pagans from AI attacks. Humans know that you just instantly assault them and suffer no attrition.
• Just like EU4 is always-siege never-assault, CK2 is always-assault never-siege. Is it so hard to balance this?
• I'm not sure which aspects are due to new patches, and which due to very late start date.
• CK2 uses really really stupid map projection. Why the hell? It doesn't even need to show the whole world, it can have really good projection for its small part.


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