I've always been intrigued by grand strategy games. They seem such complex things as someone whose never played one before with all of the rules, countless factors to consider, and tons of historical depth to them. I think for a lot of people it feels a little daunting trying to get a handle on such a game. A while back I got my mitts on Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis 3, and Hearts of Iron 3, but up until this point my time with the games can only really be considered fiddling riddled with false starts and silly mistakes as I try to get a handle on the genre.
Now I've decided to really sit down and try and get comfortable with these games starting with Crusader Kings II. I chose this one because I find it a little easier to grasp than the others, and it has a nice sense of humor to it as well where it feels like even if I lose I still kinda win just because of the hijinks my characters got into while playing.
|I have a du jure claim on Briefne, but it ;make take some work to|
bring it under my control
So, for someone like myself who likes lots of history, as well as games with a lot of meat on their bones, I guess it was inevitable that I'd sink my teeth into these games. This go around I plan to play through a session until the bitter end amassing as much prestige and piety as I can until my family line dies off or I make it to the year 1453, the year the game ends in. I'm going to give it a go as an Irish duke in Connacht, Aed I. Ireland is pretty much referred to as tutorial island in the game because it's a relatively quiet area of the world where not much happens. The larger nations mostly leave it alone seeing as it's so far away, and nearby countries like England and Scotland have their own problems without trying to invade. About the only thing players need to worry about is other Irish rulers trying to take over neighboring regions. Just to make sure I've got a handle on the game's mechanics I'll be playing it on the lowest difficulty setting. If I survive I'll play a new game with it set to normal and see how that goes.
|Hunts have been very good to Duke Aed I|
And that's one of the things that I'm noticing with Crusader Kings II: you need to take the long view on things. A lot of things take a really long time to come to fruition, so don't go running around guns blazing all the time like one would in countless other games. Realize that a plan that has just been set in motion may take many, many years before anything comes of it. Research takes time. Construction takes time. Getting all of the pieces in place for some grand scheme takes time.
That isn't to say nothing happens in the game, and that players are forced to wait ages before events come to pass. There's still a lot to do for fun, for profit, for the benefit of your family / vassals / subjects / the clergy. That's largely what I've been doing so far, going on hunts, having feasts and festivals, and finding a wife for my son (landed him a daughter of the Duke of Aquitaine). With a steady flow of tax income, research into ways to get more taxes, improve military tactics, and get more monthly prestige, things seem to be going well.
|One of the first orders of business in this session was finding a wife for|
Aed's only son.
I've also held a couple of winter feasts, sparing no expense on food or entertainment. Guests have been treated to mountains of food, rivers of drink, and conjurers, tumblers, and fire breathers. These things are really quite the spectacle. The local bishop seems to be a bit of a jerk at the feasts, though. At the first feast he turned down more wine, which thoroughly pissed off Aed. At the next one, held a couple of years later, he was openly complaining about the food. It's weird, because he has a really high opinion of my character, in fact he holds my duke in higher regard than the pope, and yet he's bad mouthing him at these parties, and turning down his hospitality. Maybe it's water under the bridge, though, because at the last feast he and Aed stayed up until the wee hours chatting about this and that, and they seemed to have a good time.
|Hurray, free money! I mean bad thieves! Bad!|
|It's always nice when everyone survives one of my|
parties eyebrows intact.
That's all still a long ways off, though. For now it's time to party, and really fortify things on the home front. Some expansion will come eventually, but I'm not willing to jump the gun on it. I'll satisfy myself with feasts, festivals, and hunting for the time being.
On to Part II of this adventure.