Crusader Kings II--Am I too ADD for this?

Been wanting to play this for a while, and my daughter had nabbed it on a Steam sale. So I was up late last night and bored and…I am so lost. I loved AOE 2, and I was decent at Civilization, but this. THIS. It just feels like, I dunno, that dream you have where you forgot to attend history class and it’s finals week and you ALSO forgot your locker combination. I can’t even figure out how to click my armies (if I can find them) on ships in due time, or split them up appropriately so the damn Turks don’t invade my capital while I’m flouncing off somewhere else. I can’t even tell how much real money I have in my treasury! I want to like this so badly, but it just isn’t very user-friendly. Or am I just an idiot?

(BTW, I played the tutorial for a few hours till I got stuck trying to invade the Canary Islands and spent a whole game year loading my ships, and then another year trying to get them off the ships onto the island where they did…nothing. Then I started a new game as the entire frickin Byzantine Empire and, well, I don’t even know what was happening there. Other than my wife cheating on me, that is.) The only aspects that really make sense so far are the intrigue, some of the council stuff, and some of the diplomacy.

I know, there are a bazillion tutorial videos and all–I will check them out if it is actually worth it. I do like strategy, and I’d love to learn more of the history here, but I’m even having so much trouble simply with the interface! As in, I want to tell some council guy to do one of his three options, and I can’t even tell if he’s, y’know, doing it, or if I clicked the wrong thing. Plus the buttons and menu things are so small and I can’t change resolution for some unknown reason…

If you do love this game, can you maybe point me to some worthwhile guides? I don’t even know where to start there.

I would advice to jump in…paradox games don’t have clear cut winning anyway. Just try things out, see what happens and use your experience to do things better the next time round. And try a very strong country for your first game or two just to see how things work. Hope you enjoy the game.

If you’re just starting out, getting a feel for the game, then you want to start small. A count in the Holy Roman Empire, a minor duke in France, or even a small kingdom in the Iberian peninsula are all viable options. The Emperor of Byzantium is way, way too big and complicated. The traditional recommendation is to start as a count in Ireland, with the immediate goal of taking over a duchy, the intermediate goal of becoming King of Eire, a long term goal of ruling all the British Isles as Emperor of Britannia.

One tip: you can pause the game at any time by tapping the space bar. Unless you are playing MP, where that’s pretty universally not allowed, it’s almost mandatory when playing a Paradox game. :smiley:

Might I suggest something like Stellaris (also on sale) as a bridge from 4X to Grand Strategy Paradox titles?

I think it might be a good first step for you, in fact it might might whet your appetite for grand strategy as Stellaris is great at introducing the concepts and showing you the potential of these grand strategy systems, but currently not quite fully delivering on them as richly as say CKII would. It might get there some day, but it’s still a great 4X game + grand strategy-lite as it stands.

Actually, I think the better suggestion would be “For the Glory”, the Steam version of Europa Universalis 2. Yes, it’s a dated game and look, but it’s got the basic Paradox historical game interface, and most of the commands to move things are the same as CK II. Plus, it has the same Paradox approach to simulation of historical events.

Which is not to say that Stellaris isn’t a good game, but it’s not really as good a bridge to CK II, IMO. :slight_smile:

CK2 is addictive, and I’m one of its addicts. Paradox is not very good with explanations, either. And loading and unloading ships is still a pain in the ass, even when i figured how to do it. One time, early, I was playing the King of Lombardy and was fighting the Muslims in North Africa, and couldn’t figure out how to get my soldiers on ships so I marched them all the way around through Spain. :slight_smile: That didn’t work out very well.

The biggest problem with ships is that it won’t load ANY men onto ships unless you have enough ships to hold ALL of your men, instead of taking as much as they can hold. Plus, unless you group them all together into ONE unit, it won’t take all of your men even if you have enough ships to hold them all.


There’s a tutorial?

I get sucked into CKII every now and then. When I get caught up in a game, I’m all in and wholly engulfed in the game.

Learn in a small realm. Irish counts are good, but learning to be subordinate to a liege’s demands is important too, so a Byzantine count isn’t bad either.

Each region plays differently. Europe plays differently than the Arabic lands plays differently than the Indian subcontinent.

Casus belli is important. Learn which you can use. Religion is important here.

I don’t think Stellaris is very comparable to CKII. Stellaris has a beginning, middle, and end. I’m in the end of a game now and I’m reminded why Stellaris doesn’t hold me like CKII. It’s a slow slog of petty wars that nibble at my neighbors borders while I grind the endgame out.

In CKII, there’s no endgame phase, just ongoing shenanigans. If I’m holding my realm but surrounded by bigger empires, how to I maneuver my heir to be their heir? If I’m on the rise, how do you exploit it to secure your holdings for your heir or expand the borders to increase your empire? If things go badly, how to I maneuver my competent uncle into the throne instead of the greedy, selfish shit of a three year old I have ruling now. (Plotting my own death will never cease to amuse me, even if it’s rare that the opportunity arises.)

This isn’t a bad guide to Ireland. Things are so variable that you can’t really do a step-by-step guide to much.

You can either
1-Bang every woman in the realm and out till you get Great Pox
2-Take the Stewardship focus until you get Stressed
3-Keep your ruler as a commander and go into battle.

Yes, and unlike most Paradox tutorials, it actually sort of works. :stuck_out_tongue:

Don’t forget willfully ignoring assassination plots against you.

Thanks guys! I haven’t been able to revisit the game yet; need some hours when I can concentrate. Going on vacation this weekend for two weeks, so it will be a while. I will look into Stellaris and For the Glory if I can’t get the hang of CK II next time.

I actually didn’t realize that you could set up a game where you can choose your own ruler and country, so I will definitely have to try that. I only noticed the specific campaigns. So of course I start as the entire Byzantine Empire. :smack:

Score! I picked up Europa Universalis IV (I think) and Stellaris for cheap in a bundle today, so I will give them a go after I get back from vacation. Thanks for the suggestions.

P.S. The first day of our road trip we’ll be hitting up a big arcade museum in Pittsburgh, so I’m stoked.

For Stellaris make sure you get the More Events Mod and the New Ship Design Mod. Hope you enjoy the games. :slight_smile:

I probably won’t try this one for a while, not really into space-themed stuff (as a rule) but I did try to get the mods you suggested for when I do. Was the latter called “New Ship Classes and More”? That was the closest I could find. :slight_smile: (Steam Workshop) I haven’t ever modded anything on Steam, so I’m not sure if I’m doing it right…and search didn’t work.

That’s it! Stellaris does take place in space but its really more of an RPG. We can be pacifistic spiritualist; egalitarian militarists or any different combination of ethics. It also doesn’t carry the expectations of historical places and people. And when you do get a chance please check out the Stellaris sub reddit. It is very informative and friendly. The game is very deep and there will be questions.

While I recommend any Paradox strategy game, CK2 is in a class by itself. The character-driven game play really hits the sweet spot of immersion and conflict.

To learn it, you need to play it. It’s pure sandbox, do do whatever you feel like. Losing can be fun! Use space to pause. You can also configure different events to auto-pause.

I highly recommend the mod CK2plus. It’s not on Steam; it has its own subfolder in the Paradox CK2 mod section. CK2plus improves the game immensely.