Crusader Kings III

I need to watch some of the fame play videos that apparently are already out there, then, and decide if I wanna get this or not.

I’m thinking about my greatest CK2 playthrough to date – I started in the earliest 700s start date, as the Jewish count of Semien (a tiny county in Ethiopia). I took some land, swore fealty to the Christian King of Ethiopia, and eventually rose to the throne from within. I then swore fealty to the nearby Arab caliph (I forget which dynasty was in power then) and, through political machinations, installed myself as king of Ethiopia, Arabia, and Egypt – three of the strongest kingdoms in the caliphate. In the meantime the emperor had expanded to all of CK2’s Muslim world, from West Africa and Spain all the way to Afghanistan.

Despite being an enormously powerful vassal and an infidel, I kept good relations with the caliph by… well, let’s just say each time my own kingdom got a new heir, I would back the strongest son of the current caliph in a bid to take over the whole empire. That way the current emperor always liked my leader and put up with him.

Eventually I got powerful enough that I backed a son’s revolt – then declared independence from the revolting empire and founded an empire of my own (finally earning the Kingdom of David achievement, my goal for the run). The caliphate split between two powerful vassals of the old caliph, one in the East and one in North Africa. I went to wore with the western empire and conquered all the way to Mali and Spain; then the Mongols came and conquered the eastern half of the world, all the way to my borders in Mesopotamia.

I managed to hold the Mongols off for a time but it was a pyrrhic situation and my armies were depleted. Luckily before the Mongols could send another stack over they had a succession crisis. The new heir reunited his empire within a year but this gave me an opportunity to raise my favor with the off map Chinese emperor and call on his client state in Tibet to attack the Mongols for me. Somehow they won and the mongol empire fragmented, and I was able to push my lands out to the border with India.

There were some border skirmishes with the Byzantines but nothing I couldn’t handle – I backed an Armenian revolt against the Byzantines and then proved up the Armenians as a buffer with them.

Then came the Sunset Invasion. I held off the Aztecs in North Africa, but they took northern Spain and all of Britain from the locals. The game ended during a slow slog to take Europe from the Aztecs. Holy Fury came out and I abandoned that save.

Since then I tried to form the Persian empire while remaining Zoroastrian and independent the whole time, but have failed. Maybe I will try again in CK3.

Awesome after-action report, babale.

While waiting for the release (about one hour), I’m still trying to decide where to start my first playthrough. I’m thinking maybe Scotland or one of the Nordic tribes.

I decided to try CKII last night. I did the tutorial, was completely lost, got my wife accidentally assassinated, got in a fight with my brother, and then suddenly it was 3 hours later. 9/10.

Failures are the best in CK2, especially if you recover against all odds. I had a game starting as a minor count in Britain. Had a decent start, the founder got a couple duchies, his son got the kingdom started. Then, with a 10 year old son and a few month old daughter, my character was assassinated by his advisor. This was early game so aside from my children there was no one else in my dynasty.

The son had 6 years before he could rule. In the meantime I was relegated to a regency. My regent? The treacherous advisor. He stole from my coffers over and over and married the dead king’s widow who joined all of his plots. It was terrible. And at 15, just before taking the throne, my new character was taken on a “hunting trip” by the regent and killed with an arrow through the eye.

Which meant it was time for my 5 year old sister to take the throne. Giving the regent 10 more years to run the kingdom into the ground. At 14 she survived an assassination attempt and lived long enough to take tje throne.

I married her off matrilinearly to some Frankish prince for a powerful alliance, imprisoned the advisor and banished the mother, and then set about making up lost time. The Warrior Queen conquered and founded the kingdoms of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland and founded the British Empire before dying in battle while leading her army against the last free Scottish king, who had Nordic aid.

I remember thinking, in that game’s timeline, that queen would be a national hero. The George Washington or Genghis Khan of her people. I love the stories this game creates.

Yeah, bare minimum new players need to learn how to create claims against opponants they can beat, how to raise troops, how to move them. The rest flows in time from that start.

Arumba has great tutorials on YouTube. That’s how I learned.

Just downloaded CK3 and haven’t checked out their tutorial yet, but I am guessing it is a great improvement on CKII’s tutorial which wasn’t ideal. Can’t wait to get off of work to try it out.

First impressions: I like it. The interface is different and the gameplay is slightly different. I like the detailed development paths: lifestyles for characters, renown for dynasties, technology for cultures, tenets for religions. Lots of ways to subtly change how things happen.

My first game started at 867 as the Petty King of Strathclyde. It’s a tiny Cumbrian state wedged south of the Picts, north of the Anglo-Saxons, across from Ulster. I survived attacks from the viking, unlike a lot of the Anglo-Saxons and Irish. I managed to reconquer the victims land and founded an actual kingdom, which I named Cumbria. I enacted tanistry, so hopefully it won’t split on inheritance as so often happens.

I also ended up getting it. Haven’t really sunk into a playthrough yet. I was messing around as the Vikings in England, but I’m not sure if I want to keep that playthrough going. I’m thinking of starting a playthrough as an English kingdom in 867, fend off the vikings, go on Crusade. The classic CK2 game. Then again, I’ve done that before; maybe I should play in the HRE for once.

I realize I’ve never really played a game starting in Central Europe. Maybe its time to give it a try; I’ve just always felt a bit overwhelmed by how massive eastern Europe is.

Any recommendations for interesting rulers in the 867 start? I was looking at Bohemia, who are pagan, could be interesting…

I played for about an hour last night, just enough time to get some initial impressions.

There are a lot more graphics and the game looks really nice, but everything in the UI has hovertext or graphics. I found myself getting really frustrated because I couldn’t navigate the window without shit popping up all over the place.

There’s no custom character creation? I guess they’re gonna make you pay for it this time around.

There are only two years you can start - 867 and 1066. I guess they’re gonna make you pay for timeline access. No big deal.

Going to war is a bit easier because it always shows you who you can go to war with and why at any given time. Less digging around for a cassus belli. Hunting for marriage material seems easier, too, and I like that it tells you the odds of having kids. But I had a couple of prospective marriages that said the odds of a kid were zero. Neither side was celibate or hunchbacked or anything else that might disqualify them from having children so that was confusing.

The map, and moving around on it, seems identical at least in the early game.

In the settings menu under the Game option you can set the pop-ups to require an active click with the middle mouse button, you may prefer that.

Actually I think they’ve said this will be a FLC coming soon!

According to the dev diary they got rid of the timeline this time around on purpose with the intent to polish the bookmarks more and release more of those instead, citing that their player stats showed that few people used the timeline

Don’t forget the best upgrade ever – WASD map scrolling!

All in all it feels like a polished and graphically upgraded CK2 which is what I would have wanted.

So I played some more on my lunch break. Started a new game as the same Halfdane fella and invaded Northumbria. This time I did not ally myself with the other danes and instead foiled my brother’s invasion of a different part of the same kingdom, allowing me to take a few extra counties. I also fought a few more wars in rapid succession against Mercia to the South as well as the Welsh prince in the northern part of Wales. I pushed back and have taken territory in southern England and Wales.

My plan is to keep conquering until I can found England and then expand to the rest of the Isles. I’d eventually like to take control of the Nordic lands as well; we will see if that is possible…

Ohh sweet! I just found out it is on Xbox/PC game pass. downloading now.

In CKII I spent most of my time on the Poilitical Map, knowing who is allied or at war with whom. Also I needed to keep track of their Vassals and my own.

The Realm Map, seems to be CK3’s version and I find it wanting. Any tips?

I like hte music but sure hope someone mods this soon for some Bardcore. My court wants to listen to stuff like this:

Ah, how the fates of war turn!

My original ruler Jarl Halfdan used his starting event troops to conquer vast tracts of land. In my starting character’s life I took over almost everything I needed to create the Danelaw. I made sure to conquer everything I needed with Duchal Conquest CB, saving my Kingdom Invasion (and enough Prestige for it) to try and conquer the united Scotland to my north in one fell swoop.

Unfortunately things didn’t quite work out that way. Halfdan had a bunch of sons, thanks to his concubines. They were all great warriors; Unfortunately war after war took its toll, and many sons fell in heroic battles. With a few dead uncles too, Halfdan grew very stressed and eventually turned to drink.

This would lead to tragedy. As the last settlement he needed to conquer – a county in East Anglia – was being sieged, Halfdan died of alcoholism in his mid 60s.

His son, a useless fool of a 50 year old, took the throne – but unfortunately other sons split off to for Mercia and Northumbria. Before the new king could deal with the situation – or even finish the siege his father died during – he had died of old age.

The next son inherited the much reduced kingdom, at the age of 6. But by leveraging my last useful family member, an older sister, I got an alliance with the other Viking realm still in England, finally won the siege to take East Anglia, and dealt with the uncle who took Northumbria. That just left the uncle in Mercia. I had a peasant revolt, and called my uncle in to the war using family ties. I let his army fight the peasants alone, then declared war and took his lands. And with that, just a few weeks after turning 16, my new ruler became King of the Danelaw.

I THINK this means my succession is more secure, but since I’d like to conquer Scotland, Wales, and Ireland as well, I need to start thinking about next steps. I think I’m stuck with confederation partition as an unreformed Pagan but I’m not sure how bad it will be. If I found the empire of Britain, then take a kingdom outside my de jure territory, will any sons who take that kingdom will become independent? I’m not sure…

In CK2 you were able to limit your character searches for people who would join your court. I want a Steward that doesn’t suck and I can’t seem to limit the list of ALL characters to those who would join me.

So…any dumbing down relative to CK II? I haven’t paid attention to the development of CK III in a long time, but when I very briefly was I saw a lot of worried kvetching about some of the pending design choices. I can no longer remember most of those of course :smile:. But I think some of it boiled down to decreased granularity around things like baronies and such. I thought CK II wasn’t granular enough. Because I’m a nerd.

Impressions? I mean more character stuff is great, but hopefully there has been no meaningful sacrifice of territorial/political mechanics as well. I still remember my dismay way back when I went from Medieval Total War to Rome Total War and realized they had streamlined the battles so they no longer took a couple of hours and eliminated goal-oriented victory conditions. Blasphemy! I still played it of course, but only with much disgruntled muttering :wink: .

TL;DR version- No, probably more granular, especially in the tactical sense.

Steam says I have 731 hours logged with CK2. I’ve played CK3 only for 5 hours yet so, first impressions.


-The community has confirmed there is no search feature for finding only characters that will join you court, which is annoying, but also how CK2 started out. Perhaps there is some mechanic I am missing yet, but in either case it needs to get sorted out.

-The graphics to denote character traits are pretty, but larger than necessary and harder to distinguish at a glance than CK2. And glancing is what you do all the time. Perhaps I’ll get used to it.


-The notifications are so much cleaner, good god, I know you can change the settings in CK2, but man alive you were getting constant updates about stupid stuff that was like wading through office junk mail.

-Standard stuff is just presented to you like it always should have been, ‘raise army’, ‘disband army’ should always have been a button that appeared when you declared war. Now it is. I might miss the fact that you holdings don’t muster troops individually any more, there was some tactically interesting considerations there. Now all your units are mustered at your designated ‘muster point’. It’s simpler, the jury is out on whether anything valuable is lost though.

-Holding territories within the county are spaces. In CK2 if you attacked a county you must first attack the primary holding then the next one, then the next one down the list. In CK3 each is an actual space within a county and you can attack whatever you like. I was skeptical about whether that would be a pain, but I like it so far.

The jury is still out:

I don’t have enough experience with the armies yet. You get stock levys, which suck, and a few knights. Depending on culture and tech you can improve your forces in different ways. At least for the 867 AD start in Ireland, CK2 was more granular there, but I have just gotten started and there could very well be many more interesting force compositions.

-The development tree for your character is nice in theory, I hope the effort is interesting enough to be worth the time it takes. I do like the stress consequence of a player not ‘playing’ his character to type. It turns a collection of stats into a person you have to play. I hope it makes the experience richer rather than a bother.

I loved playing CK1, but since I refuse to use Steam I haven’t played any more modern version. So what if CK2 is free to play if it requires sacrificing your soul to Valve? Put it on another platform FFS! And EU4 too! Apologies if they have actually done that, but none of their marketing emails have apprised me of such an occurence.

Yeah, I’m going to hate that I think. Maybe. We’ll see. Using demesne vs. vassal troops was definitely one of the ways I manipulated vassal relations. Also I don’t like the concept of muster points in general - there were tactics in gathering troops and it was a tad more realistic.

Ah, well - no doubt that will make me pout. But I’m still almost certain to buy the game. I love CKII and it is still on my computer and I still wander back to it from time to time. CKIII will be an easy sell - after the inevitable Paradox patching of course :slight_smile:.

I sold my soul to that particular devil some time ago. Much like cell phones* I don’t love it in concept, but much like cell phones I have to admit I’ve grown to be dependent on it.

*Not smart phones, I appreciated that idea from the start once I had already sold my soul to cellular.