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Crusader Kings II Do you like to play Crusader Kings? Looking for help, tips or strategies?

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Old Oct 3rd 2014, 05:32 PM
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Default Crusader Kings II - Tips & Tricks

Here are some tips & tricks I've picked up from playing the game and reading stuff on the net...

1. Which bishop is where? One of the first things I do at the beginning of the game, or whenever I takeover a county, is to rename the bishopric to match the name of the county. That makes it a whole lot easier for me to figure out which bishop is which. This isn't an issue when you are a count or a duke with just a few counties. But playing as a king or emperor, I find it very useful when you can have 10-12 bishops from places with bizarre names I've never heard of.

You can do the same thing with baronies, county capitals, town names, county names or duchy names if you like, but I find there is much less need for this, though I do like to change some names just for historical flavor. For example, when I play England as William, I like to rename the county capital of Bedford from Wareham to Windsor Castle just because. When I built a new castle in Middlesex, it just had to be renamed the "Tower of London" for the same reason.

2. Sacrificing a Princess. I get a bit tired of always marrying my daughters to some far off land, to gain an alliance I don't need or want. Sometimes, when I have a princess with particularly good stats, I like to keep her at home and give her a matralinial marriage with some foreign hotshot warrior dude - ideally a prince who comes with some title claim. This strategy helps to expand my dynastic family with fresh blood, prevents my daughters from spreading claims to my titles all over Europe, might give me some useful claims I can use in the future, and lastly, provides me with a handy warrior-general-marshall type that is ultimately expendable (and one does tend to burn through battlefield generals). What's not to like?

4. Everyone loves gold. It really is amazing how much you can get your vassals to like you when you give cash gifts. This is especially useful when your ruler dies suddenly and your heir comes to the throne (with no prestige and negative piety) and isn't very popular with your vassals. Keeping 500 to 1000 gold on hand for succession 'gifts' when your king starts getting old is a prudent strategy. Don't bother bribing the mayors or barons - it is the powerful Dukes that matter most. Because of this, I always make enhancing my revenues a number one priority. Gold is always useful.

5. Nasty old bastards. Once I've got a ruler who has ruled for a long time and is getting old, he's usually got so much prestige, piety and popularity banked up that he can do just about anything and get away with it. I find that these old bastard rulers can be really useful because you don't have to worry so much about getting a bad reputation for a foiled (or successful) assassination since they will die soon, so you can take way more risks. Secondly, I can also just revoke a title in my own kingdom just because I think it would be a nice addition to my demesne - or because I want to give it to someone else. Sure I'm going to take a negative opinion hit from all my vassals for doing these bad things. But I can do these things and then just die and one's bad reputation dies with you. Your heir inherits a clean slate - and yet gets to benefit from the dirty deeds done by the old bastard.

6. Create new dynastic families. Using the "invite noble to court" option in the intrigue window, you get some new random character to show up at your court. I prefer to invite a "holy man" because he's way cheaper at only 5 piety points vs 50 to 80 gold for the "noble" and they are basically the same random generated characters with roughly the same weak stats and bad vices. You can then marry him to some relative of a foreign Bishop to give him a little prestige boost. Then I let them hang around my court for a few years. If they breed a son, then this is an ideal candidate for granting a title to (since he has a clean slate, no claims, already married and comes with an heir). If they don't breed, or produce only daughters, then I make him a bishop to get rid of him and his family from my court. When I'm growing/expanding, it sure is nice to have one or two of these type of families on hand ready to be dropped into my newly acquired counties when they come available.

Anyone have any more to add?
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Old Oct 7th 2014, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Crusader Kings II - Tips & Tricks

I thought of another couple...

7. Invite to Court - This is a really useful feature, though it takes some work. I find it a great feature especially for finding some good (high-stat) councillors to fill out my council. Using the Character listing, I search for "men, not-married, my religion, any culture", then I sort them in order of the stat I want (like martial). The most important thing to remember here is that characters who have a job or title (or lowborns) won't (or can't) accept your invitation, so you have to find those listed as a "courtier". Click on each prospective courtier you find to see if their opinion of their liege is zero or less. They also need a positive opinion of you (40+) for it to work. Give them a small gift (20 gold) and then invite them. It is a longshot, but it does work - I've recruited some great diplomats, stewards, spymasters and warrior-generals this way. To be honest, I don't know why my imported Hungarian spymaster is so effective working in England where the language and culture are so different, but whatever works I say!

8. Grease the Pope - Whenever a new pope is appointed, pause and offer the new pope a "gift" - if you are quick enough, it costs only 20 gold and you get 30-50 points opinion bonus. If you are slow, the gift price jumps really quickly. Within a few days, the price is a few hundred gold. After a week or two, gifts to the pope cost over a thousand gold (a price that seems to say until he dies).
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