Why I love CK2 (slightly OT)

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Altaris
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Why I love CK2 (slightly OT)

Post: # 79490Post Altaris
Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:33 am

Been playing an SP campaign preparing for our mega-campaign, started as Charlemagne (Karl I of Karling dynasty). Had an awesome experience Thursday night.

So Karl I united most of France and what is now western Europe during his time, carrying three crowns under the "Kingdom of Frisia". Karl I led almost constant warfare, was maimed horribly around age 30, and died valiantly in battle at age 49 in the year 791. His two sons, Pepin and Karl, split his many kingdoms. Pepin, a ruthless sort, had Karl murdered almost immediately before he could secure a lineage, but the plot was found out and Pepin spent the rest of his years quelling rebellions brought on by dissatisfied vassals over his murdering and kin-slaying ways. But it was relatively peaceful, as Pepin maintained a strong hold on the reins of his kingdom's military, and benefited from having his father's many able generals at his beck and call.

Then, just as Pepin seemed poised to launch Frisia into a new period of opulence, he contracted pneumonia and died quickly at age 39, in the year 813. His two sons, Karl (age 13) and Raynauld (age 11) split the kingdoms yet again. With both still in minority, though, it was tough to determine a strategy to consolidate, as my normal kin-slaying plots weren't approved by my (much-wiser) regent. War was an option though, as Karl II controlled a much more formidable army than the young Raynauld. Thus began what should have been a short and decisive war... but such was not meant to be.

With war-score around 55% and Raynauld's army nearly destroyed, the Dukes of Aquitaine and Toulouse rose up in rebellion against my Karl II, claiming independence and fielding an army twice the size of mine. This was very, very bad news for me, and I almost sued for peace to bide my time, but figured I'd see how it played out a bit first. Karl still had plenty of unwed sisters laying around, and secured alliances with the Byzantine Empire and Lombardy, both of which contributed massive numbers of troops to quelching the uprising. Once more, things appeared to be coming into line, which was good as my army had dwindled to barely one 1K stack of my own troops... I was totally at the mercy of my allies to win this.

Karl II reach adulthood in 817 and married the daughter of the Byzantine Empire (her betrothal had secured their alliance). All seemed well... but then the Byzantine Empire broke out in civil war, followed shortly by civil war in Lombardy. To make matters worse, the Sultan of Africa declared Jihad on my holdings in Tripolitania. So now there was a 5-way war going on spanning almost the entirety of Western Europe, Asia Minor, and North Africa. To make matters worse, I had little more than my 1K stack of troops left alone to hold out against roughly 5K of my rebel vassals'. My brother was in even worse shape, and still my heir, so House Karling was by far the weakest direct participant in this huge conflagration. Luckily, my wife (the Byzantine Greek princess) had just become pregnant.

But to add insult to injury, Vikings descended on my capital of Brugges. I paid little heed, as I was busy surviving against my southern vassals. Unfortunately, the Vikings sacked the city... and took my 8 month wife as concubine... So my son and heir apparent (yet another Karl) was born in some filthy Viking den in Norway...

All worked out, though. My rebel vassals managed to get themselves killed and their rebellion petered out, giving me back much needed recruiting power. With it, my brother was easily dethroned. I threw him to the wolves, giving him Tripolitania and granting him independence... which he promptly lost to the invading Sultan of Africa's Jihadist hordes. The Byzantine Empire did not survive, fracturing from the civil war my proxy wars almost certainly caused. Lombardy did survive, but it's always somewhat unstable.

Frisia, on the other hand, after doing little to actually win it's own civil war, now stands as Europe's forefront power! (At least, among the Christian populace... the Muslims are looking rather frightening in Iberia)

Such a fun fun game.

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