Crusader Kings AAR: Part 2

Whelp, time to get started with actually playing. The first thing to do is to expand. Trouble is, as a count, there are not too many options. You have very little money, and very few troops. And I spent all my money upgrading my money-making buildings, so I can’t buy mercenaries to even the odds. The best bet is just to look around and see who can be bullied. My liege is too strong. But there is another duke just up to the east of him that only has two counties (of which he controls both), who I can maybe take down. It’s going to be close, but if I can manage, I can double my holdings and maybe take a duke title right off the bat.

Tribal governments allow one to do a Subjugation cassus belli once per ruler lifetime (unless you have the Become King ambition, where you can do it as much as you want I suppose, but that’s a bit much for a count right now), for free. Since I’m not going to sit here waiting to get a fabricated claim (and besides, I already my chancellor doing that on one of my liege’s counties), we’ll go for that, and hope I won’t need it in the future. Also, I got a bunch of zealots from an event, and they go away if I don’t go to war within a certain period of time, so there’s a ticking clock. I invite a bunch of random dudes to my court to get a set of good commanders, and off I go.

Well, it worked, and far better than I had hoped. The enemy leader was personally leading his forces, and got captured. That’s an immediate 100% to warscore, meaning I win in my first battle. Talk about luck! So now the chief and his wife have new hats, and a new title. Now my old liege is a mere peer, very nice. I’m my own boss, and not even three years in.

And what luck, right at the same time the first new addition to the dynasty arrives:

Sure, it’s from a concubine, but as I said before, that doesn’t matter really, especially at this stage in the game. We’re not looking at maintaining a kingdom or anything; and besides, it’s the electors’ job to chose the heir, so no one is too fussy about relative weight of claims – the electors can just choose some random bloke in the realm (I’m not sure if it has to be of the ruling dynasty or not).

But now, since I’ve already used up my one Subjugation claim, there isn’t much to do besides sit and wait for my chancellor to manufacture that claim on my old liege. Fortunately there are events, and kids get older and such. Since my dynasty is so small right now, I’m going to stick to matrilinial marriages for the girls…

…Oh. That’s not so good. First daughter, already a mistake. Well, it shouldn’t be that bad. Love is for the birds, and a person has their duty to their family, after all. Lie back and think of England Sclavonia and all that.

Well, time gets ticking, and not much happens. Not strong enough to challenge the neighbors, and no one is messing with me either. There are events and such, but nothing major.

Turns out trying to make friends is hard. It helps if they already have high opinion of you, which is what I’m trying to do with this lady here, but you really need specific events. From what I’ve seen, the two easiest ways are to be a part of a society (you can make friends in the society, and in related interests), or to make friends with your wards that you’re educating (if you have Family focus, which I do there, because of the bonus to fertility and health). Of course, there are other sorts of relationships you can pursue…

Anything to keep the dynasty growing! Of course, it doesn’t hurt to get ptsd and try to deal with it by being a drunk and a lech. But other than that, not much exiting going on. Just keep getting older, randomly get events, and then die. Unfortunately, not too much expanding to do, since a ruler’s martial score affects the army size, and when you already have a small, primitive realm, there’s not much you can do. Until one goes the way of all the earth, at least.

But, at least Alvydas managed to do one thing right : get a darn good start with his dynasty. Eight children, all of which managed to at least live to adulthood. And his children are living on in his example of fecundity. A few generations of this, and this will be one of the grander houses in Europe, if not the world! But it will be up to his descendants, especially his oldest son, to actually make that house mean anything.