Oh glorious victory!
Just wanted to brag / share my little tale. I finally unlocked the United The Kingdoms achievement, and am ecstatic. This is the only game on Steam where I feel this thrilled to earn a 'cheev, because (at least on normal) I find the game suitably tough, and the learning curve satisfying but steep enough, to really feel that it is an 'achievement' of some kind.
I started as Ivar the Boneless. Immediately got concerned about my kids, because of the Gavelkind succession (unchangeable, so far as I can tell), and even in my early years was looking for ways to, er, cull the herd. Eventually managed to bump off a son, then just before Ivar's death (he died at age 80, which was awesome and gave me tons of time) killed another one. So only my eldest son, who I believe was Sigfrop, survived. By this time, I had invaded most of Ireland (sorry, IRLAND, since it's the Norse Version) and a good amount of Scotland.
The next character got busy demolishing Ireland until there was only a couple of stray counties left. He also invaded enough of Wales to form the Kingdom. Unfortunately, he had gotten busy with a concubine or three, and had two sons. I became one, but the other inherited Wales (becoming Olafr of Wales). Then the fun started.
In order to get this achievement, I fought through TEN Catholic uprisings (count them), converting something like ten or twelve counties to my glorious Pagan faith along the way. I fought something like five civil wars, involving all those ingracious Jarls I had been forced to trust along the way.
But my favorite twist? My various attempts to kill my brother (to inherit Wales) had all failed. I never had the requisite 350 gold...my plot power was trash...he wouldn't even join a war to maybe get crippled or killed in battle. So I'm fighting in some civil war started by an idiot Jarl who was trying to claim Scotland in Olafr's name (without Olafr's blessing, amusingly enough) - when suddenly the war ends. I was actually disappointed at first, because I wanted to punish the upstart Jarls who had joined the fight. Then I realized something funny. My brother was dead. Huh?
Turns out MY WIFE (who doubled as my SPYMASTER) had privately, of her own accord, assassinated my brother! My God! I kissed her feet! I gave her all the babies she wanted! My dear, beloved Lady Macbeth!
So with broski dead, I finally managed to grab the rest of England, and at that exact moment my plot finally fired to kill off Olafr's 2 year old boy. Oh, the price of power. WIth his death, Wales became mine, and I held all four kingdoms: Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales. Best moment of my gaming career, bar none. 91 hours into the game, at least 30 of which were directed towards failed efforts at seizing the United Kingdoms.
Anyone else have a funny story about scoring this achievement - or at least seizing Britannia or something? :D