Submarine_Argument Mar 2 @ 5:45am
Looking for a new nation, Mediumish easy difficulty. NO HRE!!! Playthrough 2
So, I just finished a full playthrough of the game. Started as Meath in Ireland in 1066 and managed a respectable control of almost all of the UK and Iceland for the EU4 conversion. Originally followed some tutorials but eventually made my own way. Played the game at speed 2 for the most part. It was non-ironman, I think when I started the game ironman achievements didn't exist.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun. I converted the game to EU4 and prettymuch discovered that I'm a pretty bad admiral and I also took Iceland in the game hoping to colonize a random new world. I actually did so and found colonization really unimpressive. I also hate boats haha.

I also recently tried an Ironman count of Olomouc, Ota the Handsome. Managed to do well at first, going from no heir to the king of bohemia, but then when he died things went south fast. Had a random war (with ZERO faction formed or warning) from a relative count that wanted my previous ruler's 35 year old nun daughter to rule instead. As I was sadly losing that war, due to multiple huge allies from the HRE, the new emperor declared he was revoking my main dutchy of Moravia... Yeah, bad beats, sob story, but frustrating.... Don't think I'm ready for Moravia difficulty, especially ironman.

Other quick info, in EU4 I played a long MP game as Bohemia where the HRE was super annoying since I was protestant and the emperor was DOF. I am also playing a Swiss Ironman EU4 where Austria is emperor of the HRE and equally annoying.

So needless to say, I am looking for suggestions for a new playthrough in CK2 BUT
I do NOT want to be IN the HRE nor do I want to have to fight them constantly! I am HRE'd out!
In fact, I think that both EU4 and CK2 make the HRE a bit overpowered in terms of solidarity and communication. If you look at the reign of Charles V, the HRE was anything but overpowered. He literally had to move himself and his court (installing regents) just to keep civil wars and religious turmoil to a minimum. To suggest that the HRE has the overwhelming power to instantly call vassals from all over Germania / wherever to fight in whatever small rebellion is a bit unrealistic, to put it politely. I don't think the Emperor had as much power as is portrayed in either game, but... either way, I'm sick of it.

Anyway, interested in suggestions for a difficulty of "not newbie" but not ready to take over the world with cheese tactics. Something not as easy as Ireland, but not getting rolled over by the HRE either : ) I own all major expansions so any start date is fair game.



Last edited by Submarine_Argument; Mar 2 @ 5:49am
Showing 1-15 of 17 comments
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Gloomseeker Mar 2 @ 6:53am 
You could start in 867 so there is no HRE but pick a location that is not directly exposed to Viking raids.

Ironman is probably not the best way to play unless you don't mind not being able to reload when the game starts pushing you around with some events (although I think these can be a lot of fun to stir things up a little).

The North of Spain could be challenging but fun especially if you pick a start with Basque culture (succession laws that allow female characters to inherit). I haven't played it yet (my last game took me 60 hours) but I've been thinking about it. If you can fend off the Muslims you should be fine.
Gorfeywog Mar 2 @ 8:25am 
Khazaria is a decent medium-hard game, assuming you don't get stomped by Cumania immediately.
dm.harlin Mar 2 @ 9:08am 
I found Spanish kingdoms (Leon, particularly) not that hard and interesting enough to play, if you learn how to use your allies properly. I got whole peninsula under my control by 1200, playing my first game in CK2 (non-ironman).
On the other side of the map, unifying Russian lands also is a challenge you can try.

In both cases, you can try and experiment with Seniority succession :)
Alex Mar 2 @ 9:25am 
Originally posted by Gloomseeker:
The North of Spain could be challenging but fun especially if you pick a start with Basque culture (succession laws that allow female characters to inherit). I haven't played it yet (my last game took me 60 hours) but I've been thinking about it. If you can fend off the Muslims you should be fine.
Just rage quitted navarra, I've spent all my hard earned money + jewish loans on a holy war, got 97% -> ran out of money and had to disband the mercenaries. Fortunately I got Italy to join the war, but of course at this moment some fu*king Karling decided to press a claim and and the middle of europe goes to ♥♥♥♥ once again for some years. Italia became property of Lotharingia and my warscore sank to 37% so I offered white peace.
I hate these damn Karlings, they need to get their ♥♥♥♥ together
happy Mar 2 @ 9:40am 
i agree the HRE is overpowered and does not reflect what it was: a total mess most of the time

you could try a duke or count in france, it could be fun, building up some power, taking the crown of france, little bit of crusades now and then, possibility to clear out hispania of infidels anytime, possibility of inheriting italy lotharingia etc if you start in 860something(keeping them will not be that easy...but even if you lose wars you ll lose territories outside of france, that makes losing fun)
france was really involved in crusades, so you might decide to really keep jerusalem
and

you have the opportunity to take revenge on the HRE, it wont attack you, so no sweat, but you have the right country to just totally break the HRE if you please(france is weaker but your brain will fill in the gap)

starting in 860 is nice, as france is only half of what it usually looks like so you have some challenge, the karling intrigues are somewhat too easy though

another nice starting date is during the hundred years war, where england controls a third of frnace, it s always nice to have an even force ennemy right from the start(they have claims, so be prepared, they will frequently declare war, totally manageable though, you might lose a few territories at first, but will win eventually

lithuania is fun too, you can easily grow huge, but you re pagans so the christian world will want to bring you down, and that s quite fun
but i think at some point in middle game HRE is going to fall on your back(though at that point, you would have brought down pomerania and bohemia and other pagans, you should be strong enough to resist the HRE)

extra advice

whenever you re on a playthrough and notice some big country gets torn down or some unusual small nation gets to reasonable size and power, make a save
you have the opportunity to play any nation from any save at anytime

some of my best playthroughs are from these saves, like france is reduced to two counties, good challenge, or a huge mutant croatia aiming to spread an heresy on rome
Last edited by happy; Mar 2 @ 9:50am
Ragnarök Mar 2 @ 10:59am 
Try Poland. Easy to expand through Holy Wars to the East. Challenge the HRE when you feel confident enough.
Carmen Mirana Mar 2 @ 11:10am 
Starting as the Emir of the Aftasid, in the Iberic peninsula, or as one of his two sons (both are Sheikhs and close in power: due to how Muslim inheritance laws work in the game, you can easily have either as the heir to the Emir's titles).

Another interesting start as a Muslim is as the Zirid Sultan of Africa, with options of expansion by conquest to the south, or by Jihads/Invasions to the north (against Sicily and other territories in the de jure Italian borders).

The Petty King of Brittany is also interesting: you have means of expansion in all directions (it's easy to take Ireland apart piece by piece, and if you want a harder challenge you can try going against the allied Spanish Christian kings, or attack France when it's dealing with another war or internal conflicts).

The Duke of Kent, at the 1066 start, is brother of Harold Godwin, who is facing off both the Hard-Ruler from Norway and the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ from Normandy - any English duke, and that includes the Duke of Kent, can change the course of history if he sends his ~2k armies to aid his English liege, or devotes part of his purse toward the fight against both foes. From there, you can try and claim the English throne, or lower its CA and wage war on your neighboring dukes.

Others that come to mind are the Catholic independent Kings and Dukes of the Iberic peninsula (Galicia, Leon, Castille, Navarra, Aragon and Barcelona; the duke of Portucale is not independent but can be) and the dukes of France, which can easily expand their power inside French territory or grow into Italy/Spain, before thinking about facing the blob that is the HRE.
Gloomseeker Mar 2 @ 11:56am 
I'm not the only one who dislikes the HRE.

Here is an interesting thread listing different characters that can be fun to play:

http://www.ckiiwiki.com/Interesting_characters_guide
Relnor Mar 2 @ 8:15pm 
I've found Denmark a pretty interesting choice, it's compact, you can control all the titles in the Kingdom without any issues, a LOT of alliance potential cause you have like a dozen sons/daughters, easy, holy war driven expansion across the entire Pomeranian coast all the way to Prussia and even beyond (tho the land beyond does become less valuable). Just ally with all your neighbours and watch the HRE conquer Pomerania for you.

Your Norwegian and Swedish neighbours are usually pretty weak. The interesting part is how you deal with the HRE; for awhile, they will be too powerful, but if you're careful in your relationship with them they won't attack you.

Once you're powerful enough, mercenaries and the massive civil wars that the HRE experiences every generation can help you nick some provinces from them, but that's much too slow of a way to permanently pacify them.

What I did in my latest Ironman game as Denmark was I formed Scandinavia and the Pomeranian Kingdoms and then I announced an Anti Pope and watched as the whole of Europe fell to heresy - after a failed attempt to depose the Pope and install my Puppet, I got back into the good graces of the next Pope and requested an Invasion on the now Heretical HRE~ , double Imperial title, woo =p

Oh, and then I puppeted the Pope, cause, unlimited money~

Oh, and ofcourse there's also one big gambit you can make early game: Your king has a claim on England, I've repeatedly struck at England and won during the civil wars that the winner of the 1066 war inebitably faces, but compared to the slow and steady expansion in Northern Europe, England was always a hotbed of rebel activity, I haven't been able to hold the crown on Ironman, atleast not early on.
Alex Mar 3 @ 1:51am 
Yeah your screen looks nice, maybe I'll give Navarra another shot.
La Follet Mar 4 @ 9:36am 
an medium game for u might be bulgaria old gods start. expansion is not easy or hard. you can expand west or north. the only real threat is hungary but the ai usually goes toward bohemia. and if u need want to expand through subterfuge and marriage u have the byzantium empire to the east.

basically any western nation near the british isles is easy since expanding into the isles is easy. even if u start as france, just fabricate a claim on one irish county and you can easily expand and take over.


Originally posted by Gorfeywog:
Khazaria is a decent medium-hard game, assuming you don't get stomped by Cumania immediately.

i tried khazaria before in ironman. was a pain, definately on the hard side. i was able to fight and take over cumania. even was able to create empire of tartaria. then i started expanding into wallachia but fighting pagans especially with the supply limit problem in their counties was troublesome. hungary was annoying! just in 1 generation of my ruler i had to fight hungary in 4 invasion wars. and this was still pretty early on in old gods start so i had to keep fighting his starting invasion bonus army that they get in the beginning. he constantly kept on breaking truces. i had enough cash and forces to only wage 1 war vs 1 nation and usually expand on other counties only after ending a war with hungary. i became greedy and thought i could take on 1 single pagan count they then called in all other pagans in the area, then hungary decided to invade me a 5th time and i was destroyed ended up with only 1 duchy. then i just gave up since its ironman. khazaria is definately on hard since ur jewish and the amount of mercenaries u can hire is very limited plus u are surrounded by pagans and the couny supply limit is too small.
Gorfeywog Mar 4 @ 4:26pm 
Originally posted by La Follet:
i tried khazaria before in ironman. was a pain, definately on the hard side. i was able to fight and take over cumania. even was able to create empire of tartaria. then i started expanding into wallachia but fighting pagans especially with the supply limit problem in their counties was troublesome. hungary was annoying! just in 1 generation of my ruler i had to fight hungary in 4 invasion wars. and this was still pretty early on in old gods start so i had to keep fighting his starting invasion bonus army that they get in the beginning. he constantly kept on breaking truces. i had enough cash and forces to only wage 1 war vs 1 nation and usually expand on other counties only after ending a war with hungary. i became greedy and thought i could take on 1 single pagan count they then called in all other pagans in the area, then hungary decided to invade me a 5th time and i was destroyed ended up with only 1 duchy. then i just gave up since its ironman. khazaria is definately on hard since ur jewish and the amount of mercenaries u can hire is very limited plus u are surrounded by pagans and the couny supply limit is too small.
Khazaria is pretty easy if you use the right strategy. Assaulting with archers can blitz down the 2 or 3 holding pagan counties, and once you have most of Russia and Tartaria you just snowball until you hit the Karlings. Either that or I give myself way less credit than I deserve, given that I did that and only was seriously threatened twice.
Submarine_Argument Mar 4 @ 9:58pm 
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I really appreciate it. I think I have a natural tendancy to try the harder games and then it gets frustrating at times. I considered all of your suggestions and also checked out the interesting character thread. I tried Roussel de Balieul, Duke of Charsianon, 1072 fully expecting to die and a short game and yeah... that one didn't last. I think I *might* have had a chance but I wasn't aggressive enough early and it hurt me later when I was caught between 2 big empires and one empire of 5 counties, all larger than me. I finally made a move and the Byzantines declared on me, so I quit that one : )

For my real next game, I decided upon Duke Robert (de Hauteville Dynasty) of Apulia at the 1066 bookmark. I strongly considered various Spanish kingdoms as well but I recently read a book about the Crusades and both Robert and Roger of Sicily were in there so I thought they might be interesting. So far, it's been very fun. I'm used to always starting as a count with little to no family / heirs so the De Hauteville family is quite a change from what I'm used to! Almost too many heirs and family to mention, with about half of them named William or Roger. So far, the game has gone well. My brother Roger of Sicily successfully took most of Sicily back without my help. The most dramatic moment so far was when I was called into 2 wars for allies in Hungary (I didn't really help them but didn't decline). So I was on the recipient of a Holy War for Sicily from the Hammadids, luckily the Pope and a few other nations joined in because they landed a 9k stack on Sicily. Then, the Zirids launched their own holy war for Sicily and no one joined my defense in that one, so 2 pretty tough holy wars at once but I managed (barely!) with a loan, some mercs, and some allied help. Managed to form the Kingdom of Sicily and so far it's been a lot of fun without being frustrating. I'd recommend it as a good medium/easy difficulty start. Lots of family politics, some naval action, some nearby independant nations and plenty of directions to expand. You border the HRE but so far they've left me alone and there's a chance that parts of northern italy go independant early on. You're also close to some republics and also should be close to the action for Crusades. Anyway, thanks again for all the suggestions. Hopefully I can finish this game before India is released!
Finchy Mar 4 @ 10:47pm 
Originally posted by Gorfeywog:
Khazaria is a decent medium-hard game, assuming you don't get stomped by Cumania immediately.

I agree Khazaria is a nice start, it's pretty easy now though.
You start with about 1000+ gold and a little event spawned troops and that's all you really need - declar holy wars on your tengri neighbors before they declare war on you and you'll be set. You should not have to worry about the magyars or when they form it, hungary because of the distance between your lands.
Submarine_Argument Mar 5 @ 12:06am 
Originally posted by Husky{Hashashin}:

oh you. . . .

My only advice is whenever you're losing a war or stuck between too large Kingdoms don't quit the game! You should diffently plan your attacks carefully especially when a Empire is on the brink of a civil war and continually check all kingdoms for marriages and chances to inherit some land. I don't think I have the source, but their was a time when I was France and absolutely knew I wanted my King to marry a Duches who would give me land. I never had my French ruler marry until I saw a widowed Duches without children and had lots of spanish duchys. At first she refused my offer of marriage, but after a few English wars taking land and such from those Anglo-Saxons surely after maybe a year or two she offered me a regular marraige!

In brief, in my King's old years, I really wanted my Duches Wife to die so I killed her and got half of Hispania! France was now equivalent or even greater than those pesky HRE kingdoms and I ruled with a iron fist for generation after generation. c:

1. continually search and know what your objectives are when playing a faction
2. choose your wars carefully
3. Don't quit a game when a civil war or war seems impossible.

Honestly though, through my 135 hrs of CK2 their was moments when I had Kingdoms with 4000 men strong and a 67% victory condition over me, and if you keep playing you'll eventually build funds and with the right timing be able to defeat their worn down army due to civil wars and allies and win. Keep on playing and you'll might gain some land.

Yeah I could have stayed in the game if I really wanted to but my heart wasn't in it. I could have pledged feality to the Byzantines and worked my way up from there and stayed in the game. It wasn't a "quit in anger" type thing, it was a "oh well, just wanted to see how tough that was, now I'm ready for a real game" type quit.
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Date Posted: Mar 2 @ 5:45am
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