Crusader Kings II

Crusader Kings II

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Creating the Tsardom of Russia - a Karlington Guide
By Karlshammar
A guide to creating the new Tsardom of Russia that was introduced by the 3.1 Great Works Update, and an explanation of its effects.
The new Great Works patch had a line that intrigued me in its patch notes:

"- Added decision to form the Russian Tsardom early."

But no further information was given. For all those who like me are interested in the region, I decided to go through the game files and compile all the information on this new mechanic.
It is accomplished through a decision called "Create the Empire of Russia." It requires Russian culture and being the emperor of Rus. The empire of Rus is the new name for the old empire, as per the patch notes:

"- Renamed a title to Empire of Rus to strengthen the intended connection to the historical Kievan Rus."

It also requires complete control of the kingdoms of:

Volga Bulgaria

The culture requirement applies to both players and AI.

Complete control means that you or your vassals must own every county and holding within the respective kingdoms. If even a single barony anywhere is not in your realm, you will not be considered to have complete control.
When the decision is taken, the Empire of Rus will be deactivated and replaced with the Empire of Russia. The new empire will inherit all the laws and de jure vassals of the old Empire of Rus. In addition, all the kingdoms required to take the decision will become de jure parts of the new empire, if they were not already.

The new empire will have Russian as its culture and Vladimir as its de jure capital. The province id of Vladimir is 582.

Beyond the possible addition of new de jure territory, the new empire has one game-technical benefit, which the game describes as:

"Lowers the requirements for upgrading Tribal Holdings to Castles"

In practical terms this means that upgrading tribes to castles no longer requires a fourth-tier Stone Hillfort, but only a first-tier Earth Hillfort. It does not make any other changes to the requirements, so the province still needs to be your religion**.

This appears to be the entirety of the results of this decision based on the game files. I do not know if there are any changes related to it in the game engine, but I would imagine not since Paradox included no information on this new empire in their patch notes.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please let me know! I would especially welcome any corrections, including spelling and grammar. :)
*Ruthenia is known as Kievan Rus in some dates.
**Holy Orders never need to fulfill the province religion requirement, but that is irrelevant to players.
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Karlshammar  [author] Sep 4, 2019 @ 1:32pm 
@Christmas Potajto

Playing as a holy order is not possible without some pretty major effort on the part of the player, and is usually undesirable because of the penalties it imposes, but the information is there nonetheless for those who need it. :)

The only use that comes to mind for the empire culture itself is for revolts. When you're not the "right" culture some revolts can turn into "liberation revolts," which are more dangerous than regular revolts. I'm not sure of the details, however, and mainly included the culture for those who know and are interested. :)
Christmas Potajto Sep 4, 2019 @ 10:05am 
Also players can play as holy orders, so the province religion nonrequirment might be useful to know
Christmas Potajto Sep 4, 2019 @ 10:03am 
What does it mean than an empire has a culture?
DiabloV Apr 14, 2019 @ 2:29am 
@Karlshammar You should add 1 point to your 1/10 Bolsheviks since such governments make people of Tsardom Russia happy for 100+ years. For reasons unknown.
Karlshammar  [author] Apr 9, 2019 @ 1:43pm 
Jack Mercer and Hero123: No problem. Thank you for reading! :)
Karlshammar  [author] Apr 9, 2019 @ 1:43pm 
Yogurt Supply:

This is the advice from the Wiki:

"It is also possible to start as a tribal Slavic pagan (Ilmenian, Volhynian, or Severian) in "Charlemagne" or "Old Gods" and form the kingdom first, then convert to a religion that allows you to flip cultures (Christianity is easiest but a reformed pagan faith will also work). Rodislav Slovensky, High Chief of Novgorod in 769, is ideally positioned for this."
Hero123 Apr 8, 2019 @ 6:08am 
@ Karlshammar [author]: Thanks for the guide.
Jack Mercer Apr 7, 2019 @ 6:14pm 
Good to know, i was also intrigued by that statement but didnt know where to find more about it xd
Thank you for your work!
Twintail Apr 6, 2019 @ 2:24pm 
what is like the easiest way to conquer russia in 769?
Karlshammar  [author] Apr 5, 2019 @ 1:43am 
The new gov't type said there is no state religion or religious oppression but the new ruler immediately began executing every zealous person. He had tyranny in the thousands, but intimidation modifiers to match so all the vassals were like little lap dogs.

Then he created raiding troops that raided my own (!) church holdings, often leveling them completely and leaving only an empty holding slot behind. He even destroyed my grand temple wonder - I thought the wonders could not be permanently destroyed?

Within a year the economy was rotten, not too long after it tanked completely, and starvation was giving me depopulation modifiers all over the place.

1/10 would not let Bolsheviks run government again.