So I purchased Crusader Kings II
, plus some DLC that opens up Islamic empires for play as well. I've never really played an immense grand-strategy game, but I've been liking it quite a bit so far.
In the game I have going, I am the King of Scotland (about 17 years old, this is the 3rd king I've had control of), and the year is about 1100. England is in disarray because of viking invasions and squabbling among dukes and counts, and Ireland is segmented into independent counties.
So they both look ripe for expansion, if I can sure up some of my internal politics, since some of my vassals are revolting either to place an older dude on the throne or to forge an independent duchy for themselves. But I've put down their rebellions pretty well...but some alliances I've made with a few Spanish Kings aren't going so well, they want to see me assassinated I think, according to my spy master.
Did I mention I've had a bit of a falling out with the Catholic church as well? They liked my predecessors reasonably well, but my envoy to the Pope isn't doing very well ingratiating himself and our kingdom with the papacy, and of course, I've changed the laws to Free Investiture so I can install Bishops and Archbishops, instead of having Rome choose 'em. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I elevated my court chaplain to AntiPope
status, and he openly contested the legitimacy of the Pope in Rome. But he ended up being a Cathar Heretic, so I just threw him in jail to rot, in hopes of smoothing things over with the Pope. Maybe I'll go on a crusade or something to make him feel better.
Pretty fun sandboxey game so far, and I've only been playing for like 40 game years, and I've got another 300 some years ahead of me.
Here's an update. The Church in Rome still hates me, because of the whole AntiPope thing. My relations with other Catholic nations has also taken a hit as well. However, on the homefront, all my rebellions were put down and my Scottish King, who has a few notable traits like "Ugly, stutter, maimed, and brilliant strategist" (go figure) was leading a charge across the Sea of Gallway in the Ulster county of Ireland to claim it under his crown. Unfortunately, after sieging a city, he became ill and died!
Which wasn't so good, since his eldest son was 6 at the time, and a weak child on the throne doesn't bode well. I now transition to playing as my 6 year old son...and my uncle (so the king's brother) takes the opportunity to usurp the crown from me in a civil war with some other vassals and counts. Try as I did, even with a large contingent of Breton mercenaries, I lost the civil war. He did not throw me in jail though, perhaps out of compassion to his kin. So slowly, as I grew older I reinforced my garrison and personal army levies, until I was old enough to lead a battle. Like my father, I was an ugly, diligent, warrior, and still a Duke who owned a few counties. Another uncle of mine, who still had a good opinion of me, was vying for the throne himself, so I threw all my weight and armies behind his faction, and we started a civil war to put him on the throne (he had less children for me to eventually assassinate, was my thinking, so I could ascend to throne eventually again).
Our civil war successful, and my other uncle....King Macbeth, was now King of Scotland. Since I was an excellent warrior, and an initial backer of his faction, he gave me the Marshal position on his Council, where I could get stronger and keep close to him and improve his opinion of me in his wars with England. I plotted with some other vassals and counts to kill his son, so I would be the next in line of succession. And things were going so well...until a very powerful, but problematic drunkard, who I invited to my plot spilled the beans. The King and his vassals have lost their respect for me. And there I ended for now.
Pretty sure my next plans are, since everything is out in the open about the assassination plot, is to both try to assassinate the king fast with a somewhat haphazard-low chance attempt, and then commit to civil war since my armies are pretty strong, my prestige is up, my coffers are full, and I've been slowly improving relations with the Danes across the sea, in hopes they'll support my effort.
So as not to clog this thread, I'll put further updates in the Longest Thread, Thread.