Crusader Kings II advice

Hey, I’m thinking about learning to play CKII and I really don’t have any idea where to start. Anyone have any tips/advice?

I personally would recommend watching like. YouTube let’s plays of the game first actually. It can really help, and I can recommend a few I like, if you want.

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Yeah I’ll take recommendations if you have em!

I’d suggest playing as a duchy for your first game, either independent in area without a lot of external threats (such as pre-unification England or Ireland) or a vassal in a larger country like France.

Starting as a count can be tedious because you just don’t have much to do until you accumulate a few provinces, and you’re very vulnerable to aggression from neighbours. The exception might be counties in Ireland (colloquially known as “Tutorial Island”), but even then you’re in for a pretty long slog to accumulate land.

On the other hand, jumping in as a King or Emperor would be pretty difficult if you’re still learning the mechanics (plus, if you’re anything like me you want to earn that Empire, not have it given to you :slight_smile: ).

If you’re confused about any specific mechanics, the CK2 wiki is pretty useful.

Oh, and I find it’s worth thinking about what your goals for a given game are. Like if you start as a French duke, what do you want to accomplish—become king of France? Declare independence and create your own kingdom? Beat up on some infidels and become an actual Crusader King? Put members of your dynasty on all the thrones of Europe? Convert to Zoroastrianism and marry your sister? I think part of what’s daunting about this game is that there’s really so much you can do—but you can’t do everything, so picking discrete goals makes for a better experience even if you’re not planning to roleplay. That’s been my experience, anyways. :slight_smile:

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So my first recommendation is one by Friends at the Tables/Waypoint Writer Jack de Quidt

Followed by this Streamfriends series which was also helmed by JackLet

Note that like. Neither of these series technically “ends” and neither is exactly pro strata high level play. But for me, watching these helped a lot in understanding the basics, and seeing what was interesting about the game.

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so the way i learn paradox games is by cheating constantly to at least minimise all the things happening all the time while i work out exactly what’s going on

ck2 is particularly good for this because it’s about people, and there’s a point where narrative just kinda happens, and then you’re hooked. setting your goals is a good start, and i tend to be guided by my character’s traits to balance out my refusal to actually play the game properly, but if you don’t do that you end up either playing a count in ireland with nothing being constantly attacked from all sides (idk why people recommend it to beginners; it’s brutal) or a more powerful character who still kinda has the same problem while also needing to manage everyone underneath them, all with their own agendas

and it sounds overwhelming and maybe it is but: even just giving yourself loads of gold and buying tens of thousands of mercenaries and shamelessly going around and conquering everything makes it much easier to get your head around everything while still sparking the emergent narrative the game does best

think of a thing you’d like to do and then play out someone doing it really well and the game’ll have you before you know it

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