THE RULES

1. Determine a pacesetter, and offers them over to laptop computer administration.

2. Use console directions to help them out.

3. Don’t use the console to (immediately) kill anyone.

As so much as I’ve liked Crusader Kings II by way of the years, I’m nonetheless not good at it. Optimistic, I can embroil myself in drama and intrigue merely along with the following aristocrat, nevertheless regarding ambition—to growing my kingdom and crushing my enemies—it just about on a regular basis goes flawed. To counter this failing, I’ve devised a model new approach: don’t play Crusader Kings II.

At least, don’t play it immediately. In its place, I’m going to decide on a character and use the ‘observe’ console command at hand them over to the AI. Then, because the computer does the entire heavy lifting, I’ll present assist inside the kind of totally different console directions. There’s tons I can do proper right here: give characters gold, standing and piety, add or take away traits and even set lovers or rivals. I can also murder people with the ‘kill’ command. I resolve in opposition to using this latter selection—it’s a bit bit too extremely efficient, even for any individual setting themselves up with godlike powers.

I load up the game, enabling all DLC packs (thanks Steam product sales!) save for Sunset Invasion—an alternate historic previous pack that imagines what would happen if Aztecs crossed into Europe to destroy your save file. I am going for the standard 1066 start, and begin looking for a character to undertake. I decide a duke would make for the proper ward—I want to see if, with the proper prodding, they’ll make a play for the throne. Whereas absentmindedly clicking throughout the de jure duchies map, I encounter Matilda di Canossa, Duchess of Tuscany.

Matilda holds a little bit of central Italy, and likewise has vassals overseeing Corsica, Lucca and Cinarca. She’s moreover youthful and has small family—hopefully guaranteeing a life free of jealous siblings. And if she’s feeling daring, Matilda’s liege is Kaiser Heinrich IV of the Holy Roman Empire.

My little spy

First, though, Matilda should get her house in order. She’s normal amongst her vassals, which is sweet, nevertheless her advisors depart so much to be desired. Her Spymaster particularly is deemed an incompetent schemer by Crusader Kings II’s rating system. Luckily, I may assist with this. Using the console, I enhance the vital factor attribute of each member of Matilda’s court docket docket. Then I elevate all of Matilda’s stats, and offers her a carry to money, standing and piety.

I unpause, and Matilda’s treasury immediately empties. I shortly see why, as armies start marching out from her provinces. Some troops head north, turning into a member of Kaiser Heinrich’s battle with France over the county of Zeeland. Nonetheless Matilda has moreover started a battle of her private to steer the Rely of Gallura to turn into her vassal, thus extending her territory into Sardinia. A 4,767-strong navy begins a siege of Gallura’s cities and castles. This isn’t going to be an prolonged battle.

In June, it’s revealed that Matilda is pregnant. As a result of debug knowledge I’ve enabled, I can see that the daddy is Matilda’s Courtroom docket Chaplain, Bishop Lealdo. And look, I’m not proper right here to guage.

Whereas prepared for the wars to complete, I uncover Matilda has gained some life goals. The first is to marry a ruler. “The ambitious Duchess Matilda thinks that marrying a ruler would be an excellent way to climb the social ladder,” the game explains. My hope is that Matilda’s AI thoughts could have the great sense to marry matrilineally, thus retaining her title and standing comparatively than handing it off to some rando dude. Matilda has moreover launched a plot to kill her Marshal, Rely Anselmo di Lucca. I’m uncertain what the aim of that’s—possibly murder is one amongst her hobbies?

The battle in opposition to the Rely of Gallura is gained in January 1068, with Matilda together with one different vassal to her court docket docket. Points quiet down shortly after—in May, Matilda throws , which, resulting from me extra boosting her coffers, must be lavish. In June, it’s revealed that Matilda is pregnant. As a result of debug knowledge I’ve enabled, I can see that the daddy is Matilda’s Courtroom docket Chaplain, Bishop Lealdo. And look, I’m not proper right here to guage. All I’ll say is that Lealdo’s ambition is to develop right into a paragon of benefit so it seems as if he’s obtained a strategies to go.

Fairly than let being pregnant gradual her down, in October 1068, Matilda begins one different battle to vassalise yet one more Sardinian rely. This time she takes command of a 7,493-strong navy, abandoning one different 3,000 troops to defend the mainland. In December, she offers begin to Ermenegilda di Florenz, presumably on the battlefield.

The endgame of Matilda’s vassalisation wars comes the following yr, when in December 1069, on the age of 23, she declares herself the Queen of Sardinia and Corsica. And however none of her mentioned targets have been fulfilled. She’s single—a problem, because of her illegitimate daughter can’t inherit her title, meaning the whole thing would transfer to Kaiser Heinrich throughout the event of Matilda’s demise.

She moreover nonetheless hasn’t murdered Rely Anselmo of Lucca. Considerably digging has revealed that Matilda is the heir to the county of Lucca, however as well as that Anselmo has been abusing his place of Marshal—every potential the rationale why she wants him ineffective. I really feel I may assist with this. Whereas my self-imposed rule prevents me from killing Anselmo myself, I nonetheless left myself some loopholes in case such a state of affairs arose.

I uncover Matilda’s Spymaster, and… wait, why is he an idiot? I significantly made him a masterful schemer to counter any potential assassination makes an try. I study Crusader King’s II’s character database, search through Matilda’s realm, and realise what went flawed. Eventually, she decided to hearth the particular person I reworked proper right into a genius plotter, and adjusted him with the Rely of Gallura, an individual with no intrigue whom she as quickly as declared battle on. That’s, I actually really feel, a daring various. It’s truly not one I’d have made had I been in administration. Nonetheless, that’s the mattress I’ve made, and now I’d increased restore it sooner than the legs fall off.

All of the issues is permitted

Firstly, I restore the distinctive Spymaster’s distinctive intrigue score so it’s once more to only about nothing. He was aggravated at Matilda for firing him, and that’s merely an assassination able to happen. Then, I elevate the Rely of Gallura’s intrigue, take away a couple of of his further erratic traits, and add optimistic traits that match a couple of of Matilda’s private—elevating his opinion of her on account of their shared outlook. As soon as I’m accomplished I’ve a model new grasp Spymaster who’s blissful to overlook all of that battle enterprise from a few years sooner than.

Lastly, I reap the benefits of the ‘murder’ command. No, don’t take a look at me like that. The console’s ‘murder’ command could also be very completely totally different to the ‘kill’ command. The latter merely makes your objective be ineffective. The earlier requires you specify a murderer who will attempt to kill the objective. That means there’s a chance the murder will fail—although provided that I’m asking Matilda’s new grasp assassin the Rely of Gallura to murder the oblivious and corrupt Anselmo, it seems unlikely. Optimistic enough, Anselmo is killed, and one amongst Matilda’s main targets has been achieved.

Over the following few months, Matilda begins to consolidate the Sardinian part of Sardinia and Corsica. The Counts of Torres and Arborea be part of the dominion peacefully, and the Sardinian island is handed over to Duke Constantino. The one holdout is Cagliari, on the southern tip of the island. It’s owned by Abd-al’Haqq, a revolter who broke off from the Zirid Sultanate. He’s now stopping a battle on three fronts—one amongst which is in opposition to all of the Holy Roman Empire.

Whereas the Empire and Sultanate do their issue, Matilda launches a battle of her private—as seems to be her wont. This time she’s stopping to make Rely Jordan of Capua her vassal. That’s notable for being the first principal battle she’s waged on the Italian mainland. With Corsica and Sardinia just about completely beneath her heel, is she now making a play for Italy itself?

Sadly, the battle isn’t going successfully. Not resulting from a shortage of troops—Matilda’s principal a 12,000 stack in opposition to Jordan’s 1,106 troops. The difficulty is her navy has camped out in Spoleto for some goal, whereas Jordan will get on with attacking Florenz. That’s extraordinarily irritating. Matilda’s navy merely sits there doing nothing as a result of the Warscore concepts in Jordan’s favour.

Using the ‘play’ command to take direct administration of Matilda’s navy is clearly dishonest, so I merely have to let points play out. Practically out of desperation, I give her the Good Strategist trait, although I’m pretty constructive that’s not going to do one thing. Optimistic enough it doesn’t. Luckily for Matilda, one other particular person takes movement as a substitute. The neighbouring Serene Doge Tedice of Pisa sends a navy in to Florenz, to not fight Jordan himself, nevertheless comparatively the little little bit of his navy on mortgage from the Queen of Croatia. Plainly Jordan’s late partner was the 11-year-old queen’s mother, and so the two are allies of a sort.

With the reinforcements pushed once more, Jordan doesn’t have enough troops to siege Florenz. Matilda nonetheless doesn’t assault, nevertheless a foolish stalemate seems to turn into the model new institution. Whereas I’ve been focused on this dumb battle, it seems a few totally different points have been occurring. Matilda has been made Extreme Almoner of the Holy Roman Empire by the model new Kaiser, Ordulf ‘the Drunkard’. With reference to nicknames, the 29-yearold Matilda is called ‘the Confessor’—possibly because of the bishop tryst?

In early 1076, Matilda marries King Shabsai. He has no members of the family and no claims to land. Moreover, the two despise each other, partly because of Matilda is now pregnant with the child of the Duke of Corsico. No matter their mutual hatred, Shabsai seems harmless, meaning there’s solely a 50% chance of me asking the Rely of Gallera to murder him.

Revolting behaviour

In September 1077, points take a dramatic flip. Matilda joins with the earlier Prince-Archbishop Giovanni-Enrico and launches the Holy Roman Revolt in opposition to Kaiser Ordulf. Supporting it’s a handful of counts and dukes. Even with Matilda’s giant navy, I don’t like their chances.

I intervene, first altering the opinion of Ordulf’s vassals in opposition to him. This doesn’t take prolonged: he’s disliked by most people. Then, I decide I’d as successfully go your complete method, and ship Ordulf to Matilda’s jail. That’s the final straw. The revolt’s armies had been already holding their very personal, nevertheless with the chief of the Holy Roman Empire behind lock and key, the battle is gained. Consequently, the Queen of Sardinia and Corsica secedes from the empire, gaining full independence. What happens subsequent may be attention-grabbing: the Empire nonetheless exists, and it’s by no means happy with Matilda. Nonetheless for now, points are going successfully.

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