Out of every one of Paradox’s cool strategy games, I dare to say that Crusader majesties II is the most unique. Basically character based, the simulates the interpersonal nature of national politics in the center Ages prior to the advent of nation-states. The sweeping, human narratives and dramatic turns blur the line in between RPG and also strategy without ever before losing that is ‘grand’ pedigree. To be truly successful in this video game requires much more than just cautious logistical plan of troops and supplies: it likewise requiresnavigating the trials ofcourtly life.

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Not long afterCrusader majesties 3was an initial announced,CK2’s base video game was made complimentary for everyone. That method there’s could be lots of brand-new wannabe rulers needing advice on exactly how to navigate this titan that a strategy game, and we’re below to help.

To the end, mine liege, even if it is you’re a brand-new count or a battle-scarred crusader king, enable me to market some that the most necessary tips because that the novice and also veteran alike. Every the advice below is correct as of the most recent patch with all expansions.



Unlike other gamings both in Paradox’s stable and outside of it which tie your fate to a nation, inCKII, her fate is tied to a certain dynasty—and, much more specifically, come one human being at a time in that dynasty. Thus, also if your an excellent nation controls the well-known world yet your family members loses control over any type of lands, it’s“Game over, man. Video game over.”

Securing the your title are prospered by someone in your family members becomes your many primal issue at the begin of the game and securing the your family members succeeds to titles together it grows is just one of the ideal strategies come “peacefully” acquire much more control. This is specifically important if you’re beginning a custom character which has actually no empire to depend on.

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Most that the time, accomplishing this task is simple: acquire married (make sure it’s matrilineal if you’re a woman), have actually children, and sit pretty as you expect your children aren’t idiots. However, here are some nuances:

Make certain your spouse loves you. Lavish that or her through gifts and also other favours that will attract them to your side. This not just mechanically enhances your possibilities of conceiving, yet it also helps come ensure that you room not a negative cuckold.There’s no real harm in family focus because that a longer duration while you wait for heirs. The diplomacy bonus come it is far-ranging enough to it is in a good focus in and also of chin while helping you to conceive children.Don’t be fear to annul marriages that room barren. If friend can acquire your spiritual head to be on your side to provide you an annulment, carry out not hesitate. ~ all, how deserve to a realm breathe with no heir? just be conscious that divorcing her spouse will enrage your family versus you. The only exception is if you’re hoping to get a case on her spouse’s demesnes.

Finally, and perhaps most ‘importantly’, change succession laws. Gavelkind is perhaps the worst feasible succession law ever before invented by man. Cut up one’s realm in between one’s heirs is not only detrimental for bigger realms that might separation into various Kingdoms (and basically set back every the job-related you’ve done), yet it might reason rivalries in between children. Which leads us to ours next significant tip…


So lengthy as friend can manage the majority of the electors with diplomacy or intrigue, Elective Monarchy nearly always ensures that you select the best feasible heir for her realm. Whether it’s pure elective monarchy or the Imperial layout of elective, ns have uncovered that this sequence law help to pick not just well standard rulers based on stats and traits (while staying clear of those inbreds, that course), but additionally grants you the capability to select young rulers which is important for structure up that lengthy term legacy. Worlds are regularly unstable after ~ a brand-new ruler ascends and also Elective sequence Law helps to reduce this issue by choosing younger candidates who reign much longer top top average.

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The video game is all about building and also cultivating loyalty and leading through awe rather than mere power. This is the radial ideal of Medieval royal ambition. The problem, that course, is the Elective Monarchy is high risk high reward. You will desire to proactively kill, exile, or otherwise bribe electors that don’t support your candidate or ‘eliminate’ her rivals the aren’t your ideal candidate. However, keep in mind that you don’t require to worry so much if it’s another family member the is gift favoured. So lengthy as your empire is top top the throne, that’s sufficient and the electors will never pick someone so poor that you’ll automatically be beset by civil war. Don’t be also hung increase if your ideal heir is not selected so lengthy as he’s of your blood.



Sun Tzu stated that to defeat your enemy through good strength is no the onus of supreme Excellence; supreme Excellence is to defeat your enemy without lifting a finger. Thus, learn just how to ‘politic’ your means to power.

Perhaps the best method to define this tip is to provide you an instance from among my playthrough: I began as a lowly count of Santiago who managed to wrest control of the Kingdom that Asturias. Unfortunately, the Muslim neighbors to the southern were poised to destroy my small Kingdom. Instead, as shortly as i had manage of the crown, ns bent the knee come Charlemagne that was all too happy to it is in my overlord. The Caliphate come the south would not dare entrench themselves in a war against a whole realm so ns was for sure to scheme from within. Since I was already a Kingdom with various demesnes, i was among the most an effective vassals of the Emperor and set to job-related befriending enough nobles in the empire to be crowned Emperor not too long after.

If I had actually remained independent, I would certainly have had no hope versus the Caliphate come the South and also the realm to the North. Instead, by working from within, i was crowned by the Pope. No too bad for a lowly count to achieve in the expectancy of twenty years. Which leads us to our following tip.



You don’t must win end everyone. Merely win end the ideal people to acquire your project accomplished. For example, if you need someone dead, befriend their spymaster. If you require someone deposed, befriend the most powerful vassals in the Kingdom. Focus on high quality of characters rather than quantity. Emphasis your money top top those who have influence and focus her military forces on those who space weak and you will uncover yourself climbing to the heights of power.

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Learn exactly how to remove your rivals and also to be selective about who you location in power also if castle have great stats. I beg your pardon dovetails nicely into one of the most important parts about managing your court.


Like learning just how to breed beautiful flowers, playingCKIIalso invites the player to generate genetically favourable traits. Unlike some traits which are based on personality and also experience (like the virtues and vices), some traits space genetic. These encompass Genius, Tall, strong etc. If possible, learn how to consistently encompass these hereditary markers right into your family line.

This hoarding also applies to Bloodlines. Avoid poor traits and also bolster great traits. Always avoid detrimental genetic traits like inbred, but, store in mind, that choosing between a spouse that might be great genetically and also one who has no negatives yet is the heritage or heiress to a title, it’s virtually always far better to choose to pursue the location to broaden your realm. When you have control of most of the realms of your religion, that’s once you can emphasis on hereditary supremacy.


Strange, you could say. Yet, ns have often intentionally motivated civil wars for myself. Why? If you have the right to be sure of winning a civil war by inciting a faction against yourself, you deserve to actually eliminate the power base of competitor dynasties. Whenever girlfriend win against a faction or vassal in a war, you deserve to strip their members that one or 2 titles without experiencing penalties and, thus, install among your loyalists (preferably household members) in their place. This is especially advantageous if you’re spring to replace cultures.

Learn exactly how to appropriately prune out factions in your realm by targeting opponents and inciting them come rebellion by obtaining reasons come arrest them and attempting to arrest them v an deliberately low possibility of success forcing them to raise arms against you. This is additionally a great way come accelerate cultural assimilation as you can choose a peak tier vassal the your society to command the new viceroyalty or duchy.

Keep in mind that you can additionally raise your levies and position lock in their demesnes even before you send out the arrest order so you can have a vast mobilisation benefit over your adversary right in the beginning.


WINNING wars IS easier THAN girlfriend THINK

Unlike other Paradox title which need you to strategically deploy troops against fortresses and attain wargoals,CKIIrewards a player for winning decisive engagements. Huge amounts that ‘warscore’ is awarded if you manage to loss an enemy ‘doomstack’ (their merged armies in one location): periodically by as lot as fifty percent. By recording only one castle and also squashing the remainder of the armies, you can sometimes force a peace. Thus, v no fortresses to acquire in the means of mobilisation, squash the enemy military first, acquire a massive advantage in warscore, climate while the enemy army is trying to regroup, catch enough castles to force a peace. Take keep in mind that girlfriend ought not seek an enemy army too much into adversary territory together attrition will certainly kill you. Wait till the doomstack is visible and then pursue it on your territory.

This is, that course, suspect you deserve to defeat the adversary army. Thus, target adversaries weaker than you are. It’s easy to examine by spring at their ruler and also seeing how many levies they can raise in their character profile. Usually, most militaries are tantamount in stamin so identify by numbers is easy enough. Prevent fighting those with similar sized armies if you can aid it since chance may conveniently turn your parity into a route. Practically always hit those considerably weaker.

If friend can’t discover someone significantly weaker, either wait until they are affiliated in an additional war v a powerful opponent, raise religious levies against them if they’re of an additional religion, or construct up a massive war chest to employ mercenaries. Mercenaries are more unforgiving inCKIIthan in most other Paradox gamings so it is in careful.

The only exemption to these tips is because that fighting the ‘bosses’ such together the Mongol Hordes, Aztec Invaders, and China. These entities v their unique ‘event troops’ don’t endure attrition and are generally of greater quality troops. Beating them is the true check of a crusader king and requires cautious planning and also preparation.

CK2 start DATES

Crusader monarchs IIcan view a player starting off at many points end its 700+ year timespan, ~ above one finish with a Europe tho seeking to find solid ground ~ the autumn of the Western roman inn Empire, and on the other with recognisable power players that would dominate the globe for the next 500 years. Through 11 various start dates to pick from, the choice can be complicated for even an experiencedCKIIplayer. We’ll give you a quick rundown that what every of the start dates are like, plus point you to interesting locations to run into.

EARLY MIDDLE periods (1 JANUARY, 769)

The earliest start date is by far the most diverse in terms of tech and also religion. Europe is divided between feudal and also tribal states, with countless of the tribes also being pagan. This gift an exciting dichotomy, as countless early feudal says will have access to heavier and far better tech troops, yet tribal federal governments can call in vast numbers of men to fight. Similarly, the presence of the Germanic and also Slavic religions in Europe transforms the dynamic of diplomacy. Friend cannot count on one more European liking you, due to the fact that you may be the dorn religion. Expect many religious wars and also Viking raids, and also expansion native the Eurasian Steppe hordes. The Chinese additionally have a solid hand in this start, through their influence gradually reaching west.

Suggested Regions:Western Scandinavia, Iberian peninsula, Himalayas, Caucuses

VIKING period (1 JANUARY, 867)

Catholicism and also feudalism have spread eastward in Europe, in large part thanks to the successor kingdoms come Charlemagne’s Francias. However, even with Christianity strengthened, germanic Viking hordes are on the loose in northern Europe. While quiet tribal, they have actually such huge numbers that they are almost impossible to at first defeat. The nomads of the Eurasian Steppe quiet pose a threat to your neighbours, but especially together the previous large regional power, the Abbasids, have actually lost much ground since the previous start.

Suggested Regions:Iberian peninsula, brother Isles, Southeastern Europe, India

THE steel CENTURY (7 AUGUST, 936)

Feudalism obtained ground in west Europe and also lost floor in the east, however Catholicism has seen a large spread over the previous 70 years, with most of Europe (excepting lot of the Iberian Peninsula, of course) currently being Christian. This is a brand-new starting point, recently ceded as free DLC, and it centres around the Germans setting out a-conquering in main Europe. The previously fearsome Abbasids have meanwhile fallen indigenous grace, and the new power in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is the Fatimid Empire, who look to expand into former Abbasid territory.

Suggested Regions:Central Europe, western Scandinavia, phibìc Africa, eastern Europe, central Asia

HIGH MIDDLE periods (15 SEPTEMBER, 1066)

This is the classic starting point; Europe is identified less by a selection of government varieties and religions, and much more by many big realms that are uniformly feudal and also Catholic (as always, that course, excepting the Iberian peninsula, and likewise Eastern Europe). This begin is really close to the adhering to start, the main distinction being that this start functions the 3-way war for England between the Anglo-Saxons, the Norwegians, and also the Normans. Elsewhere, the Byzantines proceed to it is in the center of technical innovation, yet are faced by the Seljuk Sultanate, who separate the west from the east.

Suggested Regions:England, Southeastern Europe, north Europe

WILLIAM THE conquer (26 DECEMBER, 1066)

Fast front 3 months, and England is currently being run by Normans. Not too lot else has adjusted (it has been only 3 months), but players should additionally look to the Iberian Peninsula if they miss the an excellent religious and cultural conflicts in between realms of the previously starts. Similarly, India in basic is a great place if friend are searching for extra-realm conflict, v several huge and powerful kingdoms packed right into a tight box. However, if backdoor scheming and trickery is an ext your style, there room plenty of alternatives for inter-realm mischief in huge European powers, such together the holy Roman Empire.

Suggested Regions:England, Iberian Peninsula, India


The mighty Byzantines have begun their historical loss from grace, with the Sultanate the Rum seizing much of Anatolia native the Byzantines. The Seljuks have additionally begun widening north, east of the Caspian Sea. And while the Germanic, Slavic, and to an extent the Romuva religions have actually been reduced in east Europe, a good amount of north European people still follow the Suomenusko faith, butting up versus the Orthodox Kievan Rus and Novgorod.

Suggested Regions:Southeastern Europe, Northeastern Europe

THE third CRUSADE (1 JANUARY, 1187)

Forces from the 3 an excellent Catholic worlds from western Europe (England, France, and the holy Roman Empire) are marching east in a Crusade come fight off the Ayyubid Sultanate native Jerusalem. This is a good start if you choose participating in divine Wars, as one is served up and ready to go right from the start. Likewise to keep in mind is the England own a kind chunk of France now, causing much dispute in the comes years.

Suggested Regions:Western Europe, Western middle East

THE LATIN empire (16 MAY, 1204)

The 4th Crusade failed ~ it was derailed by a convoluted collection of events, bring about the sack of Constantinople, and also the creation of 2 brand-new empires indigenous the ashes the the byzantine Empire. The Latin realm sits on the west of the Bosporus Strait, v the Nicene empire occupying the east. Both are reasonably much weaker 보다 the Byzantines were, so there is a power vacuum in the area to fill, one of two people from the 2 new empires, or indigenous a nearby upstart. The note, the Khwarezmid Sultanate have actually burst onto the step in main Asia, surrounding the now large Ghurid empire in India.

Suggested Regions:Southeastern Europe, main Asia


The Mongols have gotten in the picture, with huge event-spawned stacks appearing at the eastern edge that the map. In ~ the start, they are poised to reduced a bloody course through the Khwarezmid Sultanate and also much of eastern Europe. This is a great start for those who love figuring out how to handle a great crisis that can leave you ruled over or dead very quickly, if you room in the Mongols’ way.

Suggested Regions:Central Asia, center East, eastern Europe

RISE that THE HANSA (1 MAY, 1241)

The Mongols, now break-up into the gold Horde, the Ilkhanate, and the Khaganate that Mongolia, have actually lost your forward steam, however have expanded vastly over the ahead 21 years. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Novgorod challenge subjugation, and the Sultanate that Rum and the Ayyubid Sultanate to the south. Meanwhile, additional to the east, Delhi was standing in a great position come take over India as a totality if they for this reason choose. And earlier west in Germany, the Hanseatic organization is being developed by Lübeck and Hamburg. Because that the east of Europe, this is what a post-apocalypse script looks like.

Suggested Regions:Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, center East, Germany

LATE MIDDLE periods (1 JANUARY, 1337)

The final start date inCrusader emperors 2, much has adjusted since the last start date. This is fantastic start for those that wish to continue their game into EU4, as there are only about 100 years in between 1337 and also the end day of the game. In the phibìc of Europe, Novgorod and also Sweden have come to be dominant regional powers, both intimidated by the still dangerous golden Horde. France and also England are collection to begin a an extremely long collection of wars v each other, and also in the Iberian peninsula, Castille, Aragon, and also Portugal have actually emerged, yet there is quiet a Moorish affect on the southerly end. In Anatolia, The Byzantines have actually reformed indigenous the ashes the the Latin and also Nicene Empires, but the Ottomans have additionally appeared, all set to take prominence. The Bahri Sultanate is the newest power in the center East, however they room still threatened, much like northern Europe, by the Ilkhanate. Finally, in India, the Tughluq Khaganate is in manage of lot of the subcontinent, yet the Yuan and also the Ilkhanate room both in a prime place to threaten the Tughluq.

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Suggested Regions:Western Europe, north Europe, east Europe, middle East, India

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Hopefully, this should have actually you well on your method to creating and also empire and dynasty to echo through the ages. Or, head on over to our Crusader queens 3 beginner guide and review,If you’re brand-new to the Crusader Kings collection and quiet haven’t decided which one you’d prefer to begin with.