Explore one of the defining periods in world history in an experience crafted by the masters of Grand Strategy.
User reviews:
Very Positive (176 reviews) - 89% of the 176 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (15,683 reviews) - 92% of the 15,683 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012

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Includes 4 items: Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV, Hearts of Iron III, Victoria II

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Includes 6 items: Cities in Motion 2, Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV, Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition, Magicka, Warlock 2: The Exiled

Buy Crusader Kings II Collection

Includes 43 items: Crusader Kings II, Crusader Kings II: African Portraits , Crusader Kings II: African Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Byzantine Unit Pack , Crusader Kings II: Celtic Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Celtic Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Customization Pack, Crusader Kings II: Dynasty Shield II, Crusader Kings II: Dynasty Shield III, Crusader Kings II: Dynasty Shields, Crusader Kings II: Europa Universalis IV Converter, Crusader Kings II: Finno-Ugric Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Hymns of Abraham, Crusader Kings II: Hymns to the Old Gods, Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome , Crusader Kings II: Mediterranean Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Military Orders Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Mongol Faces, Crusader Kings II: Norse Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Norse Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Persian Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Persian Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India, Crusader Kings II: Ruler Designer, Crusader Kings II: Russian Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Russian Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Saxon Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Songs of Albion, Crusader Kings II: Songs of Byzantium , Crusader Kings II: Songs of Faith, Crusader Kings II: Songs of India, Crusader Kings II: Songs of Prosperity, Crusader Kings II: Songs of the Caliph, Crusader Kings II: Songs of the Holy Land, Crusader Kings II: Songs of the Rus, Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham, Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion, Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam, Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods, Crusader Kings II: The Republic, Crusader Kings II: Turkish Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Turkish Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Warriors of Faith Unit Pack

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Recent updates View all (82)

October 17

Easing Executions

It’s Monday again, and you know what that means: a Dev Diary! It’s time to start talking about new features in an upcoming DLC which I can’t name yet. For DDs we prefer to talk about things we’ve already implemented, but this <Mystery DLC> is still in the very early stages so you’re going to see some mockups which hopefully convey the idea of what we are going for without being an exact representation - don’t be surprised if the final result looks rather different though.

With that said, the basic idea is to give the Intrigue screen more room for Decisions and Prisoners. As well as that, a system of filters and a set of “do to all currently shown” buttons to Release/Ransom/Execute multiple characters at once:

Ideally we’ll also have a lock button on characters so they can be excluded from mass actions, and radio buttons would likely be better than our traditional dropdown lists.

That’s it for now, I did warn you I would make some short DDs sometimes!

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Useful links
Official Website
Crusader Kings II Wiki
Crusader Kings II Development Diary Archive

42 comments Read more

October 11

Patch 2.6.2 Released

Hi all!

We're now releasing the 2.6.2 patch together with improvements and fixes for the EU4-CK2 converter.

Warning: Using modding traits from 2.6.1 or earlier since the new 2.6.2 traits will break them.

2.6.2 summary

The 2.6.2 patch has been in Open Beta for a while so that we would keep the performance on a good level and we now feel ready to release it. The patch includes new event chains, game rules and bug fixes.

Save games from 2.6.1 should work fine, but as always we can't guarantee that it works 100%.

Converter changes summary

While the converter has been getting updates from time to time to account for new things added in EU4 expansions it is not always making full use of the newer features both in CK2 and EU4. The EU4 1.18 Prussia Patch adds institutions and overhauls technology penalties, again prompting the need to update the converter. We have used this as an opportunity to fix old issues and account for newer features added to the games.

Functionality has been added to adopt your EU4 game to the status of your CK2 one in matters such as dynamic provincial development, government ranks, making the CK2 heresies and religions use the new religion features of EU. Time has also been spent to fix old issues like missing flags for rebels, errors in province mappings, and missing descriptions for the converter religions.


2.6.2 Patch notes
######################### 2.6.2 ##########################

# Expansion Features
The Reaper's Due:
- More Cat and Dog events
- Added a new Game Rule for non-epidemic disease frequency
- Added a new Game Rule allowing you to keep punished prisoners imprisoned
- Suicide event chain, with special outcomes for immortal characters
- Added new event chain, Play Chess with Death
- Added new event chain, Mask of the Red Death
- Added new event chain, Immortal Rival
- Added new events for Immortal suspicions
- Devouring the Head of a religion not your own may give Sympathy towards it. You are what you eat.

- Added a new targeted decision to change the focus of your ward to Faith, for when you want to change the ward's religion without changing the culture
- Added Vassal War Declaration laws

The Old Gods:
- Added a new decision for Slavic, Romuva, Suomenusko and West African pagans to pick a patron deity along with patron deity events
- Added Moral Authority modifiers for when Head of religion is sacrificed
- All Pagan religions may gain a trait when partaking in their Great Holy Wars, if available

Horse Lords:
- Added a new Game Rule for Nomad Stability

Sunset Invasion:
- Added another option to Aztec Invasion: Delayed Random

# Free Features
- Added a new Game Rule for "Titles Named After Dynasties"
- Added a new Game Rule for "Cultural Title Names"
- Added a new Game Rule for De Jure Requirements
- Added a new Game Rule for the Turkic Conquerors Sabuktigin, Seljuk and Timur
- Added a new Game Rule for "Demesne Size"
- Added a new Game Rule for "Vassal Limit"
- Added a new Game Rule for "Grant Independence"
- Added a new Game Rule decreasing the restrictions on whom you may duel
- Added another option to Mongol Invasion: Delayed Random
- Blot events now have more of an effect when a Head of religion is sacrificed
- Made Romuva counties and characters extra resistant to conversion
- Added Zoroastrian crusader trait
- Added Jewish crusader trait
- Added another option to Supernatural Events to allow the AI to receive them
- Female raiders may now become Sea Queens rather than Kings!
- Cannibal and having Lover's Pox are now traits

# Balance
- Antipope vassalage can no longer be transfered to vassals
- The moral authority from religious head's piety is now capped
- No longer possible to create an antipope if the Pope is your vassal
- Nomad vassals of nomads no longer care when you retract someone's vassal
- The Nomad Subjugation CB will no longer result in vassals getting the "defender against infidels" opinion modifier unless the attacker is a different religion from the defender
- When a barony is destroyed (E.G., due to pillaging nomads), all claims on it are removed
- Temporary titles (E.G., revolt titles) are no longer considered when it comes to monthly prestige and piety
- Mystics bringing promises of eternal life are more likely to be frauds
- AI characters are now less likely to risk mutilation in order to cure a disease, especially if the condition isn't life-threatening
- Made it a bit easier for Sabuktigin of the Ghaznavids to appear
- Provinces may change culture sooner if recently depopulated
- Characters under 16 no longer get gout
- Landed characters can no longer be heirs in Merchant Republics
- Mercenaries will now try to spawn in a friendly province if the capital has hostile units in it, rather than the first province it finds without hostile units
- Ancestor worship dull event now just adds dull rather than removing genius/quick
- Characters may only gain Health from a Hajj once
- Improved the various invitation decisions; the characters created will be guaranteed to be competent within the area you expect them to be
- You now get a popup when inviting someone, in order to more easily track who they are (you can also assign invited soldiers directly as commanders)
- Increased the Carousing party timer from 90 to 200 to avoid spam
- You now have a chance to gain the sympathy trait for your previous religion when using the decision "Convert to Local Religion"
- You can no longer use the decision "Convert to Local Religion" if you are zealous
- If a Muslim Invasion is invalidated, the piety will be refunded
- Immortals who become incapable are much more likely to wake up as a lunatic
- Added special text for cannibals who find a human head on their bed
- Now possible to ask one's liege to press one's claim even if the liege council isn't allowed to vote on war declaration
- Courtiers who have minor titles, friends, lovers, consorts or rivals are now excluded from the court pruning system
- Immortal characters are now immune to pruning
- Fewer lunatics from syphilitic
- If your close kin is eaten by a cannibal, you now get an opinion modifier to allow rightful imprisonment, should the character be your vassal
- The Clever Ambush tactic can now also be triggered by leaders with the genius or shrewd traits

# AI Improvements
- With matrilineal marriages turned off, female rulers should prefer to marry members of the same dynasty, if there are any available
- Fixed the AI in some cases repeatedly requesting vassalization of other AIs that'll never accept
- Fixed the AI in some cases repeatedly requesting concubines from other AIs that'll never accept
- Fixed the AI breaking betrothals if the recipient is in revolt

# Interface
- Added government flavor for landed Mercenaries
- Attached units, and units that have attached units, now have icons next to their name in the army tooltip - To show if and how units are attached to each other
- No longer possible to assign commanders to empty flanks
- Ensured that when inviting plotters, the yellow hand won't show when giving a gift wouldn't be enough due to the character hitting the opinion cap
- Hovering over a major river with a navy selected will no longer show it as traversable if you're unable to traverse rivers
- The Ruler Designer no longer shows the wrong title for women on the attribute page
- The Ruler Designer no longer shows beards as available for women
- Added notification events for councillors going in/out of seclusion
- The high threat alert now shows the # of months it'll take to reach 0 threat at your current threat decay rate
- DLC requirements for decisions, laws, etc. are now properly displayed (E.G., Conclave bypassing some of the requirements for Seniority succession)
- The College of Cardinals is now visible even if your religious liege is an anti-pope, though adding campaign funds is disabled
- Moved the alert for advisor titles being grantable to the "council not full" alert from the "special minor titles" alert. The alert now takes you to the Conclave council page if Conclave is enabled
- Fixed the Important Honorary Titles list being partially obscured by embellishments for republics
- The Ask Liege to Press Claim interaction is now no longer shown for your liege, since this caused confusion; it only works when interacting with who you want them to declare war on
- It is now possible to change flank commanders during sieges
- The map mode buttons in the load interface are updated correctly
- When loading a save that has a map mode that is not available in the load interface, the load interface will show the realm map mode, but after loading the save game will restore the map mode the game was using at save time
- The increase/decrease campaign fund buttons now tell you the modifier keys to increase/decrease funds by 10/50/100
- Fixed councillors in some cases being shown as idle in the outliner when they were leading troops
- Increased the max zoom level by 2/3, allowing you to see the whole map at once
- Removed several character interactions from the right-click menu when they couldn't apply
- Increased the space for the county name in the province view, to allow for longer county names to fit the interface

# User modding
- Added define "AUTHORITY_FROM_PIETY_CAP" to cap the moral authority bonus from piety of the religion's leader
- Added "immortal_age" to the create_character effect to set the age at which a character became immortal
- Fixed a mod-related crash when getting a random death sound for characters with very high ID numbers.
- Traits can now be hidden from others. Adding "hidden_from_others = yes" will make it invisible in all parts of the UI, except for the person with the trait
- Traits can now be hidden from everyone except those who have the trait. Adding "same_trait_visibility = yes" will make it invisible in all parts of the UI, except for players with the same trait
- Added define "PRUNE_MINIMAL_AGE" to set the minimal age for courtiers to be considered for pruning
- Added define "MAX_ZOOM_LEVEL" which sets how far out it is possible to zoom
* Fixed ai chances for torture decisions
- Added [GetNoneE] to get the ending e for feminine version of adjective/nouns in french
- Added define "HEALTH_IMMUNITY_TO_PRUNING" to determine a health above which courtiers are immuned to pruning
- Added [GetNoneEOpp] to invert the result from [GetNoneE]
- Added (back?) "GetHerHimCap", "GetObjectPronounCap", "GetHerHimOppCap", and "GetObjectPronounOppCap" to get the capitalized version
- Fixed issues where creating custom trade routes led to some paths being permanently disabled. This fix also changed a behavior in scripting the paths. For a path of a trade route to successfully connect to another path it now requires the end province to be the same as the start province of another path. Previously paths could be connected to an arbitrary province along the path
- Added support for customizable localisation
- hidden_effect and hidden_trigger can now be used as aliases for hidden_tooltip in effect and trigger fields respectively.
- Added 'hard_to_convert' field to religions
- Added trigger 'is_hard_to_convert'

# Database
- Made Jérôme of house Jerome-Karling the count of Saintois in 769, husband to Ermentrude, due to her father being dead since 765
- Switched to English exonyms for various base title names
- Added wiki links for Ralph the Staller and his son Ralph the Gael

# Bugfixes
- Fixed an incorrect scope in event 4110
- Fixed an issue were a reincarnated character would mess up the dynasty tree
- Added Roman as a 'used_for_random = no' culture
- Patricians can now use the decision to 'Shut the Gates'
- Patricians can now use the decision to seek a Court Physician
- Regrowing lost limbs now removes phantom pain
- Fixed Scaled Opinion Modifiers not being saved
- Units no longer disappear if merged while embarked on fleets
- Kali Puja feast now grants some prosperity in you capital like the other feasts
- Fixed so allies can't be called to war against enemies who have the ally's liege on their side
- Special disease clearing events now also remove illness modifiers
- Fixed a few improper uses of "reign" in text
- AI less likely to revoke shieldmaidens
- When a lowborn man marries a noble woman, he will now immediately found a new dynasty
- Remade event TOG.6001 - in which children get the 'Saoshyant Descendant' trait - from a MTTH event to be a triggered event and to make sure that all children get the trait properly
- Event where liege is notified about outcome regarding physician's book will no longer trigger if the physician has died
- You can no longer cancel your retreat if one day has passed since you gave the order, solves problem with army being wiped out due to not being able to retreat
- Event 100170 no longer introduces lovers or concubines as strangers
- Most era picker characters are no longer over their demesne or vassal limit
- Playing a female ruler with the war focus now always allows you to duel, and unlocked challenging women to duel for certain cultures, religions and game rules
- Members of a coalition will not join a coalition war if they are at war with any member of the coalition
- Fixed case where betrothed can marry alert showed up when interaction was invalid
- Fixed so looters no longer are looters and hostile when becoming landless
- Fixed OOS happening when titles are granted or stolen from vassals
- Nomad no longer creates multiple dynamic nomadic titles when selecting between bookmarks
- Fixed a rare case of holy war being invalidated when the liege grants one the counties being target to a vassal
- Fixed rare case of game crashing when removing units
- Fixed some errors and did some improvements for unplayable Republics in game setup screen
- Fixed cases where upgrading tribal holding would create invalid settlements
- Custom rulers no longer start with a discontent council
- Added opinion bonus for councillors added through the female councillor events
- Zoroastrians and Messalians can now seduce their close family members
- Zoroastrians and Messalians no longer get two separate decisions to send their Son-Husbands and Daughter-Wives into hiding
- Fixed Swords of Islam localisation to adapt to new gender equality game rule
- Fixed some once in a lifetime features to have a cooldown instead (subjugation CBs, grand tournaments, known murderer opinion penalty)
- Hid bad tooltip in RoI.221
- Toned down the chance of the "death in the bedroom" event (30101) for immortal characters
- Immortals are never too old to be berserkers
- Fixed an issue where dejure lieges were not saved for titles which had no original dejure liege
- You can no longer appoint yourself as a Shieldmaiden
- Fixed the graphics for the trait "Sympathy for Zoroastrianism" being slightly cut off
- Event TOG.403, were the vikings encounter the Aztecs, will no longer trigger if you have set the Sunset Invasion game rule to "Off"
- The gamebook song "Guy de Roses Quandary" will now play correctly when you have the "Context Sensitive Music" option enabled
- WoL event about your hunting dog maiming someone now has a neater tooltip
- Disabled some new traits in the ruler designer, such as diseases and religion specific traits
- Bees treatments uses correct name
- Can no longer get unlimited health from hajj
- The seclusion chain about inspecting the tunnels no longer stops half-way through
- Fixed missing reference in an espionage_events.9
- Made it so that being cured of diseases during pilgrimage now applies to the new diseases as well
- Fixed a syntax error in an execution method
- Fixed a scope issue in prosperity events
- Fixed issue with missing event target in old teenage infatuation event
- Fixed some minor issues in Reapers flavor events
- Fixed ill trait being applied to vassals regardless of dlc in the poisoned during feast event
- Fixed an issue where glorious monument was not torn down after a successful siege, causing it to repeatedly award money to raiders
- Fixed wrong desc being used in seduction event WoL.421
- Added some limits on modifier removals in food shortage events
- Fixed issue with non-genetic traits being opposites with genetic ones
- Fixed ill trait being applied without Reapers dlc check in old hunting event
- AI Rulers with nahuatl culture (aztecs) won't convert to local culture
- Edited graphical factors for units so that Cataphracts and Elephant models appear
- Fixed it sometimes not being possible to call in council support due to the character owning council support to someone no longer on the council
- Fixed it not being possible to ask to join your ally's war if they're a different religion
- Characters whose claims are being pressed can no longer be invited to your court
- Tribal barons created via "Create New Vassal" now get a dynasty generated
- Defenders of an inherited holy war will leave the war if inheritor is of another religion
- Defenders of any inherited war will leave the war if they are in a defensive pact against the inheritor
- Fixed the intrigue view not having tooltips anymore
- Fixed a crash when loading various savegames in the loadscreen before settling on one and actually playing
[SIZE=14px]- Children and other characters unfit to lead troop will no longer lead siege defense[/size]
- Added heaps of missing notification events
- Title grant to vassal of vassals vassal now transfers vassal to correct liege
- Cleaned up seclusion exit event
- CBs with on_demand_reverse_title now properly removes claim from losing attacker.
- Fixed an issue where titular titles could be usurped if they had titular dejure vassals
- Fixed an issue with the random seed for on_navy_returns_with_loot.
- Fixed randomization problem in death/heir text
- Patricians can no longer give the "Designated Heir" honorary title to landed characters
- Fixed the name of an incorrect picture being used for the Aztec government flavor

EU4-CK2 Converter Patch notes
Patch notes

Unit types are now based on capital region instead of tech. group
Display "CONVERTING" while converting
Doesn't add Aztecs if Aztec Invasion game rule is set to off
Addes female monarch names for converter countries
Added descs for the Manichean and Mazdaki religions
Added the suggested missing titles
Added some more country mappings.
Added some regions to the unit type conversion table.
Government ranks are now affected by imperial administration laws
Added normal_or_historical_nations flag set to no in the mod file
Updated the sunset invasion scenario.
EU4 converter now converts prosperity (by redistributing the prosperity value according to number of buildings in CK2 provinces)
All cores from unused nations are now properly removed
Removed unused files
Fixed issue with duplicate Saxon cultures
Alan is now in the correct culture group
Fixed Minor National Idea issues (from the CK2 Forum Compilation Thread)
Fixed minor issues with religions
Fixed some errors in coverter province table.
High americans now have their own units
Rome now becomes the capital when converting the Roman Empire
Added European Tribal national ideas.
Gave Mongol empire less crazy province setup
Added some high american missions
Removed some duplicate strings.
United HRE can now be created with Conclave enabled
Removed extra files from the Roman Empire and some other things that are part of EU4 as well since a while back.
Added Rebel Entries (and flags) for All Heresies
Converter Religions and Heresies will now have more diverse bonuses and more will use EU4 mechanics when possible.
All Converter Religions and Heresies will now have a syncretic faith bonus.
Added institution spread criteria specific to converter games.
Added starting spread of feudalism criteria specific to converter games.
Mapped some CK2 things (heresies among others) to slightly different tags in EU4 to avoid collisions with similarly named things in EU4.
Immortal trait now converted to Immortal ruler personality
Muslims now get Vassals instead of only Personal Unions
Ruler birth dates for CK2 games later than EU4 start date are now also changed to match that date
Exported nations now always have a minimum of five female monarch names Messalian and Cathar countries can now get female leaders.
Dynamic fort placement in CK2->EU4 converted games.
Moved culture graphics conversion to culture_gfx_table.csv from the code.
Fixed some religion conversion issues in the EU4 converter
The HRE main religion will now get set to the Emperor's religion if the starting bookmark has it different from the religion database, as well as setting religious peace enabled.
Added uses_church_aspects trigger. - Added uses_fervor trigger. - Added uses_patriarch_authority trigger. - Added uses_piety trigger. - Added uses_papacy trigger. - Added uses_blessings trigger. - Added uses_karma trigger. - Added uses_syncretic_faiths trigger. Added uses_cults trigger. - Added uses_personal_deities trigger.
Replaced some religion event triggers with the new triggers added by Marko. I have been pretty restrictive and only done this to events that could actually benefit from it.
CKII->EUIV Converter: Converted countries that used to have default national ideas now have custom ideas.

Official forum post

24 comments Read more


“...playing is winning, and there’s something quite satisfying about leading your house to power and glory through whatever means you can, for as long as you can.”
9,5/10 – Strategy Informer

“In short, Crusader Kings II is a majestic feudal sandbox, the greatest generator of hilarious medieval soap opera ever created and Paradox Interactive’s best title to date.”
90/100 – IncGamers

“It's perfectly possible to have made a few too many enemies, anger the Pope and find most of Europe out for your blood. That's really what makes the game so damn fun.”
9/10 – Destructoid

About This Game

The Dark Ages might be drawing to a close, but Europe is still in turmoil. Petty lords vie against beleaguered kings who struggle to assert control over their fragmented realms. The Pope calls for a Crusade to protect the Christians in the Holy Land even as he refuses to relinquish control over the investiture of bishops - and their riches. Now is the time for greatness. Expand your demesne and secure the future of your dynasty. Fill your coffers, appoint vassals, root out traitors and heretics, introduce laws and interact with hundreds of nobles, each with their own agenda.
A good lord will always need friends to support him. But beware, as loyal vassals can quickly turn to bitter rivals, and some might not be as reliable as they seem... Stand ready, and increase your prestige until the world whispers your name in awe. Do you have what it takes to become a Crusader King?
Crusader Kings II explores one of the defining periods in world history in an experience crafted by the masters of Grand Strategy. Medieval Europe is brought to life in this epic game of knights, schemes, and thrones...

Key features:

  • Start a game at any point between 1066 and 1337 and play until 1453
  • Pick a Christian lord and make sure his dynasty survives as you play a succession of his descendants through the ages
  • Gain Prestige for every successive character you play, furthering the glory of your Dynasty
  • Expand your feudal domain - and keep it from falling apart
  • Unravel the plots of your courtiers and vassals, each with their own opinions and agendas
  • Take up the Cross and fight the Moor, the Heathen and the Heretic.
  • Defend against the onslaught of the Mongol Horde
  • Struggle with the Pope for control of the bishops
  • Relive the Middle Ages with up to 32 other players in a competitive multiplayer mode

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: XP/Vista/Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium® IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
    • Video Card: NVIDIA® GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon® X1900, 512mb graphics memory required.
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Sound: Direct X-compatible sound card
    • Additional: 3-button mouse and keyboard
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
    • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce
      9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory required
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: IntelR PentiumR IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard disk space: 2 Gb
    • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce
      > 9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory required.
Customer reviews
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
35 of 35 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
76.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
Crusader Kings II is, IMHO, Paradox's best game. It's a grand strategy game that throws many of the popular complexities of the genre such as a complicated tech tree, deep strategic combat, and a rich economy and city building out the window for very simple implementations of each and replaces it all with one thing: interpersonal drama.

It's all about what other people have that you want and what you have that other people want, and it produces epic struggles, dramatic twists of fate, and wonderful soap opera fodder.

At the start of the game if you have a small nation, you can play it a bit like a standard 4X. Locate a smaller neighbor with no major allies, conquer, repeat. As your empire grows, however, you begin to need to split up your holdings among relatives and friends- a province here, a duchy there.

And then those people begin to want things, and have armies, and begin to plan among themselves.

And maybe you have too many children, and those who aren't getting enough of the land start to hate you. And maybe your king dies and his underaged heir who fewer people like and nobody respects takes over under the care of one of your trusted vassels, who may even now be plotting regicide.

When that daughter you married off a decade ago and forgot about suddenly inheriets a third of the Holy Roman Empire due to an accident of inheritance laws and a suspiciously high mortality rate among the nobility? The knives will begin to come out before the crown has had time to settle on her brow, and damage control doesn't even begin to cover what follows.

Play enough of this game, and familicide won't even be an interesting enough story to warrant telling your spouse about after another play session where you stayed up three hours later than you wanted it.

Crusader Kings II is big, and imposing, and takes a long time to play, but there's pretty much nothing like it out there. It might take a dozen hours before you really get what's going on, and I suspect most people who even try it will bounce off of it without understanding why it's such a big deal. If it bites into you, though, your time will be repaid with an endless array of amazing stories and crazy alternate histories of Europe.
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29 of 37 people (78%) found this review helpful
30 people found this review funny
320.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
I decided to play as Castile in 1066
Kill Brothers, invade Andalusia, etc.
Form Empire of Hispania
Invade West Africa
Form Empire of Mali
Then something unusual happens
Pope calls crusade in ♥♥♥♥ing India
"Crusade for Punjab"
Go on Crusade and Capture Punjab
Continue to invade India
Form Empire of India
Be me, Emperor Fernando XII 'the Gentle' of Hispania, Mali, and India
Die of cancer, heirless at the age of 24
Game Ends

10/10 would die of cancer again
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
275.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
As I'm coming closer to the 300 hour mark I think it's my obligation to honor this game with a short review.

Crusader Kings 2 is one of those games that just provide you with everything you personally ever wanted in a strategy game, though you never knew that you wanted that before you tried it out. How could I have known my weakness for arresting and torturing christian priests wandering the plains of Russia?

Sure, getting started can be rough and frustrating, as the tutorial barely scratches the surface of the ocean of possibilities that is CK2. And even now, after burning more than an entire week of my precious life time with this game I still learn new mechanics and features every time.

But once you understand the main aspects it's pretty easy getting completely absorbed in this medieval reality show where you are both director and protagonist.

And after I fought the emperor in an open revolt, trapped him in the Alpes where his great army died of starvation, and then duelled him in personal combat on the highest mountain surrounded by thousands of frozen corpses, stroke him down with my Damascus Steel sword, spilled his blood on the snowy plains, and then took the emperor's crown from his dead, cold hands, while ... simultaneously seducing his wife - I knew I would love this game.

If you also want to spend your nights creating your own historical BBC documentary I'm the last person to stop you.
All you need is a strong imagination to fill the ugly text boxes with life and perhaps a full wallet if you intend to participate in their crazy DLC policy. Which I would only adivice you to do if you already know that you're addicted anyway.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
57.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
I played CK2 using ireland from the year 887( Or near enough to it).
I managed to conqure the rest of Ireland, Take most of the UK from the lords and kings over there.
My first king managed to live to 100yr, but once he got to like 50yr things started to go a bit downhill (Madness).
My younger wife was very bitter after finding out i been having an affair for a number of years with another woman.
So to take revenge she decided once she became my regent that she was going to claim more and more of my land as her own (For the good of the kingdom in her words..yeah right).
This on my death and all the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s i bread meant my hair didnt get to be king for very long before getting killed by one of his half brothers...
This half brother then decided to mary into a muslim fraction.
This wasnt much of a problem until his hair decided he wanted to follow his mothers religion and then went on to change the religion of Ireland and most of the UK that i claimed.
Its now the year 1024, it seems everyone hates me.
No one seems to want to marry my children,
A number of different fractions are coming for my head and my gold is running low.
10 out of 10: Would become most wanted death man in the world again.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
230.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
a very realistic and detailed exploration of the difficulty of deer hunting. there is also a court intrigue minigame
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
25.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
Steady start in Norse campaign.
3 Counties until I'm King of Sweden!
King of Denmark declares war on me.
Armed with mighty Bang & Olufsen weapons, they make mincemeat of me.
I die during battle.
My son and heir dies during same battle.
Lands decimated.
Finland decides to have a go at me too.
Grandpa's legacy all but gone.
End up in prison.
Finally released but to be the King of Denmark's Marshall.
Become Lunatic.
Wife has affair.
Throw her in prison and read poetry to her before releasing.
Develop Pox. Court Surgeon is incompetent fool. Burn him at stake.
Slight guilt over execution.
Start envisaging my maid is a gopher.
Become attracted to female courtier.
Have illegitamate love child.
Fighting all around me.
Die at age of 70 while attending to 'chamber business'
Am now halfwitted great-grandson of original Norse legend.
Clean up after everybody else has mass battle for Sweden.
Build a lovely garden with a fountain that flows with wine.
Regain two Jarldoms and a few other counties.
Enter into trade talks with foreign king.
Entourage behave like barbarians at dinner.
Trade talks break down.
Return home with tail tucked between legs.
Maim, torture and execute prisoners who couldn't afford a ransom.
Acquire soubriqet, "The Butcher"

What a epic game! Can't wait for the Black Death to kick in.

10/10 for this massive time thief.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
244.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
great game played it lots, and can't stop playing
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9 of 15 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
540.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
I have over 2000 hours in paradox games and have spent 300+ dollars supporting Paradox.

Paradox has had this game out for a long time. Bugs like "My Empire level title not inheriting in my world conquest run" are no longer chalked up to the game being new, or complex. This is just one example of deep pervasive problems with Paradox's quality assurance, and I won't support them any more, and you should not either.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
248.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
If you like strategy, this is a really good game
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
867.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
Fought with Cthulhu and won, wrote a book about it. Announced my horse Cliterhoof as counselor, sadly he died a few days later. Arrested and sacrificed my wife to the norse gods. Fun times, 10/10.
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Recently Posted
430.6 hrs
Posted: October 24
just started playing, seems good so far
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73.1 hrs
Posted: October 24
An insanely fun waste of time. Best time spent doing nothing when I should be working.
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212.2 hrs
Posted: October 24
Why are you reading this and not playing?
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The Ferg
1,065.9 hrs
Posted: October 24
I suppose that now that I've logged over 1,000 hours playing Crusader Kings 2 I should carve out a little time to say that this is demonstrably my favorite game of all time (by a factor of five, if you're curious). There are 16,000 other reviews that will give you more details of what's great and what's not about the game, but let me just add that I have never found a game that better simulates internal political conflict within a country. Think about it: you play most "great" strategy games like Civilization, and you'd think that nations were made up of uniform automatons - the worst it gets there is some city riots because you didn't build enough "Happiness" buildings.

In CK2 your vassal rulers are individuals, with their individual ambitions and characteristics, and they can be a real pain to manage - sometimes they fight with one another, sometimes they fight with you, and ultimately it's about who's got the most leverage. The only difference between CK2 politics and modern democratic politics is that "leverage" in the 12th century is usually counted in swords; besides that, the backstabbing and intriguing is pretty indistinguishable. A strong king, just like a strong president, is one who dominates their internal foes so that they can in turn dominate their external ones.

That simple innovation is what's made this my all-time favorite game, the one I've been coming back to year after year. Add to that a dedicated modding community that let's you play out the same internal/external conflict in Game of Thrones, Ancient Rome, or Warhammer, and, well, you've got at least a thousand hours of fun ahead of you.
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403.9 hrs
Posted: October 24
banged a chick and got her pregnant, then got her to marry my son.
He is now the father of my son.

11/10 would cuckold my son again.
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Dojo the Comojo
254.4 hrs
Posted: October 23
This is why I love CK2

I start the game as the Kingdom of Axum in the year 1081. The goal is to do whatever it takes to Re-establish the Kingdom of Israel, build the Third Holy Temple (or rebuild the Second Temple, even we haven't fully decided on that XD) and then go on to rule "Greter Israel" or Zion with it being a fully Jewish population.

Start of the game I wait a few months for my levies to build up so I can strike out against Abyssinia in order to claim the holdings of Axum. I win that war, I break a truce with the defeated Abyssinia king in order to press the dejure claims of Massawa which was worth it as they were fighting Holy wars against Muslims so I pounced on that oppertunity.

Here's where things get complicated, after a plague strikes but my population survives due to exstencive hospital building across all my counties my son is plotting to kill me for the thrown. I can't imprission him as he's my only son and I'm too old as my starting character to have a new child to replace my current son. I frequented living life in hiding and on the throne until I could press my claim on Wag. successfully win the war and after a month or so my son kills me for the thrown.

I notice the Seljuks are crushing Fatimid in Egypt so even though they began to make a push into Abyssinia it was disrupted so I was sending my chancellor to counties and small independent kingdoms in order to press claims. Suddnely Fatimid declares a Holy war for the dejure dutchy of Axum. I underestimated Fatimid as the caliph sent a minimum of 6,000 men to deal with my 3,970 men I loose Axum so I give up the title of Axum to keep hold of the holdings for Semien. It turns out that Fatimid managed to just hold onto parts of Egypt so they were trying to make a resurgence maybe in order to strike back against the Seljuks.

What ever the case peace for a small time then Fatimid declare a second Holy war against me, this time for Semien. I loose the war as to be expected when you have less then 2,000 men. I have multiple sons then the remaining land gets divided into 3 when my second character dies.

To cap this all off, I lost much land, my armies were less than 1,000 men now. The dream of the Jewish people was fading but I get a small glimmer of light as Glitterhoof becomes my chancellor only for him to die 10 days later and a Persian guy becomes the Pope.

I give CK2 a 20/10 would defo watch my kingdom crumble to Islamic Holy wars just to meet Glitterhoof again lol
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[AI] Islandparrott
326.9 hrs
Posted: October 23
I still havent completed a game..
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I am Jack's Wasted Life
246.2 hrs
Posted: October 23
This is a true story (requires expansions):

Became King.
Learned secret of immortality.
Went crazy.
Appointed Glitterhoof, my horse, as chancellor.
Afraid that horse-chancellor might die someday, so made her immortal too.
Fell in love with immortal-horse-chancellor and took her as concubine.
Immortal-horse-chancellor-concubine became jealous of my son, and attempted to assassinate him.
Had immortal-horse-chancellor-concubine-assassin arrested and forced to listen to bad poetry until she went insane.
Immortal-horse-chancellor-concubine-assassin-lunatic becomes possessed.
Possessed-immortal-horse-chancellor-concubine-assassin-lunatic murdered by demon horse.
Defeated demon horse in single combat.
Became depressed over immortal-horse-chancellor's death.
Committed suicide.
Kingdom fell apart.

Would destroy kingdom over Glitterhoof again. 10/10
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471.9 hrs
Posted: October 22
It's Aight
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