Friday, December 25, 2015

Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV, and Victoria II - Initial Thoughts

Once again, I'm grouping three games together and treating them as a single game. However, unlike previous times when I've done this, there is absolutely no chance of any of these games coming in under 20 hours individually. This time, they are all in a group because of a remarkable piece of technology. All three games are complex, political strategy games, and there exist conversion programs that allow you to import a save file from one to another. The reason you'd want to do this is because each game covers a particular time period in human history and the later games pick up where the earlier games leave off.

So, like every other strategy nerd who has learned of this fact, I had an idea - what if I started at the beginning of Crusader Kings II and played the same country all the way up through Victoria II? The main difference between me and those other people is that I am woefully unqualified.

I have 126 hours on Crusader Kings II, but I've never actually made it to the end dated before. I've started a lot of games, and it's been awhile since I've suffered a complete wipeout, but I've always gotten frustrated with the never-ending barrage of ambitious relatives and rivals that seek to undo everything you've accomplished.

Europa Universalis IV I've played even less. I got through the tutorial, but my experiments in ruling China and trying to help the Iroquois survive the European invasion both petered out when I couldn't figure out how to win a damned war.

Victoria II I haven't played at all.

Which means that I'm likely to get wiped out sometime early in Europa Universalis IV. If that happens, but it's already been 20 hours, I'll count two of the three games as completed. If I make it all the way to Victoria II and I die, I'll count all three games as completed, even if I'm wiped out just a few minutes into the game. If I fail to make it out of Crusader Kings II, then both of the other games will be bumped down on the list until I get over the humiliation. I have my fingers crossed, though, that I'll play well enough to get 20 hours into each of the three games (I have a feeling that none of them are the sort that can be "beat" in less than 20 hours).

First up is Crusader Kings II, which is probably one of my all-time favorite game premises. You're a medieval nobleman and when your character dies, you take over as their legal heir, provided the heir is a member of your noble house. Over the course of generations, your family's fortunes rise and fall as they attack neighboring domains, participate in holy wars, and scheme to expand their holdings with strategic marriages. There's so much detail in what you can do and how you can do it that it feels like you're crawling into an alternate world. I love games that transport me to places and times I can never experience first-hand.

I've already decided what character I'm going to play. Doing some cursory research on the origins of my family name, and taking into account certain family genealogical legends, it is likely that my ancestors came from the Anjou region of France and swore fealty to Charlemagne. So, I will play as the Count of Anjou, but use a custom ruler (it is extremely unlikely that I am descended from the real Count of Anjou, but my ancestors must have at least seen him a couple of times, at festivals and whatnot).

Before I get started, I'm going to play the tutorials of all three games, just to get myself acquainted (or reacquainted) with the controls. I'll write brief posts about the experience, but I expect to get through them pretty fast.

The actual grand campaign itself fills me with trepidation. I have no idea what I'm getting into, or if I can even pull it off, and that makes me nervous. But I'm also excited. If I can survive all three games, I'll have an epic story of politics through the ages. Wish me luck.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. I have a feeling I'm going to need it.

  2. Best of luck! I started reading your blog when I found it on the Secrets of the Magic Crystal community page a few weeks ago and I've only just caught up to "now". I really enjoy your synopsis of how the games play. Looking forward to this series!