|Petty Kingdom of Munster|
|Sep 15 1066|
The Petty Kingdom of Munster (south of Ireland) in 1066, is a good start for beginners. Ireland (often called tutorial island by players) is:
- isolated from the political schemes and religious wars happening on the continent
- parcelled into small counties, allowing to build a kingdom from the ground up and learn some mechanics of CKII along the way.
The goal of this walkthough is to create the Kingdom of Ireland and unify the island under the king's banner. It is one of many possible paths, and it tries to avoid "gamey" actions, though it certainly uses the mechanics of feudalism to an advantage.
|Make sure to check the beginner's guide before starting.|
The Ua Briain dynasty
You play as King Murchad of Munster, a member of the Ua Briain dynasty.
Your grand father Brian Bóruma, the founder of the dynasty, was the first man in many centuries to establish himself as High King of Ireland, almost purely by force of arms. By 1011, all of the regional rulers in Ireland had acknowledged his authority. But soon after the King of Leinster rose in rebellion, and Brian died at the battle of Clontarf near Dublin in 1014, along with his first son Murchad, while fighting Viking mercenaries and other Irish tribes.
Of Brian's two living sons, your father Donnchad mac Briain became King of Munster, and later had his half-brother and rival Tadc mac Briain killed. He ruled Munster for 40 years thereafter, but beginning in the late 1050s, Donnchad came under attack from his neighbours: his nephew Toirdelbach Ua Briain, Tadc's son, was scheming to depose him, with the help of the rival and influential King of Leinster Diarmait Ua Cheinnselaig. They succeeded in 1063 and Donnchad went on pilgrimage to Rome, dying there the year after, at over 80 years old. The King of Leinster inherited the title of High King of Ireland.
It is now 1066, you've been the King of Munster for 3 years, and you are at the head of a dynasty with 15 living members, including your son Brian. Historically, you would die only 2 years later, without achieving anything worth of deserving your own Wikipedia page. Your cousin Toirrdelbach would finally inherit Munster, as well as the title of High King of Ireland on Diarmait's death few years after.
Can you prove history wrong by surviving and following the path of your grand father to become once more, by force of arms, the unopposed High King of Ireland ?
King Murchad of Munster
King Murchad of Munster is in game an Irish Catholic duke-tier level ruler, meaning he can have counts and barons as vassals. Though his personality traits will be random, he has the Tough soldier education trait, and a base martial attribute of 6, which should make him a somewhat decent commander.
He owns the county of Thomond, which is the capital of the realm. His court lives in the castle of Bunratty. His vassals are:
- the Earl of Ormond, who does not have Irish but Norwegian culture, which incurs an opinion penalty.
- the Bishop of Killaloe
- the Mayor of Limerick
At the beginning
Before unpausing the game:
- One of the daughters of petty king Bleddyn of Gwyneed, in Wales. It will prevent any of the Irish counts to form an alliance with him to resist your ambitions.
- Some princess from a farther kingdom, who would provide more prestige, though you will more likely be called into some foreign wars.
- Women with green congenital traits such as Strong, Quick, Genius, or Attractive. These traits are hereditary, provide strong bonuses to your base attributes, and may end up on one of your children or even your heir. Even children who don't have the traits are "carriers" for future generations.
Send a proposal to marry your only son as well. In fact, it would be wise to find brides for every unmarried man of age in your dynasty. This will help ensure a strong bloodline, which you can grant titles to later. At this point most characters are unmarried so you should have no trouble finding decent brides for everyone. Once these couples procreate, their children may have claims that you can press in war later if you so choose.
Pressing de jure claim on Desmond
- Select Desmond (currently called Deasmhumhaim). Talk to its owner and start diplomacy with him. Declare war and select 'de jure' claim. After pressing de jure, select your military in the upper left of the main screen and raise levy to get troops. Move the troops to a single location then attack with the large army. Move your army to Ormond first and combine with your vassal's levy, then attack Desmond from there. There is a river between Thomond and Desmond that grants the defender a bonus, so don't handicap yourself by attacking that way.
Plotting to revoke Ormond
- select Intrigue in the upper left corner of the main screen and then select a plot against Ormond. Once this is done, get backing from at least 1 vassal. Once you have plot strength of over 80%, you may send the count a letter revoking his title, from the Intrigue Tab. A higher plot power, with more backers, is more likely to succeed without war being declared. If your vassals won't back you, just revoke the county from him. Chances are he'll rebel, but your army should be enough to put him down. Once you win the war, you'll have to click on revoke title again when he's in prison. If are unsure about numbers, or have low Martial, use your Marshall to "Train Troops" in your capital province, to raise the number of levies.
Changing succession from Gavelkind
Once you have reached the year 1076, you may try to switch from Gavelkind to a succession law that doesn't divide all your titles upon your death. Your ruler must rule in his current capacity for 10 consecutive years before you can change this law, and each ruler may only do so once. You will incur an opinion penalty for doing so, especially amongst those who lose out on the succession, but the general opinion penalty goes away when you get a new ruler.
The historical choice would be Tanistry, but some other possible choice are Primogeniture (especially if you foresee to conquer more than one kingdom) and Feudal elective. Under Tanistry, all your dynasty members and vassals will get a small opinion bonus, but you essentially lose control of the succession, save that your heir will be of your dynasty. Under Primogeniture, your heir inherits all titles you hold, and your heir is locked in place unless he dies. Feudal elective is risky, as your vassals may elect an heir who is not of your dynasty, meaning your dynasty would lose all those titles.
Thanks to long reign and relation bonus from prestige gained in wars, you should be able to please all your vassals. If not, you can award them honorary titles or bribe them, or even plot to kill them. If they rebel, strip them of their primary title upon victory, and if you're over your demesne limit, grant the title to a member of your dynasty that is not a title claimant to any titles you hold.
With the new law you will have only one heir and avoid fragmentation of titles upon succession. But you will also get a monthly prestige penalty for every unlanded sons. As a beginner you might consider taking the monthly prestige penalty, as landed sons can be major threats during succession crisis.
In order to expand further, you'll need a claim on the surrounding counties before you can declare war on them. There are a few ways you can go about this.
- The most straightforward way is to use your Chancellor to fabricate a Strong Claim on a county. Just set him to "Fabricate Claim" in the county and wait. The chance of success is highly dependent on your Chancellor's diplomacy level. When you succeed, you must make a payment of Gold and Prestige to make the claim valid and declare war. Upon victory, you will take the title that you fabricated.
- Marry yourself or your heir to the other family, then wait until the heir inherits both. This can take awhile and is subject to failure if an untimely death occurs.
- Press the claim of your vassals. If you press a claim that is not your own, remember that you must be the claimant's de jure leige in order to take control of the county. (IE: As Duke of Munster, press the claim of a baron or count within Munster's de jure territory) If you are not the claimant's de jure liege, you will simply seat the claimant and they will be independent.
Forming the kingdom of Ireland
Create the title: it will cost roughly 330 gold and 200 piety, but you will gain 400 prestige. You must control 51% of the de jure territory of Ireland, or 7/13 counties, as well as the titles for at least 2 of the 5 de jure duchies.
Offer vassalization to de jure independent counts and dukes: they should gladly accept, because of the huge difference of rank and power (for counts) or being the same culture (for dukes), if they don't dislike you.
Re-organize the realm: the Duke of Connatch will dislike you if you don't transfer suzerainty over his de jure lands. Using the "transfer vassal" diplomatic action, you can transfer the count of Breifne to be a vassal of the Duke of Connatch.
The relative isolation of Ireland, which is good to learn the game, may also limit the possibilities of expansion. Here are some suggestions:
Plot to revoke the county of Dublin so that you can move your capital to the historical capital of Ireland, and benefit from the two extra holding construction slots of that province.
Attempt to form the kingdom of Wales. It will require ships for efficient warfare. If you married a daughter from one of the Dukes of Wales when you began, your descendants will have a claim on the duchy, making it easier since you won't have to rely solely on fabrication.
Try to marry your heir into Scotland or England royal family, to gain a claim on the kingdom. Failing that, try to find a powerful duke or duchess you can marry, which can cut portions off other kingdoms.
Form the empire of Britannia. To do this you'll need to control 80% of the land area of de jure Britania as shown on the map.
Conquer Brittany, France or the Iberian Peninsula.
Join a crusade and fight infidels and heretics for important Holy Sites around the world.