taw's blog

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Simple Terrain Mapmode Mod for Hearts of Iron 4

Paradox grand strategy games don't let mods create new map modes without some serious hacks - even something as important as truce map modes for CK2 and EU4 is still missing.

Fortunately at least here a hack worked.

If you just want to skip the explanations and get the mod:

How Hearts of Iron 4 map works

In most strategy games maps are generated dynamically, so there's always simple mapping from map data to what's displayed.

Even a lot of games with static map use similar technique - gameplay map drives what's displayed.

That's not how Hearts of Iron 4 and other Paradox games work. Instead, they contain a bunch of bitmaps driving what's displayed, and almost completely separate gameplay map data.

So it's possible for a tile to look like a forest visually while being a gameplay hill. In some parts of the map like Persia or Tibet majority of tiles are not what they look like.

This separation is supposed to make things look nicer, but I'd say it's not worth it. When players have a choice - like in Europa Universalis 4 - vast majority instantly disable default map mode (terrain) and nevel look back again; instead using political map mode 99% of time, and if they want to see terrain information they use simple terrain map mode which is driven by gameplay data.

Unfortunately Hearts of Iron 4 doesn't let us disable visual terrain view. And to make matters worse it contains no way to see gameplay terrain. Instead we're forced to see clutter which might or might not match gameplay terrain in every map mode.

Since visual and gameplay terrain match poorly, the result is that figuring out which way you can send your tanks is a hellish exercise of mouse-overing every tile to see its real terrain, and then trying to remember it all.

What the mod does

The mod changes visual map to make it match game map more accurately, by running some image editing scripts.

It changes terrain and tree layers. It make everything far more accurate, and while it loses some detail, I'd say map looks cleaner and better this way.

I experimented with changing heightmap as well, but that made the map look rather ugly, and other changes are usually sufficient to make terrain clear. Taiwan is an example of region where terrain and heightmap mismatch.

It doesn't completely wipe out detail on source map, just tweaking it in places where there's significant mismatch.

There are a few mods that try to make terrain look better by replacing textures used for various terrain - but they don't deal with core issue that data they're trying to display doesn't match in game map.

Compatibility

There are two versions:
You can use them with other mods as long as they don't change the map - in particular Road to 56 mod works just fine, since it uses vanilla map.

As it's all a script if there's demand I can run it for other mods. Or you could use it anyway, it might be better than vanilla map anyway.

You can use it with mods that change map graphics.

Before


Good luck guessing where the mountains are. Or hills. Or deserts.

After


And these are the answers.

Issues

Some minor rivers flow through a tile, and it's still some guesswork if you get river penalty or not attacking it. Mod doesn't affect river placement in any way.

A number of tiles in vanilla are declared as "urban", even though game files declare them as something else. The mod believes game files. If anybody has a clue what's going on, I'd like to know. The only tiles affected that I noticed are a few VPs in Iraq region. Kaiserreich doesn't seem to be affected by this problem.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

11 Small Improvements For Ruby

"HALT! HOO GOEZ THAR?" 😸 by stratman² (2 many pix!) from flickr (CC-NC-ND)


A while ago I wrote a list of big ideas for Ruby. But there's also a lot of small things it could do.

Kill 0 octal prefix

I'm limiting this list to backwards compatible changes, but this is one exception. It technically breaks backwards compatibility, but in reality it's far more likely to quietly fix bugs than to introduce them.

Here's a quick quiz. What does this code print:

p 0123
p "0123".to_i
p Integer("0123")

Now check in actual ruby and you'll see my point.

If your answer wasn't what you expected, then it proves my point. The whole damn thing is far more likely to be an accident than intentional behaviour - especially in user input.

If you actually want octal - which nobody ever uses other than Unix file permissions, use 0o123.

Add missing Hash methods

Ruby has a bad habit of treating parts of standard library as second class, and nowhere it's more mind boggling than with Hash, which might be the most commonly used object after String.

It only just got transform_values in 2.4, which was probably the most necessary one.

Some other methods which I remember needing a lot are:
  • Hash#compact
  • Hash#compact!
  • Hash#select_values
  • Hash#select_values!
  • Hash#reject_values
  • Hash#reject_values!
You can probably guess what they ought to do.

Hash#zip

Technically Hash#zip will call Enumerable#zip so it returns something, but that something is completely meaningless.

I needed it crazy often. With a = {x: 1, y: 2} and b = {y: 3, z: 4} to run a.zip(b) and get {x: [1, nil], y: [2,3], z: [nil, 4]}, which I can then map or transform_values to merge them in meaningful way.

Current workaround of (a.keys|b.keys).map{|k| [k, [a[k], b[k]]]}.to_h works but good luck understanding this code if you run into it, so most people would probably just loop.

Enumerable#count_by

Here's a simple SQL:

SELECT author, COUNT(*) count FROM posts GROUP BY author;

Now let's try doing this in ruby:

posts.count_by(&:author)

Well, there's nothing like it, so let's try to do it with existing API:

posts.group_by(&:author).map{|author, posts| [author, posts.size]}.to_h

For such a common operation having to do group_by / map / to_h feels real bad - and most people would just loop and += like we're coding in some javascript and not in a civilized language.

I'm not insisting on count_by - there could be a different solution (maybe some kind of posts.map(&:author).to_counts_hash).

URI query parameters access

Ruby is an old language, and it added a bunch of networking related APIs back then internet was young. I don't blame anyone for these APIs not being very good, but by now they really ought to be fixed or replaced.

One mindbogglingly missing feature is access to query parameters in URI objects to extract or modify them. The library treats the whole query as opaque string with no structure, and I guess expects people to use regular expressions and manual URI.encode / URI.decode.

There are gems like Addressable::URI that provide necessary functionality, and URI needs to either adapt or get replaced.

Replace net/http

It's similar story of API added back when internet was young and we didn't know any better. By today's needs the API feels so bad quite a few people literally use `curl ...`, and a lot more use one of hundred replacement gems.

Just pick one of those gems, and make it the new official net/http. I doubt you can do worse than what's there now.

Again, I'm not blaming anyone, but it's time to move on. Python had urllib, urllib2, urllib3, and by now it's probably up to urllib42 or so.

Make bundler chill out about binding.pry

For better or worse bundler became the standard dependencies manager for ruby, and pry its standard debugger.

But if you try to use require "pry"; binding.pry somewhere in your bundle exec enabled app, it will LoadError: cannot load such file -- pry, so you either need to add pry to every single Gemfile, or edit that, bundle install every time you need to debug anything, then undo that afterwards.

I don't really care how that's done - by moving pry to standard library, by some unbundled_require "pry", or special casing pry, the current situation is just too silly.

Actually, just make binding.pry work without any require

I have this ~/.rubyrc.rb:

begin
  require "pry"
rescue LoadError
end

which I load with RUBYOPT=-r/home/taw/.rubyrc.rb shell option.

It's such a nice quality of life improvement to type binding.pry instead of require "pry"; binding.pry, it really ought to be the default, whichever way that's implemented.

Pathname#glob

Pathname suffers from being treated as second class part of the stdlib.

Check out this code for finding all big text files in path = Pathname("some/directory"):

path.glob("*/*.txt").select{|file| file.size > 1000}

Sadly this API is missing.

In this case can use:
glob("#{path}/*/*.txt").map{|subpath| Pathname(subpath)}.select{|file| file.size > 1000}

which not only looks ugly, it would also fail if path contains any funny characters.

system should to_s its argument

If wait_time = 5 and uri = URI.parse("https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidget_Spinner"), then this code really ought to work:

system "wget", "-w", wait_time, uri

Instead we need to do this:

system "wget", "-w", wait_time.to_s, uri.to_s

There's seriously no need for this silliness.

This is especially annoying with Pathname objects, which naturally are used as command line arguments all the time. Oh and at least for Pathnames it used to work in Ruby 1.8 before they removed Pathname#to_str, so it's not like I'm asking for anything crazy.

Ruby Object Notation

Serializing some data structures to send over to another program or same in a text file is a really useful feature, and it's surprising ruby doesn't have such functionality yet.

So people use crazy things like:
  • Marshal - binary code, no guarantees of compatibility, no security, can't use outside Ruby
  • YAML - there's no compatibility between every library's idea of what counts as "YAML", really horrible idea
  • JSON - probably best solution now, but not human readable, no comments, dumb ban on line final commas, and data loss on conversion
  • JSON5 - fixes some of problems with JSON, but still data loss on conversion
What we really need is Ruby Object Notation. It would basically:
  • have strict standard
  • have implementations in different languages
  • with comments allowed, mandatory trailing commas before newline when generated, and other such sanity features
  • Would use same to_rbon / RBON.parse interface.
  • And have some pretty printer.
  • Support all standard Ruby objects which can be supported safely - so it could include Set.new(...), Time.new(...), URI.parse(...) etc., even though it'd actually treat them as grammar and not eval them directly.
  • Optionally allow apps to explicitly support own classes, and handle missing ones with excepions.
This is unproved concept and it should be gem somewhere, not part of standard library, but I'm surprised it's not done yet.

Celebrating Cloud's 10th Birthday With Cat Pictures

Cloud is now a serious mature lady cat. Let's celebrate it the best possible way - by posting a lot of cat pictures!

Young Cloud

In her youth "smartphones" took potato-quality pictures which took a minute per picture to transfer over custom USB cables, so unfortunately I don't have many photos from that time.

The few I've got shows she already had affinity towards computers, using laptop power supply as a chair:

Cloud And Computers

Cloud is indoors cat surrounded by computers, so she took a lot of interest in them.

What a nice keyboard pillow:

I wonder what keyboard pillow tastes like?


Fixing Cabling:


3D Printing:


Using laptops as chairs:


Hooman got me new laptop chair? Did it come in a box too?


This laptop is weird, but if I fits, I sits:



Doing Hooman Things

Cloud was curious about things hoomans do, so she sometimes trying to act like one, but eventually figured out it's much better to just be a cat.

Drinking coffee:

Standing on back paws:


Packing for travel:


Exploring Her World


As indoors cat she doesn't have far to explore but she's still doing her best.

Going up:


What is my hooman doing down there?


Visiting vet:



Keeping her fur snow white:


Cloud and Chair

Cloud loves her hooman's chair. Especially when it's warm after use. There's just one problem - the hooman needs that chair too.

Using chair as bed:


Using chair for photoshoots:


OK hooman, you can keep the big one, I like the cat-sized sidechair better anyway:



Sleepy Cloud

As a proper cat, Cloud loves sleeping on everything.

Sleeping next to a computer:


Sleeping in boxes:



Sleeping on her cat tree:


Sleeping on what her hooman is trying to read:


Or write:



Playful Cloud

Unfortunately it's hard to get a good pic of Cloud in action, as she's not a very active cat, and I don't have a Go Pro.

Here's a photo of her catching a bird on a stick:


Just being cute


Like any cat she loves just being cute:




Happy Birthday Cloud!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

CK2 to EU4 converter - how it works and how to mod it

Pussy by tripleigrek from flickr (CC-SA)

There's very little information about this wonderful thing, so after doing some research I decided to write it all up.

What is a megacampaign

Paradox Grand Strategy games cover very long time, and most people never even "finish" a single game of CK2, or EU4 - but it's possible to go the other extreme and play a "megacampaign" - start in one game, then convert to another, and keep playing. Possibly even chain multiple such games, like CK2 to EU4 to Vic2 to HoI4.

Since Paradox games make it hard to avoid blobbing, you pretty much have to play with mods, severe self-imposed restrictions, switch countries every now and then, or otherwise do silly things or your second/third/fourth campaigns will be pretty boring.

Please don't ironman megacampaigns

I'd generally dislike ironman, but it's even more important not to play ironman for a few reasons:
  • Conversion process is never perfect, so you're very likely to want to tweak some things with console commands or save game editing before and after export.
  • It's bad enough when game bugs out and you need to fix it by console, but when it happens to your campaign you've been playing for literally months, it can be really devastating
  • If any of the games receive updates, you might need to do some fixing. CK2 is notorious for breaking saves any time trait list expands because they couldn't be bothered to include 10kB trait id to trait name mapping table in each save game.
  • Ironman mode uses special save format which is pretty damn hard to "un-ironman" and edit if necessary.
  • Megacampaign is not a meaningful achievement run - with so much time it's inherently going to be pretty easy past first 100 years, other than for self-imposed challenges with which ironman will be of no help.
Or if you really want to, go ahead, just don't say I didn't warned you.

What is the converter

There's been many converter tools which take save game from one game and create a mod for another.

In theory you could convert save game to save game, but converting to a mod is much more flexible, so that's the generally used method. Mod setups starting map, rulers, and whatever else it felt like including.

CK2 to EU4 converter is a builtin feature of Crusader Kings 2. You can only access it if you have converter DLC.

If you want to continue to Vic2 and HoI4, you'll need to use third party tools.

Where are the files

If you want to mod it, or just look at it, you might be surprised. Unlike pretty much other DLC-locked content which is included in base game, just with some flags telling it to turn it off, all converter files are in DLC zip.

Go to your Crusader Kings 2 game folder, find dlc/dlc030.zip, and unpack it somewhere.

If you want to mod it, you can include modified files directly in your mod, in eu4_converter folder, just as if they were in base game.

What converter does

Converter creates EU4 map matching CK2 map, with proper cultures, religions, dynasties, and government types, adding new countries as necessary.

It creates matching rulers with sensibly mapped stats, traits, and heirs.

It reassigns province development and centers of trade.

In limited way it also sets up vassals.

It will convert any game to 1444.11.11 game, no matter at which point you decided to use it.

It will convert your stash of CK2 gold to EU4 gold at 10:1 rate, and your prestige at 50:1 rate.

What converter doesn't do

It ignores any diplomatic relations or wars.

It ignores any family relations, except for dynasty name. So if you're king of England and your son is ruling France, that won't be modeled in any way except giving you same dynasty.

All provinces produce same goods as before (including gold), are in same trade nodes, have same estuaries, and other modifiers - with exception of centers of trade.

It doesn't extrapolate outside map - so even if you converted everyone to Zoroastrian, you'll still need Sunnis in Africa and Indonesia on conversion in any place not included on CK2 map.

All ongoing rebellions are cancelled.

Does converter randomize

The process seems to be completely deterministic.

If you export multiple times without reloading, you'll get same files.

If you do it after reloading, you'll get trivial changes, like order if tags (so things like which duke gets X01 and which gets X02 can flip), but there doesn't seem to be any meaningful randomness.

How active DLCs affect converter

If you have Sunset Invasion DLC active, new world map will have very powerful Aztec and Inca empires, will be much better settled, and will be mostly in High American technology group. Otherwise, it will look pretty much the same as vanilla. This is true even if Aztec invasion never happened.

If you have Sons of Abraham DLC active, heresies will convert to individual religions, otherwise they'll get folded back to their base religions.

If you have Conclave DLC, it uses different system to convert government types.

Can I use converter with modded CK2 games

Yes, as long as they don't modify the map significantly.

One notable exception is my Suez Canal mod, which is totally fine to use with converter as it doesn't add or remove provinces. You won't have canal prebuilt in EU4.

What affects ruler attributes and traits

Ruler/heir martial, stewardship, and diplomacy attributes divided by 3 and rounded up are what ends up as their EU4 attributes - capped at 6 of course.

There's some correction for underage rulers, since in CK2 children grow attributes with age, while in EU4 toddlers are born 6/6/6 or 0/0/0 somehow.

This means any attribute at 16 or higher is converted to a 6 - so it might be worth switching focus before conversion, just to get that extra point.

If you're immortal, you'll get immortal trait in EU4. Other traits are based on trait_conversion.txt. For some reason converter will only generate 2 traits, even if ruler reigned long enough to get 3.

Conversion is based mostly on your traits, and secondarily on your attributes. Some good CK2 traits like greedy convert to some bad EU4 traits like greedy. It's mostly nothing to worry about unless you have an immortal ruler.

How is map created

CK2 titles are described by rank and name (like c_jylland is County of Jylland), while EU4 are described by number (like 15 Jylland), and their names are just descriptive and occasionally not unique (like 157 Bihar and 558 Bihar).

It is based on many to many mapping in province_table.csv. Every CK2 title (not just a county!) can map to some number of EU4 provinces.

In simplest case a single title maps to a single title, for example in Iceland CK2 has two counties. So CK2's Vestisland maps to EU4's 370 Reykjavik, while CK2's Austisland maps to EU4's 371 Akureyri.

A title can map to multiple counties - like county of Holstein maps to two provinces - 1775 Holstein and 4141 Ditmarschen. So whoever controls it gets both.

Sometimes multiple CK2 titles map to single EU4 province - like counties of Lyon and Forez both map to 203 Lyonnais. In such case country holding majority gets it, and if someone else held part of it, they'll get a permanent claim on it.

Quite often 2 counties and a duchy map to a province, for example counties of Coruna and Santiago and duchy of Galicia all map to 206 Galicia. If duke holds one of them, he gets 2/3 and gets it.

I haven't investigated what happens in 50%:50% splits, presumably it's based on their order somehow, since conversion is not random.

What affects province development traits

Development seems to be redistributed between provinces based on total value of building in each province.

This means that provinces with more slots will generally get more development, because they'll generally have more buildings in them.

Because development is redistributed and not mapped, games converted early or late will have same overall EU4 development.

Things like technology levels, saved technology points, whose capital is it etc. have no effect on converted development.

Development mapping is separate from province mapping - so one very well developed Jylland could give you 4 30-development EU4 provinces, while 2 very well developed counties of Coruna and Santiago would only give you 1 30-development EU4 province.

What affects centers of trade

Centers of trade are also redistributed, generating approximately but not exactly same number, and generally to high development provinces, but I couldn't figure out exact mapping logic.

It doesn't seem to strongly relate to merchant republics, sometimes two CoTs spawn next to each other. I couldn't figure out how it works.

What affects government type

If you have Conclave, that otherwise purely cosmetic feature describing your government as "Hereditary Despotic Monarchy" is actually used to drive mapping, with government_table.csv determining it.

A few countries - like Papacy, holy orders, and other religious heads - are hardcoded to specific types, also listed in government_table.csv.

Which government flavor you get is determined by common/government_flavor/00_government_flavor.txt, based on your laws, religions etc.

One silly thing about current table is that merchant republics will be converted to merchant, oligarchic, or administrative republics based on their laws, which feels really silly and I'd recommend fixing that in a mod.

What affects cultures

Cultures of characters and provinces are mapped by culture_table.csv.

Every mapping is currently unique, so you can get Horse culture in EU4.

What affects religions

If you have Sons of Abraham, converter uses heresy_table_soa.csv, where every religion maps one to one.

If you don't, it uses religion_table.csv, where heresies are folded back into base religions, including some dubious mappings of unreformed pagans to various EU4 vanilla pagan types.

One very notable problem is that all Buddhists will map to EU4 Theravada, completely ignoring your character's traits. Off-map Buddhists in EU4 will have same groups as vanilla.

Another problem for CK2 Buddhists is that your vassals will rarely convert Hindu/Jain provinces as they're in same culture group, but in EU4 they're suddenly in a separate group ever since patch EU4 1.6 - which to be honest still feels like a highly questionable choice.

What affects vassals

Converter doesn't generate PUs, marches, protectorates, or tributaries, but it sometimes generates vassals. There's special logic for HRE.

For non-HRE countries, if you have Conclave, government_table.csv specifies maximum number of vassals generated - between 0 to 2 depending on your laws.

Without Conclave, rules are specified by defines.lua and maximum number of vassals is 4, but it will only happen at zero crown authority.

Generated vassals will often start at very high liberty desire.

For some reasons vassals won't have heirs generated.

How Holy Roman Empire works

One title, chosen by defines.lua (by default e_hre, but you can change it) uses special Holy Roman Empire converter mechanics.

It will turn all your CK2 vassals into independent countries unless you have absolute crown authority (non-Conclave), or its Conclave equivalent.

This also includes your de jure vassals - so even if you're king of Lombardy and Holy Roman Emperor, you'll be left with just your demesne and duke tier title.

Meanwhile even viceroys will keep all their vassals' lands, de jure or not, which feels rather silly overall. I'd recommend destroying all king-level viceroyalties by console if you want to convert HRE.

All lands in your empire, regardless of de jure status, become part of empire, even if they're in Africa or Asia.

You can be HRE as any religion, like Zoroastrian or Jewish. It will generally result in HRE starting at religious peace.

Emperor will have a permanent claim on any province contested between HRE members due to map conversion rules, which I find rather silly, and I'd recommend removing them.

EU4 interface for HRE has very small area for HRE princes, so it's very likely conversion game will just overflow it. Then again, it's not uncommon for the interface to overflow during EU4 campaign if you create a bunch of new princes. It's another example of Paradox games seriously needing bigger interface mods for people with first world monitors.

What affects claims

You'll get permanent claims on any land that's your de jure that you don't own - including land generated by your vassals (but not HRE members).

You'll also get a permanent claim on any land that should be partly yours by map conversion, but which another country got.

There are no regular claims.

How are tags converted

Every CK2 country - independent, generated vassal, or generated HRE member - gets EU4 tag.

It's based on their primary title and nation_table.csv. So for example kingdom of Bulgaria (k_bulgaria) gets tag BUL (Bulgaria).

Converter also has a small number of unique tags like ISR Israel, JOM Jomsvikings etc.

If tag is not listed, a new dynamic tag will be generated like X01, X02 etc., with appropriate names.

Countries with existing tags have same national ideas they'd have in vanilla EU4. For dynamically generated countries, it's based on their cultures etc., just as for existing EU4 minors.

However - if you use cultural names (like Norge, Danmark etc.) these will always convert to dynamic tags. This doesn't affect their idea groups.

What happens if there are duplicate tags

Sometimes two countries map to same tag, like duchy of Perm and kingdom of Perm. One of them will get proper tag PRM, the other will get dynamic tag with same name. In my tests, duchy got the real tag, and it's not clear why.

It's probably good idea to rename them manually in such case.

If you rename a country in CK2, it keeps that new name on conversion.

What affects government rank

It's directly mapped from CK2.

There are rules within EU4 that can change your rank - for example if you're vassal, or non-elector HRE member you'll get reduced to duchy on next monthly tick.

What affects technology groups

Technology groups are based on location of your capital. You'll get Western, Eastern, Muslim, Indian, West African, and East African tech groups based on which group your capital would get it in EU4.

One exception is that nomads always get nomad technology group.

I haven't seen any Anatolian (Ottoman) technology group nations.

Things like your religion, your technology, your primary tag etc. don't seem to have any impact on tech group you'll get - if you're Sunni France with maxed out tech but your capital is in Constantinople you'll get Eastern group.

Rest of the world gets their predefined groups. If you play with Sunset Invasion New World will be mostly High American technology group, which is strongest group in game - like Western except with better units.

All this doesn't matter much since institution system got added.

How national ideas work in EU4

In normal EU4 game each national ideas have associated trigger, so to get English ideas you need to start as ENG England or GBR Great Britain; to get Rajput ideas you need to be Rajput or Malvi culture and non-Muslim etc.

If no ideas match, you get generic National Ideas, which tend to be awful. By now very few countries in EU4 get National Ideas.

What affects national ideas in converted games

Converter adds some new national ideas with new triggers, for example Karlings, Israel, or Jomsvikings get some new ideas.

Converter also disables a lot of idea groups from EU4, and changes trigger rules for others.

For example to get English ideas you no longer need specific tag, you need to be English or Anglo-Saxon culture kingdom or empire with at least 10 provinces (after conversion) and at least 5 coastal provinces. Simply being kingdom of England or ENG tag does not suffice.

You can check these rules in common/ideas/*.txt in generated mod, which comes from copy/common/ideas/*.txt and sunset_invasion/common/ideas/*.txt.

What about nations matching no rules

Because these rules tend to be very restrictive, most countries get no ideas - they'll show as having generic "National Ideas" when you start new EU4 game.

That's not however what happens - they all get some random set of custom ideas, similar to what you could do with EU4 nation designer. CK2 converter changes weights for these custom ideas to better work with generated countries.

Whenever you start new campaign, EU4 will randomly select new set of ideas, so there's no way to predict them.

You can check their weights in common/custom_ideas/*.txt in generated mod, which comes from copy/common/custom_ideas/*.txt.

Are any buildings generated

The only buildings generated are basic forts, and I can't see any pattern to them.

Known Bugs

As of CK2 2.7.0. Hopefully they get fixed.

With Sunset Invasion, some new world provinces have 0 base production. These are:

  • 367 The Azores - uncolonized
  • 368 Madeira - uncolonized
  • 852 Mexico - Aztec gold
  • 2626 Tullucan - Aztec gold
  • 2628 Tepeacac - Aztec grain
As two of five bugged provinces are Aztec goldmines, this effectively makes them far weaker than they were supposed to be.


For certain steppe provinces converter creates two ownership files - one specifying whoever was their owner on CK2 map, and another specifying they're owned by Mongolia (KHA). The result is that Mongolia will control them (even though it really shouldn't), but have no cores on them. This can be fixed by deleting those extra files.

Occasionally province's controller won't have a core on it for no clear reason.

Using converter with map mods

If you're willing to mod province_table.csv, you can have map mods on both ends, but that's significant project, especially without proper tools.

Then again, the kind of people who play megacampaigns are probably excactly the kind of people who would put that effort.

If mod you're using changes map only somewhat, you can always try converting and then clean up a bit manually.

Advanced conversion

You can get a lot from the converter:
  • during CK2 campaign, play with converter in mind - so if you want some cultures, religions, HRE, etc. just setup things accordingly
  • when campaign ends, just grab console and do any cleanup you want, removing bordergore, setting laws appropriately (to spawn or not spawn vassals) etc.
  • run the converter
  • cleanup converter files - doing things like removing silly claims, moving CoTs to more sensible places, giving everybody traits you feel they deserve, fixing Buddhists to match type you want etc.
  • start new game
  • possibly cleanup map some more before starting to play
It's up to you how much of it you really want.

Writing your own converter

Converter doesn't do anything magical - the most complex part is province_table.csv. So based on just that file and save game it wouldn't be that hard to just create your own converter, customized whichever way you need.

Are there any third party converters?

The only one I'm aware of doesn't work with current version of the game, so no.

It's not terribly hard to write one (especially if you reuse province table), but then the real work of keeping it updated begins.

Summary

And that's all I discovered about the converter. If you have any corrections, questions, or feedback, please comment and I'll update this post.

Monday, February 06, 2017

opal-d3 for in-browser data visualization with ruby


Ruby has always been the best language for server-side programming, but then if you want to do any dynamic front-end functionality your choices were mostly the awful javascript or one of compile-to-javascript languages like coffeescript, which were just borderline tolerable at best.

Opal tries to fix all such problems this by compiling ruby directly into javascript. It has adequate javascript interoperability, so you can use existing javascript libraries with it, but it's often fairly awkward and non-idiomatic, negating a lot of value of using superior language.

With opal-d3 I made intuitive ruby opal interface to D3 data-driver document visualization library. It's a great fit, as ruby is a great language for extracting and processing data, so it makes little sense to leave it for another language just for the final visualization step.

To use it, just gem install opal-d3. The gem includes example sinatra app.

What works and what doesn't

About 60% of D3 functionality is supported with nice ruby wrappers, including:
  • arrays
  • axes
  • collections
  • colors
  • delimiter-separated values
  • easings
  • number formats
  • interpolators
  • paths
  • polygons
  • quad trees
  • random numbers
  • scales
  • selections
  • shapes
  • time formats
  • time intervals
The following parts of D3 are not supported yet. Of course you can still access them with somewhat low-level code:
  • brushes
  • chords
  • dispatches
  • dragging
  • forces
  • geographies
  • hierarchies
  • queues
  • requests
  • timers
  • transitions
  • voronoi diagrams
  • zooming

See it in action

I included a bunch of sample visualizations with the gem, which you can also view here.

Future work

Pull requests most welcome. If you're interested in helping, some ideas are:

It would be nice to have the remaining functionality - especially geographic code, and also wrappers for any popular D3 plugins.

The interface tries to follows intuitive ruby style as much as possible, but there are some cases where it's not clear what would be the right way. I don't expect any major API changes, but some minor bits could change.

It should generally be clear what ruby equivalent is, and there's plenty of specs and a bunch of examples in demo app, but there's no comprehensive documentation or tutorials as such.

It would be good to just include more examples showcasing various included functionality - sort of like d3.js's homepage has. Especially examples showing dynamic interaction are lacking.

If it becomes popular, the project could definitely use some better kind of home page on github pages.

Unlike coffeescript which is pretty much free, opal comes with performance cost. opal-d3 right now doesn't try to minimize it, so it would be nice to have some benchmarks, and make sure it doesn't do anything unnecessarily costly.

Included example sinatra app could definitely use source maps and in-browser ruby console for editing code without reloading.

In case of trouble

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me over email, github, twitter, or whichever medium you find convenient.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

CK2 Prussian Amazons AAR

Due to changes on G+, half of this AAR was originally published on G+, and it's saved below.

The series continues on my other blog.

Post 1 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-25 06:17:18 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 01: 769-774: Queen of Lithuania

Here's a fun idea - enatic tanistry. Starting as high chieftess of Prussia, only women of same dynasty can inherit, vassals vote which one.

Actually I wanted to do mixed gender tanistry, but game engine won't allow that, so let's go all the way. Oh and I'm also using a mod that makes all vassals switch to liege's gender succession laws if they can, so it will be fun. Or at least weird. (Except it seems to not really work all that well so far, and so far all my vassals are agnatic-cognatic tanistry).

I fully expect AI to have no idea whatsoever how to handle this, and a lot of console fixes to be necessary.

Oh by the way I checked if I could make pagan women have male concubines, or multiple husbands, but game engine doesn't seem to support that. There's a "Male Harem" mod that fakes that with minor titles and events, but it changes a ton of files that other mods also change, and I don't feel like fixing all conflicts.

And like 50 minor mods.

Let's start with Mila Wilks, attractive, strong, gregarious, Midas Touched, 8/9/14/5/7, with +50% fertility bonus, and +2 health bonus, because this start is ridiculously easy to game over to RNG otherwise, and I'd rather add it upfront rather than reload a few times.

First order of business is to imprison and execute that vassal who holds 2/4 of my counties, as apparently I don't yet have technology needed to pass title revocation. Then, get some tributaries to the West, subjugate Lesser Poland, get ambition to become queen of Lithuania, and subjugate my way there. No major blobbing here, just creating nice safe space.

I found 18 year old strong attractive lowborn genius in Kiev, and I wanted to marry him, but he was a spymaster there, so I couldn't get him. Then he got captured by Magyars, and died in prison.

Somehow khagan of the Magyars was willing to marry his son martilineally to me. That won't let my children inherit the horde for all the reasons, but it makes me really powerful.

I got 4 children - 1 attractive girl Mila who's currently my heir, and 3 boys, one of which was son of high chief of Lesser Poland, and is currently ruling there after his father's accident. All of them are legitimized bastards, and my new husband is really unhappy about it.

My vassals are all kinds of cultures and religions instead of being Prussian Romuva, so that needs to be taken care of sometime soon.

I don't see much expanding in the near future. I just don't have CBs except for some tributary CBs on Finnish minors and Francia.

Charlemagne got crowned emperor of Francia, so it won't gavelkind. Other than that, nothing interesting happened abroad.

By the way the key to my strategy of blobbing early was simply inviting highest martial commanders in the world, 26 vs 8 martial is pretty good force multiplier.

 #ck2

Homeland of Prussian Amazons. Culture map in this part of the world is extremely fragmented.




Post 2 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-25 19:08:03 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 02: 774-791: Glitterhoof

I rechecked the mod that's supposed to make my vassals use same laws as me, and that only works for feudals, but there's no rush.

I got into really bad tributary war with Norse blob - sadly my vassals and tributaries showed zero interest in any coordinated action, so I ended up white peacing Ragnarr Lodbrok - at least I killed his brother and sister in revenge. Without any other targets, that brought peace to my realm at age of 30.

I got cancer and great pox - but experimental treatment worked, leaving me a lunatic. Which I of course used to make Glitterhoof a chancellor, but I don't remember the trick to make horses landed.

I got 4 daughters and 8 sons, so I could give up on seduction focus and go scholarship, then business.

Hordes kept splitting, so I decided to go after some small ones, even through that messes up my borders somewhat.

I got to medium tribe centralization, and that got nerfed hard - every level makes council more and more obnoxious (worst of all is title granting committee), and I won't be able to reduce council powers until I go feudal.

I could reform faith if I had enough piety, but seduction focus cost me a ton.

Culture conversion of the realm is going well, high chiefs are:

• Lithuania - Lithuanian, but with Prussian heir
• Courland - my son
• Lesser Poland / Mazovia - my son
• Vitebsk - my son
• Yatvingia - Lithuanian, but with Prussian heir
• Turov - Ilmenian Slavic
• Smolensk - my son

So just one needs fixing.

Elsewhere:

• Welsh duke got random 10k event troops, and blobbed pretty nicely. Still has most of them, so might get half of Britain before running out of steam.
• Independence revolt reduced size of Byzantium
• Damn Norse blob keeps blobbing
• Other blobs (Francia, caliphate etc.) seem stable so far

 #ck2

With vassals like this no wonder I had to white peace


My son is upholding family traditions


Glitterhoof, what's going on with Wales?


Post 3 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-26 03:58:02 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 03: 791-800: Triple Queen

I snatched a bit more land from hordes, got second title as Queen of Taurica, and even got tribute from some Balkan minors.

Then I did some shenanigans with recently implemented "release tributary" function (which is supposed to cost me 200 prestige, but that doesn't seem to), claimants, assassins, and de jure claims to get third title as Queen of Poland.

At this point I reached age of 45, with only one more son, and two sons already dead. And now all the easy life of my vassals all desiring me is over.

Now there was a major bug - I got into war with Bohemia, he got my daughter somehow (presumably she was dumb enough to lead troops) for -50% warscore, I got him for +100% warscore, and he was released in peace deal, but she wasn't. Well, nothing console can't fix.

I'm not going to reach Wendish Empire this lifetime - I have 33 and I need 38/47 counties, so it seems close, but 3 are owned by Karlings, and the rest don't have good claimants.

Elsewhere:

• Wales basically ran out of event troops, but it got half of Britain by that time.
• Vikings are raiding Western Europe, but they don't bother us, as we're too poor anyway
• my tributary Moravia subjugated whole Pannonia from Avars

Right now it seems that my daughters Mila and Betten will divide my kingdoms between each other, so I'm getting gavelkind if I want it or not.

I've been investing all my gold and prestige into upgrading my lands, so I don't have any reserve for doing fun things like making Karlings my tributaries.

 #ck2



Post 4 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-27 03:22:41 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 04: 800-801: Queens Betten and Mila

I got visited by Death, who offered to play chess for my life, saving game first just to explore event chain. I expected it to be 50%:50% on neutral, and then modified based on traits and skills, but just no fucking way - it's extremely rigged against you (like 90% against if you have no traits), and I wasn't sure it's even possible, so I cheated back by reading event chain and reloading like ten times, even thought I got one bonus event as seductress.

But let's go back to first save. Queen Mila died playing chess with Death, her realms were divided between:

• Betten - strong 22 year old, 9/22/14/20/11, secretly daughter of high chief of Silesia, but nobody has any idea
• Mila - attractive 29 year old, 17/6/5/4/7, legitimized bastard daughter of Jewish lover Giat
• two counties recently taken from hordes reverted back (they neighbour two hordes, and it seems random which one they join, but both join the same one)

Let's roll 50:50... and it's Betten. Which is good, because she's omg so amazing, and in much better position.

I don't really have to reunify the realm right away, as tanistry ought to make us each other's heirs, but come on, we need empress title here, and there's no empire realistically available without both sides. I guess I could create custom empire, but they were bugged as hell last time I checked, and not sure if new patch fixed that.

Well, first order of business is as usual, get loyalist council (so I can DoW whomever I want) and reestablish swarm of tributaries (now harder because council gets to vote on wars).

And the game obviously reminded me what I can't just declare multiple wars, as glory hounds think my enemies are too weak, and pragmatists think fighting multiple minors is too dangerous somehow.

Actually screw that, I'll just fix pragmatists, then continue. So now they're only bothered by defensive wars. Which might still be too much, as random peasant rebellion will trigger that, so maybe I'll revisit that logic.

 #ck2

Just playing with event chain, apparently it's possible to win, but it's very long shot. Skills don't matter, only traits, and you need both traits and luck to win.


Succession. Mila's demesne is worthless land conquered last year or two, and her only vassal is imprisoned by foreigners and can't help her, so it will be trivial.
Mazovia de jure drifted to Lithuania, and double duke of Lesser Poland/Mazovia somehow got under me not her, even though his capital is in de jure Poland.


Post 5 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-27 07:21:12 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 05: 801-808: Queen Betten's Consolidation of Power

Strong 22 year old 9/22/14/20/11 inheriting 80% of the realm is just an amazing start. My brothers don't love me all that much (due to some assassinations), and I'm currently on scholarship focus so can't seduce everyone for better relationships, but it's really easy.

I fixed pragmatists to not be bothered about multiple wars, stacked my council reasonably well - and they wouldn't let me attack my sister because "my family member would lose a title". But if I pressed anybody else's claim not mine, it would count as "my family member would lose a title". For fuck's sake, I'm also your family member. Did anybody ever test this DLC?

Well, at least I could reestablish the tributaries. And then with more shenanigans I managed to convince my council to let me attack my sister, I pushed claimants to Moldau and Bohemia, pushed hordes beyond Don (except for one county).

Before peace returns to the realm, that still leaves me with my subjugation CB. Sensible targets are really mostly Norse blob in Uppland, or my former tributary Pannonia. Well, I guess I could have gotten Bulgaria, but I have a truce with them.

Either way I'm still 3 counties away from emperorship. If I had too much free gold, I could create two more kingdom titles (Bohemia and Wallachia), but I need to spend all the gold I have on civilizing former horde lands.

I don't want to go feudal or change religion just yet, as I'm still at military organization 2, and without military organization 4 or a lot of boats it's miserable to deal with pagans. I could still do it if situation forced me to.

I'm not even sure which religion to choose - reforming Romuva or going Catholic are the most obvious choices. Trying to reform Norse or going Orthodox are more exotic possibilities - and these require specific subjugation direction.

Other than these, I don't think other options would make much sense for me.

Welsh blob got second crown in Scotland, but then it gavelkinded and local faction returned Scottish crown to the locals. I wonder where the next random horde will emerge.
 #ck2



Post 6 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-28 07:12:48 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 06: 808-810: Queen of Scandinavia

I really wanted empress title, and the question was mostly which empire is going to be easier to create - and Scandinavia looks tempting.

So first I finished my work in the South - Bavaria tried to holy war Pannonia, so I made them both into my tributaries. That doubled tribute I'm getting. Khagan of Magyars had an accident, so I pushed the last horde East of Don, and there was one last county in Poland not part of my realm.

I seduced my niece Gelennis, and tried to make her my heir, but my vassals would have none of it - instead my sister Dagas is getting nearly all the votes. I'm not even sure how I can make them change their minds.

And so I went on to attack 7-duke of Uppland. I won this, but it's awkward to have such enormously powerful vassal of wrong culture and religion under me. And unfortunately as tribal I have no way of asking vassals for ships.

After all that I had 5 possible extra crowns to create - Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Bohemia, and Wallachia - in addition to my 3 of Lithuania, Poland, and Taurica. Not like I have anywhere near enough piety or gold to create them all, and it would be so much trouble with electors choosing different heir everywhere.

I'm still quite far from any emperorship. One duchy is drifting into Lithuania, so I'll be short just one county from creating Wendish Empire, whatever that might be, but I won't have any counties to take unless I go after Francia or my tributaries.

Alternatively I could cancel tributaries in Scandinavia and do a lot of county conquests, and maybe that will add up to something close to the right number? For now I prefer tributaries as they'll be more helpful in inevitable fight against my 7-duke vassal.

I got to military organization 3, so my next ruler might plausibly get level 4 and switch to some reformed faith - more likely it will only be ruler after that, as costs increase very steeply.

 #ck2



Post 7 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-29 04:24:57 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 07: 810-815: Empress Betten

I just noticed my mods still used 2.6.1 files, and upgrading to 2.6.3 revealed some minor improvements, like patron deities for pagans. It also apparently increased horses' health by 2, so poor Glitterhoof could have had a much more successful career as chancellor if I upgraded in time.

And then I discovered if I upgrade, everything will go to hell, as 2.6.3 adds new traits, and mods add new traits, and save files refer to traits by sequential ID... Fortunately these were just dynamic traits (marking heirs, allies, naps, invitation etc.), so a simple event to remove them from all characters was enough - otherwise finding out which maps to which and 1-to-1 map would be necessary, but it's still not too difficult.

And apparently I need to use "recalc_council" command every time I load a save, and that fixes council positions, which is otherwise broken every reload.

I got horde of Alania and kingdom of Bulgaria to be my tributaries.

I got into my first fight with Byzantine Empire - I did some raiding for prisoners, and they sent punitive expedition, which managed to kick my army. Later they attacked my tributary Bulgaria, but I wanted nothing to do with it.

It would be nice if they converted, creating buffer between me and Byzantines.

Next thing to consider is which religion to pick - I feel that best order is military organization 4, changing religion, going feudal, but it would take very long time to get that tech, so maybe I'll switch religion faster?

Novgorod suggests interesting options by going Hindu. I'm not sure what happened exactly as current chief's father went Hindu.

At this point it's pretty much inevitable that different parts of the realm will pick different successors, but as long as empress stays the same over everything, it's going to be all right.

I cleansed the realm off Tengri, but I still have Slavic and Norse vassals.

 #ck2

Nice font placement


Hindu Novgorod


Post 8 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-29 10:50:46 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 08: 815-821: Subjugation of the Norse

There aren't that many ways to control vast unreformed pagan territories protected by defensive attrition - like my Scandinavian holdings:

• be unreformed pagan yourself
• replace locals by different kind of pagan, as it only works when top liege religion matches population religion
• have 100+ boats
• military organizaton 4

By the way I'm playing with game rule that defensive attrition only works if you're tribal, it really made no sense to give it to Slavic feudal minors of Balkans, but that's irrelevant here.

So the goal is to integrate Scandinavia into Commonwealth. Useful step would be to check if any of my tributaries on the way there maybe have spare claimants, and if so convert them into vassals - in terms of pure power it's best to have healthy mix of vassals and tributaries, but map looks so ugly this way.

After Ragnar Lodbrok was sacrificed to my ancestors in ceremony by my family member, his much less friendly son took the 7-duchy up there, and I could see no choice but to eliminate their entire family.

I thought after that thier duchies would go to me, but instead they went to some Suomenusko Finnish nobody. When I tried to revoke his titles, he rebelled, but it was much easier this time.

And every one of the counties there was revoked and handed over to some family member - and I kept Upland for myself, so now I had boats to raid Britain!

Now I got rid of all infidel rulers except 3 Slavic high chiefs whose claims I recently pressed, I have max of 87 own boats (no vassal boats while tribal). I even have collection of courtiers of various religions I could marry to convert if anything were to happen to my dearest husband.

Oh and speaking of which, by random event I became my husband's lover. No matter that I have 3 other men as well as my niece-heir as my lovers already.

Bavaria got conquered by claimant and stopped paying me tribute - which is annoying, but I'm too busy to get them back at the moment.

 #ck2

Norse Last Stand. Sweden and Denmark (also Bohemia) are de jure drifting to Commonwealth with 10 year timer, so they'll be integrated well. The rest can just pay me gold.


Maybe I should change empire name to Prussia? It's long, so font looks weird.


Post 9 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-29 20:53:22 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 09: 821-828: Romuva Raiders

Changing religions as unreformed pagan is normally super easy - you just need to take concubine of target religion, press button done. Even if nobody agreed, just raid to capture yourself one, done.

Except I can't mod male concubines into the game, and I'm pretty much guaranteed to be married on succession, so I'd need to kill my husband, and marry some nobody to switch. And even then, it's very harder to get anyone to accept matrilineal marriage, while they giveaway their daughters to anyone who asks.

There's also switching to capital's religion, but unless I conquer Constantinople that's a silly idea - all my provinces except Marienburg are awful. Wiki claimed that I can switch to religion of province I'm in, so I could just lead troops somewhere far away, but that's a lie as of current patch, and I doubt it ever worked. (I fixed that, but wikis are full of outdated information)

Another idea would be to educate my heir, but then nobody would vote for an infidel.

AI started sending me missionaries, so there's always that, but so far I've been trading them for gold.

Anyway, I discovered they nerfed tribal to feudal conversion real hard - which I guess is fair as it was way too easy. Nomad culture provinces will fall off on succession (even if they're ruled by well developed tribes), and vassals actually need that castle infrastructure 1 and stone fort to go feudal.

Well, no matter, let's just raid - and thanks to battle captives mod, I discovered a fun new way - just find a random count leading small army (AI often does that for no obivous reason), pounce on them, and try to capture commanders. I got some dukes, counts, and bishops this way - it more than doubles the profit from raiding. And then I hit the jackpot and and captured Byzantine Emperor himself.

This kind of raiding is very easy, as any AI ruler who leads troops has that sword icon on its portrait, which says where he is on mouseover.

By the way, I meant to disable battle captives mod as it's rather excessive, but with so many mods I misclicked in launcher, and only realized it decade into the game.

All that loot went mostly into building up market towns all over the realm. It's a huge difference. Base tribal income (for 4 slot province) is 2.0/year, but wrong culture and religion together reduce it to 0.4/year, which is basically nothing. Level 2 market town adds extra 4.0/year - at cost of 100 gold, so it's an amazing ROI.

Sadly there's basically no way to convert religion with all the penalties I have, and I can convert cultures by settling my tribe, but only in my demesne - I'm not sure if AI ever uses this action. As far as I can tell it just uses build legend.

Karling lost their title to another dynasty by matrilineal marriage, but it's still same family.

 #ck2

Raiding jackpot!


I renamed the empire for better font. Muslims are doing too well as usual. Wales/Scotland cycles between being unified or divided a lot.


De jure map with very fast drift is totally reasonable, as fake empires give way to actual empires.

I'd love to wreck those two big blobs near me, but I'm not sure how.


Post 10 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-31 01:14:53 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 10: 828-833: Jains and Aztecs

I got a few random events that got me to -250 gold - the nicest one was event that gave my capital extra slot (got it second time already) for some gold, and other two gave it tech and levy for a price.

That reminded me that I need a war chest - and I still wanted to build market towns everywhere. So more raiding it is! I captured sultan of Africa, but mostly it was uneventful.

My husband was cheating on me with his vassals (I really like my mod that makes "lustful" work as "bisexual"). I was so tempted to get him killed for it, but he managed to die natural death at age of 52 anyway.

Well now that I'm 52, so I won't have any more children, but I should consider remarrying anyway. Before I could consider remarriage, I got pneumonia, and treatment turned me into a lunatic.

Well, what would be a crazy thing to do? How about marrying an attractive 25 year old 5/14/20/13/11 Jain and switching to his religion? It's a rather useless religion with authority in its mid-40%, but we'll try to make it work.

And now the Aztecs are coming - with far bigger horde than the Welsh. Hopefully they'll focus on Francia, Andalusia, Wales, and Lombardy, and leave us alone. By the way I feel their troop numbers should scale with year, but they probably forgot to do that.

Oh and Lombardy went Cathar and took over all the pope's land, so Catholicism doesn't look so hot right now.

 #ck2



Post 11 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-31 05:36:35 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 11: 833-842: Last days of empress Betten

I needed to get some conversions done, and that required increasing religious authority. And there's an easy way - looting churches. Mostly with that, I managed to get it to 62%.

And amazingly Lombardy gfot inherited from Cathar father to Catholic son, who released pope with one county - which means really easy loot. Except for some reason castle became Rome's top building and pope hired mercs who spawned in another province, so I left to loot elsewhere.

My husband died, so I invited some attractive Sunni, got him converted, made sure his wife had accident, and married him.

Before Aztecs arrived chief of Canary islands got 11k event troops. He seemed to be interested in just raiding Constantinople, wasting troops getting caught multiple times, he got a total of 1 more county. Such a waste of good horde.

Aztecs arrived with 165k event troops - this should scale to era. Right now caliphate has 31k, so maybe if Aztecs had 40k it would be reasonable. They invaded Mauretania and Ireland.

Amazingly Shia caliph spawned with 53k troops. Usually he had far less than his target so lost every time, but maybe they changed it.

And my niece decided to declare host war on Poland with her 7k.

Right, I have no time for that, I need to fight the Aztecs! What do you meant it's lunacy? Well, "fighting" might be a big word, but looting their capital in their first year sends the right message.

Some Norse host with 30k decided to attack the Aztecs. He died, but cost Aztecs about 7k in event troops.

My hunting dog died, and I built a pyramid for it for 200 gold. It gives -5% revolt risk in my capital.

I got cancer. My doctor removed my eye as a treatment, which didn't make it any better.

I was succeeded by my niece and daughter-in-law 27 year old 11/11/9/9/10 Gulbis. Who's already possessed cannibal and with cancer, so I have my doubts as for longevity of this succession.

I lost kingdom of Taurica to a kinswoman, and two family members created thrones of Wallachia and Bohemia.

Annoyingly Gulbis is in regular marriage, so I can't even arrange any mallianges, but that's console command away from being fixed.

The hordes have been slowly losing the troops:

• Aztecs - 165k to 143k
• Shia caliph - 53k to 32k
• Canaries - 11k to 5k
 #ck2

Who the hell votes for possessed cannibal with cancer?


That takes some balls. I'm sure he made good sacrifice to Aztec gods.


Aztec Empire and (Shia Caliph's) Mesopotamia are newcomers.


Conversions are going really slowly. If i get lunatic again, I might flip religion. Actually, I'm possessed, so maybe that's a good enough reason to change it.


Post 12 - Originally published on Google+ on 2016-12-31 09:49:17 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 12: 842-852: Empress Gulbis and Consolidation

I got pretty close to covering my realm with market towns, so going feudal might be in order, even if some horde territory will be lost, but I'd much prefer to do so as ruler without cancer.

Well, I eventually got cured of cancer, but it cost me a hand.

But first order of business was of course reestablishing all the tributaries - and pressing a few claims like Estonia (claimant), Karelia (claimant), Mecklenburg (de jure), West bits of Norway (de jure), and random de jure counties in Ruthenia.

I'm currently being attacked by my distant bastard cousin, but she's coming from India with very few troops, so it will take a while.

Oh and I got military organization 4 - which actually doesn't matter terribly much, as there are no significant pagans remaining near me. Pannonia went Catholic, Bulgaria is nearly eaten by Byzantines, far North minors are really of little significance and I have boats to work around attrition. So overall it's going quite well.

Maybe it's good time to go feudal now after all?

Meanwhile elsewhere:

Shia Caliph got into fight with Byzantines, and won, and it seems that his event troops regenerate or he's getting new ones, as he's still at 32k.

Bulgaria.

Canaries horde completely lost, after decent performance by Wales I had much higher hopes.

Aztecs got tired of expanding, and did nothing last decade. If I had 300+ boats I'd seriously consider just attacking them to make them lose event troops in silly chase across Europe, but I don't have enough boats.

 #ck2

Aztecs are so traumatized by the news they didn't attack anyone in a decade.


If it takes ten years to consolidate after every succession, that leaves very little time for everything else.


Jain and Aztec are very slowly getting followers.


Post 13 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-01 08:52:04 UTC



Prussian Amazons: Part 13: 852-865: Fall of Andalusia and Wales

I checked the files, and Aztecs will lose their 1000 event ship 50 years after arrival (so after 883), at which point more mobile force could presumably harass their divided forces, or if they don't divide, just outsiege them, but that's distant plan.

And Shia Caliphate's event troops indeed reinforce, so I should give them a good beating at some point if Byzantines and Sunni caliph won't.

But let's wait with this global politics and get back to raiding. Well, at least that was the idea - I got attacked my two hosts and two infidel peasant stacks, and they even ended up fighting each other.

Then I decided that maybe I could do some more expanding - I got crown of Finland and cleaned it up 100%, I cleaned up Orkney, got a bit more of Rus, reestablished some wayward tributaries - time kept passing like this.

I got absolute tribal authority, which works differently now. It used to make tribal vassals act like fake feudals (so you could get tiny levies from them), but now it's just opinion penalty with unreformed pagans, so who cares.

And that means I can start revoking council powers without going feudal. So convenient.

By the way a silly thing about tribal vassals - because they are technically allies, if they fight each other and you call them into your war, their internal war ends inconclusively.

Francia got inherited by third dynasty - some Dutch guy with no relations to previous rulers. Karling and de Cornouaille dynasties are both reduced to one woman - quite rare without any involvement by me.

And they attacked sultan of Andalusia and got it abolished, shattering it into far too many independent duchies. So that's one blob down, and easy raiding grounds open.

Then Aztecs declared war on Wales to abolish it instead of conquering. That opened easy way to conquer Orkney and make Scotland my tributary.

King of Bavaria married Aztec princess. Speaking of Bavaria - king's mother was Indian, and he inherited Indian county, and tried to holy war over there.

Byzantines have been beating up Bulgaria, Caliphs have been beating up Byzantines, and now Caliphs are fighting each other.

I hoped that Aztecs would weaken Francia, but they seem to be happy to let each other be.

 #ck2

Small bit of Northern expansion


I got so many rebels and hosts they were fighting each other. Hosts are good as they bring me 450-500 gold each, rebels don't.


Oh noes! Meanwhile I was trying to raid a bit.


That will teach them!


What kind of massive orgy they had over there...


Due to complicated inheritance chain Bavaria got that county and decided to holy war Indians.

That's one argument in favor of keeping diplomatic range, but it causes too many issues otherwise.


Post 14 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-02 11:29:30 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 14: 865-870: Last days of empress Gulbis

Jain religion is actually pretty sweet:

• +3 demesne limit, which is largest bonus any religion gets
• +15 vassal opinion (used to be +30 before great opinion nerf)
• choice of sect with +1 health or +5 extra vassal opinion
• no short reign penalty (which will be good if my vassals keep voting for old women, and Reapers Due will keep killing them early)
• and heir designation (which we can't use under tanistry)

Downsides are bad CBs, mediocre moral authority (especially if you play outside India, but generally religions without heads have worse MA), conversion penalties, and much fewer events than other religions. Overall, better than expected choice.

I have huge problem keeping my vassals voting for same person - or influencing them in any way.

Republican elections were the only ones that made any sense with modifiers displayed clearly. For tanistry (or elective), I have no idea how any why voters choose a specific heir.

I even wondered about going republic, but that seems hardcoded to agnatic and completely bugs out if I try to become a republic as a woman.

Well, at some point maybe I could consider abandoning enatic tanistry, but for now I can destroy kingdom titles instead. (except 1-2 duchy ones my vassals will be able to recreate anyway) as soon as I 100% them into the empire. Kingdoms will make sense to recreate once I get kingdom viceroyalties, but that's quite a bit away.

And even then, I was forced to vote for my rival Ziedas to avoid splitting the realm.

By the way this is presumably a bug, as when I abandon a tributary, it loses 200 prestige - I assume I'm the one supposed to lose it, otherwise it's almost exploit tier of milking every counts for 200 prestige once a year.

I did some raiding with two separate fleets, which require a lot of micro to avoid getting caught, but is very profitable.

And then at age of 55, empress Gulbis died, succeded by her rival and distant cousin Ziedas, 13/7/6/6/12 "why would anybody vote for me".

Somehow Ziedas had seduction focus and attractive and yet couldn't get any children except for one bastard. But we'll fix it soon enough.

Elsewhere:

• caliph have been attacking each other over and over, Shia caliph winning every time, as stack of regenerating event troops bigger than anybody can legitimately yield is a bit OP
• Bavaria and Lombardy are fighting some de jure wars
• Peasants are successfully taking over OPM papacy - but presumably since they're Catholic, they'll return it to pope by decision right after they win
• Jain religion has been spreading much faster than I expected

 #ck2

Voting for my rival Ziedas, or my titles would split.


I'm just raiding. Pope is not doing well.


Jain is spreading reasonably fast, but not even close to what Catholicism is doing.


Post 15 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-02 14:31:20 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 15: 870-878: Feudal Empress Ziedas

It's time to go feudal! Thanks to all automatically built Jain temples, that increased Jain MA to 99% for a while at least.

As I lost tribal +2 demesne size bonus, I got my awful husband killed, and married a genius Jew for just a bit extra demesne limit.

I started with 202 realm size, 210/year income, 11k demesne levy, and 82 demesne ships.

After going feudal that went up to 326, 700/year income (not counting tributes), 11k total levy, and 122 total ships. Except now they take forever to gather.

I had to go feudal immediately, so I could convert my oversized demesne to castles before giving it away - and then as I tried to make random tribes into my tributaries I discovered that early feudal states are pretty damn weak.

I literally had to hire mercs to deal with OPM Kiev somehow raising 14k troops. And then again for Cheremisa. It's not even tribal troops raised for prestige - it's some kind of bullshit equivalent of defensive holy orders pagans apparently just got.

And all my vassals are now butthurt about levies. Like, what else are vassals for if not providing levies and taxes to me?

I can't even pass any legal reforms as I just crossed 45 year old line.

The realm is about 50% feudal now, but out of 16 nomad culture counties I hold, only 2 managed to convert, so it will be major loss of territory if I die anytime soon.

Elsewhere, Shia Caliph with his regenerating 32k stack abolished Byzantine Empire. That eliminates huge threat, leaving Francia and my vassals as main threats.
 #ck2

That's 3 blobs down so far. If someone could be kind enough to destroy Francia, that would be sweet.


OPM Kiev has army twice as big as blob with biggest font on the map.
Fortunately with all such minors, sieging their only province gives me instant 100%.


Oh wait, it's not just Kiev, Cheremisa does that too! That's 2 provinces to siege.


That's who my electors are voting for. At this point I should probably give up and go primo.


Shia Caliph's stack decided to abolish Byzantine Empire. Right now nothing except Aztecs could touch him, as even major losses (like fighting Sunni caliph) will regenerate over next few years.


Surprisingly strong Catholic, all things considered.
Even temporary 100% MA will speed up spread of Jainism quite nicely.


Post 16 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-03 00:40:16 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 16: 878-883: Ziedas' Reign of Terror

Horde lands didn't have anywhere near enough castle infrastructure to support upgrading tribes to castles, so I had to piss off all my vassals by going on revocation spree and give it over to a vassal who had upgradeable tribe as top holding.

The trick is that if your capital has stone hillfort, then you can upgrade you whole demesne - even if other counties have nowhere near the necessary tech.

That's -195 for 5 years. That also completely killed my tax base, which is something I didn't really consider, as I'm not used to having a tax base.

Of course count to which I gave 4 counties decided to fuck with me, and moved his capital to another county for no reason - which was the level of annoying I couldn't tolerate so I moved him back with console.

I was more worried about giving too much land to dukes who might decide to hand it down, and then it wouldn't upgrade.

I was just waiting for that vassal butthurt to expire, as I was without significant income or levies until end of 885, when king of Thrace (former Byzantine emperor) declare war on me. He fields 10k troops and is allied with Bavaria for another 7k, as well as two dukes with 4.5k and 1.7k.

In theory I have 12k, but gathering it all would take forever.

Then again, here's a fun fact - Jains have 11k holy order.

At this stage I'm at about 80% feudalized, with only 2 provinces that will go to nomads.

I'm also nearly dead, with only symptom treatment's temporary health modifier preventing me from dying, and with heir who's even older than me.
 #ck2



Post 17 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-03 03:03:47 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 17: 883-884: Defense of Prussia

Well, I guess you thank you Shia Caliph and your regenerating 32k stack for wrecking Byzantine Empire so hard, or otherwise I'd face twice as many enemies.

And I completely forgot than Indian religions each start with holy order unlocked - which is honestly ridiculous as nobody else does. Oh wait, every pagan OPM has infinite holy orders decision, so the only religion without holy orders is the one which historically was the only one with holy orders.

Sadly epidemic of syphilis erupted in the middle of that defense, and empire was inherited my Milyuns the Just, 69 year old 8/12/10/14/8 brave just drunkard, so with traits like that it makes some sense they'd vote for her.

Sadly she inherited -97 opinion of predecessor for a year.

Now since Milyuns is not zealous, I could convert to Orthodox, but there's 200 piety, 100 prestige, 1386 gold, 3% moral authority, and hostages on the offer, so it would be a bit silly.

At her age, and with syphilis still raging (also her seduction focus, pretty bad idea at her age during syphilis epidemic), there's no time to reestablish tributaries.

Meanwhile - minor duke of Slavonia managed to abolish Pannonia.

 #ck2

This fight would have been quite difficult without holy order and boats.


2 counties lost to hordes is not much. The new empress is decent except for her advanced age.


Post 18 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-03 04:59:42 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 18: 884-887: Tribal Cleanup

I defended the empire from former Byzantines, and got 1600 gold for that.

At this point, at age of 70, with councillors dying of syphilis all around me, I decided to just go all in, and use holy order (very expensive outside defensive war, but we just got a nice stash of gold) to clean up some pagans.

I got Rus to 20/24, and Ruthenia to 16/20, and I'm wondering if I should keep paying the holy order and use them for something. I don't have any expansionistic CBs and at this age tributaries are rather pointless (I still spend excess prestige on tribal buildings), but I could raid Aztecs maybe.

My vassals keep changing their mind about my heir, I'm pretty sure whoever they end up choosing will be absolutely horrible.

Francia somehow got inherited by Germanic Horse character - both his parents were French Catholics. I sent them a missionary just in case, but I doubt it will work. For now his heir is his French Catholic brother, but he's still young.

Shia caliph died, so now his enormous stack is gone - with his army now being half the size of Sunni caliph's army.

Aztecs finally lost their fleet, left with just 39 ships (for 3.9k). Their 133k troops are all stuck in Africa, and they attacked by a host (emperor's aunt) with 30k troops and boats to carry them to Ireland.

Tributary CB war on them and picking their troops in Ireland 3.9k at a time is a thing I guess. I bet they're not expecting to get attacked.

 #ck2



Post 19 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-04 08:10:45 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 19: 887-890: Preparing for Monkey Succession

Tanistry is just infuriating, and at this point I was getting essentially random character every time with no obvious connection with my previous rulers, which doesn't feel as fun as characters having meaningful history.

So first, let's try to see if there's any logic to voter choices. If I gave the strongest vassal +100 diplomacy and 100k prestige that was just enough to swing the voters, but anything less wouldn't do. So just giving my desired heir a bit of land and opportunities for prestige farming just won't do much.

So let's go back. History of Prussia is:

• Queen Mila
• Empress Betten - 2nd daughter of Mila
• Empress Gulbis - 1st daughter of Dagonis, 1st daughter of Actune, 5th son of Mila
• Empress Ziedas - 3rd/youngest daughter of Nomedas, 7th son of Mila
• Empress Milyuns - 6th/youngest daughter of Betten

So basically we're leaning towards ultimogeniture anyway. All king-tier titles I hold will be destroyed (except those that I hold temporarily for de jure cleanup reasons).

I'll leave Taurica to my current vassal queen cousin, but it will get destroyed if I ever get it. I destroyed Taurica once before, but I had to allow concentration of power to feudalize it quickly.

Of course that instantly makes all my vassals hate me, so we're back to where we started.

And with vassals hating me my income plummets again, so any idea of harassing Aztecs with the holy order (which was already rather expensive idea) will have to wait. Not like it matters, without their fleets they're not quite as scary.

By the way, fun fact - apparently a lot of monkeys have matrilineal enatic ultimogeniture.

Anyway, I was really old at this point, so I took it slow.

Aztec emperor lost his war, his aunt with 16k event troops (out of initial 30k) took the throne - but he kept his 130k (out of initial 165k). Neither have any event fleets, so her army is in Ireland, and his in Africa.

Francia got inherited from Dutch Catholic (syphilis) by Norse Germanic (died of slow fever), then by French Catholic (suspicious circumstances), then by Frankish Catholic (who went French by decision, then died of cancer), then by a Dutch Catholic who's a possessed lunatic.

And that Dutch lunatic decided to declare holy war on me!

It's 27k on his side vs 12k + 10k holy order + 4k tributaries on mine. Such a hassle at age of 75...

Oh and I've just noticed I'm suffering -40% demesne levy modifier due to maintaining some mercenary band. There were some events, but only I vaguely recall them, and it was definitely setup by AI before Milyuns inherited the throne.
 #ck2



Post 20 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-05 08:17:49 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 20: 890-893: Baby Empress Grasus

Apparently Milyuns created a mercenary band before inheriting Prussia. The way merc bands work is that you get flat penalty to your base demesne levy, and % of merc band's income. The problem is that size of the band is in no way related to quantity or quality of your troops - so it makes some borderline sense as a count, but it's total insanity as emperor.

My base levy was:
• light infantry - 2100
• pikemen - 315
• archers - 610
• heavy infantry - 2520
• light cavalry - 810

And I lost 30% of each to merc band, which was amazing 289 light infantry, 10 heavy infantry, and 57 archers. So only 18% of the soldiers got there, and it was 18% weakest.

Final levy was about equal to base, as I had on average +30% modifier balancing -30% from merc band. And that -30% is the smallest one, you can ramp up merc band up to -90% and it will still have no relation to your demesne size.

It's a silly system.

By the way my holy order is only so big because my MA is so big, and that's temporary due to so many temples being built.

I captured emperor of Francia in first battle, and then his brother king of Austrasia as well, but I had no intention of letting him get away with it, so I executed them both - one drawn and quartered, the other gored to death by a boar.

I hoped leaving children in charge with heavily depleted levies would destabilize Francia, but no such luck.

The throne was meant to go her youngest daughter Weslikan, but she died of cancer at age of 37, just four months too early.

Instead the throne goes to Weslikan's youngest daughter - 6 year old Grasus. With rather unremarkable 3/3/2/3/1.

It will take a long time before Grasus can take control of the realm - and with 34 claimants, angry Francia, and not enough piety to call the holy order, it might get messy.

 #ck2

When armies are of similar size, whoever keeps them together wins.


#UltimogenitureProblems


Post 21 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-05 10:43:26 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 21: 893-900: The Mordvan Horde

Amazingly king of Lombardy agreed to matrilineal bethrothal to his youngest brother Hadrianus, who's 3rd in line to the throne. Sadly Hadrianus died of pneumonia before anything could happen.

And here's fun fact I discovered - apparently it takes daily tick to appoint regent, so as a baby I have full imperial powers for one day. Which was the day I declared 20 wars.

I ran into a pretty big problem, as chieftess of Mordva, whom I've been attacking, got 48k event troops. And I couldn't even hire the holy order. So this small adventure suddenly became a major problem.

That really messed up with my plans, as even if I somehow managed to white peace her, she'd probably attack me soon. So instead I merced up and fought the horde by shadowing them and unsieging everything they assaulted - it's a decent way as I'm much faster thanks to siege, they lose using to every assault, and then I can unassault almost empty holding.

I couldn't do the 100% her holding trick, as her capital was not accessible by river. No matter, I got her horde reduced to 26k and make her my tributary bitch.

I didn't feel like letting the horde change their mind, so I declared instant tributary war on former king of Thrace (former Byzantine Empire), so they can fight it out between each other.

I waited for both of them to bleed each other enough, only then sent my own army.

Emperor of Francia fought his Waldensian nephew for kingdom of Austrasia, then attacked Lombardy to depose their antipope.

All that development is paying off - my realm is now at 15k levy and nearly 1000/year income (including 100 from Thrace).

I'd say crushing second largest horde after Aztecs, and taking over the leftovers is a pretty big achievement for a kid.

 #ck2

That was unexpected. Fortunately they take half attrition, don't regenerate, and AI loves using them for assaults.


Cat and mouse game here was quite awkward, and they were very close to enforcing demands.


Francia has heretic problems while I'm making Byzantines pay for my city walls.


After my pet horde got reduced from 48k to 10k first fighting against me, then for me against Tver and Byzantium, I decided to finish this war.

Random hordes mod is a lot impressive than it sounds as OPM pagans can just spam devout warriors and tribal armies for 10k-15k stacks.


Still a few years until adulthood. I can't find a good husband. King of Thrace is 3rd in line to Bavaria, so that could start restoring the blob.


Post 22 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-05 16:28:53 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 22: 900-908: Prussian-Scottish Wedding

So it turns out Jains not only lose access to holy wars, they also lose access to liberate duchy CB on nomads. That's quite annoying, as there's no way to just find claimant to a pasture, and I pondered reaching India via steppes.

Actually, here's an idea - with horse chancellor, I should be able to fabricate on any pasture I want with very high chance. Right? I totally need to mod that in.

I used my tributary swarm to increase size of my tributary swarm. In the end my income breakdown ended up as:

• 215 demesne
• 420 feudal tax
• 170 city tax
• 80 church tax
• 10 tribal tax
• 305 tributaries

But that took forever.

When I came of age, I ended up as less than amazing, 13/5/7/6/7 gregarious patient dull lustful trusting charismatic negotiator.

I invited heirs to Catholic Scotland/England and Sunni Portugal, got them to convert to Jain, then got wife of Scottish heir killed and married him matrilineally.

Sadly Scotland/England will gavelkind so my husband will only get one at best, and Ireland/Wales are still infested by Aztecs, but all of that can be fixed in due time.

I got Portugal to go Jain with no military or spy intervention, so I started inviting random duchy heirs too.

Setting up tributary swarm took a long while, but I'm only 21, so it could work for very long time.

I'm building up my realm, but apparently so is Francia - they're 32k to 15k troops now.

A small risk I face in that every succession tanistry kingdom of Taurica gets bigger as a different duchess inherits it - and now they made it gavelkind so I can't even get it. I should probably just revoke it before anything worse happens.
 #ck2

Exporting Jainism by invite / bribe / ask to convert.


Tribals in the North, hordes in the East, and all remnants of Pannonia and Byzantine Empire I could reach pay me tribute now.


I feel like I should intervene in India to get rid of Hindu menace, but first I need to find some solution to the problem of Francia.


Post 23 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-12 12:35:43 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 23: 908-920: Short Reign of Empress Grasus

I was interested in how well we're catching up, and top 10 biggest realms (by province counts) and their techs are:

• 33.33 Thrace (25 counties)
• 31.51 Shia Caliphate (43 counties)
• 29.70 Sunni Caliphate (140 counties)
• 26.93 Kosala (30 counties)
• 26.48 Francia (134 counties)
• 25.89 Bavaria (29 counties)
• 25.72 Maharastra (47 counties)
• 25.36 Lombardy (42 counties)
• 21.87 Aztec Empire (52 counties)
• 18.16 Prussia (178 counties)

Of course my capital at 47 is way ahead of second highest Constantinople at 41 - but as long as I intentionally sandbag one tech (religious customs or church infrastructure are easiest choices) I can still spy and get tech events.

We're also far behind in infrastructure. Of 178 counties 30 are still tribal - and I'll probably get more in the de jure cleanup.

I had one more unfinished business - my distant cousin Gerkus ruled over a quarter of my realm as queen of Taurica, and that was simply unacceptable.

My husband inherited Scotland, but he had 4 children from his previous marriages, and only one died naturally, so I needed to sort that out. Sadly I was found out, so te now hates me, and that means seduction focus.

And who do I want as my lover? Glitterhoof!

Aztecs (145k) finally decided to fight Francia (34k) joined by Lombardy (16k) over Brittany.

They didn't have fleets, so they walked there from Africa over Gibraltar bridge and got into some epic battles. It was much more fun to watch than my fight with Bavaria, so I turned off fog of war for the show.

Aztecs got reduced from 130k to 115k event troops, sadly emperor of Francia got captured too quickly.

I tried to provoke Aztecs into sending some of their event troops by raiding their holdings in Britain and Brittany, but they didn't take the bait.

And soon after, at age of 33, empress Grasus died of simultaneous great pox, cancer, lunacy, and malaise. Succeeded by her youngest daughter Dagas, who already has great pox, so it's not clear how long she has in this world.
 #ck2

And that didn't last long. Ultimogeniture is sweet when I die at age of 60, leaving 20 year old heir.

Not when I die at age of 33, with 1 year old heir. At least my husband has no idea who's the real father.

Massive opinion penalty by all my vassals is definitely a problem. Also poor health of Dagas.


She had far too much power, so I had to go on revocation spree.

Due to untimely death, all vassals hate my 1 year old heir until she reaches 30 years, even though opinion penalty due to revocation would only last 5. Game engine limitations are annoying sometimes.


Finally some action!


Glorious battle, won by Francia.


Only to be followed by second even bigger battle, where emperor of Francia got captured


That's my first horse lover in this game


Post 24 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-12 23:22:16 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 24: 920-932: Short Life of Empress Dagas

I integrated battle captives mod into my mod set, and toned it down somewhat.

After death of my mother my tributaries decided to stop paying due tribute - as did most of my vassals, due to their unfairly bad opinion of me. To get things going events even got me to negative gold for a while, suggesting that I should maybe keep a war chest of some kind for random succession event.

My first regent was actually competent enough to run the realm, but she was succeeded by like 7 others, chosen apparently at random - and that's really annoying as my demesne limit kept going up and down. I had to give away some rightfully mine counties to very old lowborn guys - hopefully they'll expire childless. The trick of giving them to eunuchs got blocked a while ago - but celibate or just very old usually works well enough.

My grandfather's kingdoms of Scotland and England got divided - my father got Scotland, and my uncle got England - well, tiny England, most of it drifted to Wales by then - and his England got abolished in a war anyway.

My brother inherited Scotland, but I had to press my claim for it! And we somehow inherited Dublin. So now Prussia is directly neighbouring the Aztecs in a few places. Fortunately without boats they can't easily holy war me there, but they've been raiding - as have been Catholics from Francia's Holstein, as well as any temporarily lapsed tributaries.

I wondered if Aztecs will now expand into Francia, but instead they decided to go for 3 embargo wars against Lombardy. They also got hit by another 30k host (host size scales with target size, but with hard cap of 30k), which due to CK2 doomstack math only cost them 3k event troops to defeat.

Anyway, I had a plan:
• establish largest possible tributary swarm
• use my tributary swarm to make Francia my tributary
• attack Aztecs and use Francia and other tributary armies to bleed Aztec troops

I wanted to do that as previous empress, but she died early...

And to nobody's surprise, I tried to get my great pox treated, and first time it failed, and second time I outright died. RNG was not kind to me.

I'm succeded by my 16 year old sister Betten.

Oh and of course succession totally bugged out, and game decided to split my titles, even though they're all enatic ultimogeniture. And not even between my sisters, Scotland was to go to some distant cousin. WTF? I just destroyed Scotland before my death.

And we're back where we started - it takes like a decade to consolidate tributaries, and only then I can try anything more ambitious.
 #ck2

Occasional early death is fine, but this is getting silly.


My sister has to redo all the wars, her stats are dreadful, her husband is dreadful, and even her focus is theology.


Post 25 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-13 17:34:49 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 25: 932-938: Even shorter reign of Betten II

I had to burn 1000 gold to divorce my husband - I thought it would go to him, but apparently it's just burned in fancy divorce ceremony. I married 15/6/20/16/32 genius instead.

By the way I absolutely hate how many costs scale with income - features like diwali festival, fabricating claims etc. are competely worthless to me because I'd be baying so much I might as well build a city or three for the price.

I also got a bunch of skill points from Personal Castle mod - unlike with republic's holdings, these apply by event. So Betten was soon 8/5/10/9/11 - nothing impressive, but not the worst ever.

Also, apparently there are two "Court Physician" positions - I assume the other one is from Personal Castle mod. So that's presumably why I couldn't get treatment even thought I had one.

I wanted to get tributaries as soon as possible, so I declared all possible wars on my former tributaries same day (except Bavaria and Thrace, which got into second batch), and I had to tweak UI so they'd even be displayable.

Bavaria decided to take their lapse in tribute and holy warred me for Bohemia. Come on, I'm way too big for that silliness - I didn't even bother with holy order for them, and I counter-attacked them same day their war failed.

It was a rush to get things done as fast as possible... and then I died at age of 21 after just 5 years of rule, in raging camp fever epidemic, which apparently didn't care about hospital in the capital. I had camp fever, but death was in childbirth to my 3rd son (2nd and 3rd were secret bastards).

Betten was succeded by Weslikan, age 26. Hopefully she'll have more luck.

So far the rulers had:

• Mila - 32 years - failed chess match with Death at 48
• Betten I - 41 years - cancer at 64
• Gulbis - 28 years - natural death at 55
• Ziedas - 15 years - syphilis (and also great pox) at 51
• Milyuns - 8 years - natural death at 79
• Grasus - 27 years - cancer (and also great pox) at 34
• Dagas - 12 years - great pox at 13
• Betten II - 5 years - childburth (and also camp fever) at 21

 #ck2



Post 26 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-13 22:25:27 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 26: 938-947: Empress Weslikan

Well, one more try. Empress Weslikan, age 26. You'd think tributaries would keep paying to 3rd sister in a row, but no.

I started 38 wars same day - all my previous tributaries except Thrace.

As camp fever still raged around my demesne, I invested even more money into the hospital and shut the gates. And of course that did shit, and I got sick right away.

Seriously - every time they make new DLC they ramp it to ridiculous levels, and then tone it down later. It happened to Republics, to Norse, to Way of Seduction, to Conclave, now this. They all started crazy overpowered.

I was winding the wars down, 30 of 38 completed, when Francia attacked me with holy war CB. Together with mercs, army of Francia grew to 49k against mine 23k + 11k holy order.

After I managed to crush Francia, I counter-attacked. At age of 35 I managed to rule over most grand empire of all times.

Aztec horde got reduced to 99k event troops, as well as over 20k regular troops and sizable vassal fleet. That fleet bothers me a lot, as I waited too long (partly due to early deaths), and it would have been far easier if they didn't have any.

And before I could even try my designs against Aztecs, the horde of Mongol Empire (not to be confused with Mongolia) arrived from the East, with 112k troops (only 96k remaining).

I assume they're burning through them so much faster because cavalry is much worse at assaulting than heavy infantry, and AI loves assaulting (as do I, just not with irreplaceable event troops).
 #ck2  











Post 27 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-14 20:34:44 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 27: 947-954: The Great Aztec War

I had very simple plan, as 4th empress in line to try this - use my tributary swarm to attack Aztecs and destroy their event troops.

I wanted to wait a bit first, as Francia had only 16k levies left, and my other tributaries weren't in their best state either. Of course Aztecs noticed that too, and invaded Francia right away!

That's awkward timing, but then again, the whole goal is to make Aztecs burn their troops fighting Francia. Aztecs bled down to 85k event troops.

OK, now let them recover a bit... And fall of Paris triggers crusades, with immediate crusade for France being called. 4 Catholic holy orders got started.

OK, fuck it, we're moving in! I got holy order, and doomstack of 37k on 400 ships. Of course Aztecs did the obvious thing and tried to fight me in Britain instead of fighting crusaders.

Crusade was successful - message said Lombardy got it, but actually Francia did, even though Francia had an antipope. Except for two holdings my tributaries got.

Strangely after I cleaned up Brittany of Aztec troops, and crusade destroyed all in Francia there were still 60k event troops unaccounted for. Imagine if they actually had fleets to transport them.

It took a lot of fighting, as Aztec heavy infantry even when defeated took relatively low losses and just shattered from Brittany to Spain or Burgundy, and I couldn't follow because my troops aren't attrition proof - but in the end their event troops got nearly completely crushed.

Meanwhile, Mongol Empire now borders me, mostly due to weirdly shaped de jure kingdoms in steppes. Still, it's a big oops.

 #ck2

Aztec Empire at their greatest extent


I hoped to avoid crusades because I could get attacked and even if I won't Catholics have 4 holy orders right away.

Well, most likely next crusade around 980, and jihads start in 1000 (unless crusade targets and wins Jerusalem, then next jihad 981).
Oh and because there are 2 caliphs it could be crusade + 2 jihads all at once.


Aztecs are fighting pretty much everybody. Only missing are 2 caliphs.


The Great Army assembles


Aztec troops finally decided to come over from Africa - none of these 60k were involved in defending from the crusade.


Wars won't distract me from good governance of the realm


One horde down, but a new one approaches. Without navigable rivers Mongols would be really hard to deal with.

They suffer essentially no losses fighting other primitives, so it's just a question if they turn West or South for their real challenge.

Also Seljuks and random hordes can add to the clusterfun.


Post 28 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-21 03:35:51 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 28: 954-960: The Mongol Problem

And here we arrive at really annoying problem:

• there's game rule for spawning various hordes, but they do not scale with time, so Mongols arrive ready to wreck empires 300 years ahead of time
• game also has "random delayed" setting which makes them not spawn before year 1000, but they still don't scale
• since Horse Lords patch nomad armies became retarded overpowered, 100k Aztecs is nothing close to 100k ponies; those ridiculous numbers were chosen before nomad buffs, now they're completely ridiculous
• ponies not only crush infantry, they take basically zero losses - this means tributaries are worthless as a speedbump, even if they throw 10k+ into a single battle
• apparently in some recent change ponies can even assault castles with basically zero losses
• that on top of the usual doomstacks that suffer zero attrition problem
• unlike Aztecs who get at most kingdom level CBs, Mongols have CBs on your whole country
• warscore system in CK2 is total crap, and there's zero scaling with country size - so you can 100% a country of 200 counties by sieging about 6 of them. Now I can appreciate that I don't need to carpet siege everything, but this lack of scaling is total nonsense.
• At least warscore from occupations is capped at +100% so winning a battle or two can delay things for a while, but then my tributaries will get into a losing battle, making it all for naught

For the future, I'd basically need to disable them, or mod them to be more reasonable (like by making them suffer half attrition). For now I just deleted most of Mongol event troops so they match everybody else better, leaving them with just 30k (which is like 60k-100k normal troops by current rules).

Mongols even with scaled down event troops keep expanding, so they'll probably get into conflict with me eventually.

Sunni Umayyad duke of Toledo got 30k event troops in regular feudal proportions, which way far more reasonable. He got himself a few more duchies, switched primary to Granada, sadly also removing Jains I once got to rule a bit of Spain. Unless that happened earlier and I didn't notice. Oh well.

Francia managed to take Brittany from much weakened Aztecs.

I suspect Aztecs will run into jihads for Africa when those start in 1000, unless crusade for Jerusalem around 980 triggers, and Christians and Muslims start fighting over that instead, leaving Aztecs alone. But they got established well enough that I doubt very much Europeans will ever drive them into the sea.

I built a bunch of hospitals, but mostly I've been spending all money on filling empty holdings.

I'm not building any markets, shipyards, universities etc. any more, as apparently mayors will build those on their own just fine given time.

 #ck2



Post 29 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-22 22:19:53 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 29: 960-969: Bedridden Empress

Jains lost all holy sites in India a while back. So the only thing holding the religion together is:
• +20% reformed religion
• +18% temples build
• +101% paragons of enlightenment
• +3% rulers converted
• -9% rulers led astray
• +3% won holy wars
• -9% lost holy wars
• +0% infidel temples looted
• -5% temples looted

Somehow that adds up to 100% MA, but without that ambition Indian religions get and slowly fading bonus from recent feudalization and building spree, net would be 3% not 100%.

I appointed Glitterhoof as my chancellor and sent him to improve relations with the Mongols.

Apparently that did not go well with the Mongols, who attacked me with their 30k ponies, but with just kingdom tier CB, and on Cumania, where I had just 4 counties.

Mongols happily attacked 21k on my 46k across a river, and they almost won that one, but I just barely squeezed the victory, and from that point, their empire was over.

I executed 2 of Mongol clan leaders, but I couldn't capture the khagan, and I didn't feel like chasing him all over the steppes, so I just let him get away with paying me some gold. He soon died of cancer anyway.

Sadly I got horrible case of gout, and became bedridden, with my spymaster holding regency.

I tried experimental treatment after another during long recency, ended up severely injured with disfigured face, gout, stresseed, lunatic, bednridden - which added up to -0.1 health, something I've never seen before.

I thought that would be instant death, but I survived three months on negative health.

Empress Weslikan was succeeded by her younger daugher Grasus II, age 26, with quite respectable 11/12/17/6/11.

During Weslikan's reign two great hordes have been defeated, and realm increased by 120 holdings without expanding its borders, partly due to tribute sent by lesser rulers - that's nearly half of undeveloped land her reign started with.

In spite of this, there are still 7 tribal holdings in the realm.

 #ck2

Mongol War, empress Weslikan ended up in regency before it ended. If Mongols kept their 30k stack together, my whole army wouldn't be able to defeat them, and I'd probably lose those 4 counties.


They didn't even use their 29 martial khagan here, and that's only 2/3 of their army, but ponies are so OP I almost lost this fight.
Look at morale bars on the left - almost completely shattered.
Ponies need a serious nerf - like siege assault nerf for example.


I tried to reason with them!


Long regency meant I was able to develop huge number of cities and occasional temples.

Every succession there's a religion question, but Grasus II is a zealot, so at least that's clear.


Post 30 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-01-23 04:08:30 UTC


Prussian Amazons: Part 30: 969-978: Empress Grasus II

Reign of empress Grasus II means a small change of previous policy. Not any crazy expansion, but there's a few de jure claims that we need to clean up. Basically we attack the Mongols for one county, and Hungarian leftovers for another.

As usual, it took whole decade to clean up tributaries, and I'm not even trying Francia.

Granada horde got attacked by Francia, and whoever wins, I doubt they'll have any event troops left over for expanding.

Aztecs got inherited by a Catholic, and they keep falling apart one independence revolt after another, but quite a few of those minors and their vassals arce still Aztec.

Mongols don't seem to be terribly interested in attacking either me or the caliphs with what they've got left. I vaguely recall that there used to be a few waves of Mongols, but with random hordes who knows how that would even work.

Ecumenical Patriarch became unlanded, as queen of Thrace decided to take his stuff, but then he magically got it back, presumably via some decision/event - I feel like this de jure CB should be blocked if they're same religion (same with pope), or this kind of silliness happens.

Overall the world seems fairly static, but maybe I just play so damn slow with all these tributary wars and city spamming.

Crusade timer resets in 980, so we'll see where they'll go next. Hopefully Jerusalem.

I'd like to crush Francia somehow, but I'm not entirely sure how.

 #ck2