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Crusader Kings III – Strangely Satisfying

Hello friends and gamers,

Hear ye, hear ye, all friends and gamers. After Elden Ring hype, I wanted to settle down with a completely different style of game. Out of all the choices on the backlog shelf, I randomly selected Crusader Kings III, which is a real-time strategy video game. I played through all the tutorials, but sadly, I was still a little lost in what exactly I was trying to do. However, I have come to acknowledge the large learning curve is normal for this game. This was also my first entry into the series because I have never played the first two.

Real-time strategy games like this are always overwhelming to dive into at the beginning. There are things like counties, duchies, realms, vassals, schemes, and tons of other words that are not a normal connotation of my American-centered dictionary haha. As I continued to play, grasp, and understand the systems, I got so hooked.

Strangely Satisfying

There is something addicting and satisfying in playing Crusader Kings III. Is it watching my dynasty spread like an ever-evolving tree? Uncovering secrets like my secondary wife (yes, secondary, you could have more than one spouse in 1079 AD) sleeping with my most-trusted vassal (owner of a territory who has pledged allegiance to me)? Is it watching my player perish after ruling the kingdom for 36 years, so now I control his son as the primary heir? Then gasp in disbelief as his sister, the first-born child, rightfully claims her title of Petty Queen of Munster and forces him to be her vassal instead? Almost sounds like Outlander, Bridgerton (maybe, I haven’t actually watched it), or those other drama shows, right?!

Annoying Irish Neighbor

I was at war with an Earl of a neighboring kingdom. My right-hand man was slain in battle. Our armies called for a truce between our kingdoms. In my pettiness, I used my Spymaster on my council to search for secrets in the Earl’s courts. And secrets, did I find, indeed. Not only was his son having an affair, but his son turned out to be a murderer. What did I do with such secret knowledge? Why, the natural thing, of course. I blackmailed the son and his lover to gain strong hooks (favors I can make them do for me since I have a hold of dirty secrets).

A Murderous Conclusion

Then I ordered my Spymaster to hatch a scheme to murder the Earl of the kingdom. With my strong hooks in hand, I made his own son and son’s lover join the scheme for a higher success rate. Take that! How does it feel to be murdered, with your son as one of the cohorts, no less?? Well, the Earl is dead now so I guess I will never know. Yeah, I think I love Crusader Kings III for maybe uncovering that I am a psychopath. If you think the idea behind the murder was wrong and you play the Sims, then we are one and the same. You can’t change my mind! Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments 🙂

Moving From Ireland

What is even crazier is that all of that happened in only the short amount of time when I played as Irish natives. A few days after forming the kingdom of Ireland, I wanted to dip my toes into uncharted territory. It was time to move on from Ireland. Thus, I started a new game as a man whose descendants would later form a large prestigious territory, the kingdom now known as Russia.

War Claims

Russia turned out to be a vastly different play style than what I was used to. Irish culture would not allow you to start a war or take over a territory unless you had a rightful claim to the area. Most often being an heir to the kingdom due to relatives or wedlock. For the Irish kingdom, it was honestly a massive political game to gain the upper hand. Natives to the Russian lands were very different. Not only can Russian kingdoms start a war over anything, but they also have the option to raid other villages. Raiders loot gold, capture citizens, plus add a bonus to your prestige currency.

Wives and Concubines

Another difference between playing as Irish and Russian kingdoms is the romantic relationships of the heir. With Irish kingdoms, they may have a primary wife and up to 3 secondary wives, depending on their current religion. Russian kingdoms have a primary wife but also take concubines in order to increase their chances to have children. One of the key elements to raiding other villages is converting the captured citizens to your own court instead. Captured citizens can also be taken as concubines. So yeah, Russia was very different!

Loved Crusaders Kings III

The good news is Crusaders Kings III has a lot of interworking systems in play that contributes to the gameplay experience. There are easily tons of hours that someone can spend on this game and never get bored. The bad news is the gameplay experience was too addicting and I wanted to fiendishly play it ALL DAY EVERY DAY! Even Crusader Kings III tells you this in the tutorial, but there is also no clear-cut way to play or “win” at the game. The video game is more like watching the journey of a dynasty, and all of their relatives, unfold across the middle-age centuries. I know without a doubt that Crusader Kings III is on my replay list if I ever get done with my backlog (yeah right, finished with backlog).

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