Saturday, 26 October 2013

Let's Play Crusader Kings II - The Bosonids Part 2

Introducing the Bosonids

Last time we talked a bit about the macro political situation around us, including a look at the kingdoms and the religions in the area. Having concluded that things are currently quite stable in our region we ended things by admitting that we are too small for other things to affect us right now. For completeness sake I would like to add that the Norse menace probably won't be an issue for us because of the considerable distance between Scandinavia and the Mediterranean and that the rest of Italy shields us from any other pagan raiders coming in from the steppes to the east.

Enough about the grand politics for now though; This time we'll be looking at first introducing the good count Boson and his family and in the next post take a look at the micro political situation. Unfortunately this means that we won't get to see any actual game play just yet, but knowing what's going on from the beginning will surely make things more fun once we get going, so stick around!

Family first

François Engelert
The name Boson has been thrown around a lot in the build up for this game so it's about time we were made acquainted with the main man himself. As is shown in his portrait, the man bears an uncanny likeness with one of the two gentlemen mentioned earlier who have been awarded the Nobel price. To start with, the luxurious beard is, although quite a bit longer, very similar to that of Englert. The two gentlemen also share the same piercing gaze (although Boson has green eyes) and striking nose. Finally I feel like they share some features in the cheekbone department, however, Boson has been more lucky when it comes to keeping his hair. Clearly this indicates that the head of the Bosonid family shares features with the Nobel Laureate such as being scholarly, hard working and having a grasp for numbers.

Count Boson
Well, what do you know: It's spot on. As can be seen on the right the good count fulfils all our expectations being both diligent, patient and zealous. The Just-trait is entirely his own. When it comes to stats the strong fortes of our bearded one is acumen and diplomacy. He's not quite modern-day Nobel prize material, but for the Middle Ages he's a pretty sharp character with no glaring weaknesses. Our head of the family is currently unmarried, this is not because he's an eternal bachelor but rather because he's a widower, his lovely but unknown wife having died many years earlier. Their marriage yielded only one child, a daughter named Richildis. She was married off to the count of Luxembourg, matrilinearly of course, so that the line could continue. However, disaster struck and the poor girl died at the age of 32, but not before producing five kids, of which 17 year old Boson Bosonid stands in line to become head of the family. Sadly her husband did not in fact leave his lands to her since their inheritance laws were strictly agnatic at the time.

Boson the Younger
The young man Boson Bosonid takes after his grandfather to a great extent, being both diligent, patient and zealous. However, rather than being just our heir carries deceit in his heart. Boson the Younger is a man of considerable diplomatic skill but has not neglected the other areas important to a nobleman, as you can see on the left. However, when it comes to learning or friend is sadly ignorant. Hopefully he will be a worthy heir who will carry on the fine traditions of the Bosonid etc. etc. His siblings, though all very fine I'm sure, we will introduce as and when they become of interest; Right now it is time to introduce the members of the counts council.

The Council

The five man strong council is, as usual, a mixed lot. The skills of Bosons' two grown grandsons have recommended them both to seats on the council as Chancellor and Spymaster respectively. While the others are hardly remarkable for their skill they are all fiercely loyal and will serve their lord wholeheartedly. This may be important in the future if and when the count becomes a duke and needs faithful vassals to entrust with ruling his lands. At this early part of the game they will surely be put to work improving the living standards of the realm by encouraging invention while the Spymaster is tasked with studying foreign technology, perhaps in the great empire of Byzantium. It will be a priority to improve the council throughout the game since they all add their skill to the State Attributes which affects many aspects such as technology acquisition speed, plot power and various events.

Next time

That's all for this now, but join us next time when we'll introduce the king of Italy and our neighbours as well as start plotting how to propel the Bosonids into the history books. See you then!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Let's Play Crusader Kings II - The Bosonids Part 1

Raison d'être

As mentioned in the last post I'll be using all the DLC, apart from Sunset Invasion.
The starting point will be the bookmark supplied in The Old Gods which starts in 867AD, however, I will not be playing as a pagan or one of the nifty Scandinavian raiders.

Celebrating Higgs

Instead, I have decided to celebrate this years Nobel Physics prize winners, François Engelert and Peter Higgs for their works in predicting and finding the Higgs Boson.

This I propose to do so by playing as 
count Boson of the house Bosonid.

François Engelert
Peter Higgs
Count Boson

I'm not making this up: However silly it may sound he's called Boson and controls the two counties of Provence and Forcalquier. With skill and a bit of luck we should be able to take this obscure sub-atomic family and both the charming (Provence) and strange (Forcalquier) holdings and lead them to a singular future. You can look forward to a naming scheme involving both gentlemen, most of the elementary particles and some of their defined qualities. Perhaps we'll have a little Tau running around with François and Photona.

Our place in the world

Our holdings in 867AD
In the year 867 the good count is a puny vassal of the much grander king of Italy, Louis II. As shown by the map above, the Carolingan empire of Charlemagne has long since been divided but his descendants still control the remaining kingdoms. Provence and Forcalquier occupies the strategically important area between the western outcrops of the Alps and the Mediterranean sea, effectively controlling traffic and trade between Aquitaine and Italy along both land and water. While the residual kingdoms of the Carolings all enjoy good relations with each other they all find a common foe in the Muslims on the Iberian peninsula who vie for control over the rugged terrain with the remaining Christian Asturian lords in the north. There are also African Beys clawing at the islands of the southern Mediterranean, but those are the concerns of the King. At our current size the extent of our political interest and power is scant, but that is all about to change when we set out on our grasp at glory.

New Let's Play - Crusader Kings II

Well, it's been a long hiatus without writing but I have now returned for what I hope to be a more stable run of posts.

In the meantime I've acquired more games of which Crusader Kings II stands out as a shining example of a well executed game in what must be considered a niche market, namely that of dynastic strategy games. In Crusader Kings II you play as the invisible guiding hand of a noble family trying to survive and flourish during the Middle Ages. Your tools for increasing your own power and diminishing your competitors include everything from strategic marriages and alliances to forging fake claims on your neighbours lands and assassination! Many have deemed the game a "Habsburg simulator" after the way the Habsburg family successfully used the same tools in real life to create the Austro-Hungarian Empire which prospered until the First World War.

The Medieval period was one of great turmoil caused by religious and cultural friction together with the lust for power, glory and gold. These factors are all reflected in Crusader Kings II in that you will most certainly see war between Muslims and Christians and between Frenchmen and Germans, however, certain events such as the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula by Castille are in no way guaranteed to happen. Instead, it is up to you to see what mark on history you can make whether you start out a count, a duke, a king or an emperor.

For this Let's Play I will be playing will all DLC, including Sword of Islam, Legacy of Rome, The Republic and The Old Gods. More on the settings in the next post!