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The Paradox Strategy Games Megathread

Rudi von Starnberg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a good long look at the new EUIV patch and expansion which come out in a few days. (He's also doing a let's play based around it). Hordes should hopefully be more playable now, they were always quite frustrating to play and half-baked I found.

Doesn't seem quite as major an overhaul as the last one, but still loads of interesting changes. The new diplomacy features are nice. Also new heavy metal music dlc.

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  • 1 month later...

New CKII expansion announced.


Sounds pretty good. Major theme is the reworking of how your council works, giving more tools for vassals to be troublesome to their ruler. I really need to get back into CKII and see if my sanity and aging laptop are up to another campaign that lasts more than an hour.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Has anyone played CKII since Conclave came out? I haven't yet, but from what I have read it strikes me as though some of the changes would be very detrimental to the game.

The most striking element of the free patch changes (and confusingly for coinciding with DLC focused on internal politics) is that they've brought in some EU systems - in particular infamy and coalitions - which really don't seem like they fit with the the concept or scope of the game. Enormous intercontinental cross-cultural coalitions in the middle ages seem like a completely bizarre idea thematically of course. More to the point there's a core system in CKII where there are strict rules as to who can declare war on who; when and why; who can join those wars and so on - it's a central element of the game - that just goes completely out the window there due to an arbitrary rule change. After a lot of scheming and marrying you got that king-level claim, and the target is in a moment of weakness? Great! Now if you press it and win it... you will have to watch a cooldown for decades or more before you can attack anyone else lest the entire world declare on you. Instead, tediously eat it up in small county-sized bites, EU-style. I love EUIV, but it's a totally different appeal and the coalition system is already slightly irritating in that game (where it at least makes some kind of sense and fits in the overall game design).

At least you can play old versions if they really have fucked it up. It's a different dev team these days isn't it? The original team are on Stellaris I think.

*Reports of the Pope joining coalitions to defend Sunnis against an Orthodox crusade and Rajas pissed off that some guy conquered France!

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I haven't tried it yet, I generally adopt a wait and read impressions approach with this kind of thing :). And yeah, most of what I've read is along the same lines as you have written. I guess the changes have come in to nerf blobbing, and the focus on the patch was to make managing large realms more challenging, so coalitions do (in a way) tie in with this.

But agree it appears to go against some of the core mechanics and philosophies of the game, and it's thematically dubious. It seems a real shame because a lot of stuff I'd read about the patch seemed really good and the response to the core ideas were overwhelmingly positive.

On a brighter note, if the CK II team are now on Stellaris that bodes really well for that project :).

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Seems like they're making some good tweaks to the coalition system. If that works out I will doubtless buy the DLC and play another 50 hours. https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/conclave-the-near-future.906388/

Rest assured that we are listening to all constructive feedback both here on our own forums and elsewhere, and are already hard at work preparing a fairly major update. In particular, I find that a lot of comments concerning the new Coalition mechanics and the intricacies of “Shattered Retreats” merit our immediate attention. You can expect us to address the following issues very soon:


25% Infamy threshold issues (Coalition formation should be a far more gradual process depending on your Infamy level.)
Immersion/realism issues concerning distance and differences in religion.
Coalitions should be purely defensive (no exceptions or extra rules.)
There should be reasonable caps on Infamy gain and lowest possible Infamy decay rates.

(Btw, Coalitions were primarily added to make the game more challenging for huge, aggressively expanding player realms. That intention should serve as the primary measuring stick for the system.)

Shattered Retreats:

Raiders should not bother you anymore if defeated once.
You should get much more War Score from winning battles in general, and even more for winning battles against Adventurers.
Retreating armies should be in trouble in neutral and hostile provinces (perhaps through attrition.)
Bugs will be fixed with where armies retreat.

(The main intention with the Shattered Retreat mechanic is to keep countries viable and able to bounce back even after losing a major battle or two. Though you should not be able to easily “blitz” a country, neither should wars drag out for much longer than necessary.)

Other issues will be fixed down the line. For example, we are also looking at fleshing out and improving the new Education system.

I appreciate how active Paradox is in responding to the player base and fixing what isn't working even in a four year old game like this. Certain other strategy-focused developers I could name would just issue a few small bugfixes and wait for the next annual expansion before making any real changes to unpopular game systems *cough* Firaxis *cough*.

Of course ideally they wouldn't have released the mechanic in that form in the first place but oh well. It's funny, occasionally they've released rather weak DLC along with excellent patches, this time the DLC is apparently one of the best they've done but the patch is rubbish (which translates into negative reviews for their DLC on Steam of course).

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So I put some time into CK 2 at the weekend and while the coalition changes didn't affect me I have another pet hate with the changed systems.

They have completely ruined the alliance system. Now you have the choice of 20th Century style formal and binding NAPs or Mutual Defense/Aggression pacts. Now, in the middle ages, sometimes you will find that family members can't fight wars against each other over title claims due to non Aggression pacts. Yep, logical! It goes completely against some of the fundamental elements of the game. The worst thing is that calls to arms are now fully automated, as are acceptances. If your ally goes to war you have to join in. Which is bloody stupid. By the same token you will always call in your allies even if you are just taking a single county.

Remember that time you screwed over your ally by refusing his call to arms and seeing his realm broken? You can't do that now. It basically ruined my game because I allied the King of France, who at some point became a Cathar heretic. So the Pope called a crusade, and I am forced against my will and judgement into defending against a crusade because my son in law is a dick. It would be interesting if could use the favour system could be used to influence allies to join (or stay out of) wars, or to extort concessions from an ally, but of course it doesn't even interact in any way with alliances whatsoever.

Incredibly stupid. I don't think the current development team have a clue what they are doing. These all smack of changes made for 'balance', even to the detriment of the enjoyment of the game. On the plus side I decided to try a Netherlands game in EUIV (starting as Holland, under a PU with Burgundy) and it's very fun.

I hate those Friesland and Gelre bastards so much.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The new patch is out with the toning down of some of the new mechanics deerokus mentions up there, so I bought Conclave started a new CK II campaign. None of the changes have really affected me so far, apart from having to head my head around the rearranging of all the laws, and reading about the new child raising/education stuff. And I've only just realised how alliances now work. But here's how it's gone so far:


Started as the Petty King of Gwynedd in the Charlemagne start. Got over the initial hump of my one vassal actually being more powerful than me, and managed to expand into de jure Wales a bit. Survived one succession and juuuussstt managed to scrape together the funds and titles for create Wales before my second ruler snuffed it. I didn't even have to time to figure out what the hell gavelkind would do and had to deal with a regency for a few years as well. Gavelkind screwed me and I ended up with the least powerful duchy, with my younger brother also getting loads of count titles for no (presumably some) reason.


Still, I managed to weather the regency and when I came of age I actually discovered that I was a pretty awesome character. Check this guy out:




Nothing super-special perhaps, but I'll take that! Shortly after coming of age I managed to suppress a revolt and banish 3 counts and build up a war chest of 700 gold. I immediately granted a courtier who had a strong claim on Northumbria a county, and declared war on his behalf. Mercia suddenly realised what I was doing and did exactly the same thing, but I hired some mercs with my stash and make short work of both of them. Northumbria subjugated!


I knew I was in for trouble when my brother came of age, but schemed against him and outed him as leader of a plot. Rolled the dice on the 30% arrest chance and boom! Brother in jail. Didn't have time to get married and impregnate anyone or anything. Debated whether to banish him or execute him but am holding off for now. I'm his hair anyway, so not sure it's worth the hassle.


Here's the state of things at the moment:




My main problem is that Mercia (~2K troops) and Pictland (~3K troops) have an alliance and can form the army you see in the screenshot invading poor Kent. So they're both pretty much untouchable (I'm ~3K troops). I've attracted a claimant to Wessex to court so I could subjugate Wessex soon if that's the right move. But I'm procrastinating. Mercia or Pictland could invade or start trying to fabricate claims any moment and I'd have to hire a LOT of mercs to fend them off. Everyone's still gavelkind of course (I'm still a way off Legalism level 3) so their realms might implode at some point in the future.


But yeah, pretty decent start. Factions are annoying, but I guess they're supposed to be. Gifts have been nerfed quite significantly, and ~50 opinion doesn't even appear to be enough to keep people out of factions, so my old tactics aren't working so well. Just got to try and stop anyone from becoming too powerful to cause me any problems I guess.

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I'm so excited for Stellaris I can't really articulate it.


Hearts of Iron 4 is out on the 6th of June, too (the D-Day anniversary lol). Sort of unprecedented for Paradox to release two of their big-ticket grand strategy games within a month of each other; maybe they're counting on the fans buying both, while Stellaris will have wider appeal.

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17 minutes ago, John0 said:

Isn't it! I don't think my laptop is going to be up to this, but will be excited to see impressions and watch a few Let's Plays. Looks lovely.



I imagine if you can run EUIV tolerably it will be fine. System requirements look the same.


That said, more RAM makes a big difference to these games and that is one upgrade you can usually make on a laptop.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Paradox developed games in that sale are old and entirely defunct versions of their games (HoI/EU/Vicky/CK). I wouldn't bother with those. The ones they merely published though are modern games, including the excellent Cities in Motion and Pillars of Eternity.


The updated system requirements for Stellaris might just push it out of my crap old laptop's capabilities (it is graphically a lot more demanding than their other games), meaning I will probably just wait a couple of months until I put together a long overdue new PC. Ach well.

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