Steam: I started out as a lonely Viking – 400 years later I’ve got half of Europe, 12,300 offspring and one problem | Discover News

steam: i started out as a lonely viking 400

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Steam: I started out as a lonely Viking – 400 years later I’ve got half of Europe, 12,300 offspring and one problem | Discover News

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Our author Schuhmann got caught up in a game of the strategy game Crusader Kings 3 on Steam and slightly overdid it.

The Swedish strategy geniuses Paradox pride themselves on the fact that hardly anyone plays their games to the end. I fit in perfectly as a player because I love to perfect the beginning of strategy games until everything goes according to plan – according to my plan.

But in a game of the dynasty simulator Crusader Kings 3, I made the mistake of not stopping after 50 years and starting over. But I played the game far into the endgame. And you just shouldn’t do that.

Crusader Kings 3: Trailer

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Currently, I always follow a certain process with Crusader Kings 3. The plan is:

  • I start as a Viking count in southwestern Norway, conquer the west coast, get rid of the damn Björn Ironside (cover photo from the Vikings series) and Ivar the Boneless, slowly secure my power base and build up the economy until the two sons of Ragnar are finally dead
  • Now I plunder England until I become a Viking, occupy as many duchies as possible with my own sons and grandchildren and develop the Isle of Man into a pirate fortress
  • Then I establish my own religion and culture, bring descendants into the world in large numbers and gradually conquer Norway, Denmark and England with them to establish the empire, “North Sea”.

That’s actually the plan. But usually something goes wrong, for example in the case of a generation handover:

  • The new “super heir” is murdered after 2 seconds by an angry uncle who feels left out
  • You make some careless mistake when creating the religion (via gamestar) and instead of 4 wives you suddenly have only one and 3 quarrelsome concubines
  • Or a guy just throws his junk over the balcony, you get hit in the head by the chamber pot and you end up as a drooling emperor thing just waiting to die

But none of that happened in one game, everything went according to plan. First Vikings and the Isle of Man, then the North Sea, finally all of Great Britain, Finland, Lorraine, France.

North Sea
This is what my empire looks like after 400 years. The Mongols only look strong – militarily they are outnumbered by 1:12.

200 years before the end of the game, Crusader Kings 3 runs out of steam

By placing a descendant in each conquered territory and activating all possible fertility bonuses for my dynasty, my lonely character, with which I started the game as a count, has grown into a dynasty of over 12,000 people after 400 years, spread over 177 houses.

In Crusader Kings 3, provinces have a development level from 0 to 100 (maximum): 200 years before the end of the game, the core area around London is exhausted:


In theory, the game goes on for another 190 years until 1453, but due to the way I play it is actually already finished.

I’ve accelerated the development of the capital in London with umpteen bonuses in the game so that it has long since reached the maximum of 100.

My family tree escalated a long time ago anyway. My current king has 26 children. His firstborn alone gave him 15 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. In all, the dynasty has 12,302 living descendants.

A very, very small part of the family tree:

family tree

Dynasty properties make the game easier and more unrealistic

The dynasty tree has also been full for a long time and there are no longer many innovations to be discovered. Money has not played a significant role for 300 years.

The dynasty tree is a thing of its own. It makes the game easier and more unrealistic as the game progresses.

At the beginning of a game it is like this:

  • a good personalist is hard to come by – a managed with skill 15 is nice
  • There are hardly any “special figures” with genetically positive traits, so the few strong figures stand out. The aim is to somehow get Harald Fairhair and Rollo from the Vikings series into his team
  • In addition, people die early, children often perish in the first years of life, even in their mid-20s a hopeful offspring gets caught because they eat poisoned plants or because a berserker rips their head off – only few live older than 55
  • In addition, from the age of 50, the fighters deteriorate significantly, rust and have to be replaced by younger ones
  • there are few special artefacts, a blue sword is already a fantastic find that makes the king much stronger for years

Through the dynasty tree and general game progression:

The dynasty tree is complete centuries before the end of the game.
  • there are only characters with extraordinary skills – everyone is strong as Hercules, a genius and beautiful
  • Characters can live to be 85 to 100 years old
  • the world is becoming more civilized and thereby constantly harmlessa
  • Age makes characters stronger instead of weaker, you then run around with 95-year-old kings who are almost invincible as knights, especially since they still carry the best artifacts in the game
In the endgame you have 80-year-old kings who, as knights, can destroy hundreds on their own.

At the same time, even though I have a decent €3,800 PC, the game has become extremely slow: a year that used to take 20 minutes now takes 2 hours.

Like the other great strategy games, Crusader Kings 3 also has the problem: you can play it “perfectly” and conquer the world, but that’s just not fun.

It probably only helps to start a new game and set smaller goals, such as going on a hunt for success.

You can conquer the world as Germany in Victoria 3 – but it’s not fun even on a PC for €3,800

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