Last year I played a multi-generational game of grand strategy Crusader Kings 2 using the A Game of Thrones mod, which transforms the historical medieval setting of CK2 into the continent of Westeros from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels (and the HBO series). My goal was to play as the most minor of lords and experience the conflict and drama of Westeros from the ground floor. Game of Checkers will run on Sundays for ten weeks.
Daisy Dukes it Out
Previously, on Game of Checkers: Wars, wars, wars. Some wars in the greater world, several concurrent ones for control of The Vale, and a number of wars at home for Lady Daisy of The Fingers, specifically over the tiny island called The Paps, which you'd think was a place of major significance. It's not. It's just a stupid rock, and it's no longer my stupid rock, having been captured and held by The Reach.
I'm currently defending the rest of my holdings three different factions who are all trying to install a new ruler of The Vale, which recently claimed independence from The Iron Throne. I hire sellswords every time someone invades, then fire the mercs once we've driven off the attackers. Twice we're on the verge of defeat and are only saved by a passing army supporting the current Lord Paramount. The whole thing is incredible tiresome and frustrating, and seems without end.
Having been saved repeatedly by my liege’s army, I decide I owe him one (or two) and start following his forces around. I realize there’s a good chance my lands may wind up being invaded while my army is away, but there’s nothing I can do without the all those loyal Valemen anyway. We march to the Eyrie, 5,000 strong, to break the siege against an equal force from Crab’s Shore. I even capture one of the Crabsmen, but he turns out to be a very poor Lord who can’t afford much in the way of ransom. So you know what I do? I execute him on the spot. I think all this war is starting to rub off on me. I'm feeling pretty heartless.
The Iron Throne, meanwhile, decides it's a good time to reclaim The Vale, and since we're all busy killing each other, they're probably right. 45,000 soldiers have arrived in Sunset Keep, one of my holdings, which has become the defacto landing point when anyone wants to invade. Over the past fifteen years, the Iron Thone has swapped royal butts three or four times, and the current queen has just died. King Addison, great-grandson of Robert Baratheon, takes over.
In less violent news, my son eldest son Nobbrick gets married to his betrothed, a woman named Unella, not that either of them had a choice. My son Needrick gets married as well, and his wife immediately produces a child.
I’m invited to join the rest of the rebels in this war against The Vale's current leadership. Casting an eye over the burning wreckage of most of the country, I decide to accept. Under the various Lord Paramounts we've had, this place has seen two decades of war. Time for new management.
I join my few remaining troops with the 11,000 strong Eastweald Army of Ser Gwayne and start slaughtering the same Valemen who bailed me out repeatedly not long ago. Within a few months, we’re sacking the Eyrie itself, which feels very strange after several generations spent loyally serving it. The war goes on.
At age 85, Daenerys Targaryen dies, and Bran Stark dies of severe stress at the age of 76. They were, I think, the only two characters from the books who were still around. The war goes on.
Nobbrick and his wife have a son. The war goes on.
Nobbrick has another son. Needrick’s wife dies. The war goes on.
Daisy turns 40. There have been constant wars in The Vale since she was 15 years old. Finally, finally, The Crab’s Shore War for the claim on The Vale ends. Lady Sarya, whoever she is, is now Lord Paramount at age 36, and shortly thereafter becomes Queen of Mountain and Vale.