Crusader Kings 2

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New Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis 4 expansions announced

Phil Savage at

Last night, Paradox took to a Gamescom stage to talk about their existing and future titles. During the conference, they announced Europa Universalis 4's third expansion, and Crusader Kings 2's, I dunno, sixty-ninth expansion? Something like that, anyway. EU4: Art of War will focus on the 30 Years War, and improve naval combat and army control. CK2: Charlemagne will introduce a new 769AD start date, and chart the rise of Charlemagne and The Holy Roman Empire.


Crusader Kings 2: Rajas of India out next week, alongside giant update for all players

Phil Savage at

Crusader Kings 2's patch notes are usually an amusing catalogue of historical rebalancing. As of the next free update, for instance, "hordes will be more prone to head in the 'right' direction", and "becoming infirm will abort self improval ambitions". But, aside from the mild titillation of minor AI tweaks, the patch will also make more dramatic changes to the game. As of its release on March 25th, the map will be revised, the performance optimised, and the modding scene given a home on the Steam Workshop.

Also on March 25th is the release of CK2's sixth expansion, Rajas of India, which - as the title suggests - adds the sub-continent of India. You can find more details of this paid-for addition through Tom's preview, or by watching these highlights of a recent Paradox stream.


Crusader Kings 2: Rajas of India first look - massive map increase, new religions and free features

Tom Senior at

Crusader Kings 2 models the hopes, jealousies and paranoid plotting of around 30,000 unique actors, scattered throughout the troubled hierarchies of medieval Europe. From their varying positions of power, they marry, breed, wage wars and bump each other off with splendid selfishness. It's a pioneering sort of grand strategy soap opera, and it's about to get thousands of extra cast members.

CK2's sixth expansion, Rajas of India, will grow the map by 50% and add 400 new provinces, each with their own cabal of commanders, advisers, vassals children to be traded for political advantage. The rulers of India are mapped to three regional religions, which convey unique socio-economic boons upon their adherents, affecting their war-readiness, stability, and research competence. There's a new set of regional events to reflect the local festivities of the era, new jungle terrain and, inevitably, war elephants. It's plenty to be getting on with, but the most impressive thing about the expansion so far is how much of it Paradox are giving away for free.


Paradox Con round-up: Hearts of Iron 4, Runemaster, and expansions for CK2 and EU4

Phil Savage at

Paradox have blown their conference's announcement horn, summoning a horde of new games and expansions to the sweltering shores of Miami. But have those games arrived by longboat, frigate or submarine. Actually, it's all of the above, with their upcoming catalogue covering the full breadth of their internal Development Studio titles. As well as the expected expansions for Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis 4, they've revealed the existence of the long-awaited Hearts of Iron 4. If that weren't enough, they've also announced a brand new Norse-inspired RPG called Runemaster.


Crusader Kings 2's Game of Thrones mod to welcome the Mother of Dragons next week

Phil Savage at

"Khaleesi"... "Car-leesy"... "Kaleeeessi". Oh, sorry. You've just caught me practising my Jorah Mormont impression. I want to get it perfected before next week, when Crusader Kings 2's brilliant Game of Thrones mod will launch its Essos update. That's because the arrival of the Eastern continent will also mean the introduction of its most famous inhabitant: Dany Stormborn and her three dragons.


Crusader Kings 2 mod brings zombies to the middle ages

Phil Savage at

You see folks, this is why April Fools' Day is dangerous. Or awesome. Delete depending on your affinity for zombies. Back in the dark ages of seven and a bit months ago, Paradox Interactive released a teaser for a fictional Crusader Kings Z, a game that hypothetically merged zombie invasions with medieval European strategy. Months later, and that joke is now a real thing that you can play in Crusader Kings 2. Thanks mods!


Crusader Kings 2: Sons of Abraham video focuses on Jewish and Islamic improvements

Phil Savage at

Thanks to a slip of the finger, I'm now thinking about the game Crusader Kingz. I imagine it would be a grand strategy in which you formed a hip-hop collective and, through bribery, intrigue, and sick rhymes, conspired to bring down the So Solid Crew. I would play the heck out of that game. As it turns out, though, this development diary is more concerned with Crusader Kings 2 and its Sons of Abraham DLC. Where the last video concentrated on changes to Christianity and Papal politics, this time Paradox explain their Jewish and Muslim mechanics. That's mechanics as in game systems.


Crusader Kings 2: Sons of Abraham video explains new features and papal politics

Phil Savage at

Oh, it's about the Abrahamic religions. I had entirely the wrong end of the stick. I'd assumed Sons of Abraham would transform CK2 into a game in which you played as Tad Lincoln - fourth son of Abraham - running around the White House and getting into comedy scrapes. Come to think of it, an overhaul of Christianity, and the introduction of playable Jewish characters, makes a lot more sense for the medieval grand strategy soap opera. A new development diary provides a complete overview of what Paradox hope to achieve with this latest expansion.


Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham announced

T.J. Hafer at

Paradox Development Studio has just announced the fifth expansion for Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham. Two long-requested features, playable Jewish characters and the ability to interact with the Catholic college of cardinals, will make their way into the medieval murder your brother and steal his stuff simulator. The ability to part the seas and march your armies through has yet to be confirmed, but quite a bit else has.


Three hidden nations from the Crusader Kings II to Europa Universalis IV save converter

T.J. Hafer at

Two weeks ago, we interviewed Paradox Development Studio on the new converter DLC that lets you import your version of medieval Europe from Crusader Kings II into Europa Univesalis IV. Now that the DLC is out, we went hunting for some of the less than historically accurate groups and nations that can be carried over. From Viking holy orders to a restored Roman Empire, here's how they pan out in EU4.


Game of Thrones diary part six: staying alive in Crusader Kings 2′s Westeros

Rich McCormick at

Welcome to the Game of Thrones diary, in which Rich plays as Ned Stark and tries to stay alive in the excellent Game of Thrones mod for Crusader Kings 2. The diary may contain spoilers for Game of Thrones book one and season one of the TV show. Missed the story so far? Here's part one, part two, part threepart four and part five.

The king is dead. Long live the king. Wait, let me check that second bit: Robert Baratheon’s death has pushed his son Steffon onto the throne and thrown half the kingdom into revolt, offering me the chance to rise up against my Baratheon bosses. I cast my eye over Steffon’s stats to see if I should let the king live.

He’s an average commander, and already likes me. He’ll do. I enter the war on his side to keep him sweet – it’s the crown versus a few bitty provinces who’ve chosen their moment to wrest free of kingly control – knowing full well that I won’t commit any of my forces to the conflict.

How Paradox's Crusader Kings II to Europa Universalis IV save converter will work

T.J. Hafer at

Paradox Development Studio has announced ambitious DLC for Crusader Kings II which will convert your saves from the medieval, Eurocentric sandbox into a playable mod for the upcoming, globe-spanning Renaissance simulator, Europa Universalis IV. Yes, this means that you could potentially play the same faction through over 950 years of alternate history, from CK2: The Old Gods' start date in 867 A.D. to the end point of EU4 in 1821 A.D. I had a chance to grill Henrik Hansson, a programmer who worked on the DLC, on the specifics.


PC Gamer Podcast #358 - Oh, the Mundanity!

PC Gamer at



This week, Cory ruins the space-time continuum by moving playlists to the front of the show, while Evan, Tyler, and T.J. look on in horror. We read some real live listener emails, and discuss the concept of mundanity in games. And yes, we discuss Euro Truck Simulator 2... on a US-based podcast!

Crusader Kings Chronicles: Lords of the North, Chapter 4

T.J. Hafer at

Victory or Valhall! With the release of Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods, the time has come once again to weave a stirring saga of war, love, betrayal, and adventure. This is the Crusader Kings Chronicle: Lords of the North.


Game of Thrones diary part one: staying alive in Crusader Kings 2's Westeros

Rich McCormick at

Welcome to the Game of Thrones diary, in which Rich plays as Ned Stark and tries to stay alive in the excellent Game of Thrones mod for Crusader Kings 2. The diary may contain spoilers for Game of Thrones book one and season one of the TV show. This is part one. Once you're ready, use these links to make your way to part two, part threepart four, part five and part six.

Crusader Kings II is a game about scheming, plotting and advanced nefariousness in a medieval setting. It has a cast of hundreds of characters with observable traits, from tactical geniuses to lackwit blunderers, via lustful philanderers and chaste holy men.

George R R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books are about scheming, plotting and advanced nefariousness in a medieval setting. You can probably work out the rest. The two sync up so well, it only was a matter of time before Martin’s low-fantasy setting was ported into Paradox’s strategy game. Pleasingly, that time wasn’t very long: the Game of Thrones mod was released in beta by a group of industrious CKII fans just eight months after the main game. It’s now stable, comprehensive and easy to install. It’s what I’ll be using in this diary, and I heartily recommend you pop over to www.ck2agot.wordpress.com if you’re interested.

A quick note: this series will contain spoilers for the Game of Thrones’ TV series and books. I’ll keep major revelations from the first book onwards under my helm, but if you’ve somehow managed to avoid the novels (first released in 1996, you layabout), and also the HBO series, then pick them up and gobble them down like a juicy capon leg before reading on.

Steam Trading Cards is now live

Tyler Wilde at

Just as promised, Steam Trading Cards is now live. The virtual cards can be earned by playing participating games on Steam, trading with other users, or buying on the Steam Marketplace. Complete a set to create a badge, earn rewards and XP, and level up. The user with the highest Steam level at the end of the year gets to high five Gabe Newell while announcing Half-Life 3. In space.


Crusader Kings Chronicles: Lords of the North, Chapter 3

T.J. Hafer at

Victory or Valhall! With the release of Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods, the time has come once again to weave a stirring saga of war, love, betrayal, and adventure. This is the Crusader Kings Chronicle: Lords of the North.

Last week, I threw off the chains of the oppressive Haraldr Fairhair, derailing Norwegian history irreparably and setting up the House of Stórr to one day rule the entire country. Then, out of nowhere, the Swedish king Björn Ironside, son of Ragnarr Loðbrok, declared a subjugation war on me and my people. We take up our swords for freedom once again! Onward!


Crusader Kings Chronicles: Lords of the North, Chapter 2

T.J. Hafer at

Victory or Valhall! With the release of Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods, the time has come once again to weave a stirring saga of war, love, betrayal, and adventure. This is the Crusader Kings Chronicle: Lords of the North.

Last time, I set sail as Chief Þórólfr of Nordland to raid the Baltic coasts. The plunder I brought back would allow me to hire mercenaries, and begin my bid to become King of Norway. My plans had to change, however, when Haraldr Fairhair dishonorably attacked my lands while my men were away, forcing me to swear fealty to him. The House of Stórr will not bow for long, however, and already the flame of freedom smolders. Onward!


Crusader Kings Chronicles: Lords of the North, Chapter 1

T.J. Hafer at

Victory or Valhall! With the release of Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods, the time has come once again to weave a stirring saga of war, love, betrayal, and adventure. This is the Crusader Kings Chronicle: Lords of the North.

This introductory chapter will bring you up to speed on what you need to know about Crusader Kings II if you’re new to the game, as well as introducing the starting characters and briefly touching on some of the new expansion mechanics. Onward!


Crusader Kings 2: The Old Gods sets sail with hardcore, beard-glorifying launch trailer

T.J. Hafer at

I've been more excited about playing as pagans in Crusader Kings 2 than anything else PC gaming related so far this year, and the wait is finally over! The medieval grand strategy juggernaut's fifth expansion, The Old Gods, has released with a "Hardcore" trailer that pairs 9th century vikings, beards, and boats with one of their greatest anachronistic complements: shredding electric guitar riffs.