Game of Checkers, Part 5: a tiny drama in CK2's Game of Thrones mod

More War


There are wars in The Vale.

There are wars in The Vale, there are wars in The Vale, there are wars in The Vale. Did I mention there are wars in The Vale? At any given moment there are a couple hundred of my troops are tromping over The Vale engaged in putting done some pointless revolt.

There are wars everywhere else as well. The one happening now is at least sort of interesting. Prince Brandon (Bran from the books, son of the late Ned Stark), now age 44 and bald, is going to war against Princess Shyra, (daughter of Ned Stark, not in the books). The claim is Winterfell. This one, I’ll be happy to march for. It’s like weirdo fan-fiction, two Stark children going to war over Winterfell. We’re on Shyra’s side due to my liege’s alliances, though Brandon loses before my troops even get to Winterfell.

My husband, meanwhile, seems cranky, and given that the rest of my family has been engaged in plotting against me, I want him to at least be content. I give him a title: Lord of Cups. After I bestow it upon him, I look it up and discover that means it’s now his job to test my wine to make sure it’s not poisoned. He should consider that a great honor, provided he doesn't realize how likely it is that someone actually is trying to poison me.


As the latest war dissolves and my troops again march home, I decide it’s about time for a war that means something, so I’m going to have my own. I'm going to try to take over The Paps, the other tiny island off the coast of The Fingers.

Lord Alric of The Paps only has one ally, the Lord of Acorn Grove, and that’s way the hell north. If I can put a good army together and march on The Paps, he’ll never arrive in time to help. Still, I need to plan this carefully. I can raise about 1,000 troops from Wycliffe and another 150 from Pebble. I can afford to hire another 1,500 mercenaries for 75 gold, and pay them 3 gold a month for 30 months until my money runs out. Is that enough time to destroy The Paps' armies and sack the city? He’s got 1,100 soldiers of his own, and while I expect to win in a straight fight, I’ll still have to siege the island, which could take a while.

What the hell. I’m going to do it. I tell my husband, who is tentatively sipping wine out of my cups with a terrified expression on his face, to put down the goblet and get on his armor. He’s going to lead my army to war, which should be slightly less dangerous than testing my drinks for poison.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.