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We tested Crusader Kings III

Don't miss out on this strategic game that celebrates alliances, diplomacy and… trickery.

Want to relive the First Crusade? The Viking invasions? The conquest of England by William the Conqueror? Then this game is for you.

Crusader Kings III is a strategy game set in 2 epochs of history: Either during the period of the Viking invasions in 867 AD, or just before the First Crusade in 1066.

A little tip before getting to the heart of the matter: If you don't know the game, you should absolutely go through the tutorial to understand the numerous amounts of mechanics.

Who am I to tell you to do a tutorial? Well, I'm Vincent, Marketing Project Manager at Shadow. And today I decided to take control of the blog to share my thoughts with you about this little jewel!

The beginning of the game. Families, duchies, casus belli, and wars.

Being a beginner, I had to go through the tutorial. That helped me tremendously in the discovery of Crusader King III’s incredible game system. The game is based on alliances, families, and the creation of casus belli (I'll explain what that is later) to invade your neighbors and make them your vassals.

The following is essential information: A “family” represents a people and a territory. I, for example, chose a family in Ireland, that of "little king Murchad" from the "BRIAN" family. Was it the exotic climate (hum) of Ireland that appealed to me? Or its wonderful landscapes? To be honest, the reason I chose this family is simple: Its natural borders are sea and ocean, which makes it easier to play. And as I said earlier, I’m quite a beginner, so I needed something manageable.

I wanted to secure my borders on the south of my territory, that’s why I started to prepare for war, going against my neighbor to the south Desmond. To start a war against another ruler, it is absolutely necessary to have a pretext, called a "casus belli". My casus belli? This territory was previously part of my duchy. That sounded like a good excuse to me, but you can probably be more creative.

Therefore, I confidently went to war to fight my opponent and recover my due. Once the battle was won (so much skill), I besieged the capital and made it my vassal after negotiating peace. Genghis Khan himself would have been impressed!

The game of alliances and families

With my southern border secure, I was finally able to take the time to think about my expansion. My aim was to form the great Kingdom of Ireland by bringing together all the different families under one banner.

War is one way to conquer new territories, but there are others, such as diplomacy and family alliances.

This is one of the aspects that makes this game so interesting: The political and family intrigues.

Being single, I wanted to marry a powerful family who could support me in the event of future conquests. Marriage of love? Very little for me. Anyway, I managed to marry a person from the family of William the Conqueror of the Duchy of Normandy. This alliance allowed me to have a strong ally in France and England. I then perpetuated the alliances by marrying my family members with other strong allies in the area. Hoping they weren't dreaming of a loving marriage either.

But I was still far from my goal: I wanted to bring together the people of Ireland under one unique banner. This is why, during a plot (an in-game event that the player gets to choose), I decided to create a casus belli against one of my neighbors to the north.

Confident, I raised my army, attacked him, and... I lost several battles. But not the war! Well, not yet. To be completely transparent, I wasn’t feeling so confident anymore. That’s when I remembered the alliance system and decided to make good use of it. I asked for help from one of my allies, who quickly raise his army to help me win the war. GG WP, teamwork makes the dream work, we won! This allowed me to make the defeated family my vassal.

But beware, with great power comes great dangers! As a king, it is very important to pay attention to the ambitions of your vassals. That’s why, on my side, I decided to keep the ruler of my southern vassal captive to avoid any possible rebellion. Yeah, I'm a pretty nice king.

To expand, you have to play with alliances, diplomacy, and trickeries (my favorite field). By creating strategic marital alliances, we can foresee descendants who will have claims on coveted territories. It is also possible to create wars of succession by eliminating the heirs of another family in order to place your own there.

To sum it up, in Crusaders Kings III, you have to play with diplomacy, strength, and authority (you’re the king after all) in order to make your kingdom grow and prosper. This game allowed me to make a dream come true (to be a king) without suffering its consequences (to be captured, killed, or worse)! If you like this type of game, don't hesitate: Get it now on Steam!