Crusader Kings II is the grand strategy game that launched a thousand DLCs, spawning an at the time unprecedented system of post-release expansions that could see a game supported years after the original launch. So many expansions have been released that we figured a CK2 DLC Tests would be needed to help sort them out. Expansion - Crusader Kings II: The Republic Download Kickass Rar About This Content The Republic is the third expansion for the.
Crusader Kings II needs almost no introduction. Oneof the grandest of the grand strategy titles from Paradox Interactive, CrusaderKings II presents a player with the monumental task of guiding a medievaldynasty to greatness through micromanaging everything from fiefs and titles tomarriages and war (often being the same thing). Recently, two new DLCs came outfor this award winning game: The Republicand Sunset Invasion.
The Republicexpands on the trend of unlocking previously unplayable factions to the player.Whereas the earlier expansion Sword ofIslam allowed a player to finally take up the crescent and play a Muslimruler with new trimmings and events, TheRepublic grants the player access to Merchant republics exemplified by such?Serene? republics as Venice, Genoa, and the Hanseatic League. Far from justcosmetic changes (which are also present), TheRepublic establishes a whole new dynamic of managing politics andeconomics. Although the usual bread and butter of establishing dynastic ties,laying claim on enemy territories, and acquiring new demesnes are stillpresent, as a Merchant Republic, the player is also charged with expanding aneconomic empire through trading posts and economic shipping zones. Taxes fromland take a back seat to the constant influx of trade gold and the heavy handedpolitics of managing counts and dukes is subsumed by power struggles in anelective system of government.
No longer are succession laws the shields by which playerscan preserve their dynastic line: the player's designated heir must also bepopular enough to win an election. Popularity, found under the beautifullydressed ?Republic? tab, is a function of age and prestige which means that yourexcellently raised yet young son may not be guaranteed a turn as the Doge andsince your titles can easily slip away from you in the next election, ?gameover? might come sooner than one expects. Of course, one can use the newfeature of putting funds into an election campaign to increase one'spopularity, but investing too heavily on the political future of your heircould mean you could fall behind on the race to build new trading posts. Thenew patrician family system is like a microcosm of the massive dynasticjealousies of the larger nations and the excitement of politics on a smallerscale is one of the most appealing parts of this DLC.
This balance of money and power creates an exciting andrefreshing new dynamic for the player and is easily one of the more funalternate modes to play in CK II.It's not just in the new political and economic system either, but the eventsare peppered with republic specific scenarios with everything from snubbingpeople at parties to escalating family feuds that have a real and lastingeffect on relations and politics in the city-states. Public image and prestigebecome real currency in the burgeoning republics just as much as money?and justas volatile. Events that elevate or crash your prestige in relation to otherhouses come and go with the same frequency as news of your latest shipment lostat sea or happily acquiring pirate booty. There are a few other changes to thegame mechanics such as being unable to have matrilineal marriages or having aDoge-ess, but the game should be familiar and easy enough to pick up for anyonewho has already played CK II.
The logistical considerations of making new trading postsare also an excellent addition to this expansion. Costs for new trading postsare calculated based on distance from a home province as well as the relationsyou have with the host nation. I found that using your chancellor to cozy up tomajor potentates eases the construction costs of new trading posts. All ofthese posts are also able to be upgraded and the collection of these posts inan area creates an economic zone almost akin to a seafaring version of aprovince where different trading posts contribute to the overall gain from eachzone. The amount of money generated from building these investments should notbe underestimated as one can quickly be swimming in their own money bin.
However, busy bees making golden honey can sometimes attractthe avarice of bears and there were several times when I had been invaded by amuch larger neighbor (I'm looking at you, Holy Roman Empire) and forced to burnall of my hard-earned trading posts. It's one of the things I would have todisagree with concerning this particular expansion: it's too easy to reapmerchant republics like money farms. Allow them to build up in your state andthen declare an embargo war. I would have suggested a better solution ofperhaps a prestige drop or other serious consequences for declaring a warmerely out of avarice instead of rights and de jure titles. It's quitedifficult to return to full capacity after such a devastating war which is whyI recommend diversifying one's portfolio by constructing trading posts in amyriad of different states.
It's this kind of macroeconomic planning that makes playing The Republic a rewarding addition to theusual title-grabbing high politics of the original Crusader Kings II.However, I am a bit disappointed in some ways with the way the potential of The Republic was not fulfilled. Therewas a lot of ways in which Paradox could have made The Republic a true and elevating expansion to an already amazinggame. Perhaps similar to Anno 1404, particular trade goods and silkroads should have made its way into the economic system of The Republic. In fact, one great way they could have balanced theseemingly impossible scenarios of having to defend against such powers as theHoly Roman Empire and increasing the economic importance of the game was toestablish prestige and economic bonuses if you traded certain goods to certainnations. Say, for example, Venice was able to secure incense for the Byzantinesor silk for the Germans, it would provide incentives for those massive empiresto leave the busy little Republics to their business.
Competing with other Grand Republics would have also takenon a greater import if trade zones had particular valuables that increasedstats or had much higher trade value to them not so unlike the way Paradox hasintegrated the importance of certain goods into Victoria II. I can understand why Paradox may not have been willingto take The Republic into thatmechanic since such a system is already being developed for the upcomingincarnation of their flagship Europa Universalis series. That said, allof these things in consideration make me question the ten dollar price tag, butI cannot deny the uncompromising love Paradox has deposited into their games.
It's true that I am excited to delve into another session ofCK II playing as a Patrician family.The immersion quality of such a venture also increases if you purchased themust-have Ruler Designer DLC and construct your own famous Patrician House. Iwould also recommend trying out being a minor Patrician to work your way up tobeing Doge. Some clever assassinations here and easy bribes there wouldcertainly provide hours of experimentation and political intrigue?if you cansurvive.
Whereas The Republicattempts to mold the mechanics of an already intricately accurate game tosimulate the workings and rivalries of great houses in a merchant quasi-empire,Sunset Invasion takes the completelyopposite route. Sunset Invasion is afive dollar DLC which adds a randomly triggered invasion in the latter half ofthe game's timespan by the Aztecs?yes you heard that correctly?the Aztecs ofMesoamerica. This completely fictional scenario unfolds as a series of eventsthat triggers along the Atlantic coastal powers of Europe and North Africa thatunleash a torrent of blood-thirsty warriors numbering in the hundreds ofthousands.
Whole kingdoms fall to the onslaught of rapidly deployedinfantry and archers in flavour events that?perhaps intentionally?mirror theSpanish Conquistadors arriving at Mexico. If you thought the three waves ofMongol Hordes arriving from the East was bad, this Aztec Armada can make swiftwork of Christian Europe in a matter of years. Arriving with their warriors arethe infamous rituals of human sacrifice which add an almost sardonic sadism tothe impending doom of enemy invaders. You don't need to be a Russian or Islamicstate to experience the full force of invasion anymore?and even then, theMongols feel a bit more palatable than these heart wrenchingly cruelconquerors.
When I first heard about this DLC, I was appalled?andfinally playing it, I had not lost that feeling. There had been a lot ofworries about Paradox switching to a sandbox format to their games, especiallyin Europa Universalis III, but the original Crusader Kings hadbeen a sandbox game from the start. However, Paradox never actually releasedcontent for CK or CK II that ever violated the historicalaccuracy of their starting points or their events until Sunset Invasion. While I have nothing against Paradox releasingthis DLC?and in fact I find it to be a fun DLC?I can't help but shake thefeeling that it's strange. The same kind of feeling one might get if they hadwritten some wacky fan fiction and the original author picked it up and made itcanon. In some ways, Paradox sacrificed the heart and spirit of CK II to appease some higher pagan god.Thankfully, it's only an optional DLC.
Even if it is glorified fan fiction, Sunset Invasion makes a compelling story. Western powers rallyingagainst an Apocalyptic interruption in their lives sets a stage for some ratherepic combat. After all, trying to fend off a hundred thousand men who suffer noattrition with your ragtag levies can be called epic by any standard and is afitting event to have when someone has expanded into a huge empire and wants an?end game boss? when even the Mongols aren't enough of a pain. The rich artworkand even the fun details in the Aztec Empire's coat of arms create a level ofimmersion that pushes into the fantastical.
Aside from the historical pillaging, however, there is theother major letdown: the Aztecs themselves are unplayable. I thought that wasthe biggest tease of this DLC. When I had heard about this DLC, I hadfantasized about a cruel and ruthless pagan empire stealing the hearts of thecozy Europeans (literally). Instead, my bloodlust was frustrated by the greyedout button that said ?cannot play as Pagans!?
It's true that Paradox is readying themselves to release anew DLC which allows the player to play Pagan nations and this would certainlywork in great combination with that DLC, but then it makes me cautious aboutthe five dollar price tag for SunsetInvasion?especially for an event that could have probably been created byany of the amazing modders at the Paradox Forums for free. The same modders, infact, which created the famous Game of Thrones mod. Again, I have nothing butrespect for the amazing developers at Paradox so instead of chiding them foroverpricing a DLC, I will simply encourage other studios out there to breakinto this niche genre and provide us with some competition in the grandstrategy arena!
So in the end, I would wholeheartedly recommend The Republic as an excellent andinteresting addition to the impressive game that is Crusader Kings IIalthough I'd probably wait for a Steam sale or a bundle sale (which Paradoxoften does) to buy all the DLCs at once at a lower price. However, I would notnecessarily recommend Sunset Invasionunless you have money to blow on a formidable and richly-decorated end gameboss. Naturally, this all brings up the concerns of whether or not CK II was a completed game when it wassold, but I think that Paradox has been more than fair by lumping many of theirDLCs into bundles at low prices and if one imagines that one is simply paying apremium for getting the DLC early, it's easy to live with. I'd personallyrather have DLC released piecemeal than waiting a whole other year beforeanother title release and if I'm worried about price, I could wait that yearlong wait I would have done anyway to get it in a bundle. Indeed, if one stepsback and looks at the larger picture of all of the amazing DLCs released for CrusaderKings II, it's easy to see why it deserves the accolades it gets.
Review written by: James Tanaleon
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Expansion - Crusader Kings Ii: The Republic Walkthrough
Given this focus it was odd that the original game did not allow one to play as any of the merchant republics. It is the aim of this expansion “Crusader Kings 2: The Republic” (CK2:R) to add these vital players to the game. These republics (especially Venice, Genoa, and Pisa) played a large role in the success and failure of the different Crusades. In particular, the republics provided two vital components every crusading army required: money and ships.
The basis of most economies at the time (in particular, the economies simulated by CK2) was land. In particular, agricultural land, the people who worked it, and all the technologies of husbandry, warfare, and transportation that came along with it. This made for a static society where most warfare was based on attrition, whether in the field or at siege.
The basis of the merchant republic economies, on the other hand, was trade. This made for a lot of travel by boat for long distances. Seaborne trade encourages different technologies: not just better boats, but navigation, governance, financial instruments, and naval warfare. Most of all it meant that the republics had a bunch of money.
It may seem like this would be a good position to be in. You'll start off as the Doge of Venice and the money will just flow right in. This is so much better than vanilla CK2, where there was never any money and you had to sit around forever before you'd saved up enough to build anything! As a bonus, rather than territories, your primary bases are trade posts. These are pretty resilient, weathering invasions and counter-invasions and making money the whole time. Turns out war can be good for business.
The game starts out pretty well, then. You're bringing in a bunch of money, and spending it on building new trade posts to expand your trading empire. The more trade posts you have the more money comes in. This is great until one of your rivals steals a trade post from you. Every republic has a set of prominent families and it is these families that actually build/own the trade posts for that republic. If one family has enough money it can make a bid to steal a trade post from a rival family.
This is just one facet of the internal politics of the republic. Although there is one “leader” who handles diplomacy, warfare and other nation-like things, each of the 5 or so rival families wants to have one of their number be the leader. When the current leader dies there is an election to determine who the next one will be. The most “successful” family wins, where success is a mix of longevity, trade posts, money spent on the election, and luck. Of course, you'd like your family to win. In a sense this nation-type has traded off succession crises for election crises.
In CK2 it was always possible to buy off rivals by appointing them count of somewhere or having them killed, but that is not an option in CK2:R. The rival families are always there. You can kill a particularly popular rival, perhaps, or try to steal away a vital trade post, but there is no way to permanently remove this competition. You've traded constant war over land for constant inter-republic intrigue.
The defining characteristic of CK2, the constant scheming to get well-married, is still here. It's not quite as important, given that what you really want is trade posts and not land, but it's still a good idea to keep friendly relations with the powerful, land-owning neighbors. Do well enough and you may even be able to get one to shut down the trade posts of your enemies through a trade embargo. This is a devastating move and will shut your enemy down for decades.
Another benefit of being on good terms is that you don't have much in the way of armies. Sure, boats are nice, but when armies roll up to your ports, bad things can happen if you don't have your own head-bashers. You'll never have enough manpower to really make a dent against the land powers, so having one on your side is a good idea. Failing that, there are always mercenaries. As a republic you will (almost) always have more money than your enemies so will be able to hire more mercenaries.
Mercenaries have their own problems, of course. They're expensive (especially in the long run) and maybe not quite that loyal. This goes to the heart of being a republic – you have a lot of money, but need to spend a lot of money to keep going. It's like being a capitalist surrounded by feudalists.
Which goes to the heart of the problem with CK2:R – it doesn't feel that well-integrated with the original game. It was pretty clear what one wanted to do in CK2: stabilize your kingdom, marry your bloodline into successful families, expand your territory, and put relatives into positions of power. CK2:R plays differently: you spend a lot of time setting up trade routes, building/upgrading trade posts, and inter-republic intrigue. It can feel almost as if the rest of the world is playing a different game.
It's not that being a republic is a bad way to play the game, it's just different. Some more work could have been done to integrate the two playing styles into the same world. It can feel like the grand sweep of history is something that's going on without you, that your republic is just making money off what's going on rather than taking part in it. If you're the kind of gamer who is interested in building an empire without the constant blood-and-guts warfare of the Crusading era this is a welcome option. If you prefer a more hands-on role, the standard nations are still there.
In summary, “Crusader Kings 2: The Republic” adds a host of new game mechanics to the original in order to reflect the unique situation trading republics found themselves in during the Crusades. These new mechanics do a good job of making republics different and interesting to play, but do not integrate as well as might be desired with the original game.