Young Aiofe I, unlike her mother, lived a long and prosperous life. She ruled until 1160 and during her reign I bribed, bullied, and pushed my way into more of England. It was a long and relatively quiet rule and her daughter (yes, I just kept spitting those female heirs out) Aoife II, at age 53, took over on her death.
It was at this point in the game that I made a bit of a tactical mistake. In order to keep my demesne size low, and my duchy titles to within the limit (any more than two and your vassals get angry with you due to jealously issues) I gave my son and heir a Duchy. It's a good idea since eventually I will be playing as him once he took over the crown. The problem was that I could no longer control him directly and so many crucial decisions, like who would educate him, or who he would marry, were now beyond me.
Aoife II ran into some trouble with her aunt (Aoife I's sister who had ambitions of taking over the throne) and kept getting excommunicated. This was dangerous as any God-fearing Christian could then attack me with the Pope's (and the game mechanics) blessing. Due to my unlimited funds (I'm cheating remember) I could by my way out of it, but old auntie kept at it and eventually I had to kill her. Aoife II didn't have the best traits in the world so I also killed my husband to ensure no more offspring. Looking back, since she was 53 and beyond child-bearing age, it was a bit unnecessary, but oh well.
King Gilla-Coluim I took over in 1172 and I have to say he was boring as hell as a ruler. His traits were awful (because he had been educated by characters I did not specially select) and his wife wasn't much better (ah, isn 't that always the way). A great part of the game is biologically engineering your offspring through marriage parings to have the best traits possible, and then educating them yourself so you get to make decisions over their personality type. Boring or not, he did manage to finally usurp the Kingdom of England in 1200 which, essentially, was the fullfillment of my ambition to make all the islands....my island.
|The United Kingdom of Ireland...Nice.|
|Poxy France would have been next.|
Due to the fact the kingdom laws in England were different (and I didn't yet have the support of my vassals to change said laws), I turned the kingdom over to my daughter and heir (yes, another girl) to rule so that, like I said above, I could keep control of all the kingdoms once Gilla died.....which came none-to-soon in 1218. The side-affect of that was the Kingdom of Ireland reverted, temporarily, to England.
|Yikes! Not what any Irishman wants to see on any map.|
|My resignation and final tally. Ahh, sure, it was a good run, so.|
The game offers a lot of depth, and were I to try and document everything that went on, I could create a 25-part post, no problem. Forty hours to get through half of a single game is very good value for money as far as I'm concerned, especially when the re-playability of the game is infinite. You can start as a king, emperor, or lowly count....which is where I chose to begin my second game and quickly got face-rolled when my ruler declared war on somone much stronger than us! My third try, as a Nubian King, lasted five minutes. My neighbor simply rolled over me with superior numbers and that was the end of that. My fourth game, as the King of Abysinnia, is going much better.
This game takes me back to the old Civilization days in terms of it's addiction levels (just one more year), thinking requirements, and re-playability and I can hardly think of a better compliment to give.