Table of Contents Show
- The exploit
- 1. Money
- 1b. Optional – Trade Skill 300
- 2. Level up, create follower armies
- 2b. Optional – buy Fiefs
- 3. Wait for revolts, take the rebels fiefs.
- 4. Declare war, take a fief
- 5. Capture Lords, prevent counter-attack
- 6. Declare Peace, keep your fiefs
- 7. Rinse and repeat.
- 8. Prosperity of conquered settlements
- 9. Profit.
This guide highlights an exploit where you can basically conquer all of Caladria as an independent Lord. There is no way the AI can counter.
What always bugged me is that once you proclaim your own kingdom all other factions will immediately declare war on you.
Even if you are prepared, as you will have almost no Lords in you kingdom, you won’t be able to declare a truce with them without you being forced to pay a tribute, even if you hold all their fiefs and power and win every battle they throw at you.
Apparently this is intended by the devs. I personally find it very unrealistic if you basically beat them into submission. In the middle ages capturing a king often won wars. Having a faction in your party asking you for 20k in tribute despite you owning all their fiefs and having killed all their armies is a bit awkward.
Having all factions attack you at once basically will make it impossible for you to win without paying off almost all of them 20k each, and unless you have the execution mod installed you cannot really execute all of them.
Anyways the Villages you will own will thank you. The Vladians for example are great at being invaded and their villages being plundered
I found a way to to conquer all the fiefs you want without the AI being able to do anything. Here is how:
Get as many workshops and caravans as you can, get as much money as possible by winning tournaments and betting in taverns.
Sadly the income in vanilla won’t be much as workshop do not really have much revenue so I would recommend installing mods that increase profit to prevent this to get too grindy.
Betting gets you 500 Denars each time and winning tournaments gets you around 1k if you bet. Workshops cost around 27k and make a profit between 0 and 200.
1b. Optional – Trade Skill 300
Level up your Skills in Trade to 300, get the latest perk that allows you to buy settlements.
This is not needed but will help you dramatically. Most Lords are so dumb they will allow you to buy their fiefs if you are an independent Lord.
Make sure however you are not a Vassal or Mercenary as you will not be able to keep your fiefs or even buy them.
2. Level up, create follower armies
Recruit as many troops as you can. Make sure to level up your Leadership and Steward skills as well as increase your clan tier to allow for more workshops, followers and army cap.
If you do not have a mod that removes the army cap, you can increase your army size by having follower led armies. The only issue here is that because you are not a Kingdom you cannot create an army so that follower does whatever they want. At the very least they will keep the enemy occupied depending on their Steward level.
2b. Optional – buy Fiefs
If you have max trade, buy as many fiefs as you can. Most fiefs should be able to be bought with 2 Million Denars.
Some lords however will not be willing to sell you their fief. If this happens check every fief they have. I am not sure what dictates this behaviour but I have observed sometimes they allow you to sell some fiefs and not others. For me it was 1/3 of lords that will be against diplomatic resolution.
Those Lords won’t allow you to buy that fief no matter how money you have, the only way to get those fiefs is to invade. Interesting to note is that if that fief is conquered by another Lord, you can likely buy it. This is because most lords are from another culture if they invade, they suck at managing their fief which decreases prosperity and loyalty, so they will be happy to sell it to you.
Owning fiefs will balloon your income, exponentially increasing your resources and eventually making you unstoppable. At first it will be slow but soon you will be generating millions of Denars a week. Once this happens you are basically overpowered as you can replace your losses easily.
3. Wait for revolts, take the rebels fiefs.
Related to 2b, if you wait long enough, you will get a notification that rebels have risen against a Lord XYZ. This happens when another culture invades fiefs when factions fight eachother.
This is a great opportunity for you when you start out as invading those fiefs won’t declare war on a kingdom but only the rebels you fight. And they are just a clan. If you are fast you can attack them before they have any forces, making it an easy win.
Settlements are the money maker in 1.8. So even owning one Town will greatly help you. I would recommend you to recruit a follower of that culture and make them the governor of that town to prevent a revolt in the future. This is important to watch out for in your invasion. If you are not skilled in Leadership, Steward, or Trade this might happen and it will suck as the longer they revolt the likelier they will join another kingdom from the same culture. So react fast or prevent it altogether.
4. Declare war, take a fief
DO NOT DECLARE YOURSELF AS A KINGDOM, instead stay an independent Lord and declare war on one faction by going to a Lord of that faction and basically attacking him.
I like to do this strategically by attacking the Faction leader or influential leader first.
If you have a large enough army focus on the key Town and invade it by declaring war on a lord leaving that town and then laying siege.
If you are weak take a castle. They often have only 300 troops.
Be prepared that all of the faction will attack you.
Easily 800 or even 1400 unit armies will intercept while you are laying siege. Therefore might help if you wait till that faction in engaging or laying siege to another faction to give you enough time to invade before they can retaliate.
The key for success is your human intelligence. If you are fast enough the AI cannot attack you as fast as you take the fief and declare peace on them. See point 6.
5. Capture Lords, prevent counter-attack
Take all lords as prisoners and do not release them.
Watch out when you sell your prisoners, I often sell lords by accident when I do not select them to not be sold. Like items you can select prisoners you wanna keep.
Do not put the lords in your fiefs as they will be more likely to escape. And the lords are cheating as they spawn with an army right away. And they will attack you again, especially if you took their fief.
With every lord you have they loose armies that can fight you back. Execute them is also a permanent solution that will weaken the kingdom permanently balooning your conquest with every new war you wage.
6. Declare Peace, keep your fiefs
Once you have taken the amount of fiefs you can before being crushed by the faction go to a Lord you have as a prisoner and ask him to declare piece with the faction.
This will cost around 20k Denars, however you will keep the fief you just conquered. As no faction can declare war nor the faction can fight you back you can now recover your losses and are now much stronger than before. You can imagine how this exponentially increases until you are unstoppable. Once you own 2 factions worth of fiefs no faction can counter you anymore and you can just walkz through them.
The more you do this the less often you need to declare peace as you will be exponentially stronger and the faction exponentially weaker. I do not think there is a cool off period so you can declare war right away if you want. Just keep in mind they will recover their losses as soon as you declare peace, so be prepared to face their A-Game again.
If you decide to execute them, that will be a permanent nerv and those lords will not come back.
7. Rinse and repeat.
While you are an independent Lord no faction can declare war on you but you can attack them as you wish.
This allows to attack on your terms when you are ready and when they are weak. With every settlement you take they weaker and your conquest is easier.
If you survive their first attack and keep are the lords (some will escape no matter what you do) in your army as prisoners, the kingdom won’t be able to do much to counter you allowing you to conquer each fief at your leisure, even allowing you to starve them out. Make sure you have enough food though.
Also watch out for the other factions as they will start declaring war on the faction you are invading once they get weaker. If you have the perk that allows you to buy fiefs this will help you as lords will be willing to sell you other culture fiefs, allowing you to sit back and let the other factions do the work for you.
8. Prosperity of conquered settlements
The settlements you own will prosper as you cannot be invaded unless you declare war.
This will increase security and loyalty and thus making you super rich. Only drawback is grinding, you need to take your time.
Good thing is you can declare yourself a kingdom whenever you feel ready. This allows you to strategically protect your flanks to prevent a multi-front attack by owning all of Vladia and Battania and parts of the Western Empire for example.
The kingdoms you have conquered will be willing to join you if you invade all but a couple of castles. Executing the faction ruler will help if you have a mod to prevents the unrealistic hatred you get in vanilla. You could also declare war and capture the ruler if you want to stay vanilla.
While you are independent there is no counter. The AI will not to see what you are doing. They will gladly make peace or sell you their fiefs if you have the skill and money.
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