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I'm exactly two counties away from being able to declare myself Emperor of Britannia. I have a stack of courtiers and other nobles with claims on various bits of English real estate, including several claims on duchies, which I've verified through looking at the claimants for titles.

Unfortunately, I can't go to war against the King of Scotland for any duchies that he has; instead, I have a pile of excuses to go to war over various single counties. I've snipped off duchies before, and I distinctly remember having my choice of duchies to fight over the last time I went to war, but suddenly I'm no longer able to. What changed?

(Note: I have 46 Casus Belli against Scotland. About six of them are about a duchy with a single county in it. Have I run out of Casus Belli?)

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    Is it possible that those single-county duchies are just de jure duchies and no-one in Scotland actually holds the title? – SevenSidedDie May 26 '13 at 16:31
  • The single-county duchy is weird; it's the duchy of Slavonia. When you look it up, the map goes to near Croatia, but the single county is Breifne, in Ireland. Anyway, the rest of the duchies definitely exist, I definitely have claims on them (through my vassals), and are definitely owned by Scotland (either the king or one of his dukes). As a side note, I made it to Emperor, so now I have excuses to claim the Kingdom of Scotland itself. I now have 61 available Casus Belli, so it must not be a simple limitation on those. – PotatoEngineer May 26 '13 at 22:26
  • @PaulMarshall Regarding the Duchy of Slavonia. Remember that a duke does need to rule at least one county, before he can be made duke – however, there are no restrictions that says the county has to be within that exact duchy. Possibly the AI made him a duke (for whatever reason). It is also possible he held counties in Slavonia, and lost those, but got to keep the title of duke, considering he had an estate in Breifne. Anyway, since Slavonia is not de jure part of Scotland, you can't declare war over it from the Scottish king. – Nix Jun 6 '13 at 21:43
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I. Weak claimants can only press their claim under specific circumstances

  • Regency
  • Male claimant against female ruler
  • There is already a war in progress disputing the title
  • Claimant is currently a pretender (2nd or 3rd in line to inherit title)

II. Females cannot press claims against titles with agnatic succession laws.

So, when you see a claim that is not available as a CB

  1. If the claimant is female, verify that the title succession law is agnatic-cognatic or absolute cognatic
  2. If the claim is weak, verify that at least one of the specific circumstances apply
  3. Male claimants with strong claims can always press their claims
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    Thanks! It looks like I need to change my strategy when grabbing claimants, then; no more "just take whoever's willing to show up." Gosh, I might actually have to spend money on gifts! – PotatoEngineer Jun 1 '13 at 18:53
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It is possible to claim duchies. The most straightforward (although not necessarily speedy) way is to send your chancellor to fabricate claims. Most of the time he will get a claim on a county, but there is a small probability that he will obtain a claim for the whole duchy. This option should always work, but it takes a while (unless you are Catholic and your target is the pope). Sometimes you will also get plots to fabricate a claim. I find that these usually work quite well.

Another, potentially a lot more complicated way is to find a claimant to one of the duchies who are either your vassals or of your dynasty and pressing their claims. If they are not of your dynasty or your vassal, the duchy will not join your realm after the war (although the claimant still gets the title). If the current duke is adult male, they need a strong claim, otherwise a weak claim works as well.

You can get a list of claimants by clicking on the coat of arms of the duchy you want (or a county in that duchy and then navigating to the duchy by clicking on the CoAs at the top of that screen), then clicking on the claimants button. All of those with a green thumbs up will accept an invitation to your court. If you are lucky enough that they are of your dynasty and have a strong claim you are all set. Invite them to court and press their claim.

However, most of the time you will not be so lucky. If they are not of your dynasty then give them a title somewhere in your kingdom - this will make them your vassal. If their claim is heritable and you don't want to give them a county inside your realm you can also marry them (matrilineally if they are male) to a member of your dynasty. Their kids will then have a claim and be of your dynasty.

Finally, you need to check if their claim is weak or strong. If weak, then arrange for the duke to be either female or a child. This can be done through assassination.

If none of the above options work, then take one of the counties in a larger duchy that will allow you to usurp the duchy title (you need over 1/2 of the holdings in the duchy).

Also, if you are loosing claims to duchies, this could be for a number of reasons. Firstly, it could be that last time you went to war the weak claims were applicable (ie. some of the relevant duchies may have had female or child rulers). If the claims you had last time were fabricated by the chancellor, note that they are not heritable. However, non-heritable claims become heritable if you press them in a war (even if you loose the war).

(As an aside, once you are an emperor you can vassalise the pope. This is great.)

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    This doesn't answer the question. The OP already has claims on duchies. The question is why aren't they available as Casus Belli for war. – SevenSidedDie May 30 '13 at 14:39
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    You can't just answer the title of the question: that's called "not answering the question." You must also read the body of the question, and answer that, else you're not actually helping the asker. Details you've missed: the claims haven't disappeared, they just don't show in the Declare War screen. – SevenSidedDie May 30 '13 at 15:07
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    There, now the title more closely describes the body of the question. – SevenSidedDie May 30 '13 at 15:10
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    I fixed your answer. Now it is an on-topic guess at answering the question, and there isn't a lot of off-topic noise. I find it unlikely that all six claims were weak and had child/female rulers or were fabricated by now-dead people last time he went to war, but it's not impossible. I'd still like to see a definitive answer to this Q. – SevenSidedDie May 30 '13 at 15:18
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    Then my downvote and off-topic flag stands; that's too bad, it wasn't a bad answer anymore. (If you've missed the part of the site that says answers are editable by other users to improve them, then you should go read the FAQ.) You should have kept the spelling fixes though. – SevenSidedDie May 30 '13 at 15:25

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