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I am playing through the new Charlemagne expansion for CK2 and have been rather thrown off by the new vassal limits. Previously, I never had much worry and simply made small duchies if any at all. Now, I have to keep track of my vassals more closely. I have actually started giving my Kingdom titles out as my empire is so large, I can't keep up with all of the vassals.

What seems to work better, Super-Dukes (duchy contains 5 or more counties) or Kings?

  • possible duplicate of What are the (dis)advantages of having kings as vassals? – Nix Nov 6 '14 at 11:23
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    Also note that the -25 opinion for being a king vassal introduced in 2.1 was removed for 2.2. – Affine Nov 6 '14 at 14:27
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    @ Nix - I read that, but I am wondering if there is more a difference now that the new expansion is out and specifically how well it works with the new vassal limit mechanic. – Mighty Ferengi Nov 6 '14 at 15:28
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The question Nix linked is related, but I would argue that the new Vassal Limits that came during Charlemange do change the scenario a little. I had a Scandinavian Empire game that was into the 1300s when the patch dropped. In that game I had actually started handing out King titles to relatives just because it was giving me headaches trying to keep up with the 30-odd Dukes I had by that point (having conquered much of Germany and Lithuania as well as De Jure Scandinavia). Had I not already started handing out King titles I think I would have done been forced to do so just to keep under the Vassal Limit.

King Vassal Pros:

  • It reduces the amount of people you need to keep happy with you. (Bribes and Honorary Titles get better mileage)

  • One King Vassal is much easier on your vassal limit than the half dozen Dukes he replaced.

  • Troop management advantages. When an entire kingdom's liege levy forms up in one place it's a lot less work gathering all your armies together. Also, a Kingdom worth of Liege Levy can often handle minor rebellions by itself.

Cons:

  • King Vassals are powerful enough that, early on, you NEED to keep them happy

  • If a King Vassal gains enough personal power his opinion of you is almost irrelevant, he WILL join Independence factions. I had a King of Denmark and Skotland as a vassal, with his opinion at 70 he was still running a faction to secede, and holding around 70% power by himself.

When you first become an Emperor, I would argue against creating King Vassals. In the early days of an Empire a Kingdom holds a sizable share of your levies. As your Empire expands beyond De Jure territory and includes another Kingdom or two worth of territory a single Kingdom becomes less significant. At this point I would consider handing out the smaller Kingdom titles to Dynasty members without claims on the Empire. Of course, standard De Jure issues apply. Avoid handing out Kingdoms you hold territory within. -25 Desires Duchy of X penalties stack up fast.

  • Thanks CrusaderJ. That last con is the one I am worried about the most as my HRE includes 20 kingdoms from The Iberian peninsula all the way to the Black Sea. The next big issue is how to get my income up since I can only have a max of 46 vassals and if I demand the King Vassals pay me some taxes, their opinions will drop. Hard enough to keep them happy when all of them have a -18 opinion of me for being a foreigner. – Mighty Ferengi Nov 18 '14 at 13:45
  • The problem with that particular double King was I let him get out of hand. He called a Holy War for a Duchy in Skotland. Thanks to my strategy of landing Dynasty members in recently conquered kingdoms, there were MANY landed members of the Yngling family who were my vassals, so he got perhaps a third of the Empire to ally with him, which made crushing Skotland easy enough and in the space of 15 years (spread over 2 Holy Wars) he adds 6 counties in Skotland to his demense. At that point his personal demense matched my own, that's when he got dangerous. – CrusaderJ Nov 19 '14 at 17:25
  • I'll be sure to keep an eye out for that. Thanks again! – Mighty Ferengi Nov 20 '14 at 1:15

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