Crusader Kings 2: How to Take Land
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Crusader Kings 2: How to Take Land

Welcome to my Crusader Kings 2 tutorial for
taking land. This video lists several ways to expand your
realm as a feudal lord. Taking land is fun, and it’s the usual way
to expand your influence in the medieval world. This video covers the following nine techniques:
de jure claims, holy wars, offering vassalization, pressing your claims, pressing other characters’
claims, inheriting through marriage, encouraging vassals to expand, gaining a liege’s title,
and vassal inheritance. I will be throwing a lot of information at
you, and the subject matter will get a bit complex and technical, but I will do my best
to break it down. If you just want to get your feet wet, and
you’re afraid of information overload, I recommend you learn only the first five techniques,
and stop the video when I start talking about inheriting through marriage. Note that in this video, I will be playing
without any DLC or mods, but all of these techniques still apply when using all of the
DLC. Before we begin, let’s make sure we understand
how the feudal hierarchy works. The map is divided up into counties – the
smallest unit of land on the map. Each county is ruled by a count. Some counties are grouped into larger land
masses called “duchies.” Duchies are ruled by dukes. Above duchies, you can have kingdoms, ruled
by kings, and above kingdoms, you can have empires, ruled by emperors. Note that each county is composed of one or
more holdings, also known as baronies. Baronies are ruled by barons. Also, note that sometimes the terms can go
by different names. For example, “petty kingdom” and “emirate”
are alternate names for duchies, while “petty king” and “emir” are alternate names for dukes. Crusader Kings 2 distinguishes between the
de facto boundaries and de jure boundaries of each duchy, kingdom, and empire. The de facto boundaries are what the current
boundaries really are, in fact. The de jure boundaries are what the boundaries
should be, by right or by law. To take a modern-day illustration, if the
United States were to conquer Ontario from Canada, we would say that Ontario is de facto
part of the United States, because the U.S. would control Ontario. But we would also say that Ontario is de jure
part of Canada, because by right, it should be part of Canada. If you select a land title, you can click
the “De Jure” checkbox to switch between viewing its de jure and de facto boundaries. The de jure boundaries of a title can change
over time, but changes occur very slowly. Every lord has command over a certain land
mass. But lords can also have vassals and lieges. A liege will take direct control of some of
his land. This portion of his land is called his “demesne.” But there’s a limit to how much land a liege
can effectively manage. So he delegates control of the rest of his
land to his vassals – his subordinates. So for example, Garcia is the King of Galicia,
and his demesne consists of the Counties of Coruña and Santiago. But he also indirectly controls the Duchy
of Portucale, through his vassal Nuno, the Duke of Portucale. Each liege has one or more vassals, and his
vassals can themselves have vassals. Now that we’ve covered the feudal hierarchy,
let’s move on to de jure claims. You have an automatic casus belli (or justification)
to fight for any foreign county that is de jure part of a duchy, kingdom, or empire held
by your character, or de jure part of a duchy held by one of your vassals. In other words, you’re allowed to fight for
lands that are yours by right. For instance, I am the King of Navarra. The County of Viscaya is de jure part of Navarra,
so I can go to war for Viscaya. To do so, I right-click on the character who
controls the county, click “Declare War,” select my claim, and click “Send.” Note that if you have any de jure claims arising
from duchies, there will be a warning at the top of the screen indicating which counties
you can claim. De jure claims are a nice way to clean up
some land, but if you’re not using the Jade Dragon DLC, you can only take one county at
a time this way. Now let’s cover holy wars. I will be playing as the King of Galicia. When you declare a holy war, you fight an
independent ruler that your character regards as an infidel or a heretic for the de jure
boundaries of a nearby duchy. So for example, I am Catholic, and the ruler
of the Abbadid Emirate (or Duchy) is Sunni. Since my religion group is Christian and his
is Muslim, my character considers him an infidel, so holy wars are allowed. If I right-click on him and click “Declare
War,” I see two options for holy wars. If I click on each of the options in turn,
I can see the de jure duchies I’m allowed to fight him over highlighted in blue on the
map. You can fight a holy war for any de jure duchy
adjacent to your realm, or under certain conditions, for a de jure duchy that is up to two water
spaces away. In external wars, you’re only allowed to declare
war on independent rulers – that is, rulers without a liege – so make sure you select
the topmost liege before clicking “Declare War.” Holy wars are great because you can conquer
multiple counties at a time, and any conquered land becomes part of your demesne. The downside is that nearby rulers of the
same religion may join the war. So while other Catholic lords could help me
fight the war, it’s more likely that Sunni lords would come to the enemy’s defense, since
I am the aggressor. But oftentimes no other rulers will join. There is also a variant of holy wars called
“crusades,” “jihads,” or “great holy wars.” The head of a religion will call a great holy
war for a certain target: a de jure kingdom. When this happens, you will get a popup dialog. Like with holy wars, members of the same religion
can join the war. You can join a great holy war on the attackers’
side by clicking the “Religion” tab, right-clicking on the religious head, and clicking “Offer
to Join War.” If the attackers win, a character of their
religion receives the targeted lands. If possible, the current holder of the targeted
kingdom’s title receives the land. Otherwise, the game falls back to the character
with the strongest claim to the kingdom title, and then to the character with the highest
war contribution score. Holy orders are useful for waging holy wars. They are similar to mercenaries, except they
only fight enemies of the faith, they cost piety to hire, and they have no monthly upkeep
cost if they are used during great holy wars or when defending against enemies of the faith. You can hire a holy order by clicking the
“Military” tab, going to “Holy Orders,” and clicking “Hire,” provided at least one holy
order is available for hire. Another way to get land is to offer to make
an independent ruler your vassal. If he accepts your offer, you become his liege,
and his land is added to your realm. You can only offer vassalization to characters
who have a lower rank than you. This is because according to the rules of
feudal organization, each vassal is required to have a lower rank than his liege. The term “rank” refers to a position in the
feudal hierarchy. So emperors are ranked above kings, kings
above dukes, dukes above counts, and counts above barons. To make an offer, right-click on an independent
ruler and click “Offer Vassalization.” If he is an AI character, you can hover over
the word “Yes” or “No” to see the factors that are going into his decision of whether
to accept the offer. An AI considers several factors, including
whether he is the same religion or culture as you, whether you are his de jure liege,
and whether he is at least two ranks lower than you. If the number of pluses is slightly less than
the number of minuses, sending him some gold might convince him to accept. To do so, right-click his portrait and click
“Send Gift.” Offering vassalization can be an easy way
to sweep up some land. However, it is rare to find an AI ruler willing
to agree to vassalization. Now let’s look at how to press your character’s
claims. If your character has a claim to a title,
you can go to war for the title. There are a variety of ways to get claims. A common way is through claim fabrication. To fabricate a claim, I go to the “Council”
tab. Under the chancellor, I click “Fabricate Claims,”
then click on a county. This instructs my chancellor to search for
some excuse as to why I am the county’s rightful ruler. It might take him a while though. It’s random how long it takes to fabricate
a claim. Note that when your character dies, you typically
lose all of his fabricated claims. If I click on my portrait, I can see a list
of my claims. As you can see, I have claims to the Kingdoms
of Castille and León. Both of these claims are strong claims, which
is good. You can press multiple strong claims against
a single character in the same war. To do so, when you click “Declare War,” be
sure to select “Press all Claims” as the casus belli. Since fabricated claims are strong claims,
if I were to fabricate claims on say three French counties, I could take all three counties
in a single war. On the other hand, sometimes you may have
weak claims. I don’t have any weak claims, but this character
Urraca has some, so let’s use her as an example. You cannot press multiple weak claims in a
single war. You can only press them when one of four conditions
is met, as shown in the tooltip: either the current ruler is female and the claimant is
male, the ruler is in a regency, the title is currently contested in an ongoing war,
or the claimant is second or third in line for the title. A character is in a regency, meaning his throne
is being managed by someone else, if he is a child under 16 years old or is incapable,
or under a few other circumstances. To activate a weak claim, your best bet is
often to assassinate your way to a child ruler. Check whether the heir is a child, the heir’s
heir is a child, or the second or third in line is a child, in which case an assassination
or three would ensure a child ruler. To check a title’s line of succession, simply
select the title and look under “Line of Succession.” Pressing your claims is good because you will
personally obtain titles. Also, sometimes you can take several counties
at once. However, it can be difficult to get the claims
to begin with. If you are unlucky, it might take a long time
to fabricate claims. In addition to pressing your own character’s
claims, you can get land by pressing another character’s claims, as long as you do it correctly. The two approaches are similar: in both cases,
you go to war to install a new ruler, and you need to be mindful of strong versus weak
claims. The big difference is that when you press
another character’s claim, you are fighting to install some other guy as the ruler. So how does this benefit you? The key is to make sure that when you win
the war, the character you installed as the ruler is your vassal. That way, the land you fought over gets added
to your realm. I’ll explain how to guarantee this in a moment. Now suppose I want to conquer the County of
Astorga. I select the county, then click “Claimants.” Note that the “Claimants” button would be
grayed out if there were no claimants. The game shows me a list of all of the characters
who have claims on Astorga. In order to press a character’s claim, he
must be one of my courtiers or vassals. I can invite a character to my court by right-clicking
his portrait and clicking “Invite to Court.” A green thumbs up indicates that a character
is willing to join my court. As for characters with red thumbs down, sending
them gifts may persuade them to join my court. As it happens, one of the claimants is already
in my court, as you can see from the tooltip. And fortunately, his claim to Astorga is a
strong claim. To press his claim, I would go to the county’s
ruler. Then I would right-click his portrait, click
“Declare War,” and select the claim. To make sure you will get the land, you need
to make sure that either the character is already your vassal, or he will become your
vassal. As it says in the tooltip, if the character
is in my dynasty, or if I am the de jure liege for the County of Astorga, then the character
will automatically become my vassal after winning the war. You can check whether a character is in your
dynasty by selecting him and checking for a red blood drop next to his portrait. But as usual, neither condition applies here. So I have to make the character my vassal
prior to winning the war, by giving him a county or a barony. I’ll right-click on his portrait, click “Grant
Landed Title,” select “County of Santiago,” and click “Send.” You also need to make sure the title you are
fighting for has a lower rank than you do. For example, if you are a king, in order to
get the land, you must press a claim for a duchy or a county, and not for a kingdom or
an empire. The nice thing about pressing other characters’
claims is that if you are a king or an emperor, you can take multiple counties at once. This is a good reason to work towards becoming
a king or an emperor if you are not one already. The downside is that it might be hard to find
a claimant who is willing to join your court, or to meet the conditions required to press
a weak claim. Watch for a warning that says, “Weak Claim(s)
can be pressed.” Also, you usually have to give away some of
your demesne to the claimant. Note that unlike pressing your own character’s
claims, when pressing other characters’ claims, you can only press one claim in a single war. Another way to get land is by inheriting it
through marriage. The simplest way to accomplish this is to
marry a foreign ruler. I’ve started a new game as the Count of Mantua. Suppose I were to marry Duchess Matilda of
Tuscany. To demonstrate this, I’m going to cheat and
use the command console to make her willing to accept my marriage proposal. Don’t worry about the specific commands I
am entering, as this is just for demonstration. I’ll unpause and wait for the duchess to accept. Now suppose we have a child. Again, I will simulate this with console commands. The child is both my successor and her successor. When my character dies, I continue play as
the child, who inherits Mantua. And when the duchess dies, my new character
inherits the Duchy of Tuscany. Thus, after one generation, I have both Mantua
and Tuscany. Other variants of this approach are also possible. For example, I could marry my heir to the
heir to a foreign throne. Once the foreign ruler dies and his heir inherits,
and once my character dies, my new character would be married to a foreign ruler. So as before, I would be one generation away
from inheriting foreign land. The important thing is that the inheritance
laws had better ensure that at some point, a single character will inherit both your
lands and the target lands. You can hover over a title to see its inheritance
laws. For simplicity, I will not explain all of
the different types of inheritance. However, I will note that under the gavelkind
and primogeniture inheritance types, the oldest son or oldest child typically inherits. So as long as both your title and the desired
title are gavelkind or primogeniture, this strategy will probably work. The succession is less predictable under feudal
elective, elective gavelkind, and seniority, so this strategy is unlikely to succeed if
the desired title has one of those inheritance laws. The main advantages of acquiring land in this
way are that you can potentially gain a lot of land in one fell swoop, and you don’t have
to win any wars. However, there are a few potential issues. The ruler of the target lands must not be
replaced before you inherit them. Also, it is difficult to convince AI characters
to accept marriages involving their heirs. If an AI will not accept a preferred marriage,
see if the desired spouse will accept an invitation to your court. To sweeten the pot, you may need to send him
a gift first. Once in your court, he is required to accept
any marriage you arrange for him. If you can’t get a marriage with the heir
to a title, you might try for a marriage with the second or third in the line of succession,
followed by an assassination or two. There are a couple more wrinkles. Later, when I cover vassal inheritance, I’ll
explain these issues in detail, so for now I will only summarize them. First, it is possible for the high or max
crown authority law, or with the Conclave DLC, the regulated inheritance law, to interfere
with inheritance. It could cause an attempt to gain land through
marriage and inheritance to fail. Second, you may get a new liege as a result
of this strategy. While the extra land is probably worth it,
it might be annoying to go from having no liege to having a liege. Back to playing as the King of Galicia. The next technique for getting land is to
encourage your vassals to expand, by putting them in a position to conquer foreign land. When a vassal conquers foreign land, it becomes
part of your realm. For this to work, your laws must allow your
vassals to declare war against foreigners. This means a crown authority lower than max,
or with the Conclave DLC, a “Vassal War Declaration” law of “Allowed” or “External.” If one of your vassals is currently fighting
to conquer foreign lands, you can help him by offering to join the war, declaring a separate
war against the same opponent, or giving him gold. But ultimately, more important than immediate
assistance is the long-range planning that goes into encouraging vassals to expand. I’m not an expert at this though, so take
my advice with a grain of salt. Mainly, you should put your vassals in a position
where there are good conquests available to them. You affect which vassals are where and how
powerful they are primarily by your decisions to grant, revoke, create, and usurp land titles. In particular, pay attention to the vassals
who are adjacent to rulers who are infidels or heretics, because such vassals are able
to declare holy wars. If possible, make sure they are more powerful
than their infidel or heretic neighbors. You can get a sense of a character’s strength
by clicking his portrait and checking his troop count. A lot depends on how your vassals behave. When the AI controls a ruler who has the “ambitious”
trait, it expands more aggressively. Likewise, a ruler with the “content” trait
expands less aggressively. So you should try to arrange for ambitious
vassals to border foreign lands. The main risk with this strategy is that a
vassal might become overly powerful and threaten your rule. Ideally, you should keep a careful balance,
making sure your vassals are powerful enough to conquer foreign lands, but not powerful
enough to challenge you. In general, I see room for creativity with
this strategy. One approach I’ve seen mentioned is to have
one super-strong vassal, and to constantly pamper him so that he doesn’t revolt. You might try to arrange an informal division
of labor, whereby you pick certain lands for your vassals to conquer and certain lands
for you to conquer personally. While this strategy takes a long time to execute,
and it risks resistance from overly powerful vassals, it is quite satisfying to see the
automatically expanding realm that comes with successfully pulling it off. The next approach for obtaining land is gaining
a liege’s title. To demonstrate this, I’ve switched to the
Duke of Portucale. My goal is to become the King of Galicia. There are two main ways of bringing this about:
being elected the successor to the Kingdom of Galicia, and fighting to replace the current
king. Let’s look at election first. In order to be elected king, the title’s inheritance
laws must be feudal elective, elective gavelkind, or tanistry. Right now, the inheritance laws are gavelkind,
so I need to have them changed. To change the inheritance laws, I will start
or join a faction in favor of changing them. The idea behind factions is that one or more
vassals join together to issue the following ultimatum to their liege: “Either give in
to our demand, or we will go to war to enforce it.” At the time I am recording this, there is
an apparent bug with factions. Specifically, without the Conclave DLC, it
is currently impossible to start a faction for feudal elective inheritance. This bug has been present for about a year,
but there’s a chance that it will be fixed by the time you watch this tutorial, so I
will act as though the bug is not present. In order to start a faction for switching
to feudal elective, the crown authority law must be set to min, or if the Conclave DLC
is enabled, the council must have all voting powers. So the first step in forcing feudal elective
inheritance is starting a faction for lower crown authority or for council power. To create a faction, I click the “Factions”
tab, then I click “Start a Faction” and select the desired faction. As you can see, the faction has 69% of the
strength of the liege. This might not be enough strength to win a
war against the liege, so I would want to wait for other vassals to join my faction,
or for the king to be preoccupied with other wars. Once I was ready, I would click the “Intrigue”
tab, and then click the scroll icon to issue my ultimatum for lower crown authority. Once I forced Galicia to switch to feudal
elective, it would be a matter of winning the election. If Galicia had elective gavelkind, only members
of the ruler’s dynasty would be eligible candidates, so my character would not be eligible. But in feudal elective, the eligible candidates
are, roughly speaking, close relatives of the current ruler, anyone with a claim to
the title, and voter-rank vassals. Voter-rank vassals are vassals who are one
rank lower than the title, or in the case of an empire, up to two ranks lower. As a duke in the kingdom, I’m a voter-rank
vassal, so I would be eligible. While by no means a sure thing, getting the
other voters to like me would improve my chances of winning. Elections are a bit fickle, so if at any point
I were winning the election, I would try to assassinate the king while I was still the
heir. Rather than trying to get elected, I could
take the title by force instead. There are three types of wars that can accomplish
this: a war to press my claim for the title, a faction war to replace the ruler with my
character, and with the Conclave DLC, a faction war to oust the ruler. Suppose I wanted to press a claim for Galicia. I don’t have a claim on Galicia yet, so I
need to get one first. Since I am de jure a direct vassal of the
king, and he is not my father, I can right-click on the kingdom title and select “Plot for
Claim.” This starts a plot to fabricate a strong claim
on the kingdom. To strengthen the plot, I go to the “Intrigue”
tab. Under the plot, I click the plus button to
view a list of characters I can invite to the plot. I click the dagger icon to sort them in descending
order of plot power. Anyone whose portrait has a green thumbs up
next to it is willing to join the plot, while anyone with a yellow hand will join if I send
him a gift first. I’ll send a gift to the character with a yellow
hand and invite him to the plot. Then I’ll unpause and wait for him to accept. Now that he’s joined my plot, the plot power
has increased to 55%. I can attempt to fabricate my claim by clicking
the scroll icon next to either of the options for fabricating a claim. As it stands, the scroll icons are grayed
out. If I hover over the question mark icons to
their left, I see that I can’t execute the plot because it doesn’t have enough power. So at this point I would wait and hope that
in the future, I could find more backers. With any luck, I would eventually fabricate
my claim, which I would then press by going to war with the king. Instead of pressing a claim, I could start
a faction to install my character as the King of Galicia. Unfortunately, while I do have the option
to install someone else as king, there is no option to install my character as king. In order to start such a faction, either my
character must have a claim, or the title must have feudal elective inheritance and
I must be a voter-rank vassal. So first I would need to either fabricate
a claim on Galicia, or force a change to feudal elective through other factions. The final option for taking Galicia is a faction
to oust the king. This option is only available if the Conclave
DLC is enabled. If the faction succeeds, the title goes to
the most popular vassal who meets a handful of eligibility requirements. With some gifts sent to your fellow vassals,
including barons, and with any luck, your character will be the most popular. In the interest of completeness, I will note
that the conditions for factions are more complicated than I’ve let on. In particular, there are certain conditions
that disqualify you from joining any factions. Also, Muslims aren’t allowed to form factions
for changes in the succession law. For more details, consult the official Crusader
Kings 2 wiki. Gaining a liege’s title is nice, because it
can win you a huge amount of land at once, and it may free you from having a liege. Unfortunately, as you’ve probably gathered,
it can be a long and difficult process to pull off. A powerful technique for getting land is vassal
inheritance. This technique has to do with a certain rule
concerning inheritance. Before thinking about how to get land, let’s
make sure we understand the principle first. The rule is as follows: if a character inherits
a title that has a higher rank than the character, then the character’s liege becomes the liege
for the inherited title. That’s a bit of a mouthful, so let me repeat
it: if a character inherits a title that has a higher rank than the character, then the
character’s liege becomes the liege for the inherited title. To clarify this rule, let’s go over some examples. I’ve arranged the game so that the Count of
Sens is the heir to the Duchy of Lower Lorraine. Now let’s see what happens when the Duke of
Lower Lorraine dies. To demonstrate this, I’ll cheat and use console
commands to force the game to kill the Duke of Lower Lorraine. Then I’ll click the “Realms” button to refresh
the map. See that? Sens became part of the Holy Roman Empire. Why is that? The Count of Sens just inherited a duchy – a
title that had a higher rank than the character. Therefore, his liege became the liege for
the Duchy of Lower Lorraine. The liege for Lower Lorraine is the Holy Roman
Emperor. So all of the character’s land, including
the County of Sens, is now part of the Holy Roman Empire. Let’s look at another example. The Duchess of Normandy is the heir to the
Duchy of Meissen. What happens when the Duke of Meissen dies? This time, Meissen became part of France. The Duchess of Normandy inherited the Duchy
of Meissen. She did not inherit a title with a higher
rank. Therefore, her liege did not change. She remained a vassal of the King of France. So the land she just inherited became part
of France. One last example before we discuss practical
applications. The Duke of Bavaria is currently the heir
to the Kingdom of France. Now suppose the King of France dies, and the
Duke of Bavaria inherits France. In this case, Bavaria left the Holy Roman
Empire and became part of France. Since the Duke of Bavaria inherited the Kingdom
of France, he inherited a title of a higher rank. Therefore, his liege changed to the liege
for France. France is independent, meaning it has no liege. Thus, the Duke of Bavaria became independent,
meaning he no longer has a liege. Since the new King of France holds the Duchy
of Bavaria, Bavaria is now part of France. Now that we understand the principle of vassal
inheritance, let’s see how to apply it to take some land. I am playing as the King of Denmark. What I’ll do is find the heir to a foreign
duchy, give him one of my own duchies, and then wait for him to inherit the foreign duchy. Since he will inherit an equal-rank title,
I will remain his liege, and the inherited duchy will be added to my realm. I’d like to get the Duchy of Saxony. I need to give the heir to Saxony one of my
duchies. Since I can only give land to my courtiers
and vassals, I will invite him to my court. But first, I’ll send him some gold to persuade
him to come. I’ll unpause and wait for him to arrive. You’re not allowed to give someone a duchy,
kingdom, or empire if he doesn’t already own a county, so the next step is to grant him
a county. I right-click the heir, click “Grant Landed
Title,” select “County of Blekinge,” and click “Send.” Now I want to give him a duchy. Unfortunately, my character doesn’t hold any
duchy titles. But according to this warning at the top of
the screen, I can create a duchy. I’ll click the warning in order to select
a duchy I can create. The “Create” button is grayed out because
I don’t yet have enough gold to create the duchy. For demonstration purposes, rather than waiting
for tax revenue to come in, I will cheat and use the console to give myself some gold. I’ll click the “Create” button to create the
duchy, then I’ll give it to the heir to Saxony. At this point, I could either wait for the
current Duke of Saxony to die, or I could expedite the process by assassinating him. My preference is to assassinate, because there
is always a risk that the heir will die before the Duke of Saxony does, or that someone will
take Saxony before the Duke of Saxony dies. So the basic strategy is as follows: find
a title with a lower rank than your own, get the title’s heir to join your court, give
him a title of equal or greater rank than what he will inherit, and wait for him to
inherit. If you can’t convince the title’s current
heir to join your court, you could invite a potential heir, such as the second or third
in line to the throne, and then assassinate some people to turn the potential heir into
the current heir. There are a few pitfalls to avoid here. Most importantly, you must give the character
a title of equal or greater rank than what he will inherit. If you were to give only a county to the heir
to a duchy, then when he inherits the duchy, it will not become part of your realm. Instead, the county you gave him will leave
your realm! There is another way that this strategy can
backfire: if the heir’s heir is the original title holder. As it happens, this holds true for Saxony:
the heir to the heir of Saxony is the Duke of Saxony. This occasionally happens when the inheritance
laws are gavelkind, primogeniture, or ultimogeniture, and we are dealing with a father who has one
son and no grandsons. If you were to attempt to take the father’s
duchy by making the son one of your dukes, then if the son were to die before the father,
the strategy would backfire. The father would inherit the duchy you gave
to the son, and it would leave your realm. While it is a potential problem, this situation
is somewhat uncommon, and it often goes away once the son has a son of his own, giving
him a proper heir. Before attempting to take land through vassal
inheritance, check the inheritance laws for the title you are trying to take. If the heir is liable to change, as with feudal
elective, elective gavelkind, or seniority, then this strategy is liable to fail due to
a change in the heir. It’s better if the inheritance laws are gavelkind
or primogeniture, provided that the heir is one of the ruler’s children, and therefore
won’t change if he has another child. Another pitfall is that this strategy won’t
work if you target foreign lands that are subject to high or max crown authority or
the Conclave DLC’s regulated inheritance law. This is because a ruler is legally disqualified
from inheriting from an equal- or lower-ranked foreigner who is subject to one of those laws. So before attempting to take foreign land
through vassal inheritance, you should click the “De Jure Kingdoms” button, hover over
the land you intend to take, and check the resulting tooltip. If under “Active Crown Laws,” it says, “High
Crown Authority,” “Absolute Crown Authority,” or “Regulated Inheritance,” then you cannot
take the land through vassal inheritance. In this case, it says, “Autonomous Vassals,”
so I am able to take the Duchy of Saxony. But note that the restriction on inheritance
only applies to external land. So if the character whose land you want has
the same topmost liege as you, then the crown authority or regulated inheritance law won’t
prevent you from taking land through vassal inheritance. So as we’ve seen, vassal inheritance has its
drawbacks. You usually have to give away at least one
land title, including a demesne holding. It can be difficult to find an heir or a potential
heir who is willing to join your court. And your attempt might fail or in some cases
even backfire. Nevertheless, vassal inheritance is really
quite powerful. It enables you to get land without going to
war. You can use it to take land from rulers you
are too weak to fight head-on, or from characters who have the same liege as you. If you are a king or an emperor, vassal inheritance
lets you take multiple counties at once. In any event, it is always possible for you
to lose land through vassal inheritance. If there is a risk of this happening, a warning
will appear that says, “Vassal Inheritance Warning.” Clicking on the warning will show the character
at issue, such as a vassal whose land you would lose if he died. The best way to avoid losing land depends
on the situation. You always have the option of stopping it
by revoking the vassal’s titles. So there you have it, that’s nine ways you
can take land. There isn’t one technique that’s definitively
better than the others; it all depends on the situation. Think of them as tools. If you practice using different techniques
to expand your realm, I think you will find it to be a rewarding experience.


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