A Let's Play of Paradox's grand strategy games...like, ALL of them, from Imperator to Hearts of Iron 4

Apparently our disasters absolutely depleted our sizeable treasury and put us hugely in debt. Oops. Imperator doesn’t make you take loans when you’re in debt, instead it has options for getting money for a cost. If you don’t take those, there are similar events that will fire that get you money with an almost guaranteed malus to go with it. We were so far in debt that we lost a ton of stability, lost character loyalty, and hurt our research efficiency due to those event effects.

Not sure what happened to old Pedubast that gave him brain damage, but may Cleomenes I rule bring calm in this global storm.

And now we’ve hit a crash I can’t get past. I’m going to post this and reboot to see if that changes anything. Otherwise, we may be converting to CK3 a little earlier than I’d have liked.

Edit: no luck there. I’ll try a couple more things but it seems likely our time in Imperator has met its end.

RIP Imperator; we had a good run.

Well bad news is that the errors I tracked down in the crash logs weren’t whatever is actually causing the crash. So much like development of Imperator, our time with it is going to end surprisingly early.

Good news is that conversion worked just fine from the latest save. Will do some work to get religions converted over somewhat reasonably. I chose the year 800, so we’re skipping ahead about 600 years.

Here is the religion map after conversion.

I’ll take a look at how the mappings work for Christianity as it swaps those to regionally appropriate versions from history.

I’m planning to leave the political and cultural map how it is, which contains the giant Parthian empire, us, the Ptolemies, and some big northern European tribal empires intact. BUT, the converter didn’t generate new leaders or anything, so we’ll have 600 year old leaders all die pretty much immediately followed by messy early game CK3 inheritance, which I also need to figure out how to address, because a bunch of places convert with primogeniture(I assume because of direct inheritance conversion from Imperator?). Anyway, I’ll figure out how to fix that too for some early game fireworks that can simulate some of the breakups we didn’t otherwise get.

Alright, back to religions. With the Rome explosion happening when it did, I think I’ll leave Western Europe how it is. We had bits of Christian conversion in France but mostly still Gallic. And with Carthage never getting wiped out the Canaanite areas can remain as well. However, I think the Hellenic blob will all become Christian. It was only a matter of time. The big change will be the rise of Islam that we missed. So Arabic, Arewordi, and Heptadic will all become some flavor of Muslim. In that area the rest of the unreadable mess are mostly Mithraism, Judaism, and one Zoroastrian province. We’ll leave those. The only thing that really leaves is a lot fewer Jainism provinces than we’d expect. Considering India broke into pieces before our Imperator game ended I think I’ll expand that a bit closer to the default setup in CK3.

If anyone has insight into what flavors of Islam would make sense where, I’m all ears. Same with anyone with any knowledge of what would make sense for Jainism. Or anything else major I’m missing in this religious conversion.

Excellent replay @abrandt. Looking forward to seeing the kingdom go forward in CK3.

I’m really enjoying this saga. Please keep us posted!

Well, I stupidly decided to go down the converter configuration changes over lunch, and I’m in too deep to quit now, so sorry work!

Converting Hellenic → Christian was easy enough, barely an inconvenience. But then I got stuck on the mappings to Islam. For some reason they just weren’t working. Until I noticed a log entry about removing Islam. Annoyingly I couldn’t find a configuration setting or any documentation of why that might be. So off to Github I went to download the code. And sure enough, it’s hardcoded to remove all Muslim provinces if none existed in the I:R save. Which strikes me as being damn near every I:R save? Apparently the converter used to have a system to add Islam but they recently took it out after adding support for some mod.

Thankfully this converter, and presumably the whole series of them, is very straightforward to get building and is all written in C#. So, some code tweaks later and we have a faith setup I’m pretty happy with!

I left the big blob of Arawordi on account of Parthian Revolt being a particularly persistent entity and it being fun to have a larger chunk of a Zoroastrian faith around. To make up for the lack of Sunni territory I had it convert the Waaqi and Hellenic provinces in the Arabia province from Imperator(not to be confused Arabia Felix in the south). Those weren’t firmly Waaqi when we left Imperator being more recent conquests, so it seemed justifiable.

And with that we have a pretty interesting religious spread. That little blue bit in Greece is a province of Rabbinic Judaism. There are a couple of other Jewish provinces spread around the map too.

With that, I’m almost ready to start our CK3 game for real, just going to spend a little more time to see if I can get my wonder modded into Socotra!

UPDATE: Success! It’s just a clone of the Tower of Hercules but it’ll do.

With that, we’ll settle in next post and get our bearings in the year 800.

Yay! fine work with the conversion. I’m loving this AAR. I never manage to get the time and headspace for these games, but I have always loved enjoying them vicariously. So thanks!

Sorry I can’t be of any help with the early islam thing. Perhaps @TheWombat can shed some light?

Man, I almost want that to be its own game! It’s fascinating to see how those different maps turned out. I wouldn’t begin to know how to divide 8th century Muslim territory into its component denominations, but that Heptadic swathe in your first image seems like a pretty accurate representation of Islam’s golden Abassid era. With the notable exception of North Africa and Spain. Seems like the word of the Prophet Muhammed was cockblocked by some good old-fashioned Hellenism. :)

BTW, I had no idea what Heptadic was. It’s apparently a reference to long-lost Scythia’s worship of a pantheon of seven deities. Hence “heptadic”.

Looking forward to the next chapter! Best of luck to you and your Lantern of Bliss!

I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t been a FUN situation to try and resolve. As much as I would have loved being able to do a continuous playthrough to let this stuff develop naturally, trying to come up with a sensible way to tinker with the history has been quite enjoyable too!

And it’s all owned by one empire in our game. Was the Parthian Empire in I:R but it’s rebranded for CK3 as we’ll see in my next post.

With the political situation being essentially frozen for 600 years, which my head canon does not attempt to explain, a strong Ptolemaic Empire did indeed block most of the western spread of Islam through Africa. However, we do have some Ibadi provinces in the Sahara that defaulted in as they were locations that aren’t part of the Imperator map.

Always great to hear that people are enjoying this, especially heading into CK3. It’s the stretch I’m least looking forward to. And the one I’m least skilled at, so at least their should be some fun mistakes.

Don’t worry too much; I think CK3 is the easiest and most forgiving of the series. It’s easy to bounce back after a while, assuming you even suffer a major defeat. Looking forward to the next six centuries! :)

Let’s get this show started!

First of all, the political situation in 800 looks suspiciously similar to the one we left in 180, just with some newcomers around the edges of the map.

We’ve got some big entities around, hello Lyam(formerly the Parthians), but that should all change rapidly as everyone is defaulting to Confederate Partition laws so we can expect lots of infighting.

Especially since, uh, our rulers seem to have experienced the freeze that our political borders did over the last 600 years. Our heir is over 600 years old too, which I hadn’t considered. That may, take some tweaking to avoid an instant loss after we unpause. Guess we’ll see!


We did see, and in fact hit a game over very quickly. Going to make some additional tweaks to avoid this.

Alright, everyone is much younger now. Fireworks will be delayed, but at least there will be heirs to inherit.

On the bright side, we do have a kingdom title to hold onto when that inevitably happens.

And here is our beautiful home, now split into two holdings

A look at our house with updated motto and coat of arms.

Since we have enough renown to grab a dynasty legacy off the bat, we’ll do that

And a look at our faith. Still a pretty minor religion mostly contained within our lands for now.

All of those holy sites are under our control, which is good and provides various bonuses.

Our culture is Somali apparently.

That won’t do, we’ll have to diverge a distinctly Socotran culture once we have the prestige for that.

And a look at our throne room

The converter gave us a whole lot of gold. We’ll have to spend it wisely, I guess. Will also need to assign a whole lot of holdings to vassals, we’re 17 over the limit right now!

Alright, down to 4 direct holdings. Keeping it all in our core Horn area.

With all that out of the way, I think we’ll be ready to unpause the game next time!

Beautiful throne room!

I’m interested to see the collapse of the Lyam/Parthian realm; though there’s surely an empire-level title in there which might hold onto a large chunk of that territory. Suebia will be interesting to watch, too. If the base CK3 empires are retained in the conversion, Pritania can form the Empire of Britannia immediately, which may give them some long-term stability. Other default kingdoms I see in Europe: Insubria - Burgundy; Santonia - Aquitaine; Lilybaeum - Sicily. There’s also at least one Greek kingdom in Abracia.

Should be a fun several centuries. :)

Day 1 we might as well hold court. Lots of gold to spend so this survey sounds like a no-brainer.

And it quickly bears fruit. Since our innovations are starting at literally 0, the more development the better.

Don’t really like these little tribes in the middle of our lands. We’ll have to bring them into our glorious kingdom.


And it was no contest.

Fun discovery with our military. Our legions were converted over as special troops. These are some meaty looking armies

We take Mugdug too. These borders are a little nicer now.

Our neighbors are waking up to the benefits of being part of our realm too. Mareeg just to our south on the coast happily bows the knee. Maybe helps that their ruler is only 9?

With all this money it only makes sense to commission the creation of a crown for the King of Soqotra

This is a troubling development

Our crown is complete and fit for a king!

I hold court again and, well, this is certainly a problem. Thankfully we still have all that gold.

Uh oh!

Cleomenes Diplomatic lifestyle perks let him commission an epic. So now we have The Timolid Romance. Surely this will go down as one of the all time greats. And who wouldn’t want a book with a repeating image of a zoomorphic motif on the cover? This is going right onto display in the throne room.

We finally had enough prestige to diverge our culture.

Will take some work to spread it

We’ll be traveling to the mainland to attend a hunt. I don’t have the Tours & Tournaments expansion so the options for travel and holding activities are more limited for me. Regardless, we still have access to traveling.

The hunt was a success and we managed to take down a truly mighty and fearsome, uh, hare.

We’ll end this with some bad news about that hope for Suebia falling apart.

So all those many years in ancient Roman times, and you’re only just now getting around to the royal hat??? :)

Those legions are massive, at least based on my experience in Western Europe; you may be able to spread the Soqotran banner across Africa and Arabia merely through force of arms - or fear of the same.

I am not displeased to see the West Germanic Empire; I just hope they don’t consume all of Europe because people are scared of them.

I hadn’t realized that there was such a Dwarf Fortress influence in CK3!

Based on the wiki, it appears special troops will not reinforce, so I assume that means they’ll get weaker each time I bring them out. Probably should just save them for big wars then. Also, anyone who converted from Imperator and was running around with legions will have similarly large legacy armies available too. But I do think controlling the rest of the Horn is probably our first long term expansion target. There is an empire title available if we do that. Beyond that, our goals remain to be a rather religious maritime trading empire, so control of the Red Sea and Arabian Sea coastlines will be priorities beyond that.

Ah, so they’re like troops you’d get through an event or something, got it. Yeah, I’d pull those out for an important war or something that threatens the survival of the state; otherwise they just stay in your back pocket.

Yeah, I think it’s essentially a bridge between the ages. The decaying remnants regular armies some nations were able to field in the classical era that slowly give way to armies that are almost entirely feudal levies.

Does the player need to pay maintenance for these remnant armies? You would think the hard part would be the organisational and economic drain of maintaining these large formations. Which would make it hard to keep them behind “break in case of emergency” glass.