Crusader Kings--couple of questions

Was debating picking this up–had a couple of questions if anyone can help.

(1) Is this turn-based, or real-time (i.e. Europa Universalis)

(2) Is there a tutorial worth a damn?

Real time like EU but with a lot less of the fiddlyness. I can’t remember if there’s a tutorial or not but I didn’t find it hard to pick up.

http://archives.brokentoys.org/?p=79

Less fiddly than EU is debatable. CK has been in public beta for many moons. An official patch is due later this year. The authors consist of the gaming community–but yes, it’s an official patch. Paradox has a very good user community which it (smartly) leverages.

Of all Paradox games (excepting maybe Diplomacy) CK is in need of a patch the most. My guess is it needs several. EU is up to–what?–7 or 8.

I see many problems with CK like the very aggressive Arabs wanting to launch invasions of their own into Europe and the crusade mechanism, for a long time, didn’t work very well itself. And people can get way to metagamy about breeding strong heirs. It’s important, yes, but if you do go nuts or use a “bride finder” application that’s taking alot of the charm out of the gameplay. Just look around nearby or in places you’re interested in having ties to.

The community is great. And they are handcrafting a much more complex random event matrix. There’s a whole series of possible complications dealing with bastard heirs for example. It’s not as concretely nailed into a historical timeline as EU’s events but that suits me fine. It feels rich enough without getting too predictable or tying my hands.

Edit: It’s real-time but you can control the speed and issue orders when paused. The mechanism is pretty neat because you tend to focus only on things of interest and that lets the game develop in surprising ways sometimes when you finally pull your nose out of some micromanagement somewhere. An effective shorthand for nations can get distracted or sidetracked by a ruler’s priorities.

Don’t remember the tutorial but it’s an easy game to get a handle on. I’d start with a nice sized Dutchy. Gives you the full flavor of the game but without the added complications of a Kingdom or the sometimes unfairly challenging, sometimes mundane, life in a single county.