how to survive being a small kingdom

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i need help please. i must be doing something wrong.

i dont know what to do at this point. i am literally bribing all my neighbours to leave me alone. i am spending thousands of gold so i wont get ganked. there is no way i can start a war without having other 2 or 3 of my neighbours jumping in on the action.

i am a small kingdom. my few nobles are tier 2. i can only summon one large 1k army. i am grinding influence like crazy to keep one mercenary faction on my side because i cannot count on my nobles to keep my small kingdom safe.


i realise my neighbours are being opportunistic but maybe there is more i can do? i am starting to hate this game because its so frustrating to having to do all of it myself with no support. at the beginning it was manageable but i think the AI realised i am a ****ing bank and even sturgia who isnt even a neighbour declared war on me to get free money. and i have to pay. theyll burn my villages down and my ****tard nobles canot do anything about it. my nobles thifs are all understaffed. with like 20 garrison in them because they cant pay their wages. totally badly managed but who can blame them perhaps they havent discovered smithing yet.

they come to me asking me to sign peace treates with other factions but they wont even tell me how much that costs.. so i go along with them and then realise i am paying thousands which comes out of my pocket.

i try to talk to nobles from other factions even though some ive got 90 relationship with and they wont even entertain my proposal to join me "neither your purse or frienship is enough for me to join you". well great.

people want to nerf smithing but smithing is what keeps me afloat. how on earth do people get by without it? i am thinking of starting a new save and play as a vassal from now on because the game goes above and beyong to prevent snowballing on small kingdoms but does nothing to help me. i am done being ganked all over the place.
 
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Yeah, I've been through that. The game isn't designed for "independent" factions, you're limited by the number of parties you can create thus keeping you a small kingdom, which means you're a tempting target. This is the way Devs want it.

Maybe if the AI was smarter, we could have large independent kingdoms ?

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Ananda_The_Destroyer

Master Knight
Start a faction at the edge/corner of the map, like Odohk or Ostican, you will have only the native faction to fight for a good long time IME, until you start to have border towns with more factions, or if you your vassals are doing well and start voting for more wars, but this takes a good while IME. Aserai and sturgia take too long to go to one end or the other to exit so they're bad spots.

If you get the perks mounted patrols (225 riding) and keen sight (225 scouting) you can hold lords in your party prisoner forever (or unless peace treaty....) sometimes for reasons this can last for years and years too. It's a really powerful advantage. One game I had all of the aserai in my prisoners for like 5 years because it's too annoying to siege their land so I just saved them for last and let my vassals do it slowly.
i am a small kingdom. my few nobles are tier 2. i can only summon one large 1k army. i am grinding influence like crazy to keep one mercenary faction on my side because i cannot count on my nobles to keep my small kingdom safe.
You gotta do it yourself, I make a full party of Khan's guards and other HA and stop them in the field and let my vassals do the raid patrol work early on. Even clan parties I cut them lose. AT clan rank 4 and i you pass a policy for + party size or 2 you can have big enough personal party to stop the AI if you use good troops (hint: Ranged). If you can't do it, you can't really have a faction because the process of getting or making vassals is so long that you need to defend yourself for a good while no matter what.

i try to talk to nobles from other factions even though some ive got 90 relationship with and they wont even entertain my proposal to join me "neither your purse or frienship is enough for me to join you". well great.
Yeah it sucks and it's somehow worse in recent versions. It used to be if clan had no fief and you had a decent sized faction you could recruit them easily but now it seems they often just say NO anyway. @Lesser_Scholar says they should still join if you can offer 2m (meaning you need 6m to get the chance) but for me in past game they just always say NO, I think it was because I had so many vassal but Idunno. Anyway here's his video on the subject:


people want to nerf smithing but smithing is what keeps me afloat. how on earth do people get by without it?
I destroy all the enemy parties and sell the loot. This also gets me massive influence so I can raise a new clan ASAP every 500 influence.
Now once you have 3 vassal they may kick you off the ballot so you won't get a new fief for a new clan.... however
Gambit of the ultimate martial ruler: Give up even your last fief to raise a new clan, thus putting you up for the next fief!
BKWa-.png
 
By not being a small kingdom for very long.

As a Battanian (basically just what I did in my lastest game)

Stage one
- make solid party (pretty much the gist of it)

Become a merc and fight for and against Valandia, the western empire, Battania and the Northern empire (maybe Sturgia).
- become rich; its needed to buy clans.
- gain a high clan tier; its needed to gain holdings as a vassal.
- become friends with everyone; friendly status pretty much assures that no one will raid your holdings (gives you operational freedom) and ofcourse allow you to more easily recruit clans later
- make a real a party (Fians are good)

Join the western empire (or any neighbor of Battania)
- quickly gain influence
- Add some additional clan parties; also needed to gain holdings as a vassal.
- Pay for an army (influence) and conquer a few cities from Battania.
- Build up your forces and reserves.
- More fighting to gain influence (lots); will be needed later.
- Second war with Batania to capture the rest of what you want for yourself and make a few clans landless.

Becoming king
- invite a couple of clans leader to join you for a feast at home
- Suggest a couple of political decisions that no one cares for (e.g. peace with Battania) to dry out everyone elses influence.
- Use your remaining influence to kick the clanleaders you have invited from the kingdom.
- Leave the kingdom and form your own.
- Invite the before mentioned clanleaders to join you; an interesting tidbit, the relationship hit from kicking a clan from a kingdom is actually smaller than from leaving a kingdom.
- Try to snatch the landless Battanian clans too.
- Hammer your previous kingdom to provide holdings for your new lords.
- Get a peace treaty and turn your attention to Battania and finish the job.

That should pretty much set you up for world conquest. So, essentially just lay the groundwork so you can quickly scale up. Though, in your case you will probably just have to do it the hard way by creating new clans or see if you can make a few clans landless and then invite them.
 
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Ask

Sergeant
If you want a very stupidly cheesy way that I have no idea if works as intended, if you get fiefs without actually making a kingdom (for example by bartering using the level 300 trading perk, haven't tried other ways), the other kingdoms can't declare war on you.

I'm doing a meme run currently just trying to purchase every fief in the map without making a kingdom at all. Not being able to be attacked by anyone is great.

I just wish the factions didn't start declaring wars every few weeks when you have a kingdom, I get that there's instability and whatever lore reasons to have wars all the time, but it makes starting a kingdom or being a vassal more annoying than anything.
 
- become rich; its needed to buy clans.


Becoming king
- invite a couple of clans leader to join you for a feast at home
- Suggest a couple of political decisions that no one cares for (e.g. peace with Battania) to dry out everyone elses influence.
- Use your remaining influence to kick the clanleaders you have invited from the kingdom.
- Leave the kingdom and form your own.
- Invite the before mentioned clanleaders to join you; an interesting tidbit, the relationship hit from kicking a clan from a kingdom is actually smaller than from leaving a kingdom.
- Try to snatch the landless Battanian clans too.
- Hammer your previous kingdom to provide holdings for your new lords.
- Get a peace treaty and turn your attention to Battania and finish the job.
I had more than a million gold and no noble would even want to hear my proposal. even those with good relations. How much do I need?

You totally lost me on your becoming king section though.

Didn't know I could invite people for a feast. Is this a dialogue option?




So I guess my mistake was leaving a faction when I was still a vassal and thanking I could go it alone from there.
 
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I had more than a million gold and no noble would even want to hear my proposal. even those with good relations. How much do I need?

You totally lost me on your becoming king section though.

Didn't know I could invite people for a feast. Is this a dialogue option?

So your plan is to become king of an existing faction first then dismantle it by expelling everyone and recruit them into your own kingdom?


So I guess my mistake was leaving a faction when I was still a vassal and thanking I could go it alone from there.
Are the clans you have tried to ask landless?

The "invite people to a feast" was not meant to be litteral. You just want them close to you by the time you declare independence so you can quickly talk to them and convince them to join you. (invite them by forming an army)

And no, the point is not to become a king of an existing faction first, just a vassal and then yes try to expel some of them. I wouldnt personally aim to expel everyone but in principle you could.
 

Antaeus

Sergeant at Arms
I tend to either take a few rebel cities as an independent, or own several cities close to each other as a subject before I declare. By then I can usually raise 700-1000 men within my clan, so any tier 2 clans I make are just a bonus.

Before you declare kingdom have a cache of cash in the bank. 2-300K will do. Although I prefer 1M.

The cache allows you to lose money on individual peace treaties for long periods. Accepting unfavourable peace allows you to pick and choose enemies. E.g. If the Empire is too strong for you, accept an unfavourable peace and wait until they declare war on another (it won't be long). Once they declare war on the other, you can declare war on them again and do a quick snipe of a castle or town while they're distracted and sue for peace on better terms (make sure not to be caught out by them making peace with the other - the idea is sniping, not slogging).

In this way you can snipe territories and switch terms until your cashflow allows covers for your treaty losses. Don't be afraid of a short term cost if it gives you space to take advantage later.

While you're at it, build a hit-list of fief-less clans. If you're friendly you can get them for 2-400k. But only choose the ones with heirs and at least 4 adults. And make sure you give them land. Always release your captives, so everyone is your friend. It makes bribing them easier.

Then it's just a rinse and repeat thing. Buy fief-less clan, snipe land for them, sue for peace, buy fief-less clan, declare war, snipe land for them, sue for peace...

Or if you're Ananda, skip the buy fief-less clan part. Kill them all.
 
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