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Opinion on Caliphates


Valek
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Thoughts about caliphates.

After 100%ing the game with a Catholic kingdom, I wanted to do the same but from a Muslim kingdom perspective. From the religious warfare point of view, I have to say that I enjoyed the jihad mechanic more than I enjoyed the crusade mechanic. In theory, the Jihad is way more powerful. From the aggressor perspective, whenever I saw the military mobilization caused by a jihad, my only thought was I never want to get one of these called on me. More importantly, when a jihad is call on a kingdom, you know they mean business. In one occasion, it was pretty exciting to see multiple Muslim kingdoms sending all their armies across the Mediterranean and Black Sea simultaneously. There were so many armies in the target kingdom that the AI didn't even know what to plunder given all the settlements were already occupied.

Jihad comparisons with a crusade:

My first gripe with the crusade is that I have to give up a fully functional army that I might be pressed to keep around for the moment. You know, "kinda" useful to have an army handy for when the bully with 30 provinces next door comes on knocking. Because of this, most of the time I kept declining requests for my marshal to lead a crusade, obviously that came with a penalty in the form of the deterioration of the Clergy's opinions which for me went down and below  the -5 points due to the constant flood of requests to lead crusades I was rejecting. Finally, I was determined to end the bullying, so I destroyed the Papal States.

And this is the main difference, compared to the crusade, there's no penalty in joining a Jihad. First of all, most of the Muslim kingdoms are far from the Catholic kingdoms, hence most of the time you can accept the request to join the Jihad from the Caliphate without fearing any consequence. More importantly, your relationship with the kingdom that call for the jihad will increase, and your scholars (Clergy) opinions will increase as well. Also, because your allies AIs rarely first attacks the province fortification, instead start plundering settlements, sieging castles and dealing with enemy armies, if you have a decent couple of armies you can easily grab some provinces in the process. BUT, this is nothing compared to the collateral effect of a jihad which is that kingdoms' relationships improve. Of course, this game is very random, but in the instance I was playing the block of all Muslim Kingdoms in part of Asia, part of the Middle East and part of North Africa had all their relationships always in the positive range. And I suspect this is a side effect of the jihad mechanics.

To summarize, given the geographical location of Muslim kingdoms, when it comes to joining a jihad is all pros, no cons. You will rarely have a reason not to join a jihad as far as I can tell. While in the opposite side, you may have many reasons not to join a crusade, and get penalized for not doing so. You may want to keep your marshal, your cleric might be important to you. Crusades, as opposed to a jihad don't feel like a team effort. All the opposite, crusades feels more like shenanigans and bullying from the Papal States with their constant requests for top money, and their constant demands for your most useful units.

I also have to mention that a jihad wasn't so OP in KoH legacy. As a refresher, in KoH v1 a jihad was more like a panic button to defend a province momentarily. If there were several enemy marshals destroying your province, and you didn't have enough man power available to defend, you would call for a jihad, and these small armies (much alike rebels) started to pop up from your settlements and attacked the invaders, you had no control over these armies, and eventually they banished. They were really strong though, so the jihad was a good defensive tool.

If you ask me, given how OP the KoH v2 jihad can be at unifying multiple kingdoms, I'd prefer to go back to the KoH v1 jihad. NOW, I really enjoyed the KoH v2 jihad mechanic, so I'd rather prefer for the team to work on improving the issues I mentioned about crusades above, to bring them up to pair to the KoH v2 jihad. Perhaps, make the crusades more similar to the jihad, in the sense that multiple Catholic kingdoms could participate in the crusade. But that's almost an idea for KoH v3.

Now, the following is something more "not wishful thinking" that I'd like to be reviewed for KoH v2.

Early in the game, Seljuks right bottom corner, Abbasids (purple/selected) and Fatimids center bottom claimed the caliphate. Then I (Hajrah) started to grow meteorically to mostly fill the right side of the map, and that's when I thought I should be in the big boys club.

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Unfortunately, it's almost impossible for me to claim the caliphate given that each existent caliphate reduces your chances by 20%. With 3 existing caliphates, that's -60%. Given all the resources I have I could struggle with the RNG in hopes to get it eventually, or I could destroy Abbasids completely, but what it doesn't make any sense to me is that Abbasids (purple) is a caliphate but I can't be one. How does that make any sense? Not trying to be rude, but IMHO the formula has to be more complex than that. Yes, consider the count of existent caliphates, but also consider their size and kingdom rankings. For example, instead of using a flat -20% value per existent caliphate, the -20% per kingdom should only be the maximum (minimum) value. If the existent caliphate has the same fame as me as per the kingdom rankings, then that should be a -20% chance, and that penalty should start going down linearly with my excess of fame over the current caliphate. If my kingdom has double the fame than the existing caliphate, then that number should be a -0% penalty. I'm not saying this is the best way, but it's a way to do it. And ah, perhaps limit the number of total caliphates to 3, in that case one of the caliphates will lose its status once a new caliphate ascend.

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By the way, this map above is the same instance where all of the Muslim kingdoms relationships were green, now not so much, as after my kingdom grew, I've been pouring resources into breaking them apart.

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I'll kind of reply to myself here, as I don't want to edit the post for historical reasons. Thing is I just learned that they're some other avenues to increase your chances to become a caliphate. Getting a diplomat king with some religious abilities increased my chances by +10. Also, ruling over Muslim holy lands went from +30 to +60, I'm not particularly sure why. I still have the same provinces as before maybe added 2 or 3 more that aren't even in Muslim territory. Might be because I got a scholar to govern over the province of Mecca? Anyways, I still think that some of my points from above still stand true, such a small kingdom shouldn't be able to call themselves a caliphate anymore. And by the way, I was able to become a caliphate and I love it. It gives you a sense of authority and responsibility to help all your Muslim brethren to take over the world. :classic_biggrin: I can now call those dreadful jihad upon the enemies of Islam. I'm convinced now, playing as a Muslim kingdom is much more enjoyable, and the crusade should be revamped.

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