Knights of Honor
is much like a cross between Crusader Kings
. If youíre not familiar with either of these games, just trust me when I say that both are on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of strategy; one is micro-management heavy and the other is battle-heavy. Knights of Honor
has found a happy medium between the two poles by taking most of what worked from both games and including them in one solid title.
In Knights of Honor, you take on the role of a single empire of your choice in the middle ages of Europe. As an empire governing entity, you manage your lands, tend to your armies, and try to foster a successful lineage of rulers. The point of the game isnít any one goal; there are a couple of ways to win instantly, but more on that later. Instead, you simply try to live in a feudal Europe full of personal vendettas, spies, crusades, and general chaos.
The good news is that things donít have to be this way if you donít want them to. If you prefer to stay out of the affairs of most of the rest of Europe, you can pick a small province off in Scandinavia and try to prosper as much as possible while fending off the occasional attack. Unfortunately, kingdoms from across Europe tend to declare war on you without you ever knowing it, and without any good reason, which tends to anger your populace. This is an annoying problem with the A.I., but it can be worked around, and the sooner you sue for peace in these situations the better.
If youíd rather try to kill everyone around you and take over the entire continent single-handedly, you can try that as well. The outcome of such an endeavor usually ends in large-scale bloodshed on your home turf as all the rest of Europe realizes what a crazy bastard you are and unites against you. This is where diplomacy comes in. Diplomacy plays a big part in Knights of Honor as you can make trade agreements, try to marry off your princes/princesses, or bribe your way in and out of trouble. Needless to say, there are many paths that can be taken in this game.
As the years pass by, your king dies and his heir takes over the throne. This means that you have to get your king married and hopefully he will make babies. Without an heir, your kingdom will fall into turmoil and civil unrest will rule the lands until a new king takes the throne.
If you manage to last long enough and gain enough wealth and prestige, you can have the rest of Europe vote on you becoming the Emperor of Europe. This is a pretty big achievement, and though you donít have to strive for this goal, itís fun to shoot for nonetheless. A less honorable way to win the game is to attain all eight Empire advances. To do this, you need to either possess or import almost every exotic good in the game. This is a victory more on the diplomatic side and requires a bit more elegance than simply taking over territories. Alternatively to all of this, you can battle it out with up to five other people for a set amount of time or play a quick battle and be instantly plunged into a fight against the computer.