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Field of Glory: Kingdoms - Diplomacy and Troublesome vassals

Published on March 15, 2024

In Kingdoms, even the most powerful of nations will need to rely on allies or vassals. Indeed, medieval Europe and the Middle East are tumultuous and hostile lands, where the small isolated state stands no chance of survival. Nations often have territorial claims against each other, exacerbating tensions. The two major religions of the Book are often in tension, creating fault lines where nearly half the map could be hostile to you, especially as holy wars, crusades, or jihads regularly appear.

Gelasius II, Head of the Holy See, wisely befriended the Knightly Orders and the Byzantines

Kingdoms offers a diplomatic model with more than half a dozen different treaties: Alliance, Cooperation, Vassalage, Royal Marriage, Right of Passage, transactions, gifts, insults, knowing that there are of course wars to declare and peace to sign, and transactions are actually a box where you can add different additional entries. For example, offering mercenaries, requesting territorial concessions, offering metal, etc.

The royal marriage is a novelty in Kingdoms, and will be an ideal opportunity to strengthen ties between two nations. Of course, you will need a daughter of marriageable age for this (i.e., 14 years old), and you must be astute, as a royal marriage can backfire on you. Upon the death of one of the sovereigns, it can lead to a division of the kingdom or even its absorption. Be careful to have the highest Authority, or you will suffer the consequences.

Having vassals also provide decisions to play with, with several outcomes

Right of Passage is also a novelty and is relatively easy to conclude compared to an alliance. It allows not only to transit through the territories of the other nation but also to resupply there, including the resupplying of ships. Generally, becoming allied with another country requires a gradual approach, initially made of simple cooperation, maybe a gift or two, and often the abandonment of all claims against that nation. Usually, all of this happens organically and naturally, because only nations in dispute will seek to claim the regions of the other. Know finally that different religions are a rather major obstacle to establishing good relations, but it remains entirely possible, with the right means.

Kingdom of Heaven, except they are now vassals of the Fatimids, as is Oultre-Jourdain. Only Antioch remains fiercely independent

But the main addition of Kingdoms in diplomacy is undoubtedly the vassalage relation, which is much richer in its possible aspects than the client state relations of Empires, the game preceding Kingdoms. A vassal is generally a plus for a suzerain, as it facilitates the progression of your kingdom towards a more accomplished and powerful Realm, and it can lend you troops. These will still bear the coat of arms of your vassal and will be returned to them in case of peace, but as long as the war lasts, you will have full control! Vassals also provide the opportunity to manage decisions with multiple choices with many different outcomes depending on the loyalty of the vassal and the abilities of the suzerain. Finally, a vassal will often show signs of independence and will not hesitate to let you know if you possess a land that they believe belongs to them.

Stay tuned for our next diary, which will deal with the special perks and game rules that major nations and culture groups have. It really makes for a different gaming experience depending on the country you play, and we can't wait to provide you with some juicy details on the perks we designed!

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