Crusader Kings 2: Tales of Two Empires

As reported previously, the lunatic trait didn't resurface again. Even during the reign of the 2 lunatic rulers, they did well. I attributed this mainly to the choice of Elective Monarchy succession law which gave +20 opinion with vassals but this law did cause trouble from time to time. I'll address this in another post.

For now, let's just celebrate the end of another glorious campaign.

CK2 Hisp Arab 1

CK2 Hisp Arab 2

Although its score was significantly lower than my personal best score, I am proud to have established 2 empires i.e. Hispania and Arabian, all via conquest except for 1 single county that was inherited. A few of my duchy vassals did wage their own wars and obtained about 10 counties. Yay!

Somehow I think I ruled over a larger realm too despite the lower score. I attributed this to far fewer kingdom titles. I had to destroy 9 of them and refrained from creating 2 of them to deal with the problem of the succession law (will be discussed in another post).

You can compare its realm size (below) and that of the previous campaign:

CK2 Hisp Arab 3

CK2 Hisp Arab 4

I had a single county right smack in the middle of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) hehehe.

HRE was the only Catholic realm that was bigger than mine but inexpicably it went downhill the moment their emperor was excommunicated. At the same time, he was facing 2 civil wars and 1 external war. As seen above, several kingdoms and duchies took this opportunity to go independent.

I too took advantage of the situation and successfully pressed a weak claim of a kinsman. I then subsequently helped him to ward off dangerous civil wars twice. Alas, when I started my own war to capture more land, I forgot to check on him and thus he was ousted by a rival faction and thereby ending the short Mernix's dynasty. Bummer.

Oh, something interesting to note: 3 crusades were call against some rulers in India! @@ Only the second one succeeded and it was won by the Knights Templar lol.

So the House of Mernix is missing in HRE:

CK2 Hisp Arab 9

CK2 Hisp Arab 10

CK2 Hisp Arab 11

However, there were a couple of independent Mernix rulers: Nidaros and Austria. The former was (I think) a breakaway Norwegian duke who then conquered much of Norway. The latter was a breakaway duke of HRE.

I conducted many holy wars which helped to strengthen the Catholic's faith moral authority and in turn helped me to convert many counties to Catholic:

CK2 Hisp Arab 5

CK2 Hisp Arab 6

As you can see, most of the Arab land was converted. Amazing :)

On a related note, I was most grateful for the unrequested help I received from HRE, England and France in defending against 2 or 3 jihads. Phew! Without their help, I would have been defeated. This was the reason why I decided to almost always continually wage holy war against Muslim leaders instead of waging war against these Catholic leaders despite favourable times.

Oh, this time, not only did I consciously make sure I appoint Iris rulers, I also made sure (where possible) that the heirs of non-Irish rulers were educated by Irish. The end results were proliferation of Irish culture far beyond their traditional borders:

CK2 Hisp Arab 7

CK2 Hisp Arab 8

It is a little disappointing that the score was less than before probably because of the consequence of adopting Elective Monarchy over Primogeniture but I guess that's fair because otherwise the former would be overpowering. In this entire campaign, there was only once an independent faction was created that never grew big enough to threaten my reign, whereas in previous campaign, this happened regularly (especially at the start of a new ruler's reign) and at times became dangerous. Stability vs score.

Nevertheless, I am still happy that I managed to plan and snag the second empire title i.e. Arabian Empire :)

Crusader Kings 2: Age of Lunacy

I was praying hard for insane events not to pop up again after the second Glitterhoof debacle. My either prayer got lost or ignored:

CK2 Insane Act 1

Yes, he was the same ruler as previous but this time I chose a different law. Logical but poor prescription.

It reads:

" The new law has been written and couriers are even now distributing it to all of your vassals. You admire your handiwork:

"Whereas the positive effects of fresh air is known to all, and: whereas the movement of the wind must not be obstructed by man-made structures:

Therefore I, [Title Name], decree that all homesteads throughout the realm are to have two holes, each no smaller than a grown peasant standing with arms outstretched, in opposite walls facing each other to allow free passage of the wind. These holes are not to be covered by planks, windows, doors or cattle. If any member of the household is known to exhibit severe flatulence, the holes shall number three and no less."

"This law will bring salvation to the realm." "

I was not too sad when he died (he was a great ruler overall). I eagerly played his successor...who acquired the lunatic trait during an event/incident. Omg, help!

CK2 Insane Act 2a

CK2 Insance Act 2b

" The new law has been written and couriers are even now distributing it to all of your vassals. You admire your handiwork:

"Whereas the turnip represents the very best qualities to be found in society, and: whereas it is of fine texture, particularly when boiled, and has been proven to remedy all ailments known to Man when consumed:

Therefore I, [Title Name], decree that the turnip shall henceforth be used as currency throughout the realm, taking the place of gold, silver or any other precious metal. These shall instead be turned over to the Crown for immediate disposal."

"This law will bring salvation to the realm." "

Yes, I chose a different law, for the heck of it since the practical result is the same i.e. -10 opinion with vassals for a number of years.

But finally, this trait didn't surface again in any of my subsequent rulers. Phew!

Sushi Tei: Chicken Curry Udon

After trying and liking their chicken curry rice, I next tried their udon version:

Sushi Tei chic curry udon 1

Sushi Tei chic curry udon 2

Sorry, I forgot to take note of its price but I think it's not much different than that of the rice version. More importantly, it was as delicious and definitely worth the price.

The ingredient was the same as the rice version and oh yes, there was carrot. Once again, Sushi Zanmai, it's not hard, is it, to include some carrot pieces?

Lotus Curry House: chendol

I've always preferred to have roti canai and roti telur here than at the nearby Kayu shop. It's more spacious, airy and somehow seems cleaner. Food is good too. I rarely visited it because such food is just not enough for lunch or dinner and I almost never go for supper. Morever, it's the type of food that Ban would not want to have often.

Earlier this year, I discovered that they now serve chendol. Yum! So I tried it and I loved it. I dare say it's the best in PJ thus far. Ban and his brother love it too. We have gone there for chendol every now and then.

Lately, however, I had a couple of bowls that had frozen chendol and palm/brown (not sure which it was) sugar that didn't melt properly. Hope those were exceptions.

It used to be that they were so slow to serve it. There was once we ordered a couple of bowls after we were nearly done with our food and we were served chendol about half an hour later, with two reminders thrown it. So now we order food and chendol at the same time and it usually will arrive just when we are about to finish our food.

One remaining downside is its price: RM 3.70 including GST.

LCH chendol 1

LCH chendol 2

Crusader Kings 2: Glitterhoof!

Soon after the insane act, this event occurred:

CK2 Glitterhoof

The words are probably a little tiny to read. They are:

" Your horse has always struck you as being of a dependable sort, a quality you feel is sorely lacking in your councillors. Time to shake things up a bit. You will appoint him as your new Chancellor.

Glitterhoof, I appoint thee as the Chancellor of the realm. "

I had no control or it. My chancellor was sacked. Goodness! I rehired him but the damage was done: there was a -50 opinion from him towards my ruler.

Oh, and guess what? It happened again within a year! @@ The above screenshot was of the second time.

Luckily my chancellor liked my ruler very much that despite a total -100 opinion, his overall opinion is at the max 100. Phew. Lunatic ruler indeed.

Crusader Kings 2: Insane Act

It's been about 1.5 years since I blogged about this game. I probably hadn't played it for more than a year.

In my current play, I tried new succession laws: Tanistry and Elective Monarchy. Pretty good and probably will use it again in future.

There have been a few changes since the last patch. The most notable one is the limit on number of direct vassals. That proved to be troublesome every now and then, especially since most of my vassals' succession law is Gravelkind. Goodness.

Anyway, more details later once I finished the game. This time I just want to highlight certain funny events for my current ruler. Not sure why/how but he has the lunatic trait.

One event is the choice of implementing one of these 4 laws:

(1) The Pants Act
(2) The Turnip Act
(3) The Hole in the Wall Act
(4) The Cessation of Violence Act

The game didn't tell me the details of each law and so I chose (4) as it's the clearest of them all. After choosing it, the next pop up was this:

" The new law has been written and couriers are even now distributing it to all of your vassals. You admire your handiwork:

"Whereas the children of the realm have become desensitised to violence, and: whereas the general populace seems to have lost all regard for the sanctity of human life:

Therefore I, [Title Name], decree that all forms of violence directed at other human beings be outlawed, including both capital and corporal punishment as well as the torture of criminals, heathens and foreigners. These vulnerable social groups are instead to be rehabilitated and eventually released back into society as productive citizens."

"This law will bring salvation to the realm." "

Actually, I was quite surprised at how modern this law is. I, however, would imagine how insane it was to the people, especially the ruling class, at that time (this was in early 14th century).

Turns out that any of these laws will result in -10 opinion with vassals for a number of years. For details on the the rest, please read the bottom post of this thread.

Rough valuation of share

I'm quite sure I stated this before in some of the posts on share investment: I rely on detailed analysis done by others and I supplement it by doing some research on my own before deciding whether a company should be on my watch list or not. Among the factors I look out for are:

(1) Do I understand the business?
(2) Diversification of revenue
(3) Low debt
(4) Economic moat
(5) Free cashflow yield > dividend yield
(6) Dividend yield of at least 5%
(7) Consistently pays out dividend
(8) Net income is generally growing

However, once shortlisted, I'm usually at a lost of when I should buy its shares. That's because I didn't come up with a valuation model to determine its value...until now.

I want a model that's easy to use and yet makes sense (to me at least). As at now, it looks like this:

Value of share
= [Net asset + Present value of net income for the next 10 years (both on a per share basis)] x [1 - margin]

Net asset is just asset less liability i.e. equity portion.

I use EPS TTM as net income and assume it to be the same for the next 10 years.

The discount rate I use is my required rate of return, which is currently 8%.

"Margin" is the margin of safety, which is 10% currently.

This is of course very rough but it should be on the conservative side:
(1) It has a margin of safety
(2) It ignores growth in net income
(3) Takes into account only 10 years of net income

So I believed if the price of a shortlisted share falls below this calculated value, chances are it is worth buying. I'll definitely take a look at this model again when the time comes for me to buy more shares (ran out of war chest!).

Choice

Rand sees Lan fall, and is almost spent, crushed under the weight of the deaths he’s seen. He hears his father’s voice say Let go. He whispers that he must save them, but the voice tells him he can’t do this alone, and it was their choice to make. Then he hears what he thinks is Egwene’s voice, calling him a fool. 
Am I not allowed to be a hero, too? 
“It’s not that…”
You march to your death. Yet you forbid anyone else from doing so?
“I…”
Let go, Rand. Let us die for what we believe, and do not try to steal that from us. You have embraced your death. Embrace mine.

- "The Wheel of Time: A Memory of Light" by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Deception 4: Blood Ties

Deception 4 Blood ties

Ban got this game for his birthday recently (from me and a friend). He wanted the latest version (Nightmare Princess) but checks with local store, online store, eBay and Lelong only had it for PS4 and PS Vita platforms, not PS3. It was much later he found out that you could buy the PS3 version as digital download from PS store. Oh well.

It is essentially a game of traps. You control a character, laying down and activating traps on your enemies. I like the idea but somehow I don't like this game, citing it being gory.

Later, I took a little time to ponder over my dislike. This game is similar to Orcs Must Die 2, a game that I like and it does have its share of blood and severed body parts albeit not as gory. So why the difference in preference?

I concluded that this is because in Orcs Must Die 2, the enemies are orcs who are out to wreck mayhem on the human world. They are the bad guys in the game. In Blood Ties, however, your character is the Devil's daughter who is trying to set free her father. The Devil was imprisoned by the Saints. Her enemies are the decendants of the Saint. So it is difficult for me to emphatise with the Blood Ties' protaganist, although later Ban said not all the enemies are good people. For the really good ones, Ban chooses to capture rather than kill them :)

I find this interesting. Seems that storyline does matter quite significantly to me in determining whether I will play a game or not.

Sushi Tei: Chicken Curry Rice

After the "no carrot" debacle at Sushi Zanmai, I decided to try Sushi Tei's chicken curry rice (RM 14.80).

Sushi Tei chic curry rice 1

Sushi Tei chic curry rice 2

Oh yes, those were 3 pieces of carrot. Sushi Zanmai, see? It's not hard to have carrot in Japanese curry, is it?

There were many small pieces of chicken, 2 pieces of potato and lots of onion in the curry. Yes, all the elements that I expected from Japanese curry were all in. I don't know whether that's authentic or not but as at now, that's my expectation.

Oh, but I could make do without that pickle on the rice though. The rice was soft and went well with curry. The curry was mild but the onion pieces spiced it up quite well.

It was quite delicious and value for money. Unfortunately, curry is not something that I can have often due to acid reflux/GERD etc. But, yes, I would have it again when the time is right :)