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Video Game / Knights of Honor

Knights of Honor is a 2004 medieval strategy game allowing you to build cities, burn and loot towns, earn gold or goods, spy on other nations, make and break alliances, fight crusades, slaughter rebels and destroy history!

There are three main religions of which the nations are part, and to which they can convert: Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Muslims (Pagans are also present but can't be selected and few nations start Pagan). Aside from some bonuses (Roman Catholics get an income boost, Muslims can jihad) and negative effects (Roman Catholics have to send armies to fight in crusades when they are powerful or risk excommunication by the Pope).

There are four ways to win. The easiest (comparatively) is to get all of the game's "kingdom advantages" (basically improvements from having certain trading goods), which requires a large income and at least eight cities with harbors, as well as many different resources, which usually take a dozen or so different provinces.

The second is to be elected emperor of all Europe. You need to be at least the second most powerful nation to even be considered, and you need great relations with other nations for them to vote for you. The election happens periodically, and it's rare for any nation to even vote one way or another.

The third and hardest way is to conquer everything. Athens, Rome, London, Jerusalem, Paris, basically all of Europe, North Africa, and parts of the Middle East and Asia. Obviously this is the hardest, but the most rewarding.

The fourth way, similar to the second, is to "claim the title". Basically, you claim to be emperor of all Europe. If you are friendly enough with the major powers and have a good army, they might vote you in. If they don't, then most of Europe hates you and you end up with a rare case of the AIs doing serious damage. Generally, by the time this can work, either number two will have happened or number three is within reach.

A sequel has been rumored for years to exist. The publishers even mentioned it officially at least once, but they were bought by another company and it appears to be vaporware.

Needs a Better Description: Too long

This game provides examples of:

  • Awesome, but Impractical: Trebuchet, in normal battles. Their immobile, leaving them sitting ducks for cavalry
  • Boring but Practical: Making your Kings/other rulers merchants means you don't have to worry about them being killed in battle like a marshal, caught like a spy, or rebelled against by the population like a cleric. Sure, the actual scope of the benefit may vary, but it's easily the safest option.
  • Command & Conquer Economy: Peasants collect the available raw resources from the province automatically, but the player has to manage all other infrastructure per castle.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Killing an enemy marshal in battle makes his troops flee. If there are two marshals, the other's troops will still stay and fight. Garrisons in towns won't flee no matter who you kill.
  • Damage Is Fire: When pillaging, laying a siege, or battling enemy forces, the units/structures/castles are replaced with burning flames.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted. Troops consume food supplies, which need to be restocked, either by pillaging farms, or by entering a castle and restocking there. This can be problematic when laying siege to a castle, because often the castle's supply of food is larger than that of the enemy army.
  • Fog of War: This is province based inKnights Of Honor, you can see what's happening in the entire province once your marshall crosses the border. Also applies to your spies in enemy courts, depending on what they are employed as.
    • If employed as a marshal the same rules apply as for your own marshals.
    • If employed as a cleric, builder or landlord the Fog disappears for the specific province they are assigned to.
  • Horse Archer: One of many available units, though only available in provinces who have horses as a resource, so they are medium rare.
  • Karma Meter: referred to as Kingdom Power in game. A scale that roughly translates to your reputation, popularity with the people, and the grasp you have on your kingdom. Actions like breaking alliances (both political ones as ones formed through marriage), attacking nations with the same religion, spies being found out have a negative influence. Increasing your Kingdom power is only possible by spending gold and piety on it. If your Kingdom Power is very low, rebels will emerge, marshals will revolt, and if it's low for a long time, entire provinces can declare independence or join other nations.
  • Kill It with Fire: and MANY possible ways to do it. Marshals can learn a skill that lets all ranged siege weapons and archers to do this. Gatehouses can be upgraded with burning oil that does this to large groups at one time. Enemies set on fire stop fighting and even have a animation as they burn to death.
  • Set in The Middle Ages
    • The bulk of the game is set in The High Middle Ages however. There's 3 starting points in time, confusingly named Early, High and Late Middle Ages, although the dates don't really match up with Historical convention (The game's Early Middle Ages start at 1000 CE for instance).
  • Point Defenseless: Catapult towers, while very effective, will damage themselves if they try to fire at troops close to themselves.