Atlas Reactor: Brynn

Ok, so I decided to stop being lazy and blog about my current Brynn build. It's essentially a shield build for survivability.

Refer to this website for more details on Brynn's abilities and mods.

(1) Impale: Hold the Line (2 mod tokens)

Improves survivability. Aegis would already half the damage. With this mod, you can eliminate most damage from a single freelancer (other than ultimate ability, of course).

(2) Aegis: Shieldbearer (3 mod tokens)

The best Brynn's ability in my opinion. What could make it better? Make it last another turn. On the turn you use it, movement and position yourself such that you're under cover on as many sides as possible, including that provided by the persisting Aegis.

(3) Soaring Shield: Wind Up (2 mod tokens)

I selected mods for other abilities and only then considered this ability. The default ability is still good: it gives greater flexibility and sometimes it can catch enemies off-guard.

(4) Flight of the Valkyrie: Battle Hardened (1 mod token)

Improves survivability. Shield lasts until end of next turn. I did consider Warden but I rather not get hit and give enemies energy.

(5) Spear of Hyperion: Indomitable (2 mod tokens)

Improves survivability. I guess Shattered Will can give similar effect but sometimes your target dies and thus it's inconsequential. Shield on the other hand absorbs damage from any enemies.

Here are some gameplays:

Crusader Kings 2: Tanistry (Part 4)

(continue from Part 3)

CK2 6Nov17_8

As usual, Catholic has the largest realm. What's interesting though is that Hindu has the second largest realm, Tengri (probably thanks to Mongol Empire) occupies the 4th position and Buddhist in 6th place. Sunni was completely wiped off. Shocking, eh?

CK2 6Nov17_9

The King of England held the largest realm among my direct vassals (just slightly less than 10% of my realm), followed closely by King of Syria (he was on a roll with his holy wars lol) and King of Poland. However, due to a marriage in the past, the King of England was also the King of Navarra although the latter's kingdom was smaller.

CK2 6Nov17_10

Yes, I had the largest army :)

CK2 6Nov17_11

The only difference among the top 5 compared to the previous list sorted by army size is that Egypt is pushed down to 4th position. I wonder how they had such a large army compared to its realm size.

In my current campaign, the Mongol Empire's realm size at one point was only 85 but with an army size of 100k+. Crazy.

CK2 6Nov17_12

These were the titles I held directly. I held all the counties within the 2 duchies. I'm happy that I managed to hold on to them till the end (needed some stewardship, including spouse's; centralisation and higher titles). I believed I held more than this at certain points but gave them away either because they exceeded my demesne limit or for political reasons.

So although I didn't beat my highest score to date, I was the most powerful here.

Crusader Kings 2: Tanistry (Part 3)

(continue from Part 2)

CK2 6Nov17_3

Due to de jure drift, Kingdom of Britanny, Navarra and Lapp had become part of Empire of Alba. Also note that I had sufficient counties to create the Wendish Empire but I didn't for fear of split in empire titles once different heirs are nominated for the empires (Tanistry).

CK2 6Nov17_4

Yellow = Empire of Alba (my realm)
White = Christian defensive pact vs Alba
Green = Muslim defensive pact vs Alba
Red = Pagan defensive pact vs Alba

Yes, late game I couldn't declare war because of these pacts. I often had 80% - 100% threat level @@. Fortunately, my vassals were actively declaring war and so I would join their wars (more like take over because their armies disappeared the moment they accepted my offer) if they were faltering.

CK2 6Nov17_2

Sunni was either gone or very tiny (evidently). Mongolia Empire this time adopted Tengri and so largely propped up Paganism.

Crusader Kings 2: Tanistry (Part 2)

(continue from Part 1)

CK2 6Nov17_1

Disjointed realm, right? Some were my own doing but my vassals were responsible for the bulk of it.

Here's how some of them became part of my realm (not in chronological order):

(PS: sometimes I created duchy/kingdom titles and granted them to vassal, along with all lower ranked vassals within that duchy/kingdom, to manage my vassal limit)

(1) Kingdom of England

Each county was conquered based on fabricated claims and de jure claims (I created and granted duchies to my vassals). I did try to usurp, with the intention of vassalising as much lords as possible and then destroy the title (I didn't want a powerful vassal) but most of the remaining counties were then held by the former English king and, understandably, he refused to be my vassal. Hence the slower way of conquest.

Later, after I had made sure that substantial part of England was held by vassals with primary titles outside of England, I created and granted the Kingdom of England to a dynastic member who held an Irish county.

(2) Kingdom of Lithuania

Won by crusade. Granted to a dynastic member who held an English duchy.

(3) Kingdom of Syria

Won by crusade. Granted to a dynastic member.

(4) Kingdom of Lotharingia

Created after my vassals managed to get sufficient number of counties from HRE. I helped in some of those wars. In fact, oftentimes I purposely chose to press my vassals claim on counties that de jure part of the kingdom.

(5) Kingdom of Bohemia

HRE was slowing taking back county by county from them after they had gained independence from the empire. My vassal, King of Poland, declared war, and won, to claim the title King of Bohemia. Later, there were civil wars that split these two, rejoined and finally split again.

(6) Kingdom of Poland

At one point, the king was my kinsman. I pressed another kinsman claim to the kingdom and thereby incorporating Poland into my empire.

(7) King of Britanny

A vassal managed to claim the main duchy, which constituted the entire kingdom! I can't remember I helped or not, neither could I remember whether I tried to vassalise the rest of the counts (if any) after creating this title.

I usually create and bestow it to a vassal only if it doesn't pose danger to my rule (i.e. small kingdom, like what happened to Kingdom of England in (1) above) or that the vassal already could create such title eventually. In the latter's case, it's better for me to create and grant to that vassal so as to gain boost in opinion with him.

I believed it didn't start with a kinsman as its king but through their own arranged marriages, somehow it ended with one.

(8) Kingdom of Wales


(9) Kingdom of Denmark

Pressed my kinman's claim.

(10) Kingdom of Lapland

Usurped, I think.

(11) Kingdom of Aragon

This is quite interesting. Due to marriage and inheritance, at one point the King of Aragon was a kinsman. I was happy to leave them be (I love expanding my dynasty) until I saw that the game warned me of titles leaving my realm. It turned out that he married my vassal, Queen of Wales, and sired a son who would inherit both kingdoms.

The danger was this: if the king died before the queen, then their son would be the new King of Aragon. Since he wasn't my vassal, Aragon would still be an independent state and that was ok. However, when his mother die, he would also inherit Wales and since he wasn't my vassal, Wales would fall out of my realm and united with Aragon. Once method to circumvent this, which I belatedly realised in my current campaign, was to simply make their son my vassal by granting land to him, if I don't mind shrinking my personal demesne.

Instead, I pressed, and succeeded, their son's claim to Aragon (yes, overthrew his father) and thereby bringing Aragon into my realm.

(12) Kingdom of Sweden

Created/usurped after getting sufficient number of counties.

(13) Kingdom of Ireland

Created and granted to a vassal once substantial part of Ireland was held by vassals with primary titles outside of Ireland. I could just leave it be but this way granted me more recurring prestige points.

(14) Kingdom of Castille

Created and granted to a vassal to get more recurring prestige points. Kingdom was small and so posed no threat to me.

(15) Kingdom of Pomerania

Created and granted to a vassal to get more recurring prestige points. Kingdom was small and so posed no threat to me.

(16) Kingdom of Rus

I don't know why this happened: there were 2 factions vying for the throne in the kingdom. The eventual winner was spouse to a kinswoman of my dynasty (matrilineal). Somehow Rus became part of my realm! I don't know why. Even if they both were my vassals, Rus should be an independent state since the claimant wasn't my vassal.

Interestingly, he was then losing to the remaining faction (and another faction demanding lower crown authority) but somehow won in the end @@.

(17) Kingdom of Finland

Created/usurped after getting sufficient number of counties.

(18) Kingdom of Leon

Successfully pressed vassal's claim.

(19) Duchy of Iceland

Fabricated claims on relevant counties by a vassal and probably by me as well. Created/usurped once available.

(20) Duchy of Galloway

It was always there but due to state intrigue (attempt to imprison due to "evidence" -> rebel -> won), I managed to revoke and grant it to a kinsman.

(21) Duchy of Lothian

It was always there but iirc, I did the whole "state intrigue" thingy so that a kinsman got it.

(22) Duchy of Burgundy

Successful pressed Duke of Iceland's claim. At one point, he held 4 duchies but later split due to Gravelkind but reunited when one side didn't have male heir and finally split again.

(23) Duchy of Mann

It was always there.

(24) Duchy of Albany

It was always there. Belonged to the former Scottish king.

(25) Duchy of Champagne

Created/usurped after getting sufficient number of counties.

Crusader Kings 2: Tanistry (Part 1)

I've blogged about significant reloads in this campaign. I believed (it's been sometime since I finished this campaign) that there were no more major reloads after those.

At the outset, I aimed for Tanistry succession law and to finish with it. I'm proud that I managed to do it. Yes, there are downsides to this law e.g. can't really control what foreign land your heir can inherit (unlike Primogeniture) but, oh boy, the stability it brings to the realm is amazing. Elective Monarchy can arguably be more stable but Tanistry guarantees that the realm stays within your dynasty.

CK2 6Nov17_5

CK2 6Nov17_6

CK2 6Nov17_7

The score of 139,066 didn't beat my personal record of 178,253. Realm is smaller than the latter's (1,165 vs 1,214) and, due to Tanistry, I didn't hold as many titles (for fear of splitting the realm due to different nominees).

22 rulers. Peter the Cruel ruled the longest (56 years) while Emperor Lachlan the Great has the highest score (12,386).

As with previous campaign, I started off as Duke of Moray who automatically had a strong claim on Kingdom of Scotland. Unfortunately, this time, I couldn't muster enough armies to best my liege and so I didn't. I aimed to conquer counties that was within my de jure duchy and aimed for the Irish counties that constituted the Duchy of Ulster. The idea was to have 2 duchies (each duchy above 2 would incurred -10 penalty with vassals) with a total of 8 counties.

Unexpectedly, the other Scottish lords formed a faction to install me as the King of Scotland. I went about my personal conquest objective, thinking that I could join them when they make their demand. I was wrong. Hence, I reloaded and joined their faction. If I recall correctly, that pushed the faction's armies to be well above the king's and so the faction leader very soon made his demand.

We won but there were 2 other factions also wanting to put their guys on throne. So after I became King of Scotland, I had to defeat these other two factions but by then my armies had dwindled significantly and I wasn't helped by others. I just had my own armies and the levies raised from my vassals, excluding the rebels' armies.

So, I aimed to merely obtain white peace from them. One faction was easily dealt with but the other took a while. Phew.

At the end of this campaign, I was Emperor of Alba, Duke of Moray, Duke of Ulster and held all counties (8 in total) in the 2 duchies. At some point, I had to destroy Kingdom of Scotland title because different heirs were nominated for the empire and the kingdom. As stated earlier, I could have held many more titles but didn't.

At the end of the game, I had the following as my direct vassals:

  • King of England (dynastic member)
  • King of Lithuania (dynastic member)
  • King of Syria (dynastic member)
  • King of Lotharingia (dynastic member)
  • King of Bohemia (dynastic member)
  • King of Poland (dynastic member)
  • King of Brittany (dynastic member)
  • Queen of Wales
  • King of Denmark (dynastic member)
  • King of Lapland (dynastic member)
  • King of Aragon (dynastic member)
  • King of Sweden (dynastic member)
  • Queen of Ireland (dynastic member)
  • King of Castille
  • King of Pomerania
  • King of Rus (dynastic member)
  • King of Finland
  • King of Leon
  • Duke of Iceland (dynastic member)
  • Duchess of Galloway (dynastic member)
  • Duke of Lothian (dynastic member)
  • Duke of Burgundy (dynastic member)
  • Duchess of Mann
  • Duke of Albany
  • Duke of Champagne
  • 14 vassal baronies (i.e. Barons, Mayors and Bishops)
I can remember how some of them came about. I'll blog about them in later blogposts.

End of Cycle 4

With bated breath, we look at the blood test result. Since we didn't know exactly which liver function test to look out for, I tried finding one that has its upper limit in the 40s. I found only one: ALT, with upper limit of 41. The reading was exactly 41!

Although it was significantly below 60+, it was still way above his usual 20+. However, we thought that he would be allowed to do chemo because it wasn't flagged out as "high" by the pathology lab and that there would be a 14-day gap before the start of Cycle 5 Day 1 chemo after this second session of Cycle 4.

Luckily we were right! Phew. Kidney function reading stabilised just within the normal range. Dad gained a little weight. Not a problem. In fact, there was good news (as acknowledged by the oncologist): dad added duration of his walks and also lengthened the time between morphine intakes from 4 hours to 5 and then to the current 6 hours. Yet, there was no pain in his leg. If he crosses over 6 hours, then there is slight pain. So the current limit is 6 hours. This "experiment" was done due to the oncologist advice: it's how we find out whether dad still needs the morphine or not.

Let's hope the next tumour marker reading drops further!

Butterworth Cafe

Years ago, my parents and my sister's family dined at this restaurant a few times. They loved it. Later, they also dined at Butterworth Western Food which later they found out that it's operated by someone who is former partner of the cafe's operator. My parents thought that the latter wasn't as good as the former.

So when Ban wanted a change in routine by having dinner outside, I suggested Butterworth Cafe. My dad joined us too.

I chose a set meal that included mushroom soup, root beer, grilled fish and lychee pudding.

Butterworth Cafe 1

Butterworth Cafe 2

First thing I noticed was the pitiful amount of salad. Doubling that would had been much better. At almost the same time, I noticed the brown sauce. Normally grilled fish comes with white sauce but this one came with BBQ sauce! So unusual and it was not nice for me.

The fish was grilled with a layer of flour. Seems like it was pan-fried rather than grilled.

Overall, it wasn't to my liking.

Butterworth Cafe 3

The root beer came in this cute glass :)

The mushroom soup had more mushroom and less cream. Those who are used to the creamy version (e.g. my dad) will probably not like this. I, however, like this.

Butterworth Cafe 4

The lychee pudding is arguably the best item of the set (well, the root beer was nice too but it was as expected). It was smooth, soft and not too sweet. Ironically, we suspect that it wasn't made by the cafe as it was served together with a plastic spoon.

As an extra, I ordered the tiramisu cake. Unfortunately, it was cream cheese based. It was like cheese cake with sprinkle of mocha. It wasn't as soft as expected.

Overall, it was a poor dining experience. My dad also didn't like it and concluded that the Butterworth Western Food is probably the better choice now.