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Knights of Honor II: Sovereign guide – Beginner tips

1. Win. 2. Don't lose.

Knights of Honor II: Sovereign isn’t as complex on the campaign map as most Paradox titles and features smaller battles than Total War. That doesn’t mean that it’s a simple game, and the tutorial messages may not always get all the subtleties through. Let this list of Knights of Honor II tips help you.

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Knights of Honor II: Sovereign guide – Beginner tips and tricks

General starting tips

  • Get a merchant or two — Sending Merchant-class knights to countries that you have signed trade agreements with is how you make the big bucks
  • Inspect your towns for specialties — Check the Settlements/Features/Goods tab at the bottom of the screen. A town with castles is good for: a military line of buildings; villages for population; churches and shrines – religious buildings; and crop fields for farming.
  • Build Village Militia — It is a good building to improve local defenses without relying on constructing Barracks.
  • You spend books to buy characters new skills — They are upgraded via the same panel as they’re purchased, you just have to click on the skill you already have. This will cost not only books, but also gold.
Knights Of Honor 2 Sovereign beginner tips

You can check your province incomes in a handy table. Screenshot by PC Invasion

  • Non-Marshall knights don’t need military skills unless you’re really in a bind.
  • Only the king can die from old age; other knights stay with your forever unless they become king in some convoluted way, get assassinated, or die on he battlefield.
  • Sign trade and non-aggression pacts as soon you can with people you don’t think you’ll be fighting.
  • Trade agreements don’t do anything unless you assign a Merchant to trade with that country.
  • Your armies can cross neutral countries, but this will hurt their opinion of you. Non-aggression pacts allow you to do it safely.
  • A dismissed knight is gone for good.
  • If you get a prompt from your Knight about doing something (like bribing an enemy or doing a trade deal), the option to ‘think about it’ allows you to react to it later. Find it below the knight action panel.

Economy tips

  • Resources (gold, books, tradition, etc.) provide small benefits even when you reach their storage cap.
  • Food is important in many parts of the game, so maintain a steady green income via Crop Farming and other food-production buildings.
  • When you have excess food production, other countries may offer you to export it in exchange for gold.
  • All stable trade relations rely on your trade stat — view it as bandwidth. It can be increased the most via the Population set of buildings.
Knights Of Honor 2 Sovereign beginner tips

To get the most out of your limited merchant pool, try establishing trade with the greatest nations as they can have the most good that you may not produce natively. Screenshot by PC Invasion

  • Some buildings or building upgrades require you to have certain goods, like wool or ink. However, each good your country produces or imports also gives a certain small passive bonus.
  • You only have enough knights to govern 9 towns. Ungoverned towns are a lot less productive. However, switching which town is governed by who is free.

Knights of Honor II: Sovereign tips — War and diplomacy

War tips

  • Marshalls are best at leading armies, and other knights shouldn’t be taken away from their duties unless it’s an emergency or they don’t have anything to do (unlikely).
  • Everybody starts with peasant mobs. Village Militia is the fastest way to get better troops (Militia) while still lacking funds for Barracks.
  • Most troops need both local population and recruit pool expenditure to hire and reinforce.
  • Rivers in hostile territory take a long time to cross.
  • Troops and supplies don’t replenish automatically. You need to visit a friendly town and pay for it to happen.
  • Burning down Villages and Features is an alternative source of supplies on the go. They’re also a good source of gold (look for coin icons above them; three or more means the place is worth sacking).
  • A freshly conquered province can be rebellious and not give you access to building recruitment. An army can be used to put down the rebellion (cheap, but also bad), or a priest can attempt to adopt it (expensive, and may fail).

Battle tips

  • If you lose the battle, you lose the entire army. Better retreat manually and take some losses.
  • When an army takes an enemy capture point, it transfers to their side. So if you had a single point when an enemy had two, and you took one of their points, they would now need to take two points to defeat you.
  • A battle ends immediately once the last general on either side dies — that side loses.
  • A general is only considered dead when the last member of his unit dies. Unlike in older Total War games, you can’t lose the general without losing the entire unit.
  • You can tell units to close ranks (to protect against cavalry) or loosen ranks (to envelop enemies better).

Diplomacy tips

  • Marrying off children to friendly countries strengthens diplomatic relationships.
  • Non-aggression pacts and some other diplomatic things are voided when a king dies.
  • If a foreign ruler dies and one of your children ascends to the throne, you will be given the choice to press the claim on a territory — this may mean getting it for free.
  • Not pressing a claim improves relationships massively.
  • You can free prisoners to increase relationships with the country in question and your nobility.
Knights Of Honor 2 Sovereign beginner tips

You can become a great power even without conquering half the continent. Screenshot by PC Invasion

  • You don’t need to send a Diplomat to engage in most diplomacy options.
  • A diplomat can stay in your country and be set to increase your standing with your people.
  • Each population group — from merchants to peasants — cares about different areas of activity with regards to whether their approval rises or drops. Soldiers like victories, merchants like the kingdom accomplishing deals, etc. High approval is good for everything.
  • Crown Authority increases and decreases depending on how well you do in the game, but you can also pay for it by clicking the crown icon.

Espionage tips

  • You need a spy to infiltrate a country and learn its secrets.
  • Some spy actions — like killing knights — are only available if the spy has unlocked certain skills.
  • Witchunt action hunts for spies in your territory. There may be none.
  • Bribing a prisoner to start a rebellion will result in a much stronger rebellion.

That does it for our Knights of Honor II tips guide. It’s wise to note, however, that even with tips, sometimes the best teacher is experience. Best of luck.

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Martynas Klimas
Always chasing that full-time-game-reviewer fairy. Perennially grumpy about Warhammer 40,000. Big fan of RTS, RPG, and FPS games. Has written for other sites. The only Lithuanian you know.