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Paradox launches Horse Lords expansion for Crusader Kings 2

A screenshot from Crusader Kings 2

First, the bad news: Horse Lords does not had the Rohirrim to Crusader Kings 2. I know, I know. Where now are the horse and rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? Not in this DLC, apparently.

But as a consolation, Horse Lords will let you control the hordes of the Asian steppe. Instead of tediously sitting in one place, building “civilization” and ruling over people who sleep inside boring piles of brick, you can instead ride roughshod over the people of Europe and Asia as a horde of bloodthirsty nomads.

With the release of Horse Lords, I think we can safely call 2014 the Year of the Nomad Strategy Games. First Attila got to star in his own Total War game, and now Crusader Kings is being reinvented around the awesome, dangerous, and dynamic clans that ruled the lands between Europe and Asia, and who periodically put Christian knights in their place.

And while the feds might have shut down The Silk Road, it’s open for business in Horse Lords, baby!

From the Paradox press release:

Horse Lords introduces a wide range of new tools and mechanics to add even greater variety to what is already one of the most diverse titles in strategy gaming history.

Larger Map: The steppes of Central Asia are now open for you to conquer or develop

New rules for nomads: Now distinct from other pagan tribes, the Mongol and Turkic nomads draw strength from open pastures and large populations

Clan management: Struggle alongside rival clans within your nomadic nation, even launching civil wars to keep your khan on top

Tributaries: Vassals are often a lot of trouble, so why not simply force a conquered enemy to send u a load of gold every now and then? [Was this written on a phone?]

The Silk Road: This great historical trading route linked the Mediterranean and the Far East. Exploit its wealth or pillage its trade posts

Forts: New temporary structures you can build to hold enemy territory while your army marches onward

What I’m really excited to see is a treatment of the nomadic tribes as a society and civilization in their own right, rather than the purely negative force they tend to be in a lot of other strategy games. Now they’re not just this irrational force of devastation, but people with their own politics and power structures that force them into complicated conflicts with settled civilizations across Eurasia.

Horse Lords is $14.99 and available right now.