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Crusader Kings 3 has a rival as beloved grand strategy game hits 1.0

Crusader Kings 3, Total War, and Europa Universalis have a fresh rival as a grand strategy game with great Steam reviews arrives at 1.0.

Great Houses of Calderia Steam: A noble lord from Steam grand strategy game Great Houses of Calderia

Europa Universalis, Civilization 6, and Stellaris offer unbridled opportunities for conquest, but it’s Crusader Kings 3 that manages to combine all this with a smart, domestic drama twist. Your ‘beloved’ family is a constant source of trouble – scheming spouses, warring siblings, and rival dynasties competing for power and control. As the Paradox classic approaches its fourth anniversary, another contender for the throne has just emerged. Finally available in full thanks to its 1.0 launch, it’s already accrued extremely favorable player reviews, and builds on the CK3 grand strategy formula.

This is Great Houses of Calderia, a grand strategy game that’s just had its formal release on Steam. Primarily, it’s set during the Mediterranean Renaissance, and casts you as an ambitious noble attempting to expand and consolidate your influence. Battles are fought in real time, and you need to make shrewd diplomatic decisions to woo – and backstab – competing nations. The real intrigue, however, happens closer to home.

Every strand of your burgeoning empire needs to be managed by one of your relatives. Make them a vassal, offer them titles, and boost their income and feudal powers to keep them happy. It sounds simple, but every member of your family has their own, frictive personality – if you appease one, you can expect to frustrate and anger another.

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Over time, their aspirations will change. What satisfied them a few years ago is now insufficient, and they want more, more, more. Sometimes you will have to force them into accepting roles they don’t want, causing further potential backlash. It’s a strategy game where psychology and emotional attachments play as large a role as knights and archers.

Great Houses of Calderia also has its own, open modding system, so you can create new characters, stories, and campaigns for yourself. Originally launched into Steam Early Access last year, its recent reviews are 88% positive. While the family management aspect is important, Great Houses of Calderia also focuses heavily on the economy and trade. It’s a mix of some of the best strategy traditions, and it’s just launched into 1.0. You can try it for yourself right here.

Alternatively, the best 4X games offer plenty of scope for world domination. You might also want to try the best management games, if you feel more equipped to build the perfect school or hospital.

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