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Old 07-28-2009, 02:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Interested in Knights of Honor? Read this first!

I played this game like mad back when it first came out and then decided to pick it up when it was re-released on Steam. Turns out it's still a great game and well worth it. Hopefully this post will clear up some important things so you can get the most out of it.

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Technical details you might want to know:
  • It works in Vista and Windows 7 (32/64bit) regardless of old info to the contrary. The old demo may fail to run, but the demo released back then was never patched up to the latest version.
  • It only supports 1024x768, but this fills up my widescreen display and doesn't look stretched at all with the monitor's built-in scaling. If your widescreen stretches 4:3 resolutions badly, you may want to go into your nVidia or ATI control panel and have your video card pre-scale it before it gets to your monitor so it will display correctly.
  • This game is solid and I have never run into any bugs other than a minor grammatical error in some text at one point, but that's it.
  • The Readme.txt included with the game claims that Task Switching/Alt-Tabbing isn't fully supported, but it has worked fine for me every time.
  • If you have multiple displays, you will not have any problem using the edges of the screen to scroll across the map.
  • The current version of Knights of Honor on Steam is 1.03.1531 and it works fine, however there was a 1.05 patch released in 2007 which introduces a map editor and exposes tools for player mods along with many new features, changes and fixes. None of them are necessary and the patch actually introduces a few minor bugs along with increasing the difficulty of the game in some cases. I haven't found the need or interest to install the 1.05 patch yet, so I'm not even sure if it will work on the Steam version without tweaking. If you want to play with player made mods at some point, you will need to try installing the 1.05 patch which is linked below.

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Important upfront notes:
  • Be prepared to go through the tutorial and read the manual (linked below). The tutorial isn't too long, but it also doesn't go too deeply into any of what it teaches you. You might consider starting a game and fiddling around a bit before touching the manual, just to have some context. You can play the game without it, but there is a bit to learn to get the most out of it.
  • Multiplayer is limited to the battle mode, so you can't connect up with friends and ally together to conquer Europe.
  • There are a bunch of game hotkeys that you will not see mentioned anywhere in the game or in the Readme.txt. I've listed the important keys at the bottom of this post, but you can see all the keys by reading the manual.

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Useful Links:

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This is a kingdom management/warfare simulation game which you play using 3 different views: the strategic view, the battle view and the political view. You can think of these as 3 zoom levels.
  • The political view is the full map of Europe with different information overlays for making important decisions. Who's at war, who's allied, what are the rumors about them, etc, giving you the information you need to be able to wage smart wars or to avoid becoming the victim of them. The political view is also the most convenient view for quickly engaging in diplomacy between the various kingdoms. It is a very important view and should not be neglected, especially for small kingdoms which need the strength and trade goods of powerful allies. It can save you from becoming friends with a kingdom everyone hates and accidentally getting yourself into a bucket of wars.
  • The strategic view is the eagle's eye view of your lands where you will manage your towns and armies. It has a minimap in the lower right which has a few zoom levels to choose from. You will notice that on the minimap your towns will be displayed in white, so you can look for those if you get lost on the map. The strategic view and the political view share many interface features, so unless you are at war many of your common activities can be done in either view.
  • The battle view is where you will micromanage your armies currently in combat if the outcome is questionable, so that you might turn the tide. The battle view is only available when one of your towns or marshals are about to engage in a battle. To enter this view, you need to select "I'll Lead" when the option is provided or it will run its course automatically. The battle view will be different depending on the area in which the battle began. There can be castle battles, river battles and open field battles. There are also ship battles, but those take place strictly in the strategic view. If your battle takes place at a castle you will be able to see and take advantage of the defensive upgrades you invested in. Depending on how you play, it is possible to complete an entire game without ever going into the battle view.

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From these 3 views you will need to manage several different types of kingdom assets in order to survive.
  • Your Kingdom: Depending on which kingdom you select, you will of course start with different neighbors in a different spot of Europe, but you will also begin with assets to fit the kingdom you start with. More or less royal family members, gold, income, provinces/towns, village benefits, trade goods, land and pre-existing upgrades or bonuses. There are some units specific to certain kingdoms, and there are also bonus buildings or units you can gain by having certain trade goods available. On the grand scale, all of this will be considered by the other kingdoms to decide who they should trade or ally with and who they should conquer.
  • The Royal Family: You have a king with stats that give bonuses to your kingdom. If he's married, you have a queen whose sole purpose is to have children. If the queen has children, you may have princes and/or princesses which can be hired as knights or married off to improve relations. Over time they will grow old and die, the children will grow up to take the throne and the cycle will continue as they get married, have children, then grow old and die. There is also the danger of losing all heirs to the throne if you put your royal family members at risk by hiring them as knights. At that point you will either lose the game or one of your knights outside the royal family will assume the crown, which can be disasterous if that knight is actually an enemy spy. If you have multiple princes you can also choose a successor based on the prince with the stats you prefer, but if you don't select the oldest then he may turn against you if he feels dishonored.
  • Knights: Your kingdom may only have 9 active knights at any given time. There are 6 different types of knights, not just the kind that wear shining armor. Knights are essentially people you have chosen to entrust with certain important tasks inside your court. You can have multiple types of each knight and you can replace them at any time to meet the needs of your kingdom, assuming you can afford to. You must be aware that there is a chance the new knight you hire will actually be an enemy spy. Aside from the Marshal, all other knights can be taught with books to improve their skill. Marshals must gain experience from battle which can be put toward skills. A large part of your success in this game will be due to managing knights to expand your kingdom or strengthen what you have and become a powerful influence in Europe.
  • Armies: When one of your Marshals is at a mercenary camp or in one of your towns, you can hire military units to fill out an army. Your towns can also have a small local army that stays to defend it even if the Marshal is away. If the town has the proper buildings then siege units can be added to the army making it especially good at assaulting enemy towns. Army morale is important, because if it is low then your units will be less confident and less aggressive resulting in higher death tolls per encounter. If one of your armies is losing a battle, you can have one of your other armies come to assist it and then both armies will fight more effectively as it will increase their overall morale. There is a maximum of 2 armies per side in any battle. An important asset of an army is the food wagon, which does not automatically fill itself. You need to click the food icon below the Marshals portrait when they are in a town, or plunder an enemy village to restock some of the food wagon. If the army runs out of food then morale will be damaged.
  • Provinces/Towns: You have major towns protected by castles and outlying villages protected by nothing. A town and the collection of villages around it are considered a province. There are 4 major roles for a town: giving you trade goods, earning you gold/books/piety, supplying food and people for armies, and finally defending itself. All upgrades that you do to this province will be done at the major town. All upgrades cost gold and will build at a speed determined by the number of workers you have and the amount of work required to complete it. These upgrades will sometimes apply bonuses to all the surrounding villages, but many of them apply only to the major town or castle. When you are at war or when there are rebels in your lands, the surrounding villages may get burned down which will result in you losing the bonuses of that village temporarily until it rebuilds itself. It is possible to gain extra bonuses to your province by assigning a knight to govern it. The type of bonus you gain will depend on the type of knight. Having more workers in a town will result in buildings completing faster and increased food stores/food production will allow the population to increase so you can quickly put together an army and feed them. If you lose all of your provinces, you will lose the game.
  • Trade goods: Provinces have different trade goods available on them which can allow for the purchase of special buildings or military units. They can also be traded for gold, though your trade goods may just serve as another reason for neighboring kingdoms to conquer you if your army is weak. Having a collection of trade goods that complement eachother can create a synergy which is called a Kingdom Advantage, unlocking a bonus for your kingdom.
  • Kingdom Power: If you have extra gold and piety laying around you can dump some of it by clicking the Kingdom Power button in the top left of the screen. This will I guess demonstrate your religious and financial influence to your population and to other kingdoms. As a result, your income will increase up until you hit a maximum Kingdom Power level of 5. Upgrading your Kingdom Power is like shifting gears and you should try to do it at the right time so as not to waste it when the benefits of doing so are not in line with the cost. If you embarass your population by damaging trade relations or making disrespectful diplomatic requests, your Kingdom Power may drop a level. If your Kingdom Power is low, that will also be considered by other kingdoms when they are deciding whether they should go to war with you or not.
  • Allies: If you build up your network of allies, you can ask them to attack an enemy which may keep the enemy's army busy enough that you might be able to safely wage war without strong resistance. You can also have them break off relations with an enemy of yours which may deny them a critical trade good or reduce their gold income enough to limit their ability to resupply armies.

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Important Controls:

All Views
  • +, - and * keys on the numpad at the right of the keyboard will allow you to control the game speed. Use this when waiting on building construction or gold income, but be sure to slow it back down as soon as a building is finished or when you get an important notice. For the most part you can just tap * to toggle between 1.0 and 10.0 speed, but if you need all the time you can get, then use the - key to get down to a speed of 0.5.

Strategic View
  • B toggles the build panel of a town
  • H toggles happiness panel of a town
  • Space centers the screen on your selection
  • R resupplies your army in the town with food and men. This costs gold, it's not free.
  • Backspace will cycle through war event locations
  • C will tell your army to set up camp
  • Shift can be used to select multiple units, but also if you keep holding Shift while issuing movement commands they will be
    queued up as waypoints.
  • F1 opens the Royal Library
  • F2 Quicksaves
  • F3 Quickloads
  • F5 opens the Royal Dynasty
  • F6 opens the Kingdom Wealth
  • F7 opens the Kingdom Advantages
  • F8 opens the Province Overview
  • F9 opens the Kingdom Rankings
  • F10 will toggle between the Political and Strategic views

Political View
  • Most of the strategic view keys can also be used within the political view
  • Space selects your own kingdom
  • Numpad keys 1-9 will let you switch between the different overlays. The overlay buttons in the bottom right of the screen are laid out just like the numpad keys and they correspond to eachother.

Battle view
  • Holding right click with a squad selected will allow you to reorient them and choose a formation density.
  • Shift can be used to select multiple units, but also if you keep holding Shift while issuing movement commands they will be queued up as waypoints.
  • Alt+1 or 2 will select either your first or second marshal on the field
  • Shift+A will select all of army 1
  • Alt+A will select all of army 2
  • Ctrl+A will select all squads
  • Ctrl plus any number key can be used to assign a group to a squad or set of squads
  • C will tell a squad to charge
  • F will toggle cease fire for a squad
  • G will tell the squad to stand its ground
  • Space centers the screen on your current selection
  • O will tell the squad to shoot
  • F7 will display the number of arrows left for the squad
  • W chooses the wedge formation
  • Q chooses the square formation
  • I chooses the line formation
  • D will widen the formation
  • N will narrow the formation

Last edited by CMay: 10-28-2011 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:02 PM   #2
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__________________________________________________ ____________________________

  • At the beginning when you are picking a kingdom to play as, think of each kingdom as a scenario which can be more or less difficult on top of the existing difficulty settings. Starting with few assets will give you less to manage, but you will have to manage it well and many other kingdoms may want to conquer you. Starting with many assets and a lot of towns will give you more to manage, but you will also be much more capable of protecting what you have and other kingdoms will want to be friends with you in order to trade for your goods.
  • Check the stats of your king in the Royal Dynasty to see if there are any bonuses you should take advantage of. You might also decide to plan ahead to make extended use of knights which benefit from stats that both your king and the current successor have so that when the king dies you will still be benefiting from those bonuses. If you have multiple princes, you might decide to select the one with your preferred stats as the successor. Of course in most cases you should simply hire knights for what you absolutely need and not just based around what bonuses you have, but it is something to keep in mind.
  • Your king and princes can be hired as knights for free to fill important roles, but you can also quickly change their role at any time. If you need a building to build faster, you can make one of them a builder and assign them to govern that town. If you need to calm your population you can make a cleric and have it govern the town, and so on. Whenever the task or problem is over, you can then call them back and unassign them if you want. Be careful assigning a king or prince as a merchant and telling him to go trade, because you won't be able to free them up from their trade task without incurring a relationship penalty with the kingdom they're trading with, not to mention the kingdom power decrease.
  • If you have multiple provinces and are trying to keep them all busy building some town improvement, press F10 and click the buildings button. You can then see which of your provinces are busy and which are not.
  • It might be wise to construct buildings which provide extra workers early on, so that your later constructions will complete faster. Once you have filled the entire town with buildings, you can then destroy some of the early buildings which are only good for extra workers so that you can free up a slot to build a more important building.
  • Plan the skills for your marshals carefully. You will likely want 2 or more armies that are good at laying siege and 1 or 2 which have travel bonuses to quickly respond if you have a lot of land to rule.
  • If you are going to intercept and attack rebels or armies which are plundering your villages, do so as early as possible, because they are gaining experience and skills by attacking each of the villages which will make them more difficult to fight once they've skilled up. Plus, your population is less happy when they're on fire.
  • Hiring a spy and leaving him unassigned will allow him to work on uncovering any enemy spies that might get hired into your court.
  • Hiring a cleric and teaching him with books can eventually lead to him becoming the new pope, allowing you to excommunicate and call for crusades on your enemies.
  • Use the Kingdom Rankings listing to see who the most powerful or rich kingdoms are to help locate good kingdoms to ally with, then investigate them in the political view to hear the rumors and see who their enemies are. Of course it helps a little if their kingdom isn't too far away from yours, as they will be more able to come to your aid, or you to theirs.
  • In the political view, click the ? icon in the lower right to see a legend of what the different overlay icons mean on the map.
  • You can use the Royal Library in some cases instead of referring to the manual, and it may also include information not found in the manual. Becoming familiar with the library and its various sections can be useful for quick reference.
  • Under the Royal Dynasty, you can click the Claim Title button to ask for a vote to be held which will determine if you are fit to rule Europe. Don't do this unless you think you are powerful and influential, as it's possible to have your relationship with all kingdoms decreased as a result of your arrogance.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:46 AM   #3
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Great post. Thanks for the information.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:43 AM   #4
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Handy - and agreed, an amazing game. Wish there was a sequel..
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:19 AM   #5
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Awesome guide. Thank you!
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:00 AM   #6
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Thumbs up

Great post!

Awesome game still, I wish there was a sequel as well. If only to update the grapics slightly.
The tutorial on this game is outstanding. Well spoken and not too long.

After reading your post I am about to actually buy the game now using Steam.

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Old 01-09-2011, 04:22 PM   #7
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Bump. A must read post that ought to be stickied.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:33 PM   #8
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Great Guide! I have played this game for several years. Fantastic game. I have a question.

"Download the soundtrack for free from the musician's website under the Projects section"

How do you do that? I have been in that section but i can only listen to it not download it.

Sorry for my bad english and thanks in advance!
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:18 PM   #9
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Great post!

This should be stickied!
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:35 AM   #10
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Great post! Answered all of my pre-purchase questions!
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:02 AM   #11
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I bought the game because of this great post! Very informative
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:36 PM   #12
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Nice info thanks

My only complaint is that there was never any workaround/patch for widescreen displays.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:59 AM   #13
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Updated the post to include the direct link to the KoH soundtrack page on the musician's site, since the projects page no longer links to it.

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Old 01-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #14
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I'm curious where exactly are the tweak-able values located? Patch 1.5 offers the ability to adjust the AI settings. I can't seem to locate any of the .in2 files though. I've looked in the steamapps\common folder and the appdata folder no luck. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:39 PM   #15
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I was just randomly browsing Paradox titles and stumbled upon this. Can't believe I'd never heard of it before.

Stellar post, thank you. Made me buy it right away instead of just adding to wishlist. Have some rep, good sir.
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