Some notes on what I did to get this achievement. Not exactly a guide as it’s far too complex of an achievement to make an actual step-by-step guide on it.
Tips to Obtain Lingua Franca Achievement
Basically, this guide are just going to be some advice taken from what I did to complete this achievement, but i hope it will help some of you.
I’ll divide it into segments on the different game aspects, so you can get an all around idea of how I play the game while not having to read through things you dont feel you need advice on.
I highly recommend starting as a Norse ruler for this achievement. I started as Harald Fairhair in 867, but there are probably better Norse starts.
Character Finder (Filters)
First you’ll want several filters in your character finder, so you might aswell set these up straight off the bat.
Unmarried Courtier: Relation: Court, Marital Status: Unmarried, Adult: Adult.
You’ll want to marry off your female courtiers to get decent councilors, and from there as many knights with good prowess as possible. You’ll want to marry off your male courtiers to young females that you can marry off matrilineally for more knights once their husbands die.
Vassal Religion: Relation: Vassals (Alternatively direct vassals), Religion: Not your own
You’ll want to check this every now and then especially later game, just demand conversion whenever you feel you’re getting a few too many infidels.
Heir wife (In the marriage finder): Age difference: 5, Fertility: Fertile, Traits: Inheritable (Toggle off if you’re looking for alliances or don’t have anyone with inheritables)
Heir wife2 (Character finder): Diplomatic Range: Inside, Adult: Child, Gender: The one you’re looking for), Marital status: Unmarried.
I’ll only use this when i’m looking for someone very specific for my heir and i cant find someone suitable through the marriage finder, in which case i’ll try to get a marriage either through swaying or kidnapping.
Alternatively you can add different dynasty filters, they can be useful later game when you want to find suitable dynasty members to grant land, establish dynasty marriages or simply overview the powerbase of your dynasty.
Which lifestyle you choose in the beginning highly depend on who you start as, but considering I highly recommend starting as a Norse ruler in 867 for this achievement, you’ll want to go Marshal.
Marshal: I usually pick Bellum Justum first to conserve prestige and piety, from there I go down the right path on Gallant untill I get Household Guard. You might from there want to pick up Strict Organization but if not just finish the Gallant tree.
I’ll usually go roll Marshal for 2-3 rulers, on the 2-3 I might go Stewardship after getting Household Guard for the extra cash, will detail Stewardship later.
Once I’m established and comfortable with my position, I’ll educate all my potential heirs with learning for the rest of the game, I always hightail the Scholar tree all the way down, then I’ll switch to stewardship and get Heregeld and War profiteer in the Avaricious tree, by the time I get those I cant change yet, so I’ll usually move down towards Centralization, but if I can change before that I do.
Now what I change to depends on my age, if i’m uncertain of my coming health I’ll go back into learning to at the very least get Know thyself, I might go all the way to Whole of Body if it’s important i stay alive, as in the case of forming the North sea empire or managing certain vassals.
If i’m comfortable with my health i’ll either go marshal or intrigue based on where I’m at in the game.
If I wage alot of wars I’ll go the marshal path explained earlier, if at peace I’ll go intrigue to more easily manage opponents and vassals through murder and dread.
I -never- go diplomacy, not that it cant be useful, but I simply find this path extremely effective in nearly every situation.
Succession and Managing Personal Holdings
Development, development, development. You’ll want to get cultural fascinations as fast as possible, that’s why in the Lifestyle segment I’ll focus heavily on the learning tree.
Hybradizing or diverging your culture really helps with this, as it’ll give you control over the territory you’ll need development in.
Personal holdings: Find yourself a decent duchy, but one mistake you should avoid that alot make, don’t decide on the duchy by the amount of counties, decide by looking at barony slots.
A county with 3 slots will only allow 1 castle, but a county with 4 will allow 2 castles. My capital duchy for example, Essex only has 5 counties, but allowed me 8 castles, later game you might take control of another duchy to have more castle holdings. One of the many reasons you want to be Norse is so you can establish Scandinavian Elective in the duchy, allowing your to pass on all your castles to your heir.
Succession: As mentioned, Scandinavian elective for your capital duchy.
From there, don’t expand too quickly, focus on getting your Empire title, and grant Kingdom titles to vassals, don’t be afraid of this, it will mean you’ll have more powerful vassals, but also fewer, which is easily manageable through alliances considering you can have concubines.
As soon as you have Patrition, you can expand galore, just dont make more than one Empire Title.
Build buildings! There’s usually only 3 buildings slots needed to establish a powerhouse of a castle:
Military camp, farms and fields and barracks if you have space, if you can build trade port I do that instead of Barracks, in duchy capital holdings I choose Mansion before Barracks.
Duchy capital building I always go Archery Ranges because I heavily focus on archers in my retinues (Stacking bonuses to make them invincible by late game)
Vigmen and Onagers, maybe 1 retinue of Varangians from the start but Vigmen is main focus, especially once you start stacking military camps.
Later game go all out Crossbows with 2-3 retinues with trebuches, I go 2.
2 Armies with rapid siege speed is enough when you have half the world as dynasty allies. (Explained later)
Culture (Key to the Achievement)
As mentioned before I hybradized my culture to have control over the territory i’d have to focus my development. Culture is going to be an important part of your game, here’s why:
First off when I hybradized the culture, I switched Bellicose with Bureaucratic for the cultural fascination, and because the learning lifestyle would be my numero uno for the rest of the game.
When I could pick my second tradition I picked Philosopher culture for the extra fascination and learning lifestyle xp, although this isn’t essential for your playthrough.
Second tradition I added is by FAR the most important part of getting this achievement this quickly:
By The Sword! You won’t really need this untill you’ve established a powerhouse of a men-at-arms force, and gotten a solid income, but this is what I meant when I said you’d have to just play the game up to a certain point. When you’ve reached your snowball point, get this and start conquering the world one kingdom at the time, the key here to the achievement is not keeping all the territory for yourself, you’ll get far too many powerful vassals. Instead you divide the land amongst dynasty members (very important) and then grant them independence, dukes will not have royal courts, and as they’re your dynasty members, you can call them to war at any time as long as you’re the house head, this means that you get to a point in the game when you cant lose, because you’ll have more independent dynasty members than you have vassals that can participate in factions.
Important note on this though is that it’s important you mass breed your dynasty, this means always marrying off family members, female matrilineally unless you need a specific alliance, focus on congenital traits, and gift landed family members concubines when you can.
Breeding (Key to Achievement)
In all my games with a big goal like this, I always aim to concecrate the bloodline. You’ll also want to go down the Blood dynasty legacy but i’ll touch on that in another segment.
Matrilineally marry your female dynasty members as much as possible unless needed for an alliance, your goal in the game is to form a family circle, (dont worry about inbred traits, resilient bloodline removes the issue)
Gift your landed family members concubines so they can breed MORE!
Later game when you have the health of a god, you -might- want to consider landing your player heir, but only if you deem it necessary in fear of succession factions. You can then give him concubines so he’ll have children to marry off for vassal alliances once you take over as him.
To add an example, by the time I got this achievement in 1275, nearly every ruler, and I mean -EVERY- ruler in the world was of my dynasty. I had 7341 living members and 207 houses with 27 legacies.
Right, so there’s only one branch of lagacies that actually matter and that’s blood up until resilient bloodline, I usually go for Architected Ancestry but it’s not necessary as when you get concecrated bloodline you’ll get herculean-genius-beutiful heirs every time anyways, might be ok to add giant I guess.
After this I’ll either go down Erudition up until Treasured Knowledge for the dev growth and learning xp, or Glory up until Assertive Rulers to minimize faction threat. If I pick one I do the other after.
After this a I’ll probably go Ominous Reputation for the free dread, where I might go all the way down or alternatively go Warfare all the way down, doesn’t matter too much.
As I played Norse in this game, I decided to reform the Åsatru faith, not alot here is essential for my playthrough, but i’ll give some notes regardless:
My tenents when reforming was Esotericism for the learning focus and wise man trait.
Warmonger for obvious reasons and Blot for the late game vassal opinion.
I made religious attitude Righteous for faster conversion and head of faith spiritual for crusades (became just a nusense after a while)
The only other change I made was making Witchcraft acceptable, you can use this for the opinion bonus with vassals.
The explosive conquering when everything is set up.
So when you’ve built up your men-at-arms, built a god like dynasty of superhumans and established an impressive income, it’s time for the actual achievement.
At this point you’ll have gotten By the Sword if you’ve done things right.
From here you’re just going to holy war -every- kingdom that refuses to adopt your court grandeur, destroy the kingdom title and divide its territory amongst independent dynasty members. Only important addition here is that you keep land that borders kingdoms you’re going to invade later, this is because you cant holy war a kingdom unless it borders you.
By the final stretch you cant really fail as you’ll have more independent dynasty members to call on than you have vassals, so any faction can be beaten down. Despite this, you might still want to land your heir and give him concubines so you can create vassal alliances upon succession, this just to maintain realm peace, and allowing you to focus on what actually matters for the achievement.