Well, I'm not a particularly well-known personality around here, buut I've had the great fortune of being selected for the beta test, and while we generally aren't just playing the game, last night I took the latest version of the beta out for spin. Previously, I'd played a century as England in my only long test and Burgundy had been an extremely meek ally, losing almost all of its lands except Bourgogne by 1510 or so, so I decided to see how tough it could really be.
This was single player as I live in California and I'm not sure when I'll be able to try my hand with the European bunch without calling in sick. Then again, I do feel a cold coming on ...
Anyway, in January 1419, Burgundy is already knee deep in the Hundred Years' War. My ally England has the Duke of Bedford and is storming around France. Within months he's annexed the lands of the Duke of Orleans, and our other ally, Brittany, who is England's vassal, is well on its way tot aking the last outpost of Paris-sympathizers in the Vendee. England has moved on to attack the Duke of Anjou-Provence's lands in Maine, and Lorraine, ally of the false king in Paris, has dared make a play for Burgundian soil.
Meanwhile, my forces have very low base morale, so my first decision is to begin the slow process of freeing my serfs. I take a stability hit and in general I'll have some annoyances, but the big bonus is better morale -- after all, free yeoman fighting for their homeland beats serf being pressganged into service.
Secondly, I set my aims. Besides testing for bugs and looking for oddness, my straetgic aim is the same as that of the great Dukes of burgundy - unite my Burdgundian and Netherlands possessions into a cohesive (and contiguous) state and to grow that state into a true middle kingdom, as it was in the days of King Lothar. From there, perhaps to recreate the realm of Charlemagne, his grandfather. After all, as Duke of Burgundy I have a unique gift -- I start eht grand Campaign with three native cultures - French, Germand, and Dutch, and so it will take me quite a while to find a province where I am not accepted as a local leader.
After that, if world conquest happens to look attractive, so be it.
Where to go first? Every time I send off my small army, it seems the English show up with a leader to co-opt my siege, or they get there first to take control anyway. I want land, not just glory, so I sit tight for a while and build up.
To be continued in much greater detail once I recheck my log files.