Well, I just got Divine Wind installed today after playing Htth for awhile. Figured I'd chronicle my experience here so that I could share the fun (and pain! ) and in the hopes that more experienced players would chime in occasionally to point out where I'm screwing up!
That said I picked one of my old favorites, Muscowy to start from. Right off the bat I notice that it loads a LOT faster than Htth ever did. Once it was up the map also looks a bajillion times better. One problem becomes readily apparent though. For all the load speed I got it seems the game runs very slowly and is a bit glitchy to interface. Looks like I might need some up grades to run quickly but that is alright for now as I want to go slow and learn my way.
Looking over my starting positions it is very similar to Htth. Same ten regiment army and provinces. Starting at war with the Horde is a bit disconcerting though. King Vasily is mediocre at best and my starting goal is a bit disapointing. Defend Russia from the Tartars indeed. Sounds more like a long term goal that I wont even be able to fool with for awhile. Am leaving that alone for the moment to check everything else out.
The sliders are...interesting. Centralization at +2 was expected, Aristocracy and Serfdom at -5 was not. The rest was kind of a hodge podge. Am really glad to see that I have a bit of army tradition but am really wondering where that naval tradition came from? We have a navy on a big river or what?
Without a mission to try and get a core on a neighbor, and the threat of the Horde and / or the Smolensk rebels over my head am opting to be very conservative for the moment. Moved the slider to improve the quality of our troops since in theory Russia will usually have enough manpower. For that we got a commandant but he is lame and I leave him in the pool. Saving money for now & seeing where it goes.
Tver & Ryazan have the mission to Save the Russian people. Not sure what that is but will try to look it up on the wiki in a bit. Yaroslavl though has a mission to gain a royal marriage with Muscowy. Thinking that might give me some benefit going forward while I try to figure out how to deal with the other minors I offer them one. That is just as well because while I'm doing this Ryazan allies itself with Novgorod. I need that like a hole in the head so it looks like I will be chilling and looking for targets of opportunity.
Sure enough the rebels come over the border from Lithuania. I hang back, waiting for them to get done and leave so that I can retake it later. Muscowy is in no shape to fight that stack now. One bit of good fortune though; Vasilly dies, without heir, and our land is now ruled by Ivan III Khillkov. He is adm 7, mil 6, dip 6 which is quite the upgrade. Paused the game on January 1st 1400 to ponder where to go next. Looks like it's going to be awhile before the Russian people can get their act together.