Recently I've been playing a lot of Crusader Kings II. After watching the Quick Look for it here on Giant Bomb and after watching a play-through campaign on YouTube I decided to bite and bought it on Steam.
I've been finding it really fun to play. It's a little different from your usual strategy games as you play as one guy or gal rather than an entire nation. You also have to make sure that you have an heir to your throne because when your guy shuffles off his mortal coil you become your heir and continue on from there.
It's a little slow to start most games, especially if you decide to start small and work up. I'd imagine if you started as the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire you'd be getting dropped straight into it without a paddle. Once you lay claim to some lands however and start to marry into other families and set up a bit of a kingdom of your own, it really kicks off.
A game I've been playing recently has seen me start as a Duke in Scotland. After having conquered about half of Scotland as my own through dodgy claims, I realised I was set to loose half my realm because the succession rights were set to Gavelkind. This meant all my land was split pretty much 50/50 between my two sons. I tried to change the rights so only my eldest son inherited but I couldn't as I was under the King of Scotland's rule and his crown authority wouldn't allow it. BLAST!.
The game then became a race against the clock to conquer Scotland and become the King. To do this I had to ask permission from the Pope to invade, which cost me a LOT of piety; piety being like currency you get for good standing with the church. Got permission, invaded, was in the process of kicking the King of Scotland's door down when... I snuffed it. My guy died and because of that the war ended inconclusively and my land got split up the middle in the process. DOUBLE BLAST!
Waited a couple of months in game and decided that I was having my old land back off my younger Brother. Declared war and went to smash his face in. All was going well until the Duke of the Isles, who was an independent Scottish Duke like I'm playing, saw red and declared war on me. So now I'm fighting a war on two fronts, which as we know from the WWII history books isn't a good idea. Even less of a good idea because he invited his Norwegian allies into the fray, who brought MASSIVE armies to the table. TRIPLE BLAST!
I was managing to hold them back by using every man available to me as well as a couple of bands of paid mercenaries. However having them raised so long costs gold and as my coffers were running dry the final nail in the coffin was when the King of Scotland declared war on me as well. At this point I'm flat broke, my armies are about to revolt, the peasants have revolted, I'm fighting a war on three different fronts and I'm about to get thoroughly stomped. So I gave it best, did my best Brave Sir Robin impression and surrendered to save my own skin.
I lost everything, was stripped of all my titles and sent back to square one with the same little Scottish province that I started with, 200 in game years previous.
Unforgiving game... is indeed... unforgiving! Bloody good fun though.