The lessons learned from my Irish game are being put to good use as Castille.
Its been a rocky 120 years but I have emerged as a true force to be reckoned with. Reuniting the northern kingdoms is almost more trouble than it's worth. Since everyone in Spain starts as apart of the same dynasty it means that from the start you're locked in a power struggle with your dynastic ties. My first attempted ended in six years due to my brother assassinating my king and absorbing my kingdom, not unlike what happened in the launch trailer...
This go has been punctuated by periods of bloody conquest and pitched battles against rebellious elemants inside my own borders. I'm learning that having "super-duchies", made so by giving more than one duchy title to a noble is a very bad idea. Sure, he may be grateful now - but just wait 20 years down the line. Soon he'll be getting visions of granduer where he can rule his duchies without you looking over his shoulder. After all, he's almost your equal de facto, if not de juro. A marriage here, an assassin there, and he will soon become your worst nightmare. My realm was nearly torn asunder twice by such men.
Over the last 30 years i've been instituting a ruthless campaign of decentralization of my vassals. Thus far it has worked flawlessly, not only in keeping my vassals content that they can boast and brag they are the duke/duchess of x, but with no one man/woman holding enough power to topple their neighbors without a good web of alliances. This is especially the case after I pushed my crown authority to the point where they can no longer war against each other.
The Reconquista is going well but it's not been without its own close calls. The last war against the muslim lords in the south nearly broke the bank and seriously drained my manpower. Of course they didn't come out of it any better, as you can see. Mauretania used to control ALL of North Africa as well as the south of spain, but after my war with them they completely fractured and are fighting for their life in a civil war. I'm watching eagerly to see who wins and rebuilding my strength in the meantime, continuing to consolidate my power.
Elsewhere France has started to chip away at Africa, they came into the Iberian penesular about 80 years ago to fight one of the emirates there, but the ore power they grab the more they pay for it. Their interal strife has kept them occupied for the last 40 years and they aren't much of a threat to anyone right now, which the HRE has abused to take away vast parts of their territory.
Not shown here is a huge empire controlled by the Rus. They've effectively blocked Byzantine expansion and are looking like the top dogs of the campaign. I'm glad I'm on the other side of the map, i'd hate to fight them...
The First Crusade was a rousing success with Poland, of all nations, declaring final victory and capturing Jerusalem. Unfortunately, twenty years after the fact they were thrown out, and the Second Crusade has been an unmitigated disaster. I'm sure the Pope would love for my 20k strong army to join in the fighting but I've got my hands full at home.