Much excitement was caused by the GMs’ recent announcement that a huge number of new buildings are to be released into Illyria. Some are out now, and some presumably “soon”.
Some are obviously useful. I’m looking forward to Chancery of Estates, and many of the biggest players will already be using the Cavalry Parade Ground to make their huge cavalry armies even more enormous.
But the one that is less obviously interesting, is the Jungle Warfare College.
The GMs have introduced specialist buildings that allows troops to be honed for combat in extreme environments – Jungle, Arctic and Desert. Now, the Arctic areas seem to be largely uninhabitable, so being able to fight well there is not a massive boon (unless you want to wage war on polar bears). Deserts, probably likewise. But along the southern coasts of the map there are large areas of sparsely populated Jungle biome, including Jungle squares and a load of mountains, plains and hills in and around those jungles. These are already good places to settle, with terrain to suit all tastes, and they remain largely unclaimed by big alliances.
Given that settling in Jungle areas now allows people to build up a combat bonus against less specialized would-be attackers (i.e. pretty well anyone else), I can see the jungle regions being a great place for new-ish players to set up their kingdoms.