I believe I've found the most broken combination in the current game.
1. Create your Soverign. Choose "Man" because he has the best equipment in the game (specifically, only one who can start with boots) and your Soverign's race has no bearing on which factions you can choose.
2. Reduce Intelligence from 10 to 5. Invest those points in Wisdom (damn mana)
3. Get the Spellbook of Summoning. It's the only spellbook that doesn't give a crap about your Intelligence rating, meaning you can spam spells without being inefficient. Summon Demon is also pretty awesome.
4. Get Warlord as your occupation. 2 Sentinels are pretty good. They have good HP, decent attack and they have 2 Combat Speed, allowing you do kite easily
5. Get "Tracker" and "Organized" as your abilities. This gives you an additional +1 movement and allows everyone in your stack/army to move at the same rate as you. This is a big deal, as it allows you to move a stack of doom at blitzreign speeds.
6. Get "Inefficient" and "Cruel" as your weaknesses. These both grant you 3 Sov points in exchange for reduced construction speeds and prestige in any city your Soverign is parked in. Solution? Never park your Sov in a city. Problem solved!
7. In the "Equipment" tab, get the Longstrider boots. These put you to a 2.25 Combat speed, letting you get 3 attack actions per turn. Additionally, it gives you another movement point on the world map, making your speedy Soverign move at 4.
Now you have some freedom. You can invest some points into Armor (equpiment), Constitution, Charisma, or Attack.
Personally, I like to drop Dexterity to 5 and pump Charisma and Constitution. You tend to find armor from place to place (and it's dirt-cheap to buy at 20 gold) which makes armor a sub-optimal choice (and not very useful unless you increase Dex). Increasing your Charisma allows you to cheaply get a horde of heroes, who have no gilder upkeep per turn and tend to have lots of benefits (including capturing goody huts). Reducing Dex in exchange for Constitution works out in your benefit because of your crazy high movement speed: you can easily kite any slower, more powerful enemy and you usually will kill everything you see (read the rest to find out).
Pick "Magmar" as your civiliztion. They are the ones with the Demon Swords and they look like rock-people.
Start the game.
You only start with 2 movement points (which sucks). But start your empire, capture all the goodie huts in the area around you. If you're lucky, you'll get 100-200 Gilder + 20 Materials. Quests that involve escorting kids are super-easy now because of your Organized trait. Hire whatever free hero you get and any you can afford.
If you find materials, build a Lore Shop so you can start researching Summons. If you don't, get a Labor pit and do your city stuff. When you get Archivists, I tend to do the Exploration one for better heroes + monsters since I'm doing a rush-strat. After you get a few of those, switch to Civilization or whatever else you feel like.
MOST IMPORTANT: once you have 80 Gold and you've pillaged all the closest things, go to your shop. In the Item Store there will be a "Demon Sword" which gives your Sovereign +18 attack. Get that. Kill some badguys/do quests and try to find the nearest enemy nation. Kill their sovereign in one shot.
Leave 1 of your free Sentinels at your home base, and have it recruit a few Peasants and then a Pioneer.
The first level up you get you should invest in movement, allowing you to move 5 squares per turn. Yep. You are a stack of doom moving twice as fast as most units in the game Then level up Essence so that you can bolster your Wild Bears and Imps and whatever else you can get. It's a shame that you no longer get the "Teleport" spell for free anymore. I'll have to figure out which spell book that is in because that is a VERY good one to get.
This is a newb-rush strat that is difficult to counter. Your natural speed in both combat and on the map means that you can rush enemies far faster than they can do in return, as well as amazing kiting potential in the tactical battles (Teleport makes defending while rushing super easy. See an enemy stack attacking you while you're raping the enemy's countryside? Have no fear, teleport home!)
The major weaknesses to this strategy is not finding enough starting goody huts. If you can't find at least 1 "100 gold" gilder hut (which you almost always do) you can't get this rush strategy off.
However, because of your insane natural speed, it's not much of a hindrance. You cover terrain at terrifying speeds, and snatch heroes left and right with your extra goody hut looting + high Charisma.
I currently haven't figured out a good way to counter this early game. Unless you fight someone who went Warlord as well they won't have meat shields with enough speed to be able to fight you fairly (Sentinels start with 2, unlike most non-hero units in the game). Since you went Sentinel you can also afford to leave your capital far back because they are pretty decent at defending, especially if you pick up a few heroes and show them to your capital.