Umber, but without master scouts. Its all so sad. First they take away Umber as a default nation, then they give them the most newbie ability of all. Its sabotage from the other races...
I would gladly pay for a DLC where this is fixed.
Yeah, this. Umber-with-snakes was my favourite Empire, they have since been surpassed by Yithril. Big angry monsters who can train even bigger, angrier monsters are where it's at.
On the Kingdom side, I like Altar's ability to play a hero & henchmen-heavy game and to spawn their own quests. My Altar games tend to have the most fun narrative to them, as there's always a henchman who goes on to become a mighty hero in his own right - in the current game, a custom henchman (a Squire - an upgraded Torchbearer with horse & leather armour) who joined one of my heroes in fighting a clambercoil dragon and got ridiculous XP, ending up at level 9 with Master Swordsman. A Torchbearer in a previous game ended up at level 17, picking up Sarog's Axe and Impulsive and tearing up everything he came across.
Haven't yet raised an army of level 30 heroes though, obviously need to train more Bards.
My favourite enemy is Magnar. He's reliably aggressive and expansionist, puts up a good fight (except for the time during Beta where he got one-shotted by monsters on the first turn of every game) and evil enough that it feels good to beat him, even playing as another Empire. Plus while every other faction is named after the sovereign's father/patron deity/dearly departed overlord, Magnar named his Empire after himself.