You had nothing by the time you had 2 grown children? That's hardly a rush
Anyway, my current game is on a large map (on hard, normal pacing). I ended up with only 1 neighbour, an Empire (I'm was plaing as Tarth).
As usual in the 1,08, they started sending threaths, I paid the first one but knew it wouldn't last long so started building a few squads and manned my closest cities. And sure enough they started suiciding their armies against those. Eventhough their armies should have easily beaten me, I hardly took any damage. Putting my squads with spears or axes in front, let them come to you without hitting you, then deflect and hit away. It mows them down easily enough.
It doesn't help either that their children are armed with just a fishing knife and whatever clothes they spawned with. You can pick those off easily as well before they can cast anything.
After taking all their cities, I ended up nexto the other kingdoms who were all friendly to me as I now had a pretty big army. So I'm just playing a bit now to see how much offspring I can create This is my longest game yet (600 turns or so) but I felt like I had won the game a long time ago. I doubt anyone will stand up against me now. Got like hoards of children and grandchildren that are pretty strong now. I'm actually trying to kill off my sovereign atm so my first born daughter becomes sovereign and can get married. Haven't seen that happen yet. It's becoming increasingly hard though, as the game seems to crash very often late game.
I haven't lost a game yet, but it can be challenging when the enemy keeps pumping out armies and turns against you. I haven't actually "won" a game either, I usually restart because it becomes a grindfest, but you know you've won since I can pretty much oneshot anything then.