Faction: any kind of man, does not matter at all for summons.
Faction strengths: lucky, master scout, enchanter (for extra essence). Optional weaknes -10 perc research and then getting quick.
Talents: general, tactitian, life I, Initiative gauntlets, procipinee crown, clumsy, everything else optional.
Gameplay: Starting with cleric, geting goodies for equipment and 1 fame. After cleric done heroe apears. I pray him to be air. If air then steal spirit, and geting air 2 asap for tutelage, geting knowelegde then. Should be a lVL 4 - 5 to have all this. Then getting life II. After that summoner I, Healing 50 perc. summon whisp, sumon lightbringer and then to air elemental. At lvl 10 you should have all this.
Research: library, then leather, then rush, then roads to cities, then shrines and tireles march, then mages, then doesnt matter what.
Cities: always 4: first conclave, then town or fortress depends on tiles i find, then extra town.
This build requires not much mana. Using mostly heal, haste, summon ice elemnet (it costs 10 mana in battle). Lightbringer spams blind, air element does all the work with damage, whisp does aoe healing twice (upon summoning and on next its turn). I have no army upkeep at all. And i can wipe everything even gate quest boss with all summons included at the end game.
Idea is to combine crit bonuss, crit oriented weapon, armor ignoration traits and graveseal as ofence. Stack dodge as defence (wright race, warg, robe, shield, dancing boots, night drape, lucky cap, lucky trait, dodge traits in assasin tree to hit >100 dodge. Use air and death to boost dodge, intiative and reduce enemies acuracy. Also use shadowbolt to nulify magic rezistance for graveseal to land. Using enchanters trait for extra essence for mana, because graveseal expencive spell. 10 perc exp and 2 spellmastery per lvl trait is a key for spellmastery as long assasin lacks it. General for exp, fast and tactitian to get time to debuf enemy.
Its kind a rogue build because i will need army only for begining to get some lvls then your sovereign can pretty solo.