The most important aspect is probably the "limited communications". This
would be just wonderful. It would add incredibly exciting and intriguing
twists to the game. Oh yea and it would be realistic too.
The henchman idea is rather good. It gets rid of the problem of too many
units, working woes, faction trees et al in one foul swoop.
The down side (there's always one of those eh) is that it would tend to
make the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The newbies would
be toast again.
I guess kings would also have to deal with unrest inside there kingdom?
If taxes get too high, other players stiring up trouble, etc. the people
might decide to out the 'king'.
Who knows. Any other thoughts?
PS can we say RE-programing from hell?