As an "established player" who is less than agressive in building
his position (but who has gotten some sucess) let me comment.....
a) If you compare the total land mass, resource opportunities
(wood/stone/peasants/beast breeding) _NONE_ of the established
players can exert total control over a very significant share of the
world. Simply too large with too few noble points to use.
b) That means that old players, unless they can't reason, have use
of newbies. You can get a good deal by offering established players
what they don't have enough off -- noble points to engage in useful
labor taks. You, in return, will get information and protection.
While maybe not as exciting as going out and being a warlord on turn
one, you can, within 12-20 well written turns, develop to the point
that your patron can help you relocate to virgin lands or to seize
lands and enter into the world of castle ownership.
c) The neat thing is that parallels the real world of "feudal"
politics -- a time when labor and capital
was scarce in relationship to land. Political elites _needed_
lesser nobles to help them develop their "kingdoms" and were
willing to do a lot for them.
The advice is find yourself a patron. There are a number of large
factions out there who want to sponser lesser factions and will do
so for very little in return. Having you as a "tenant" is almost
costless to them and they are happy to have you come. Plus, there
are ways to almost asure yourself that they will not screw you over
once you set up shop in their area.