Even the big expansions (Sword of Islam and Legacy of Rome) aren't "required" if you don't want to play as a Muslim or in the Byzantine Empire. When those came out, Paradox added a lot to the game, but most of it was added to the base game. About the only thing that matters if you don't play a Muslim or Byzantine are the retinues.
Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish
I've played well over a 100 hours on a single playthrough. I've bought the expansions but haven't really touched them. I'd recommend just buying the base game. The expansions go on sale this cheap almost once a month.
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