So I bought the ACKS PDF's about a year ago after googling something like "realistic table top rpg which can handle large scale battles" and found ACKS, which also happened to have most of the other things I was looking for like large-scale economy. So the only thing I had left was to homebrew some more details into creatures...like 24 species of horses, and out of each species if they were a Stallion, Mare, Filly, Colt, Gelding, or Warhorse, and have unique encumbrance stats and other bonuses for certain species CHA bonuses for species popular as show horses, etc...and then repeat this process for almost every common animal....and go into the same excruciating detail food and equipment, say for example thirty some types of wine and about twelve multipliers depending on vintage and other wine factors. etc...etc...until I have a 12MB google sheet of charts which auto-inputs the correct information into separate character sheets for potential players. So now that you know I'm crazy enough to spend ~100 hours (no joke) doing this I invite all my friends to a Virtual Table Top Game over skype.
The premise of the Campaign:
The Kingdom of...nah naming the kingdom would be too much work, it's just "the kingdom" (priorities am I right). Anyways the Kingdom is protected on two sides by massive mountain ranges, one side by the ocean. The one land border is with "The Empire" (no name again), but they are usually too busy fighting off the Mongrel hordes or picking on easier targets. You see, this world is one which has a deep and ancient history...only there have been no dark ages, just slowly shifting political, social and sometimes geographic boundaries. About a thousand years ago, the Empire was split into warring factions (think medieval China or Japan), the territory which is now the Kingdom was largely ignored due to it being irrelevant at the time so it just became it's own independent state and once one faction began to dominate they had to deal with Mongrel hordes attacks, so when they did come around to check in on them, the Kingdom was like, "No Thanks, we're good by ourselves, and we had close to a hundred years to work out the racial differences between humans, elves and dwarves and decided to build a large wall and stockpile lots of (+1) magical gear, Bye..." So the Kingdom was it was its own thing...but that was like some 1600 years ago.
The world has slowly advanced and has long since entered a magical renaissance resulting in plenty of food, lots of low-level wizards and really big populations. Most of the world is constantly embroiled in some war or another and every once in a while the Kingdom gets dragged in but largely the Kingdom is left alone which means even greater population density. Thus, the past couple centuries have resulted in employment shortages and even corrupt nobles do their almost best to rectify the situation because everyone's already rich, no one considers that impressive anymore. Heck, well a century ago building free decent homes for your peasants was in vogue. etc... etc...everything is stagnating and everyone knows it.
When suddenly a farmer comes across a ~15 foot circular portal in his field. Scouts are sent out to scout the land and when they come back the reports are as such: vast virgin landscapes with plenty of good land for humans, elves and dwarves alike to settle. So three expeditions are formed and a bunch of basic gear is brought out of storage. The players chose to be humans. The reasoning given to them is they were invited to a competition and commanding the expedition was the prize. What they don't know is that the competition was rigged and they were always going to win. They also don't know they were picked out for two reasons. First, they are young talented individuals which show promise and will be very effective at leading the expedition and building new settlements. Second, they are young talented individuals and if there happens to be some massive army of orcs on the other side a bit further than the scouts explored than they will act better as delay fodder for the Kingdom to figure out how to turn the portal off or block it off somehow.
They were given a bunch of money to buy more stuff in addition to all the free mundane gear and quickly sent off to lead the expedition. Once they find a good place to settle they will begin receiving monthly caravans of peasants and additional supplies to expand the settlement(s), for about twelve months. We recently finished our first four hour meeting and they are currently camping outside the portal about to go in.