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Depends. Stronghold: Crusader is older, but has the same solid, fun gameplay style of the original stronghold, with a few changes.
1:Farms can only be built on "Oasis" 2: The addition of mercenary units, which do not need weapons, but cost a lot of gold and are somewhat weaker than their counterparts, produced from the barracks as normal.
However, Stronghold 2 is of course newer than Crusader, has updated graphics with a 3-D engine, has, in my opinion, a more dynamic castle building system, and has a few other differences. I'll list them the same way as above.
1:3-D Graphics. 2: Castle building is different, much easier to make a circular castle because you can actually bend the walls. If you like circular or uniquely shaped castles, that's a plus. 3: More castle defenses, such as Rolling logs, which can be released from a wooden platform hanging from the wall to roll and knock over units, hurting them. Stone tippers. Agian, hung from the wall, they send stones crashing down onto units, and can even destroy ladders that are propped on the wall underneath them. Killing pits and Man traps, the same small pit from Crusader, and the other is a large pit that takes a lot of weight to activate it. Such as many troops at once, or a single knight or swordsman, killing them instantly. 4: Different mercenary units, except for the Horse Archer and the Assassin which make a comeback from Crusader. 5:A law and order type deal, where-as you have to deal with crime, by setting up gaurd posts, a court, and punishments. 6:More castle problems to deal with. Such as gong (Human waste) and rat infestations. 7:You can build a Lord's kitchen and hold feasts, which requires the production of royal food from various farms. You can build a jousting tourny to gain what is called Honour, a new resource type system that is needed for purchasing some units, such as knights and swordsmen. The feasts also gain honour. 8:During siege, wooden walls can be torn down by anything, but stone walls HAVE to be destroyed by siege equipment. Or you can try to climb onto the walls with laddermen and Siege towers. 9: Knights are now VERY powerful units, nearly as strong as the lord themselves. They can either be on foot or you can choose to mount them on horses.
Theres far too many differences for me to go into detail. BOTH are fun games. I personally prefer SH2, but can't hardly play it because my good computer died on me and this one sucks.... xD I would advise you to get both, but if you can only afford one, I would say take a chance and buy Stronghold 2. I'm sure you'll love it.
L1, L2, L2, Up, Down, Down, Up, R1, R2, R2 - Use for N.O.E.