I always anex regions if they aren't to troublesome.
Try to make some trade focused regions and some military focused regions. Don't do both in one city. At least not at the start.
Temples are good but the costs so build them if needed.
It takes much longer time to get command stars in RS 2. Keep fighting and you will get them.
They will get those both in field and in cities. I would keep them mostly in field tough
Yeah the trait system is hard at first. I really can't explain in in a simple way. Just play around and you will understand.
Pew. Lots of questions.