I have some advice regarding challenges. These shouldn’t be underestimated and correct selection of right challenges can really help you out at the start of the game. You should select challenges that you know can fulfill fast and are adding something useful to your play. Fulfilling challenges quickly raises your fame and thus getting you better prices for contracts.
Some of the more useful challenges (but not necessarily ones to pick early) are:
-Allying with noble house -unlocks quests from noble houses and turns castles in to sources of the quests. It fulfills when you reach about 950 fame so take it once your already have it.
-Increasing inventory space.
-Getting sergeant -will reward you with sash (bonus to resolve).
-Raiding 4 goblin/orc/undead camps -rewards you with very useful trophies. Easiest one is undead one since there are many retrieval quests which send you to undead locations. however you shouldn’t take this challenges too early.
The best starting challenges in my opinion are befriend settlement (takes about 2-3 missions) and raise your company to dozen guys (12 actually).