In Stronghold 2 Skirmish is replaced with Kingmaker. The player has a choice to start at one of four major statuses: Freeman, Knight, Baron and Duke. Each stage will provide a different challenge, if you start as a Freeman, you will not have to worry about castle services (Gong, Rats and Crime), however your buildings are limited to 1 military building (Barracks), 2 Town buildings (Hovel and Treasury), 4 Farm/Food production buildings (Granary, Hunter's hut, Apple Farm and Cheese Farm), 3 Industrial buildings (Stockpile, Saw Pit and Market), as well as 3 Castle Structures (Wooden Wall/Pallisade, Wooden Gate and Platform). To gain honour in this stage you must have at least 2 different food sources to gain honour, this will allow you to slowly progress into a higher status, such as the other 3 mentioned above.
You can choose to fight against up to 7 other lords in this game mode (Dictated by map size actual Lord/Lady count is 9 Lords 2 Ladies). Each Lord behaves differently from one another, the left most lords on the top row are the easiest opponents to play against, and they get progressively more efficient in castle management and aggressive the further right you go. However like in Stronghold Crusader, the right most lords may or may not be the most difficult for every player, difficulty comes down to subjective views and play style of individual players.