Wow, now that you brought it up and i reflect on my PC gaming history i realize i have come a long way sins playing Stronghold.
My first online friends come from back in the days when Empire Total war came out and i started playing that online. You just started to talk to people on your team and most of the time you added one another on steam, had a couple of good rounds and then went separate way.
Years later i played planetside 2 and after playing in a platoon the leader announced that it was lead by The Elisian drop troopers or something like that and encouraged us to join, so i did. after a few months of having a blast running around as a medic and healing my guys i slowly lost interest again.
Now, before the planetside time i found a friend, i don’t remember how but we played some total war, hearts of iron 3 and minecraft and all sort of games. Sins i liked planetside more then him we lost contact for a bit but when i tired of it we started playing mount and blades, napolionic wars and joined a regiment called The 47th run by a guy called Spy.
A few weeks after me joining the regiment me and my friend had a falling out whilst playing minecraft. We still don’t speak to this day. The regiment went through loads of reforms but i still played with Spy. After some time when i started to get a bit bored i heard from a fellow regiment member about this small community that played Crusader Kings 2 on a regular basis. This was about 1½ years ago. I am still a member of that community.
Today, we play space engineers, EU4, Anno 2070 and many other games but i know that if i send a message to Spy he would love me to join his regiment to once again hold the banner of the 47th Regiment of Foot whilst we march on the field of glory.
**Edit:**Oh yeah. Forgot about the point. The point is that you just need to start talking to people. Sooner or later it might lead you to finding some awesome friends. In my current community we even buy gifts for birthdays and such. Well the 5 of us in the inner circle do anyway
Good luck on you quest my friend!