The 2nd installment, in my opinion, is the easiest one to view your officers stats. I try other ones like III, IV, VI, and they are near impossible to see who should be assigned to what task. Maybe I'm just really fast at II, but i'm finding iii and iv, soooo sloooow. I like how fast I can move at II, it makes the game feel so fluent.
I've been playing II since the day it came out (I was so young, I had to ask my parents what "plotting strategy" meant) and now I find the game to be better than ever. I've discovered fun ways to play to keep the game interesting; playing all the rulers except the three kingdoms, playing as just the 3 kingdoms, new ruler, and finding rhythms to any one ruler (playing the perfect game). Early to mid-game is extremely fun for me. Scenario 1, choose Liu Bei. Recruit Lu Bu first turn and re assign all the soldiers, even taking some away from Liu Bei to balance out the other three officers. Wait until July to attack Gongsun Zan. You will find Zhao Yun when you search come Jan, the following year. Take out Yuan Shao. Province 6 is your new capital and next you can declare war on Cao Cao! Lu Bu is under rated. As long as your opponent has no gold he's yours! He also seems more fond of Shu than the other guys.
Recently, I've discovered how much fun it is to play along to the aggression/trust numbers. It adds a whole dimension I usually ignore. Yes, even the most trusted AI will turn on you if you tempt him, but you can count on him for joint attacks and reinforcements.
If you schedule a joint attack and do not follow through, the trust of your ally can plummet, and you may not get another chance. The trust on the main screen I think has more to do with other officers than to other rulers (contrary to the manual), and your ruler trust you can see anytime you open Ally, Joint, Gift, etc. If you're having trouble with loyalty, get your trust rating higher, or the officer may just simply not like you!