Wow, let me tell you if you like being in control of an empire and want about 50 of them to choose from this game will be right up your alley. You will be able to do everything from establish trade, wage war and peace, assign generals. This game will actually teach you quite a lot about history which actually follows history to an extent.
This is not just a sit down and play type of game for an hour or so, you have to be dedicated to play this game and enjoy it. Building up from nothing with small faction is much harder than playing as Rome, or the Greeks. Believe me! This game will certainly put your strategy skills to a test. You will be able to pick a civilization across 250 years and either rise as a dominate factor or dwindle as a pesky little faction, this choice is completely up to you.
So what you are not getting in this game is a "Total War" type game. Meaning you will have control over armies that are 20,000 strong, however you will never fight as them. You will be able to assign generals and fight other armies though. There will be a little pop up box about the army giving your stats and everything. It is much more of a tactical game rather than just an all out war, you can follow a generals life and see what battles he was a part of, that impacted your faction.
You will have armies as well as territories that you control and you need to keep them happy and actually listen to their desires. If you choose to ignore these you risk the chance of having a civil out right war. I know what you are thinking so what I lose a city or something and had a civil war, what is the worst that can happen. Well, to be honest with you the worst is they can become quite big and even take over bigger factions, not to mention it is a War, exciting YES! This however could in turn end up hurting you big time as the game progresses throughout which only adds to the game and playability. Believe me I made this mistake once and had to start over.
There are a couple complaints I do have about the game. For instance, if you have an army and want to attack on a certain day you really have no idea when it is going to get there so you cannot take charge or prepare. This wouldn't be such a big deal if you were controlling a couple armies and were going to attack on the same day. Instead you will have to hold back and hope the character doesn't move. Also, it still trips me out on why people from the opposite side of Europe have beef with me, I didn’t do nuffin! There really seems to be no conflict other than to just start shit with me for no reason.
One thing I do like that they have fixed over the years was that now message boxes don't pop up every 5 seconds which was a great relief Now just the important ones pop up which is much better. I used to have to go back into my settings and turn them off. This game isn't for everyone though, only those that love strategy games will reap the game rewards. If you have a low attention span this game is not for you. If you like to get really involved in a game then this game is something you will love. I like this game a lot even though it does have some flaws.