As an avid total war fan I really like this game, however it has its fair share of issues, its loaded with bugs, battle influencing bugs which are quite the pain. The AI is absolutley atrocious, when you engage in a seige battle, for example, the enemy will at times not attack you, as you sit in your fort unable to do anything and have to wait for the battle timer to run out, and well, if you dont have any battle timer set, you better hope you saved the game before that battle so you can get lucky and win with an auto-resolve. Thats another thing, the auto resolve, it works just fine on land, but it is completely unusable in the water. You get a decent chance of winning the battle, however you will suffer massive casulties. For example, if I were to win a naval battle using auto resolve, I would have lost 3 of my Ships-of-the-Line, to a fleet of merchant ships, which is completly unrealisitic. I should probably start talking about the good stuff, first off its FUN, like really fun, like really really really fun! Especially if you are a complete history nut like myself. For the price of 20 bucks its awesome, I never bought the expansions, never thought it was neccassary the game is just fine without them and not worth the extra 15 bucks in my opinion. Highly reccomend, great for price, the only thing is that Napoleon Total War, the newer installment has much better graphics, and less effective muskets, which coresponds to the time period quite well. Napoleon is less broad however, focusing only on Europe, no American or Indian theatures are availible. Hope this helped, if you can get around the bugs then you will learn to LOVE this game. BTW, you need a powerful computer to run it at max settings.