At first glance, this game is like Civ 5. A fantasy version of Civ 5. A half-done fantasy version of Civ 5. I was wrong and right at the same time.
This game - as I just said - is pretty much a Civ 5 clone at first glance, however later on you learn that this game is not quite. With game mechanics that parallel them, this game still has plenty of other ideas, concepts and such which are completely different. The first that springs to mind are the spells.
Spells are either the worst thing you in the history of ever or the best thing ever. Depends purely on which side you're on. These are an interesting - though unsurprising - element added to the game. Their near unlimited number and their wide range of effects can basically make you god-like, however these spells require mana and time to cast and if they are ongoing spells, mana for upkeep. However if you have tonnes of mana and little gold, fortunately you can just have the mass of your army be summed creatures that simply require mana for upkeep rather than gold (Some require both. Awesome...)
An unusual set of elements are artefacts and lords. They randomly come about throughout the game and can be purchased/hired so long as you have enough gold to afford their upfront cost. Although you can find them in the map at various locations, I seem to find them a lot more of them to purchase at the start of the turn. The lords are a lot like their common unit counterparts, however with unique perks and abilities with the ability to equip artefacts to them to change or add more abilities. One lord got my attention and stood out from all the rest. It is - and I'm not making this up - the infamous rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I have screencaps of it if you don't believe me. The funny thing is about this creature is that it is one of the most OP units in the game Arm the rabbit with a broomstick and it can fly, crossing all terrain with no movement penalty and the ability to take on any creature. However there are stronger lords beyond this one so [OP intensifies].
The game also has pocket dimensions and they are randomly scattered through the map (supposing you have enabled them) and are infinitely useful once you managed to capture one, drive out all the late-game monsters and in general wrestle them under your control. However once one is under your control, you essentially increased the power of your empire without the further need to war with other Great Mage (players or if you don't have friends like me, the CPU). Even then, if the wars do happen, the other Great Wizards are going to go through hell to reclaim any pocket dimension.
The communication and interaction with the Great Mage is fairly limited compared to those in Civ 5, with no request there being something that can have a minor result if you decline. If someone either demands resources from you or has a request, declining it can either result in outright war with the other Great Mage or destroying your alliance if it's a request. It would be great if declining wouldn't be so extreme and would simply just decrease the Great Mage's attitude towards you rather than... this. Another thing that bugs me is that either there's no option to request a war with another Great Mage or I've missed it entirely.
The same applies with quests. These are also unusual game mechanics that at some times can be VERY ANNOYING! Why? Failing to complete a quest can result in a punishment. Usually they don't amount in much e.g. some gold/mana lost, but some can be kinda... dumb. For example, one god losing favour with you simply because you couldn't build a church in time. For that to happen, you need to get yourself some holy ground and if that's in anothers' land, you have to go forcibly take it from them. Something like that isn't usually done in a small space of time. Taking a city can take many turns, even with a decent, strong army. Fortunately, some quests seem to last forever so you have plenty of time to do that quest. Unless you forget the quest and do other more presssing matters at hand.
Overall, Warlock is a pretty good stratergy game but could do with a bit more effort towards the interaction with other Great Mages and a bit of rebalancing with their lords.