Being a huge Civilization fan, I was very happy to find out about another series that is very very similar in gameplay style - but not that similar so is different having it's own theme.
Having played all the Civ games it was very easy to jump straight into this, for those new to this genre you should play the tutorial and read a little online tips and tricks, to get you off to a smooth start.
You build up your own civilization, you create soldiers to defend and attack, pioneers to found new cities, you construct buildings to help your city grow and research spells to help you advance.
There are many modes to choose from, you can play relaxed to impossible. You can custom design your starting lands which also come in a few flavours, exiled, sandbox and one other - you choose your Mage (leader) and how many Mages you compete against.
Your armies are supplement by arriving lords, whom you can equip with special artifacts. They are very powerful fighting units- and wise to keep them alive as long as possible.
You move your units and research/construct in turns- you make your moves and then the opposition make theirs and it is your turn again.
There are many enemies to deal with, not just from the Mages civ- many creatures that spawn themselves for you to battle as you discover new lands.
It is not a quick game- you need to spend a lot of time just to play through one full game, but it is addictive and easy to keep having that one more turn before you log out! It is very interesting and quite fun.
A couple of annoyances like always having to give your units orders each turn- unless i am missing something there.
There is a multiplayer option too.
i rate this game 8/10 and highly recommend it for strategy game lovers.