8.5 / 10
May not look like it, but this is one of the best turn-based strategy games ever once you get past the learning-curve (which is actually less steep than the Civ games).
Pros: 1. Not like any other game that I am aware of!
-each game plays out completely different
-Equip looted items to unit(s) of your choice
-units gain experience/levels and get better at everything they do (new spells unlock!)
-plenty of personal style choices
-as complicated or simple as you want
-ancient/medieval-fantasy theme is well done
Cons: (these are minor & mods may help some)
-graphics are ... simple
-ui interface could be easier to learn
-neutral animals are a bit more aggressive than is realistic imo.
-I wish there was a way to convert/recruit neutral units into your army, particularly ones that are unique to your faction/class, instead of always being forced to fight/kill neutrals.
Unique, turn-based fantasy army building & broad-strategy, map domination. Game mechanics take a bit to get used to, but are elegantly balanced, with scaling-complexity, and replayability.
-Pick one of 6 different "societies" (time-periods which adjust the map generation parameters, making certain map tiles more or less common).
-Choose one of 18 different "classes" (army factions), each with unique combinations of units (each has unique units but many have some common units as well) to battle against the other "players"
-(the ai has 10 difficulty levels!).
-At least 9 different types of resources make "money" handling slightly different based on which class/faction you play (it's simpler than it sounds)
-Build your armies, assign leaders to move them around; explore, conquer, and fight your way to victory.
--Almost every unit has lots of item slots, and items are sufficiently rare as to be extremely exciting when found and generally only equipped to your best units (leaders usually).
--Magic users have their own well-crafted system to them with many schools of magic and various spell ingredients/mana used to power them (see resources like sacrifices, herbs, fungus, and gems)
---Combat is automated and runs in real-time with several speed settings, including "skip to the end", which may seem crazy at first but is quite well done.
--unit capabilities & stats are fairly easy to grasp and analyze. Be sure to note your magic users' spells; learn which spells will effect ALL UNITS on the battlefield (including your own!), as you'll likely want to disable the use of those spells most of the time.