I want to give all you good people of Steam a candid review of this game, since most of the top reviews, which while funny and informative IF you've already played the game, don't really give you a good idea of what you're getting yourself into. Doesn't that circumvent the whole point of a review, which is to inform people who haven't bought the game? If you are considering buying this game, please read this review in its entirety.
This game is hard. Its brutally unforgiving. The tutorial is, like those found in many difficult games, worthless. The learning curve is a vertical wall that you must scale, and, for the most part, the only assistance the community is going to provide you is brutal death, game after game. Its a logistical nightmare to keep all of your units refuled, repaired, and rearmed, especially on the front lines where supply vehicles are particularly vulnerable. Forgot a couple key units when reinforcing an objective? Too bad, the enemy reconed your weakness, and you just got steamrolled. Now your teammate is having to divert assests to his flank because your lackluster defense left it exposed. Your teammate is mad because he is now working twice as hard with half the points. You're mad because, despite your best efforts, you got annihilated. Your team loses the game.
Such is life for most of your matches when you start playing. You will want to stop playing. You will have played 14 matches, and your opponent will have played 1283 (and presumably will be having way more fun than you are at that point). Things will happen more quickly than you can react. You are going to lose a lot.
But please, I urge you, do not stop. Because, at some point, you will have breakthough. You will begin understand why you were getting wrecked. You will begin to understand how to fix it. You will begin to grasp how to function on the battlefield. Then and there, you will be hooked. Granted, the time it takes to this point may vary for you, dependent on your aptitude for games of this nature. But it will come. And at that point, you will be able to enjoy the depth and complexity of the game, as opposed to just being confused and frustrated by it.
Since the amount of units and consequently wide variety of tactics are available, you will find yourself for hours thinking, "Hmm, what if I did this instead..." and then going to battle to see if it works. Its a nearly infinite loop of trial and error, and in this game, achieving success is so immensely gratifying that, even after decimating an opponent, you will still want to go back to the drawing board to see if you can improve your tactics even further.
-The graphics are wonderful, and even aren't terrible on a laptop.
-The unit selection is more deep and broad than you should ever need it to be, but its there for you anyway.
-The bang for your buck for this game (especially if it is on sale) is unparalleled.
-The game is superbly realistic, and all the unit models are built to near photo accuracy.
In conclusion, I want to recommend this game to everyone, but I just can't. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience to get proficient. Personally, I love the game. I love games that make you think and that don't give you any help along the way. Its a game that says, "Here's the problem" and, while you may have 50 solutions to choose from, you're going to have to figure them all out yourself. If that sounds appealing to you, then please, whether its on sale or not, buy the game. You will not be disappointed.