Here is my review of the game:
This game has an extremely good politics system in place where you can make decisions that effect not only individuals but entire races as a whole. This phase is easily the best part of the game, it is well voice acted, well animated, and provides great enjoyment for most.
The map phase is shallow to say the least, here you can play cards that improve empire related things, or build buildings that will allow you to improve income and recruit units or mercenaries. But that is all, there is nothing more here, no diplomacy, no trading, nothing that would make you want to spend time strategizing here.
This should be the most interesting part of the game, since this is the part where you get to be the dragon...for about 2-5 mins. Here are the problems with this phase:
First the design choices, as in the way the units look, they are not only quite small(can't zoom in enough), but also look the same for all factions.
Second, the speed of the combat is waaaaay too fast, if you want to play defensively, you are screwed, you want to build up bases, you are screwed. The only way to win is if you blob all over the enemy at the start of the battle in which case the battle ends rather quickly because if your draw it out, the enemy becomes too strong and usually you can no longer overwhelm them before you run out of resources, enjoy your 5 mins long battle without strategies and being the dragon for about 5 mins. This problem however also relates to being the dragon.
Third, the dragon is strong at the beginning, but if you try and draw out the match to enjoy some base building, you will quickly find, that your dragon is becoming more and more useless as time passes on, since the enemy is improving their units all the time, they will take more hits and you will take less, in the end you will die extremely quickly, making becoming the dragon rather useless.
Fourth, the units have way too many skills you can't micromanage on the same level as the ai, which can make some fights rather one sided.
Fifth, and this is the largest problem with the combat by far. Mercenary cards. Why in the world would you even want to enter combat with such bad mechanics behind it when you can simply bypass it by spamming inns and mercenary cards and than using auto-combat?
-The length of the skirmish matches:
These only take anywhere from 25(min difficulty)-45(max difficulty) mins. I tested this by using only mercenary cards and lol i won all of my matches against highest difficulty ai in 45 mins max. This is a joke. Mercenary cards shouldn't be in the game or should be better balanced.
What story? You mean the few cutscenes we get?
The campaign can be completed in about 2-3 hours, which is extremely short for a game like this. The enemies are quite generic, have no personality, don't taunt you and pretty much act the same on the battlefield, or at least i haven't noticed that they did anything differently from eachother.
To sum it up, the devs created a great politics mechanic in the game, unfortunately the game fails at the other parts, and for the title dragon commander, i was expecting to see more dragons or at least more often than about 2-5 mins in combat. I have the feeling that if they went with the original concept, instead of remaking the whole game halfway through in a single year, they could've achieved more, alas, it is not so.
Do i recommend this game for the current price(40eur)? NO
This game is not worth 40 eur.
But i do recommend you pick it up when it is on offer.
The game is worth about 15-20 eur, carried by the politics and the multiplayer may give you a few hours of amusement.