It's going to be difficult to explain why I've played this game for a while. I started it up the first time completely confused as heck wondering why no one was listening to my commands and quickly stopped. Decided to give it another shot and am quite happy I did... as I ended up playing for four hours straight.
The AI is interesting to note on this one. Rather than telling peasants (or serfs as their called) or builders (laborers) to do exactly what to do - rather you are a planner and the serfs and laborers do your bidding automatically. Yes, that means that serfs and what not micro manage themselves. It can be a bit of an issue as I've noticed building 3 or more buildings sometimes can halt production, none the less though once this is addressed there shouldn't be issues. Roads need to be built to interconnect the city as well as allow serfs to travel to the job site to drop off materials for the building to be built. Laborers and serfs work closely together to accomplish the building - serfs mostly look after distribution of resources. There are A LOT - of different resources which get stored at a supply house. Bows, swords, shields, flour, corn are just the beginning of what is stored.
There are different types of units of course military wise but the civilian crowd delivers stability to your village. Bakers can be trained, animal trainers, farmers, carpenters, wood cutters, miners etc... It can get quite crazy and overbearing at times early on in the campaign to see how much can be done with the diversity of the units.
Battling is interesting and is as cool as an old style RTS can get. What is neat though which I wish other games would follow is when holding down the right mouse button, you can actually choose 360 degrees which way your troops should face. When you select a band of your troops, you are able to link up units with other units (conjoin groups) and are able to unite a bunch of units under one banner. Be it under one banner or not, you are able to rotate and position in HOW MANY lines the troops are allowed to be in. This really helps keeping a long line of infantry while keeping a band of arrows behind the infantry line.
I got this game extremely cheap on sale and figured why not - and somehow for some reason I like this game. Some of the in game perks as which way the soldier should face I found absolutely brilliant even though simple. I found myself mesmerized watching the AI serfs and laborers do my bidding and build.
Is this game for everyone? Not really - you may get sucked into it like I did or you may think this is some stupid old game that should stay buried. I will recommend it as someone who is consistently looking for action in games, found myself happy with the eventual build of my village.