Probably the best of the AGE Games, Rise of Prussia covers the fascinating European Theatre of War during the Seven Years war, or third silesian war. The Gold Edition also adds the First and Second Silesian Wars, which are smaller and more focused and great for learning the game. Its a period that is ironically, often overlooked by most people. Taking one of histories greatest generals, Frederick the Great, you lead the fledgeling nation of Prussia into war against the monstrosities that are France, Russia, Sweden and most importantly Austria, with only a few hannoverian allied armies supporting you.
The game enjoys minimal bugs compared to most AGE Engine Games, and I have only run into one so far and it was minor at worst (A General teleporting). The Performance is good, which is something you can't normally say for an AGE game as well, and whilst it isn't the prettiest game around the graphics are pleasing enough to the eye. Although the UI is a little outdated, its easy to get used too and can be learnt quickly enough.
A major strength of the game, infact the main focus, is the way in which war is waged. You have total control over your force composition, in a realistic manner that even takes into account your generals seniority. (A General with more seniority expects to be promoted before that new guy, even if the new guy is 10x better hes gunna have to get some achievements before being promoted to leading his own Corps). Your armies are divided into groups, starting with an Field Army, which is made up of different Corps, which are in turn made of different Brigades, and whom are also made up of Battallions etc. This area of organization is brilliant for anyone who enjoys reforming whole armies to fit their needs and despite how it sounds, is relatively simple once you get used to it. The UI for doing this is far less convuluted than similar games (Looking at you hearts of iron). Each of these forces can be detached or re-attached to their command at will, so if you have a Brigade of Hussars and need to know if the enemy is in Prague, or still sitting on his ♥♥♥♥ in Vienna, you can detatch them from the main army and send them on a scouting mission (or a raid). This level of flexibility blends excellently with the warfare of the time period, where battles are fought and won on manouver.
On the note of manouver, don't expect the enemy to just sit around and wait for you! You both move at the same time, planning your turn for the next two weeks and then the plans execute simultaneously, this can lead to some very interesting situations and provides for a far more interesting gameplay experience, and also means you'll have to predict enemy movements and prepare for them accordingly.
In addition to a brilliant manouver system, the Supply system is perfect, and accurately represents the systems used in the time period. As you advance deeper into enemy territory, it may become necassery to build supply depots to keep your men fed, and to even place guards at these depots to ensure enemy cavalry brigades don't come along and raid it. I havn't fully worked out the supply system yet, but running out of food stocks is sufficiently devestating, and Winter is suitably harsh (In the actual war they had to sit around in prague until winter was over, I had to do the same thing) effecting supplies, movement and attrition effectively, as well as combat and encourages one to wait it out and lick your wounds rather than continue the advance.
The game isn't perfect though, it has a few flaws and I think the foremost of them is the military recruitment system. I feel as if, the recruitment process is a little slow at times, and that whilst the time it takes to prepare men is fine, the number of men I can prepare at once feels rather limited. I can't speak regarding the realism here, its a personal view and may be to some peoples liking. But it isn't to mine. Another issue I've run into is the reinforcements. I'm not really sure how they work, and the concept is never really explained. But I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually, so I'll update the review once I have figured it out.
In short, for those looking for a pretty realistic strategy game, with indepth customization of forces and an excellent combat/manouver warfare system and mechanics, this is the game to get. Its fairly priced, clean of bugs, and provides hours of gameplay.