A Game of Thrones - Genesis is a "boardgame" style strategy game with real-time-strategy elements. It's a simple concept: you begin with a "home base" and slowly expand your empire. But that is where simplicity ends: expanding your empire is accomplished principally by winning the loyalty of neighboring towns and castles with diplomatic envoys. The more towns that are loyal to you, the more income you have, and income will help you produce more units.
Then, you will need to create some spy rings in enemy cities, subdue spies in your own cities, assassinate nobles, and other nefarious acts in order to succeed. You can even have the enemy create and command units that he thinks are working for him, but are actually working for you. It is the most layered, deep espionage system I have ever seen in a game (think Civ4 times 15). That being said, I also feel that the game is too deep for an RTS, playing strategically requires a bit of deep thought and I felt intimidated about having to think faster than my opponent, rather than being able to take my time and press "end turn" like in Civilization or Master of Orion.
Here is most of the game's complexity in a nutshell: envoys create alliances, spies ruin alliances, nobles create blood alliances, assassins ruin blood alliances, guards block towns from assassins, spies and assassins working together can circumvent guards. Spies can reveal hidden enemy units, because about 90% of the units in the game are visible only to the player who controls them. They are on a generous "stealth timer" when in enemy territory.The Good
* Great interface, smooth controls.
* A game so deep that it could never be released on anything but PC.
* The game is very well suited for multiplayer matches with a friend.
* It is kind of fun to learn, but I assume you cannot truly appreciate it until you have mastered the basics (which I was never able to do.)
* Lots of achievements to unlock.
* High skill ceiling.The Bad
* Long load times
* Expensive pricetag, the game would be a fair buy at $10, but not $20.
* Very little connection to the A Game of Thrones series that we know and love, except for the Lannisters are all jerks and killed me in my first match.
* The game might be too complex for many people. I don't want you to confuse "complex" with "strategic." There are times when things are needlessly complex.
* Some small problems with the tutorial. It will direct you to "look at the map in the lower right corner," when the map is actually in the lower left. Also, the "back" button does absolutely nothing in the tutorial's dialogue boxes.
* High-learning curve.
* The game is not friendly to colorblind players. The fog of war is just a b&w version of the map, but it's very difficult to differentiate between the colored (visible) parts of the map and the b&w (fog of war) parts of the map, especially in snowy areas. If you are colorblind, you will go mad if you try to play as the Starks.
* The battle animations are, well, terrible - but I'd rather have bad animations than bugs. Additionally, although war is a large aspect of the game, 90% of the game is the espionage that happens before the war.The Ugly
* Uses TAGES DRM. (5 machine installation limit).The Verdict
If you are looking for an ultra-deep strategy game, pick this up. If you are new to 4X games, I would suggest waiting for it to go on sale for >49%, as the game is really hard to appreciate if you aren't already intimately familiar with its genre.
I'd be happy to answer any other questions that you may have, just message me.