So here's the deal. I'm loving this game and the best thing about it is, of course, the battles. Nothing more fun than smashing huge mobs of fantasy units together and managing the battlefield chaos.
But what I'm finding is that battles are diminished in fun and importance as you get further in the campaign. For a few reasons:
1. In the long run, economic superiority will trump battlefield tactics. So the game becomes less about the battles and more about economic management.
2. Unbalanced economies lead to unbalanced armies which lead to fewer battles. Usually, one side is dominant and the other side retreats. In fact, I feel quite lucky to have just one evenly matched battle in a two-hour play session, especially late game.
3. Poor and unvaried recruitment choices by the AI. Not only does the AI seem to not make effective army comps, but they seem to send the same comps at you over and over again. It becomes boring after a while to face the same armies and use the same strategies.
I find myself wishing for a campaign mode that features only battles. Not as a replacement for the strategic campaign, but as an additional game mode.
What I envision is a narrative-driven sequence of set-piece battles, basically like quest battles, but where you can choose what army to take with you on a point-buy system. This will allow you to face much more unique and interesting battlefield situations. It would also allow you to experiment beating the same scenario with vastly different army comps.
In order to facilitate a sense of progression, your troops and general can earn experience through the campaign, and you should be able to unlock new units after certain battles. Perhaps you can even choose the order in which you tackle some battles, thus unlocking some units before others.
I'd really love to see something like this. So, take note CA: I'd gladly spend money for a battle-driven campaign.