I've started 8 or 9 different games as various factions recently, and had to end each one as my empire crumbles around me.
I'm fine at battles, and can win even those battle where I am seriously outnumbered. It is the management of the provinces that I struggle with.
So I have some questions:
1 - Is the 'Occupy' option the only way to claim a settlement? I've never done anything other than Occupy, as the other options seem to suggest that you don't actually take the settlement over, like you would in previous TW games.
2 - If I choose o loot or raze a settlement, does my army stay outside the city, and does the owner then reoccupy it? Makes me wonder whether I can raze it, then attack again to occupy it with a reduced level of whinging citizens.
3 - How do I stop settlements from hating on me, despite lowering taxes overall and exempting problem settlements from taxation?
After 10-12 turns I can usually take enough settlements to make a decent empire, and yet I end up having to reduce my army to a minimal amount as I have no money to build anything in any of the settlements. Then I get invaded by some monstrous army out of nowhere and there's nothing I can do to defend against the attack.
I think I am doing something fundamentally wrong, despite watching several advice videos on the subject.
Depending on the faction, I usually build my troops for a turn or two, then attack the enemy who I am on the worst terms with. This usually continues until I have 4-8 settlements and then the expansion fatigue kicks in, and my settlements are full of hate for me, despite me trying to build them nice things.
The most recent example was playing as Pergamon. I completely wiped out Sardes with some awesome battles and managed to get to Antioch with a single large army. I had minimal troops guarding the rest of my empire, but I was making a loss each turn, and almost all of my settlements were up in arms despite being exempt from taxation.
I had to pull back t Tarsus, reduce my army size until I was making money, and sit tight for a while. Then both the Seleucids and the Galatians attached me at once, and I lost 3 settlements within a couple of turns.
I stopped playing at that point as it stopped being enjoyable.