EDIT: in light of some comments below, special thanks to @Jack_Lusted_CA
, I am altering/adding explanations to many of the points I have previously added below and clarified some of my points. Discussion title renamed as well.
Okay, I may be buying Thrones (not that any of you fellow forum users would particularly care). Previously I stated that Thrones lacks enough campaign depth/variation to justify me personally playing it over Warhammer, especially since the battles in Warhammer are on an epic and varied scale that any historical title would be very hard-pressed to match. The selling point for Thrones (for me) is the campaign, and there are a lot of different/unique things that are done in the Thrones campaign that does set it apart from other titles such as Warhammer.
Many of the areas in which I thought the campaign "lacks" are from LegendofTotalWar's list, as I believe he gives a good rundown about was changed (not necessarily removed) from Thrones that was in previous historical Total Wars.
1. No population mechanic.
It was explained that a population requirement did not benefit the game as it is primarily used to unlock more building slots, something done in Thrones by upgrading the main settlement chain. While I do understand this better, I do believe that some sort of population that impacted public order and economic/trade output would add to the game's depth and experience. This is something that I believe is particularly hampering more recent Total War games. If further explanation is available for this missing mechanic, I would greatly appreciate understanding why this particular aspect of population is not included.
2. No culture/religion.
There is some culture/religion in the game, but it is not a major factor as paganism did not widely spread throughout England during this time and the Vikings mainly converted to Christianity. Sweet!
3. No provincial edicts.
Edicts were cut because Thrones emphasizes generals as the most influential factors. Cutting provincial edicts make generals more influential and impactful. Alright, but they will be missed.
4. No army traditions.
Army traditions are "rolled" into the general as, again, the focus is on individual characters. It also puts a greater value on technology. Great!
5. No agents.
Priest/religious agents are not included because of the above reasoning for the lack of culture/religion (sending a priest to convert Christians into Christians will do little good). Many of the benefits that heroes bring, such as public order, have been rolled into generals to make them more impactful. Spies were removed as the player can see into all the territory adjacent to the regions they own. I don't entirely agree with the last one, but I can see why they were removed.
6. No imperium (army number limits).
The money, food, loyalty, estate, replenishment, and other factors can limit the number of single-general armies that can run around and take minor settlements. Fantastic!
7. No navies.
I understood this one to begin with, but just to clarify: it doesn't make any sense for a bunch of marauding Vikings and Englishmen to only stay on their boats.
8. No mercenaries.
Part of the rosters. "Mercenaries" are in the game, they are just available via a different system. Nice!
9. No minor settlement customization.
I understand that they are set villages specializing in one thing in particular (like farming or mining), but I still don't understand why there are no garrison/militias present in minor settlements to protect from smaller armies and support larger garrisoned and nearby armies. Further explanation would be much appreciated.
10. No forced march/ambush.
Forced march and movement bonuses now come from followers and generals themselves and are still in the game. This, again, makes general more influential and valuable. Great! The reasoning behind the ambush stance was that few players actually engaged in ambush battles, which I understand, but I personally use ambush battles a lot and will miss them. Alright, I guess... granted ambush battles can be pretty situational, but I will still miss them.
To clarify (which I did not do when I originally posted this thread) I am NOT bashing CA for creating Thrones. I think it looks like a good game, but some of the choices seemed (and still seem) a little odd to me regarding campaign detail. I am not whining that there aren't features that I want (and if you thought that from reading my unedited post I apologize as it was not my intent) but rather seeking to understand WHY these changes were made. I am still "concerned" about or disagree with some of the choices made, mainly the complete lack of a population mechanic, not because I want something to pick apart, but because I want the Total War franchise to be the best it could possibly be. If anyone can clarify any of the questions I have listed above, I would greatly appreciate it, but don't rip into me too hard as the game has yet to come out and everything I say should be taken with a grain of salt as I haven't actually played the game and am not 100% certain how each change impacts gameplay.
Again, thanks to @Jack_Lusted_CA
for answering many of my questions that I probably could have found the answers to if I looked a little harder (and on Reddit).