I just finished my first vanilla game, completing all of the objectives and conquering the entire map. I must say this is really fun game and I'm glad I bought it. I had never heard of the game prior to the sale on steam, when I picked this up. Now I'am really looking forward to the Gold release and will gladly pay the additional money to upgrade to Gold.
- Raids: I really liked how the Althenians were constantly raiding my shore every spring. It often made me long for winter so I could concentrate on my land campaign and not have to worry about pesky raiders. I wouldn't have minded it if every few years or so if they would've tried full scale invasions instead just raiding.
- Supply Nodes: I like the supply system and looking forward to the ability to be able to upgrade them in Gold. I would've like to have the ability to choose between a land or sea route when connecting cities that had both available, as a work around I would have to build all the sea nodes, then connect the land routes and then demolish the sea routes I didn't want.
One of the thing that didn't make sense to me was the number of supply nodes compared to number of resources in a given region. I understand the number is base on historical numbers of trade routes, but with that being the case I don't think mines and farms should be considered trade routes. In one of the Northern regions your given an objective to capture 8 mines in single region, yet the city for the region only has four trade nodes. With one node being used for a farm, that allows you to connect to 3 mines, leaving 5 mines not being used, provided you don't connect it to another city. Another example was a region that had four farms but only 2 trade nodes. In the game I just finished I always chose farms over mines and always choose to connect a city to at least to two other cities if possible. There were dozens of unconnected mines and half a dozen unconnected farms even though every city was using all its nodes.
Pathing: For the most part I didn't have really any trouble with pathing, once I figured out I could use the shift key for way points. Though sometimes connecting two cities together would give me a path not found even when they were close to each other. The one that baffled me the most is Tralles and Idris in the persian empire, both cities are right next to each other and both have enough supply nodes but when you try and link them you get no path found.
Forts: I found forts to be rather weak in terms of strength. I found they had small sphere of influence and I could easily capture a fort with a single unit without breaking a sweat. I actually ended up modding them to have a 1000 hp when garrisioned, bumped up their vision radius and doubled the number of missles they fire. If I knew where to find it, I would've increased their firing range as well. To my dismay I found very few of them with an actual garisson by the AI.
Invasions: I would like to have seen the different factions do full scall invasions, I found typically the factions would only siege my cities when they were trying to retake one of the cities that I had captured and usaully the force would all come from a single city. I'd like to see joint attacks from multiple cities and then have them continue to try and expand. Also never once did the AI bring catapults to siege my cities.
Watchtowers: I found they had a rather short view range for being watchtowers and ended up modding the range to these as well.
Combat: One thing I noticed is that all units are by default in hold ground stance. I'd like to be able to change a units stance to a guard stance so that when attacked by a ranged unit, my troops would engage them instead of standing still soaking up the arrows or Javelins. Being able to change stances would be very helpful when your managing units on mulitple fronts.
The Map: I found that my empire and Spartan colors on the map were very similar and hard to tell apart. Also some of the name of the seas near edges of the map couldn't be uncovered because they extended past the point where your ships could travel.
Bugs: In the object "Through the Sporades to the Rhodes: Cnidus" if you move "Agatharchide the Scholar" into Cnidus via a ship, he is not removed from the game when the objective completes.
When giving a grouped unit specific orders, the remainder of the grouped units would stop dead in their tracks, instead continuing with their current order.
Often when selecting units the help bar would show the units icon instead of their stats as if they were in a group, giving them an order would resolve the issue, I was unable to figure out the steps to reproduce but it happened alot during my game.
These are just my observations and I hope they are seen as constructive critisism as I had a really fun time playing through the campaign. Thanks for the excellent game.
Edit: One final thought, after you conquer all the cities in the game you should get a final quest to return to Pella. Upon finishing the quest a cutscene should play with a victory celebration or talking about Alexander's exploits. Then roll credits or return us to the main menu since there isn't anything left do, except start again. :)