Anyone else playing this? I've haven't put as much time as I'd like (busy week!) but HAVE gotten in a few solid hours - it's pretty damn good!
They sorta continue the trend of the other two games - where this one "feels" a bit different from the others while maintaining core ideas. To me, this one is much more in the Conquistador camp as opposed to Viking - it just seems "bigger" (though at least so far the "text quests" are smaller in Rome - more akin to dialogues or at least small events that can play out with either a treasure or a penalty - at least so far).
Tactical combat is fun, and pretty dense. A lot of neat little systems going on and the maps are HUGE. I was a bit offput at first (I don't like small maps, but these were pretty large tactical maps). Once I got used to it, it was actually pretty interesting as it forces tactical decisions - do you commit the bulk of your forces to one side, do you do the dreaded "party split" - do you have a strong character or two anchor a flank while the rest hopefully quickly subdue and secure another, etc. Anyway after the initial shock it's growing on me.
Also, in a cool (though again initially overwhelming) twist - a lot of your combat abilities are dictated by weapons! So you inflict status effects, have different damage types, ranges etc based on your current weapons. Your guys still have core abilities, but the way you kit them out has a drastic effect on how combat plays out. And if you don't like it, or it doesn't work out on with your guys' abilities, you can always swap out your weapon sets to try out new combinations of skills. While it can be a lot to dig through all your weapons looking for the one you want, once you get in the groove it's part of the fun to try to optimize your party for your playstyle.
As an example - I went with a "bleed" heavy set of guys - so I usually hunt down weapons that inflict bleed and also ones that remove bleed for extra damage. When I come up against enemies with shields and heavy armor, I'll probably have to switch out my stuff (or at least have a reserve secondary set). It feels a lot like the old school D&D days, where you always wanted some maces in your back pocket in case you came up against skeletons!
The overworld is sort of "HoMM-lite" and the legion stuff seems fun even if I've only just gotten into it. You can upgrade your legion and hire / assign new leaders (who have different abilities in battles and can also be swapped into your party). Your town lets you use your characters to get benefits from buildings, at the cost of not having them in combat.
Legion combat is a series of "turns" where you see old school war-game squares / military grid tokens. Based on your leader, you get a choice each turn and then an outcome. I haven't had too much experience but I like it - it's a wrinkle that makes the game feel "bigger" it doesn't take too much time but it's not an afterthought and it makes it more important to exert control on the worldmap rather than just focus on party stuff. And as you go along, you can upgrade your legion to get more options each turn in the battle.
So, sorry for the wall of text - but like I said I'm a fan of these games and this one is definately a winner. I like it more than Viking, because it feels more Expeditions, less cRPG. It can be a bit daunting at first but I like big games with a lot of fiddly systems. Anyone has any other questions let me know - snow day today so at least tonight I'm hoping to finally get in a nice long play session!