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I have been playing games for over 25 years and usually can master the learning curve of any game, more easily the older I get. I want to like WW, so much-----but I am so confused by this game, it is kicking my butt, despite watching people do missions on youtube, reading scattered online tips, the manual, etc. No, the Gamefaqs 'guide' is very insufficient and answers none of my questions. There is just so little to go on it feels!

I have been slamming my head into a wall for weeks now, and I am ready to give up. I am on the penultimate Eaggra mission (my first campaign), yes, the one with the Obblinox fire mages of doom. I am so confused right now by the dependencies (tech tree).
1) I have built all buildings, upgraded an artisan to max along with my entire army, have druid and archdruid, and yet, I cannot figure out how spells work! There seems no rhyme or reason to when you are allowed to research them, the option to research appears at random, and you can research spells you already know apparently (!). And I can't get the spell tree tricked out b/c I have no frickin clue how to unlock it!
2) Worst yet, my archdruid research gives no spells to the lesser druids, who are useless because no spells. Just a glorified waste of resources.
3) I can't build grenadiers because I cannot build cruisers, despite meeting the manual-stated tech requirements. A feature of the mission perhaps?
4) at this point, I am cowering in my bunker safe from the mages, since they would have to run through my offensive wall otherwise, but my mouse reaction time is too slow to beat them in the field without massive loss of units. The AI can cast spells before I can even see the units, while I struggle to tactically use the spells for any purpose. Like ANY. What the heck is 'nature's call', anyways?

Any help is appreciated, I am ready to give up on this game it is so unfun. :(