Of the few games I have ever completed without cheating, this is one of them. Why? Because it makes you want to play it properly.
The graphics and AI in this game are astounding. At the more difficult levels of game play, the computer's armies seem to actually have a master tactician on their side. Even out of battle this game is amazing. For those who are into strategy more than battle, battles can be automatically resolved whilst still on the map.
The personal characteristics of your generals changes everything in this game from the finances of your towns to the morale of your men. My general Gaias the Lewd had to be sent on a suicide mission, he was no good for anyone. This is the ultimate of strategy games.