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SummaryNo Flaw - Just Click Right Option
The GoodThis game has a super system of resource and economy management, and the AI will trade with you for mutual profit. The mercantile economies of the colonial era are very nicely modeled. You can develop client states that eventually become part of your empire without war. But war is a hoot, especially since if you develop your technology quickly you can outclass the others. If not, you can still create alliances that will lead you to victory against stronger opponents. It is easy to play, but not so simple that you get bored. The classical music score is wonderful, and puts you in a martial mood. Tactical battles are like playing chess and Stratego. Best of all, people play the wazoo out of this game still. On Yahoo newsgroups new games start often, and there are heaps of variants, alternate maps, and scenarios. A good strategy game needs live players !
The BadCould use more variation in the land battle maps. It would be super if the sea battles were modeled on a tactical map, too, but they are always taken care of in the abstract. Control of the seas is essential, since you need ships to move armies between continents, to protect your trade in money and resources, and the impose embargoes.