I just bought the game and am playing my first game and enjoying it a lot, however I can't help being disappointed in their being no high score system.
I may be out of line here, making a suggestion without even having completed a full game, but as new as I may be to this game, I am in no way new to the strategy genre or gaming as a whole so bare with me :P . What I'm suggesting doesn't actually effect gameplay directly, but is merely about the addition of a metagame experience that I think could add a lot.
a) Negating (somewhat) the complaint of difficulty.
The game is difficult (at least at hardest setting which is the only one I will be playing, although ive read everywhere that even the lowest is tough) and a high score system would allow those lost games to not be in vain. Even for players who never win (from what ive read this happens), it would add a sense of accomplishment as one could at least try to outdo oneself. Some reviews consider the difficulty of this game to be too much. That is arguable (I like the difficulty), but giving these people something to strive for in their games, even after a loss, would offset this issue.
I think this game is more replayable then it may seem due to the AI strength and the different paths that the game can take, however it will always be more or less the same and I'm quite sure that it will grow old for me (and some others) after awhile. Space Invaders was also the same thing over and over but it was the high score system that kept it interesting. The same could be said about this. Even for people who regularly beat the game, high scores would add an extra dimension of challenge. Maybe you win more often than not, but this time you want to do even better.
c) Extendability. Adding a high score system would make extra difficulty settings/options more sensible. (Increased roman troop recruiting etc). Basically small changes that add points to your final score. This, however is getting more into gameplay changes, and it may well be that you would consider it a breach of historic accuracy (although I never think something that is left as an option to the player is to bad, personally)
I also just think that games in which you are fighting an uphill battle, lend themselves well to high scores (old-school arcade games, rogue-likes, etc all do this)
Obviously the most work here would be coming up with a balanced, sensible, and non gamable system (i have some ideas of course but need to play some more first), but apart from that it would just be a few added variables and a highscore screen. I'm not suggesting an online score repository or anything.
I don't really expect this to be implemented, but I do believe it would only add to the experience so I had to get it out there.
Apart from that I'd also like to say that, although it is a bit to early to be sure, I am quite liking the game. Every move counts and I find myself thinking about my moves longer than i have in any other game, which is already a huge plus. It is very polished and so far I'm not regretting this despite the outrageous price tag. I bought iot at 3 this afternoon and played it continuously until 9 (at which point I had some crap to do.. now it's back to playing :P)
I'm looking forward to your next game if its anything like this.
< Message edited by DakaSha -- 6/22/2013 9:59:33 AM >