I downloaded the game from steam a while ago and finally got a chance to play. My first game was awesome and epic! I had a fun cold-war period with the Sorcerer King, a harrowing hot war with him, then a nail-biting final battle where I took the SOB down with my last surviving hero. I really enjoyed it - hats off to the dev team. I also found it to be quite beautiful - the art and music is a huge step up from FE. Good show, dev team!
I've returned to the game a few more times, trying different sovereigns each time. While still fun, I found each play through to be "samey" - a cold war, then a hot war, then a showdown. Because the game ties you down to such a specific scenario (i.e. SK starts out strong and you start out weak), there's really only one effective strategy: expand as much as possible while staying at peace with the big guy until you're strong enough to challenge him directly.
As such, while the first play-through was one of my favorite strategy experiences in a long time, I find that this game does not have nearly as much variety and replay value as many of Stardock's other games (particularly the amazing GC2, which was full of vastly different viable paths to victory).
Some ideas to enhance the replay value:
-Different types of SK's with different troops. How about a demon lord SK with demonic troops? Or a dragon SK with dragonkin forces? A fallen angel SK with an army of fellow fallen angels? A Cthulu-esque nightmare with twisted and warped troops? Give them different personalities and strengths and weaknesses.
-Different lieutenants for SK's. I always seem to have to kill the same 2 jerks!
-Ways to subvert the SK outside of open warfare - i.e. espionage units that can stir rebellion in his troops, assassinate key units, plant a magic bomb on a shard so when the SK units destroy it, they go boom (would love to hear the SK whine about that one!), etc
-Allow me to select a different starting race with significantly different units than the default.