The gameplay is smoother with less micromanagement and the factions, while fewer, are more diverse. The new unit tier system promotes synergy and with units having more abilities than ever and combat depth is greatly enriched. The battlefield comes in more sizes and shapes, with special locations occasionally appearing (like a rally flag that temporarily increases the luck and morale of nearby units or a visible trap that slows movement) and the possibility of special conditions in a fight. Black Hole created a vast array of beautiful combat arenas and the duel mode is greatly improved. The game's graphics and animations are nothing short of stunning and richly detailed, which I may not consider a must in a strategy game but it certainly sweetens the deal.