I just spent all week playing my first AoD2 game and I was very impressed with most of the changes. Not knowing how I needed to adjust by strategy, I played it like a regular Civ4Col game (which was incredible easy) and needless to say, I got my butt whooped at the Patriot level. There were two things that caused this: the much higher cost of Guns and of course, the incredible numbers and strengths of the REF. In Civ4Col, I would easily win being outnumbered 3:1 but not in AoD2. Not only did they have much greater numbers, but they were much stronger units too (much to my chagrin when I saw the 6-strength Dragoons). And, they basically came all at once instead of piecemeal. Not chance whatsover to defeat the REF like I used to do. Now I'm going to have to learn how to play AoD2 and that's cool. My only quibble was the land size. I played on a Huge map with FaireWeather and it was not until the end that I realized that there were two large continents. That made exploration (esp. with me playing as the Portugese) somewhat irrelevant since the one continent wasn't that big. I had looked forward to playing on a much larger Huge map than normal but I guess it was bad luck to have had it split into two smaller landmasses.