I just started my first campaign as the Brutii and I seem to be doing quite well (Hard/Medium Setting). I have successfully accomplished each Senate Mission, and I have 10 provinces under my control (I just fought a war against Sparta... I had 1100 troops, and Sparta had 1000 and I crushed them and came out of the battle with 1000 troops left, then conquered there city... I couldn't figure out why they put an army in the field instead of staying within their walls!).
I am fairly meticulous with my planning, but even so, I haven't "got the willies" yet that I might actually be defeated somewhere on the map.
How hard is "HARDEST/HARDEST"? Does anyone have experience on that difficultly level? I love a challenge and a smart AI more than stomping across the map with relative ease.
I also had a diplomat wandering up "in the north country" and managed to bribe an enemy general to my side for 10K... I then bought a few mercenaries for the general and then thumped the nearby city and ended up with an "outpost" in the north far away from my homeland... funny!