The newly added mid-battle updates are also a mixed bag, proving inaccurate as often as they are informative. Setting the attitude of your AI commanders (who back you up in conflicts involving more than one army) is also somewhat anticlimactic. Choose from the three stances on offer - offensive, defensive and shootout - then watch as the AI general wades idiotically into the fray and gets himself killed, while his leaderless troops get butchered. A seriously missed opportunity if ever we've seen one.
While it may not be perfect, Medieval II: Total War - Kingdoms' sheer depth and replayability raises it high above any RTS expansion pack we've ever played. By breaking down Med II's main campaign into bite-sized chunks, adding new factions, units, diplomatic options and tasks, Kingdoms manages to provide an all new experience while remaining reassuringly familiar. It's an expansion that's kept us enthralled for dozens of hours and we've loved every ecstasy-inducing, spear-thrusting, pounding, hammering moment of it.