Bought the game, read the rules (10 minutes--2 to read, 8 to understand) and started playing with my brother.
I won the first game by a point, as my farmers won the day.
He won game two by a comfortable margin, too many of my knights didn't produce.
By game three I started to get a feel for the tiles, and,
*GASP* a little strategy.
My brother conceded the game as he hamstrung himself playing too many farmers. Plus I made his cities well nigh unfinsihable. So with all his followers committed (knights, farmers and a monk or two), I kept scarfing points with thieves, pulling away.
We both liked the game a lot, and felt there were many subtle strategies going on. The luck factor was present, but we felt one couldn't blame any one tile on the outcome.
There's a nice feel as the map develops. We loved the challenge in deciding when and where to place followers.
Cool game. After three games and playing only two-player, I'd give it a 9.