I hated my play of this, but I acknowledge it was probably because all 4 of us had never played it before and one in particular was extremely AP prone.
Yeah it's a wide open sandbox and hard to get going if you've never played.
It helps to use the church ability for guidance on what to focus.
The biggest frustration to me is the interaction is strong in this game. Taking dice with just a little thought can really screw your opponent (i.e. me), and force a different choice (even more so than standard worker placement)
I like it for that, but it can slow the game a tad.