Balance <> you can't try out different strategies. In fact, balanced games would be more likely to open up MORE options, not less.
That's the bit that some will never get.
Having one "good" option and many "crappy" options may be unbalanced but that does not equal fun.
Intentionally choosing a bad option which is nothing but worse and simply doesn't work is not a choice. It's merely stupid.
A balanced game means that options are different. Not just good or bad but 2-dimensional balance!
While MoM isn't exactly a shining example of balance overall, it illustrates that particular point very well.
Live and Chaos books.
Life is all buffs, protection, and healing, while Chaos is boom boom kick their butt, burn their cities, corrupt their land.
They could hardly be more different but which one is the "better" magic?
You can win equally easy with either - but in different ways.
And that is "good" balance.
Bad balance limits the content of the game to those parts "that work" and why would anyone want a game where 80% of the content are "that crap that noone ever uses"?
Currently, WoM is an example of bad balance.
Since Elements and Magic are the name of the game, one would assume that winning "by magic" is an option.
Wrong. With the exception of some extremely OP summoned creatures, magic is largely inconsequenial except for taxiing troops around.
If Elemental:Magic and Elemental:Troops were different games they might actually work.
Too bad they scale by strictly separate mechanics so they cannot both work like that in the same game.