It is a very hard game to master. As for combat there is a fair amount of luck involved. A D10 is rolled which multiplies the effects of your troops (I think something like 0.1 * attack of your troops). Also only so many troops can fight at one time. Infantry for example can only fight directly in front of them on the little battle map. So even if you out number me 3-1, if I have good rolls, a better general (which adds to the rolls) and better troops, I win through attrition.
But yes it is hard to get into. Luckily the forums at paradox (when their not down lol) are very friendly like these forums. The game is not as open ended as Fallen Enchantress (since its not a random map) but it still is a good time.