Are you using Catapults to siege the city before the battles? You need Blizzards, Fireballs, Catapults, radius damage staves to siege. If you have cleared the entire map before you got to those, that means the pacing of lairs is way off. I am working on some more challenging stuff for that stage of the game to keep things interesting. It will take a while to do, but where you are quitting right now is where I want the real game to start.[/quote]
Hehe, you must be joking i do not have yet archer, nor cavalry, not to mentions catapults. I have fireball on my sov (does not survive first turn of battle to archers, and if he does, stationed hero will counterspell him) and one more hero.
I have five cities, i cleared little piece of land, i am surrounded by AI's and whenever i try to cross their territory they threaten me with war. I am in war with Yithril, but as i said, game is still in the early phase (80+ turn), and since it is ridiculous and they can have so many bonuses to defending city (and they of course, already have 5 size city), it is impossible to take them. Hence, on ridiculous if you do not expand, you are dead. I can prolong my agony, but game is over.
Problem is that i am playing ridiculous, which with this mode, apart from normal huge bonuses, gains also incredible bonus for defenses in cities, namely large number of serious defending troops. Meanwhile i am fielding 3-man units, he already has 7-man unit archer militia (though his regular army is only 4-man). He has also 7-man cavalry. I attack a city with 6-troops in army, and he has like 15+ (including obelisk, spears militia, archers etc.). And i have 6-troops only because that was my priority. Not to mention 300+hp Jaggernauts he gets every turn (though those outside of city i easily kill).
My conclusion is that your balance is broken somewhat for ridicolous AI -> they develop cities way too fast, and in your mod it implies incredible defenses. They defending army in a city is like 5 times better than what AI can field.
Right now, i would have to just turtle for 100-150 turns and do research, but since my neigbhours are rapidly growing in power, it is only a matter of time before i get crushed. My power rating is ok (of course last, but not far behind), but the difference is growing rapidly. If i do not take those two cities of Yithril soon, i am done.
I will try to play expert terrifying world, hoping that AI on expert can cope with it ....