Once they ally with you, they do the following:
+ Attack the Sorcerer King units and strongholds on their own
+ Provide faction specific requests to the player (i.e. you talk to them and there's a list of things that you can request where those things are based on a bunch of different variables)
Ok, thanks for the clarification on the minors.
On a slightly different topic: I've noticed that there are some elements of Civ5 that are showing up in SK. First, is the turn button. Like civ5, it notifies you when there is an idle city/unit, level up , etc. I understand it streamlines gameplay and reduces the leaning curve, but it also feels like I'm following instructions or a receipe. Do this, now do that...
Cities that defend themselves: this is a good idea. If you neglect to build your own units, you always have a few default city defenders to protect the city. In LH, when an enemy attacked, it would switch to the tactical map, and you could actualy see the units and control them if you wanted to. In SK, like civ5, all you see is this red stuff shoot out of the city at the emeny unit. It's automatic, and you have no control. It just feels detached and impersonal. Also, there is no indicator of the cties HP, defense, or how much damage is being inflicted on the enemy with each spray of the red stuff. For me, this reduces immersion.
The map itself: Like Civ5, it's clean and neat, and quite attractive. But like civ5, there is something about it that minimizes the immersion in the game. I can't fully explain it, but in part I think it has to do with the story book / boardgame look of the buildings and terrain.
With regard to the appearance of the game: When I open up Steam, I see a large list of games to scroll through. I quickly scan each for maybe a second or two. Personally, if I see a game with graphics that makes it look like a kids game, I'm more likely not to read further, and just skip it.
IMO, too much streamlining sucks the life out of a game - like Civ5. The trick is to find the right balance.
Just my 2 cents. Not trying to discourage anyone, just offering my perspective, right or wrong. - And I'm aware that Brad has explicitely expressed his admiration of Civ5.
Patiently waits to be flamed by the fanboys and yes men....