EUIV is a simulation of global politics and war. There is a relatively limited set of choices you can make under normal circumstances: hiring advisors to improve your capabilities, hiring troops, about two dozen diplomatic actions in peace, and a number of different peace deal options when termina...
When you start out, it can be overwhelming. You have a country and three thousand infantrymen -- what can you do? You decide to attack your neighbor -- and they cut you down like reeds. You start over as a bigger country and attack a smaller neighbor -- and suddenly you're in a war against sev...
Play straight through on real-time, or pause for as much micro-management as is needed. No rapid attacks and the key here, it is pausable even though it can be a real time system. Basically time can be slowed, sped up and paused with most gameplay taking place somewhere in between.
The game allows for one to make their own choices with there being many "win" conditions in that you can choose to progress how you like. Want to take over all of Europe, that is possible, want to create a successful lineage of family that keeps to themselves, this is also possible.
Crusader King II is a very complicated game that seems overly complex at first and may take a while to really learn as there are quite a lot of things to not only balance in the game but also figure out how to do either through in game tutorials or reading online.
For those interested there is a mod that improves historical accuracy called the Historical Plausibility Project. This mod features many improvements to the game such as complex politics that were not originally in the default game.
The game is really difficult to learn all the mechanics of and how to control, like most Paradox games. For those that like this difficulty there is a lot to like but for the most part it only appeals to the die hard fanatics.