You play the role of Spartacus, the runaway slave turned general. Since all escape routes out of Italy are closed off, you're only choice is to march on rome. To achieve victory, you must build up your outpost and destroy the Roman(Greek) town center and government center, without losing Spartacus (Hero Jason).
Playability: 3.5. You start in Post Iron with about 1000 resources and about 8 each of infantry, cav, and archers. I got started right away building more houses. There are several ways to play this. My comment above indicated my first playthrough. This time I opted for the trireme rush which is quite a rush indeed as you try to generate more docks, more villies to chop wood, more wood, and more triremes than you lose in an early direct attack against the waterside of the Roman fort. There comes a tipping point where the balance falls in your favor and then it's mass annihilation from the sea, leveling all Roman buildings within trireme range and then later taking out the two target buildings with jugs.
Balance: 3.5 The enemy is defensive so you can build up slowly for an hour or so, or you can try the rush as I did. If you make any miscalculations, you can get wiped out. If the enemy navy scout ship finds your docks, he will send masses of heavy cats and infantry to wipe them out over land. I sacrificed my entire land army, throwing them into the masses of catapults and centurions outside the fort, just to clear my pop cap for villies and triremes, a gamble that paid off, and also wiped out a few catapults and centurions.
Creativity: 3. Nicely set up map and special victory conditions.
Map: 2.5. Nice Roman fort, carefully placed lion kings, nice little plateau for Spartacus to survey his troops.
Story: 3. Some parts missing but good reference to history in the win and loss statements. And -- the victory conditions actually worked, not something you often see in scens of this era.
Comments: Try the trireme rush. All it takes is wood and you are surrounded by forest. Just make sure you balance your production and timing or you can get wiped out.