It's rather unfortunate, then, that the game itself is an uninspired mix of both real-time strategy gaming and role-playing. Both have been done better before, but like many genre-straddlers, the combination ends up weakening both styles of play instead of being more than the sum of its parts.
BIG NOTE: Before you even think about playing the game, make sure that you get all of the newest patches from Phantagram. The easiest way to do this is to log in to the Wargate server and have it update the program for you. You may have to do it three or four times before you get all the patches, and those over a modem will be irritated, but the end result is a more solid gaming experience. The pathfinding is improved, along with other tweaks that make KUF more enjoyable.
That being said, all of the patches still fail to make KUF inspiring. The storyline is almost painfully hackeneyed, although the in-level drama certainly helps move the plot along better than most games of its type. The units, while plentiful, are strictly run-of-the-mill, and a classic grunt rush will win you more than any real sort of strategizing. The resources in KUF are gold, iron and mana, and all are gathered in the traditional style -- peons who can also build structures. You even have farms to sustain your troops.
It's not that Kingdom Under Fire is necessarily bad. It's just terribly uninspired. You can only do so many 'eliminate the opposition' missions before you realize that there are much better things to do with your time. And the dungeon crawls are basically excuses to level up your main heroes and get them better equipment. Said equipment must be adjusted before you leave the RPG areas, however, as you can't do anything with the items once you leave those areas.
There are the requisite two campaigns, one from the good guy point of view (the Humans) and the other from the bad guy point of view (the Orcs . . . err, Devils). The game does a few things that aren't too common in the genre, such as actual experience for each unit that increases with every kill, raising health, speed, and other such things. But the heroes are the only consistent lot through the game, and even those come and go. And since every mission ends if your heroes die, you've got to be very careful that they don't get offed halfway through a level.
And herein is the Big Problem with Kingdom Under Fire -- the game does not have in-level save. Since Ground Control came out with this 'feature', I've been complaining, and it doesn't seem that people are listening. Folks, playing through a two-hour mission three times because a main character is getting offed in the end is NOT a Good Thing, and in fact can cause large bouts of screaming and ranting. Whoever thinks that this is a cool 'design feature' needs to get a better grasp on reality.
KUF also supports multiplayer, but every time I got on Wargate I could never find anyone to play against. That may change as the game's availability in the US climbs, but for the moment you'll have to make do with friends with copies and LAN gaming.