The gameplay in Etherlords II
consists of two parts; first is the Exploration/Adventure mode where you walk your avatar around a 3D map. This is where you meet NPC's, collect resources, and engage in combat with an enemy. The second part of Etherlords II
is the combat aspect, better known as Dueling. Once you have initiated combat with another character, you go to a stationary location where you and another hero battle it out.
While you can only choose to play the Campaign mode with two different races, you can play a simple Dueling mode where you can be any of 4 different races. Each, of course, has their own strength's and weaknesses, which come in the form of spells.
The single player Campaign mode is the biggest aspect of the game, and unfortunately extremely linear. During the Campaign portion you roam around, meet people, expose more of the plot, and then take a predetermined path to fight someone.
When you engage in combat, you either pass or fail. However, you can't lose at the game. If you lose a fight, there are no penalties. You just have to tweak the spells you are using and go back into the fray. This trial-and-error approach to the spells you use in combat may entertain some, but after a while it can become a hassle.
The Multiplayer portion of Etherlords II supports only two player Duels. This is the standard combat method for the Campaign mode also; two heroes squaring off against one another. The limit of only two people may not seem bad at first, but it will quickly become apparent that had there been support for battles containing more than two people, the replayability of the game would have been much greater.