Halfway through and my opinion of the game hasn't changed much. Easy mode may be too easy, but that doesn't trouble me much because I don't think my heart could take it if the game were too difficult.
Rome: Total War reminds me a bit of Crusader Kings II. The strategy in each game is fundamentally different - Rome: Total War relies on standing armies to a degree that's impossible in CKII. But they're both played on maps of Europe, they both use the dynasty as the basic unit of gameplay, they both run on the idea that the player will have unlimited ambition. While they're not actually all that much alike, they are just similar enough that it aggravates me when I see the pop-up for one of my dynasty members getting promoted or married or whatnot and I realize that I can't actually get involved in the social minutiae of their lives because the game is really all about massive tactical battles.
I actually have a feeling I am going to lose this campaign in the long run. While I was sitting around improving my cities and collecting wealth, the other two major Roman families have been conquering left and right. I'm now in a position where I have to scramble to catch up, as territories in Gaul are quickly running out. Things are going to get ugly before the end, I know (I've been spoiled) and my only hope is that easy mode proves generous enough to cover for my lack of preparation.
That's a problem for the future, though. For now, I'm relatively content to slowly chip away at the barbarian lands and fight the occasional super-easy RTS battle. It's when things inevitably start to fall apart that my tolerance for this game will truly be tested.