It doesn't take much to pass from courting disaster to marrying her. Such is the case with Imperial Glory, which does a lot of things right and a handful of things wrong and ends up being disqualified from our affections by a few own goals. But at least it doesn't mix its metaphors.
The high concept is simple: It's Creative Assembly's Total War series, but applied to the Napoleonic era. This means that while there are historical battles, multiplayer and skirmishes, the core of the game is an elaborate campaign mode. This places you in charge of one of five period empires. Mostly it's a Risk-style strategy map of Europe where you manage your affairs, construct armies, conquer provinces and perform research. When a battle actually takes place, you're given the option of fighting the battle in exciting 3D-RTS-o-Vision.
In terms of strong points, on the strategy map the most memorable is Diplomacy. Unlike than the rather meaningless deals you may see in many other games, mutual defence treaties actually count for something here. They last for a set amount of time, and if one party is attacked then all parties must change their status to hostile. There are many other options, including marrying heirs, financial deals and simply trying to improve your reputation with their people. The last is interesting, in that your actions shape other countries long-term opinion of you. For example, attack without formally declaring war and you'll justifiably be considered something of a bounder by the rest of Europe.