Fantasy strategy games have always appealed to me, but I've never been sure which ones I would enjoy. In addition, I have a few requirements that said game would need to fulfill, and I have no idea whether or not any of the fantasy titles out there would qualify. So I'll just list what I'm looking for, and hopefully someone here can tell me if there's a game (or games) out there that would fit:
1.) I'm looking for a turn-based empire-building title -- think Civilization crossed with Lord of the Rings. I do not want an RTS like the Warhammer games, no matter how much fun they may be; that's just not my cup of tea.
2.) Must have an open-ended campaign or "sandbox" mode. With very few exceptions, I've never liked playing campaigns that consist of a series of missions. I like to just build up my race/nation/empire in a more free-form environment.
2a.) A random map generator would be great, but it's not a make-or-break issue. (Obviously I have no problems with the TW games lacking randomly-generated campaign maps, for example.)
3.) Good AI. This is a must-have for me, as I play mostly singleplayer games. Not that I expect computer opponents to be brilliant, obviously, but it would be nice if they could at least give me a halfway-decent challenge.
So given all that, is there a fantasy game out there that fits everything I just listed?