I largely agree that individual soldiers don’t make a huge difference to a battle, there are examples of them being important though, this is from the wikipedia page on the battle of Jaffa
Richard subsequently gathered a small army, including a large contingent of Italian sailors, and hurried south. Upon seeing Muslim banners flying from the walls, he falsely believed the town to be a lost cause, until a defender swam out to his flagship and informed him of the citadel’s dire situation.
Still in his sailor’s deck shoes, Richard leaped into the sea and waded through the waves to reach the beach. The King again showed his personal bravery and martial prowess, leading fifty-four knights, a few hundred infantrymen, and about 2,000 Genoese and Pisan crossbowmen. The Muslim army began to panic at the sudden offensive launched by Richard’s newly arrived force; they feared it was but a spearhead of a much larger army coming to relieve Jaffa. The English king fought in person at the forefront of his attack, and Saladin’s men were routed.
Apparently he waded ashore with a sword in one hand and crossbow in another, sounds like a level from a computer game.
In terms of the society stages I’m personally not so keen on the idea that you can control any individual any time. For example 3D modelling a space ship from the outside and far away to make an icon is one thing but 3D modelling the whole interior so you can walk around it is 1000x more work. Same with a city, making a sprite on a map is 1000x less work than 3D modelling the whole thing with different buildings which change over time etc.
Personally, and this is only a personal opinion, I’d like to take as many shortcuts as possible and focus on gameplay. So things like each army just being a single unit on the map and each city just being a sprite etc like in CK2. I’m totally happy if people want to come along and use their skills to make it all 3D and awesome but I think it’s better to make awesome gameplay with a simple representation than spending years making a walking around mode which wont really be that fun. Remember that the cool alien cities that other games have take tens of professionals years to make. However I understand that may just be my opinion.