When I decided to play the conquest, I have had pretty decent challenge on the the world map, but it is the skirmishes that kill me. I have to whole thing set to easy and the computers tactics are insane, completely unlike regular skirmish. So if you are unfamiliar, when you enter a battle it is basically a skirmish game, but you enter with the troops in your strike force and the troops in theirs. This often includes an MCV so you can base build. If it is strike force vs strike force, the game plays like a standard skirmish. It is when you attack a pre-built base that things get nuts.