The only grumble I have with Empire: Total War is the Road to Independence campaign. It serves as the game's tutorial, and it does that job well. However, if you want to play as the United States you'll have to play through the tutorial.
It's not there that my grumble lies. I'm quite alright with playing through a tutorial. I bloody well wouldn't play it again, but I can tolerate a single playthrough of a couple of short scenarios. The problem I have is with the third Chapter in the series of four (the fourth being the Grand Campaign), the War of Independence itself.
Beginning with the Battle of Bunker Hill (which you don't have to win; historically, British forces won a Pyrrhic victory and were forced to withdraw), you start with just the city of Boston and similarly small coffers.
All of the British cities are heavily defended, and the maximum military your fledgling nation can support at this early stage is barely enough to even take another city. Should you attempt to conquer neighbouring provinces regardless of this, the British will likely take the city of Boston while it's lightly defended. Drat.
It's probably not as hard as I'm making out. After all, it's very likely that I'm just as bad at Total War as I am at every other game.
I don't have any screenshots of Empire, so here's a picture of my desk instead: