"So while the learning aids are well-made and in all fairness rather excellent..."
For returning players maybe, I'd hazard.
I've never played the physical game and as such, am finding the online manual/tutorial very tricky. I can quite enjoy these cutesy character-driven tutorials, but given that this game is big on intricate details (costs/faction abilities etc etc), I'm often left frustrated trying to remember how the Power system works, or how to get hold of priests, or trying to figure out why I can terraform a tile to *this* but not to *that*, etc etc etc.
Ending up on BGG to find help, I see there's an excellent user-made player aid out there which I've had to download, print off and have it handy when I fire up the app. It's a very good game, but for me, learning how good, has been a trial!