The gameplay was quite similar the the original Civilization, as mentioned above, but one big difference was that you got to maneuver your troops around the battlefield for each battle, rather than have the computer decide who won with one random number.
Magic: the Gathering had many similarities to master of Magic, and I always wandered if there was some licensing deal that was done that explained why there was never a sequel.
Similarities between Master of Magic and Magic: the Gathering
Magic came in five different flavours in each game, with the same colours in each, representing the same concepts. ie, white = life and combat prowess, black = death, green = natural world, blue = air and sorcery, red = fire and earth.
Each game also had the concept of mana, with a connection to the land. In Master of Magic your cities generated mana, and there were also nodes that could be conquered and used as a sort of mana spring. So, the more land you controlled, the more mana you had.