The map expansion is coming along nicely, with the entirety of the Parthian Empire and the relevant Silk Road territories of the Roman Empire all now added. You can see the Roman regions of Syria and Mesopotamia in the picture to the left. This completes the entire western side of the Silk Road, although we still have the great Takla Makan desert in the east to complete.
We are working towards a new Alpha build that will have numerous updates in it (including new Advisor Portraits), and we'll let you know more about this as we get closer to completing it. However, the map expansion won't be in the new Alpha as we don't have all the new landscape sprites to support it yet.
What you will get, though, are the Battle scripts and combat systems (although not the Troop systems yet - still working on the sprites for this!), and a substantial overhaul to the core engine that should make movement smoother and provide an increased field of vision.
The new Alpha build is set for release in June.