Having never played a pokemon game before... but loving FF Tactics, Tactics Ogre, and Front Mission, I'm thinking about checking this game out...
So how does it work? Apparently you can recruit a number of people - and then give each person a pokemon, and different people work better with certain pokemon than others? How many pokemon are there, and how many people can you have? How hard is it to level people/pokemon? I've rad about pokemon.. evolving into other forms? Do they always evolve into the same pokemon, or are they more like trees, that split depending on stats, or what items you feed them, or somehting?
You should be able to handle the gameplay just fine if you've played all those.
But err, each warrior has a Pokemon at the start, but it's possible to link with others, some can be better and some can be worse.
Essentially each warrior has a certain maximum link % they can achieve with each pokemon. Your link % functions exactly like a level in toher games. It dictates how your stats are, a higher link has more stats than a lower link. A pokemon might have 60% maximum link with one warrior, so they'll stop "leveling" when they get to 60%, thus they miss out on another 30% of getting stats up. While you can go link with another Pokemon who has that maximum of 100%, so they have greater potential, but then a different pokemon could have a maximum of 40% or so and be worse.
With evolutions, most Pokemon have static evolutions, they always evolve into the same pokemon, but some do have branches like you say. The hero's first pokemon Eevee for instance, can evolve into 1 of 7 other forms, depending on which item you give it, or where you level it.
Having not played a pokemon game before, and having played better tactical RPGs, I'm not sure how much joy you'll get out of this, but it's worth trying for sure. The biggest help I can give you really is looking at http://www.serebii.net/conquest/pokemon.shtml
There's the whole list of pokemon there, it'll show you what evolves into what and how to do it, and there's a navigation on the right side for other pages. pretty much everything you'd need to know is on there, even has basic gameplay mechanics too.
So how does it work? Apparently you can recruit a number of people - and then give each person a pokemon, and different people work better with certain pokemon than others?
Each person comes with a Pokemon already. Unfortunately, it often isn't a good match, but you can recruit more Pokemon for each character once you capture around 5 castles. Each person can tame anywhere from 4-8 Pokemon. Each Warrior/Warlord has a special ability you can use once per battle, and each Pokemon can equip and use 1 item per battle. Each Pokemon has a single preset attack, plus one of a few innate abilities that you can change later.
How many pokemon are there, and how many people can you have? How hard is it to level people/pokemon?
There are 199-200 Pokemon. I don't know how many people there are, but it's far more than you should need. Leveling your handful of main combatants shouldn't be much of a problem (at least in the original main story); trying to level everyone would be.
I've rad about pokemon.. evolving into other forms? Do they always evolve into the same pokemon, or are they more like trees, that split depending on stats, or what items you feed them, or somehting?
Most Pokemon evolve into a single preset form (which may be able to further evolve into a third/final preset form). A few Pokemon can evolve in multiple ways, such as your main character's Pokemon Eevee being able to evolve into one of seven different forms. --- Welcome to the Internet, the greatest hive of scum and villainy on Earth. If you're reading this, it's already too late.
There are 200 warriors, and I swear this sorts of question gets asked at least once half a day.
not as bad as the "can I release Pokemon/Warriors", "how do I evolve <name>", "can I transfer Pokemon between Warriors/Warlords", "Why can't I use Passwords", and the like. Those get asked at least once every three hours. --- PSN: OniNoMeKyo, Currently Playing: Uncharted 3, Disgaea 4, and Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk 2, until Hyperdimension Neptunia V gets a US release