Probably introduced this game as a gateway game to over 25 people and not one hasn't liked it. If you explain it well they'll get it. First game though it's just a learning to get an idea of what value of the cards should be. The values are different in a 3, 4, and 5 player game. Obviously 5 player games you see 40 and 50 million bids since it'll be lower scoring and more competition.
I remember a video interview (with boardgames with Scott) where the designer said he just came up with the connection costs based on how far they were in real life. In other words, screw gameplay just doing it realistically and voila and magic formula that just works.
Wow haven't played anything like this ever. Absolutely love it. Tension up the ying yang. Reminds me of the song "I'm Torn". After 35+ or so plays this game is awesommmmmmmmme. I own the 2nd Edition. Here's my Quick Overview of the game with tons of photos. http://mrbass.org/boardgames/twilightstruggle