Way way way way way better than Antike. Definitely play WITHOUT THE INVESTOR CARD. Use advanced rules and it's even a better game. Absolutely love the way this plays out and how you can get creamed in war but as long as you have money then you can invest in the nations that are doing well.
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.
Played with tons of people and it's a blast. Everyone from young ones to old ones can have fun. It works ok with 2 players each get 8 dice. With 3 it works still but just not as good with 4. Some say there's no control over die rolls and to lessen the luck factor just make every die count as 1 x whatever it's on. Don't do that. I say if you see a 5 or 6 on a 3x or 4x then obviously it's a target that others must take down with precision accuracy. If you let it stay on then it's your own fault for not knocking it off. I've played over 250 games of this in the three months I've had it. I love this and crokinole quite a bit. Update: bump to a 10 because for a 10 min filler doesn't get much better than this for loud fun being able to play 2 hours sessions with my Brother-in-Law who wouldn't be caught dead playing a Euro game try as I might.
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