I usually just put my thoughts under the comments section. However, in this case I wanted to give this game some extra exposure. After just one session with 5 people the other 4 did not want to play again. I thought it was great. They felt it was random and fiddly. One comment was its missing the fun.
I don't find the game random considering you use a die with the values 1,1,2,2,3,3, on it. Yes there are cards but you pick the 5 you want to start with and you decide when and where you are playing them. Sure there is a bit of collateral damage with cards like the recession, revolution and riots but you can remove these cards easily enough. There is also an alternate to the opening bidding mechanism.
As for fiddly I also strongly dissagree. Sure at first the number of options seems a little overwhelming but this is a major advantage of the game, hardly detrimental. I think the only part that might seem fiddly is if you are use to a game where you control your own country without political interference. You have to take the game for what it is, a diplomacy game, being vetoed and overthrown are some of the key features of the game and great fun if you are prepared for it.
There is opportunity for leader bashing. This is hardly unheard of in multiplayer games. Unfortunately our game came to the end after just one round so I'm not sure how sever the leader bashing could be. It seems to me due to the removal of poiticians from the game either to the UN or out of the game after each scoring round the game would always determine a victor after a few rounds. The gameboard shows room for only 4 rounds so its not like the leaderbashing would make the game go on indefinetly.
What's to like:
Firstly, I can't recall another game with this many options to consider. The opportunities for tactics and strategies abound.
Secondly, the opportunities for diplomacy and intrigue are numourous as well.
Thirdly player interaction is very high. With minimal downtime since you are usually involved in either politics of the active country or general diplomacy.
I give this game a hearty 9 out of 10.