From: Leeuwarden, Netherlands
My opinion, for what it counts after having played it since release; it's sort of TOAW, but easier to play, most certainly not less complex then TOAW though.
Easy to get in to, but it will take a lot longer to make you a skilled player. The cards for instance are something quite new, easy to grasp, but before you know how to play them best....
What I find very .... uhm, intriguing, complex, challenging is the right word I think, is that you can sometimes vasly outnumber your opponent, but he still has a very good chance of keeping up a stiff defence... you just can't beat him because of obvious reasons. Too many troops in an area gets you a (stacking) penalty, attacking with them one after the other gets you an even worse penalty.
So no matter how powerful your airforce or artillery or infantery is, they won't succeed, well in their initial attacks anyway. You really really have to take that into your attack planning.
I'm no fan of HoI, tried I and II, gave up on III. The retreating units just reappearing in another area... the realtime idea behind it, too many sliders and knobs and dials, effecting whoever knows what. Not my cup of tea.
So hm, complex, easy to get into, pleasing artwork.
My 2 cts.
Oh, tried TOAWI and III too, never managed to get into it. Great complexity, but the engine dates back to ... 95? That was a time when they (gamecompanies, developers) tried to implement an idea of time passing by with a turn based game, that's what is behind (IMHO) the gamemechanics of TOAW. You attack with one or more units; other units not played *are* effected by the time this initial attack/move takes; depicted in the (dreaded) stars on you righthand screen.
This game has something like it, but much more simple and easier to comprehense; it's the movement actionpoints extra you need in a hex, clearly depicted in a small black box in the hex. So sort of the same idea as TOAW, but much easier.
Allthough, I must admit, TOAW has outstanding epic AAR's, in this here forum and others.