From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
After purchasing WITP:AE last autumn, I broke my New Year's resolution not to buy any games in 2011 on New Year's Day by purchasing WITP. (Couldn't resist the Christmas Sale price.)
By my estimation, WITP:AE is roughly at least 4X more involved and time consuming than WITP. (About 2X as much map area and bases. And up to 2X as many controls and options and rules to deal with. More auxiliary forces, too.)
WITP:AE is a fantastic game, IMO probably the best game ever. But it sure could play ... quicker.
When I'm looking for faster game play, and unless and until WITP:AE has more short-duration scenarios and campaigns, I'll consider WITP.
So far, WITP compares least favorably with WITP:AE for its AI. I can see indulging my penchant for hot-seat solitaire with WITP.
I found WITP's default map hard to like. Andrew Brown's map mod is a vast improvement. I wouldn't play WITP without it.
For the best game experience, no question it's AE. But they're both great games. WITP is like lunch; WITP:AE like a full-course dinner. Depending on my mood and time schedule, I anticipate playing both--but more and more AE as new scenarios for that game appear, as AE is patched nearer to "perfection" (WITP is no longer being patched), and as I become so adept at the system that AE plays quicker and becomes second nature.