I feel similarly ambivalent. It's fun to explore the different factions, and each time I play I want to play again, but I don't know that I'd want to play if everybody was really good at their faction. If you watch the Shut Up and Sit Down review of the game, they have a similar feeling.Root, I already mentioned my last play on the Root thread. I now have to study the expansion to explain to people. Still a game I dont know how to feel about - not if it is good or bad, is good, but not sure in the end if it is something you approach as a game of strategies or more of a game of what is happening now and reacting to it and seeing that nobody else race to the finish before you.
I think if you play 3 players you would always get at least two mandates, but you're right for 4, 5, and 6 players.I don't like how the mandate system works combined with Allies/Enemies. If you're the last player, you're seriously hampered as you only get to play one political mandate per 'season'. This will also hamper your ally as he only get to profit from your mandate once. Not getting to build strongholds will lower your troop build-up and points where to spawn/summon them.