See, now, I wish more people thought this way. Way too many wont even just crack, they'll just outright avoid any game or whatever that promises to have even a vague chance of causing that pressure. More people need to actually ATTEMPT things, really. Granted my own sense of difficulty is a little warped (mostly fond of bullet-hell shmups and roguelikes, both of which I often still classify as "could be harder"), but still. Even things are are seriously not that dang hard once you at least give it a whirl, most people still just wont even try. Ugh. Always has bothered me, always will.
Difficulty = (likelihood of failure x penalty for failure) + intimidation + irritation + traumitaztion
Where does AI War fit on this?
Likelyhood of Failure = highly variable, usually high, can go up to completely impossible
Penalty for Failure = typical save/load game at any point with save abuse possible, good chance of making the game (almost!) unwinnable
intimidation = Very High, the second most intimidating game I've ever seen.
irritation = variable, usually low
traumization = low. AI taunts and Cross-Planet Attacks might scare you the first time, but other then that it's a rather chill game.
Assuming a typical game?
(High Difficulty x (average failure penalty + making the game unwinnable) Above-Average failure penalty) + Very High intimidation + low irritation + low traumization = Quite High
ofcourse the !!fun!! can always be increased