This is a session report on a play-by-email test of the 7-player game. I ran the game as moderator. The following is a summary of the key events of the game, plus comments/analysis (in italics).
The rules for the 7-player game are: start capital R180, certificate limit = 9. In order, the players were - and their purchases in SR1:
John Shelley KR @ 180 (the best company to run 2xT2) John Boocock TS @ 35 and MK @ 140 Danny Victor BSS @ 45 and MNN @ 130 Ken Gutermuth N @ 160 John Davidson MR @ 60 and MV @ 120 (an inferior choice of 1st minor) Bruce Beard WV @ 80 and SPW @ 100 (the best combination) Rick Dutton MY @ 50 and RO @ 100 (also a poor choice of minor)
Note that nobody took either of the two minors in Kiev.
OR1: The KR built Kharkov pointing towards Moscow and Kiev, and built a second tile towards Moscow. This was a double mistake - the double build delays his acquisition of a second T2, and without the KK he'd be better off linking to the MV. The MK built toward the KR and the SPW towards Poland, thus cutting off the MV & RO. The RO ignored Smolensk and went straight towards Moscow.
SR2: nobody had 100, so we went straight onto
OR2: The KR built to Kiev and ran 2xT2 in the second of the set. The MV reached Saratov, and the MNN built towards Kazan. The MNN and SPW elected to buy the last two T2's (their owners anticipated buying another minor).
SR3: The three richest players then took one of the remaining minors each: Bruce the KK @ 175, Rick the KB @ 170, and Danny the OK @ 160. Everything is happening later than usual because the capital is spread much thinner than normal games.
OR3: The 3 new minors all bought a T3 and shuffled it into the owners other minor. Rick dumped the KB straight into the RSR but Bruce ran the KK and transferred both T2's into it. Danny transferred a T2, ran it once, then bought in his private so the OK couldn't pay its loan interest and so was nationalised (a very unusual trick). The N reached 220 in OR3A - just short of a 3T (should have bid 5 more!). Both the N & the MK bought a 3T in OR3B, leaving only two left in the bank. All privates except the TS were bought into minors.
The situation at the end of the pair of op rounds was:
John S KR @ 135, R280 John B TS, MK @ 110, R250 Danny MNN @ 100, R320 Ken N @ 120, R225 John D MV @ 90, R355 Bruce B KK @ 80, SPW @ 70, R345 Rick RO @ 70, R330
So, 5 out of 7 players have enough to start a minor with 260+ and buy a T3 or T4.