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Seems like the game should work fine with as many as 8 players, though of course the game might be a bit boring while players wait.
Joey or anyone else, thoughts? At leas 5 or 6 should work, right?
I tried it once with 5. The problem is the distribution of stuff. You need to increase the number of planets and weapons/gadgets because there will not be enough to go around.
5 players, play with 11 planets (use the barren planet and a homemade envelope or a cheap plastic wallet). 6 players, play with 12 planets (you could count the singularity gate as a planet and not use the gate's function).
Or just wait for the expansion...
It will go pretty fast if you get used to "courtesy clicking" - just click your turn immediately after you take control of the planet for your final destination, before you modulate your hand. If the next player is planning on attacking you or scrying, you might have less surprise but the downside is equal for all players.
I've played a 6 player game in as little as 2 hours, even playing to 48, but it can take as much as 3 or even 4 hours if players are indecisive. Use a timer if a player is taking turns longer than is reasonable.