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Subject: 5 Player Quick Replay rss

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Brian E
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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On Yucata.de I played my first 5-player, unranked game. I played Roger Sherman of Connecticut (RS), and moved fourth in initial turn order. All players played with skill. The game was enjoyable but strange.

First, the final score was extremely close, and also extremely low.

Second, a 5-player game comes at you fast - a 4-player game feels more controlled. This does not mean a 4-player game is better, but managing unpredictability and risk is even more a part of the 5-player game.

Third, I spent the first half of the game almost as a nonparticipant in Assembly. I played my first Assembly Room card of the game as the card that triggered the end of Round 1, scoring 1 hard point total. I did not play another until Round 3.

The first two rounds included about 2/3 of the game's player-moves. My first 12 card plays included a single play to the Assembly Room (my planner, CT Sherman P, to end Round 1), one play for 1 IM, two events (PA Ingersoll AF and NH Langdon F, which also coincidentally sent my planner back to my hand, temporarily giving me five cards), and eight Debate Room plays (a few of them Events). My opponent AH, by contrast, made only two Debate Room plays over the course of the whole game.

Round 1 incurred over 40% of the game's player-moves. At the end of the round, the score was JM 4, CP 5, WP 2*, RS 1**, AH 3 with * denoting at least a share of a winning debate position.

Round 2 was the next longest. At the end of the round, the score was JM 6**, CP 9, WP 3**, RS 1**, AH 9 with * denoting at least a share of a winning debate position. As is evident, Round 2 did not go well, and I felt like I was losing badly. I was wrong.

Round 3 was the speed round. It lasted only 12 player-moves, but resulted in seven Yea votes as players dogpiled into the Assembly Room to pass Federalist Ratification. I opened the round to play a pair of PA delegates to the Nay side. That play proved the lone dissenting vote. Fortunately, I'd managed to play a DE F and a NH F onto the Yea side before the buzzer sounded while my PA Nay play deadlocked the Committee Room (WP had a leftover IM there) and ultimately was key to my win. At the end of the round, the score was JM 8*, CP 12, WP 3**, RS 5**, AH 13 with * denoting at least a share of a winning debate position.

Round 4 was almost as short as Round 3; in it, I absorbed a heavy blow but landed other punches. My first move was to play VA Mason AF as an Event, for 2 VP; I replaced him in my hand with (as hoped) VA Washington F, whom I did use as an Event to end the game with my fourth move of the turn (resolving the Assembly Room Nay, 4 to 4, with some IMs on the Nay side already removed by earlier hostile Event play by others, and with my other two Round 4 player-moves being Yea votes).

This decision yielded not only 3 points in Committee, but also I could flip the Committee Article to its AF side and thus boost AF to a tie with F for second place instead of a tie with LS for third place (also at the same time relegating LS to fourth place), a change giving me 1 point (+1 AF) and taking 2 points (-1 F, -1 LS) from my opponent WP. As this move would also result in a scoreless round for AH, I felt strongly inclined to take the bird in hand, despite not getting a solo win. In the course of the round, I'd already lost a debate position, while JM had used CT Johnson SS to flip a LS article to SS. The outcome seemed extremely volatile. I strongly doubted I would maintain even a share of the lead if the game continued for another set of player-moves.

JM scored 14: 9 hard points + 5 for SS Debate.
CP scored 13 hard points.
WP scored 13: 7 hard points + 4 for F Debate, 2 for LS Debate.
RS scored 14: 10 hard points + 4 for AF Debate.
AH scored 13 hard points.

If you have not played with 5 players, give it a try. I recommend it.
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