I've played with three and four now and thought them quite good. I might be totally crazy and say that I'd actually like to try it at 5! Why would I want to add another player to this knife-fight when, with four, it already feels like you are stepping on each other's junk from the initial shares issue?
The terrain makes this a builder's game powering up first build and engineer in pretty significant ways, but urb and loco are still important and powerful tools. Turn order pass is commensurately improved because it means that second isn't just getting the lesser of loco/urb. Finally, the terrain makes loops a challenge to build, so the production action is actually reasonable to set up long linear ships. With three or four very good options and some solid consolation prizes, the auctions - if there isn't a clear conflict of necessities (particularly around first build) - can be a bit flaccid with three and even four. In fact, because of the building tightness, the auctions become very much about pure turn order and almost not action selection at all. By throwing five players into the mix, you jack up the auction tension on all fronts. Likely, the networks will become even more intermingled - a feature I like in my AoS (love Hungary, btw, for its enforcement of this sort of parasitism). And this mingling of networks should make the decision to aggressively go after the Russia/Sweeden cubes that opponents are 'saving' a much more legitimate option.
Last edited Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:02 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)