I know there are occasional mentions here and elsewhere about this game and that so I thought I'd start a list. What is the optimum number of players? (Feel free to add!) For example: Scrabble plays best with two.
My group has five players, so having heard good things about High Society, I picked up a copy for us to play. It was only after I purchased the game that I read Greg Aleknevicus' review at The Games Journal. He feels that the game (like Ra) is best played with three players stating that with five players the threat of being eliminated as the player with the least amount of cash is severely diminished. Also, the first few players in a misfortune card auction have an advantage since they can make token bids, secure in the knowledge that the bidding will never make it back around the table to them. Thus, they can avoid the misfortune rather cheaply.
Can anyone tell me about their own five-player experiences with this game?
I'd say that the optimum amount of players is 5. First, we eliminate 2 because it's hardly playable with only 2. Then I personally eliminate 3 because when one player gets close to a victory condition there is often not enough cash amongst the opponents to counter the leader. 4 players is very enjoyable, but I prefer 5. This is because more pacts and agreements are made, and more backstabbing occurs. I think that 6 players bogs the game down too much. There is too much cash amongst everyone to counter too much. Of course, these are just my thoughts.