I ran a 5 player game of Age of Steam last week at my local game store. The group consisted of two players with previous experience with Age of Steam, and 3 new players.
After going over the rules, we jumped into the game. A five player game of Age of Steam will run 7 rounds. The first two rounds everyone played it safe, finding a little area of their own to start building up their network of tracks.
Round three saw Player 1 start to push across the board. He began in on the east side of the board, and began running track along the south end. He was able to get some luck dice rolls during the resource placing phase in the first several rounds, so he had a lot of resources to deliver, and he began to pull away from the pack. Player 2, who had began in the northwestern area of the board, ran into some money issues during this round and was not able to deliver much either. Player 3 had begun in the middle of the board, but so did Player 5, and they both had problems getting resources delivered through more than 1 link. Player 4 was in the Northeast area of the board, and he had a few good cities to get supplies to. He did not build any track during round three.
A few rounds later, Player 1 had reached almost completely across the south of the board, and any attempts to block him off were a little too late. He just needed to increase his link amount, and was sending goods through 4 links on the last two rounds. Player two had made a nice recovery in regards to his money issues, and was delivering goods with 3 links, but he was not getting enough resources placed back onto the board, and during the last round had to settle for resource delivery at only 1 and two links. Player 3 was stuck in the middle, boxed in by player 1 and Player 5. He increased his link during the last round, only to have his only delivery option taken away from him by Player 5. Player 5 had similar issues, being stuck with little money and not enough goods to help her out in the last round. Player 4 started to build down into Player 1's starting area, and was able to snag a few deliveries from him. Unfortunately he had another round toward the end of the game where he did not build any track, which might have hurt his chances to win.
In the end, Player 1 won the game. It was closer than we thought it would be though. The final scores:
P1 - 48
P2 - 40
P3 - 27
P4 - 42
P5 - 31
Overall the game went well, and I think all who played would want to play again. I will note that P3 has some color-blindness, and he had a hard time distinguishing the difference between a few of the city/cube colors. I am not sure if there is anything that can be done to help other players with the same issue, other than pointing out the colors of new cities and new cubes as they enter the game.