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Subject: 5 players? rss

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Zach Howell
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Just thought I would make a short comment here on some things I noticed during a five player game.

First of all, bidding was much fiercer with genes reaching the 4 and 5 point marks several times. While this is good, I have always been one to resist bidding a lot and staying conservative with the low numbers. The other problem I noticed is that it seemed to force the "king maker" syndrome.

What I mean by this is it seems whoever spends a lot up front say to get the mutation gene, or a part that ends up with an advantage is untouchable come end game because in a 5 player game there is low space available and additional players are forced into not so good parts and become a non issue for the mightier players with a better start to take over from.

The people with the mutation genes (or whatever they are called, that give you a discount on auctions) cleaned up from the beginning, sure they were bidding 4 or 5 for them at the start but there was no touching them come end game. I guess I felt like in a 5 player game you could never have the competition you see in a 3 and 4 player game for the win. It just seemed like two players blew everyone out of the water and could bid 5 points on a needed piece and not lose the win, while some sat unable to spend and sometimes taking nothing or the card for free.

Also due to the low number of dinosaurs people had out (usually not more than 5 or 6) no one ever attacked someone else because the though of losing one of those coveted dinosaurs was too much, with only 4 eggs auctioned the entire game, most of us were still only birthing ONE egg at a time.

Anyone else experience this problem?
 
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Lexingtonian
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Re:5 players?
illwill (#20195),
Thanks for your interesting observations. You made it sound like these are problems, though. As far as the mutation genes go, I don't see that there's an issue. Now everyone in your group knows how valuable they are, and it will cost more to get them. Because of this, anyone deserving to win will either bid until they get the mutation genes at a not-too-cheap price, or they will bid until anyone outbidding them is paying too much.
I'm interested in hearing how the next game turns out.
 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Re:5 players?
illwill (#20195),

More people does sometimes lead to fiercer bidding, but so do certain bidding patterns. If someone got a mutation gene early in the game and bidding highlights were at 4 or 5, then you may have sold the mutation gene too cheaply. It is worth about 1 mutation point per turn left (in terms of savings and edge on other players). (Don't forget to subtract the value of the worst gene auctioned that turn, of course.)

Your game was low on eggs, so having the eggs was probably a big advantage. If the leading players had only one egg then someone with a horn advantage should have dealt them a one-dino setback.

The board size is changed according to the number of players, and based on the times that I've played it I would say that 5 and 4 player games have equal competition opportunities. Competition requires slightly more dinosaurs than you had, and that requires more eggs, stable climate or lots of legs. I think that you just got `unlucky' for the draw, but the variable weather and available genes are what keeps the game from being the same every time.
 
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Zach Howell
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Re:5 players?
Thank you both for the replies, and yeah being as I've only played one 5 player game it just seemed so different.

Your comment on the eggs is right on and would probabaly not mean such a drastic gameplay change but the shortage of eggs really made legs/parasols/fur very valuable. I guess the draw of many many many card genes and the two cards played to only auction 4 really set back the people who were behind. Thats a good system for valueing the mutation gene, I'll have to keep that in mind, I would be interesting in hearing some more peoples takes on 5 player games.

 
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