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Subject: Nations with five players? rss

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Daniel Rüttimann
Switzerland
Luzern
Schweiz
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Hi BGG fellas! I need some advice...

Last week I played nations for the first time and I absolutely loved it - awesome game! We were a group of four.

Now I wanted to buy it for my regular game group. We are a group of five players and according to the publisher's information Nations is a five player game.

If you played Nations with 5 Players: How did you like it?

And to be more specific: 46% of the BGG users who rated the optimal player number stated Nations "not recommended" for five players. I wonder why. Will the playing time become excessively long (compared to four players)? Are there other problems?

Another question: The expansion is rated best with three and with five players. What do you think: Is the reason for that just a coincidence because there are only five voters? Or does the expansion indeed change the game and makes it more five player friendly?

For your advice I thank you very much. Cheers!
 
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Allan Prins
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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The first time I played it was with 5 players. The one knock against it was the length (I think it was 5 hours, that's including teaching). Every body liked the game and considering we were all new at the game with some of them new to modern board games I think it plays well with 5.

That being said I would hesitate to play it 5 player with new people and would prefer players to have a few games under their belt.

Who am I kidding, if I can get this game to the table with any number of people I would play.
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Will Swannack
United States
Seattle
Washington
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I'm surprised to see it's not liked with 5. We play at 5 a lot and don't find it to be problematic. The downtime increases per player, so if downtime is a big problem for you, perhaps that would tip you over.

I think the biggest problem with 5 players is you have to use all the cards ("expert" and "advanced" decks, I think they're called) to support that player count. This is problematic only with new players. The problem with the additional cards in my opinion is some of their powers are easy to misplay. For instance, I had a new player get Buddha as a leader, which forces you to pass on your first action. He was not prepared for how much that would affect his game due to inexperience. Similarly, there are cards that make watching your opponents significantly more important. For example, if someone finishes the Titanic, everyone loses their advisor. This is fine if you're watching the game beyond your own board, but new players are often overwhelmed enough with whats going on on their board that they miss cards like that coming out. Not preparing for the Titanic before production can be devastating.

Those problems can be circumvented by experienced players who are going out of their way to point out potential issues to inexperienced players. But if that's not how you like to play, you may end up with some players having bad first experiences at 5 players with all cards involved.

I don't personally find anything in the core mechanics to be problematic with 5 players, however.
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Anthony Heitzinger
United States
New Mexico
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It's fine, but just lasts too long. It's the same problem with Agricola 5p; the game just starts to get boring when you have to wait so long between your turns.
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Narciso Aguirre
United States
Bronx
New York
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The previous posters nailed it on the head for the most part. I will only add that, in a 5 player game, the rules governing Most and Least are somewhat awkward and not at all intuitive; you will no doubt get a few grumbles from players during the game. Make sure to check out the FAQ for a full explanation of how this works.

Have fun! IMO, Nations is a great game at any player count.
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Rustan Håkansson
Sweden
Norrköping
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Agree with others, to learn the game you should play with 3 or 4. But for experienced players that can keep a lot in their heads it works fine with 5.

During development we had up to 6 players, but 6 player components were cut in production to decrease the cost (and to discourage new players thinking 5 or 6 for the first game would be a good idea). If you just add a new colour wooden pieces and add space+card for turn order you are good to go, play with the 5 player rules.

The 5 player rules were made for 5 and 6 player games and 6 players is more like 4 players, where two players are in the middle for events.
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Jean-Maxime Tremblay
Canada
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As others said, the problem is the length. I loved all the 5 player games I've played (I think I played 3 or maybe 4), but it's a big time investment. It takes us slightly more than 5 hours for the base game, and about 6 hours for the expansion.

I feel like 4 players is the best experience, but I would never hesitate to play with any number of players.
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Raffaele Spadano
Italy
Pescara (PE)
Pescara
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our group has almost 100 games so far, with either 3/4 or 5. The optimal seems 4, because in terms of timeplay, playing with 5 players will take longer and not only because of the obvious number of players, but also because there are many more elements to take into account, first of all that the ties will resolve in a different way.
Btw if your group is not prone to AP and if every1 has already played once or twice the lenght will reduce, we usually play this with 5 within 3 hours; with 4 we are at 2.5 hours, maybe a bit less, depending on last age turns, which are the longer usually.
It is clearly our favourite game, we play it regularly, and we love it. Playing with 5 adds both more card choice and fun, but also time lenght, so it s actually up to your group if you like it or not. My advice is to try it for at least 4/5 games and see.
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