I played this game twice during our Solstice feast & vigil. We were originally planning to play Titan or Civilization, but by the time we finished eating, we didn't have time, since most of our guests weren't planning to stay for the full vigil. I won't repeat the game description - check out the reviews for that.
The first game was a five player game, all of whom were new to the game. We all had a lot of fun, though in retrospect we probably did more voluntary tile drifting in the early game than was optimal.
Tom detached a two hex continent with half his herds on the first turn. Our one kibitzer suggested that the rest of us should gang up to turn his other herds into swimmers, surround them, and drown them - they were in a vulnerable location - but we didn't. Probably a mistake, as Tom ended up winning, getting about eight points over the game from reattaching and redetaching that continent, along with a first on the second largest continent with his other herds.
At one point, I detached a six hex continent where I had a tactical advantage over Elizabeth D. and Kim. Kim was in a position to detach and dominate a three hex continent, so I figured he'd give up on this continent, but he chose to fight it out instead, presumably because the points were equal. A mistake for him, but for me and Elizabeth D. too, as the three of us ended up spending most of our resources for the rest of the game fighting it out on this continent. Eventually Elizabeth split half of it off for herself, and I drowned Kim off of my half.
Kim did split off his three hex continent, but by then, he had competition on it. A couple other small continents also got split off.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth N. and I split off a large continent with only our herds on it. As I was involved in the above described battle, she got the first on that continent and I got the second.
What we hadn't seen was that this allowed Tom to dominate what was left of Pangaea, which eventually got split off in once piece, giving him a first on a large continent as well as on his small private continent. A couple of us battled it out for second on that continent.
Final standings - Tom first, Elizabeth N. second, me third, Elizabeth D. fourth, Kim fifth. Great game!
Elizabeth D., Stan (the kibitzer in the first game), and I later played a three way game. With fewer players, and thus fewer dinosaurs, on the board, there was less tactical play. Half of Elizabeth's herds separated early, and the other half were cut out of the main continent later. Stan won by getting seconds on almost all the continents, and first on one. I was second. Still a fun game, but not as much fun as the five player game.