We just played a 5 player game, from speaker to 5th player:
L1Z1X (1st timer) (due random allocation he was the most squeezed one, +4TG)
Federation of Sol (most experienced player)
Clan of Saar (me, 2nd game ever)
Xxcha (1st timer)
Emirates of Hacan (2nd most experienced player)
We were supposed to play 6 player game but lesson was learnt:
"Never count on people you do not know before the game!"
We created map by our own following the game rules.
It resulted in 3 players having rich planets all around (LIZIC, Hacan and Xxcha) and 2 were quite poor (Saar and Sol).
The game itself (key points):
Saar took mecatol turn 2: Using gravity drive on a space dock - I had mostly influence around my Home System so I decied: Why not? I managed to place there PDS as well and it resulted in 5 GF units under the protection of a PDS.
Hacan and Xxcha became an allies due to their trading power.
It was noticed by all the players.
L1Z1X went aggresive on Hacan, Sol was pretty far away. He was thinking about stabbing my back but my planets were soooo poor and I was not posing any threat at all, so he decied to back up L1Z1X against Hacan and Xxcha.
Seeing their offense I decided to join right away. My fleet was obliterated by Xxcha but I did some damage and I forced him to use his tech for PDS / Orbital fire (hits bypassing fighter screening).
Sol took advantage of that and forced the issue taking one system from Xxcha close to Hacan border.
L1Z1X however lost direct engagement vs Hacan - mostly due to Hacan player playing really smart both tactics tokens and action cards.
At that time I had quite a lot of points but everybody was dedicated to conflict all over the place. I was keep on scoring objectives and holding Mecatol Rex (taking it away from me was just far too expensive for most parties).
L1Z1X and Hacan were fighting back and forth and Sol eventually helped L1Z1X out, leaving Xxcha uncontested. So the turtles turned on me
Their production and resources were almost doubling mine! (I had 7 resource on all 4 system I took including my Home System!) I was trying to get any money by trade, chosing cards with TG on them etc. Still I was unable to defend my position near HS.
All 4 players seen I was leading by a huge margin in VP's (I think it was 8:4:4:4:3 when they realised how far I am). They decided to deal with me. Using action card Xxcha removed my PDS from MR (and I lost spacedock there earlier) but I still managed to build up there 9 GF!
Than Sol played plague but I rolled very well (losing only 3). I managed to hold MR and we decided to call the game (It was turn 6 or 7 I believe). We called it due to time issues (with 2 newbies and 1 player with only game we played 11 hours game anyway).
We checked the upcoming public objectives and we all agreed that I was the winner anyway (however Sol was catching up fast!).
I was even able to save some resource, tech up and even built a single Warsun with 4 dreadnoughts stacked with fighters on my HS to still beign able to cause some damage or win a battle if needed!
This game was a lot of FUN for all of us.
Even the fact I won, the way to victory was far more interresting than the result itself.
What I mean by that is that I enjoyed the game a lot and winning was just icing the cake!
I feel like Saar is quite avarage faction and not beign able to secure any decent resource value planets was really hard to play against other having problems using their production capacity in efficient way!
However that faction is really fun to play and I enjoyed space gypsies a lot!