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Remove the 4 mouse card and replace it with the 3 mouse card in the four player game. Rationale follows...

In the 5 player game, there are four mouse cards 2,3,4,6, with an average value of 15 / 4 = 3.75. So, a player who passes every round can expect to finish on (15 + 9 x 3.75 =) 48.75 points.

In the four player games, there are three mouse cards: 2,4,6, with an average value of 4. So, a player who passes every round can expect to finish on 51 points.

In the three player games, there are two mouse cards: 3,6, with an average value of 4.5. So, a player who passes every round can expect to finish on 55.5 points.

If the 4 card is substituted for the 3 card in the four player game, the average becomes 3.67, which is much closer to the five player value of passing. So, a player who passes every round can expect to finish on 48 points. This result is also closer to the five player value.

If the 4 card is substituted for the 6 card in the three player game, the average becomes 3.5, which is much closer to the five player value of passing. So, a player who passes every round can expect to finish on 46.5 points. This result is also closer to the five player value.

Edit: added maths for 3P game
 
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Sean McCarthy
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Seattle
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The way it is equalizes over all 3/4/5 players, not just the ones who passed. This way the same amount of money per player enters the game each round, regardless of the player count.
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Billy McBoatface
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Lexington
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I'm just completely stumped by why you think it is necessary to make sure an "always passes" player earns the same amount no matter how many players.

I've played 4. I've played 5. Both seemed balanced just fine. If somebody always passes, they'd lose (assuming other players bid even close to properly), so why does it matter what their exact score is?
 
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In the few games I've played, the winner has always been a player who passed every turn. But, only by a few points. I think the 5 player game has the most balanced payout for passing, so that this strategy is kept level with buying a bunch of cats.

But, I take the point that changing the passing values changes the game economy too.

Edit: and of course I haven't tried out this variant yet... I wanted to put it up for discussion first.
 
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Billy McBoatface
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sbszine wrote:
In the few games I've played, the winner has always been a player who passed every turn. But, only by a few points.
Your group is simply overbidding. No need to rebalance the game. Just pass a bit earlier than you have been, and you'll start winning...until more people catch on to the idea, then the game will work out fine.
 
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Auction games should hopefully be self balancing, so I'm sure groupthink is a part of it. But, the right time to pass differs depending on player count. It seems to me that you need a different groupthink / tempo depending on the player count.
 
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Fraser
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Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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sbszine wrote:
It seems to me that you need a different groupthink / tempo depending on the player count.
Just like Diamant
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Ralph T
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I play with this mouse distribution in 4 player games. On the whole, it seems better.
 
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