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Subject: Good with 5? rss

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Lee Fisher
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Does the 5 player work fine or is it really not enough turns to get the full impact?
 
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Carsten Buettemeier
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Bremen
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It plays very well with 5 players. Especially when all are familiar a bit with the mechanics Planet Steam offers. With 5 players the game is a bit less controlable as when playing it with less players. You make your decisions and do quite a bit of fore planning and forecasting, but the market and production is affected a whole lot more than playing it with 3 players.

This changes the feeling of gameplay a bit as the market and influencing it with planned actions becomes a bit more powerful. There is a lot going on the whole time and more people are naturally competing for the same resources and speculations.

Personally I think the sweet spot is with 4 players as this number of players creates a well balance between the slight tending to production and a nuance of highlighting the market mechanics. But nevertheless Planet Steam is an excellent economics game with all numbers of players. It is even getting better and better the more I play it and reveals more and more depth and fun with every play due to the many different ways a session can develop.

Retrospectively it is one of the best games I have played (and bought) at Essen 2008.
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Matt Smith
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I agree with unittype. While you don't have many turns to develop your production engine in a 5-player game, there is no lack of important decision to make, and the game takes long enough without adding more turns. Four players is definitely the sweet spot, though. It balances the board, adds one more turn, and doesn't require any dual-role cards.
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Chester
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I think 4 is the sweet spot. With 3, there are less turns for the stock market to move up/down. With 5, it can move the most, but not enough turns to really develop as interesting of an engine. Its playable with both numbers, but I think ideal with 4.
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Darrell Hanning
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Just played it with 5 this last weekend. The complaint I heard was that 3 more turns is just not enough for someone who gets off to even a slightly slow start on turn 1.

What I saw was - IMO - an excessive importance placed on being Player 1, due to the chaos in the market created by 5 players, and the reduced number of tanks available on turns 2, 3, and 4.
 
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Matt Smith
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DarrellKH wrote:
Just played it with 5 this last weekend. The complaint I heard was that 3 more turns is just not enough for someone who gets off to even a slightly slow start on turn 1.

What I saw was - IMO - an excessive importance placed on being Player 1, due to the chaos in the market created by 5 players, and the reduced number of tanks available on turns 2, 3, and 4.

The number of starting tanks is tuned to the number of players, so I don't see how it would be any different in a 3 or 4 player game. So far I've played PS with 3, 4 and 5 players, and there is always a shortage of tanks after turn one. Getting cheaper tanks (or any at all) is one of the two key advantage of Lady Steam; the other is knowing exactly what prices you will trade at in the market.

If you don't want to pay through the nose for Lady Steam on turns 2+, you need to set yourself up for producing ore/energy to increase the tank supply, buying tanks from Earth, or generating enough cash to buy the pricier tanks. I've also used Compressor Domes to increase my output without having to buy more tanks.
 
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Taylor Klaus
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Playing with 5 as opposed to 3 or even 4 makes a huge difference. The market fluctuates much more drastically leading to both extremes on the trading table.I have only played 4 times but the 5 player game was totally unlike the others. I would agree that 4 players is just right though.
 
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