Timelapse from a session on 11/1 at my house.
I'm the player in the upper left.
My initial thoughts are another great Splotter game! Previously I've only played Indonesia, and loved it. This has some of the same feelings - the initial short turns that turn into epic turns that require calculators.
But one of the things I love about Indonesia is that the paths to victory feel fairly opaque. I loved the play and theme of this one, but I want to re-read the rules to make sure we didn't miss something. In our game, I was all three positions on the board of one company (I did pay double bids when I acquired the assets), and was able to trade between companies I owned drastically in it's favor....and ultimately there was not really a need to trade with other players....I ran it into the ground 3 times, to get the 40% CEO bonus three times, and it's difficult to see another strategy beating unbalanced trading with yourself....but maybe that's the point?
It's great to run your own companies eventually; however, buying your own guys costs 2x your bid. This makes it expensive to hire strictly your own people; so you get a tradeoff between owning your company and making more money as a company.
At the same time, a guy in the Board of another company is almost certain to get you cash as well-- so it's often better to have 2 guys in 2 different well-paying companies than have 2 guys in your own company, if that is not doing too well.
With 3 players it is easier to get good assets and control of the company than it is with 4 or 5; but even with 3 there should be rather fierce bidding competition over certain key assets, and unless you have made a LOT more money than others you will not be able to afford buying your own asset all the time.