Sander Spenkelink
Netherlands
Almelo
Overijssel
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When i was looking through most of the topic's i noticed that most people think that 4 players is the best setup for the game.

I have a lot of experience with 3 and 4 player games and some ocassional 2 and 5 player games.

But i noticed with my gaming experience that 4 players turn out to be boring from time to time.

Why you might wonder.
Well offcourse its easy to build a 4 player galaxy cause its easy to balance it out.
But there is a big downside.
When we play with 4 players the game nearly turns out to be in a 2 vs 2 game. Sure it can be fun to battle against eachother with 2 players.
But with 3 or 5 players, pacts are more dangerous to make. Cause when you make a pact with another player the chance is big that there will be a 3 player pact opposing you.

When you attack in a 4 player game, there will allways be 1 player that tries to take its benefit from your attack. But we noticed that when a player attacks in a 5 player game there will allways be total chaos after it since most of the time there are 2-3 players that will try to make benefit of the situation.

Well this is what i've experienced in about 13 games.
So in my opinion 5 player games are the best to play when you want games full of action and betrayel etc. Alltough the downside is, that its more difficult to make a 5 player galaxy.

So after this pile of text im asking you, is a 4 player game really a better option than 3-5 player games?
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Timo Haas
Germany
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In my gaming group we play TI3 only with 5+ players. For my taste the games inherent balance is kept best with 6 players: my most challenging games were with 6 players, the board changing very often (but not random!) and the interaction between the different layers (military, trade, technology, politics, ...) working best.
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Timothy Sullivan
United States
Glen Carbon
Illinois
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I've played it with three, four and five (but never six). I think that five is the best of these options. I like having unselected strategy cards -- as I feel that adds a lot to the decision-making. The only downside is that more players usually creates more downtime.

All the best,

Tim
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Necessary Evil
United States
Glen Arm
Maryland
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I enjoy the 4 player game as much as the 3 player. I am not sure UI have ever played with 5, but I do nto see how it will change much.

Play style is dependent on the group and my group would never let the game devolve into a 2 v 2. We just know each other too well and we also know that int he end someone will get the shaft.

Most of us are experienced enough to know that space battles, especially big ones, are worth less unless they are going to score a VP. It is very rare that we attack each other "just because we could".

but to answer your question , no 4 is not really any better than 3 with 5 there will be 3 strat cards left un-played each round and this may slow the tempo of the game down a bit compared to the 0 for 4 and 8 and the 2 for 3 and 6. Personally I don't think that having un-taken strategy cards and bonus counters really add all that much to the game.

-M
 
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Timo Haas
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malloc wrote:
Personally I don't think that having un-taken strategy cards and bonus counters really add all that much to the game.


I prefer playing with untaken strategy cards: I don't know for sure which secondary abilities will be available, so it is harder to choose your strategy card: How strong will initiative be this round? Will anyone pick logistics so I can get some CC? Will anyone pick diplomacy II and will I be allowed to annex this neighboring planet or must I land a GF there, slowing my plans? Can I acquire this crucial tech by using the secondary ability and discounts or must I pick technology by myself to be sure to get it? ...
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Hani Zaccarelli
United States
Maplewood
New Jersey
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Every game is different, random races and a new galaxy. in a four player you miss out on the excitement of untaken strategy, but knowing that what you don't pick will definitely come up as a secondary option means you play differently (allocating more strategy tokens for 2ndary abilities usually). One very minor but cute advantage is you can pass the strategy cards around as a deck instead of laying them out and selecting them.
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