The Players: Myself (Mark E.), Vicki P, Sanjay M, Katie H, and Melody W.
Not too much to say about this round of Carcassonne, though everybody loves this game. It is fast becoming the most popular one in our group and we have played it every single session since I bought it.
My worst game of Carcassonne ever. I was completely unable to take part in major cities, long roads, and didn't have a single farm by the time the game was done. I found the game was a bit unwieldy with five people playing, versus the usual three player match-ups I've been playing.
At least in three player you have a reasonable chance of being able to draw the tile you need, but here it was nigh impossible. I finished dead last, followed by Mel who had never played before.
Vicki had managed to pull out three cloisters all for herself so she made wicked gains thanks to those, and she had some farms that were supplying a number of cities. Sanjay had been doing good for himself primarily feeding on small cities and farms plus the odd cloister, but Vicki's lead proved to be insurmountable, with Katie falling in the middle.
About a 6.5 for this rating. Everybody loves Carcassonne, and I do too, but I didn't enjoy this game like previous games. Maybe it's my perception of the fewer tiles played that needs to adjust, or I simply prefer the game with fewer people.
I find that Carcassonne does need to be approached differently when playing with more players. There needs to be more cooperation, so that there are more people trying to complete that city. And if you cooperate with the most people, odds are that you'll come out ahead.
For example, let's assume that there are four 10-point cities that have been closed. Assume that they're all shared: city1 closed by A and B, city2 closed by A and C, city3 closed by A and D, and city4 closed by A and E. In each case, A shared with one other player, but looking at all of them, A gained 40 points, while the others gained 10 each.
This tends to be how I view Bohnanza, as well, and in both cases it seems to be a pretty effective approach.