Rachel A was willing to stick around for a game of PR, so we played 5 player. A long and ponderous game, again, but still very enjoyable. 5 player with strong competition is very tough, and a lot of resources you take for granted in 3 or 4 player disappear in 5 player, such as the production buildings you need, trading space, ship space, barrels, etc...
Assembly Line instead of Small Market. Small Market is too strong, generally, although in 5 player, the corn players don't end up with them, so I probably could have left them in. Assembly Line allows all of your production buildings to hold an additional colonist. You still need the plantations and colonists to make use of this. Like many small buildings, sometimes it is worth it, and sometimes it isn't. I bought it and made use of it a lot. Elijah bought it and didn't have the right conditions to get it working.
Small Fashion District instead of Construction Hut. None of us are quarry monsters, so Construction Hut is considered weak. SFD allows you to sell indigo at +2.
Trading Post instead of Office. No explanation necessary.
Discretionary Hold instead of Large Warehouse. I don't have to explain why no LW. DH allows you to a) store up to 3 goods, and b) place any barrel onto a full ship for 1 VP. However, only one barrel may be placed onto a full ship, so if two people have DH, they go in order placing into full ships. If only one has it, their placement is unobstructed. A powerful building, maybe too powerful. But we always play with it, as it is better than the official 6 pointers or any of the other 6 pointers I have come up with.
Large General Warehouse instead of University. LGW has 2 circles and allows you to produce any two goods along with the corresponding manned plantations. You decide which while producing. Also a little strong, it combos well with Factory, and yet noone bought it this game until the end, for the VP's.
Cathedral instead of Guild Hall. GH is better than the other 10 pointers, so removed. Instead, Cathedral gives 1 VP for each VP you have in red VP's on all of your buildings. A good opposite to City Hall.
Fairgrounds (worth 5 red points) instead of Residence.
Residence is boring and weak. Fairgrounds gives +0,1,2,3,5,7 for 1,2,3,4,5,6 different types of tiles in your plantation space (including quarries). We really don't need more diversity in the game, but in 5 player it was kind of fun, as everyone basically built toward it (but only one person could actually get it).
Seating order: Nadine, Rachel, Jon, Yitzchak, Elijah.
N/Settler. N:Corn, R:Corn, J:Sugar, Y:Tobacco, E:Tobacco. N forgoes a quarry, which is rather odd. While it did give her some VP's in shipping, I think it lost her an equal amount in building. E starts off already to the left of another tobacco player, which hurts his trading, but helps his shipping.
R/Builder. R:Large Indigo, J:Small Sugar, Y:---, E:Assembly Line, N:Small Indigo. As I mentioned, E never gets the Assembly Line going. R's Large Indigo - another strange choice. She ends up shipping a heck of a lot, but is a round shy of acquiring any big building. Note that there is no Small Market in this game.
J/Mayor. J mans his sugar.
R/Mayor. R now has indigo and corn going. Once again, she gave up cash to do it.
E/Builder. E:Tobacco, N:---, R:Small Fashion District, J:Small Indigo, Y:Tobacco. R uses SFD quite often.
N/Settler. N:Quarry, R:Coffee, J:Sugar, Y:Indigo, E:Indigo. I take sugar because there is nothing left but 1 sugar and the rest indigo. This gives me more chance at an early sugar monopoly.
E/Mayor. E and Y are now producing tobacco. Boats already have corn, indigo, and sugar.
R/Settler. R:Quarry, J:Corn, Y:Corn, E:Coffee, N:Coffee.
Y/Builder(+1). Y:Small Indigo, E:---, N:Coffee, R:---, J:Assembly Line. Assembly LIne is particularly good for Small Indigo and Small Sugar.
E/Settler. E:Tobacco, N:Sugar, R:Indigo, J:Tobacco, Y:Coffee. We are all taking diverse production in case we buy Fairgrounds. It's a good thing to do, anyway. I never end up producing Tobacco.
N/Mayor. N now producing Coffee. I'm producing corn, indigo, and sugar.
R/Craftsman(+1). R feeds both E and N lots of cash. She wants to trade indigo, but I don't cooperate.
J/Captain(+1). If I don't take Captain, E gets his tobacco, N gets coffee, and then gets Captain with (+2) on it. I don't know why I didn't just trade myself at this point.
E/Trader(+1). E trades tobacco, N trades coffee.
R/Prospector(+1). I guess not good for me either way.
J/Settler. J:Quarry, Y:Sugar, E:Tobacco, N:Tobacco, R:Sugar.
Y/Captain. Y secures the 8 boat for tobacco.
N/Builder(+1). N:Tobacco, R:Sugar, J:---, Y:---, E:--- . We suggested Harbor, Wharf or Large General Workhouse to N. N takes Tobacco partially to prevent me from taking it.
J/Settler. J:Quarry, Y:Tobacco, E:Coffee, N:Corn, R:Indigo. Unusual for me to take 2 quarries, but I was looking at no trade goods, so I was starting to think "Now what?"
E/Craftsman(+1). This gives E 4 tabocco, but allows R to trade indigo.
R/Trader(+1). R nets 5 GP, I net 2 trading sugar.
J/Prospector(+1). I do this a lot.
Y/Captain(+1). E ships all 4 tobacco. I think a coffee boat starts now, too.
E/Builder. E:Coffee, N:Small Sugar, R:Discretionary Hold, J:Large Market, Y:Small Sugar. R's Discretionary Hold is a knockout in 5 player, because she is uncontested. My Large Market is also unsual for me. I am looking at a pretty easy trade situation, but no trade goods. I could have paid for LGW, but that eats up all my money just to produce tobacco. I could have bought Factory, but it cost two more, and for about the same benefit.
J/Prospector(+1). Did I mention that I do this a lot?
Y/Settler(+1). Y:Quarry, E:Corn, N:Corn, R:Coffee, J:Indigo. I am using my Assembly Line now to produce double indigos and sugars instead of my single corn plantation.
N/Trader. N trade coffee, R trades indigo, I trade sugar at +2.
Y/Trader. Y trades tobacco.
N/Builder(+1). N:Wharf, R:Coffee, J:Fairgrounds, Y:Factory, E:---. OK, I should have bought Wharf or Discretionary Hold, but I just wanted the damn Fairgrounds before someone else got it.
R/Mayor. I lost a few VP's by keeping my colonist on Large Market instead of manning my corn.
J/Prospector(+1). Hoping for second and maybe third big building.
N/Settler(+1). N:Corn, R:Sugar, J:Coffee, Y:Indigo, E:Sugar. N now producing 4 corns on a Wharf. I get my 6th plantation type. I wish I could have bought Factory, LGW, and Fairgrounds, but I can't buy everything at once.
R/Captain. R is shipping or using DH a ton, followed closely by N and E.
J/Builder. J:Small Warehouse, Y:Small Fashion District, E:---, N:---, R:Small Indigo.
Y/Builder. Y:Custom's House, E:---, N:Cathedral, R:Large Sugar J:---. Y gets Custom's House mostly to prevent either N or R from getting it. E is hoping for a big building.
E/Settler. E:Quarry, N:Coffee, R:Sugar, J:Indigo, Y:Tobacco.
J/Prospector(+1). I can get another building with no problem.
N/Trader. Now I'm awfully close to two more big buildings, and I already have one. I'm certainly losing the shipping race.
J/Builder(+1). J:City Hall, Y:Harbor, E:---, N:Trading Post, R:---. E thinks hard. He wants the last big building, but doesn't know who will get to it first. R has a good chance. Once E decides not to build, N gives up hope of getting it and buys fodder for her Cathedral. J also has a good chance at a third big building, or so it seems. However, it becomes painfully obvious that only E can get to it first in a moment.
Y/Mayor. Y primes the Harbor.
E/Trader. Y doesn't have enough to get the big building, so E is now guaranteed to get it.
Y/Captain. To lock a boat for Harbor.
E/Builder. E:Fortress, N:Factory, R:Harbor, J:Wharf, Y:---.
J/Settler(+2). No reason.
J/Builder. J:Hospice, Y:Large General Workhouse, E:Large General Workhouse, N:Discretionary Hold. That's it for all buildings in column 3.
Y/Mayor. Wants the game to be over, and this does it.
J: ship 16 + build 20 + bonus 14 = 50
Y: ship 22 + build 19 + bonus 5 = 46
E: ship 21 + build 14 + bonus 6 = 41
N: ship 27 + build 22 + bonus 7 = 56
R: ship 33 + build 17 + bonus 0 = 50