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Subject: We weren't impressed with Indonesia when playing with 4, loved it with 3 rss

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UA Darth
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We had recently played the game with 3 players and enjoyed it a lot. With 4 players last night, not so much. With all the added cities, the game just became insanely cumbersome with shipping after a while. The amount of calculations just became obnoxious after 1/2 to 2/3 the game.

What do you think of the game 3 vs 4 or even 5... I don't think I'd go near it with 5, but maybe it is better with 3 and 5 or something. People here seem to prefer it with 4 but last night's game became painful after 2/3.
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Agent J
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shadow9d9 wrote:
We had recently played the game with 3 players and enjoyed it a lot. With 4 players last night, not so much. With all the added cities, the game just became insanely cumbersome with shipping after a while. The amount of calculations just became obnoxious after 1/2 to 2/3 the game.

What do you think of the game 3 vs 4 or even 5... I don't think I'd go near it with 5, but maybe it is better with 3 and 5 or something. People here seem to prefer it with 4 but last night's game became painful after 2/3.


If you can't handle the fiddliness, I'm surprised you liked it with 3. I made a little VB program that handles the calculations quite nicely to cut down on that part, but we use it on the go, not to figure out what the best move is.

I enjoyed it with 4 because I feel like the game can jump-start easier without leaving anyone behind, whereas with 3 you can easily have 2 people able to ship first turn and end up ahead for the rest of the game, able to get those merged companies at the right time.

The fun of the game isn't in the shipping though, and the fiddliness, but in the timing of mergers and manipulating the game end.

Also, with 4, going first matters and you might not always end up with what you want. With 3, you usually can get something good as the last player. With 5, going last sucks and will likely lose you the game as the players before you do all the things you wish you could do.

But I would play this one at any number of players.
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Humulus Lupulus
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I've not yet played it with 3, but I much prefer 4 over 5, because that fifth player just seems to put the amount of multi-player chaos over the top while not adding any significant benefit over four players. Glad to hear it is good with 3.
 
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UA Darth
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I've only played a handful of times, but I have found that mergers haven't been taken advantage of much. Merging your own company is common(just bid all your money), and sometimes merging your own company with one other... It is ok, but the investment in slots doesn't always make it too worth it after merger level 2... only based on 4 games or so.
 
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Agent J
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Desiderata wrote:
I've not yet played it with 3, but I much prefer 4 over 5, because that fifth player just seems to put the amount of multi-player chaos over the top while not adding any significant benefit over four players. Glad to hear it is good with 3.


5 unbalances everything. Which makes it awesome. Yeah, with 4, we take 4 companies, then we reverse and take 4 more companies, or whatever. Everyone gets 2. In 5... 3 get 2 companies. Okay, now what do you do to fix that??

Edit: As a player, not as a game designer.
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Darrell Hanning
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The weakness I fear I see in the 3-player game is that it's quite possible for each player to be able to acquire their own shipping lines, and thus remove from the game the strategy of running shipping lines profitably, as opposed to being a producer of goods.

With 4 or 5 players, this really isn't possible. While you can conceivably ship nearly all of your own production early in the game (provided you stay on top of turn order), you can't sustain that model once plantations have both increased in number and size. That creates the opportunity for a viable, shipping-only strategy to be pursued by a player.

Is the delivery and cost-counting of all those goods fiddly? Certainly, but there are ways to streamline this. One, quick remedy is to keep a die on each ship you use during one of your company's deliveries, and rotate it to the side indicating the number of goods it delivered. Once all deliveries are made and paid for, then pay the shipping fees indicated by the dots on the dice, to the owners of the ships under the dice. Once you're done, hand the dice to the next player to play.
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Agent J
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I just don't like multiplying by 35 and bidding in 7s all the time.
 
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Mark G.
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Actually 4 is my favorite count for this game, but I like it with all counts 3, 4, or 5. I find that the more players, the faster the game moves since the eras change faster.

I believe there is a merger-calculation helper sheet available here on BGG which helps with the math.

The more I've played this, the more subtle and important the use of merging becomes.
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Daniel Corban
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I find four is the best. With only three, there can be a large benefit to shipping companies, as there are fewer cities and goods usually must travel farther. With five, the opposite is true. There are too many cities, making it easy for producers to ship. Also with five, the game ends rather abruptly due to more players taking more companies, as there are more total "slots". Again, with three, the opposite is the case: too few slots slow the game down.
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Clyde W
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Best with 4, for sure.
 
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Agent J
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I love all players counts as they are all unique snowflakes of economic goodness.
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Martins Livens
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to OP: with 4 or five there is more shipping, but less rounds.

4 is best, 5 is good, 3 is ok, 2 is playable.

I have played a lot of games, at least between geeks that log them.
 
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UA Darth
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I gave it some more thought and I think it had a lot to do with the fact that 2/4 players are new to gaming and aren't mathy.. I had to do most of their shipping calculations for the game, which definitely wore on me.

Also, there is pretty much no room next to the cities for shipped goods when the map is full of cities and goods, which makes things even harder.
 
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Agent J
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shadow9d9 wrote:
I gave it some more thought and I think it had a lot to do with the fact that 2/4 players are new to gaming and aren't mathy.. I had to do most of their shipping calculations for the game, which definitely wore on me.

Also, there is pretty much no room next to the cities for shipped goods when the map is full of cities and goods, which makes things even harder.


Try using cubes to make shipped goods instead of the normal markers.
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Mark G.
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Jythier wrote:
shadow9d9 wrote:
I gave it some more thought and I think it had a lot to do with the fact that 2/4 players are new to gaming and aren't mathy.. I had to do most of their shipping calculations for the game, which definitely wore on me.

Also, there is pretty much no room next to the cities for shipped goods when the map is full of cities and goods, which makes things even harder.


Try using cubes to make shipped goods instead of the normal markers.


That is exactly what we do and it really helps.
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Daniel Corban
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Were you physically placing the 5 coin markers on the ships when shipping goods? I find this helps immensely.
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Darrell Hanning
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dcorban wrote:
Were you physically placing the 5 coin markers on the ships when shipping goods? I find this helps immensely.


This can get messy, too, particularly with companies having larger holds, which is why I recommended using dice instead. The largest hold is 5, and a die goes up to 6, so you only need one per ship.
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Agent J
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DarrellKH wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Were you physically placing the 5 coin markers on the ships when shipping goods? I find this helps immensely.


This can get messy, too, particularly with companies having larger holds, which is why I recommended using dice instead. The largest hold is 5, and a die goes up to 6, so you only need one per ship.


What if you only have 3 sided dice?
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Darrell Hanning
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Jythier wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Were you physically placing the 5 coin markers on the ships when shipping goods? I find this helps immensely.


This can get messy, too, particularly with companies having larger holds, which is why I recommended using dice instead. The largest hold is 5, and a die goes up to 6, so you only need one per ship.


What if you only have 3 sided dice?


Then you got ripped off when you bought them.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
badge
He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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DarrellKH wrote:
Jythier wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Were you physically placing the 5 coin markers on the ships when shipping goods? I find this helps immensely.


This can get messy, too, particularly with companies having larger holds, which is why I recommended using dice instead. The largest hold is 5, and a die goes up to 6, so you only need one per ship.


What if you only have 3 sided dice?


Then you got ripped off when you bought them.


What if they were half-price?
 
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Darrell Hanning
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Jythier wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
Jythier wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
dcorban wrote:
Were you physically placing the 5 coin markers on the ships when shipping goods? I find this helps immensely.


This can get messy, too, particularly with companies having larger holds, which is why I recommended using dice instead. The largest hold is 5, and a die goes up to 6, so you only need one per ship.


What if you only have 3 sided dice?


Then you got ripped off when you bought them.


What if they were half-price?


Then use twice as many dice, for the same price!
 
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Medievalbanquet
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Five is the best, its a tactical brawl racing towards the finish line. Its not chaotic, its a harder puzzle and an intense game of chicken in the bidding phase.

I don't buy the MP chaos crap. Generally you only have to worry about people in your commodities anyhow so if one person is in shipping totally (which can happen) you have 4 anyhow. So, 5 is best.

Let's move on.

 
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Pieter
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I like the game with all player counts, but I find it a bit too long with 3. With 4 or 5, it moves to the endgame much quicker. 4 is probably best.

I very much like the dice idea; now I should get a set of colored dice numbered 0 to 5.
 
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Dvonn Yinsh
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A 3p game is longer than a 4p or a 5p. Also, it's more likely that each player gets his own production company and own shipping line in a 3p game, which IMO is boring.

I think 4p is the sweet number.
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