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The rules say the bio-terrorist challenge is for three and four player games and is explicitly not recommended for five players. Why is that? If it's a difficulty issue, couldn't the number of Epidemic cards be adjusted to compensate? As easy as it is to tweak the difficulty of Pandemic, it's hard to imagine there isn't some way to get it to work.

Am I missing something? Is there some reason it just can't work?

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Good question! Amazingly enough, there's a definitive answer. The reason is described in detail in this board game geek thread, where game designer Tom Lehmann explains that playtesting showed the game became too long and boring with 5 players. Basically the game becomes 50% longer, and there are large gaps where individual players don't get to do anything. The detailed analysis he provides is quite interesting.

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    Great answer; I especially appreciate that you gave a brief and easy-to-understand summary. – Firefeather Dec 6 '10 at 16:46

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