I had a chance to finally try out a 5 player game. To make up for the gold shortage, we all started with decks consisting of 3- 1 gold cards, 1- 2 gold card, and the 3- 1 cost units. We each kept the 2 gold card in our hands and drew 4 random cards. This may not have been the most balanced approach but it worked.
We played the Quest for Power scenario. 5 players didn't really change anything that I could tell. One of the players was almost a complete noob but he seemed to pick up the basics pretty fast.
I played the dwarves this time. I did not go "all out" with my play style since I didn't want to alienate the noob. I was rendered mostly helpless after the 5th turn or so when I gambled to claim one of the rewards. Any result on the attrition die except the 2 skulls would have meant victory for me, but as luck would have it…
If there was any drawback to 5 players it was just that the 4th and 5th players were mostly screwed when it came to claiming any of the rewards that came out of the event deck.
I look forward to trying out other scenarios with 5 players to see how they work out. I have high hopes for Resurgence and Wars.
If I felt I would be playing a lot of these 5 of more player games I would invest in a second basic set, but at this time it doesn't seem worth it.