I've mostly played this as a duel with my wife, but enjoyed every player count equally. The game stays tight without being brutal for new players. The game length scales well once players get the habit of the turn down.
I've had the good fortune to never play with anyone who wanted to run the "starvation" strategy, and for that I'm glad. The flavor, even in such a relatively simple game, is strong enough to discourage winning at any cost.
A great time that keeps making it back to the table!