Rule changes, additions and options proposed by players for players. This is not for officially sanctioned variations, see below!

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56
votes
13answers
1k views

Taking back turns, and forgotten privileges

A generic question across most board games: once a player has taken their turn (taken their finger off the piece they are playing), should they be allowed to change their mind? Similarly, if a player ...
32
votes
8answers
13k views

How do you make Settlers of Catan work well for 2 players? (Problems and play-tested solution described, alternatives requested)

The basic Settlers of Catan game is designed to work for 3-4 players (or more with 5-6 Player Extension). No 2 player variant is suggested by the rules, and for good reasons: Trades (an exciting ...
29
votes
21answers
2k views

Which alternative methods of choosing a starting player actually WORK?

So I've been noticing that there's a vogue in gaming recently for the starting player to be chosen by some method other than simple lot. I'm wondering if this is a good fashion, or if it's just ...
29
votes
8answers
4k views

What are some alternatives to using dice in Settlers of Catan?

In Settlers of Catan, there's a variant where instead of rolling the dice, you use a stack of 36 cards with each combination. This reduces the luck component, but has as disadvantage that you can ...
27
votes
10answers
19k views

Munchkin as a two player game

Has anyone had any experience with playing Munchkin with 2 players? If so, what variant/house rules do you play with, and how do you feel the experience compares to 3+ player Munchkin?
24
votes
9answers
395 views

How to eliminate advantages gained from the seating position of inferior players?

In many games, such as Liar's Dice or On The Underground, there is an advantage to be had by sitting immediately after (in the turn order) the player who is least experienced or just plain bad at the ...
24
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it possible to play 2-player, 2-character Arkham Horror successfully?

I've tried playing Arkham Horror with 1, 2 and 4 players. I've found that the game seems extraordinarily difficult with less than 4 characters. Simply put, you don't have enough gos to do everything. ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the best strategy to avoid large farms in Carcassonne?

Whenever I play with my housemates and friends, Carcassonne often becomes 'farm wars'; everyone who understands the nuances of farm play gets caught up in playing meeple (or as I call them, 'dudes') ...
20
votes
4answers
17k views

How can I play Dominion with 5+ players without expansions?

I am going to get a Dominion expansion (probably intrigue based on its popularity) but in the meantime I'm curious about what I can do with just the basic set. I know it was designed for 2-4, but I ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

What are common contracts in Catan?

Players in my Catan groups never reneg on deals, so we have a number of common contracts. For example, we often sell each other a "Not-Hit," the right to be avoided the next time the seller gets to ...
19
votes
3answers
906 views

Dixit variations to increase replay value?

I recently got Dixit, and it's been a big hit with a couple groups of friends, however we're already finding it's replay value to be declining. I'm sure in a few months it would be very fun again ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

Trivial Pursuit - Rules for a “short to medium length” game?

The standard rules for Trivial Pursuit say that in order to win, the player must collect all six wedges from the special category spaces, then proceed to the center and answer a final question in a ...
17
votes
4answers
327 views

Ideas for handicapping strong Boggle players?

My family enjoys playing Boggle. Usually it's all adults that play, but come the holidays it's not uncommon to have elementary and junior high aged cousins, nieces, and nephews interested in playing ...
17
votes
14answers
671 views

Any good way to add a handicap in Dominion?

I play Dominion pretty regularly with one group of friends, but only occasionally with another group. This creates a pretty big experience gap between me and the second group, and I'm afraid they ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

Playing with less or more than 10 Kingdom card types in Dominion

In Dominion you choose 10 of the 25 Kingdom cards to play with in a given game, generally at random. Is it possible/advisable to play with less or more sets? I've considered playing with less to make ...
17
votes
8answers
12k views

Where can I find good tile layouts for Settlers of Catan?

I just bought a copy of Settlers, and noticed that there was a suggested starting layout that is included in the Almanac. I noticed it was mentioned online as well: "new editions of the game also ...
17
votes
12answers
1k views

Creative handicaps in Settlers of Catan?

I've gotten really into Settlers of Catan recently. There are a few people I regularly play with and these games are really fun / intense; however, when any of this group splits off to play "friendly ...
16
votes
8answers
612 views

Pre-drawing cards or tiles

This goes for many games where players take turns to draw cards, but I specifically wondered about Carcassonne: Do you allow players to pre-draw tiles? So they don't have to wait until it's their ...
16
votes
13answers
895 views

How to reduce slow starts at the beginning of the game?

We recently played a game of Settlers of Catan where for the first 3 rounds none of us got any brick at all, so there was no road construction at all and it dragged a little. I'm not looking to reduce ...
16
votes
6answers
665 views

Carcassonne — problem telling the difference between the Big Meeple and regular Meeples

In our gaming group, we have a very hard time picking out the Big Meeple from the other Meeples on the board. While the Big Meeple certainly is bigger than the others, it's not by a significant ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Does anyone have a way to modify Ticket to Ride to accommodate six people?

I recently bought Ticket to Ride to play at our monthly game night, which consists of three couples, i.e. six people. Stupid me, didn't read the five player limit before ordering the game. I've played ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

How can I play Pandemic with 6 players?

I've recently bought Pandemic, and really liked the game. But since the basic game is only 2-4 players, I ordered the expansion "On the Brink", which brings it up to 5 players. Is there a rules ...
15
votes
10answers
1k views

Clarifying house rules for Monopoly

It seems likely that I may be involved in a game of Monopoly soon. I'm not a big fan of Monopoly for a number of reasons, one of which is that part way through the game someone will reveal that they ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

How to reduce total screw-overs in Ticket to Ride so there's always a potential path toward victory?

My family and I have very much enjoyed playing the original Ticket to Ride, but I've noticed one issue that keeps coming up. It is very easy to be cheated out certain critical routes that could easily ...
15
votes
6answers
940 views

General advice for maximizing fun playing multiple games of Dominion

My girlfriend and I are a bit late to getting Dominion but so far are really enjoying it - we have the base set and just bought Intrigue. We don't have a lot of time to play (and so far at least have ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a “Campaign Mode” set of rules available for Arkham Horror?

Are there any rules (official or otherwise) that would govern trying to string together multiple games of Arkham Horror into some sort of a campaign structure? The idea would be for the investigators ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I play a short/small, but still satisfying round of Diplomacy?

I liked playing Diplomacy back in university, where I had almost no problem gathering seven people with a whole day (including the nights) to spend. Nowadays however, I'd consider myself lucky to ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

Disadvantaging an overly good Agricola player

One of my friends and I often play Agricola, and he's considerably better than me at it - I'm getting better, but he seems to be advancing at a faster rate, and it's getting to the point that although ...
14
votes
7answers
488 views

What to do in long games with players who are way behind?

When our group plays longer games (6+ hours), we usually choose games where players who fall behind still have chances to recover, so all players remain interested in and engaged with the game. ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What are some good house rules to balance the sides in Saboteur?

My group of gaming buddies, after playing plenty of Saboteur, has found that the "good dwarves" can pretty easily win consistently once they learn which pieces are most valuable and how to best ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Axis and Allies with TWO boards!!!

So, I have been developing a way to play A&A with two boards. You have the Axis on one and the Allies on the other. Now, before you start saying that this is ridiculous and stupid and would ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Does Forbidden Island usually need any rule variants for playing with 5+ people?

I don't see any reason why Forbidden Island wouldn't be able to handle 5 or maybe even 6 players with some simple variants. Does anyone have any experience with different player numbers with some ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Is bribing off the robber a good addition to Settlers of Catan?

When I play Settlers of Catan with my family we sometimes allow bribing of the person placing the robber to not place it in a particular spot. Does anyone else play this way and if so do you find ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

Minimum bid rule for Monopoly auctions

Other questions have asserted that many people don't actually auction properties as instructed in the rules. Monopoly doesn't specify any rules to control the auction. I have seen auctions stretch ...
12
votes
11answers
2k views

Short-version of Settlers of Catan

What are some rule changes that shorten the game, and what drawbacks do those changes have? Please limit your answers to rules changes with which you have first-hand experience!
12
votes
8answers
1k views

Do you know any rules that make Pandemic's difficulty more even?

Pandemic varies vastly in difficulty depending on the number of players. Does anyone know of any custom rules that make it more even?
12
votes
3answers
427 views

Removing the Luck from Stone Age

Stone Age is one of my personal favourite games. The game dynamics are excellent and requires plenty of skill and strategy to win, with the only exception of the dice roll when determining resource. ...
12
votes
2answers
501 views

Solitaire rules for Catan Card Game?

I want to play the Catan Card Game more often than I can find someone with the patience to play it with me. I know there are some good solitaire rules for Settlers of Catan, but are there any for the ...
11
votes
4answers
629 views

What can dead Werewolves players be doing?

When you've been lynched by the villagers or ripped apart by the werewolves, I believe the rules say those players are completely out of the game and should not contribute in any way. In the handful ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Recommended Axis & Allies alternative rules / variations?

What rule variations do you recommend for playing Axis & Allies, from ones meant to balance the game to ones that add a little spice? Here are the variants I've played with - always looking for ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Playing Settlers of Catan with a D12 instead of 2D6

Has anyone tried this? Does it break the game? Does it make it easier/quicker? Assuming a 1 gave no resources to anyone and a 7 still invoked the robber how different a game would this make Settlers? ...
10
votes
6answers
389 views

How to speed up a game of Empire Builder?

Are there any rules variants that I can use to speed up a game of Empire Builder? I love playing Empire Builder, but the fact that it takes so long tends to put off some of my friends.
10
votes
2answers
2k views

House Rule for Minor Improvement/Occupation distribution?

I'm in a group that regularly plays together. We love Agricola, but we tend to play the family version because we feel the minor improvements and occupations are a bit too unbalanced. Or sometimes one ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Too many Tech-Victories seen in 2-player rules for Civilization

I have been playing Civilization The Board Game some times with my girlfriend, but each time, the game quickly becomes a race for the tech-victory. Since it is a large advantage to research tech in ...
10
votes
1answer
206 views

Are there multiplayer equivalents to trading places after the first move?

In many two-player games a first move advantage can be mitigated by giving the second player the option to trade places if the first move appears desirably strong, which encourages the first player to ...
10
votes
2answers
571 views

Alternative rules for SimCity: The Card Game

Back in the 90s, I enjoyed collecting SimCity: The Card Game. I can't help but feel excited that there's a lot of potential in the game, but that the rules are broken and in certain aspects, to be ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

House rules to make the cloister less of a game winning tile in Carcassonne?

In my experience, cloister tiles in Carcassonne are often "too lucky". If you draw a cloister tile in the beginning of the game, it will typically still require an investment of quite a bit of ...
9
votes
6answers
805 views

Robo Rally - Alternative rules for option cards?

Robo Rally is a fun game but the option cards totally break it if a person just sits on the wrench and hammer and collects them all. Has anyone tried a house rule to discourage this behaviour? How ...
9
votes
1answer
546 views

Small World : purpose of hiding VP

Have you ever tried playing Small World with visible VP ? It sometimes frustrates me to discover in the end that some player had much more or less VP that we expected. Memorizing the VP count for ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Tweaking the difficulty in Arkham Horror?

Most cooperative games have methods of altering the difficulty listed in the rulebook, but Arkham Horror doesn't (although it does mention that Cthulu tends to be harder than the other ancient ones). ...