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61

I like the following rule: If no new information has been disclosed since a decision, then a player is allowed to take back any action or inaction where this is practical. Information could be cards in a deck, rolls of dice, but also intentions of a fellow player.


41

Significantly. The thing about 2d6 is that you've got a range of numbers that have a certain probability of them showing up. When you're rolling 2d6, your available numbers are 2-12. You're dropping off the number 1. Also, you have an escelating scale of percentage probability. 2's and 12's will happen 2.77% of the time (each). 3's and 11's will happen ...


24

We use Start Player every time. That gives us the fun and twisted subjective criteria that is such a blast to work out, but also injects the truly random so that no one player continuously gets picked as the starting player for any particular game. Plus, the cards are hilarious! It is the best of both worlds.


22

To play with more than 4 players, the rules for Intrigue (link - page 7) give the following guidelines: Provinces = players x 3 Curses = (players - 1) x 10 Exhaust 4 Kingdom piles (instead of 3) to end the game. Province pile still ends the game on its own. Of course you'll need 3 more Estates per player at the beginning of the game, but for the Coppers ...


22

We've played many enjoyable games with the following system that does nothing to deal with the loss of trading, but handles the other issues raised above quite well: Change hex setup to barbell shape (see picture) 3 of each resource hex (ores always placed as shown with 3-8-11, rest randomized) 8 randomized ports (5 2:1, 3 3:1) A set of randomized ...


21

I played a diceless variant where every village has a "worker". you place the worker in an empty tile next to the village when you create the village at the beginning of your turn, you get one resource for each worker, from its tile -OR- you may skip acquisition to remove another player's worker (he'll be able to re-assign it at the end of his next turn) ...


21

Dominion has the "player sitting to the left of the player who won the previous game" mechanic. Since play passes to the left, this means the person who won the previous game goes last. This also means every other player has a chance (on turn 3) to play attack cards before the player who won previously. Or to buy up the last copies of a popular card ...


20

I'm pretty lenient in general. Unless it is a tournament or something akin to it, denying someone their privilege may result in hard feelings. The exception is if another person made a move that would have been different if the privilege had been taken. To use your example, in Puerto Rico, if a person used the builder and forgot to deduct $1 a went to take ...


20

The card system that you describe is not just a variant, it is an official expansion, Catan: Event Cards, which includes not only the rolls (in the form of the totals with the appropriate distribution) but also red dice for Cities and Knights and a selection of minor game events.


20

I'll go first. The game's all set up, people are chatting about random things, and when nobody's looking, you decide to go first. I play in a somewhat casual group, and it's surprising how well this works. No dice to roll, no questions to ask, just go. If you don't like it, then you can go first next time. ;-)


20

I have played plenty of games that ended up with a lot of points being scored by the person who owns the largest farm. Having said that I've played plenty of games where either that person didn't win, or where the game ended with several smaller farms (and consequently the game didn't hinge on this). One important consideration is what rule set you are ...


19

We've played it slightly different than tttppp; we allow pre-drawing of tiles, as long as the drawing order remains unchanged, and there is no discussion of the tile you have pulled. For example, if we have players 1, 2 and 3, and it is player one's turn, player 3 can draw their next tile as long as player 2 has already drawn their next tile. Yes, tile ...


19

As an informal handicap, when I'm playing in a game like this I usually try to make myself take my 2nd strategy - instead of doing the most obvious thing on the board, I come up with something more oddball and see if I can make that work. Another thing that's not a huge handicap but can help is letting the less experienced players choose the 10 Kingdom ...


18

It's important to note that there's a direct relationship between the near-ubiquitous Free Parking and no-auctions rules and people's perception that Monopoly is a game that takes forever to play. The playing time of Monopoly is a function of how fast people run out of money, which is a function of a) how quickly all the properties get sold and developed ...


18

There are a couple of expansions I think could help, as well as some strategery. First, expansions: The River II tends to at least break the board up into 2 or 3 big farms, if not lots of smaller ones. Abbey & Mayor adds a Barn piece that can really change the way fields are played. I think the dragon from The Princess & the Dragon might play in ...


17

Yes, We've played this way many times and it works quite well for an enjoyable game. I highly recommend it. You don't need to make any adjustment to the rules to do so, just make sure that you keep each character's possessions separate! Also remember that certain game elements are based on the number of characters, not players. One variation you might ...


17

There are a couple of expansions that reduce the usefulness of cloisters. You don't get the points until all the surrounding squares are filled, which is a safe bet in 'vanilla' Carcassonne, but not such a sure thing with expansions. The Tower expansion makes it less attractive to leave meeple on the board for any length of time, because they are sitting ...


17

While the free parking rule mentioned by LittleBobbyTables is quite common, there are a lot of other house rules people use in Monopoly. I know we never used the auction rule when we've played Monopoly, and that keeps property available much longer, since when someone lands on a parcel, it isn't necessarily sold. Wikipedia has a great list of house rules ...


17

I have played this and it absolutely degrades the fun factor of the game. You end up getting everyone paying off to not get robbed. The person who will pay the least gets the robber. We had the person rolling the seven getting huge amounts of resources. It really disrupted the flow of the game. NOTE: we did not change the rules to allow this. It was ...


17

First thing is, that it would make the numbers more or less unimportant, since they all have the same probability now (that of 4 or 10 before). This means good building spots are nothing you have to fight for anymore. Settlements will be more spread out from the beginning, because a starting settlement with a 2 or 12 is no problem anymore. So there will be ...


16

In my opinion, there shouldn't "always be a potential path towards victory". I've never found it a big problem to get my routes finished - though obstacles and impediments are often flung in my way! There are a few things you should be doing to ensure that you always have the best chance of success, though: (1) Obviously, don't overcommit. Know how far ...


15

I have never had this experience with Carcassonne either - typically in our games it's more likely that a late-game cloister will be wasted because the player doesn't have the meeples to spare for it. Even an 8-point late game cloister will be outpaced by a decent sized field, and it will tie up that meeple too. The other factor that can affect this is ...


15

We don't use contracts with the group of friends I play Catan with. While it's an interesting idea, trading resources for nothing in return during the trade is explicitly against the rules of the game. Also, the player who's turn it is has to be involved in all trades being made during that turn. So, a player giving resources to a player they promised ...


15

The best handicapping is to require the more skilled player to have no 6's nor 8's in their chosen starting spots; a step harder is to also block the 5's and 9's, but that often results in not being able to find a spot to place starting bits. Commensurately, the biggest problem for casual players is NOT picking at least one common number spot... An ...


15

Yes! You simply have to fix rules about the sentence you want to use when it's your turn to play. For example: you must say a movie title, or lyrics from a song, or you can only make a grimace of some sort, or just a sound, and so on. We've tried something else that completely changes the game: first, the other players give you a card of their choosing, and ...


14

A while back some friends and I had played a few long, boring games of Monopoly in a row. Before we gave up on the game entirely we decided to try one more game with strict adherence to the rules. Not only was the game fun, but it was over in 45 minutes. Two common house rules break the game in the following ways: Free parking money (free $500 and/or using ...


14

I think you can't have a serious, cutthroat game with a wide range of skills, so relax. Gently coach the new players, but no more than they're willing to receive. Play a couple of dummy rounds for the new players and then restart if needed. If you're really serious, you can investigate ways to handicap the game, but that's really hard to do without ruining ...


14

We've used a mixture of user-selected and randomly selected cards. One scheme that's worked: each player gets to pick one card they don't want in the next game (this is done first), and then two cards they do want in the deck. The remaining 2 cards are selected at random. (This was for a 4-player game; in a two-player game I'd experiment with 1 or 2 banned ...


13

I think playing with less would be fine. From the games I've played with there are about 2-5 stacks that never get any buys, and 1-2 that get bought down really fast. For inexperienced players I think it would be a big plus. However, for experienced players it could change some of the strategy a bit. The other stacks, even if unbought, can serve as a ...


13

Group the players according to skill level. Each of your words are eliminated if anybody in your group or below has a duplicate word. Players in groups higher than yours cannot eliminate your words, but you can eliminate theirs. I think there should be at least two players in the lowest group, but maybe you want to be really kind to the most junior player. ...



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