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Scott:

House rule: For Las Vegas, I like the house rule that the total amount of money per casino goes up by $10k per round. The rules say to keep putting out money cards until you have a sum of greater than or equal to $50k, but we increase that to $60k for round 2, $70k for round 3, and $80k for round 4. It really makes the end game more exciting.
Edition: For Mysterium, I have the new edition from Asmodee, but I prefer not to play with the new Clairvoyance track which makes players vote if other players’ guesses are correct. I play the original way I learned from the Polish edition of the game which doesn’t add this extra complexity.

Peter:

Expansion: For me, King of Tokyo’s power up expansion is a must. I can’t imagine playing the original without it.
As for the reverse, I don’t often play Ticket to Ride anymore, but when I do, I play the classic USA map.
House rules? In character selection games (Bang!, Arkham Horror), we often deal out 3 choices and let people pick their character.

Chris:

Expansion: Lords of Waterdeep‘s expansion Scoundrels of Skullport is a must. It adds so much more to the game without complicating it. I’d also say any expansion that adds players to Cosmic Encounters.

Mike:

I’ll give an answer for all three.

  • House rule: Catan purists may argue, but I eliminate the robber. On a “7” roll, lose excess cards like normal, but then take one resource card of your choice. We can knock out a game in 30-40 minutes.
  • Expansion: Ticket to Ride is nothing without the 1910 Expansion.
  • Edition: Does it qualify as an edition? I love Smallworld: Underground more than the original.

Seth:

Expansion: Zooloretto is a great game built on the foundation of a mechanism that is itself a game, Coloretto. When playing Zooloretto, I never play without the Petting Zoo module of the expansion. The rest I could give or take (and some bits I don’t care for at all), but the Petting Zoo is integral as the thing that sets Zooloretto apart from Coloretto is the interesting money actions, and in the base game the money seems a little too tight. The Petting Zoo injects a little more money into the game, making the interesting money actions a little more prevalent, and therefore making the game better.

House Rule: Railroad Tycoon is probably one of my favorite games. It’s got a few oddities, and I’ve tried quite a few variants out, but there’s one that we ALWAYS use. Instead of dealing out 2N cards face up and 1 more each game turn, we always deal out just N cards, but add 2 more each game turn. This makes the auction more interesting more often, as it’s much more likely players will care about the cards.

Jasmine:

House Rule: Machi Koro’s grid card selection variant makes the game more interesting, but it can get clogged with purple cards or other undesireable cards. We have a house rule that you can pay a coin to clear out a single row or column once per turn, just to freshen up the options.

Christina:

House Rule: For Small World, we misread the rules initially and played where you just had to pay one token up from the other person instead of two to take over the zone they’re in. You go through the races a lot faster that way. We were corrected after years of playing it that way, but I don’t think we could go back now.

Luke:

Expansion: When you play The Manhattan Project, you MUST use the Nations mini-expansion.

Brad:

House Rule: When playing Carcassonne players should draw their tile at the end of their turn rather than waiting for the start of their turn.

Brad Brooks

iOS Developer

Brad designed Letter Tycoon (a word game for capitalists) which won the 2015 Mensa Select award, and the upcoming Rise of Tribes. He is currently in need of a time machine to address his idea vs. execution imbalance.

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  1. Jeremy Geist on June 27, 2016

    Re: Cosmic Encounter, I’d argue that getting one of the expansions with the Reward deck (Incursion is my preference, as the Cosmic Dominion rewards require more explaining) makes the game more complete. Good games top out around 6 players anyway, so acquiring more than 1 extra player color isn’t that necessary.

    My friends and I developed a house rule for Tales of the Arabian Nights where if you don’t escape jail three times in a row, you get out anyway. It prevents situations where someone’s stuck in jail for the entire game where the encounters aren’t particularly fun or interesting.

  2. tomjulioo on June 28, 2016

    I’d like to know if some of you have advices for mythotopia.
    I played it once and heard that some people simplifked the end of the game rule to make the game length shorter.

    For the expansion, i can’t imagine playing cyclades without the hades exansion. (For Hades himself) and the new map (for more interaction and to reduce game length

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