I just wanted to share a simple little variant I came up with that cuts down on some of the potentially devastating luck-factor of the reserve tile.
Before you draw your reserve tile each round remove the following tiles from the pool:
- the dragon - the gold mine - both mountains - both +6s - both +5s - the -6 - the -5
I like playing this way because it cuts down on the game-breaking power of the reserve tile without removing it completely. It's also pretty easy to implement because after the 1st and 2nd rounds all (or almost all) of the tiles are face up anyway.