Popular house rules I can't get
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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I like playing the games by the rules as written. If a game's not good as it's written I usually play other games that are good. Still sometimes I can at least understand why some wants to use special rules. But usually the 'home rules' are about changing something fundamental to the game.
The game was playtested for long, quite possibly for years. Usually the rules included are there because they solve some problems etc. So I think in most cases it's better not to change them at all...

Now of course everyone has the right to play as they like. Still I think these modifications lessen the game and if I was playing with you I would insist playing them with the normal rules and not with these house rules.
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1. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:282] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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"No trading in Catan."
What? It takes away most of the fun from the game.
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2. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:282] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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"Robber doesn't mean half of your 8+ cards are gone."
The robber adds a fine dynamic to the game and you are quite often facing some hard decisions just because of this 8+ rule. Without the robber the game gets a lot more tedious.
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3. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:282] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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"Playing with face-up resource cards: player resource cards are open. This speeds and eases trading and the game. "
So what about the monopoly card? And all the secret planning?

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4. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Not counting the fields, or counting them in any differernt way than it's written in the rules (because the fields scoring rule is confusing and hard to explain).

Why? It's a gateway game with very simple rules! it just can't be that hard for anyone.
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5. Board Game: San Marco [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:515]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
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"Blind choosing."
I think that takes away the essence of the game. Yes, this game is about hard decisions and can be a pain with seriously AP-prone people. But also this mechanism is the heart of the game, the reason why this one is one of the best area majority games ever.
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6. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:70]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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"Cubes are public and placed in front of the shields, only tiles go behind the shields."
Note: also for Samurai (3- or 4-player), place the black figures in front of the shields.

Now these I *can* understand but still don't like (it's a bit different when you play them on-line and just can't remember anything from yesterday). Yes there is some memory element to these games, but also this hidden information gets very important in the end of the game - if everyone's scores are open information, that allows some serious intentional king-making.

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7. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:434]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Adding luck element: the water tiles are face-down.
TtD is an open-information (almost abstract) strategy game. It's great as it is. Once again, if you want more luck included, maybe it's not the game you are looking for.
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8. Board Game: Oasis [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1263]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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"players must keep their scoring tiles face up."
Another game where the memory element is important and as it's hard to remember all the tiles taken, it allows some secret planning... unless your tiles are all face up.
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9. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.39 Overall Rank:15468]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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The rules state "If you do not wish to buy the property, the Bank sells it at through an auction to the highest bidder."
Somehow it's always forgotten or not used, therefore the game gets a lot longer than it should.
Now I know one could argue the best house rule is 'don't play Monopoly at all' but that's a different topic.
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10. Board Game: Dungeon Twister [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:762]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Playing the combats with dice instead of cards.

So you think the role of luck is too small in Dungeon Twister? There are lots of games that provide enough luck in combats. Dungeon Twister is a great design as its luck ratio is really small. Appreciate it.
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11. Board Game: Keltis [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1366]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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and Lost Cities: The Board Game:
once again, playing with tiles face-down. (I found this variant in the comments of this image below, which shows the game during an admittedly wrong set-up).

YeGor says
Quote:
We always play with tiles face down. That makes the game less predictable. Same with the expansion and Celtica.

Now one can argue why it's good to play Through the Desert with tiles face down. I can even understand that to some level, even if I think that's wrong. But here? This seems to make the game totally random. I really like the balance of luck and planning in Keltis/LCtBG which makes them fun family experiences. But if you don't even know where is the stone/artifact you are going for, or where can you move another one you really don't know anything.
And in the expansion? The luck level in the expansion is a lot smaller; by playing the game with tiles face-down you are really damned, not knowing (well, at first) where you can give away a card or collect the third stone of the same color... Bad, bad idea.

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12. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:122]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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"We don't play "Grand Tichu" as it's highly unlikely and very luck-dependent."

That's like saying there is no higher bid than 5 in Bridge as that's highly unlikely.
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13. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14685]
Christian Krach
Germany
Potsdam
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I don't like it to play without the mission cards. It takes forever to conquer the whole world.

And I don't like "Ships", whenever you get 10+ armies you can transform 10 to one "ship" which can attack at any shore but only with one die. When you win you can invase with this 10 armies.
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14. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:282] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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When I play Settlers of Catan with my parents, they almost always insist switching the dice out. the game begins with the two six sided dice, but when a 7 is rolled, they switch to using a 12 sided die, and then when a 1 or 7 is rolled switch back. This drives me crazy as it kills the probability of the numbers for half the game and makes it even more about who gets the better dice rolls.
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15. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:56]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
Canada
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Some people have non hidden Castillo cubes when playing the game. For me keeping the original rule - that is trying to remember how many caballeros have been put into the Castillo - adds an extra tension to the already tense game. This makes the game even more entertaining! So we always keep the original rule. This is a hidden information that enhances the gameplay.
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16. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:101]
Calavera Despierta
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Removing the classic Filch flare and replacing it with the watered down FFG "improvement."

Screw balance. If I wanted a balanced game I'd set up a Euro.
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