What "House Rules" do you have and why?
Eric Haskins
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Illinois
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Now I KNOW there are the purists out there who follow what the rules state as if they have been handed down from a sacred mountain. But for me and most of the ones I game with . . . not so much. In fact, some games seem to get better with certain house rules. So I say switch it up and let's come out of hiding and share our favorite house rules so we can all enjoy!
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1. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Märklin [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:236] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
Eric Haskins
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One of my longest standing house rules. If you take a card that is already face up and a wild card get's flipped in it's place we call it the "luck of the draw" and you are allowed to happily take it.

Rule still stands however if you take a wild card first and then another wild card is flipped up in it's space you have already been made ineligible due to taking the wild as your first choice.

I'm sure this came about by me feeling shorted some how by seeing wilds come up. So we solved that and everyone who's played it loves it. Try it.
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2. Board Game: Oregon [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:993]
Eric Haskins
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This one came about by me being taught the wrong way to play. So now it just stands as a house rule. There is a 5 point bonus if you can arrange 3 of your meeeples (cowboy meeples mind you) in a row. I was taught it had to be in the shape of an "L". So two and then one to create the "L" shape. Now we are so used to playing it we just go with it and it actually adds a little bit more of a challenge to it.
 
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3. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Eric Haskins
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Not really related to the rules but my wife has a house rule that I have to read out loud ALL of the historical data for the battle we are about to enter. Actually does add to the game and I've even gleaned some tactical pointers by how things really went down. And by how often she beats me so has she.
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4. Board Game: Darjeeling [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1912]
Eric Haskins
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Again not a rules thing but there is this weird phenomenon that happens when we play Darjeeling. We have to drink tea. Actually want to. Just works and adds to the overall gaming experience. And to me that's what house rules are all about.
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Eric Haskins
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We always play with open hands. You are given permission to do this in the directions and then discouraged to do so. But in this day and age with Skype, iChat and everything else we have it just works for me. And YES . . . YES, OK, I'll admit, if we didn't we'd never win.
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Scott Lewis
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I'm a pretty hard-core "rules as written" guy myself, even for this game. I usually play with the expansion though.

But one "house rule" I almost always use is one where Dreadnoughts get 2 dice in space combat as long as they are undamaged. It just makes things more interesting
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Matt
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No matter what we play our daughter always gets to go first. Why? Well you try and stop herwhistle
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8. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:281] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Murray C
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We play with this:

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Rauli Kettunen
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If a monster (or Ancient One) has Physical Immunity (a monster might even have Weapon Immunity to pete's sake!), Shotgun will do NOTHING!!! RAW, only the combat check bonus (+4 for Shotgun) is affected, but its special ability (6s count as 2 success) still works. Dynamite? Does nothing. Tommy Gun? Does nothing. Shotgun? Still works for the most part shake .

No thanks, immunity means immunity.
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10. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Chris Miller
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Katy
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We always play with a hand of two tiles and draw after placing one. That way you can think about what to play while waiting and have a little choice.

Seems to speed things up a bit.
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Tom P
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Here are our (unofficial, unspoken) house rules:

a) My girlfriend always wins

b) If not a) then c)

c) Play again




[size=8][Edit: Carcassonne and Hive currently exempt from these rules...]
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12. Board Game: Roma [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:862] [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
suPUR DUEper
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Villa Hills
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We play the second player gets a one die pre-roll before the first turn.

Roma is basically a race game and giving the first player a 3 dice head start is too much.
 
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13. Board Game: God Dice [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:5668]
Kyle Porter
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Are house rule is that I am not aloud to play this game. Reason being that I first played the dice somehow always managed to turn it back around and make it face the other, so I would get skipped for turns on end till there were three of us left ( we started with six). I still lost but they feel like I some how cheated, I don't see how I barely touched the dice. I guess the gods just favored me.
 
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14. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Cory Williamson
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Austin
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If you asked for it, you bought it.

ALL buys must be fulfilled.
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15. Board Game: Jambo [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:496] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Liz Burton
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Bethesda
Maryland
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House rule: We take all 5 small markets out of the deck and keep them in a pile nearby. Any player may buy from the pile for one action.
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16. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6656]
Jeremy Arcus-Goldberg
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House Rule: Whoever wins the game gets 2 points. If another player wins the game on your turn you still get 1 point. This gives some incentive to make another player win and start a new round, which we find more fun than continuing a very long round. Also, sometimes the games forces you to make someone else win, and this makes both players smile instead of becoming frustrated with the randomness.

Our second house rule for this game, is to play a similar game that is random but more fun "We Didn't Playtest This at All"
 
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17. Board Game: Alhambra: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:3015] [Average Rating:6.19 Unranked]
Murray C
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Just made up a new house rule the other day.

Everytime something outrageous happens in the game, you must make the same expression and gesture as this guy:



Did you just roll utter crap on your last throw? Make the face
Were you just given the starting player tile? Make the face
Did someone else just roll 7 greens on their first throw? Make the face

Try out this house rule, it makes the game approximately ten times more fun and enjoyable.
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18. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Brian Mc Cabe
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Arizona
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This game is made for houserules.

RAW, seven open gates, with four investigators, equal the awakening of the AO. I had that happen so many times in under ten turns that I've put a twelve-turn minimum on it, because of set-up time and the newer AO are almost impossible to beat in FB.

Brian
 
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19. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:126] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Sam King
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Lexington
Kentucky
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First person with no trains left (instead of just less than 3) triggers the last round. I've always played it this way because I didn't read the rules very carefully. When I figured out the actual rule, I didn't feel like changing it because I like how it plays this way. This really forces you to plan out what to do with those last few trains.
 
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20. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:506]
Sam King
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Person who writes down the winning answer gets a one chip bonus (regardless of whether or not they voted for it). Just a little reward for fun, but it doesn't really impact the game significantly.
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21. Board Game: Smash Up [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:632] [Average Rating:6.84 Unranked]
Fernando Robert Yu
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I play with the number of bases equal to the number of players, instead of #players + 1 (minimum of 3 bases though). This makes gameplay tighter and faster as bases should score quicker. I also like 12 as the target score instead of 15 when playing with noobs or 2hen time is lacking.
 
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