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Hello everyone, just wanted to share my variant which I think helps to speed up the game without sacrificing any theme or drastic changes. Disclaimer: Please let it be known that not all of these ideas are originally mine, after traversing the forum I picked and changed some ideas I thought were good and threw together what I thought was the best.
1. Resource income is equal to the number of threat the block owner has on that particular block. Needless to say this greatly increases the number of resources players receive, especially when players are tied on blocks.
2. When it comes to resources, if you cannot afford a specific action you can make up the difference with the second resource on a 2:1 ratio. For example, if you dont have 5 money to recruit a henchman you can spend 4 money and 2 information or 3 money and 4 information, etc. After all why wouldnt the henchman join the villain if they thought their plan was good? Same thing goes for leveling up requirements, as well as moving your villains/henchman. Lets just call it gas money.
3. Lowering the block requirements to level by one for each player above two.
I think these rules help speed the game up a bit but of course results may vary depending on the number of people playing. Please let me know how these work out for you and if you finds any considerable reduction in playtime.