However, I've heard several groups talk about choosing actions secretly, and then having all players reveal at the same time. This variant is also supposed to be fun (if a bit chaotic), but isn't the official rule.
This was my interpretation of the rules and the game did seem a bit off. There were times during our game where only one person got an action because we all selected the same action. There were not many regions built as a result and one person ended up with a score of zero because he was trying to enclose a huge area but ran out of time.
As a result, this "variant" as we played it unknowingly was not that much fun for him nor for the rest of us.
Looking forward to giving this game another chance. Thanks for your responses.