To make Carcassonne: wheel of fortune less depending on luck and more strategic, try the following rules for using the big wheel.
There is no more end-game scoring. Roads, monasteries and cities that are not finished, donot deliver any points once the last tile has been played en the game is over. This even goes for farms - no end-scoring for farms either. Instead, they all get additional in-game scoring triggered by the wheel - except for the roads.
A finished road, monastery or city scores as usual. In this variant though farms score only in case of a famine, as indicated on the wheel. Farms cannot be finished by closing them in.
Using the Wheel
The wheel is not used for betting. You cannot put meeples on ut. Instead of moving the pig around the segments of the wheel when a wheel-tile is played, a player-controlled mechanism is introduced. For a start, place the pig on the space with the crowns on the wooden rim of the wheel above Fortuna. When a player ends his turn, he MUST move the pig either 1 or 2 spaces further clockwise around the wheel, from one crowns-space to the next. In the original rules, the pig moves from one section to the next, but since there are two crowns-places in three of the sections, it is possible that the pig remains in the same section. After the pig has been moved, the section is activated
1. Tax: every player gets 1 point for every city he is building and every schield in it. If two players are taxing the same city, they both get the full tax.
2. Famine: every player gets points for every farm he owns that includes at least one city, finished or not. The number of points a farm gives, is de total of all numbers in the cart-wheel symbols that are within the extended farm area.
3. Storm: as it reads on the wheel
4. Inquisition: likewise
5. Plague: the active player removes one meeple of his choice from the game and gives it back to the owner. This may be any players meeple, including his own.
6. Fortuna: the active player gets 3 points
The above rules lead to new strategies. First of all, the difference between different kind of ocupations for your meeples is emphasized. Roads can now only score points when finished, farms only score points when activated on the wheel by famine - possibly several times in a game, possibly never. Monasteries and Cities can both score by being finished but also during build-up. Especially for cities it may be interesting not to finish a city but to expand it as far as possible. Other players may now whish to finish an opponents city in order to stop him from gathering tax there.
The wheel itself offers now some tough decisions. First of all, you must decide which section to activate: will it give you a beneficial point-deistribution among yourself and the other players? Second, you must consider that your move with the pig will influence the options of the next player. This is especially important for the Fortuna section. If players are careless, they may end up giving the Fortuna-bonus to the same player each turn. More likely, the turns on the wheel will slowly rotate.
I am curious what you may think about these suggestions