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Yeah but this situation sucks because you just keep hopping each other until the end, making for not very exciting play when there are patches out there that can fit, just none are within buying range for either of us. So we leapfrog each other until the end, which is not interesting. Happened on my first play with my wife after I kept telling her how much she’ll like this game because she loves polyominoes, and then there were just eight rounds of hopping and very incomplete boards. I’m going to houserule that if you each hop each other because no one can buy, you can reshuffle the tiles and lay them out except for the one immediately clockwise from the marker.
To have that happen to BOTH of you with eight rounds left is pretty hard to imagine. No offence, but you must have both had remarkably inefficiently constructed quilts at that point. I have never found myself in a position where three patches in a row couldn't fit on my board until the last round or two (maybe three in very rare cases).
I think the better outcome may not be to house rule the game, but to just get better at the game and take it as part of the strategy to NOT let that sort of shut-out happen that early in the game again.