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Subject: A new way to use the gnome, rabbit and bird rss

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Marco C
Australia
Meadowbank
New South Wales
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Garden Dice is my wife's favourite game, and it's probably in my Top 5 too. We love the cards expansion, and can't imagine playing without it. However, we couldn't quite get into the gnome or the rabbit/bird as per the original rules, so we stopped using them for a time. But then I started feeling it was a shame to leave those beautiful components out and began toying around with some variant ideas... Then it struck me: I figured we could use them just like the Sun tile, giving players special powers if used, but being able to retain points if not.

Here's my house-rules version for each of the bonus tiles:

SUN:
- Option to use once per game to re-roll any number of dice of your choosing.
- If used, subtract 5 points from final score.

GNOME:
- Option to use once per game to add up to two pips to one or two dice for the buying, watering or harvesting actions.
- If used, subtract 5 points from final score.

BIRD/RABBIT:
- Option to use once per game to eat an opponent's seed or veggies.
- The player must choose to play either the bird or rabbit side of the tile; one can't do both in a single game.
- To determine placement of the bird/rabbit tile, roll one die after your regular turn. The number on the die will give you access to the row or column of that same number. So if, for example, you roll a 2, that will allow you to choose to target an opponent's seed or veggie tile in any square in either the 2nd column or 2nd row. You may also choose not to play your bird/rabbit on that turn, and can try again in later turns.
- The rabbit can only eat veggies. If you eat an opponent's veggie tile, the tile is removed from the board. No harvest points are earnt for it.
- The bird can only eat seeds, but not if they're protected by a scarecrow. When you eat an opponent's seed, relocate the tile to a location of your choice, and replace their token with one of your own. This is meant to evoke the way that birds spread seeds through defecation.
- If the bird/rabbit tile is used, subtract 5 points from final score.

I'm still play-testing this, but so far so good. If you decide to try it, let me know how you go!

P.S. OTHER HOUSE-RULE MODIFICATIONS we developed, for those interested:
- During set-up in any multi-player game, two rocks can be added to the board in the same way as in Doug Bass's official solo variant (which you can find in the "Files" section of the Garden Dice BGG page).
- Rocks can be removed from the board with two sixes.
- A player is only allowed to buy a maximum of two seed tiles per turn (unless a card bestows them a third).
- The two-pip discount granted by the 'Bonny Jill' card can be used to water a carrot or squash for free.
- The two-pip discount granted by the 'Handsome Jack' card can be used to harvest a carrot or squash for free.
- When there is only one tile remaining in the seed market, a player may not purchase it to force the game's end. It may only be purchased if a player's dice gives them no other possible options.
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