Mike A
United States
Iowa
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I had a reasonably good time playing Marrakech w/ my kids, but it's too strategically light for my taste. I like the components so I've been reading variants, nothing stood out as being an elegant strategic overhaul.


Variant idea #1:

Is there a way to get rid of the dice roll? Perhaps something like:

1) At end of a player's turn, set the pawn in any direction and determine the # of steps (1, 2, 3, or 4) the next player will take.
2) The next player must move that # of steps, but can shift 90-degrees in either direction before moving.

Could enforce an "any-other-value" rule for # of steps assigned, which helps prevent movement loops. For example, if I was assigned a 3-step move, I'd have to choose anything other than 3 (1,2,4) for the next player.

Or enforce # of steps entirely, have it increment up to 4 then reset, so 1/2/3/4/1/2/3/4/1.... Thus only 3 items under player control:
1. Optional 90-degree turn at start of turn
2. Carpet placement location
3. Optional pawn direction change at end of turn

Could consider going above a 4 step max for any of this.


Variant idea #2:

It's generally a good strategy to place carpet over an opponent's area to reduce landing risk. In the games we played the board never filled up w/ carpet because we'd keep looping around the same area placing over each other.

An option to prevent carpet overwrite loops is to force players to place a carpet in as open an adjacent space as possible. If a fully empty (2 tile) unoccupied space is adjacent then must place there first, otherwise if a carpet could be placed where 1 unoccupied space is available (even if not directly adjacent) then must place there. Else place wherever you want. This feels thematically appropriate in addition to a potential gameplay upgrade. Perhaps consider your own existing carpets as an empty tile for fulfilling the placement rule (e.g. can choose to place half on 1 empty space and half on own carpet instead of having to place on adjacent 2 empty space).

This variant would help liven up the board w/ less empty space, and broader carpet placement works better w/ variant #1 above. For example, if I can have carpets in 3 locations exactly 3 steps from the pawn, I can rotate the pawn to hit those locations forcing the next player to land.
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Nate Scheidler
United States
Peterborough
New Hampshire
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You could also take 6 cards to handle movement in place of the die, numbered 1,2,2,3,3,4. Reshuffle after all cards have been drawn and played.

If you test your variants more or get others to try them we’d love to hear about your results!
 
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