My wife and I find that Vikings isn't quite the same with two players as it is with four; we feel that you have too many islands and veeples by the end of the game and not as much strategy. So, we developed this variant to the rules to make it more interesting.
Note: This is for the basic game, we have not tested it with the Progress version.
Separate out 36 tiles as follows:
10 Left Island Tiles
10 Middle Island Tiles
10 Right Island Tiles
2 Green Ships
2 Yellow Ships
1 Blue Ship
1 Red Ship
Remove six of each color veeple and place the remaining veeples in the bag. There will be seven of each color.
Each player begins the game with 10 gold in coins.
Shuffle the 36 tiles and place them face down in 6 stacks of 6 tiles each on the 6 places provided for them on the board.
When placing tiles around the wheel:
- the first island tile drawn is placed on the value 0 space with each additional island tile placed on increasingly costly spaces.
- the first ship tile drawn is placed on the value 5 space with each additional ship tile placed on decreasingly costly spaces.
Yellow Goldsmiths are now worth 1.5 gold in coins rounded down. For example, 1 Goldsmith is worth 1 gold in coins, 2 Goldsmiths are worth 3 gold in coins, 3 Goldsmiths are worth 4 gold in coins and so on.
All other rules remain the same.
This variant gives you the same feel, resource wise, as the four player basic game by giving you fewer choices.
I actually love the bigger 2-player game, but I think your variant will make it fit for those who prefer the slimmer 4-player match.
My wife and I tried this out last night and I must confess it left us cold! There just didn't seem to be enough choices or cunning ploys to be made. I agree that it succeeded in reducing the overall amount of 'things', but possibly at the expense of significant decision making.
I'm not sorry we tried it, but it's not for us and we'll be reverting to the normal version in future. Obviously with this post I'm not trying to belittle your efforts, but feel it's worth posting a warning that it may not suit everyone.