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Qwirkle» Forums » Variants

Subject: My Expansion Set and a Rule Variant rss

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Michael Nolan
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I think Qwirkle is a great game, especially for two players, just the way it is.

That said, I wondered how it would play as an expanded version, so I created one. I decided to add two shapes (and therefore, of course, two colors), expanding the piece set from 108 to 192 (3x6x6 to 3x8x8). I chose white and pink as the expansion colors--there were obviously other possibilities, but these seemed like they would work well enough. I chose triangle and moon as the expansion shapes. I would have preferred shapes that were symmetrical on both the X and Y axes, but just couldn't think of any that I thought worked better, at least in conjunction with the six existing shapes. So I added the 84 additional tiles, and played several games.

I made the following obvious (I think) changes to the traditional rules: Players keep eight tiles at all times (instead of six tiles), players are required to create an eight-tile line (rather than a six-tile line) in order to score a Qwirkle, and players score an eight-point bonus (rather than a six-point bonus) for Qwirkle. That's it.

The game played surprisingly well. I initially thought that it might be difficult to score Qwirkles because of the eight-tile requirement, but that turned out to not be the case. The picture of one of our games that I have uploaded reflects eight Qwirkles--a total that is reasonably appropriate for exciting game play, I think. Our scores, in the two-player game, averaged about 300 points per player, by the way.

This expansion set has turned out to be lots of fun!

While I'm on the Qwirkle subject, I'll make one comment on a scoring rule variant that applies to both the traditional game as well as to my expansion set. We have found, at least in our opinion, that a change to the Qwirkle Bonus scoring rule leads to fairer yet more exciting game play. Instead of awarding a bonus of six points (or eight points in the expansion game) for a Qwirkle, we give the player who scored the Qwirkle zero bonus points, but allow the player to reload his tiles up to six (or eight, in the expansion set) and make an additional play. This change seems to make players less afraid of making a five-tile play and exposing the board to a possible Qwirkle. Yet, it still gives a sufficient bonus to the player scoring the Qwirkle. Anyway, try it this way--you might like it.

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