Variant Section 2: Settlers Variable Board Layout
I have created these rules to allow the players to customize the layout. As the board layout significantly affect strategy, players should be aware that the choices they make during the layout phase will affect the way the game plays and how productive any settlement or city will probably be.
1. Shuffle the land cards in one pile facedown.
2. Shuffle the port cards in another pile facedown.
3. Place the sea hexes in another pile.
4. Place the number chits with the number side up and sorted by number.
5. Determine which player will do the first layout action and alternate layout actions among all the players until the board is totally layed out.
6. Layout the land tiles as follows:
1. The first player draws a land hex and places it face up on the table. Place the bandit on top of it to remind all that this hex is the center hex.
2. Then, the next player, draws a land hex and places adjacent to an already placed land hex and not more the four hexes away from the center hex. Repeat this step until all the land hexes are deployed.
7. Layout the port tiles as follows:
1. The next player draws a port hex (port marker if using Seafarer components) and places it so that both ports touch land, no port touchs as already deployed port and, if possible, no port hex (port marker) touches another port hex (port marker). Repeat this step until all the port hexes (port markers) are deployed.
8. Place the regular sea hexes around the board to provide support for the other hexes. Sea hexes are assumed to cover the remaining spaces around the board as well.
9. Remove the bandit from the board.
10. Layout the number chits as follows obeying the number chit placement restrictions listed below:
1. The next player takes a "6" or an "8" and plays it on any empty valid land hex. Repeat until all 6's and 8's are deployed.
2. The next player takes a "5" or a "9" and plays it on any empty valid land hex. Repeat until all 5's and 9's are deployed.
3. The next player takes one of the remaining number chits and plays it on any empty valid land hex. Repeat until all number chits have been deployed or all non-desert land hexes have a number chit.
11. Now determine the player that will start first, and follow the normal rules of play. It is important that the order of play be determined only after the board is laid out. If this is not done, the first player to go may be able to set up the board to his advantage.