Variant Section: Other Options
Flexible Bank Resource Trading -
The Standard Rules requires that the 4 (or 3 with a port) resources traded be the same to receive 1 of your choice from the bank.
Option 1: Allow any mixture of resources to be traded at the standard rate.
Option 2: Allow any mixture of resources to be traded at the standard rate plus an additional resource.
Pirate & Bandit Expires -
The Standard Rules state that the Pirate & Bandit stay in place until moved.
Option 1: Allow the Pirate & Bandit to expire after adversely affecting a player a number of times, such as 1, 2, or 3.
Option 2: Allow the Pirate & Bandit to be bribed to leave, by giving the desired Pirate or Bandit 2 or 3 resources and removing them from the board. This can be used with Option 1 as well.
Pirate & Bandit Moves -
The Standard Rules do not have the Pirate & Bandit moving except as directed by the players.
Option 1: On a roll of "7" whichever of the Pirate or Bandit is not moved may move to an adjacent hex. After deciding which roll corresponds to each surrounding hex, roll one die and move the token to the rolled hex. If the move is not applicable, such as the Pirate on land or the Bandit at sea, the token does not move.
Option 2: If using the bribing of Pirate & Bandit in the Pirate & Bandit Expires Option, when one is bribe, if will move instead as list in option 1 or removed if the rolled hex is invalid for the token. This can be used with Option 1 as well.
Settlement & City Defense -
The Standard Rules provide for no defense for a city from the effect of Pirates & Bandits.
Option 1: Permit a player to deploy an army permanently in a settlement or city. This can be done with a chip or other marker placed under the settlement or city. The effect this has is that the settlement or city is totally unaffected by the effects of the Pirate & Bandit. The used army either may or may not still be counted in the most army calculation.
Option 2: A player with an unexposed army can immediately play the army exposed, pre-empting the play of Pirate or Bandit, and allowing that player to place that token on any hex except the hex where it started or any hex that was pre-empted this turn. This can be used with Option 1 as well.
Equal Probability Number Chits -
The Standard Rules provide that some number chits are more likely to occur than others.
Option: Use number chits from 1 to 9 in sufficient quantities to apply to the land hexes. Roll a ten-sided die instead of two six-sided dice for determining which hexes produce resources. On a 10 the normal effects of a "7" on two dice is used.
Permanent Road Placement -
The Standard Rules states that once played, a road remains for the remainder of the game.
Option: A player can choose to remove a road. The road is returned to the player's out of play pieces. This can be useful if the player is out of roads.
Competition Board Layouts
Try the following options for official competition board layouts. This can be used with Settlers, Seafarers, or Seafarer discovery scenarios.
1. Standard Rules, competition official deploys tile according to random setup in rules. I feel this one has the potential to be the most unbalanced.
2. Standard Rules, each round uses same setup (created per rules or design by competition officials)
3. Variable Layout Option, competition officials create the layout. Same layout used by all boards in a round.
4. Variable Layout Option, players create layout.
When competition officials create a layout, it is recommend that they playtest the layout prior to the competition and make sure it is fairly balanced.
Different Victory Conditions
Victory points required based on the number of players and the length of game desired. You should decide what the target is before play begins. If it is not discussed, it is 10 for 3 or 4 players and 20 for 2 players. The longer the version the more significant becomes the "Pick a Card" deck.
If there are ways to earn additional victory points, you may want to add to the total listed.
Note that with the 3 player medium or long version, additional settlement, city, and roads markers are needed (unless at lot of use of the "Pick a Card Deck" is desired or sufficient opportunities to ear bonus victory points.)
For Competitions, I would recommend 4 player-normal, 4 player-medium, or 4 player-long.