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I played Core Worlds again, and I still like it, but I think I might try a variant idea next time.

The theme is engaging and works well with the mechanics, the player interaction is good and the choices are interesting. But, it is a bit long, and feels like it would be more fun if it was shorter. It also feels like the first couple rounds, where players have the almost-same decks, is less interesting. The game has a nice draft variant which mitigates this, but it occurs to me, you could change the game such that the entire first two rounds are doneas a similar style of draft.

Specifically, with N players, lay out 4N+2 cards from the first deck and have each player draft 4 of them (or pass) in an "S" sequence (1-2-3-3-2-1-1-2-3-3-2-1). If you draft any worlds, you can settle those with Grunts or Snubs. After the draft, shuffle those cards and the drafted "0" cards into your starting deck, and start the game in round 3. This seems like it would retain almost all of what I like about the game, and reduce it's length by 20% or more (the last two "Core Worlds" rounds seem to go quicker than the other 8 rounds). Maybe you'd also want to have a "deployment only" version of round 2 where you can deploy up to your energy production worth of units from an initial hand of 6 to further bootstrap it, but I'm not sure that's necessary.
Eric Nielsen's profile photoLena Cardell's profile photo
As one of the players there when we discussed this, I definitely want to give it a try sometime. I think it would help greatly. I think we also missed a rule about energy token for the 3 & 4 player in turn sequence to counter the detainment of going later in a round. (Got home and ordered a copy, along with EVO that was finally back in stock/re-printed.)
+Alexandre Elias These house rules might be a way for us to resurrect Core Worlds :) 

We have similar complaints about the game length as played with official rules. We've also considered removing some of the cards outright. When playing with 2 players, the level of card-drafting that occurs in the late game means someone inevitably wins the game by snagging the only sector 4 planet with victory points.

It looks like there's an expansion in the works. Has anyone had the opportunity to check that out at gencon or other places where it has been demoed? There are a few rule changes that might be interesting to try with even the base game.

Mentioned in a thread on bgg:
1 - Draw an extra card when your deployed cards are less than your number of planets.
2 - Trash a card once per turn when you have 3+ planets.

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