Auf Heller und Pfennig Variants

Variants by Steffan O'Sullivan (
Copyright 1995, Steffan O'Sullivan.

I really like this game, but consider the rules about what actions you can perform each turn to be too luck-driven. I realize there is a no-luck variant included, but it turns the game into a slow, pure analysis game that I don't care for.

So I've made some variants. I have to admit I have only played variant #2 on this list, but we liked it a lot. #1 is a logical half-step between #2 and the current rules, and #3 is an extension of #2. Let me know what you think - especially people that actually try them. :-)

In variants #1 and #2, each player is dealt a hidden tile at the start of a round, as usual.

Variant #1

If you do not play on of your market stall pieces in a given turn, you may draw a tile. You may then play either the drawn tile or the tile you have face-down in front of you. If the latter, the drawn tile becomes the new face-down tile to keep in front of you. You may look at both tiles before deciding which to play, but if you drew one, you must play a tile, not a market stall.

Variant #2

Draw a tile every turn. You may play this tile, one of your market stalls, or a tile face-down in front of you. If you play lots of stalls, eventually you will have lots of tiles to choose from during later play! Again, you may look at all your tiles before deciding what to play, but in this variant, you can opt to play a market stall even after drawing a tile.

Variant #3

Deal all the tiles out evenly to the players, who keep them hidden from each other. Any excess are placed face down in a pool that will be drawn from later. Each turn you may play any of your tiles or a market stall. When a player has no more tiles (even if he has market stalls remaining), on his next turn he draws one of the excess tiles, and plays either that or a market stall. This variant is not recommended in the 2-player game, as you can figure out exactly which pieces your opponent has.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell