Instead of starting with 2 buildings of each type, each of you secretly chooses a total of 10 buildings, which you place in the corresponding columns of your player board.
Put the rest of the buildings in your personal supply, just as in the basic game.
Experienced players can start the game with 8 or 9 buildings, instead of 10. Expert players can start with 6 or 7 buildings.
Alternative Gameboard Setups
You can modify the arrangement of the Continent tiles at the start of the game, inspired by the following examples or however you like.
Just make sure that the number of tiles corresponds correctly to the number of players (4 tiles with 2 players, 6 with 3 players, and 7 with 4 players), and that there are never 2 barbarian villages adjacent to one another.
This variant is designed for players who wish to reduce the luck of the draw a little. Once per game, you can choose the construct a building action without having to consider the color of the Building card you are playing.
You must play the card face-down, without showing it to the other players, and place it in the column of whichever color you wish. The construction cost is 1 gold if the card is the first card in the column, 2 gold if it is the second, 3 gold if it is the third, etc.
This card grants you no effects, but it allows you to construct a building and to activate the effects of the other cards in its column. This card also counts as one of the cards necessary for the construction of a temple; however, you cannot use this card to construct the temple itself.