Elfenroads Lite (A Variant)

Designed by Milton Soong (soong@apple.com)

Ok, there's been enough talk on the net about the "new" pending edition of Elfenroad that's going to speed up the game, lighten it up for the "family" market, etc...

Now instead of waiting another 18 months for this set of Elfenroad Light (ERL), here's my version of ERL, give it a shot! Many casual gamers who had played the game often complained about the 4+ hour game length, ERL should shorten the game considerably.

WARNING! The ERL has NOT been play tested, play at your own peril.


Before the game starts, take out all the coin cards from the deck. Also set aside all the money tokens, they are not used in ERL.


The concept of $$$ is gone from the game, thus make the following modification to the game:

  1. Players receive NO starting $$$.
  2. Players receive no additional $2 / turn.
  3. Player can NOT collect money after he travels, i.e He must collect cards.
  4. Ignore the city value printed on the map board since they are meaningless.

(WAS) Auctioning of Counters

The biggest change to the game is that without any $$$, how do you bid for transportation counters? The whole "auction off" of counters have been changed to the following:

a) After each player draws 1 counter from the cup, 3 counters per player is taken out for the picking (as in original rule).

b) Starting with the first player (the wooden dragon holder), he simply picks up 1 counter from the batch showing.

c) The 'picking' now rotates around clockwise, until it reaches the end. Then it goes backward in the reverse order. (e.g. in a 4 player game, the picking order would be: 1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1-1-2-3-4).

d) At the end of the picking, every player should've just acquired 3 counters, the game now proceeds as before.

The Special $$$ Counter

As described in one of Alan Moon's Whitewind newsletter, the $$$ Counter can be used to "decrease" the card cost over the placed route. That's the only function applicable in this game, given there's no $$$ in the game anymore.

Tie Breaker

In case of ties (more than 1 players finished with a equal number of cities reached), the player with more cards on hand is the winner.

This is it! The implication of ERL is that the whole money/bidding sub game of Elfenroad is eliminated, instead there's a far quicker counter picking phase that should speed up the game immensely, and it should involve a different set of strategy and subtlety. If you've got the time, play the real thing, but for a quick fix, ERL might just be the thing!


After everyone has picked their counters, allow a 5 minute "negotiation" phase, where players are free to trade counters and/or cards.

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell