There was a conscious decision made during development to strictly focus Aether Magic as a 3-to-6 player game, because one of the central mechanics — the social auction — really only works well with at least 3 players. But since the launch of the Kickstarter project, we have been seeing comments popping up on Facebook, Twitter, Kickstarter and BGG stating that a 2-player game was needed.
I’d had some ideas for how to make a 2-player version work early on in the process, but I set them aside as we worked on polishing the standard game. So, starting last week, after a call with the Happy Mitten Games team, I got those old rules out and I started testing and tweaking.
The answer turned out to be much simpler than I had originally thought it would. It boils down to 2 things: 1) Having a 3rd, neutral set of Runes in the game and 2) Replacing the normal bidding system with a pretty straight-forward take on the “pie rule” … I cut the pie and you get to pick your piece.
To see what I mean, download the PDF of the variant here: Aether Magic 2-Player Variant Rules