Breaking the Rules Can Be Fun

Some games get even more fun when you break the rules.

For those of you who went out and bought hive after our last review. We just may have a reason for you to go out and buy it again. When both of the families got together for summer vacation, we found ourselves with two sets of Hive. What do you do with two sets?

Four player Hive tournament!

You need to make a couple modifications to the game. Firstly, since we didn't have the forethought to buy the carbon version of the game, we had to modify one set so it was possible to tell one white player from the other. We opted for star stickers since we had those handy in abundance.
A couple modifications to the rules are also needed.

  • The rule that you must place a new piece on the table so that it doesn't touch an opponents piece is waved when it's not possible to do so. This can come up early in the game when you just have one or two pieces down and three other players have taken up all the available spaces.

  • This is the big one. You win by being the only person left on the board with a queen that isn't surrounded. That may not sound like a big change, but it means that if your queen gets surrounded, you haven't necesarily lost the game. There are other people playing, and they may choose to release you back into play, either strategically or out of desparation.

That last bit makes this just about the most dynamic game I've ever played. Weaker players can gang up on the stronger players, but even once that player has been subdued, the survivors may choose to "release the Kraken" during the subsequent skirmishes.
Here's a time lapse of one of our games. I apologize for the sound quality, but I'd rather get this out than spend the day perfecting the commentary.