Thoughts From The Gameroom

The ramblings of a Euro-gamer from South Dakota

More Hacienda–Making And Playing My Own Map

Posted by sodaklady on June 25, 2007

All Saturday evening my mind was caught up in what didn’t work in the 2-player map we played. First thing Sunday morning, I started working on my own map using the Westpark Gamers’ map-generator.

I decided there were three issues that I wanted to address to give the game back its tension and decision-making. First, there weren’t enough markets; it was too easy to get to all of them. This brought up my second issue—everything in the previous map was just 1 space away from something else: land-land, land-market, land-water. I think it should be harder to make the jump, at least in some places. The third issue, which was my first thought after the last play, was the balance of terrain types.

I started with a slightly larger playing area, increasing the columns by two and then plunking down seven markets and five water holes in an asymmetric pattern. Maybe it says something about my personality, but I don’t like maps where one side mirrors the other; I like to mix things up a bit.

I filled in the random hex areas that would be non-pampas terrain, mixing up the length and placement. I also left at least two pampas spaces between most of the features, with only a few 1-spaces. By now Cori showed up to take a look and said she thought there was too many markets. Alright, we’ll turn one market into a water hole although I like the market better. The water hole in the upper left corner used to be a market. Excuse the quality of the printing—I guess it’s time for a new ink cartridge.


When I hit the button to place terrain randomly, it came up with an even distribution of terrain: 7 of each except mountains which were 6. Well, that wouldn’t do, would it? Time to short-sheet one of the terrains. You, mountains, as long as you’re already a bit shy, you’re elected. My map has 8 forest and rocks (or mud, as we like to call it), 7 swamps, 6 meadows and 5 mountains.

Cori and I play tested the map twice with excellent results. No one was able to make huge land chains and it wasn’t as easy to gobble up markets. Our games were very close even though our scores for various items varied. The first game Cori won 131-128. The second game was a tie score, with Cori winning by $5. Here’s an end game photo of the first game. I’m blue and, as you can see, I’d have been more likely to spend animals to connect to the upper left corner if it had been a market! Then again, maybe it would have given me the game instead of Cori!


I really enjoyed this project. In fact, creating maps could become addictive if it weren’t for the cost of buying new ink cartridges!


9 Responses to “More Hacienda–Making And Playing My Own Map”

  1. Gerald McDaniel said

    Nice job! It’s really neat that Cori has gotten into this game so much. I’ve only played with the full complement of five players, but I like Hacienda very much. Unfortunately, we don’t play it much these days, since we almost always have at least six players, and usually seven. I don’t see a good way to extend this game for more than five players.

  2. sodaklady said

    Thanks, Gerald.

    No, I don’t see an *easy* way to extend this to 6 or 7 players. You’d have to create a set of tiles, land and animals, for each added player. A real pain. I guess 2 people could take turns playing one color but that’s not really an acceptable solution. You’ll just have to convince Sue to play now that there’s nothing good on t.v. 🙂

  3. SusanR said

    Neat! I haven’t played Hacienda with just two. I was quite hooked playing online for a long time but it was usually with four. I’ve always been meaning to play around with creating maps but I’ve never gotten around to it. If anyone ever published new, well-playtested maps though, I’d be first in line to buy them!

  4. sodaklady said

    If you find time in your busy summer, Susan, you should try the map generator. It’s really easy or I wouldn’t be able to do it! 🙂 And it doesn’t have to be a fancy mounted map, we played fine on simple card stock taped together.

  5. Linnaeus said

    Any thoughts of uploading this map to Spielbyweb so you can play it with your online friends?

    One in particular? 😉 😉 😉


  6. sodaklady said

    Yes, one fleeting thought and then I dismissed it, but since you asked so charmingly, I’ll see if my limited computer abilities are sufficient for the task. 🙂

    Now who is this “one inparticular”, I ask myself. Hmmm, it *is* a puzzlement.

  7. Linnaeus said


  8. Jasen said

    I’ll second the motion to upload the Hacienda Map to SpielbyWeb. 😀

  9. sodaklady said

    I’ve uploaded the map, Jasen, but for now it has to remain Private. According to one of the threads in SBW forums, it can be made public after it’s been played through to completion once. Gerald and I are working on that now. 😉

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