I just tested my first 2-player play, and it works really well! The final score (94-75) was very similar to the last 4-player games we've had.
Let me talk to you about how this mode works...
I did not want to have a fixed setup when playing with less than 4 players and have every game feel the same with less Action slots, less wood at the Market, or less Contracts in the display.
No. I wanted something organic, with dummy players, something that varies from one game to another (like Tzolk'in and Teotihuacan, for example), or even... a variable setup from one round to another (without of course being an automa that scores points).
What I did is I created (for the moment) 10 different cards. Each card shows 4 locations that will be occupied by dummy Action tokens for that round. You draw a new card each round and relocate the dummy tokens accordingly. In a two-player game, draw 2 cards each round, for a total of 8 blocked locations. In the case of Contracts and Market, the amount of Customers/Wood available is reduced if there are tokens there.
Here is a screenshot of what the setup looked like for the very first round (I actually forgot to draw only 3 contracts and adjust the available wood, oops).
Some very good situations happened. For example, they blocked the Collector action on the 4th round, which actually really changed Pink's plans. On the 5th (and last) round, they blocked TWO Contract slots which was heartbreaking but also very similar to how a real 4p game would be.
I am very happy with the result and will not change anything before the second play.
What do you think?