Grand Tribunal: Ars Magica Boardgame

Howdy, I don't know what the status is, but two years ago I bought Grand Tribunal, the Ars Magica boardgame, for my wife for Christmas because she likes witches and wizards.
We had a lot of fun with and enjoyed the voting system and creating magic items with VIS.
But it's based on an old edition from what I gather and I have to admit, the amount of actions you can choose from on a turn can lead to option paralysis
We also tend to play two players, and the game was really designed for 3+, so we have evolved a lot of small house rules to speed up play.
Has anyone else played this game? Do you have your own house rules?
Would you like to see a new version? I would. Maybe something where you add buildings to your shared covenant as it goes through its seasons and that's tied in to item crafting? Certainly something with more medieval legendry and historical references!


Also we determine the winner by chips earned and not over all score.

I have a copy but never played it. Looking at boardgamegeek they say that the rules are almost impossible to understand and that has refrained me from trying to learn them. They say with some fixes it could be a really good game though.

Yeah, and those are fixes you could make pretty easily.
Since my wife and I play it most often we follow a turn structure like this:
On your turn, you're Praeco.

  1. Distribute Praeco votes.
  2. If there aren't enough votes left in the token bank, start a Tribunal (scoring round) otherwise take 2 Actions.
    The hardest part to grasp for us was that it takes an Action to lay out an Object or put VIS on a spell, but you can play the spell from your hand at any time. So we just ended up playing spells when we payed the VIS to enchant them onto objects. That's one example of the way the turn actions badly need steamlining.

The scoring also requires a calculator during each Tribunal. Some kind of point track would really help there.

I've also put cooler names on some of the item and spell cards like "Speculum Speculorum", "Male Voisine" and "Beneiz"