First of all, we decided that doing a hybrid choose/gather rule (where the first guy to pick is not necessarily the first guy to gather) is a bad idea cause someone can commit guys to doing something (mining for fish, for instance) and then have all the fish gathered out from under him. If this happens because of an event card it is ok, but if a player does it to another player that seems rude.
By the way, I drew on a piece of paper to make the game board. We decided after the game that we need a separate scoring track as well as personal mats. That will be rectified soon.
With two players who are neck to neck you cant really just chop the last tree (and that can draw the game out, what with the vying for points).
Alison didn't really like the explore phase (it is an interesting problem, but fraught with the danger of holding out too long or playing too early).
We also don't really have enough cubes to play a huge game. Perhaps I will have to order more.
Finally, Alison thought that the game was fairly well balanced if both players are not actively trying to destroy the economy.
Perhaps next game I will try to do that.