In the Year of the Dragon session

10 February 2009 14 November 2015 sessions

box cover25 September 2008 was another great night, which first seemed to be a bummer: with a Formula Dé championship game going, and the other two games (Domaine and In the Year of the Dragon) fully booked, it looked like I would have no place to play and have to return home. Fortunately, Michael didn’t come and I could play ItYotD. Matt explained it, with Peter H. and Nick B. also chipping in, and André and I listening. We liked it so much, we played two games in the session. The first took 2h (with rule explanation), the second a little over 1h. Nick won the first, followed by me (6VP behind), while Peter won the second game, followed well behind by Nick. In both games, I never had first choice of actions but still managed to collect VPs every round due to a privilege+lady in the first game and 2 ladies in the second game. I also had 2 buddhas in the same palace in the first game. Nick managed both times to win 33 VPs in the final scoring round due to the many workers he had.

The order of the monthly events really changes the strategies substantially, making this game highly replayable. There are also many possible strategies although I guess that winning ones will be scarce. In the 2nd game, I didn’t build early on, and had 2 ladies, making my palaces crowded. I had to sacrifice workers. I never had a warrior and never won any VP is the fireworks, whereas in the first game I won 6VP in each fireworks event. It was always a very tight management, especially having always last or 2nd to last choice, which is also an expensive affair, running at least twice out of money. Peter had 1st choice most of the time, making it inexpensive to get what he needed. He also had bought a 2VP privilege early on (which doesn’t occupy precious palace space), and built palaces. After a few rounds he was raking 7VP/round. He also got several times extra VPs from his scholars. Interestingly, in the first game he also was always ahead (by quite some lead) but was losing a worker almost every turn in the 2nd half of the game. He ended with 2 empty palaces, while watching Nick and I taking him over in the final scoring. A great game full of twists and turns and long-term strategy combined with quick tactical thinking when the other players take the action you wanted! No wonder it’s in the BGG’s top 100…

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