On 6 November 2008, Nick, Matt, Manuela, Ben and I played In the Year of the Dragon, a favourite of ours, I dare say, after the excellent previous experience. Nick won with 99VP. He bought a 2VP scroll in the first round and later in the game he had two 2VP scholars, getting twice several VPs. He also built very early while all of us had to sacrifice workers more than once due to full palaces. I was the only one with 5 palaces (from the second half on). In the final scoring round I got 29 VP (10 workers + (1+2)x3 for 2 buddhas), which took me into 2nd position with a total of 86VP. My only VP bringers were palaces and a courtesan later in the game. Others went for fireworks, I didn't even try. As usual, I forgot the rule that one can only get money up to 3, and hence had to change plan on my feet when Manuela pointed out I could not have 6 coins. How embarrassing!
We then played the St. Petersburg expansion that accomodates 5 players. The winner was Manuela, followed by Nick, Matt, me and Ben, all several points apart. Manuela and Nick had 6 orange cards, Matt 5, Ben and I 4. The game is a bit too luck dependent for me, with the black market cards, the observatory, etc. and you may miss the opportunity to buy them just because it's not your turn. Nick had a single VP for a long time, but then caught up ever faster: because of the money he was raking, he could afford better cards. I took into my hand the 25 coin/9 VP blue card but it was foolish. I could only afford it in the last phase of the last round, just to avoid the -5 penalty. I also never used the 4 held cards bonus I had obtained. It was too long ago I played the base game: it was actually one of the first games I played after joining the club. I can therefore not vouch for it, but I suspect the new cards in the expansion make the game more luck dependent and unbalanced.