Hi Jason, I'll do my best:
Der Ubermolch wrote:
1) Is a player's hand open or closed? That is to say, can my opponent look at the tiles I have available to play or is that incformation secret?
Closed hand, almost certainly.
2) Is a barracks -- the three tile -- safe from the dragon? The rules state that a dragon is placed on top of a tile, and they also say that barracks are immune from having tiles played on top of them, which suggests that a dragon can't destroy a barracks.... but the dragons might be special in this regard.
The rules are very clear here:
"Exception: Even at dangerous (black) locations, you may not place your
tile (even if it is the dragon tile) on top of an opponent’s value 3 tile (the Barracks, marked with a sword)."
King's Gate is one of those games I just haven't played enough to form a solid opinion. I have to sort of re-learn it each time I play. I think it could get better with more plays, and is probably better than its 6.5 rating.