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Subject: The First Year of the Dragon rss

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Mark Slater
United Kingdom
Newport
Newport, South Wales
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I played my first game of In the Year of the Dragon yesterday. It was a 4 player game. Myself, John, Jake and Steve.

Steve explained the game and we randomly decided on 1st player, John.
The first thing you do after laying out your 4 levels of temple tiles, is to choose your starting pair of workers, the only restriction being that no one can have the same combo.

I Chose a Warrior (1 helm, 5 points) and a Rice Farmer (1 Rice and 4 points), at this point we didnt know that this would change the start order, as you move your token a number of spaces round the centre track equal to the total number on your starting workers, this immediatly change the player order before actions were taken.

The first 2 rounds, there are no disasters, so you have some time to build up some resources and infrastructure.

The actions selections return resources in a similar way to placing cubes in Notre Dame, so, if you choose Rice production for example, you get 1 rice, however, if you have a worker with rice icons, then you would get 1 rice (for the action) plus 1 for every rice token on all your workers.

The events were laid out as follows, Mongol invasion, fireworks, drought, fireworks again, tribute, contagion, tribute again, contagion again, Mongols and finally drought.

Peace
First turn, I chose Rice, my first worker was another warrior (giving me 4 helms), I was third to play in the second round, so I chose the helm action, which moved me 5 spaces along the turn order track, giving me first place for the following turn. I chose a Builder as my worker

Mongol Invasion
I ignored the coming fireworks event, as there was no bad effect and instead went for Tribute, I paid 2 coins to get a dragon (1VP every round). My worker that turn was a rice farmer with 2 rice icons.

Fireworks
This round chose rice again giving me 4 tokens, enough to pay for my temples, and the extra one that I would be building next turn. The worker I added was a taxman.

Drought
This round was the drought, I had enough rice, so I used a build action, to add 2 levels to my temples. This round I went for a fireworks worker, with 2 symbols, for the upcoming display.

2nd Fireworks
My action was Fireworks, which got me 3 tokens, more than anyone else, getting me the 6 VPs. My worker was a Monk with 2 budda icons. This would score me 6 points at the endgame (budda icons are mulitplied by the number of temple levels in which he is assigned.)

Tribute
During the Tribute round, I taxed for the cash to pay both the tribute rounds to come. I got a Doctor with 1 icon as my worker, the 4 points keeping me ahead on the first turn track

As I was still the first player, so didn't need to worry about cash.

Contagion
During the contagion turn, I made another build action. For my worker, I played a wild card and got another doctor, this one with 2 icons, this stopped me loosing any workers during the contagion rounds.

2nd Tribute
The next tribute round, I chose warrior helm to move keep myself ahead in the turn track, my "worker" was a princess, adding 1 VP per turn.

2nd contagion,
The second contagion turn, I built again, increasing the capacity of my temples, but I still only had 3, my worker was a 2 book researcher.

All my planning had gone well, the remaining disasters were all well prepared for, so it was just a matter now of getting in the VP workers and getting the lead, I was 3rd at this point.

2nd Mongol Invasion
I chose research for the points, and for my last card was a wild card, and I chose a 2nd monk with 2 budda icons, that would now give me 12 points in the final scoring.

2nd drought.
Last Turn. I selected research again for the 3VPs, I paid the 3 rice for my temples, leaving me one token spare, then we did the final scoring.

Its was a close thing I had 16 points from my workers, and 12 from my Monks, as both were in 3 level temples. This gave me the win by 2 points, over Jake, Steve was third and John 4th.

I liked this game, not just due to the win, but I 'got' it. I Found it easy to plan for the coming events.

I shall be buying a copy of this.
 
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Steve K
United Kingdom
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That was a good game.

I found it much easier to explain than Amyitis, which we played for the first time immediately before this game.

My approach was quite different from Mark's: I didn't concern myself with turn order (I think I was always last), and tried to ensure I had plenty of cash. I was actually leading until a few turns from the end, though I was getting a little concerned that everyone else had a few more person tiles than me, so would be scoring more end-game VPs.

A few turns from the end I made a decision I instantly regreted - it left me with only 2 yuan so I was severely restricted which actions I could take in the last couple of rounds.
 
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