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Subject: Designer Notes - Using the cards rss

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Walter Obert
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If using blocks is the basic work to obtain victory points, a smart use of cards is needed to win a game. I want to speak here about some different use of the cards (no, not as tongue-depressor as someone says ). The format of the traditional oriental playing cards was particularly proper for the narrow spaces of the Chinese provinces:
It's possible to use them in different ways during a match. I hope to help the players to play better with these advices:

- Timing is very important in CC: using the right card at the right moment is not easy; you must plan the possible evolution of the game in the different provincies in order to have the best result
- You can play a card for last before to close a chinese province: use this for gain more points, draw them, lower them or decide who's the winner (usually the lower score player)
- Play differently: if you note that anyone plays cards at the start of the game, you can place some "traps" for the next turns or close easily some little provinces.
- Every card can be countered by a similar one: take note of the played cards in order to know your possibilities
- Remember the value of baddiest mongol tokens: this will be useful at the end of the game, especially with the Mandarin card and his dirty tricks
- Victory points are counted at the end of the game: don't worry about your low score during the game. Wait for the right time when your opponents are using precious cards, often crashing them each other
- Every card in your hand at the end of the game is a lost resource for you (at least if you don't using the Event Card C: "Imperial Reward - Every player gains 2 Reputation Point for each Action Card not played"

Let's see the cards:

1 - Warrior
The Warrior is the best defender for your province. It plays for first, and his player can decide what card to destroy. Useful at the end of the game, for avoiding terrible Mandarin effects (his preferred target). Check before use it the different options for the next played cards (if there any). Beware: the Warrior ever destroy a card: be careful that card is not yours. The Warrior loves company: keep it always with other players cards.

2 - Traitor
A good, often underrated card. Easy destroy a block for win/share victory. More unusual to see it destroy a YOUR block in order to avoid the mongol's majority when you lose the majo. In alternative, it's a good way use it for aggressive play, taking provincies without the tower protection.

3 - Flood
Originally named "Alluvial terrain", this is the Card of Indecision. If you have no idea of the province's winner, it's the good choice for raise / lower the VP, or as bluff card. Good for every province, it's easy to see it neutralized by the same card used from another player.

4 - Builder
A really useful card with double effect. His "virtual block" has a nice collateral effect: use the Buider to win mayorities without negative blocks on the mongol side. This is the more useful card of the set, never ending a game without have used it.

5 - Master Builder
Really powerful for win, it's very strong for the biggest provincies battles; in combo with another card (es. Warrior o Builder) it's possible to gain mayorities without playing blocks, and leaving the opponents blocks to face the mongol ordes.

6 - Mandarin
The most tricky card of the set. Swapping the right blocks at the end of the game is the best action you can do. For make so it's very important to place it on a "safe" province, near to be closed from an other player, just before the end of the game.
At that time take the pleasure to see the face of your opponents when you decide the winner and the loser.
On some tournment, in order to avoid his possible "kingmaking" effect, the Mandarin become unusable when the last board comes into play.
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