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In the Year of the Dragon
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In the Year of the Dragon

10th Anniversary Edition

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Ages Play Time Players
12+ 75-100 minutes 2-5

Designer(s): Stefan Feld

Publisher(s): Ravensburger USA, Alea

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  • WARNING: Choking Hazard - Small Parts

Product Description

In the Year of the Dragon: 10th Anniversary consists of the In the Year of the Dragon: 10th Anniversary base game and the The Great Wall of China & The Super Events expansions that first appeared in the alea Treasure Chest.

In In the Year of the Dragon, players take on the role of Chinese rulers around the year 1000. The game plays out in twelve rounds, with each round representing one month in a year that seems to go from bad to worse. Disease, drought, and attacks from the Mongols may claim lives, but make sure you have enough money to offer a tribute to the Emperor.

The game play is easier than it may appear. Every player has a set of "person" cards. Each round, you choose one action (most of which call on your workers' abilities) to help you prepare for the months ahead. Then you play one person card, recruiting that person and placing them into one of your palaces. Each person brings different skills and abilities to help you ride out the year. (Farmers help you gain rice to survive a drought month, tax collectors raise money, etc.) At the end of each round, that month's event is triggered, which may cost you some of your workers, some money, or give you points.

Careful planning is the key to surviving "the year of the dragon", but survival alone may not win you the game.

When you add The Great Wall of China expansion to the game, every player takes the six Great Wall tiles in their color. When a player choose the new action "build Great Wall", they choose one of their remaining Great Wall tiles, receive from the supply the symbol shown on the tile, then place this tile under the first event tile. The tiles give 1 rice, 1 rocket, 2 yuan, 1 palace level, 3 VP, and 3 spaces on the order track.

For The Super Events, shuffle the ten super event tiles face down, then randomly draw one of them and place it face up on the seventh event tile. It will be resolved after this event.

Product Information


  • Game Board
  • 60 Cards
  • 190 Tiles
  • 10 Player Markers
  • 5 Dragons
  • 8 Action Cards
  • 66 Palace Floors
  • 36 Coins
  • 1 Rulebook

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.8 in 2 reviews

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by Matthew H
A fun game for all ages.
October 30, 2008

This game is primarily about planning ahead, so it takes playing it a couple of times to really understand what's going on (and get a good score).

You fill your castle with people, such as fireworks makers and accountants, and will end up using at least one of each. The order of the disasters (which is randomly set up at the start of the game) and the order you get the people, increase the size of your castle, earn income, and so forth is crucial. A small mistake can ruin the best laid plans.

Players don't fight each other. The biggest effects are a limited number of certain people, and what you can do in a turn- the first person to build does it for free, and the second and later ones take three coins to do it. An opponent unexpectedly taking 'your' option can keep you from winning.

I can see how for younger people this could be frustrating at first. Once they have the strategy down, though, it should be a fun game for them as well.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Tor Hatlebakk
A great game
April 10, 2008

This is the sort of game you know will be great only after reading the rules. If you are a gamer like me who doesn't like games too long or too complex, but still has some meat on it, then this is the game for you. I would categorize this game in the Puerto Rico alley. It plays really fluent and fast and is always very very tense. A great game, can't wait to play Notre Dame. It's by the same designer and in the same niche of games.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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