How To Play: In the Year of the Dragon – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Understanding how to play In the Year of the Dragon is achieved through grasping the game's key elements: efficient personnel selection, preparedness for the event timeline, and resource management efficiency. Mastering these aspects, grounded in strategic foresight and adaptability, paves the path to victory.


Welcome fellow gamers to this comprehensive guide on ‘How To Play In the Year of the Dragon’! Having held countless sessions at my table, I’m thrilled to unveil an outline for understanding the game’s rules, paired with insights on stellar strategies to claim victory. Get ready to revolutionize your play with key techniques from a proven winner—me! Dive into this blend of rulebook mastery and strategic prowess for an edge in your next game night. Let’s get started on the path to becoming the ultimate ruler!

What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 60 Cards
  • 12 Month Tiles
  • 10 Person Tiles (each of 6 types)
  • 1 Dragon
  • 5 Action Cards
  • 10 Privilege Cards
  • 1 Year Track
  • Mark cubes (90 pallisander, 30 gold-colored)
  • 36 Wooden Figures
  • 10 Player Markers
  • 60 Mongol Markers
  • 60 Rice Fields
  • 60 Houses
  • 60 Firework Tokens
  • 60 Wall Signs
  • 50 Disease Markers
  • 40+ Silver Coins
  • 1 Rule Booklet

How To Play In the Year of the Dragon: Rules Summary

Setup: Getting Started

  1. Unfold and place the game board in the center.
  2. Give each player a palace board and matching tokens.
  3. Place person tiles, privileges, and coins according to the number of players.
  4. Arrange the event tiles in the order listed in the rulebook.

Gameplay: Taking Turns

  1. Starting with the imperial player, take turns choosing actions.
  2. Recruit people for special ability advantages and palace filling.
  3. Next, take palace actions correlating with courtesans in your palaces.
  4. Conclude by performing the monthly event; plan carefully for these.

Winning: Scoring Victory

  1. Amass as many privilege points as possible throughout the game.
  2. Survive disasters by strategic planning and personnel choices
  3. The player with the most points at the end of 12 months wins.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. Events occur in a specific order that must be strategically prepared for.
  2. Different people and palace levels grant different advantages—utilize combination plays.
  3. If faced with a shortage, resources must be assigned wisely to mitigate loss.

Best In The Year Of The Dragon Strategies

Mastering the Art of Personnel in In the Year of the Dragon

In ‘In the Year of the Dragon’, selecting the right personnel is paramount. These individuals are indispensable for your burgeoning empire. Initially, concentrate on acquiring versatile people. Always ensure monk acquisition for protection. Moreover, secure tax collectors swiftly to solidify your economy.

Key Recruitment Strategies

  1. Focus on Multipurpose Characters: They provide adaptability during crises.
  2. Monks for Defense: Avert disasters with spiritual assistance.
  3. Revenue Generation: Prioritize early tax collectors for financial stability.

Timing Your Choices

  1. Strategize Draft Picks: Position yourself for optimal selections.
  2. Adapt to Events: Personnels should counter forthcoming disasters.

Cultivating a Balanced Roster

  1. Harmonize Skillsets: Mix specialists with jacks-of-all-trades.
  2. Future Planning: Foresee challenges and prepare accordingly with diverse talents.

Mastering the Clock: Event Timeline Tactics for Success

Conquering the taxing timeline of ‘In the Year of the Dragon’ demands precision and forethought. Comprehension is everything; know your upcoming adversity as intimately as your strategy. Tailoring your plans to the impending events positions you well. Transition swiftly between defense and growth to stay ahead of the merciless calendar. Let’s devise a plan of action:

Analyze the Timeline

  1. Study the event sequence diligently at the start.

Strategic Personnel Acquisition

  1. Recruit characters whose skills align with forthcoming events.

Efficient Resource Management

  1. Amass resources ahead of crises; prioritize depending on the sequence.

Adapt and Overcome

  1. Be prepared to pivot strategies if an unexpected event occurs.

Mastering Resource Management Efficiency

To succeed in In the Year of the Dragon, managing resources effectively is key. Firstly, prioritize actions that offer the best return on investment. Secondly, maintain a keen awareness of upcoming opportunities to replenish supplies. Thirdly, balance hoarding and spending. Avoid resource scarcity whilst ensuring fluidity in your gameplay. Fourthly, seize events that allow hoarding without prompting penalties. Lastly, keep a close eye on your opponents’ stockpiles; use diplomacy, if necessary, to disrupt their flow. Optimal resource management can provide a pivotal advantage as the game progresses.

Key Strategies:
  1. Assess actions’ ROI.
  2. Gauge replenishment opportunities.
  3. Maintain balance in stockpiles.
  4. Capitalizing on hoarding opportunities.
  5. Analyze and influence competitors’ supplies.

Securing Your Dynasty: Final Thoughts

After charting a meticulous path through the strategic intricacies of ‘In the Year of the Dragon’, I’ve got to share this; every playthrough unfolds uniquely, combining thoughtful planning with the thrill of adapting to new challenges. Reflecting on my own experiences, I can say that the victorious ruler isn’t always the one with grandiose plans, but oftentimes, the one best tailored to their domain’s peculiarities. Remember, a flexible approach that anticipates change and carefully manages resources—striking when the iron is hot and retreating when the tide turns—will solidify your reign in this ruthless game of strategy and survival.

Moreover, I find that every game furthers my appreciation of its complex mechanisms. The thrill of strategically navigating the event timeline, tailoring personnel selection—or better yet, watching my friends squirm as I execute a perfectly timed play—is invigorating. Embrace the subtle art of strategy outlined in this guide, and soon, you’ll master ‘How To Play In the Year of the Dragon’. Until our paths cross again on the game board, may your year be prosperous, and your dragon, mighty.

Want to know what we think of In the Year of the Dragon? Read our detailed review of In the Year of the Dragon here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.