Played Red Dragon Rising (S&T #250) for the first time yesterday. My first reaction upon hearing about the topic of this game was unfavorable. But when I heard the system was similar to War At Sea/Victory in the Pacific, I was immediately intrigued. After one play, I am not disappointed and you can count me as a fan of the game. The game is relatively easy to learn and once you get a feel for the system plays quickly. The system is a "kissing cousin" of the War at Sea system modified to accommodate modern combat. Things happen fast in this game. We got some rules wrong which probably benefited me more than my opponent but we both left the table vowing to play again next week. I'm already thinking of different strategies and what I will do differently in the next game!

I prefer light to medium weight games and uncomplicated systems. This game hits the center of my gaming "sweet spot".

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Comment by Mike O'Brien on July 14, 2008 at 7:28pm
Having been on the other side of both of these games, I can say that the random events had a major impact on the second game, where I played the Chinese. Kim did a great job in the first game picking up 10 VP's by killing two CV's and taking Taiwan. I managed to hold out, avoid giving him one more VP and killed off the rest of the Chinese Navy without having to involve any CVN's by using the Japanese Navy. He picked up one more by a random event.
The second game was lost to me. If Taiwan hadn't quit I would have lost the island to the Allies.
If the Japanese hadn't quit I would have lost the war because at that point I had no Air Force or Navy left. I know it was frustrating.
Comment by Kimbo on July 14, 2008 at 5:11pm
Played two games of Red Dragon Rising on Saturday... I lost the first game as the Chinese with 11 VP in hand. I conceded when I could see no way to get that 12th point. (Short of rolling 6-6 on the random events table.) Had a chance at sinking a CVN for the win with four shots (2 @ '3' and 2 @ '4'). Only came away with a single hit...

Lost the second game as the US due to random events. The Chinese Air force was virtually non-existent. The Chinese navy was eliminated. Only one CVN lost (due to a stupid set-up mistake). And then: Taiwan called it quits giving the the Chinese player six VP he would never have gotten otherwise. Then Japan drops out of the war when it was all but won. Leaving a situation where I had 2 CVNs chasing three unescorted "At Sea" Chinese land units. With the loss of the Japanese SAGs, I couldn't kill all three land units before one landed and the Spratley's where conquered by the Chinese for the win.

The random events can make for a very chaotic game.
Comment by Joseph Miranda on July 14, 2008 at 4:45pm
You do get a sense for grand strategy.
Comment by Eric Walters on July 6, 2008 at 7:14pm
I liked this game a great deal, but it took me some time to get a handle (or something close to what I think is a handle) on how to sequence actions and understand emerging threats. The game makes you want to play it again, whether your win or lose!

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