The Dragon & Pearl home page

Designed by Andrew Parkin -- Last updated 01/12/2005

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Second edition D&P; is now out.

Featuring an improved map with victory point track, additional short scenario and rules clarifications.

Dragon & Pearl is a game of Chinese history (200 AD - 1300 AD) designed by Thom Richardson. It uses mechanics similar to those of the old Gibson's game "Britannia". Differences include; scoring every turn and the same for all peoples, no special armies (cavalry/Romans), capitals which function as immobile armies and a steppe terrain type which grows population as upland but allows normal movement.

It can be purchased from "Spirit Games", cost is 19.99.

Details of the game are as follows;
Playing time is about 4 hours (3 for the short scenario) we intend to develop additional scenarios and make them available for download via this page at a later date.
There are scenarios for 4 (standard and 3 hour short), 5 and 3 players.

Game components are as follows;
Approximately 200 plastic counters (15mm diameter) in 4 colours with stickers designating people/empire.
Full colour map on heavy paper with turn record, population track, etc on it.
A4 Rules booklet, 2 pages of rules plus 2 of historical background.

Cardboard tube for storage.

The following queries were sent in by John Graham Leigh.  Answers; are in bold.
  1. When the Tuoba become the Tang, what happens to their excess recruitment? Is it lost, or converted to Tang excess
    Converted peoples who disappear lose any excess.
  2. Same when the last area occupied by a people is converted at the start of a turn. I've just had an example of that - the Tuoba convert the Xianbei counters in the only Xianbei-occupied area. Do the Tuoba add the Xianbei excess population to their own?
    Converted peoples who disappear lose any excess.
  3. Leaders "obviate the effects of mountainous terrain". I take this to be only for movement, not for combat - or is it intended that a leader effectively adds 2 rather than 1 when attacking a mountain area?
    Only for movement. Should have made that clearer.
  4. Optional rule 1 - double negative (No non-desert province...may not be left vacant...). Delete "not".
    Agreed, wording corrected in 2nd edition.
  5. Optional rule 2 - needs to specify "at the beginning of their move after arrivals". As the rule stands, all newly-arriving peoples would suffer the effects, which can't be intended.
    Agreed, wording changed in 2nd edition.
2nd Edition changes
Aside from the corrections noted above there is one significant change to the rules in the 2nd edition.  When; there are counters of a different people in a povince in which reinforcements are arriving the existing counters are destroyed, wheras in the 1st edition they were converted to counters of the arriving people.

Below are some pictures of the game

The 3 hour short scenario (4 player) was not included in the first edition of the game.   To download a copy of this scenario
  • right click on <DOC> for a Word version
    or <TXT> for a text version.
  • Your browser will display a menu, click Save Target As,
  • select where you want the file to be saved and click Save.

We are experimenting with an ultra short 1 hour scenario which may appear here later.  Another; possible add on is a map extension to include Japan in the game.

Hou Han Shu - Translation of a chinese description of the kingdoms along the silk road and further west.
Chinaknowledge - An extensive site with good info on chinese history.

Stats - (average scores for peoples and by colour)

4 player game

Red 99.7 , Jin 44.1 , Turks 21.3 , Japanese 3.0 , Nan Zhao 10.4 , Khitan 21.0

Yellow 112.2 , Xiongnu 28.7 , Shan 24.5 , Uighurs 23.5 , Song 35.5

Blue 106.9 , Koreans 21.9 , Tibetans 35.8 , Xia 12.5 , Mongols 36.6

Green 94.9 , Xianbei 13.8 , Toba 19.5 , Tang 54.3, Jurchen 7.3

For further information please contact