Design of the Glory of the Three Kingdoms – Province

Province is normally called central or common area in DBG where players acquire additional cards to build their player decks. So what is GOTK’s Province different from other DBG?

In the game GOTK, all Province cards are randomly shuffled then equally divided into number of Province Decks during setup. Four decks are used for a two player game, five decks for a three player game and six decks for a four player game. When playing an event driven game (playing with Event Expansion), six decks will be used for a two, three or four player game.

Note, number of Province Decks affects the end game condition. For example, in a two player game, game ends when two decks are depleted. In a three or four player game, game ends when three decks are depleted. In an event driven game, game ends when all events are played.

Shuffling all Province cards together will decrease game setup time tremendously. However, it will also increase the randomness of the game. To compensate the randomness, a sorting system is created which sorts out specific type of cards when they are revealed during Province Phase. In Guandu Core Set, four Province Piles are used and they are footman, pikeman, cavalry and tiger tally piles. Two additional Province Piles will be introduced later.

How does the sorting system work? In the beginning of a player’s turn or Province Phase, face down top card of Province Decks is revealed and all top cards that have a sorting symbol are moved to Province Piles. During Action Phase, player may purchase any face up card in the Province that includes both Province Decks and Province Piles. In other words, sorting system opens up additional and specific type of cards for players to acquire and build their player decks.

Finally, with enough Province cards, player may create their own Province. Similar to TCG/CCG which player creates a set of player deck before the game play, the game GOTK allows players to create a custom Province of their favorite cards. What would that be like … a province of your custom design … only available in Glory of the Three Kingdoms.

Design of the Glory of the Three Kingdoms – Factions

When designing GOTK, we wanted our players to experience the epic story of the Three Kingdoms. In each major battle of GOTK series, factions were carefully designed to reflect their characteristic and strength in that specific period of time so players can learn and experience the history when playing the organized and uniquely designed factions.

During the history of Guandu, the first major battle in the Three Kingdoms, there were four main factions: Yuan Shao, Cao Cao, Lu Bu and Liu Bei. Yuan Shao faction was wealthy and strong in military power. Cao Cao faction had less military units but Cao Cao himself was a cleaver tactician with overpowering charisma. He also had a group of elite and loyal general and strategist.

Lu Bu was one of the most powerful warriors in the Three Kingdoms. He was also a great military tactician. However, due to his naïve and shortsighted personality, his faction was due to eliminated by his foolishness.

Liu Bei didn’t really have a faction until the very end of Guandu. It was pretty depressing. He and his Taoyuan brothers Guan Yu and Zhang Fei were fearsome warriors of the Three Kingdoms but by fate of life, they were drifted between factions. Near the end of Guandu, they were finally reunited and determined to form a faction lead by the big brother Liu Bei.

In game GOTK: Guandu Core Set, Yuan Shao and Cao Cao were introduced because they were the primary factions at the time. Lu Bu and Liu Bei will be later introduced in the Faction Expansion Set.

In the Guandu Core Set, Yuan Shao’s starting units has higher strength than Cao Cao’s starting units and most of Yuan Shao faction’s abilities have to do with gold. Overall, it is an easier faction to play because it is pretty straight forward and suitable to first time player.

Cao Cao faction is a little bit more difficult to play because the winning depends more on the strategy such as unit combination, time of defend and attack, etc. Player has to be in the mind of Cao Cao to win the Glory.

Lu Bu faction is all about battle because Lu Bu himself was a war hunger and blood thirst warrior. The faction also has a special Barrack rule which can be quite powerful. Would Lu Bu faction always win the Glory? In the Three Kingdoms, everyone fears Lu Bu and shouldn’t you feel the same in GOTK?

Liu Bei faction is weaker than three other Guandu factions because in history, it was new and significantly feeble. To win with Liu Bei faction, player has to take defense position first but don’t let the weakness fool you. Liu Bei is the hero of people and he will win if he has the Will (Will is a key word in GOTK).

In addition to the starting set, faction expansion pack for each faction will later be introduced. Faction expansion pack is added into Camp during the game and Camp a new rule when faction expansion pack becomes available.




What is on Valentine's Day?

So what does 2D6 say about Mountain of Inferno? That’s right, it’s a charming game to play for couples on Valentine’s Day 🙂

Meanwhile, we were playtesting our new game “Mines of the Sacred Dragons 龙王宝藏” on Valentine’s Day. “Mines of the Sacred Dragons” is a 1-5 player light strategy abstract puzzle game. The purpose of the game is to explore mines and to connect them for higher score, and girls win every game on Valentine’s Day :).

The Battle of Red Cliffs – Rank Card

Rank card (score card) is finally done. Now each copy of The Battle of Red Cliffs comes with nine Rank cards, one for each player. In a two to seven player game, when a player reaches rank level 6 or higher, game ends and the player with highest score wins the game. A higher level is requires for solo play and team play game.

Rank card wasn’t included in the original design. It was later developed when we introduced Tuck Box edition on Kickstarter and made Red Cliffs a portable and affortable game for everyone 🙂

Essen Spiel 2012 Preorder – Mines of the Sacred Dragon






Mines of the Sacred Dragon (MOSD) is a 1-5 player abstract tile placement board game, and it is recently funded on Taiwan’s crowdfunding web site – FlyingV. We are currently printing a limited of 500 copies and will be ready to release in Essen Spiel 2012.

This edition (image on the left) is a Chinese edition and it comes with BOTH English and Chinese rules. The game also come with 80 unique hexgon tiles (55mm length x 48mm width x 2mm height), 50 tokens, 1 score board and 5 player aids.

English Rule:

Please visit MOSD preorder post on BGG for more information:

Thank you for your interest and see you in Essen Spiel 2012


Red Cliffs is Funded with 14 Hours to Go!

The Battle of Red Cliffs has met its goal on Kickstarter over the Labor Day weekend, and it is now only 15 hours away from end of project. If you like set collection, Rummy, and Mahjong, don’t miss the opportunity to back on Kickstarter and receive Kickstarter exclusive rewards.


uSpy Print ‘n Play Prototype v.3d is Ready to Downlaod

After last weekend’s playtest session at SoCalPlaytesting group, prototype version 3d is completed with updated cards and rules. VP is now added to the cards and ten mole cards (two for each country) are added to the game.

In addition, five “Action/Breach” cards are added to the game to keep track number of action taken.

Finally, an advance rule “Breach” is added to the game for a different end round experience.

If you would like to playtest uSpy, please down rules and cards on

Thank you for your participation.