Aquarius / Seven Dragons FAQ

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Q: Is there any time-limit for how long someone can take on their turn?

A: There’s no time-limit on how long someone may take for their turn, but annoying the other players by taking forever to make decisions may make them decide they don’t want to play with you very often. In other words, the only time limit is the tolerance of your fellow gamers.

We’d suppose this applies to… almost any game, though what is considered a reasonable amount of time for a turn probably varies from game to game. As long as you are within what is considered average for that game, you’re probably fine.

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Q: Can my “chain” of seven connected cards of my color be a branched blob, or must one be able to trace a seven-card path from one end to the other?

A: Your seven cards just have to be connected to each other in some way. The group can be branched, or a blob, or anything, such that you could trace a path through the grouping from any one card to any other card. The technical word would be “contiguous,” like “the contiguous United States.”

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Q: If you play a double connection and get a bonus card do you need to play it right away or do you just get to draw the card, creating a larger hand for yourself?

A: No, you don’t get to (or have to) play that card immediately. It just goes into your hand, making it bigger. Gives you more options… and might make you a tastier target for Trade Hands.

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Q: What are the differences between Aquarius 1.0 and Aquarius 2.0

A: Well, the biggest difference is the move up to the larger 2-part box for uniformity of our games. We also had the art updated by a graphic design company. The changes are actually pretty subtle.

They made a new logo (new style for the title) but it works so well with the rest of the art we hardly notice it anymore. They also added some classy gradients to the card art, and variations in line width. Other minor changes include the goals having round images instead of square, and, necessarily the card back, since the logo style changed.

More exciting changes include the addition of diagonal-panel cards, and a new Action: Shuffle Hands. Speaking of Actions, Shuffle Goals was changed to the less-chaotic Rotate Goals. You also get to draw an extra card when you connect panels of more than one element with your play. The rulesheet, in addition to being in full color, also includes variations for a range of younger ages, so that you can start your kids young and gradually work them up to the full game.

If you’re interested in what else was going on at this time, here’s the blog post where Andy first talked about it. It’s just one paragraph among many, but it gives some interesting context.

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Q: What are the differences between Aquarius 2.0 and Aquarius 3.0?

A: While it won’t change the fundamental awesomeness of Aquarius, there turn out to be quite a few differences:

1) Card size is changed to the narrower Fluxx-sized cards, and deck size is increased to 100 cards.

2) Triples (cards with one half-panel, and 2 quarter-panels, including both horizontal and vertical halves.

3) Rotate Goals changed (back) to Shuffle Goals.

4) Rules to a new cooperative game, suitable for very young players: Maze Escape!

5) Number of Wild Cards increased from one to two, AND now usable as a Wild Action if so desired.

6) Better Quad randomization.

7) Vertical Aces

For more details on these changes, read Andy’s blog post about them.

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Q: If I Move A Card, can I pick it up and put it down again in the same place but rotated to a different orientation?

A: Yes, as long as the new rotated orientation is a legal placement.

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Q: What can we do about certain card types becoming overworn (Goals in Aquarius, Choice cards in Choose One)?

A: We suggest that you use card sleeves to protect these overused card types. If you’re unfamiliar with these, they are simply custom-sized plastic pockets to put your card in to protect them from wear. People who play games with collectible cards often do this to protect cards they want game with but don’t want to damage for their collectible aspect. Or avid gamers do it for the reasons mentioned here: to protect frequently used game components. You should be able to still shuffle a deck with all cards in sleeves, though it may take some getting used to.

If your cards are already over-worn such that it’s interfering with the secrecy required for game-play, look for card sleeves with opaque backs, or try sliding an extra card of a similar or slightly larger size behind the card in question, so that you only see the extra cardback (regular playing cards would work fine for this, for example, as long as they are close to the same size so that they can fit in the card sleeves you’ve acquired.)

You can find card sleeves for almost any size cards, so search online and see what’s available. You’ll need to know the size of the cards, which you can get by simply taking a ruler to them (though we also list our card sizes here). For a more comprehensive list, however here is one that someone has compiled as a reference on the tabletop gaming reference site

This informational page (on BoardGameGeek) is incredibly dense, so it starts with a lengthy description of how to read the chart. Then scroll down for a list of games by title. There are pages and pages of them, but you can click to the alphabetic range you need.

Find the game you’re interested in on the list and click the NUMBER to the left (clicking the name gets you to an interesting game description page, but not the card sleeve sizing recommendations). Aquarius is on there, as is Fluxx, but Choose One was not deemed popular enough to include specifically, though the cards should be the same size as Fluxx, which IS certainly on the list.

Although they show two separate lists for first and second edition of Aquarius, to our knowledge, they are exactly the same size. That said, the second edition is more common these days. The Goals have round images, and the deck includes diagonally split cards.

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Q: We’d like to play Aquarius with more players, do you have any guidlines for doubling the deck?

A: Doubling the playing deck should not cause any issues, but for more people, you’re proposing doubling the number of Goals, which we would not generally suggest, as it raises awkward issues, some of which you have considered. It sounds like you’ve worked out some proposed ways to handle some of these yourself. (You’ve suggested that two players are going for the same Goal then the one that makes the winning play is the one that gets the win – that’s a decent solution). If you consider and work out rulings for possible complications, there’s no reason you couldn’t give it a try.

Besides potential conflicts, which could be worked out, however, we have a few more caveats. You may find that it gets to be a long time between turns if more than five are playing. Also, if there is a double of one Goal (actually in play), but not others, those two players will find themselves with what may seem like an unfair advantage. We’d also recommend that you keep the unused Goals in a specific ordered chain outside of the game (which we advise in the regular game as well), so that the Rotate Goals Action can be used to bring those in and out of play in a static order, and not just randomly. You could even insert the unused Goals in between players so that the unused chain of Goals is not so long.

To make a long story short: we don’t recommend it, for various reasons, so we don’t have a lot of guidlines for people. So just experiment with it. You may find you need to develop some other house rules… or you may find that it’s not as fun as simply breaking into two games. But give it a try!

Note that if you need to separate two decks again, we have a handy card list of sorts, to help you get them all distributed right:
if you have the first edition (square Goal images, no diagonals) here is the card list:

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Q: In a game with less than five people, what happens if someone makes one of the unused Goals win?

A: Treat this as you would in Fluxx: the game continues until a clear winner emerges. This might be because one of the players manages to acquire the winning Goal, or because a player gets their own Goal to seven contiguous panels.

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Q: It seems like Seven Dragons is just a “re-skin” of Aquarius. How are they different?

A: Indeed, Seven Dragons is mostly a “re-skin” of Aquarius, but, just like when we make new Fluxx versions, we did try to change things up a bit to add something new. For example, Seven Dragons has a designated starting card, the Silver Dragon, which changes color throughout the game based on what Actions are played. Aquarius also has an extra Action. Those are the the main differences.

We do have a promo card which you can add to Aquarius which acts like the Silver Dragon, if you want to retro-fit that effect into your Aquarius game. If you do add that to Aquarius, there’s that extra Action which happens to change the Silver Dragon back to Wild, which is how it starts. So, if you want to add THAT capability to your Seven Dragons deck, we have a promo card for that (though, to make them identical, technically you should add THREE of them. Whoah.)

Other than that, Aquarius includes diagonally split panel cards, but no 3-panel cards, and Seven Dragons has 3-panel cards, but no diagonals. I’d consider that pretty inconsequential to gameplay, however. It’s mostly stylistic. The dragon art looked terrible when divided diagonally, so Andy came up with the idea to include some 3-panel cards.

You probably don’t need to own both, unless you’re a completist, or have different groups you want to play with who like one or the other.
Decide which art you like best and get that, and if you want, add the applicable promo cards.

Seven Dragons is currently “in the vault” (out of print)
But the promo card is still available.

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Q: When you place a card in its new location after playing the Move a Card action, do you also get the Multi-Connection Bonus if applicable?

A: No. The Multi-Connection Bonus is earned only when playing a card, not after using an action.

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Q: In Aquarius or Seven Dragons, are you allowed to pass on your turn?

If you do, do you have to discard a card instead of playing?

A: Yes, you are allowed to pass. You might have no other choice during the earliest stages of the game. No, you are not required to discard if you pass. Your hand size will simply increase.

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Q: In Seven Dragons, if I’m the first to play an Action card, do I still get the option to keep the Silver Dragon the color it is?

A: No. Since there aren’t any other cards in the discard pile for the new card to go under, the first Action played must change the Silver Dragon’s color.

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Q: In Seven Dragons, can we put the discard pile on top of the Silver Dragon to easily see what color it is?

A: Only if everyone in the group wants to play that way. It should be noted that the designer rejects this House Rule. According to Andy, “Part of the challenge is remembering that the Silver Dragon changes color, and keeping track of that change. Covering the Silver Dragon with the discarded actions is a memory crutch that some people may prefer, but for me it interferes with the aesthetic of the game.”

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Q: In Seven Dragons, you can choose to skip either the Action’s effect, or it’s color change. Can you choose to play it and do neither?

Can you choose to skip the Action AND put the card at the bottom of the discard pile?

A: Well, if you dislike all of your options, you can always pass. That’s legal. However, if you play an Action card, you can’t just waste it – you must choose at least one of the options. So if all you want is to pass, then just pass.

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Q: When Zapping A Card in Aquarius, are you allowed to create an “island”: an isolated card not attached to the rest?

A: It is fine to create an “island.” Furthermore, when playing a card reconnecting the island to the rest of the cards, the card you play still only has to have a match on one side, just as usual (so it can connect to the “island,” or the “mainland,” and is not required to match both). Of course, connecting more than one way may still have its advantages, it’s just not required.

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Q: What color does the Aquarius Dragon turn when you play Shuffle Hands?

We could tell what each of the other Aquarius Actions was supposed to do to the Dragon, but it wasn’t clear what Shuffle Hands would do, based on the art.

A: The intention is that the Aquarius (AQ) Dragon should work exactly like the Silver Dragon in Seven Dragons (7D), so, by extension, since the 7D promo card Shuffle Hands depicts the Rainbow Dragon art (and the instructions included with the Shuffle Hands 7D promo say that it turns the Silver Dragon wild) the Aquarius Dragon is turned fully Wild by the Shuffle Hands action in Aquarius.


When Aquarius was designed the original five actions clearly mapped to the five elements. When we added the sixth action (Shuffle Hands) there were no extra elements to map it to, so we used the “long hair babe” and a generic Aquarius landscape.

Then, when we made Seven Dragons, the whole concept of having the action-color map to a change of the Silver Dragon was new. Also, we did not include the sixth action, Shuffle Hands, but we made it as a promo card, and the obvious art was the sixth available dragon, the Rainbow Dragon, hence it’s obvious effect on the Silver Dragon was to have it go wild again (which is pretty powerful, and one of the reasons we made it a promo card instead of including three of them like there are in Aquarius).

Then we retroactively applied the Silver Dragon and it’s qualities to AQ, but the art on the AQ Shuffle Hands action was never intended to map explicitly to a particular element, so unfortunately, it’s not clear from the art what it does to the AQ Dragon.

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Q: When playing Zap A Card or Move a Card in Aquarius or Seven Dragons, do the remaining cards need to be still touching?

A: Creating separated groups of cards via Zap or Move is not specifically disallowed, as long as you can tell the grid relationship of the gap created, so you know where to place any connecting cards.

Since the groups might later be reconnected, it needs to be clear where they are with respect to future cards that might reconnect them to the larger layout. Theoretically, if you wanted to create a “board” that showed your grid to the corners of the table, you could create gaps of any distance.

Most people aren’t going to create a grid “board” to play on, however. A general guideline would be, assuming you can keep your cards relatively tidy on the table, we recommend leaving a gap of no more than one card between groups. That said, if you think your gaming group can keep things straight, you could leave a bigger gap if you want to.

Keep in mind that when you replay a card into the gap, as with any play to the table, it only needs to connect panels on one side. There is no requirement that you form a valid elemental connection on more than one side.

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Q: In Aquarius or Seven Dragons, can a half panel match up to a full panel?

Do panels have to match in edge length as well as in color?

A: Yes, a half panel can be placed next to a full panel. Matching panels do not have to match in edge length.

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Q: If I cause two elements to get seven panels connected, but I am neither of those, who wins?

For example, if I made Fire and Water win simultaneously, but I’m Earth.

A: That’s an interesting situation! The game could just end in a tie, if you’re okay with that, but we would keep playing until a clear winner emerges. The player who gets the next turn will clearly have an advantage, but it could go for while until one player or the other either gets 8 connections or knocks the other down to 6. It’s also possible that the game will grind to an end with the tie remaining unbroken, in which case the player who plays the last card wins.

To further clarify: If the game is called as a tie, then all players with the winning number of connections would be joint winners, while the other players would be losers. If you continue the game and run out of cards, then the winner will be the last of the two tied players who is able to play a card. In short, you cannot be a winner if your element isn’t the most connected.

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Q: Does the Silver Dragon count towards your chain of seven dragons?

A: The Silver Dragon starts out Wild, just like the Rainbow Dragon. In this state, it counts as all colors all the time. Later it will reflect the color of the Action on top of the discard pile, at which time it is to be counted as a full panel of that color.

Either way, it certainly counts towards your win (as long as it is your color, or wild – obviously, if it is currently not your color, then it can’t be connected with any group of your color).

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Q: If I use Trade Goals to get the gold dragon Goal and that changes the Silver Dragon so that gold is now winning, who wins, me or them?

A: What you’re asking about is essentially: which happens first, the completion of seven panels of gold via the Silver Dragon, or the exchange of the Goal cards.

The answer is that those things happen simultaneously, so after executing all of the results from the Action card, you see who’s meeting the win conditions. So it’s the person who ends up with the yellow Goal. If you traded to get it, that’s you. This a common winning strategy ploy.

The same question applies to similar moves with the Rotate Goals action (blue) where someone uses Rotate Goals to gain the blue dragon Goal while simultaneously changing the Silver Dragon to blue for the win.

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Q: If I play Move A Card, turning the Silver Dragon green, can the moving of the card prevent that win?

Scenario: The Silver Dragon is connected to a group of six green dragon panels. Player plays Move A Card (the green action) which changes the Silver Dragon to green – but the card they move is one of the green ones, which they move away, to break up the group. Does Green win in the middle of the execution of NotGreen’s Action?

A: Unless this is the very first Action played of the game, NotGreen can choose to play the Move a Card to the bottom of the discard pile, utilizing it’s power to move a card, but not changing the color of the Silver Dragon at all. This would be the wisest way to play that card in this case. This is always an option unless it’s the first Action card played in the game, in which there is no discard pile yet to put the card under. Keep in mind a player also has the option of playing the Action to the top of the pile to change the color, but not utilizing the power of the card.

If, for some reason, NotGreen still wanted to change the Silver Dragon to green, we would still rule that Green does not win, since all effects of Actions are considered to be simultaneous. So JUST as you add another green dragon (in the form of the Silver) you simultaneously take one away, and the total remains six, never having actually reached seven.

If, by chance, this IS the very first Action played of the game, however… the question is actually moot. If no Actions have yet been played, then the Silver Dragon is wild, and Green would have already won when the sixth green card was played to the group connected to the Silver Dragon.

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Q: The rules say you can play the Rainbow Dragon “anywhere”. Does that include on top of the Silver Dragon, like an Action card, to change it back to wild?

A: Technically, we never intended for Action cards to be played on top of the Silver Dragon, however, some people do choose to play that way.
See: In Seven Dragons, can we put the discard pile on top of the Silver Dragon to easily see what color it is?

Whichever way you choose to play, the Rainbow Dragon is a panel card and not an Action, and as such, can be played anywhere a panel card can be played – which does NOT include the discard pile, wherever you happen to be keeping it. Note that we used to have a Shuffle Hands promo card (it was a peel-off postcard type) which was an Action that changed the Silver Dragon back to wild, but, unfortunately, we are all out of that.

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Q: Can I play an Action card in Seven Dragons and neither use it’s power nor change the color of the Silver Dragon?

… The rules say I can choose not to change the Silver Dragon color (as long as this isn’t the first Action played in the game) by putting it on the bottom of the discard pile. It also says I can choose not to use the Action’s power. Can I do neither?

A: You may not play an Action card to no effect whatsoever. Passing is an option if you don’t want to do anything, but you can’t waste an Action card. If you play it, at least one of the actions it provides must occur.

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