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  #1  
Old January 31st, 2017, 09:41 AM
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Board Games On Chinese Subjects

Although I have played many board games on the Japanese samurai era themes, there have never been "serious" board games on Chinese history or literature that interested me. Well, I'm not really a Eurogamer, although I love a good hybrid design. Just recently I finally discovered two; both of which are actually by Asian designers, so here they are:

Far East War 1592 (2-4 Players; Imjin Creative, Taiwan, 2016)
This is a wargame of the Japanese invasion of Korea, then allied to Ming China. Although they never made it to China, the Japanese under Hideyoshi fought a six year war which partially set the stage for the more well known battle of Sekigahara just two years afterwards in 1600, when Tokugawa Ieyasu actually unified Japan.

This is an fairly simple area control game, with fun manga style illustrated cards for the Generals, all of whom are historical and have individualised powers, including some women. Its so beautiful and aesthetic that you can imagine the generals of the time playing it! I have only done one solitaire play of it so far, and its lots of fun.

The Kickstarter just ended, and no copies are available in retail yet, but I managed to get one on the advice of the publisher from Funagain Games in Seattle, who had some left over. It included the three promo generals, one of whom is the hypothetically appearing Sir Francis Drake!

Three Kingdoms Redux (3 Players Only; Starting Player, Singapore 2014; Capstone Games, Ohio & Starting Player 2017. This wonderful looking 'worker placement plus' breakthrough design is just coming up in its Second Edition with a US distributor for the first time--preorders start March 1 from Capstone, retailed at $60. I can hardly wait! It is my first game based on the history and adventure from the 'Chinese Iliad' Romance of the Three Kingdoms, as partly portrayed in the recent Chinese film Red Cliff, as well as two Asian TV series I have yet to view. It was covered some years ago by computer games, but unfortunately I don't play any. I did participate in a couple of board game play tests at my old club, but the game was sadly never produced.

Both have informative discussion forums and videos on boardgamegeek, should you wish to check them out.

Last edited by chas; February 1st, 2017 at 08:52 AM.
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  #2  
Old February 1st, 2017, 08:56 AM
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Re: Board Games On Chinese Subjects

It turns out that the designers of Three Kingdoms Redux have posted or linked to an amazing amount of Chinese cultural and historical research they have done for their game, including lovely artwork, on various boardgamegeek lists. If you'd like to see my own new thread there, it includes many links to these and other related subjects:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/24945813#24945813

Thanks to these links by the designers and other fans, I have now watched the first episodes of the two most favored Chinese TV series of Three Kingdoms--those of 1994 (84 hour long episodes) and 2010 (95 hour long episodes). Both are much fun and have different approaches; many fans watch them both!
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  #3  
Old February 1st, 2017, 05:46 PM
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Re: Board Games On Chinese Subjects

Yikes, that sounds like a commitment chas.

A cloud can change its semblance, yet retain its will
With the intimacy of destruction, One knows what it is to be alive
The empty sky holds no reflection, for sorrow
- Eslo Rudkey
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Old February 2nd, 2017, 02:42 PM
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Re: Board Games On Chinese Subjects

I should finish them about the time I go to Japan for the first time in April-May! There is also a Japanese animation (of course) which is 47 (24 minute episodes). I was in China in the mid-Eighties, and have always been into Asian history. My father was in the Pacific in WWII.
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Old February 2nd, 2017, 05:58 PM
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Re: Board Games On Chinese Subjects

Right on. Looking forward to hearing about your trip.

Any good stories from China? I imagine it is completely different now, 30 years later.

A cloud can change its semblance, yet retain its will
With the intimacy of destruction, One knows what it is to be alive
The empty sky holds no reflection, for sorrow
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Old February 5th, 2017, 08:56 AM
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Re: Board Games On Chinese Subjects

I was in China for 3 weeks, and saw most of it except for the Far West and Szechuan. But of course, imagine trying to see the entire USA in that time--China is just as big).

Many, many stories:

1. In Xian, the museum exhibit had a diorama of a team painting one of the Terra Cotta Warriors! Seeing the football field size field with the earth colored them lined up for parade in the trenches where they were found blows your mind. Then try to imagine them all painted! After that, I've always said that my favorite miniatures collection is the 1:1 scale dislay of The First Emperor's figures!

2. In Shanghai, the Bund is the riverfront park where many Chinese go to practice their English (among other activities). My cousin Jim (my usual travel companion, who passed away last November) and I stopped to talk to a father and son whose had limited English, yet seemed to know more about the NYC colleges and universities than we did (the son wanted to go some day). I had to concentrate on their faces to try and understand them (their English was of course far superior to my Chinese, of which I have none). When I got a chance to look up, it was a National Geographic moment.

In those days, the site of a Westerner in Communist China was very rare. Starting at a respectful distance perhaps twenty feet all around us, hundreds of Chinese folks had stopped to listen in to our halting, personal conversation. Luckily, they were all friendly. Whew! Time to get back to the bus.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 09:03 AM
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Re: Board Games On Chinese Subjects

If you are interested in Asian travel, or any travel, I've just discovered Road Scholar, formerly ElderHostel. They run many different trips in the USA and all over the world. My tour in Japan will have no more than 28 people in the group, be focused on cultural stuff, and require no more than a mile or two of walking a day. We'll see Tokyo, Kyoto, and points in between, for a reasonable price.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 09:10 AM
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Re: Board Games On Chinese Subjects

I've begun corresponding online with a Canadian archaeologist who uses Indiana Jones as his avatar. He's also done digging in China! I told him where I've been in Canada, and he mentioned visiting the Midwestern USA. So I told him I went to Beloit College in southern Wisconsin, which has two main connections to China:

1. Missionaries in China from Beloit, "The Yale of the Midwest" (founded by Yale graduates), persuaded then President Theodore Roosevelt to use our part of the Boxer Rebellion indemnity to send Chinese students then to study here.

2. Famous Beloit graduate Roy Chapman Andrews, the most famous 20th Century American archaeologist, led dinosaur finding expeditions in the Gobi Desert in preWWII China for the NYC America Museum of Natural History, later earning him the nickname of "The real Indiana Jones."

My new Canadian contact has a pal with an "extra" copy of Three Kingdoms Redux. If he ends up selling it to me, I'll get it months before the Second Edition is ready for distribution! Then I'll have snagged both China games 'ahead of schedule.'

(Edit) Despite a snow storm here, my check is on the way to Ontario, and I should have my own First Edition months before the Second Edition is ready! The only differences are supposedly a few rules edits. Of course I'll check them out when they are posted online, but reading over the First Edition rules recently, my only question was answered a couple of pages later, as they are quite well written. The video series by the designers on boardgamegeek is excellent for getting into the game--Intro, Set Up, and Examples of Play.

Last edited by chas; February 10th, 2017 at 08:52 AM.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 10:50 AM
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Re: Board Games On Chinese Subjects

Good stuff in there. Thanks for sharing.

Sorry to hear about your friend.

So, the one true scale is 1:1?

A cloud can change its semblance, yet retain its will
With the intimacy of destruction, One knows what it is to be alive
The empty sky holds no reflection, for sorrow
- Eslo Rudkey
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Old February 6th, 2017, 12:53 PM
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Re: Board Games On Chinese Subjects

The One True Scale we commoners can afford to collect: 54mm. Emperors it would seem have other options.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 12:54 PM
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Re: Board Games On Chinese Subjects

I've just ordered the superior Moss Roberts translation of the Unabridged Three Kingdoms, available still. At Amazon I paid an average of $20 per volume; which is what I paid for my Abridged volume way back when.

(Edit) They arrived earlier than expected, and I am now looking them over.

Last edited by chas; February 10th, 2017 at 08:53 AM.
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Old February 22nd, 2017, 07:44 AM
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Re: Board Games On Chinese Subjects

And now, a Chinese Game Update:

1. I am watching the 2010 TV series of Three Kingdoms, as it seems easier to bring up the episodes than the older 1994 one on youtube. I'm up to Episode 66 of 95, and really enjoying it! Having the book means being able to look up characters in the character summary listing when they are introduced, which is useful.

2. I'll be playing my first full game of Far East War 1592 with Taeblewalker tomorrow, and my first play of the 4 Player version next Tuesday. Hope I can get a fourth; otherwise I'll play two of one side's factions myself. It is basically a two player, so it will be interesting to see if the four player scenario works. its so new that there isn't much chatter on boardgamegeek about it yet.

3. Three Kingdoms Redux should be here in 2-3 weeks, even though its hard to find right now. I'll probably invite six players for this 3 player game when I first get it to the table, so we can do a 'training camp' with pairs of newbies trying out each country as a team.
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