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Number of Players 1-5
Playtime 60-90 Min
Suggested Ages 12+
Designer(s) Andreas Steding
Publisher Tasty Minstrel Games

China, 1570. China is under rule of the Longqing Emperor, of the Ming Dynasty. He inherited a country in disarray after years of corruption and mismanagement. He lived in the Forbidden city, which was the seat of many emperors under the Ming Dynasty. Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings spread over 72 ha (over 180 acres). It is also during the Ming Dynasty that the Great Wall of China was rebuilt, fortified, and expanded. Around this period, China was under heavy attack from the Mongols, so maintaining the Great Wall was critical. Most of what we have left of the Great Wall, we owe to the Ming dynasty.

The country was already well known for its very intricate bureaucracy, but this also led to a lot of corruption. Even though penalties for corruption were very high, the highest Officials of the Forbidden City would pretend to uphold the ban on corruption, by accepting gifts of petitioners, and returning one of seemingly lower value.

Gùgōng uses this custom as its basis. Players will take on the role of powerful Chinese families trying to gain influence and power by exchanging gifts with Officials. The gift cards you offer as a player have to be of a higher value than the one you receive, forcing you to make strategic choices regarding which actions you want to take every turn. You will travel around China, sail down the Grand Canal, buy precious jade, help construct the Great Wall, secure advantages through decrees, influence the game through intrigue, and ultimately, receive an audience with the emperor. If only 1 player succeeds in doing so, they win. If several players succeed, the player with the most VPs among those players wins.

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