China, 1570. China is under the reign of the Longqing Emperor, of the Ming Dynasty. The Emperor has inherited a country in disarray after years of mismanagement and corruption. The country was famous for its very intricate bureaucracy, but this also led to a lot of corruption. However, the Longqing Emperor tried to eradicate corruption as much as he could, by simply having it officially prohibited, and punishable by death. This measure seemed successful at first, but as we all know, it is not so simple to keep perfect control over one’s “loyal” subjects. At the imperial court, the highest officials would pretend to uphold the ban on corruption, and instead of simply accepting money, a new custom saw the light of day: the exchange of gifts. If a petitioner visited an official to present a request, they would also present a gift. And naturally, the official would return the honour by presenting a gift in return. If the gift of the petitioner was something quite valuable, like, say, a Jade statue, and the return gift from the official was a cheap paper fan, it was hard to regard this as an act of bribery. However, both knew very well how valuable the symbolism of said item could be…
Gùgōng uses this extraordinary custom as its basis. Players 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 each turn. You will travel around China, sail down the grand canal, purchase 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, he wins. If several players succeed, the player with the most victory points among those players wins the game.
China, 1571. Despite initial hopeful beginnings, the Longqing Emperor quickly abandoned his duties as a ruler and decided to give more priority to his enjoyment. He started to spend more time outside of the Forbidden Palace, residing in his Summer Palace away from the capital where he’d enjoy the company of the court ladies and was known to prefer some of the finer gifts brought to him by his officials. At the same time, his initially peaceful reign started to show some cracks. Peasants were regularly asking to come to the aid of certain government projects, but as pressure grew, so did the contempt amongst those peasants, which led to revolts.
In Gùgōng: Pànjūn you are going to face a new set of challenges that will allow you to add all kinds of great content and variety to the game. The expansion box contains 4 different modules that you can add to your game of Gùgōng. Two of them add new locations to the board, while the other two will spice your game in a variety of ways.
Promo video used for a crowdfunding campaign. Some components may differ.