2 to 5 players age 12+
Playing time: 90 mins.
Over 1000 years ago, the tea farmers of the Chinese Province of Yunnan started to deliver their highly requested Pu’er tea to India and the faraway Tibet. They used horses to get past the arduous paths through the Himalaya. The so-called “Ancient Tea-Horse Road” existed until the 60s of the 20th century.
Players each lead a team of 3 to 7 tea traders selling tea in the Provinces during the Travel phase over the course of about 7 rounds. Starting at Pu’er, tea traders will travel to the Provinces using the Tea-Horse Road. The greater the distance they travel, the greater the income will be.
Initially, players want to invest their income in progress; towards the end of the game, players will mainly focus on Victory Points. Progress is bid on during the Auction phase that is preceding the Travel phase. Players take turns to place one of their Traders on the game board. If they bid too low, they may be outbid. At the end of the Auction phase, players pay their bid and gain the corresponding progresses. They can get more Traders, increase the number of Borders they may cross when travelling, use Horses to get to faraway Provinces that they could not access before, increase their Influence and build Structures.
Greater Influence allows them to displace other Traders, but this may catch the attention of the Province inspector. However, players can please him if they invite him to one of their Tea houses. Players can also go to the Bank to enhance their liquidity. Traders that they want to earn money by selling tea either stay in the Provinces or are placed in the Market of Pu’er.
At the end of the game, the player with the highest-yielding and most advanced trading empire will have gained the most victory points and wins this game. Good timing and skillful bidding as well as a cleverly established trade network are key to winning this game, which uses no elements of chance.
Worker Placement, Bidding, Area Movement, Route Building
Published 2013 by Argentum Verlag
North-America Distribution: Passport Game Studios
Tu Di Gong Shrine (www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/150091/yunnan-tu-di-gong-shrine)