Robert F. Watson


No. of Players:
2 - 4




G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game :

After the strong Wikinger game from HANS IM GLÜCK earlier this year, people were anxious for the new big games from this publisher in fall 2007. Next to Oregon it was Ming-Dynastie, a game that from first impression fits well into the series. As I already said in some other reviews, I am a big fan of games in this series (apart from the unnecessary expansion Thurn and Taxis - Glanz und Gloria). And so I was rather looking forwards to start our first testing round of the new game several weeks ago….

The players take the role of Chinese royal family clans in the 14th century. Under the lead of imperator Tai-tsu, China at this time was developing to a modern, upcoming and independent country, the Ming-Dynastie was born. In the game, the players try to take part in this increase in prosperity in china with their families and try to intensify their influence in politics. Components of the game are richly. Next to a big board you will get a lot of small tokens and cards. What I found a little bit uncommon and unnecessary at the beginning was the fact that the rules are divided in two parts, the first some kind of summary and the second an explanation. Now this is quite common in complex games, but in Ming-Dynastie the summary has two pages and the explanation that includes part of the rules again only four pages …. To my mind the decision to split the rules was not really a big help, in fact I felt a little bit confused. But finally we all quickly managed to understand the game...

The board is divided into six different coloured provinces with three regions each. The players try to occupy as many of these regions as possible with a majority of their family tokens. This is done in six rounds with four phases each.


In the first phase, the family tokens are placed in six special province fields at the right-most edge of the board. These fields are not part of the regions, but determine which movement cards next to the fields the player can take in the next phase and to which provinces they can send their family token in phase three. Each round the players put five of their family tokens on the board.

In the next phase, the players can take up to five cards to their hand from the movement cards where they have an adjacent family token. Alternately, they can take a dragon card that has the function of a joker, but to use this option a player has to remove one of his tokens from the special province fields.

The next phase is the most interest one, the since the Princes come into play. When setting up at the start of the game, each player puts his Prince on one of the regions on the board as a starting point. From this point the Prince may move on the board to other regions. This is done with the help of the movement cards. The means of transport on the cards must correspond to the symbol between the regions. So, means of transport can be a carriage, a boat, a horse or some other. Here it proves that it is extremely important to think ahead in the first phase and to choose the right movement cards. Otherwise it can happen that a player's Prince will be stuck for a round! Princes can block each other since only one Prince per region is allowed. That gives the players some chance for interference. It is allowed to move a Prince one or several steps (with the right cards). Wherever the Prince stops, the player may put up to three of his family tokens from the same coloured special province field, either in the region itself or in the monastery of this region. This phase goes on until all players passed. So it is possible to move a Prince to several regions in one round and to put family tokens in all of the regions where the Prince stops.

After the second, fourth and sixth round a scoring takes place. Players with the most and second most family tokens in one region put two / one of their tokens in the town of this region and get as many province tokens as there are tokens in the town in the colour of the region. Six Province tokens of each colour (of all provinces) may then be exchanged for victory points. Family tokens in the towns are removed in another step. Either they can be sent back to the region by retreat cards or they are out of the game and give the player some extra victory points. Family tokens in monasteries give victory points, too.


Ming-Dynastie again is a very good strategy game from HANS IM GLÜCK. Like most other games in this series you are never totally lost even if you seem to have fallen bhind. This makes the game ideal for families and players who do not play very often but nonetheless would like to face a strategic challenge. It is also an advantage that people who play the game for the first time normally only need a few turns to understand the mechanisms and to be in the game. The double function of the special province fields (they determine the movement cards a player may take in phase two and also to which provinces a player can send his family tokens in phase three) is a little bit tricky at the beginning. So it is wise if you give new players some rounds to test, because choosing the right fields is an important thing to win the game.

And so I am already anxious for the next game in this series which should be released next spring…

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2008 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany