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Gugong The Forbidden City Board Game

Gugong The Forbidden City Board Game
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  • Player Ages

  • Vendor

    Tasty Minstrel Games
  • $78.95
  • Save $29
In Stock


China, 1570. China is under the reign of the Longqing Emperor, of the Ming Dynasty. He inherited a country in disarray after years of mismanagement and corruption. He resided 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 and covers 72 ha (over 180 acres). It is also under 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 essential. Most of what we now have left of the Great Wall, we owe it to the Ming dynasty.

The country was already famous for its very intricate bureaucracy, but this also led to a lot of corruption. Even though the 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 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 has 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 VPs among those players wins the game.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews

good game. love the artwork and components


great game, table enjoyed it. Looks daunting at first but quickly comes together

Loving this game - can't wait for the expansion to come out next year.

This game is a great game to play with friends or by yourself. The 7 different areas on the board all offer a challenge and starting with just 4 cards and 6 workers really makes you have to strategise especially for the first day or two. There are 4 "days" rounds in the game. I also love the fact that you can get some VP's as you go, but you don't add all of them to the end so you really don't know who has won until you add all the different factions up, this way everyone keeps trying to the very end to get those extra points. There is also the feature if you don't get the the top of the palace, then it doesn't matter how many other VP's you have you can' t win, which is a fun twist. Once you get used to the icon system, the game is very easy to follow - when you first start out though they have a great rule book with some clear pictures and explanations of the decrees and travel tokens. I would highly recommend this game - it's medium, just starting to get a little bit towards the heavy side. But it is around the hour to 90 minutes in length so you can play it more often when you don't have time for the 3-5 hour games.