Games of China
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Here is a list of games invented in China or games about China. Resemblence to China may be simulative (e.g., wargames) or thematic (e.g., German abstracts). The list omits games not on the website. Feel free to comment or add your own.
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1. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:71]
Chinese started placing black and white pieces of stone on a board some 3000 years ago. Its Chinese name is Weichi (or Weiqi). Wei is envelopment and Chi, chess. As for Wei-hai, I believe "hai" is chi in the Cantonese dialect.
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2. Board Game: Xiangqi [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:692]
 
Said to be a variant of Chess. In fact, Chess, Xiangqi, Japanese Chess and Korean Chess are all decended from the Indian game of Shaturanga - a game for 4 with dice. Many claim that Xiangqi is the best among all the variants. Having played only Xiangqi and Chess, I leave the verdict to your discussion. Its popularity can be demonstrated by the terms that found their way into the Chinese language:
Driving an elephant across the river (a violaton of Xiangqi rules) - ruthlessness, clumsiness, haphazardness.
Pawn across the river - No way out but forward; desparate situation requiring desparate measures.
Pointblank cannon (a common Xiangqi strategy) - a direct rebuke.
And there are more...
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3. Board Game: Mahjong [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:441]
Weiqi is the game of scholars but this is the game of the people. Probably the best way to make friends in China, Mahjong (literally - pocky general) is played throughout any Chinese society. One of the few games where your grandmother can beat you badly. Chinese evaluate one's personality on his "table manners" (pai-pin) - how he reacts to winning or losing. The next time you interview a job prospector, ask him to sit down for a game!
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4. Board Game: Dou Shou Qi [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:6003]
A jungle variant for Stratego. Lion eat tiger eat leopard eat wolf eat dog eat cat eat mouse eat elepant eat everything else. Like eats like. Mouse and dog swims; lion and tiger leaps.
I played it in Singapore as a kid in the late 70s. It must have been invented in China around that time. Apparently China enjoyed a Renaissance of games during that period. Games like "Stratego for the 3 Services" made its appearance at that time.
 
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5. Board Game: Chinese Checkers [Average Rating:5.12 Overall Rank:11104]
Did we ever invent this game? I have no idea. It is probably as Chinese as fortune cookies. I hated it as a kid, it is so bland. My parents and sister loved it, though.
 
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6. Board Game: Emperor of China [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:7034]
From here on the list goes to games not neccessarily invented in China but about China.
I have not played this one. It is the only game on ancient China that I know. Looks like Risk on a map of China. Not much else I guess.
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7. Board Game: Romance of the Three Kingdoms Card Game [Average Rating:4.75 Overall Rank:10137]
Published by a company in Hong Kong. From what I have heard this is a failed attempt to plagarise Magic. The Age of the Three Kingdom (circa 189 - 280AD) is the most abused theme in Chinese games. PC games, strategy games, monopoly games, you name it. I have toyed with the idea of designing a 3 Kingdom game based on the Successor interface.
 
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8. Board Game: Manchu [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:7931]
Game about the Taiping Rebellion in the 19th century. The Manchu dynasty won the war but lost the "hearts and minds" of the people, hence the nationalist revolution in 1910. I own the game and will play it some day. The rules are okay but filled with mistakes. "Xianjun", for example, is not the name of a general but "provincial army" in Chinese.
 
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9. Board Game: War of Resistance [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:5550]
Probably the best wargame about China. Covers the entire Chinese WWII from 1937 - 1945. A monster game, too.
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10. Board Game: Shanghai Trader [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:3544]
I have never managed to lay my hands on a copy but it sounds like loads of fun! The time is 1937, the place decadence and corruption of old Shanghai. You are a foreign trader/adventurer. The goal is to make as much money as you can and skit to the airport before the Japanese break in.
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11. Board Game: When Tigers Fight [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:7213]
1944, Burma and Southern China. Plays more like Tiger vs. Kitten. China player should be commended if he can achieve a marginal victory. Chiang Kai-Shek did. By the way, Lin Wang - a Burmese elephant who fought in this war on both sides died this year (2003) in the Taipei Zoo.
 
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12. Board Game: Chinese Civil War [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:8438]
Civil war between the nationalist and communist parties, 1946 - 1949. Loser gets Taiwan. I have not played this game. Communist victory needed to be appreciated in terms of factors other than military ones. (An army that grew as it fought). Wonder if any game could achieve that.
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13. Board Game: Taipei: China Invades [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:8272]
Hypothetical war between the 2 Chinas. I don't believe it will ever happen. Similar games are When Dragons Fight and China War. The latter is a hypothetical invasion of China by the former Soviet Union, Tom Clancy style.
 
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14. Board Game: Shanghai [Average Rating:5.32 Overall Rank:9743]
The following is a list of abstracts with Chinese theme. None of which I have played.
 
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15. Board Game: China Topf [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
 
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16. Board Game: Chinatown [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:309]
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17. Board Game: Fu Manchu's Hidden Hoard [Average Rating:5.85 Unranked]
I don't find it offensive really, just funny
 
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18. Board Game: Drei Chinesen mit dem Kontrabass [Average Rating:3.25 Unranked]
 
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19. Board Game: The Mysteries of Peking [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:8166]
Now this looks interesting. I like detective themes but have yet to find a good one.
 
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20. Board Game: Hong Kong [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:7877]
Looks like Manhattan Mini to me.
 
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21. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:66]
Ah yes, Tichu. The name eludes me for here in Taiwan we call it "Da Lao Er" (Big Two). Guys in the high school loved it. Apparently numerous variants sprang from it. Thanks for the reminder, Ray.
 
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22. Thing: N/A
 
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23. Thing: N/A
 
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24. Board Game: Der weiße Lotus [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:4081]
Dan Blum
United States
Wilmington
Massachusetts
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A pretty good game (with the published rules). I don't recall the exact historical period... maybe 14th century?
 
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25. Board Game: Gang of Four [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1119]
Mike Fitzgerald
United States
Huntington
West Virginia
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To know and not to do - is not to know.
mbmbmbmbmb
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