Great Wall of China
English language edition of Chinesische Mauer
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from 2 customer reviews
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The scene is China in the first century BC. The Great Emperor Shi Huang Ti has unified the formerly warring Chinese provinces under his stern rule. He has ordered the building of a Great Wall to protect his fledgling Empire from raiding Mongols.
The players take the roles of regional nobles, each eager to impress the fearsome ruler with their building and manning of the Great Wall. The object is to comply with the Emperor's orders by building section of the Great Wall. All players have an equal chance to please the Emperor. Whichever player contributes the most to its construction will earn tokens representing the Emperor's favor. The player with the highest total value of tokens at the end of the game is the winner.
Will you use honor and ingenuity to build the longest wall section, or guile and trickery to disrupt their opponent's progress? Only the most cunning will win.
The family treated me to a smorgasbord of games this Christmas. Of all of the half-dozen received, I have to say that I/we have returned to the table the most with this game. It is dangerously addictive. From other reviews I have read, this game is best played with an odd number of people. We've been playing with three. The game is much deeper than first appears, which is true of so many of Knizia's games. Each time we have played, our scores have gotten closer and the strategy involved has been more revealing.
The game is attractive on so many levels: there are certainly elements of luck and chance involved. But also, there is the matter of card management and playing your cards so as to pressure other players to cast cards they do not want to have to play. Timing is a key element, too. The end play of this game is superb; we probably spend one third of the game play time in the final two hand draws and planning how to cast your final five cards. Though you only have a potential hand of 20 cards during the game, the variety of card values and possible plays makes each game totally unique and virtually unpredictable. The more players involved also presents more variables.
Rules are simple, and scoring is clear. I have not read many reviews here or elsewhere, so thought I'd give this the 5-star review it deserves. This has to be one of the best kept secrets of all of Knizia's many creations. Hope many will find as much fun as our family has had playing it.
This is a favorite game for my wife and me. Even after we finish other games and are tired and ready for bed, there seems to always be time for "one more game" of Great Wall.
This is a good 3-5 person game, but a great 2 person game. My kids are not so fond of this game, but it is not too difficult so your kids might like it more than ours.
Let me clear up one rule for you as it confused us for our first game. The rules are written as: Perform Step one, perform step two, repeat step two. Note this is NOT an infinite loop. On your turn (after you claim point chits) you can 1) pick up 2 cards, 2) pick up 1 card and play 1 card/set, or 3) play 2 cards/sets.
Since both players have the same randomly shuffled individual decks of cards, strategy trumps chance...but there is enough chance in the order you draw the cards to keep things light.
Once you have played the game a few times it flows quickly. Play is ebb and flow, back and forth, and keeps players in the game until the end. One sitting is enough time for a "best of three" round.
This is one of those games that you will play, not every day, but for many years.