Pingyao: First Chinese Banks is live (Profit-making in pre-industrial China)

Update: Pingyao: First Chinese Banks has launched on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 29 days. You may back either just the base game or the game plus The Golden Pawner expansion. If you'd like an embroidered bag and a lacquer box along with it, then you may choose the Chinese Festival Gift Bag tier.


Our preview post below was published on January 7.

Pingyao: First Chinese Banks is a 1-4 player economic dice placement game in which you establish the banking system of China during the Qing dynasty. It will launch on Kickstarter on January 12.

Image source: BGG

In the solo mode, you will draw one of the Story cards that give you the scoring goal of your session (you choose between normal or hard difficulty). You start with 10 coins, one agency (a branch of your bank), and two silver ingots (called sycee): one is placed in your vault, the other in your agency.


Then, you draw an Event card that will tell you how to seed the board with opposing dice, and also give you a scoring goal for the round which will grant you a benefit if achieved. On your turn, you roll your own three dice and place them on the indicated spots on the board. You will activate the dice from the highest number rolled to the lowest.

Image source: BGG

The board has 6 locations you can place your dice on to take the associated actions: The West Avenue, the Security Escort Service, Town God's Temple, The Country Government, The Central Bank, and The Confucian Temple. The Security Escort Service will allow you to open new branches for your bank. The Town God's Temple increases your fame. In the Confucian Temple you hire managers to run your agencies. The Central Bank gives and takes loans. The Country Government gives you bonus tiles with rewards, and the West Avenue is where you do remittances, so that you can deposit money in one branch and withdraw it from another.


You cannot place a die in the same spot as one of the opposing dice, if they have the same value. If the die you place is higher in value than the opposing die, you earn the difference in coins. If your die is lower in value than the opposing die, you have to pay the difference in coins in order to take that action. You will continue placing dice and taking actions for 8 rounds, and then check if you meet the scoring conditions to win the game.


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