Yunnan? Yes I know, you know everything about this region and its teas.
But let me surprise you. I am not going to talk to you about this but rather about a game named Yunnan, a game about tea, trade and merchant houses (yes trade and merchant houses why else would I be interested in a tea game?).
This game is about running a merchant house on the path of success along the road of tea and horses.
It is not an easy game and it seems so complex that after going two or three times through the rules and making everything ready, we did not play it.
But first things first. Here is the board with everything ready to play and you will notice the cups full of a Yunnan Imperial Tea ready to be drunk during the game.
Yunnan board game
Yunnan board game with rules
Now here are my thoughts on this game.
It is a complex game with almost no luck involved (I say almost while you do have a little bit of it in the way you find out who should play when).
You have to select carefully what your merchants (which are more or less the people acting for you) will do: travel (bringing in tea), buy improvements (which will allow you to be more efficient in a specific field).
Then you have to connect your merchants, trading posts… to avoid paying logistical costs when they bring back the tea to the main town but at the main time, you should try to avoid the ever present inspector or neutralise it thanks to your political influence.
From what I understood there is not a simple and unique path to victory. It depends on what all the players are doing and this is what I find really interesting in the concept.
After going through Internet and looking at different websites, it seems the game is best played with 3-4 players, even if rules for 2 are provided.
This might be what we missed in our game.
If you want to look for yoursefl, here is the game page http://www.argentum-verlag.de/yunnan_en.html and then the Board Game Geek one http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/143401/yunnan