Yínzi means silver – China experienced the greatest economic development of its history during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The exploitation of silver in America and the transport to Europe and thence to China had a strong impact on the global economy; one can even speak of the beginning of the global economy.
In China, increased social mobility has led to growing cities, especially in the area of the Yangtze estuary. At that time, this section was mainly responsible for the wheat production of the entire country. In addition to wheat and rice, tea, fruits and sugar cane were grown on a large scale.
Immigrant farmers became traders and craftsmen. Early private and “state” factories hired workers. These factories made goods such as paper, porcelain, silk textiles and refined sugar.
Trade flourished and was fueled by the construction of canals, roads and bridges by the Ming administration. The Ming-era China saw the rise of various, very wealthy merchant clans. In Yínzi , players each represent a merchant clan who seeks to advance parts of China economically at the time of the late Ming Dynasty in the early 17th century. You are roughly on the last 200 km of the Yangtze, before it flows into the sea.
Players grow crops, sell them on local or municipal markets, develop resources, build factories, and eventually sell their goods to ships waiting on the coast. To deliver them to the coast, players need to improve their boat transport capacity along the Yangtze.
Yínzi is played over four rounds and includes the following phases:
Choose a bonus and the position in the game order
Perform destiny and worker actions
Execution: war glory; Natural disasters; infrastructure; Project of the emperor; taxation
Administration: set copper-silver exchange ratio; Take back / transfer workers; prepare the new round
Yínzi is a complex game in which players receive three cards per round. With these, they perform a total of six actions (three destiny, three worker actions) in (almost) any order. This is the heart of the game.