At the beginning of the 12th century the Song Dynasty of China was dangerously close to collapse. The barbarians of the Jin Empire threatened to invade from the north and destroy the ruling family. Emperor Hui Zhong was so concerned with the external threats that he failed to notice the danger within. The Imperial Minister Gao Qiu quickly rose to power within the government. This despotic tyrant soon became the authority in Song. Under his rule men who displeased him were exiled, while evil men who supported him were raised to positions of importance. Eventually the best of the exiled heroes, the bandit kings, gathered together to oppose Gao Qiu and avenge themselves.
The game can cater for up to seven players and each takes one turn every month. You must build up popularity and followers until you have sufficient power to challenge Gao Qui and kill him. During normal strategic play the game presents you with a map of China divided into 49 regions. Alongside this is data on selected units and regions. Using drop down menus you can control the territories under your command. You can send your followers to search for supplies, build war machines and make diplomatic pacts.
Each action you take will effect your popularity and the number of followers under your control. If you throw a feast for the whole village the people will be singing your name in the streets but when you take taxes from them you had best lie low. When you engage another leader in battle the view shifts to a battlefield scene with the two opposing combatants facing each other. Each unit of warriors can be manoeuvred and positioned on the field and when they engage enemy units you can control the strategies and tactics they employ.
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