The Forbidden City map is designed on the layout of the Forbidden City between circa 1900 and the Nationalist Uprising of 1912-1913, with the emperors of both Ming and Qing dynasties shown at the bottom of the map. Perhaps appropriately, the map's labyrinthine appearance mirrors its gameplay which, although straightforward mechanically, can seem more confusing than it is. For example, with the outer regions such as KMT Army to Imperial Army, the colors extend between regions with only 1 "doorway" symbol between those regions. One symbol means the assault path exists between those regions. Two symbols like between Sung Chiao-Jen and Sun Yat Sen means the path is blocked.
The Forbidden City map is a very flexible map that works with any settings. It should be noted that the best strategies for standard, two player, and team games are all very different on this map. Large team games are the perhaps the ideal setting for the map due to the variety of starting positions and strategies that can be pursued.
Bonuses: Balanced. Complexity: Medium - the bonus structure and pathways through the map are fairly confusing. The Imperial Meridian (Heavy Yellow Line) includes: Shenwu Men East and West, Cheng, Yo, Imperial Garden, Empress' Palace, Emperor's Palace, Hall of Preserving Harmony, Hall of Central Harmony, Hall of Supreme Harmony, Sea of Flagstones, Five Bridges Court, and Wu Men. Ming cannot attack Qing and vice versa. Features Ranged Attacks: This map contains regions that connect without touching. The following list displays a region and the non-adjacent regions to which it is connected. KMT Army - Imperial Army, Emp. Pu Yi, Emp. Chung-chen. Emp. Cheng-tsu - All regions along the Imperial Meridian. Emp. Chung-chen - All regions along the Imperial Meridian and Imperial Army. Emp. Pu Yi - All regions along the Imperial Meridian and KMT Army. Emp. Tzu-hsi - All regions along the Imperial Meridian and Yu Hsien. Imperial Army - Emp. Chung-chen, KMT Army. Yu Hsien - Emp. Tzu-hsi. Starting Neutrals: This map contains regions that always begin with 3 neutral troops. Emp. Chung-Chen Emp. Pu Yi Kung Ning Garden Shamon Priests West Inner Court How to play Forbidden City
show: Two Player
Each player begins with 25 regions, and it is possible to begin with a bonus on the outer edge. Therefore the first move should generally be to reduce your opponent to 23 regions in order to reduce his region bonus. Further, acquiring a bonus zone is highly recommended, with the following thoughts on the specific bonus zones:
The outer edge bonuses (Kuomintang, Missionaries, Boxers, Li Rebels) are usually the easiest to take and hold. Determine which one is the best using the following criteria. First, how many neutrals defend the borders? Second, how many neutral regions are in the bonus zone? Lastly, can your opponent easily break back into the zone? The 8 Nations Alliance is extremely hard to hold, as it can be assaulted from two gates (Shenwu East and West) plus multiple areas from the outer edge bonuses (Prince Tuan assaults Britain, Inland Missions assaults USA, Sun Yat-sen and KMT Army assault Japan). The towers bonus (holding all 4 towers) is apparently difficult but depending on the location of neutral regions may be easier to hold than it looks. The large bonuses (Eunuchs, Great Halls, Outer Courts, Palaces, and Gates) are +9 or +10 troops and so, if held, will decide a game quickly, but are nearly impossible to take and hold without already having the game won. The gardens are a small bonus with two major disadvantages: first, Kung Ning Garden begins neutral, and second, the Imperial Garden is extremely accessible to many regions. The priests are a small bonus with much better chances of being held. The only disadvantage to the priests is that Shamon priests always begins as a neutral region. The inner courts are a very good bonus, if you control the areas around them, as they cannot be assaulted from the Ming and Qing emperors. West Inner Court always begins as a neutral region. If your opponent takes a bonus zone that you can access, by all means assault it if possible. If you plan to take a bonus zone, be aware of the paths to it, as they aren't necessarily obvious. The map plays well with both fog of war and sunny (no fog of war) settings. Fog of war is not a recommended setting until you are comfortable with the map due to the number of neutral starting regions and the variety of bonus regions.
You should assess your initial troop drop to determine what your strategy will be. Because of the variety of potential bonus zones, it is usually possible to conquer one early. If your initial troop drop permits it, go for an outer bonus zone as described above, as it likely will be protected by neutral starting regions and have limited access points. Do not take the Ming or Qing bonus early in the game as these regions, if conquered, will draw assaults and are very difficult to defend.
Escalating: The basic strategy is one of two: try to seize bonuses to grow more quickly than your opponents, using this to set up an early elimination and build an overwhelming advantage, or to bide your time, taking a small bonus like the priests or KMT army and wait for spoils to reach 25 or 30 troops. Due to the size of the map and the number of connections, playing with fog of war will make sweeps both difficult and extremely satisfying. This map can have a tendency to stalemate with escalating spoils games with no fog of war. Individual Qing and Ming regions are valuable in escalating games because of the amount of reach they exert, both along the Meridian and in touching the outer edge regions. Flat Rate: Flat rate is a fair setting for this map because the map is sufficiently large that an early mixed set of spoils will not end the game. A game with flat rate spoils will likely be a build game because of the variety of bonus zones and the abundance of bottleneck regions and starting neutral regions. Expand aggressively early in the game to try and conquer as many bonus zones as you can hold. Later in the game you will be trying to consolidate your control of different areas by putting up troop blocks and gradually expanding the areas that you control. The large bonuses, such as the Outer Courts, Gates, and Eunuchs, are difficult to hold, and as such, I recommend working on the outer edge bonuses first, then consolidating your position. No Spoils and Nuclear: Both are fair settings for this map. This is because of the potential bonus zones you can conquer by taking a small bonus zone. Having done this, you can then move on to trying for eliminations or additional bonus zones. The notes for flat rate spoils apply to these settings as well. Due to the number of regions on the map, nuclear spoils are less likely to take out a large stack of troops, but spreading your forces out to reduce the odds of this happening is still recommended.
show: Team Games
Doubles games are an excellent setting for team games. Each player begins with 19 regions. Generally speaking, the strategy will first revolve around region count, then around bonus zones. The outer edge bonus zones, as usual, will dominate play which means holding or contesting control of the gates is key. A good strategy is to have one player seize the bonuses while the other holds the gates, which allows for chaining reinforcements and building troop stacks on the gates to expand aggressively. If possible, try only to attack the opposing player whose turn is immediately after yours - this will reduce the number of troops your opponents are able to deploy each round. In triples games, each player will begin with 12 regions. As a result, the first thing to do is reduce the opponent taking the next turn to 11 regions, disrupting his troop drop from 4 to 3. Simply by doing this in sequence, it is possible to gain a tremendous advantage in the first round. Otherwise, look for bonus zones that are relatively safe to take and hold, again with an emphasis on the outer edges and guarding the gates. In quadruples games, each player will begin with 9 regions. Because of this, region count is relatively less important and it is unlikely any single player will be eliminated quickly. Instead, focus on potential chaining of reinforcements to create a powerful stack of troops to either control a bonus zone or begin to weaken an opponent by isolating him from an area of the map. This will make the task of taking and defending a bonus zone simpler, as it will reduce the opposing team's options for breaking back into the bonus zone. It will also force the opposing team to take steps to ensure the safety of the opponent you have weakened.
show: Recommended Settings
2 player: Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, any spoils, either fog of war setting.
3 player: Standard, Terminator; Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, any spoils, either fog of war setting. 4 player: Standard, Terminator, Assassin; Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, any spoils, either fog of war setting. 5 player: Standard, Terminator, Assassin; Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, escalating spoils, either fog of war setting. 6 player: Standard, Terminator, Assassin; Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, escalating spoils, either fog of war setting. 7 player: Standard, Terminator, Assassin; Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, escalating spoils, either fog of war setting. 8 player: Standard, Terminator, Assassin; Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, escalating spoils, either fog of war setting. 2 team doubles: Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, any spoils, either fog of war setting. 3 team doubles: Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, any spoils, either fog of war setting. 4 team doubles: Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, any spoils, either fog of war setting. Triples: Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, any spoils, either fog of war setting. Quadruples: Automatic Deployment, Adjacent or Chained reinforcements, any spoils, either fog of war setting. Other related strategy guides
Although this map is unique in its concept and execution, the following maps have somewhat similar features:
Poison Rome - similar in presentation and in unusual routes between regions, features starting neutrals, slightly smaller map at regions.