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Root and Pax Pamir creator plans to remake historical board game about Chinese opium trade

Jamming traffic for a second time.

Pax Pamir 2E board game gameplay
Image credit: Dan Thurot

Wehrlegig Games recently announced its intentions to overhaul the design of An Infamous Traffic ahead of a second edition. The revamped historical board game, which portrays the Chinese opium trade in the early-to-mid 1800s, is part of the independent publisher’s ambitious long term plan.

For those unaware, Wehrlegig Games is the other tabletop company where tabletop designer Cole Wehrle plies his trade. While likely better known for his work on Leder Games’ Root, Oath and the upcoming sci fi trick-taking Arcs, Wehrle’s personal passion for historical board games led him and brother Drew to create a place for niche titles. Since then, both Pax Pamir 2E and the more recent John Company 2E have managed to break into some mainstream success.

The brothers took to Twitch on February 1st to detail their company’s roadmap for 2023 and beyond. Part of that involves publishing other designers’ board games for the first time since Wehrlegig spooled up in 2018, but another project is a “major rework” of Cole’s An Infamous Traffic - effectively another second edition release in the vein of John Company and Pax Pamir.

Board games aren't the only tabletop titles interested in history, as this D&D 5E setting for the American Revolution shows.Watch on YouTube

“We both had the feeling of wanting to enjoy it but also being into it,” Cole Wehrle said on the stream. “I know what [the second edition] looks like physically. The core problem is it’s too brittle, but I think it’s super fixable.”

An Infamous Traffic explores the first and second Opium Wars between China, who enforced prohibitions against British trafficking of the highly addictive drug, and Western colonial powers who used their military might to enforce and protect these income streams. This time period stretches from the early 19th century up until the Taiping Rebellion in 1850.

Both Wehrles expect work on the second edition will last about two years, casting An Infamous Traffic 2E somewhere into 2025’s release calendar. Cole expressed the possibility of bundling production and fulfilment of the title with art installation-turned-actual board game 1819 Singapore due to “big concerns” that China may not appreciate a board game dealing about opium being produced in their factories. The company is reportedly staying agile and approaching contacts in Spain if the situation proves difficult.

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About the Author
Chase Carter avatar

Chase Carter

Contributor

Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.

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