Yellow & Yangtze, the spiritual sequel to strategy board game masterpiece Tigris & Euphrates, will finally see a reprint next year under the new title of Huang.
Released in 2018 as a successor-of-sorts to designer Reiner Knizia’s beloved 1990s board game of cut-throat civilisation-building, Yellow & Yangtze swapped Tigris & Euphrates’ square grid for hexes, monuments for pagodas, and slightly softened its infamously brutal combat between players, making it easier for those crushed by their opponents to catch back up.
Knizia’s signature scoring twist - in which players only count the number of points accumulated for their lowest-scoring of four different colours, representing different elements of a budding civilisation - remained, with the new addition of yellow wild points that made keeping your totals balanced a bit easier.
Yellow & Yangtze only saw a single print run following its release by publisher Grail Games in 2018, resulting in the game going out-of-print. Tigris & Euphrates similarly vanished from widespread availability following the decision by publisher Z-Man Games - which released an updated version of the earlier game in 2018 - to bring its line of “Euro Classics”, including five Knizia titles, to an end in early 2021.
In April 2021, Grail Games similarly announced it had cancelled reprints and new editions of Knizia’s games, blaming the move on low sales. However, Knizia claimed over the summer that the decision to pull the games had been his own, accusing Grail Games of “misleading communication” and saying that multiple breaches of contract had led to the licences being terminated. A representative for Grail Games later confirmed to Dicebreaker that the rights for Knizia’s games published by the company had returned to the designer.
Now, Yellow & Yangtze is finally due to see a return courtesy of new publisher Phalanx, the studio behind Discworld: Ankh-Morpork remake Nanty Narking and upcoming Vietnam War game Purple Haze.
Phalanx has rechristened the game as Huang, an apparent reference to the game’s setting of Warring States China rather than the two rivers that course through the country. (Thanks, BoardGameGeek.) Huang seemingly translates into English as either “yellow” or “emperor” depending on the characters used, with the board game’s minimalist box artwork appearing to indicate the latter.
The publisher plans to launch a Kickstarter for Huang in early 2023. A deluxe edition offered through the crowdfunding campaign will replace the standard game’s leader tiles with five miniatures representing anthropomorphic animals from the Chinese zodiac.
The game will be followed by three planned expansions. The first will be a Royal Palace that acts as a unique pagoda miniature with its own rules. Phalanx confirmed the expansion will be exclusive to Kickstarter, with the remaining two expansions due to be revealed during the campaign.