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Yijing Ma DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Eastern Asia


Yijing Ma is a race game that was played in China during the Ming Dynasty. It is described as a version of the game Da Ma, which is attributed to the poet Li Qingzhao.


Board with 91 squares, proceeding in a single rectangular track, broken up after every eight square with a special square. Two to five players, each playing with twenty pieces. Three six-sided dice. Thee are eleven bonus combinations of dice, two penalty combinations, and 43 miscellaneous combinations. A player's first throw is their personal combination, which cannot be a bonus or penalty. Players are penalised for throwing another player's personal combination. All twenty horses must enter the board before proceeding around the board. There are special rules for crossing the nineteenth, 46th, and 82nd square. To pass the 46th square, a player must place ten pieces on the square before passing it. Individual pieces may pass, unless an opponent has more pieces ahead. To enter the 82nd square, a player must place all of their pieces on the 81st square.Certain combinations are required to continuing past square 82. Square 90 is a moat, and certain combinations must be thrown to exit it. Player may send opponent's pieces back to start by landing on the same space as them and being or equal or greater in number. Every ninth square is a safe spot, where pieces are safe from being sent back, but opponent's pieces may also rest there. Pieces may move backwards to send an opponent's piece back to start, to enter the same space as one of the player's own pieces, or to enter a safe space. There is a penalty for throwing the same throw that the previous player threw. The first player to get their horses to the end of the track wins.




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Lo 2007: 126-128; Cribb 2007: 116.

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Cribb. J. 2007. "Horse Coins." In I. Finkel (ed.), Ancient Board Games in Perspective. London: British Museum Press, 116-124.

Lo, A. 2007. An introduction to board games in Late Imperial China. In I. Finkel (ed), Ancient Board Games in Perspective. London: The British Museum Press. pp. 125–132.



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