Shang Dynasty: 1700 BC – 1027 BC

Chinese legend states that the Shang Dynasty began when Tang, a good and wise man, overthrew the last king of the Xia Dynasty and it is considered the first true Chinese dynasty. It consisted of a loose federation of city-states in northern and central China, with a shifting balance of power sadly often caused by war between the cities; more frequently, however, they banded together against the rural villages. It was an aristocratic society with each city ruled by a military nobility with a king over all. The Shang king prayed to their ancestral gods using Oracle Bones.

Although the dynasty was an agricultural one, they also developed an advanced system of writing and the first Chinese calendar. They continued with the production of fine silk and ceramics that had been learned during the Xia Dynasty and bronze working reached a peak. Bronze tools, weapons and even ships have been found. Like the Xia, the Shang Dynasty ended because of a king who was a cruel tyrant and was overthrown, this time by a rival king from the kingdom of Zhou.

The first campaign after the tutorial is the City States of Shang. After Tang has overcome Xia, new cities have to be established. Starting at Bo, you establish a thriving community and can send ceramics back to the capital, Hsiang. After success in Bo, you are taken back to the Wei River to establish Baoji where there is much copper ore to be made into bronze and then fashioned into elaborate bronzeware which is demanded by the king. Jade carving starts here too with craftsmen working on imported jade. Back in Bo again, Tang has died and cities are building shrines and temples in his memory. In Bo a Grand Temple is to be built. Once this is finished, the new king decides he wants a new capital city to be founded, called Zhengzhou with elite housing and an army to defend its riches.

Many years later, the copper supplies are exhausted and the capital is to be relocated at a place called Yin. Once Yin is established, it’s off to the Yangzi River to establish yet another city, provide troops for the king and build a Splendid Temple. Finally you return to Yin to build a tomb and tumulus for the recently deceased queen and to try to divert the king from his grief by obtaining animals for his palace.

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