Confucius is set in imperial China during the Ming dynasty, which lasted from the mid 14th to the mid 17th century. It was a period of restoration and reconstruction after the peasant rebellions that had overthrown the previous Mongol rulers of China. The government was re-established by the Emperor Hongwu under a new legal code stressing family relations and based on Confucian ideas. Using a vast standing army, areas of China under Mongol control and many adjoining territories were brought into the Empire through military conquest. The Empire also expanded its knowledge of the world through Zheng He′s great oceanic voyages that may have reached as far as the Americas.
In Confucius each player represents a Chinese family trying to extend its power in the government, the army and the navy through the subtle application of political and social influence, rather than through direct conflict. Money, the manipulation of government officials and the strategic giving of gifts so that rivals are obliged to help your family; these will be your weapons.