History of the World (board game)
History of the World (often abbreviated "HotW") is a board game designed by Gary Dicken and Steve Kendall, originally published in 1991 by Ragnar Brothers. It is played by up to six different players in seven different epochs; each player playing a different empire in each epoch.
The first edition of History of the World by Ragnar Brothers was a small-press edition (with a tea-towel board). It was then republished by Gibsons Games and Avalon Hill. In 1994, History of the World won the Origins Award for Best Pre-20th Century Boardgame of 1993. After Avalon Hill was purchased by Hasbro in the early 2000s, History of the World was rereleased as a big box game with hundreds of plastic pieces. Ragnar Brothers released a revised version of the game, "A Brief History of the World", in 2009.
The game is played in seven rounds known as epochs. In each epoch, each player plays a different empire; at the end of the epoch, the empires stop expansion and players score points. New empires then rise for the next epoch, although the remains of the previous empires stay on the board and score points for as long as they remain unconquered. The majority of points come from presence and/or dominance of various regions (generically called "areas") of the world, which fluctuate in worth throughout the game. For example, the area of Northern Europe is worth more in modern times than in ancient times, while the area of the Middle East is worth more in ancient times, based on historical importance. Other points come from capitols of empires, cities in general, monuments, and fleets or navigation.
Inevitably, a limited selection of historical empires had to be chosen for inclusion in the game. In the newest version of the game, there are seven empires in each of the seven epochs. The order of play and strength of each (in parentheses) is given below. The starting territory of each is also given, followed by a note of fleet locations (if any), and a note for those lacking a capital.
Epoch I (3000 - 1400 BC)
- (4) Sumer (Lower Tigris)
- (5) Egypt (Nile Delta) Fleets: Red Sea; E Med.
- (3) Minoans (Crete) Fleets: E Med.
- (4) Indus (India) (Lower Indus)
- (4) Babylonia (Middle Tigris)
- (3) Shang China (Yellow River)
- (5) Aryans (Turanian Plain) No Capital
Epoch II (1400 - 450 BC)
- (8) Assyria (Upper Tigris)
- (6) Zhou China (Wei River)
- (6) Vedic India (Upper Indus)
- (7) Greek City States (Morea) Fleets: Black Sea; E Med; W Med.
- (7) Scythians (Caucasus) No Capital
- (7) Carthaginia (Shatts Plateau) Fleets: E Med; W Med.
- (12) Achaemenid Persia (Persian Plateau) Fleets: Red Sea; Black Sea; E Med.
Epoch III (450 BC - 300 AD)
- (8) Celts (Central Europe) No Capital
- (14) Macedonia (Pindus) Fleets: Red Sea, Black Sea, E Med.
- (9) Mauryan India (Ganges Delta)
- (11) Han China (Great Plain of China) Fleets: S China Sea
- (5) Xiongnu (Mongolia) No Capital
- (20) Romans (S. Italia) Fleets: E Med., W Med
- (9) Sassanid Persia (Zagros)
Epoch IV (300 - 740 AD)
- (8) Gupta India (E Deccan) Fleets: Bay of Bengal
- (10) Goths (Danubia) No Capital Fleets: W Med
- (14) Huns (W Steppe) No Capital
- (11) Byzantines (Balkans) Fleets: Black Sea, E Med., W Med
- (10) Tang China (Yangtze Kiang) Fleets: S China Sea
- (15) Arabs (Arabian Peninsula) Fleets: Red Sea
- (5) Khmers (Mekong) Fleets: S China Sea
Epoch V (750 - 1300 AD)
- (9) Franks (N Gaul) Fleets: W Med
- (7) Vikings (Scandinavia) No Capital Fleets: N Atlantic
- (8) Holy Roman Empire (Central Europe)
- (7) Chola India (E Ghats) Fleets: Bay of Bengal
- (9) Song China (Szechaun) Fleets: S China Sea
- (12) Seljuk Turks (Turanian Plain) No Capital
- (18) Mongols (Mongolia) No Capital
Epoch VI (1300 - 1550 AD)
- (9) Ming China (Chekiang) Fleets: S China Sea
- (8) Timurid Emirates(Turanian Plain)
- (4 - 2 each) Incas/Aztecs (Mexican Valley)
- (14) Ottoman Turks (W Anatolia) Fleets: Red Sea, Black Sea, E Med
- (8) Portugal (W Iberia) Fleets: Atlantic, Indian Ocean, W Pacific
- (12) Spain (Pyrenees) Fleets: Atlantic, Indian Ocean, W Pacific
- (10) Mughal India (Ganges Valley) Fleets: Bay of Bengal
Epoch VII (1550 - 1914 AD)
- (10) Russia (N European Plain) Fleets: Black Sea, Sea of
- (11) Qing China (Manchurian Plain) Fleets: Sea of Japan, S. China
- (6) Netherlands (L Rhine) Fleets: Atlantic, Indian Ocean
- (11) France (W Gaul) Fleets: N Atlantic, Atlantic, Indian
- (16) Britain/British India (Albion) Fleets: N Atlantic, Atlantic, Indian
- (9) United States (Appalachia) Fleets: Caribbean Sea, E Pacific, W
- (10) Germany (Baltic Seaboard) Fleets: Atlantic, Indian Ocean