Circus Maximus (game)

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Cover of Avalon Hill edition of Circus Maximus

Circus Maximus is a board game that was originally published by Battleline Publications in 1979, but is better known for the 1980 Avalon Hill edition.


Circus Maximus is a chariot-racing board game Up to eight players choose teams of horses and drivers, and race their custom chariots around an oval track. Charioteers are encouraged to physically attack their opponents with whips, drive opposing chariots into walls, and hamstring their horses with wheel-mounted blades.

The game has become very popular at gaming conventions in an oversized form, with 10-foot (3.0 m)-long boards and baseball-sized chariots.

Publication history[edit]

Circus Maximus was originally published by Battleline Publications in 1979, with a second edition published by Avalon Hill in 1980. It was designed by Michael E. Matheny with Don Greenwood working on the second edition.


Stan! commented: "There are a lot of very good racing games out there, set against a wide variety of interesting backdrops, everything from cavemen riding dinosaurs through Formula One racers on real-world tracks and on to spaceships hurtling through interstellar space. So what is it that makes Circus Maximus stand out as, far and away, my favorite of the bunch? Is it the Imperial Roman setting? The elegant mechanics? The way the game encourages players to work together while still competing? I can't really say that it's any of those things, but rather that it's all of those things together."[1]


  1. ^ Stan! (2007). "Circus Maximus". In Lowder, James. Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 55–57. ISBN 978-1-932442-96-0. 

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