Europa Universalis (board game)
Europa Universalis is a board game published by Azure Wish Enterprise and created by Philippe Thibaut. It covers the period between 1492 and 1792 and allows six players to play one of various powers of Europe: Spain, France, England, the Ottoman Empire, Portugal and Russia, or Venice, the Netherlands, and Austria. It was later turned into a video game by Paradox Interactive under the name Europa Universalis.
This atypically long board game has an official playing time of 360 minutes according to the game box, but games can last for weeks; Board Game Geek estimates the playing time to be 15 days. About one thousand markers are used, as well as two 56 cm × 86 cm (22 in × 34 in) maps: one for Europe and one for the rest of the world. The English rulebook is 72 pages long.
The players have extraordinary freedom of choice regarding economics, military, maintenance, discoveries, and colonial investment. One drawback is that there is a lot of calculation and management required during the game regarding computing income, price changes, maintenance and purchases of military resources.
Extensions and variants
A first extension was released and introduced new rules for forts and missionaries, as well as a new set of objectives.
A second extension has been widely circulated on the internet. It introduced yet another set of rules, such as palaces, including historical monarchs with predefined characteristics and a faster combat system that could divide by ten or more the time for one battle, as well as many new minor countries and counters. It was never published officially.
There is a mailing-list which is quite responsive in suggestions and advice about the rules.
Two more variants have also been circulated: the event rewrite by Risto Majormaa and the Europa8 version by Pierre Borgnat, Bertrand Asseray, Jean-Yves Moyen and Jean-Christophe Dubacq, which introduces two more players, revised counters and maps, and is not finished yet. Both of these can be obtained for free either by download or by asking the authors.
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