History of the World (board game)
|Designer(s)||Gary Dicken, Steve Kendall, Phil Kendall|
|Publisher(s)||Ragnar Brothers (1991),
Compendium Games (1992),
Welt der Spiele (1993),
Gibsons Games (1993),
Avalon Hill (1993),
|Playing time||180 minutes|
History of the World (often abbreviated "HotW") is a board game designed by Ragnar Bothers and originally published in 1991. 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 released in 1991 (with a tea-towel board). Following English, Dutch and German versions by various publishers, it was published by Avalon Hill in 1993. 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 re released as a big box game. 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 capitals 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)
Epoch II (1400 - 450 BC)
Epoch III (450 BC - 300 AD)
Epoch IV (300 - 740 AD)
Epoch V (750 - 1300 AD)
Epoch VI (1300 - 1550 AD)
Epoch VII (1550 - 1914 AD)