Tuesday, January 12, 2016

#15: A Brief History of the World (Mark's 100)

A Brief History of the World

Mark's Ranking
  • 2014: 15th
  • 2012: 3rd
  • 2010: 14th
  • 2005: 35th (ranking the previous edition - the Hasbro/Avalon Hill version of History of the World)
  • appeared in all four lists
  • rank: 1183
  • rating: 6.99
Print Status
  • in print
Why It's On The List
  • it's all about the epic sweep of history - and this particular version of a game system originally published in 1991(!) is the best yet. It's tighter, smarter, and faster than any previous edition - playing time is about 3 hours for six players to experience this dudes/empires on a map masterpiece.
Tips & Tricks:
  • I first played the Ragnor Brothers' History of the World in the mid-90s. The experience was a disaster - six new players coupled with the overly wargamer-tinged rules of the original Avalon Hill publication of the game meant it took us nearly four hours to complete two of the seven epochs... and then we abandoned the game.
    It was nearly six years later when I received an early prize table pick at a gaming convention and thanks evidently to a whiff of the massive amounts of plastic figures in the box decided to pick up the Hasbro/Avalon Hill edition as my first pick. The game was substantially better than I had remembered - esp. with the revisions that had been made to streamline the design. It became one of those "once a year" games (because of the length... 4-6 hours) though I wanted to play more often.
  • Fast forward to late 2009 as the Ragnor Brothers announced that they had - nearly 20 years after the first edition was published - once again made some major revisions to their signature game. The early press was positive enough for me to plunk down some hard-earned cash on it - seeing as how I hadn't played my beloved H/AH copy of HOTW in nearly 3 years.
  • I didn't waste a penny... though I miss the 7 different plastic minis (one type for each epoch) and the shiny capitol/city markers, everything else I love about the game system is still there - and less. It's shorter, leaner & tighter (our six player game this year took 3 1/2 hours with 2 new players)... and there's actually more room in the game for tactical & strategic decision-making while reducing the number of armies on the board. The refining of the empire deck (giving more thematically specific powers to some of the empires) and the costing of the event deck (many events now come with some kind of VP cost to activate) make for an even better game.
  • There is an iOS app - which is slowly but surely getting the bugs worked out. It's a lot of fun for personal play against the AI.
  • This is more of an experience game than a strategy game - but given the choice, you want to score when you have lots of pieces on the board (follow a late empire pick with an early empire pick) and deny the same opportunities to your opponents.
  • I've quoted above pretty much the only thing I've written about A Brief History of the World.
  • Here's the two (admittedly short) blurbs from The One Hundred: the group blurb & my personal blurb.


If you feel a need to catch up on my admittedly-aging Top 100 as of February 2012 list, you can check out:

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