History of the World

History of the World Board Game – A Guide to Rules, Instructions & Winning Strategy


History of the World is a board game that takes players on a journey through different epochs of human history. In this game, we get to lead entire civilizations, expand empires, and engage in battles to leave our mark on history. The game was first released in the 1990s and has since seen various editions and updates. I find it worth checking out for its epic scale and strategic depth, though it can be a bit daunting for new players. But don’t worry, I’ve played this game a bunch of times, and I’m here to help you get the hang of it.

The game is designed for three to six players, and a full game can last several hours. Each player takes control of a series of empires, one per epoch, and tries to score the most victory points by the end of the game. Points are scored by controlling areas on the map, advancing on the monument track, and through certain empire abilities. The game ends after the final epoch, and the player with the most points wins.

Now, let’s dive into the details so you can start playing and enjoying History of the World!

Quick Tip for History of the World

Always keep an eye on the monument track and try to control at least one monument throughout the game. They’re a steady source of points!

Rules for playing History of the World

The rules of History of the World are quite extensive, but I’ll break them down for you. The game is played over seven epochs, each representing a different period in history. At the start of each epoch, players are given a new empire to control, which comes with its own set of armies and a special ability.

Players take turns placing their armies on the board, trying to control as many areas as possible. Some areas are worth more points than others, and some have special abilities that can help you out. After all armies are placed, battles may occur if more than one player’s armies are in the same area. Battles are resolved by a simple dice roll, with the higher roll winning.

At the end of each epoch, players score points for the areas they control, the monuments they’ve built or conquered, and any extra points their empire’s special ability might give them. Then, the next epoch begins with a new set of empires.

There are also event cards that can shake things up, like natural disasters or revolts, which can change the game’s course. It’s important to adapt your strategy to these events.

Equipment and Setup for History of the World

To play History of the World, you’ll need the game board, which depicts the world divided into various regions. You’ll also need the empire cards, event cards, armies (in different colors for each player), and monuments. If you don’t have the official game pieces, you can use substitutes like colored tokens for armies and paper cutouts for monuments.

Setup is pretty straightforward. Lay out the board, shuffle the empire and event cards, and place the monuments in their starting locations. Each player chooses a color and takes the corresponding armies. Then, deal out the empire cards for the first epoch, and you’re ready to start.

The types of tiles in History of the World are mostly related to the different areas on the board. Some represent fertile lands, which are worth more points, while others are barren and worth less. There are also sea tiles, which can’t be controlled but can be used to move armies between land areas.

How to Play History of the World and Game Mechanics

Playing History of the World involves several key mechanics:

  1. Setup: At the beginning of each epoch, players receive a new empire card, which determines the order of play, the number of armies they get, and any special abilities.
  2. Gameplay: Players take turns placing their armies on the board, trying to control areas and build monuments. They can also play event cards to affect the game.
  3. End of the Game: After the seventh epoch, players tally up their points from controlled areas, monuments, and special abilities. The player with the most points wins.

Here’s a quick rundown of the gameplay phases:

  1. Empire Selection: Players pick their empires for the epoch.
  2. Army Placement: Players place their armies on the board, starting with the player who has the first empire card.
  3. Battles: If two players’ armies are in the same area, they battle it out with a dice roll.
  4. Scoring: Players score points for the areas they control and any monuments they have.
  5. Next Epoch: The game moves to the next epoch, and a new set of empires is dealt out.

How to Win at History of the World

Winning at History of the World requires a mix of strategy and adaptability. As a beginner, focus on learning how the different empires work and what areas of the board are most valuable. As you get more comfortable, start thinking about long-term strategy, like which areas you want to control throughout the game and how you can use your empire’s special abilities to your advantage.

As an intermediate player, you should start paying attention to what other players are doing and try to anticipate their moves. If you see someone building up a strong position in one part of the board, consider whether you want to challenge them or focus on a different area.

For advanced players, it’s all about the details. Keep track of which empires have already been played and which are still to come. Use this information to plan your moves several turns in advance. Also, don’t underestimate the power of event cards. They can be game-changers if used at the right time.

Best Strategies for playing History of the World game

There are several strategies you can use to win at History of the World. One key tactic is to control a diverse range of areas. This spreads out your risk and makes it harder for other players to take points away from you. Another strategy is to focus on building and controlling monuments. They provide a steady stream of points and can make a big difference in the final score.

It’s also important to be flexible. The game can change quickly, and you need to be able to adjust your strategy on the fly. If you’re too focused on one plan, you might miss out on opportunities or get caught off guard by other players’ moves.

Finally, don’t forget about defense. It’s tempting to focus on expanding your empire, but if you leave your areas poorly defended, other players will take them from you. Make sure to leave enough armies behind to protect your most valuable areas.


Here are some common scenarios you might encounter in History of the World:

Good Scenario: You have a strong empire with lots of armies and a powerful special ability. Use this opportunity to expand aggressively and score as many points as possible.

Bad Scenario: You’re stuck with a weak empire or have been hit hard by an event card. In this case, focus on damage control. Try to hold onto a few key areas and set yourself up for a better position in the next epoch.

In both cases, always be on the lookout for ways to turn the situation to your advantage. Even in a bad scenario, there might be an opportunity to make a comeback.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing History of the World game

Here are some common questions and answers:

  1. Q: How many players can play History of the World?

    A: The game is designed for three to six players.

  2. Q: How long does a game of History of the World last?

    A: A full game can last several hours, depending on the number of players and their familiarity with the rules.

  3. Q: Can I play History of the World with two players?

    A: The game is best with three or more players, but there are fan-made rules for two players available online.

  4. Q: What happens if there’s a tie in a battle?

    A: If there’s a tie, both players roll again until there’s a winner.

  5. Q: Can I move my armies after I’ve placed them?

    A: Generally, no. Once your armies are placed, they stay there until they’re defeated or the epoch ends.

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