If I have to explain why I love History of the World, we’ll be here all day. Suffice to say, it is my favorite board game of all time. So much so, that I will play a four-player or six-player game, by myself, with special rules for solo play and everything.
Not only that, I’m nerdie enough to keep a game diary of how things go down. Not just a game diary, either, but a sort of “roleplaying” interpretation of how these cultures might collide.
Not everytime. Just sometimes.
Like this time.
Epoch 1. Minoans, Sumerians, Indus, and Shang Dynasty.
The Sumerians quickly captured Zagros and the Levant, a typical turn one strategy, to gain them enough resources to build a monument to their King in the fabled city of Ur.
The Minoans spread to Palestine and the Shatts Plateau in North Africa, spreading far and wide instead of landing in Southern Europe.
The Indus Valley faced no opposition and took the Upper Indus and the Eastern Ghats (odd name for a region since the word means crematorium and wouldn’t be an important part of the region for many centuries). However, this gave them the resources they needed to also build a temple in their Capital of Mohenjo-daro to their great leader. (History doesn’t have a name for this guy because of the Nausharo excavation indicates no kings or leader names.)
Finally, the Shang Dynasty arrived. Their rise to power was uneventful. Ch’eng T’ang will most likely be forgotten.
Epoch 2. Assyrians, Vedic City States, Carthaginians, and Persians.
The Assyrians were quick to expand, annexing the Minoans (in Palestine) to their army and then conquering the Sumerian capital. Without Egypt to stop them, they expanded throughout the Nile Valley. A series of iconic statues were carved out of the mountainous rock to symbolize their great empire.
The Vedics arrived next, cooperating with the Indus who remained and building a tower to Janaka in Mithila. They also expanded into the Persian Desert, the Turanian Plain (in Eurasia), and even the Barem Flats in China. Without conflict with the Indus, they expanded rapidly.
The Carthaginians expelled the Minoans from the Shatts Plateau, which reduced them down to just the island of Crete. They also expanded into the Iberian peninsula, Southern Apennines, and the rest of North Africa. Western Anatolia was also vacant, so a colony of Carthaginians went there as well, in an attempt to harangue the future Romans. One minor skirmish with the Assyrians ended without any land changing hands, but otherwise, their reign was peaceful.
Finally, the Persians arrived. And there reign was the bloodiest yet. Fighting the Indus, Vedics, and Assyrians on three different fronts, the Persians took land from all their enemies before cutting a swath across Northernmost India to reach the Mekong Delta. I think history will show that Darius the Great has earned his triumphal pillar in Persepolis and paved the way for Islam to travel across South East Asia.
Epoch 3. Celts, Maurya, Han Dynasty, and Sassinids.
The Celts were the first to arrive out of Central Europe, descending into all of the Southern European regions that the Carthaginians hadn’t taken. It was a bloodless reign, ending in prosperity for both kingdoms.
The same could not be said for the Maurya, who attempted several times to take the Eastern Ghats from the Indus Valley (who still remained in the region). The turned their attention instead to the the southernmost edge of China and most of Southeast Asia.
The Han Dynasty drove the Shang Dynasty completely from China, along with the newly arrived Maurya. This finally united all of China under one flag, sharing a single piece of land with the peaceful Vedics who remained in the south. In honor of his conquest, Wu-Ti had a massive palace erected in his own honor. What a guy.
The Mayans appeared in Central America, to no great aplomb. But it would be the Sassinids who would make the greatest impact of the epoch. Driving the Persians completely from the Middle East, including a single outpost of Carthaginians in Anatolia, all of the Middle East was finally united under a single flag. And while some Assyrians remained, the Sumerians were gone. Forever. A ziggurat was built in Zagros to honor Ardashir’s sacrifice to the empire.
Epoch 4. Guptas, Huns, Byzantines, T’ang Dynasty.
The Guptas arrival was disastrous for the Indus Valley, which was finally wiped out, lasting nearly 3,000 years. It was also disastrous for the forces of Southeast Asia and China, as the Guptas quickly allied themselves with the Sassinids ruling over the Middle East. Now, a nearly continuous Empire stretched from Cairo to the Bay of Bengal. To celebrate this achievement, the people of the Eastern Deccan built an obelisk in honor of their leader Chandragupta.
The Huns appearance in the Western Steppe would prove the Middle East’s biggest threat, however. As Attila struck down in the Eastern Antolia, breaking the Sassinid defenses and claiming two major cities and monuments. Upon his death, the Huns buried Attilla in a gold coffin in Zagros, marking the place where the Sassinid Empire (which lasted nearly 200 years) was split in two.
Byzantium would not fair well on Justinian. Unable to drive the Huns or Sassinids from his neighboring lands, his only claim would be to finally drive the Minoans off of Crete and unite all of Southern Europe under a combined Empire of Celts, Carthaginians, and Byzantines. However, without the resources to do it, his legacy would never create the monuments of honor that future generations of Southern Europe would come to know.
The T’ang Dynasty displayed a conquest that one would have to see to believe. After a bloodless concession of power from the Shang Dynasty to the Han Dynasty, the Empire was able to expand westward across northern Eurasia, all the way to the Isle of the Britons, conquering more land in Northern Europe than any Empire before it. To honor the achievement, the people erected four massive Fu Lion statues, one each to face in each direction of their new Empire.
Epoch 5. Franks, Chola, Seljuk Turks, and Mongols.
The Franks did the unthinkable, allying with the T’ang Dynasty and unifying all of Northern Europe, engaging in only one fight with the Huns, to secure Prussia. The Germanic Tribes celebrated with a pagan feast, some sacrifice, and the consecration of a Bronze idol in the heart of Central Europe.
The Chola (forefathers of the Tamil) reign would not be as eventful. As Rajaraja attempted to work with his neighbors, he moved to secure a foothold in Southeast Asia instead. Almost securing the entire region, he was unable to secure Thailand, instead only driving the remnants of the Han Dynasty that remained in the region. His reign, while insignificant, still earned him a shrine in the Eastern Ghats.
Seljuk Turks. The nomadic, disparate forces of Zengi would prove more devastating to the Sassinid Empire than any other. Crushing no more than four cities and securing five monuments throughout the Middle East, the Seljuk Turks all but pushed their enemies to the sea. Their bloody trail of destruction secured a new Empire in the region and assured that the Sassinids would never again be whole.
Mongols. The fifth epoch would see very little civilization, but rather three barbaric hordes, the last of which was the most lethal. The Mongols, feared more than any army in the history of the world, would not disappoint. Conquering the Frank capital, crushing the Celt control of Southern Europe, storming into the Middle East, and even capturing significant parts of India weren’t enough. The Mongols succeeded in uniting the remaining Huns and forging a single Empire covering all of Eurasia. Combined with the appearance of Fujiwara and his alliance with them, Genghis Khan ruled more of the world than anyone. In Korea, which he also conquered from the Han Dynasty, a bronze and gold statue was erected to honor Temujin’s reign.
Epoch 6. Ming Dynasty, Portugal, Spain, and Mughals.
Ming Dynasty. The sixth epoch saw the end of barbaric hordes and the age of colonization and civilization. Starting with the Ming Dynasty in the last 14th century, the landscape was about to change. Although unable to drive the T’ang Dynasty out for good, the Han Dynasty was now completely gone and Hung-Wu would unify all of Southeast Asia before having a temple and holiday named after him.
Portugal. In typical Portuguese fashion, the nation was the first around the world, colonizing part of North America, South America, and Africa. Building two massive monuments patterned after the hemispheres of the earth, the nation of Portugal left its mark on the world in a big way.
Spain. Spain followed suit, colonizing the western side of South America, conquering Central Europe, part of North American, and finally grabbing Madagascar. The were unable to take the Portuguese Capital, however, and therefore only built a single Basilica in Madrid.
The Mughals ran over what remained of anyone else in India, except for one final Mongol holdout in the Kush. They did success in building a massive library in Delhi.
Epoch 7. Netherlands, Britain, United States, and Germany.
Netherlands. Leaders from the Hague sent ambassadors all over the world and even sent soldiers into Central Europe, to drive out the Spanish.
Britain. Eager to unite the whole of Northern Europe, Britain did more than that. After conquering the whole of Europe, they sailed for China and with the aid of the last remaining T’ang Dynasty governors, united all of China under the flag of England.
And while the United States would do very little (but land on New Guinea), Germany would conquer all of North Africa, Ethiopia, the West Indies, and complete their reign by building a massive embassy in Berlin to invite all the other nations to revel in their victory over all the nations.
Purple would end up winning by two points.