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Veni Vidi Vici - The Definitive List of Boardgames About Ancient History
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This list is part of the series:
Click ---> THE HISTORY METALIST

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This list is for you:
- if you are enchanted by the sight of a stele, amphora or gladius,
- if you admire the deeds of great characters like Hammurabi, Alexander or Caesar,
- if you are astonished by fabolous buildings like the pyramids, the Parthenon or the Colosseum,
- or simply just interested in the highest ranked boardgames with a historical theme!

The games are sorted by ranking. Each item will be added with a quote from the game description and with a link pointing to the best review. Feel free to comment, recommend and add games.

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Please help this geeklist help others in their game selection by rating the games (in comments) from 1 to 5 by the following aspects :

Fun To Play
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1 thumbsup = not fun to play,
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5 = very fun to play

Components
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1 thumbsup = awful game bits
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5 thumbsups = awesome game bits

Mechanism
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1 thumbsup = horrible mechanism
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5 thumbsups = excellent mechanics

Theme
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1 thumbsup = not historical at all / tedious theme,
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5 thumbsups = fabolous historical theme
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Popular Tags: ancients [+] history [+] ancient [+] [View All]
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51. Board Game: Field Commander: Alexander [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:1396]
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Great Solitaire game from Dan.

Quote:
You take on the role of Alexander the Great in his world-conquering quest to extend the Macedonian empire and achieve personal glory.

When playing the game, you are placed in Alexander’s footsteps when he comes of age in 338bc, just before the battle of Chaeronea. From that point on, you get to decide where to travel, when to battle, when to negotiate, and when to seek out divine prophesies to guide your actions.

You are supplied with soldiers and advisers to help you navigate the dangers of the battlefield and the negotiating table. These include Infantry, Archers, Phalanxes, Cavalry, Advisers, Scholars, Cortisones, and Spies. You will craftily combine these resources with your own plans to achieve victory, and glorification. And if you do well, you will be remembered as one of the greatest leaders ever to walk the earth.

The life of Alexander is divided into several campaigns, each spanning several years. During each campaign, you are given goals, but how you achieve those goals is up to you. Do you enter into battle? Or negotiate? How strong are you? How strong are they? What can you gain? These are all decisions you get to make, and must make well, if you are to live up to the immortal standards set before you.

The campaigns can either be played stand alone, or linked to play through his entire life. When played as one on-going life, the outcome of one campaign affects your starting situation in the next campaign.


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52. Board Game: Caesar at Alesia [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:1469]
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
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Covers the Battle of Alesia, with Romans surrounding some Gauls, while themselves surrounded by others.
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53. Board Game: Catan Histories: Struggle for Rome [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1484]
Blair Leggett
Canada
Barrie
Ontario
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I have mixed feelings about this one. I like the Settlers style gameplay. It's interesting to play from the perspective of 'barbarians' at the gates of Rome, but doesn't really capture the 'spirit' of late antiquity. I guess it's just a little too simplified for a pretty interesting period of human history.

I'd be curious to know what others think.
 
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54. Board Game: Magna Grecia [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1521]
Fortune
United Kingdom
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The southern region of Italy was called Magna Grecia and was settled 2,500 years ago by Greek merchants and adventurers. Before the arrival of the Greeks, the country was only inhabited by few small tribes. Fruitful soil, navigable rivers, large forests, bronze and silver mines offered enormous development possibilities. Larger cities developed, such as Tarantum, Syracuse, Katane, Locri and Naxos. In addition, numerous villages, of which no trace remains. A local road system promoted trade and rich markets developed in the cities. More and more rivalries between the cities arose, particularly over control of the Oracle, which represented an important source for fame and wealth.

Sufficient material for an evening of play. Each player must successfully settle and develop Magna Grecia. At favorable points, markets are built, villages are developed into cities and interconnected by a road system. Only thus may the interior be opened and the Oracle controlled. Constructing your own large city is often very expensive and it is sometimes worthwhile to build instead in the neutral villages or opponents' cities.

Review of the game:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/338087
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55. Board Game: The Siege of Jerusalem (second edition) [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1532]
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Title says it all really...

...but in case that's not descriptive enough:

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Can you, as Eliezar Ben Yair, rally Jerusalem's defenders to exact a fearful price on the besiegers, or escape to fulfill your destiny at Masada? Can you, as Cestius Gallus, quell the revolt at its source and take Jerusalem with a single legion? It is 70 A.D. Dawn breaks on the combined might of four Legions arrayed on the heights of Mount Scopus, starting their methodical advance across the valley to the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. Siege lines have been secured tight about the city. There is no hope of escape. The besieged must persist behind their stout walls or perish before a vengeful Rome. Five grueling years of campaigning in Judea is now culminating in the Siege of Jerusalem.

But the fortified city defies even the might of Rome. The thick walls atop the steep slopes literally bristle with natural and manmade fortifications. It will take all of Rome's considerable engineering skills to winch their war machines into position for an assault up the slopes to the city. Only here in the north plain can the city's walls be taken by escalade. The rhythmic approach of the Legions is muted by the rumble of the siege engines as an assortment of towers, rams, and artillery precede the maniples. The distant walls seethe with the frenzied activity of an alerted populace as the antagonists draw near. This majestic view is abruptly halted by the blare of trumpets which soon gives way to the cacophony of the clash of arms and screams of the dying.

Morning turns to dusk before the walls are breached and the weary legions exact their vengeance. The sky turns bright again, aglow in the reflection of a thousand fires as the northern outskirts burn. But what price victory? Another day such as this will break the Roman Army and only one of the city's ten walled sections has fallen this day. They will have to find another way. Shafts must be dug to undermine the walls or earthen ramps built with which to scale them. It will be a long campaign.

This is The Siege of Jerusalem...An epic battle simulation with all the trappings and majesty of a Cecil B. DeMille film spectacular. Facing the greatest army of antiquity, the Judeans must rely on the stoutness of their walls to halt the unbeatable Roman legions and therein lies the fascination: the immovable object vs the unstoppable force. As Eliezar Ben Yair, leader of the Zealots, you must conduct a skilled defense of the city's ever shrinking perimeter - exacting from the Romans a price so terrible that they will be forced to lift their siege - or break out to continue your struggle for freedom at Massada. As Titus, commander of the Roman army, you must decide when, where and how to renew the assault - gauging your troop needs against the progress of your siege works and the press of time caused by outside threats. More than just conducting tactical combat, the Roman must formulate an overall strategic plan for the conduct of the siege.

Vastly revised from its initial printing of the 70's, Siege of Jerusalem now boasts two-sided counters, a continuous combat system, a strategic interphase for conducting the entire siege, and the morale / panic rules so important in portraying ancient warfare. An Introductory Scenario depicting the abortive assault of Gallus with the XII Legion three years previous allows players to learn how to handle a legion in a single day's play while training for eventual participation in the conduct of the epic siege.


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56. Board Game: Hellas [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:1683]
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United Kingdom
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In the land of ancient Greece, called Hellas, the people waged power struggles for control of the many valuable islands. The combatants faced each other over land and across the seas. In these battles with sail and sword, the combatants venture forth to discover new islands to fight over. To aid them in their battles, the combatants often seek the favor of the Gods.

A pictorial review:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/370772
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57. Board Game: Sumeria [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1736]
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This is a relatively new game on the market.

Players try to bring the city-states of ancient Sumer to the fore. Each turn, players boost the importance of one of the city-states by flooding it with their traders, boosting its power. Each time a city-state gains power one will lose power, the aim is to gain control of the pre-eminent city-states during the scoring rounds at the end of each dynasty. Players have to time their movements, as a city-state can quickly lose favour.

A comprehensive pictorial overview:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/429902
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58. Board Game: Carthage: The First Punic War [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:1942]
Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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This is the second game in the "Ancient World" series by GMT (after The Rise of the Roman Republic). A third game (Greek City States) is in the works.
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59. Board Game: Empires of the Ancient World [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1949]
Blair Leggett
Canada
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Ontario
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I don't think the overall system works as a game, but is interesting nonetheless.
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60. Board Game: Imperium Romanum II [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2141]
Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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Long out of print with the demise of the West End Games wargame 'division' and often overlooked.
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61. Board Game: Caesar: Conquest of Gaul [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:2159]
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Volume VI in the GBoH (Great Battles of History) series.

Quote:
In 58 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar was appointed by the Roman Senate as proconsul for Gaul, for which he was given 4 legions. The ambitious Caesar, a military ingenue, had little idea of how lucky he was going to be -- as he often was in his actions -- because, within a short space of a few years, after coming to the rescue of the Gauls against incursions from Germanic tribes to the east, Caesar himself decided to bring the rest of the barbarian tribes under the domain of Republican Rome...and, at the same time, increase his visibility among the Roman people.
From a military point of view it was an immense achievement, one that fueled Roman imperialist feelings like no other war. For the Gauls it meant subjugation. For the gamer, it means six battles of Pure Excitement.

Nominee for the 1998 Charles S. Roberts awards for Best Pre-World War II Boardgame (Charles S. Roberts Awards).


No reviews yet...

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62. Board Game: War Galley [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:2254]
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Another installment in the GBoH Series. Get your Triremes ready to rake the oars of the enemy!!!

Quote:
War Galley is the seventh volume in the multi-award winning Great Battles of History (GBoH) series, but the first to venture entirely into the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It is also the first historical boardgame published, in two decades, to address galley warfare. As such, GMT's War Galley is almost a complete history fo this era of war at sea.

What is best about War Galley is how easy it is to play-- the rules are about half the length of the usual GBoH game-- and that means that most battles can be complete in several hours, at the most. The battles themselves, cover all aspects of galley tactics, from the line against line of big ships at Salamis (Cyprus), to the Chase, Turn and Fight of Chios, to the Line Astern vs. Line Abreast at Side, to probably the most unusual of all ancient battles, the Roman arrowhead against the Carthaginian Lines Astern at Drepanum in 249 B.C.


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63. Board Game: Italia [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:2630]
Fortune
United Kingdom
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Italia brings to life almost 1500 years of Italian history, from 330 BC to 1100 AD. During this time numerous tribes, nations and empires invaded the Italian peninsula.

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64. Board Game: Alexander the Great [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2965]
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One of the most highly traded items in Math trades. Perhaps because everyone wants to try it but nobody likes it?! whistle

Should be interesting to see what comments appear below.

Quote:
A description by Phalanx's Uli Blennemann from "Gone Cardboard": It is a completely new game, much lighter in complexity. The game uses a large gameboard, comes in our big box and is for 2-5 players. Playing time is 75+ minutes. It is not a simulation game but provides more Alex flavor than Alexandros. Each turn, players move with their armies (wooden) and build cities and temples (both wooden, too).


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65. Board Game: Field of Glory [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2999]
Fortune
United Kingdom
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Field of Glory is a set of historical miniatures rules for ancient and medieval tabletop battles.

In Field of Glory you will take command of an army which consists of approximately 10-15 battle groups led by the C-in-C and his senior commanders. The game has been designed to ensure that, just as in reality, the commanders (you) are fully occupied with decision making from the outset. Your key objective is to outmanoeuvre the enemy army and concentrate your forces at critical points in the battle. This will then destroy the enemy's will to fight, deal a devastating blow to the morale of their commanders (your opponent) and allow you to win.

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66. Board Game: The Siege of Alesia [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:3234]
Australia
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GBoH installment of seige warfare! Get those war machines ready, we're going to lay seige!!!

Quote:
10 Roman legions besiege a Gallic force in Alesia, and they are in turn besieged in their siege works by a relieving Gallic force.


No review available. Guess I'll have to write one!!!
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67. Board Game: Albion [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:3484]
Fortune
United Kingdom
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Nice area control game depicting the Roman invasion of Britain.
 
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68. Board Game: Barbarian, Kingdom & Empire [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:3760]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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69. Board Game: History of the Roman Empire [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:3842]
Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
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"The History of the Roman Empire" covers the time-period from the Rise to the Fall of the Roman Empire in seven game turns starting in 60 BC (the first Triumvirate composed of Caesar, Crassus and Pompeus) until the last Emperor (Romulus Augustus) in 476 AD.

Each of the up to four Players takes the role of one Roman Faction and one group of "Barbarian"-Peoples (non-Romans) and by playing certain event cards you can gain control over minor Kingdoms.

Based on the game system used in History of the World
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70. Board Game: Athens & Sparta [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:3920]
Australia
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Columbia Block game. Great because you can yell "SPARTA!!!"

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Athens & Sparta is a strategic level block game of the Peloponnesian War, fought from 431BC to 404BC. This war pitted the superior wealth and naval power of Athens against the militarism of Sparta. It was a bloody contest, with many heroic triumphs and great atrocities. Victory by Sparta ended the Golden Age of Greece.


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71. Board Game: Alexander the Great [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:4050]
Rich
United States
West Lafayette
Indiana
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Designed by E. Gary Gygax, publishied by Guidon Games in 1971, and again in 1974 by Avalon Hill. Alexander is a bit of a departure from the standard Avalon Hill Hex and Counter game. Alexander features a moral system which determines the table used for combat resolution.

The scenario is Alexander vs. Darius III at Gaugamela in 331 B.C.

Ratings are based on the AH version.

Fun to Play: thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
It's not too fun if you draw Persians, though certainly challenging.

Components: thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
I rate the components as 3 thumbs, being standard AH fare for the time. Map is nice.

Mechanism: thumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
I like the morale system. I believe it adds a very realistic aspect to the battle.

Theme: thumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
Very historically accurate, to the point of being very difficult to win as the Persians.
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72. Board Game: Spartacus Imperator [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:5034]
Patrick Receveur
France
Lyon
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73. Board Game: Decline and Fall [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:5032]
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
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Covers the 'late' Roman era, with invading Goths, Vandals and Huns.
 
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74. Board Game: The Conquerors [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:5128]
Fortune
United Kingdom
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The Conquerors: The Romans and The Macedonians is a strategic and tactical simulation of the eastward expansion of the Roman Republic after the Second Punic War, which ended in 200 B.C. Two specific periods are covered: the Second Macedonian War (against Philip V), in which Rome laid its claim for control of Greece (albeit in somewhat defensive posture), and the Syrian War (against Antiochus, the Selecuid king), wherein Rome made its first incursions into the Asian continent. The latter Scenario uses both maps in The Conquerors game (that of The Romans along with that of The Macedonians).

The Macedonians covers the conquests of Alexander the Great.
 
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75. Board Game: Campaign Commander Volume III: Punic Island [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:5285]
Francisco Ronco Poce
Spain
Sevilla
Sevilla
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Third Volume in Campaign Commander Series. Depicts 1st Punic War between Carthage -and his short-term Syracusan allies- and Rome over Sicily and North Africa.

Playable in under 3 hours.
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