The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Don’t Know Much About Historia

So, I got to play Historia on game night (along with mucho Netrunner).

I hadn’t heard much about it (I’m not nearly as active on BGG anymore), so I don’t know if I’m late to the game or early. Judging from the reviews, early-ish.

Historia is another minimalist “try to cram Civ into 2 hours.” It’s … clever. You play one card a turn, one of which may be the Revolution, which advances the clock. (People play cards simultaneously, but the clock only advances at most one step a turn). There are four ‘seasons’ per era, As cards are played, they form a queue, and when a season advances, you get your oldest card back. (Revolution always gets itself back and a card of your choice). So the primary question is — How do you get your cards back and when should you revolt, or should you play for someone else to revolt? The (other) cards do various things.

  • Raise your science
  • Raise your science by trading with someone better, which gives them VPs.
  • Raise your military
  • Two forms of war (one which grows you, one which hurts your opponents).
  • Buy a wonder (which gives you a once/season ability you may or may not be able to activate).
  • Replenish spent cubes (the “Raise/Buy” actions spend cubes)
  • Add a cube to the map

Most of the cards have two levels, a basic one and an advanced that you can do when you are a certain science level. Each player also has five leaders (you start with a random one, and get others as you advance). Each leader is a one-shot, but they provide flavor. During an era you also draft goals that you have complete by the end of an era for VPs. The board is mostly taken up with a grid that shows science/military (and bonuses for achieving a level). The map is actually a smallish corner of the board.

At it’s heart, this is simultaneous card play. The confusion is the zillionty symbols. (If you get to science level X, you may get to replenish a cube, or a card, or do something). Reading the grid is confusing. (It was not at all clear to me, for example, which axis was science and which is military). My first game felt fine, but like Race (another game with confusing symbols) I spent so long deciphering the cards and the grid that I didn’t really bother to view my opponents position.

So I have no idea if it’s any good. I’ll play again for Novelty until I decide.

Rating — Suggest (novelty) but Indifferent (can’t tell yet).

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Written by taogaming

December 24, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Posted in Reviews

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