I'm Still Thinkin' 'bout the Fall of Rome... Dark Ages Games
John Farrell
Australia
Rozelle
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The Dark Ages is generally recognised as being the period from the fall of Rome about 550AD to sometime around 1000AD. In keeping with the book on English history I read recently, I will set the end of the Dark Ages as being the Norman Conquest of England. I'm interested in games based on this period, but NOT including the Norman Conquest.

Typical historical names from this period include Offa, Saxons, Vikings, Charlemagne, Avars, Ethelred the Unready and Alfred the Great. Typical historical names NOT from this period include Renaissance, Reformation, chivalry and Puerto Rico. Also, I must limit the list to the Dark Ages in Europe - there may be great games about what the South Americans were doing at the time, but they're not part of the same story. For the same reason I will exclude A Game of Thrones because although it probably feels very much like a Dark Ages game would, it didn't really happen.

Before you go adding a whole bunch of Camelot nonsense to this list, be aware that although the stories of King Arthur might have some basis in the Dark Ages, the stories were mostly made up by Thomas Malory in the 15th century and don't bear any relation at all to actual Dark Ages events.

Another genre that I would like to exclude is civilisation games that attempt to replay ALL of history. It's alright that some games stray outside the designated period, but the civilisation scatter-gun approach leaves no scope for any theme particular to the period of interest.

A related but different list is "The Dark Ages through the Renaissance. The fall and rise of European civilization.":

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/10646/page/1

There is also a list of Norse games which no doubt contains many that are relevant:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/11724

Please comment on the games included on the list so that other users can choose the ones that interest them most.
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1. Board Game: Dark Ages [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:11776]
John Farrell
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Dark Ages is a war game covering the period from 700AD to 1300AD.
 
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2. Board Game: Empires of the Middle Ages [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:2594]
John Farrell
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Rozelle
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Empires of the Middle Ages is a war game covering the period from 771AD to 1467AD.
 
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3. Board Game: Carolus Magnus [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:942]
John Farrell
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Carolus Magnus is an abstract game about the sons of Charlemagne.
 
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4. Board Game: Britannia [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:574]
John Farrell
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Britannia is a game about conflict in England from 43AD to 1066. That contains the whole period of interest.
 
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5. Board Game: Beowulf: The Legend [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1907]
John Farrell
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Rozelle
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Beowulf, although fictional, is based on a story that has survived basically intact since the Dark Ages. It recalls the time when kings were great because they could assemble a strong personal guard, and when an iron shield was a formidable defence.
 
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6. Board Game: Vinci [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:628]
John Farrell
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Vinci is a game of conquest based in Europe. It simulates how peoples of different persuasions compete for space and ultimately replace each other entirely. It's one of the longer games I enjoy at about 2 hours, but I love having my own barbarian hordes to play with.
 
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7. Board Game: Obscura Tempora [Average Rating:5.43 Overall Rank:13783]
John Farrell
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Obscura Tempora is an easy card game about towns and abbeys. The title is Latin for "Dark Ages".
 
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8. Board Game: Byzantium [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1589]
John Farrell
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Apparently set in 632AD, so it's in the right time period. The Dark Ages was a time when Islam spread across Africa and southern Europe, while Christianity spread across the north.
 
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9. Board Game: Catan Histories: Struggle for Rome [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2130]
 
Gautier R
Belgium
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This one seems very promising !
 
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10. Board Game: Rise and Fall [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:6554]
simon thornton
United Kingdom
Liverpool
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Game starts with three barbarian players barrelling into Western Roman Empire or Eastern Roman Empire or the Persian kingdom (or all 3).These barbarian players seize territories and become kingdoms and possibly eventually empires themselves.The defeated empires come on again as a new barbarian tribe and so it goes on, encapsulating nicely the tribal movements of the dark ages.
 
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11. Board Game: The Barbarians [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:10862]
M Po
United States
Washington
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Contains the game "Sack Rome." A simple game about the barbarian invasions of the Western Roman Empire.
 
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12. Board Game: Seofan [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Box of Delights
United Kingdom
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Seofan is unpublished, except as a Vassal module. Plays from 400AD to 1066, and follows the history of Anglo-Saxon england.
 
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