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Subject: History of the World tips and tricks? rss

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Marvin Steiner
Ukraine
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Tomorrow, friends of ours will come over to play a game of History of the World. They are experts at this game and me and my girlfriend are not. We never played this game before, so it will be an uneven and gruesome game. We will be crushed without mercy.
We prefer not to drug, torture or kill our friends in order the win the game. Tempting, but perhaps a bit geekness is enough. What we need is a good battle plan, some tips and tricks of the veterans. This way we might stand a chance.
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Kevin Youells
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Roll sixes.





Seriously, though, you just want to maximize the points you can get with each of your units. Try to get at least a domination on each continent you fight in. Don't overlook the value of having a presence remaining in an area--so go to out of the way places like Crete, or Ceylon (in India). Don't worry about defending or fortifying. The game is hugely balanced in favor of the attacker, so there is no point in trying to play a defensive game. When you have the opportunity to select your own nation, try to get one that is not near your other territories. Watch turn order and board presence when handing out countries. If someone has a lot on the board, try to stick them with a new country that moves late in the turn so you can kill their existing pieces.

Most importantly, have fun!
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Dick Hunt
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Kevin Youells wrote:
Seriously, though, you just want to maximize the points you can get with each of your units. Try to get at least a domination on each continent you fight in. Don't overlook the value of having a presence remaining in an area--so go to out of the way places like Crete, or Ceylon (in India). Don't worry about defending or fortifying. The game is hugely balanced in favor of the attacker, so there is no point in trying to play a defensive game. When you have the opportunity to select your own nation, try to get one that is not near your other territories. Watch turn order and board presence when handing out countries. If someone has a lot on the board, try to stick them with a new country that moves late in the turn so you can kill their existing pieces.

Most importantly, have fun!


Where the game is won or lost is usually in the Empire selection phase. Screw that up, and you could easily hand somebody the game. Some general tips for the game:

* Keep an eye on the changing values of the regions on the board. Once a presence in China or India is worth 3 points, those two regions are pure gold because their value never drops once it hits 3. Areas like the Middle East, Africa, and Europe flucuate a lot more. The Middle East and Africa are fine places to fight over early in the game, but far less valuable in the last couple of epochs. Don't let the early fighting in those areas sucker you into fighting over them in the last couple of epochs of the game.

* The scoreboard can really fool you in this game. It may show that the green player is way ahead, but if he has few pieces on the board during the empire selection phase of a turn, he's probably about to have a really lousy turn--giving everyone else a chance to catch up to him quite a bit. Conversely, if the scoreboard says that the yellow player is in last place--but there are yellow pieces all over the board--chances are that he's about to have a great turn. In either case, the scoreboard is a liar! You can't tell who's winning just by looking at the scoreboard! You need to also consider who's got lots of pieces on valuable parts of the board as well...

* If you've got lots of pieces on the board when it's time to select your next empire, you want to go EARLY in the turn no matter how wimpy the early empires for that turn might look in terms of strength (army size). Going early means that the pieces that are already on the board when you start your next turn will still be there (to score points again!) at the end of your next turn. If you've got lots of pieces already on the board, the wimpy Incas & Aztecs are awesome to get for your empire.

*Again: keeping pieces on the board from one turn to the next can be just as important as getting a whole pile of new pieces added to the board. So if you're wondering why somebody just handed you a strong empire like the Arabs instead of keeping them for himself, it's probably because he'd rather take his turn before the Arabs get to act than wait for the extra strength that the Arabs would have given him.

* Giving away a huge empire like Rome probably looks crazy at first glance, but I've seen many a game won by the player who had the guts to do so. If you've got lots of pieces on the board when you draw the empire card for Rome, you should consider giving it away because you'll have an excellent chance of taking your turn before Rome does. That means that by the time Rome starts eating up all your pieces, you will have already scored your points with them and can say neener neener to the Romans.

* The Huns are pure gold because they are very strong AND get to go early during the epoch in which they appear. Never give away the Huns unless you're absolutely forced to do so.

* I hate to say this, but the United States really suck. They're both weak, late in the turn order, AND have lousy navigation. Their only positive is that they at least get to go ahead of the Germans, but even the Germans have far better navigation.

* The most valuable pieces you can get on the board are the ones you can keep there to score more than once. A lot of those Kingdom event cards look pretty wimpy, but you'll be amazed how long some of them can stay on the board for you, getting easy Presence points for you two or three or four times before somebody finally wipes them out.
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Ron
Austria
Vienna
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Great advise here!

I just want to add, HotW is one of the games in my collection I enjoy most (and I do have a few games meeple)

So my advise here is, have fun, learn a little and crush them in the next time, once you have a feel for the game
 
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Marvin Steiner
Ukraine
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Thanks for the tips!

Unfortunately I didn't win the game...I came last. Mostly due to some premature use of Lesser Event cards which would have been better used later on in the game. And also I got a kingdom where I already was presented. The kingdom I swapped just before that had the same problem. So I scored not a lot of points that Epoch. The winner got loads of points with the Romans (20 armies) and Mongolians (15 armies). Although my girlfriend score mega with the Aztecs and Maya's because she got to go early in the game.

Some area's like Crete were never attacked, scoring a bunch of points for the owner with the city and monument.

All in all quite enjoyable. A bit long though and not a lot of interaction between players.

Played the Hasbro variant.
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David Nichols
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Terre Haute
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Re: "The Huns are pure gold:" Clearly, they were fool's gold in the game I played yesterday. I played the Huns, along with a Leader card, and was wiped out by lousy die rolls. I believe I scored a total of 15 points for the entire epoch. Call me "Attila the Lame."
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marc lecours
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The problem with going early in a round is that most of your armies will be gone from the board before your next chance to score with them. Only in the last turn is going early a purely good thing.

Choosing which empire to keep and give away is by far the most important decision in the game. There are lots of considerations.

Give the Khmers to the leader.
 
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Richard Young
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There are lots of issues involved in the decision as to which empires to keep or give away. Generally, if you have a lot of armies on the board at the end of a given round, the earlier you can arrange to go in the next round the better. It can be the equivalent to getting two turns in a row to score. But sure, you won't want to go early the round after that because the other players should have eaten you alive by then. And going early doesn't necessarily mean first in the turn order either - it depends a lot on what the lineup is and where the empires start on the board.

One time you know you want to go early, and you don't care which empire it is with, is when you finished late in the sixth round and are either leading or close to the leader. If you are hoping for the powerhouse empires in the last round it is only because you are behind and hope to leapfrog a couple of places. It is also the round where the "give the leader the crappiest empire" rule of thumb no longer applies. Make him go late in the round, even with a good empire, which allows all the previous players to destroy his board position.

Of course, the relative score spread modifies all these considerations. As a previous poster declared, choosing empires to keep or give away is the heart of the game and there are always a lot of factors to consider.
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Mark J
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I think the ideal would be to alternate going early and late in an epoch. Like, go late in epoch 1, so you end the epoch with a lot of territory under your control Then go early in epoch 2, so you score again for epoch 1. But by going early in epoch 2, you're probably badly decimated by the end of the turn. So go late in epoch 3 so you can end the round in a strong position. Then go early in epoch 4. Etc.

Of course you don't always get the choice. And you might end a round strong even if you went early for some reason, etc. So I wouldn't be mechanical about it. But, etc.
 
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