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Smart History and Historical Simulation Games

Games that teach you history, and allow you to relive it, and see how you could change it... these games are amazing, as well as fun!  For a great article on using historical simulation games in education, read National-Louis University Summer Enrichment Program for Kids Uses Games and Simulations by Maureen Reed.

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Board Games Card Games Collaborative Games Classic Games

Axis & Allies (or from FunAgain Games)
Spring, 1942: The World is at war. Axis and Allies places the military and economic destiny of the globe in your hands. Change the course of history in a few short hours!  Control the fate of the world in this incredible game of military strategy, courage, and cunning, updated by Larry Harris, the game's original creator.  Variations include Axis & Allies D-Day, Axis & Allies Europe, Axis & Allies Guadalcanal, Axis & Allies Battle Of The Bulge, and Axis & Allies Pacific
 
Britannia (or from FunAgain Games)
Welcome to a land that the Romans, the Angles, the Saxons, and a dozen other peoples warred over for a thousand years, the land of King Arthur, Alfred the Great, Harald the Ruthless, and William the Conqueror. Britannia is an historical board game that broadly depicts the millennia-long struggle for control of England, Scotland, and Wales. The game begins with the Roman invasion of 43 A.D., continues through the many struggles between Angles, Saxons, Picts, Norsemen, Scots, Irish, and other tribes, and ends with the Norman invasion of 1066, and allows players to re-create this epic history...
 
Carcassonne (10 to adult) Rio Grande Games
A clever tile laying game. The southern French city of Carcassonne is famous for its unique Roman and Medieval fortifications. The players develop the area around Carcassonne and deploy their followers on the roads, in the cities, in the cloisters, and in the fields. The skill of the players to develop the area will determine who is victorious.  Game expansions, and other editions...
Carcassonne: 10 Year Special Edition
Carcassonne: The River 2
Carcassonne Inns & Cathedrals Expansion
Carcassonne: Princess & Dragon Expansion
Carcassonne: The Castle
Carcassonne Traders and Builders
Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers
 
Caylus by Rio Grande Games
Complex strategy game, to gather wealth and build castles...
 
Chrononauts Recommended
The card game of history!  Also try Early American Chrononauts! From the folks who bring us Fluxx 4.0 Recommended
 
A House Divided (or from FunAgain Games)
Simulates the epic struggle of the American Civil War that was fought over the twin issues of slavery and states rights. The period from 1840 to 1861 saw the issues brought to a boil, and in 1861 the nation became entangled in a terrible war that lasted four years. This game covers the war between the North and the South from the First Battle of Bull Run (or Manassa Junction) to Lee's surrender at Appomattox (or Grant's surrender at Harrisburg...). Each player becomes a leader of one of these two nations and makes the strategic decisions which determine the ultimate outcome of the war...
 
The Downfall of Pompeii by Mayfair Games
Simulates the epic struggle of the American Civil War that was fought over the twin issues of slavery and states rights. The period from 1840 to 1861 saw the issues brought to a boil, and in 1861 the nation became entangled in a terrible war that lasted four years. This game covers the war between the North and the South from the First Battle of Bull Run (or Manassa Junction) to Lee's surrender at Appomattox (or Grant's surrender at Harrisburg...). Each player becomes a leader of one of these two nations and makes the strategic decisions which determine the ultimate outcome of the war...
 
Memoir '44 by Days of Wonder
unique historical game where players command a horde of little plastic Army men facing-off in dozens of WWII battles on an oversize hex game board. Each battle scenario mimics the historical terrain, troop placements and objectives of each army. Deploying forces through a variety of Command cards, the smart commander uses the unique skills of his units to their greatest strength. Easy to learn and fast-paced, Memoir '44 requites strategic card play, timely dice rolling and an aggressive, yet flexible battle plan to achieve victory. There are 17 unique historical scenarios, including a monster-size double-board version of Omaha Beach. The game has a double-sided, three section board map of the battlefield, featuring beach landings and countryside terrain. There are 44 lavishly painted double-sided terrain hexes, along with the 3D miniatures and obstacles to go on them...
 
The Pillars of the Earth by Mayfair Games (or from FunAgain Games)
England at the beginning of the 12th Century Prior Phillip of Kingsbridge has a glorious vision. To build the largest, most beautiful cathedral in England. To accomplish the task, Phillip recruits the most renowned builders in the country. However, the fate of the Cathedral is constantly threatened by all manner of catastrophes and oppositions. Players join together to help build Kingsbridge Cathedral. Wisely deploy assets to overcome unexpected difficulties and shortages to prove yourself the greatest builder of them all! Will your efforts be recognized when the Great Cathedral at Kingsbridge is complete?
 
Puerto Rico (12 to adult) Rio Grande Games  (or from FunAgain Games)
In 1493 Christopher Columbus discovered the eastern-most island of the Great Antilles. About 50 years later, Puerto Rico began to really blossom--through you! Prospector, captain, mayor, trader, settler, craftsman, or builder? Which roles will you play in the new world? Will you own the most prosperous plantations? Will you build the most valuable buildings? You have but one goal: achieve the greatest prosperity and highest respect!
 
Ran Great Battles of History #12
the second game on the battles of the Samurai (following GMT's Samurai (Vol. V)). Ran covers several of the less famous of the Sengoku Jidai, the Age of Warring States (more or less), in which powerful Daimyo -- Japanese feudal lords -- strove to both maintain and extend their power bases while seeking to attain the office of Shogun, the power behind the throne of the Emperor. Ran simulates the highly personal form of warfare developed by the Japanese samurai, wherein formal battles played out almost as backdrops to individual feats of courage, bravery and devotion much of it outstanding, some of it rather foolhardy, all of it very Homeric...
 
Risk
The game of world conquest--features a tri-fold game board that is a map of six continents divided into 42 territories. It's a game of strategy as you battle to win by launching daring attacks, defending your territory, and moving across continents with your cunning plan! Or try the futuristic Risk 2210 A.D. or Risk Godstorm - a time of myths and legends!  Also Risk Star Wars: The Clone Wars or Risk 2003 Edition or Liberty Risk Edition
 
Road to the White House by Mayfair Games (or from FunAgain Games)
We all know that presidential candidates make and break the rules. Simulate the race to become the president of the United States, using all the campaign tools available to real candidates and their managers, players plot strategies, plan travel, raise money and react to events outside of their control. Three games in one; a light version that is quick to learn and play, a version that incorporates positions on issues and the use of dirty tricks, and an advanced version that allows players to develop their own candidates in a complete simulation of a presidential primary campaign. Travel the Road to the White House!
 
Settlers of Catan Recommended
Catan is an imaginary unexplored island, and players are explorers and settlers. The playing surface is made of hexagonal tiles that, depending on their placement, create a different environment each time the game is played. Settlers must use their resources to develop their island home, building roads and houses to create new towns. But watch out! There's a robber on the island...  Expansion sets include Settlers 5-6 Player Expansion, Seafarers of Catan, Cities & Knights of Catan, Starfarers of Catan, Settlers of the Stone Age, Settlers of Catan Travel Edition
 
Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder, to learn more, visit Ticket to Ride website
Cross-country train adventure where players collect cards of various types of train cars that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America...  Also Ticket to Ride: Europe, Ticket to Ride: Märklin, Ticket To Ride USA 1910 Expansion, Ticket to Ride Switzerland, Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries and Ticket to Ride Dice Expansion
 
Through the Ages by Eagle Games
an exciting game of strategy and resource management. Players guide their civilizations up from Antiquity, through the Middle Ages, and into Modern Times. What will your civilization be like? Will it be warlike? Technologically advanced? Religious? Artistic? Choose from Leaders such as Hammurabi, Napoleon, and Ghandi. Build the Pyramids, the Great Wall, or the Eiffel Tower? Your Civilization's culture is yours to shape and you can do it differently every time you play the game. Playable in three different difficulty levels...
 
Twilight Struggle by GMT Games
Two-player game simulating the forty-five year dance of intrigue, prestige, and occasional flares of warfare between the Soviet Union and the United States. Recreates the conflict between the most powerful nation states the world has ever known. The scope of the game covers the entire world as it was found in 1945. Players move units and exert influence in attempts to gain allies and control for their superpower...
 

 
Mensa Select!

Last updated December 15, 2014
 

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