Expansion and Combat
How many armies can you place in one round?
The number is listed on your Empire card. It varies from 3 to 20.
Do the defensive bonuses of mountains, forests, and walls apply against all attacks, or only when the attacker comes across a border with the feature? Can you clarify some of the situations on the board?
The facings of the terrain features are intentional and important. The defensive terrain must lie along the border that the attacker is crossing in order to give any benefit. Some of the less clear borders are listed and clarified below.
What bonus does the defender get against an attack from the sea if there is difficult terrain on the coast? Does the defender roll two or three dice?
The defender rolls three dice in this case. There are six places on the map where defensive terrain lies along a coast: Guiana Highlands (from Eastern Pacific Ocean), Southern Andes (from Atlantic Ocean), Pyrenees (from Western Mediterranean), Eastern Anatolia (from Eastern Mediterranean Sea), Western Deccan (from Indian Ocean), and Ganges Delta (from Bay of Bengal). Effectively, you can ignore defensive terrain when attacking from the sea.
The attacker has Expert Troops: Mountains and is attacking Eastern Anatolia from the Eastern Med. How many dice does the defender roll -- three because it's an attack from the sea, or one because it's an attack over mountains?
The defender rolls three dice. Defensive terrain is ignored if the attack comes from the sea. The attacker would need an Expert Troops: Amphibious Invasion card to eliminate the sea penalty, and those are extremely hard to come by. (No, they don't exist -- please don't write and ask for one. The closest thing is the Naval Power card.)
Do armies defending against barbarians get terrain bonuses?
Yes, but only in two specific cases: Central Europe if attacked from the Alps and Hindu Kush if attacked from Plateau of Tibet.
Barbarians attack and score a tie. Is that considered a "successful" attack, allowing them to expand and continue attacking?
Well, it's success of a sort, but both armies are actually defeated. That's not enough to encourage the barbarians. The land that was just attacked is left empty (unless it contained a fort; a city or capital would also remain) and the barbarians cease their rampage.
Have the rules on Viking expansion changed from previous editions? They used to be limited to placing only one army in North America.
Yes, they've changed. The addition of the North Atlantic ocean connecting Scandinavia to Appalachia and the Great Lakes means the Vikings can expand into North America without a special rule. They can advance all the way to Patagonia if they want.
Are Minor Empires limited to expanding only from their original, starting land, or can they also expand from lands they take over?
Minor Empires expand just like regular Empires. The only difference is that they cannot build monuments and they can't benefit from other event cards. Minor Empires finish their entire turn before your "real" Empire for the Epoch, so there shouldn't be any confusion between the two. All previous Empires are considered "old" to a Minor Empire.
Are Minor Empires and their armies and capitals removed at the end of their Epoch?
No, they remain on the board just like other Empires. They are not removed at the end of the Epoch or any other time, unless they are defeated in conflict. Minor Empire units contribute to the owning player's score just like pieces from his main Empires.
Fleets and Navigation
Can armies expand from a fleet as if it was another army? Or must the fleet be connected to at least one army of the active Empire in order to allow expansion? The question comes up in relation to the Goths, whose starting territory of Danubia is not adjacent to their fleet in the Western Med.
The fleet must be adjacent (or connected by a string of fleets) to an army of the active Empire in order to be used for expansion. In the case of the Goths, they must capture Dalmatia or some other land adjacent to the Western Med. in order to benefit from their fleet. In fact, this same situation applies to nine empires: Persia, Han, Goths, T'ang, Franks, Sung, Mughals, Russia, and the US.
Why do the Goths have navigation on the Western Mediterranean when their capital, Danubia, borders on the Black Sea? It would seem more logical to give them navigation on the nearby sea.
The question is not what's most convenient, but what allows them to expand in a way that can mirror history.
Having navigation in an ocean also gives navigation into every sea that is accessible from that ocean. If I'm interpreting that rule correctly, it means that Portugal, with navigation in the Atlantic, Indian, and Western Pacific oceans, has sea access to every coastal land on the board except the Pacific Seaboard and the Northern Andes. Is that correct?
That is exactly correct.
In previous versions of History of the World, you could place a fleet only by trading in an army. Does it still work that way?
No. Placing a fleet does not cost any units. Sometimes fleets can be turned into coins by playing an event card, but that's a different issue. If a fleet is listed on your card, you place it automatically. If an ocean is listed, you place a fleet in that ocean plus every sea it can reach, both directly and indirectly.
Britain has navigation in four oceans and all the seas that can be reached from those oceans. All together, that comes to 13 seas and oceans, but the game provides only 12 fleet markers. I hope someone lost his job over that screw-up!
Yes, this is a mistake. The fleet markers, however, are only a visual reminder of where a fleet can go. We apologize for the inconvenience and humbly suggest using a quarter, a bead, or some other marker to fill in for the missing fleet.
The US Empire, in epoch VII, has navigation in the Caribbean Sea. This doesn't seem to be of any particular use to the US.
Sometimes the US can use the Caribbean to skirt around armies blocking the Mexican Valley or Central America and expand into South America.
If your active Empire has navigation of an ocean, do you place a fleet token in every Sea zone reached by the ocean or just in the ocean itself? This is a crucial distinction where the Reallocation card is concerned.
Place a fleet marker in each ocean and in each sea you can reach. Yes, that makes Reallocation powerful. Remember, however, that coins do not let you expand into more lands than you have armies, they only let you ignore a certain number of lost combats.
Capitals, Cities, and Forts
If your Empire starts in a land that is already occupied, does an existing unit, fort, city, or capital disappear, defend itself, or retreat somehow?
Units, forts, and cities disappear. Capitals are flipped and become cities. Only monuments remain unaltered. This applies no matter who the previous owner was, even if it was you.
When I expand into a land that's already occupied by one of my previous Empires, the advance is automatic. What happens to a city, a capital, or a fort?
An "automatic victory" is just that -- no dice are rolled because you win all the combats automatically. That means you automatically eliminate the fort, then automatically eliminate the army. When you advance, a city is removed and a capital is flipped to a city. It's just like attacking an area held by another player's color except you win all the dice rolls. Any time a land changes hands, a capital there is downgraded to a city and a city is removed. It makes no difference if the same player is expanding into land held by one of his previous Empires, another player's Empire, or a land held by an event card army.
If the defender has a fort and the attacker has Siegecraft, what happens on a tie? Are both the fort and the defending army lost, or only the fort because the attacker wasn't "victorious."
The attacker must win the dice roll to be victorious. In case of a tie, the fort and the attacking army are removed as usual.
When exactly are capitals flipped and cities or forts removed?
A city is removed from play when an army belonging to any player enters that land. A capital is flipped and becomes a city when any army occupies the land. A fort is removed only as the result of combat. Note, however, that having an Empire, Minor Empire, or Kingdom arise in a land is treated the same as if the new army had won all necessary combats to advance into that land. The same is true of an army advancing into a land held by armies of the same color.
If a tie is rolled in combat, a city in that land is left in place. This can leave a city unoccupied by an army. Does the owner still score points for an unoccupied city? Is it removed from play if an army later expands into that land? If so, why leave it on the board at all?
Leave an empty city or capital in place. No one collects points for it. The reason for doing it this way is simplicity. When an army expands into a land, a capital is flipped or city is removed. If capitals were flipped when left empty, then players would need to remember that those cities don't need to be removed when captured, unlike cities left over from kingdoms. It's an unnecessary complication.
Astronomy gives me one fleet token for any sea. Does this count as giving navigation? This is important because the Civil Service card gives a bonus coin to an Empire with navigation.
Navigation is defined as having at least one fleet, no matter how it is obtained. So yes, playing an Astronomy card gives your Empire navigation.
The Crusade card is confusing. Ignoring for the moment the rule that states armies can't be in water, assume that my first attack from the Mediterranean gets my army ashore in Palestine. Can the remaining armies now expand from both the Mediterranean and from Palestine, or only from the sea?
Treat the card as having an army pool of three and a start land of Eastern Med. From that point, it expands like any other Empire. If you take over Palestine, remaining armies can expand from the Eastern Med. or from Palestine, or from whatever other land they capture.
When an army from the Crusades card makes an attack from the Eastern Med., is it subject to the usual penalties for attacking from the sea?
Can you play two Weaponry cards and have them stack for a +2 bonus to your roll?
No. The rules specifically forbid playing two cards with the same effect. You could, however, play a Leader and Weaponry together, letting you roll 3 dice with a +1 bonus.
If Treachery is used against a land containing a fort, does the automatic win remove just the fort, or does it remove both the fort and the army?
Both the fort and the army are eliminated automatically, the same as if they were your color from a previous Epoch.
If Elite Troops attack a fort and the dice are tied, who wins? In other words, is the fort's +1 bonus added before or after looking for a tie? What happens if both dice roll a 6?
If the dice are tied, the elite troops lose. The bonuses are added first, then the numbers are compared. If both dice show 6s, the Elite Troops lose, 6 to 7. (Just because 6 is the highest number you can roll on the die doesn't mean it's the highest number you can have in the game).
The text on the Allies card seems to contradict the rules on using coins. Can you clarify?
The Allies card is poorly worded, but here's how it's meant to work. The card does not change how coins are used. You still must lose an army in combat in order to cash in the coin and bring the army back. The revived army returns to your army pool. If you played an Allies card, you can use that revived army to expand into an unoccupied land. This is still subject to normal rules on expansion; i.e., the land must be adjacent to one of your active armies. "Unoccupied" means no armies; cities, capitals, and monuments are OK. Once taken, you can continue expanding normally from that land. If you played an Allies card, it's a good idea to set revived armies aside (up to two, one for each Allies coin) as they are brought back, to cut down on confusion (you don't need to use those armies immediately, although that also reduces confusion).
Does the +1 bonus from Weaponry stack with the +1 bonus for Siegecraft to be a +2 bonus when attacking a city, capital, or fort?
Yes. You can't give a bonus to another card (barbarians can't benefit from weaponry, for example), but you can add two bonuses to your main Empire.
When you play a Kingdom, Minor Empire, or similar event card (Barbarians, Civil War) that tells you to put new units into play, are they of your own color? Can your "real" Empire expand outward from these armies?
Use your own color, but use pieces from a different Epoch. At the end of your turn you score points for those pieces just like all others of your color. Once that kingdom, Empire, or event is done expanding, however, no other Empire can expand from it. Each Empire or kingdom expands only from its own lands and seas.
The process of drawing, passing, and keeping Empire cards seems confusing. Can it be explained more clearly?
You draw one card each turn. You either keep that card, or pass it to another player. You can keep the card only if you don't already have one (given to you by another player). You can pass a card only to someone who doesn't already have an Empire card.
The Migrants: Australia card is different from the other Migrant cards. It says you can choose 2 armies from any Epoch except for Epoch 7. It doesn't say that it has to be a different Epoch than you are currently playing. If I'm playing Epoch 5, can I use Epoch 5 armies and expand upon them during my active Empire expansion?
The only time Australia is worth any points is Epoch VII, so there's not much reason to expand there earlier than that (I suppose Portugal or Spain could seize it during Epoch VI in the hope of getting an early Empire in Epoch VII and picking up some easy points). The reason why Epoch VII figures can't be used is to prevent confusion over monument building. But no matter what figures you use, your Empire can't expand from any land controlled by migrants -- or by kingdoms, minor empires, or any other event card forces.
If you play two cards before your turn, must you announce the fact that you're playing two cards and set them out before resolving either of them? Or can you play one, see its effect, and then decide whether to play another?
The latter, of course.
Building and Scoring
Page 8 of the rule book states, "After your turn is over (not the entire Epoch), you score for all your active and past Empires …" But on page 9, it states that "After all empires in an Epoch have either been played or skipped … [players] adjust the Score Charts …" So when is the score actually counted -- after your turn, or at the end of the Epoch?
The Score Charts are those little cardboard markers that are placed on the board to indicate how many points each area is worth. They are removed and replaced as needed at the end of the Epoch. That's what is meant by adjusting the Score Charts. Each player adjusts his own score only at the end of his turn, not at the end of the Epoch.
Can minor Empires build monuments?
The rules about building Monuments say nothing about using armies gained from Barbarians or Civil War cards. They are not "Minor Empires, Kingdoms, or Past Empires," so can they be used?
Resource symbols (and monument building) apply only to the active Empire. They do not apply to any army placed because of an event card.
Is the rule from the previous edition, whereby Incas and Aztecs can build a monument if they have two combined resources, still in effect?
What does it take to build a city?
A city is built one of two ways. You can either play a Kingdom event card that lets you place a city, or you can expand into a land where there's a capital and flip it over to a city.
How is the Victory Point Table on the last page of the rules manual used? It appears to be the same as the Victory Point Table on the board, but I don't understand that, either.
The tables are exactly the same. If you look at the Score Charts (the little cardboard markers that are placed on the board to indicate how many points each area is worth), you will notice that each has three numbers. The first number is points scored for Presence, the second is for Dominance, and the third is for Control. You will also notice that the second number is always exactly twice the first number, and the third number is always exactly three times the first number. The Victory Point Tables give the same information, but all together for the whole board and every Epoch. The numbers listed on the table are only the points for Presence. You score twice this number for Dominance and three times this number for Control. The tables are a handy way to compare the values of different areas in the various Epochs.
Do you get Presence points for past Empires in an area where your active Empire has Dominance?
No. When counting points, all pieces of your color count as one total and their Epoch is ignored. If you have a majority in the Middle East, it doesn't matter if they are a mix of Persians, Babylonians, and Romans; you score points for majority.
A Minor Empire cannot be affected by other event cards. Are only Minor Empires subject to this restriction? Could a Barbarian card, for example, benefit from a Leadership card?
Only Empires can be affected this way by event cards. An event card can't affect another event card.
Coins -- why?
Two reasons: money and game play.
Every color has enough pieces to play the strongest Empire in each epoch. That means, for example, that every color gets 20 Romans in case that player gets Rome. (In fact, you get 21 in case you lose one.) Before your turn you can play two cards. Assume that each of those cards gives you extra armies. Even if the cards were adjusted so that no card gave more than two armies (meaning no Reallocation card, and Civil Service maxes out at 2), each player could get four extra armies on any turn. To cover this possibility, the game would need to include four more pieces of every color in every Epoch. That's 4 pieces x 6 players x 7 Epochs = 168 extra pieces in the game just to accommodate an occasional need for four extra pieces. In manufacturing terms, this affects the size of the tool that makes the pieces, the time it takes for the pieces to be made, the shipping weight and cost of the pieces coming from the Far East, the ability to make them all fit in the box, and numerous other issues. In the simplest possible terms, it would mean charging more money for the game.
But coins are also a good solution from the perspective of game play. Two coins do not let you get two extra lands in a turn, they just let you recover two armies that you lost so you can try again. If your Empire gets eight armies, it can't expand into more than eight lands no matter how many coins it has. Coins do give you a better chance to get all eight lands, but that's all. That's a nice tool for balancing the Empires.
This was a long answer to a short question, but we think enough of the people reading this are interested in the game design process to make it worthwhile.
Why weren't the two-player rules from the earlier edition of the game included in the latest edition?
The game really comes into its true flavor only with at least three players, and it's better with four or five. The two-player rules are quite simple. From the original AH rulebook --
"11.1 TWO & THREE-PLAYER GAMES: The game plays best with four to six players. With only two or three players, have each player play two colors. The game otherwise remains the same. A player may pass an Empire card to himself in the Empire Distribution Phase by giving to his other colored faction. Faction scores, Strength tallies, and Event cards should be kept separate for each color. A player wins by having the highest combined score for his two colors."
A two-player game of HotW is better than no game, but we encourage everyone to try to get at least four players, if possible.
Download the rules to History of the World.