10 history board games to give this year

A few years ago I wrote a 10 Days of Games series, and I shared lists and lists of board games.  Since then I’ve refined my thinking and gotten a few new board games, so I wanted to share my 10 favorite history board games.

history board games

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Ancient History Board Games

Carcassonne: Hunters And Gatherers – This is a variation on Carcassone, it lets you think about the different ways food was gathered as we were learning to farm. I do not own this game, but have played it several times with friends (I will be honest I prefer the original version of Carcassone where you’re building a city in the middle ages).

Tigris and Euphrates– Help create and build civilization as you build out your empire.  Will you build Babylon, or the city of Ur?  I’ve played this a couple of times with Jeff, and it’s a good strategy game to figure out what will best advance your culture.  I’d put this at a junior high level.

Kings of Israel cross country game

Kings of Israel Board Game– This is a cooperative game, you and the other players are working together to save Israel from judgment for their sin (think Pandemic).  This is my daughter’s favorite game.

Middle Ages Board Games

history board games to give

Conquest of the Empire– Can you take over the Roman Empire?  This is a game Jeff owned when we started dating, that he’s want to play for years, but it’s a 2 hour game, and it’s high intense strategy, so not one to play with your young kids.  Jeff is still waiting to play it with me…….. Though we should give it a try again because I bet it would be popular in our house now. Future Ticia here, Jeff has since introduced it to the boys and they love it. Also this game regularly gets pulled out by them just for the figures in the game.

Dominion history board game

Dominion– This is currently a favorite in our house.  You are the ruler of a small middle ages city-state and you are trying to gain the most victory points.  I’ve got most of the pictures needed to write my review of this one, but I haven’t quite gotten it done yet.  This is probably my boys’ favorite game on this list.

Renaissance Board Games

Rio Grande Games Princes of Florence– You’re a prince (young nobleman) in Florence, Italy during the Renaissance.  You want to be shown as the best patron of the arts, so you’re building out your villa to get the best and brightest artists to join you.  Another strategy game for junior high/high school.  Maybe upper elementary.

Fresco history board game

Fresco Board Game– You are an Italian painter and you’re trying to get the best patrons and make the best paintings.  To do that you need to mix the best paints, be seen in the right places, and finish your painting at the right time.  It’s a lot of fun, and I just recently introduced this to the kids.  This might be my favorite game on this list.

Modern History Board Games

Made for Trade history board game

Made for Trade– I learned about this from Phyllis over at All Things Beautiful.  This is a great game to learn about life during colonial times and what you had to do during that time.  I very much like that it has different levels of difficulty, so there was a very easy version we played with our kids, but there is a more difficult version you can play with older kids or adults.

Axis and Allies: 1941 – This game is a great one for an in-depth study of World War 2, there are several different versions of this (1941, 1942, D-Day), all of which will give you a very solid understanding of World War 2.  This is a long-term game, and not intended to be played in a single night.  Not for young kids, you want a high schooler or very focused middle schooler playing this game.

Timeline American History Game– There are actually several variations on this game depending on your interests (music, discoveries, technology, Americana, diversity [a very intriguing one], and Cardline which we own).  The general idea is you have 5 cards and your goal is to get rid of your cards by correctly placing them on the timeline.  We gave a copy of this to my father-in-law for his birthday a year ago and very much enjoyed playing the game together several times.

history board games to give this year

I’m also joining up with the ladies from iHomeschool Network for even more Gift giving ideas!


14 responses to “10 history board games to give this year”

  1. I had no idea there are so many history games. I am considering Dominion, but we have SO MANY games, some of them we haven’t even played once yet…

    1. And these are only the ones Jeff or I have played. There’s a whole other grouping that I’ve heard of, but haven’t played, but intrigue me (there’s a few interesting Underground Railroad or World War 2 war games that intrigue me).

  2. This is a great list, and includes a couple I don’t know. I will have to check them out. Thank you.

    1. You’re welcome. It was fun to find all of these and break it out this way.

  3. Fascinating theme for a list! I think my kids need to get into board games more before we invest in any of these…

    1. Most of these are not games to get if you’re not into games (though Cardline is fairly low key and a low threshold for investment).

  4. This is a very useful collection, even for families who don’t play games (ahem). Thanks for sharing!

    1. Someday I’ll get you to play lots of games 🙂

  5. What a great list! We’re a board game junkie family and a couple of these look intriguing once my littles get bigger!

    1. I had to be very patient to be able to introduce some of these to my kids. But, they’ve played most of them now.

  6. Jan Cummins Avatar
    Jan Cummins

    Another great history game you should check out is Historical Conquest. It is a card game that uses characters, documents, inventions, technology, and places, etc. from history. All of my children love this game (ages 8-15). There is a yearly contest where you can submit ideas for new cards which has been extremely motivational for my kids. They keep a list going all year of ideas for new cards. We actually have a club where kids get together on a regular and play. Check it out on their website. (I am not associated with the company, but I just think it is an amazing way to teach kids history in a fun way!)

    1. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of it, but I’ll look it up.

  7. Memoir 44?

    1. I totally forgot to put it on there. We don’t personally own that one, so it totally slipped my mind.

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