Monday, 10 October 2016

Timeline British History from Esdevium Games and Asmodee

Timeline games have always been fun, easy to learn and play. In the case of Timeline Historical Events highly educational, and with the Star Wars Timeline epsiode IV, V, VI and Timeline Star Wars Episodes I, II, III just pure movie based fun.  There is though a wide range of different subjects covered by the Timeline series Inventions, Music & Cinema, Science & Discoveries and General Interest as just a few examples, and they acan all be mixed together as well!

The Latest addition though... is British History.
 I Have to say the artwork is fantastic on the cover, really love it, and it screams "British" with the victorian lady, Cheshire Cat, Tea, Big Ben, lots of references with lovely colouring.
 The Game advises ages 8 and up, which is possibly fair, only for the content really not the rules.  But if you are using this as a teaching aid, and believe me it makes teaching a lot more fun then you can drop the age to maybe 6 or 7.  Players.. 2-8 yes, it plays fine at all numbers.  Time suggested for a play.. 15 minutes.... usually the games I have had have gone quicker than that, but i have not often played in the larger groups, and with people who may be thinking a lot on their turn it could happen.

Time to take a look inside!!




It contains the rules, has some nice simple diagrams showing you how it works as well, though after one read through of a couple of minutes you can be playing with people who haven't played before in a few minutes its that's simple.
Then you get 110 cards with their own inbuilt storage in a lovely metal tin.
The Cards themselves are the "mini" type becoming more common  these days, they need to be though to fit the size of the game.  The card quality is good, they do not feel cheap and nasty, and they have some fantastic themed artwork on them all relating to moments in British History.
 On one side of the cards you have the historical event itself, on the reverse of the card you have the date the event happened, and the same artwork is on both sides.

Now down to how it plays, the recommended number of starting cards is 4 per player, which does not sound like much, but if you have 4 players that's 16 cards in your timeline overall.  The rules suggest you can increase the number of cards depending on players, so for a two player game you may want 10 each, or whatever you may prefer.  The idea is to get rid of all your cards, the first player to do so wins.
All the cards are shuffled and dealt to the players date side down.  The deck is then put to one side, and the top card is flipped over to show the date and placed in the center.  Then the first player starts.  You pick one of your cards, and place it still date side down where you think it happened.  Did it happen before or after the main card.  Once you have placed it where you think it goes, you flip it over to show the date.  If it is correctly placed play moves on to the next player.  If the dates are wrong and not the correct order, then you discard that card and draw another from the deck.  Play continues with all players doing this until they run out of cards.

 After a few rounds the timeline grows, making guesses a bit more tricky, i mean the initial range of things make it fairly easy, but hen it gets close, like Satellites?? the first motorway? Postcodes? stuffs getting tricky there.

So that's the game, its really that simple in theory.  Though in practice the guesses can get a bit tricky, which makes it fun.  There is such a wide variety of events, from Britain becoming an island to leaving the EU this year, so there are going to be cards you know, and cards that make you think "oh I am not sure, maybe here" you may be lucky, or you may be  wrong and draw another card.

Its elegantly simple in its execution, proving you do not need pages of rules for a fun game. If you are worried about its replay value, the other sets i mentioned can be mixed in to add huge variety to the game and many more challenges, increasing its replay value massively, and its educational value for all involved.

speaking of educational... i think this is excellent! Being a a history fan i think not enough history is taught in the classroom, and this game could really remedy it, its an excellent learning device, connecting images with dates and seeing it all laid out as you create it helps learn, helps you judge where things should be in time, and hopefully generates the urge to go and learn more about those bits of history as well!

All in all a great little game, that can be picked up for RRP £13.99 so it wont break the bank and is available in your local Waterstones..  If you can not find it there try your local game stores here, its the perfect pressie for someone who loves history, or to help people learn it.