Ancient civilizations fill history enthusiasts with a sense of mystery and awe. Our knowledge is often greatly reduced as records have been lost over time. Archaeological finds are often the only real evidence or clues we have from these storied times. Some civilizations have been utterly lost to time, with only minor artifacts surviving.
Board games can help transport us back in time to live life as the Romans, Assyrians, or Greeks once did. We can learn about their civilizations from them and get to walk in their shoes as long as the dice are rolling. Come back in time with us as we explore the best Ancient Civilization board games!
🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Ancient Civilization Board Games
In a hurry? Take a quick peek before you go.
Kemet: Blood and Sand
Playing time: 90-120 minutes
For anyone who is fascinated by ancient Egypt, Kemet is the perfect game to get those brain juices flowing.
Kemet is the literal name of ancient Egypt in the native tongue and the ancient era is depicted in this game. It transports us to a time when the gods are in control and can raise and fight armies for control of Egypt.
Players will take up the flail of Anubis, the ankh of Sobek, and Bast’s sistrum as they lead their armies to war. While waging war, players will have the chance to build pyramids, and monuments and try to maintain control of their kingdoms.
The game pieces are intricate representations of figures from Egyptian mythology and help the player imagine epic battles in the dunes of the Sahara.
Playing time: 100 minutes
Concordia is the perfect game for the burgeoning proponent of free trade and commerce. Set in the peaceful days of the Roman Empire, when the entire Mediterranean region fell under their dominion, trade blossomed and goods traveled freely from Palestine to Gibraltar.
On the other side of the board is the province of Italy, where players can assert dominion over the Italian Peninsula where the Romans established their base.
The gods can be appeased through various means. Some can be appeased by the offerings given, the number of settlers placed, and the types of cities settled.
Players must found trading dynasties, expand their trade networks and vie with other powers to please the gods of Rome. There are 30 Roman cities to conquer and the player that appeases the gods the most will win Victory Points and win the game.
Teotihuacan: City of Gods
Playing time: 90-120 minutes
Widely considered to be one of the greatest cities in the Americas and eventually rivaled by nearby Tenochtitlan, Teotihuacan was once the largest city in pre-Columbian Mexico. When the Aztecs arrived in the city, it was already in a partially ruined state and ready for its domination.
The city today is famous for being the site of the Temple of the Sun and in Teotihuacan: City of Gods, players will recreate the actions of the builders to help construct it. Players use cocoa as the main method of payment and more cocoa means players can help build the pyramid faster.
Players must strike while the iron is hot or risk being steamrolled by the others. The game ends with the dawning of the Aztec Empire and the player with the favor of the gods wins.
Ankh: Gods of Egypt
Playing time: 90 minutes
Ankh uses detailed game pieces and detailed illustrations to transport players to the land of Ancient Egypt, a favorite of board games enthusiasts!
Ankh has a similar premise to Kehmet, in that players will choose an Egyptian deity as their avatar. We know the Egyptians of old worshiped a pantheon of various gods and that over time it became a more streamlined roster.
With society on the march toward monotheism, only the god with the most influence can be remembered and attain supremacy! Players must help boost their chosen god to ensure victory.
They can obtain boons in several ways, building monuments, winning the support of ancient creatures, and establishing trade routes will help them gain the love of the people!
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Playing time: 40-200 minutes
Encapsulated by the term Punic Wars, Rome and Carthage struggled against the other growing power for centuries and rivaled each other in the Mediterranean.
We know from history that although Carthage emerged as the larger power at first, Rome grew to unparalleled dominance across the known world, conquering and assimilating the Carthaginians completely.
Hannibal, so named for the great Carthaginian general Hannibal, puts players into the commander’s tent as they prepare to vie for dominance. While waging war, players are also given strategy and event cards that mimic the conditions of this historic era.
Drawing the wrong card can devastate a player’s chance of winning, by scaring attack elephants, to weakening the army through armed revolts in the empire.
Tigris & Euphrates
Playing time: 90 minutes
Tigris & Euphrates is so named for the two rivers that formed the fertile crescent and gave rise to the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia. While many civilizations have called this area home, it provides humanity with the earliest documented record of people living together and forming an organized society in one place.
Players must use the tools of civilization to strengthen their societies and ensure no area is neglected. The areas in question are Farming, Trading, Religion, and Government. Players are judged by which category is the weakest at the end of the game, so it is a good idea to ensure all parts of society are well-groomed.
Caesar: Rome vs. Gaul
Playing time: 120-240 minutes
Before Rome fell, the grand empire stretched from England in the North West of Europe to the ruins of Babylon near the Persian Gulf. It took centuries for the empire to reach these heights and many military campaigns were fought to extend Roman dominance.
One of the most hard-fought campaigns during this period was the subjugation of the province of Gaul, roughly corresponding to present-day France.
Caesar: Rome vs. Gaul pits two players against each other in this epic struggle. One plays Julius Caesar and the other as the leader of the Gallic tribes. The Gallic leaders must stay united in the face of growing Roman encroachment, although they can bring in outside tribes as reinforcements.
Eventually, Gaul would fall under Roman control, but players here have the chance to preserve Gaul’s distinct Celtic culture and sovereignty!
Playing time: 30 minutes
7 Wonders places the player firmly in the age of Antiquity as they must attempt to build one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Currently, the only fully intact Wonder from this age is the Great Pyramid of Giza.
In 7 Wonders, players take turns passing cards and collecting or giving tributes. Players will build up their trade networks to take full advantage of gameplay and concentrate on the construction of their wonder.
Players can build their wonders by paying a price in coins, paying in resources, paying with cards collected or some no-cost cards. The player with the highest score after three ages wins the game!
Yellow & Yangtze
Playing time: 90 Minutes
Waterways have always been central to the establishment of great civilizations and ancient China was no exception. The Yellow and Yangtze rivers provide fertile land and economic opportunities that saw the growth and expansion of Chinese civilization over the millennia until today.
Yellow & Yangtze places players in the time of the Warring States period where various kingdoms competed for power and prestige. Players must develop all categories of their societies to win the game, as the weakest category determines a player’s score.
With Yellow & Yangtze, players must build pagodas, quell peasant revolts, and fend off rival armies to win!
Playing time: 60 Minutes
Babylonia was arguably the greatest civilization to arise in ancient Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Babylonia focuses on the time of peace that was established under Nebuchadnezzar II and encourages players to obtain the lead of the game through non-forceful means.
Instead of war, players gain influence by establishing prosperous farms and placing peasants and workers in valuable places on the map.
Players succeed by building monuments, and temples and increasing trade with well-placed nearby players. Cooperation is key with Babylonia!
Playing time: 60-120 minutes
Polis, named after the ancient Greek word for “city,” places the player right in the middle of the consequential Peloponnesian Wars. This bitter conflict between Athens and Sparta would shape the course of Greek and world history forever.
Just as the Ancient Greeks did, players must increase their territory and influence by traveling to neighboring islands and territories and either conquering them or winning them over through diplomacy.
The Ancient Greeks were master seafarers and established settlements and trading posts wherever their ships could reach. Players should do similarly, as the one with the greatest population wins the game!
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best ancient civilization board games! Antiquity is an incredible era to study and immerse yourself in and building ancient civilizations on your tabletop is the best way to do it!
Have you tried any of these games before? Did we miss any of your favorites? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.
Daniel Roberts is a full-time Fantasy nerd and part-time games enthusiast. As an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah, he spends most of his time battling Dreadlords and Darkfriends. He combines his love of politics and battle with a passion for strategy games such as Risk and The Resistance. If you seek him at the Tower, invite him over for a game of Snakes and Foxes. It’s time to toss the dice again!