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Mega Civilization, the 18-player, 12-hour-long board game covering 8,000 years of history, returns in a new edition this year

War of the Ring publisher plans future additions to Mega Empires after revised West and East boxes.

Image credit: Colossus Games/Ares Games

Mega Civilization, a tribute to the seminal 1980 board game that inspired Sid Meier’s Civilization, certainly lived up to its name. Taking up to 12 hours to play with up to 18 players, the sprawling strategy game spanned more than eight millennia of human history on the tabletop. After selling out years ago, the successor to Mega Civilization is returning in 2024 with a revised edition of the cardboard epic - and with plans for more games in the series.

A quick bit of history. Almost a decade in the works, Mega Civilization was released by Dutch studio 999 Games in 2015 as a supersized homage to late designer Francis Tresham’s original Civilization, which pioneered the concept of technology trees upon its release in 1980 and would go on to inspire the hugely popular computer game series Sid Meier’s Civilization. Mega Civ blew out the already vast sweep of Civ to allow up to 18 players to take control of different civilisations across thousands of years from the end of the Ice Age to the close of the Iron Age, something that could take 12 hours of play - or more.

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Mega Civilization’s limited-run collector’s edition - containing more than 3,000 pieces, weighing 11kg and costing $200 - was later split into two slightly smaller boxes focused on different regions of the world and rechristened as the Mega Empires series. 2019’s Western Empires - set around the Mediterranean - and 2021’s Eastern Empires - covering from the Arabian Peninsula to the Silk Road and India - allowed up to nine players to play using each standalone box, or could be recombined to form an experience closer to Mega Civilization.

Mega Civilization and the Mega Empires games have since sold out, but will now see a revised reprint under yet another new name. Mega Empires: The West and Mega Empires: The East will feature revamped rules said to be based on feedback from thousands of players, supporting up to nine players each or allowing for a combined 18-player match. While the full game mode is still estimated to take up to 12 hours, shorter scenarios will allow for two-hour matches.

Image credit: Colossus Games/Ares Games

Behind the revised editions is studio Colossus Games, formed by Mega Civilization co-designers Flo de Haan and Gerart de Haan to release the Mega Empires series, and publisher Ares Games, known for Lord of the Rings board game War of the Ring, aerial miniatures game Wings of Glory and more.

Mega Empires: The West and Mega Empires: The East are planned to release in late 2024, with Ares and Colossus revealing their plans to publish brand new entries in the Mega Empires series starting next year once the revised games are out.

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