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After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over 18 months and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every other Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Time for Tea?:- Timeline: British History



GameTimeline: British History

Publisher: Asmodee

DesignerFrédéric Henry

Year20
16

Today we are going to discuss the history of Britain, a once-proud island nation that withstood the test of time, until the early two thousands, when it famously became the first nation to vote for its own irrelevance. The story of Britain begins approximately 6500BC when the Island of Britain first separated from mainland Europe. Its people were simple scavengers then, it wouldn’t be for another two thousand years until they began farming. Thousands of years after that the early Brits began to erect great stone circles; such as Stonehenge. But it wasn’t until 55BC, when the Romans came, that a lot of technological breakthrough began to appear on the island. After that not much happened, a few battles, a little fire, and a handful of other minor events, until, in 2011, Kate and Will got married! Then finally in 2016, the country was allowed to vote on Brexit... and, well, we all know how that worked out!

Timeline: British History is a 2-8 player card game in which you attempt to empty your hand of cards as quickly as possible. You do this by placing dual-sided cards into the correct space on a common timeline, each card has an event on one side, and the event’s date on the reverse. Should you place the date in the wrong place then you have to collect a new card from the supply. Timeline: British History is, of course, based on the history of the British Isles, however there are a series of Timeline games, so you can very much pick your preferred flavour, or even mix and match within reason.

Timeline: British History is incredibly fast paced. A 2-player game will probably take 3-5 minutes to complete, but as setting up the next game is a matter of dealing out 9 cards, that’s not a problem. Even with larger groups the game doesn’t slow down much, and you can reliably get a game completed in 10 minutes. Each player starts with 4 cards, so for smaller groups the timeline can be quite small and therefore finding the correct spot for your card is disproportionately easy, the rules do suggest that once you are experienced you should start with a few more cards. I’d strongly recommend this at low player counts, or else first player advantage is very strong, and any mistakes are massively punishing.

The game set up ready for a two player game, players will play cards to the timeline, then flip them over to find out if they placed them correctly.
By its very nature Timeline: British History is an educational game, there’s only so many times you can see cards before you find that you’ve learnt the dates on them. While this makes it a lovely idea to pull out in an end-of term history class, this does limit replayability. I would have appreciated more cards in the box, 110 is enough for a reasonable game, but I found that after half a dozen games (which is only about 25 minutes of playing) you begin to see the same cards again, an extra 50-100 cards would have given this game more shelf life.

If you really have no idea when something happened, the art can often give clues, via styles of machines/clothing.
It’s important to judge Timeline: British History as what it is, a quick filler with an educational twist. And it actually does that very, very well. I’m not going to say that it’s the most fun I’ve had playing a board game, but I did enjoy Timeline, its strangely easy to find yourself saying “one more round” over and over again.

6.5/10


Timeline: British History was a review copy provided by Esdevium Games Ltd. It is available for an RRP of £12.99 at your friendly local game store.

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