“There are a lot of nice mechanisms in this game... You're faced with tough decisions... The Combat system - I really like it... There's room for strategic thinking... Components are very nice.”

The First War

Discover the world, develop your technology and build your empire

IMPORTANT! The pieces you need to play this game are sold separately. You have two choices for this [scroll to the end for pricing]:

The First War is an empire-building game for 2 players using

  • discovered terrain
  • four types of pieces
  • a technology tree

This game employs board discovery and technological development to make every turn a different problem to figure out. The player who can best read and forecast the trends and future potentials to find the best efficiencies will triumph.

One of the main ideas is to explore the feasibility of combat without dice or any other random factor (such as cards). So if the dice hate you, this is your game! Instead, players must contend with the vicissitudes of board discovery, position and changes to the basic rules (via technology) as the game goes on.

The four types of units:

  • Hunters – your attackers!
  • Farmers – excellent defenders who also grow food
  • Healers – restoring the sick and wounded
  • Artificers – researching new technologies

The five types of terrain on the 96 hexagonal tiles:

  • Fields – best for farming
  • Forest and Plains – best for hunting
  • Mountains – contain minerals useful for technology
  • Lake – an obstacle, at least at the beginning

Note: This game does not ship with rules. Instead, please print out the six pages of Living Rules and the two pages of Population Track that are available here as free downloads.

Find video introduction, review and playthrough below.


If you like games of civilization, check also Poleis, the game of Ancient Greek colonization. cover.png


Introductory video:

Playing the game:

Published January 22, 2017


Mini DeckMini Deck (1 deck of 6 cards)
Mini DeckMini Deck (1 deck of 3 cards)
Mini DeckMini Deck (1 deck of 4 cards)
Mini DeckMini Deck (1 deck of 5 cards)
Mini DeckMini Deck (1 deck of 6 cards)
Mini DeckMini Deck (1 deck of 3 cards)
Mini DeckMini Deck (1 deck of 4 cards)
Mini DeckMini Deck (1 deck of 5 cards)
NOTE: This game contains laser cut components. Laser cut items will have a slight amount of soot around the edges, which can easily be wiped off; and will have a campfire smell for about a week after you open them.



Action Shots



Cool Factors

  • Discover a different world each time you play
  • Work with a different technology tree each time you play
  • Short, simple rules, but challenging decisionmaking


DesignerUp & Away Games
Average Rating (2)
Publish DateJanuary 22, 2017
AudienceHardcore Gamer
Primary MechanicMap Building
If You LikeEvo
More InfoThe First War web site

Reviews and Ratings