History cards follow national events in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and England between the fifteenth and the nineteenth century.

In January 2016, Codex Conquest only had national history, which were sets of 4 cards per century per country. At the time, Codex Conquest followed the print culture of 6 countries through 6 centuries.

The concept of countries through most of this period is anachronistic. Some countries in the game, like Italy, did not become unified nation states until later in history; others, like England, experienced territorial expansion through unification as well as colonialism. However, Chen felt the anachronism would create useful curricular prompts.

In order to acknowledge that not all countries are equally powerful at the same time, each country was given a century of dominance: Germany in the 15th, Italy in the 16th, Spain in the 17th, France in the 18th, England in the 19th, and the Americas in the 20th. This attribution relies on overall trends such as German printing, the Italian Renaissance, Spain’s Siglo del Oro, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution in England, as well as the combined economic, social, and military might of the United States following the World Wars. The century of dominance corresponded to the order in which players took their turns.

In May 2016, Chen added 6 world events, 1 per century to increase interaction between countries, highlight historical interdependence, and emphasize pedagogical themes in European history such as the Reformation and colonization. However, creating world events created problems, for world events could not duplicate the content of national history. After coming up with world events, Chen had to return to the national history and insert new cards to replace redundant information. Also, world and national history needed to be weighed in order to give each country an equal opportunity to win the game.

In January 2017, Chen simplified the game to solve a number of concerns that arose during the fall play tests, namely: the difficulty of setting up the game, the repetition of world events with national events, the weighing of national events, the unnecessarily addition of world events, and the confusing role of the Americas as an option within a game otherwise focused on European book history. As a result, she eliminated world events, but kept national history; eliminated the turn taking order; revised the national events’ text to better focus on book history rather than general history; and eliminated the Americas as an option. Also, she limited the game to the 19th century due to copyright concerns.

The following files document the evolution of Codex Conquest’s history cards: