About game:

The Mission: Early Christianity from the Crucifixion to the Crusades is a “grand strategy” solitaire game covering 1,200 years of Christian history on a map of the ancient Mediterranean, Near East, Europe and Africa. While the secular world of empires and politics plays out around you, your missionaries spread the Christian faith and convert areas of the map to your new religion. Each turn covers decades, and the flow of play will teach players about the expansion and doctrinal battles of early Christianity while you build institutions to educate, heal, and inspire the societies you touch.

Apostles and brilliant theologians will help you evangelize, but you will come to rely on the Roman/Byzantine state and Christian kingdoms to establish and defend the faith. Heresies and schisms in the Church will try to thwart your plans. Pressing against you are barbarian hordes, some of which you may convert; but the armies of Islam will emerge as the game changes from one of missionary outreach to one of self-preservation, as Christian communities hunker down for survival during the long Dark Ages. At the end, you will rise up in a blaze of glory as the Christian world finally fights back using Crusaders and the Spanish Reconquista to recover lost provinces.

The game takes you by hand and leads you through six different epochs in the Christianity development, each having its specific rules but very much interdependent of what had happened before and influencing what will be possible in the future.

Would you stand-up to the task and manage to prevail against odds, leading the Christianity to the prosperous future?

Number of players:

This is a solo wargame and I see zero possibility to play it multiplayer – other than trying together, cooperatively to devise best strategies for spread of Christianity.

Playing time:

The Full Campaign scenario will take at first about 4-5 hours; the Rise of Jihad – 7 turns set-up – is easily played within one evening.


I would rate this as medium-complexity wargame. We have decent amount of rules and some exceptions – key to the game dynamics – might be easily overlooked. It takes time and sessions for all to make sense. But this is good – the too easy solo wargame might quickly lose all its appeal and replayability.

What I like:
  • The theme is depicted in such a fantastic way in that game. Components, fonts, citations, mechanics, rulebook and its designer diaries. Regardless if you are Christina or not, you really feel the spread of the new ideas and accompany it through various events and eras.
  • In my opinion – and I will repeat this couple of times in this article – the strongest feature of the game are the various epoch through which the games leads the player. We go from the Apostles times, through Pagan and then Christian Roman empire, barbarians invasions, rise of Jihad and its transformation into Abbasid caliphate. What is important, each of those plays in many aspects differently than other eras, but there are also common rules plus huge interdependence of what we do earlier to what will happen later. This is why the game keeps you interested through as much as 27 turns! This is fantastic piece of design!
  • Components – Due to economic reasons I purchased the folio version. Still, the quality of product I received – chits, map, rulebook or player’s aids – is really nice and I had good time with the game as far as visual side is concerned. The enlarged map (now a standard) also helps! 
  • Rulebook – I read it with great pleasure – the designer notes, explanations about the mechanics or naming choices and various anecdotes made this a really enjoyable experience!
What I do not like or would like to see in the game:
  • It is probably only me, because the reports on various fan site does not confirm it – the game might be slightly more difficult for my taste. The good things is that it can be easily achieved by simply changing the VPs thresholds or setting up particular challenges.
For whom?

I would strongly recommend that game to anybody who would like to familiarize himself with the White Dog Games publisher. It is greatly designed and produced solo wargame. The beginners might find the amount of rules a little daunting, but after couple of sessions all elements should click in place.  

More about the game:

And now let us have a look at the components – all pictures taken during my plays:

All components set-up for the game. 4 cups, board, turn track, player’s aid. All in place!
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15.
In the second part of the game things dramatically change. Jerusalem become Arab-occupied and bloody Jihad begins!
Except full campaign, there is shorter Rise of Jihad scenario.

On top of this, my video session reports:

Part 1 – The Age of Apostles
Part 3 – The Age of Constantine
Part 5 – The Rise of Jihad
Part 2 – The Pax Romana
Part 4 – The Fall of Rome
Part 6 – The Early Middle Ages


That was a true and great discovery for me – both as far as publisher is concerned – White Dog Games – as well as designer – Ben Madison. The game – while utilizing standard tower-defense mechanics – is very refreshing and innovative. Its greatest strength lays in individual approach to each epoch in the first 1200 years of Christianity – you play completely differently during Pax Romana and have significantly different problems in times of Abbasid Caliphate.

I can wholeheartedly recommend that title to any player wishing to familiarize via boardgame with that very important part history – it is a fast-playing and exciting solo wargame. I like components, the interactions between rules, great rulebook – and the syndrome of “let me try one more time….” Highly recommended!

See you in another game review!