Jesus asked his disciples: “When the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?” (Luke 18:8, NLT) That question is the premise behind The Mission.
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!
Beginners and experienced gamers will find this an intriguing and very different sort of game. It’s a war of ideas, but it’s still a wargame, where managing scarce resources (including holy relics!) and making shrewd strategic decisions are the keys to victory. Can you build a strong, united and prosperous Christendom?
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