Time War - A Game of Time Travel and Conflict

Time War

A Game of Time Travel and Conflict

Yaquinto Publications - 1979
2 - 4 Players


In Time War conflicts between nations are no longer fought as wars. Instead, agents are sent into the past in an attempt to change history. In the game, players represent the heads of the time travel agencies of the US, Russia, China and Germany. They must keep their organizations functioning and control their agents as they send them off into the time stream.

Time War is really two games in one. The first game is the running of the time travel agency. The players must gain recruits for their department then train them to be time agents. There are three levels of agent; Sentinel, Warden and Agent. Three agents can be trained further and form an Action Team. The more training an agent receives the better they are at performing their missions but the longer their training lasts. Training can be sped up by hiring instructors. The players must also perform research into improving their time travel and computer equipment and hire technicians to run the equipment. All of this must be done with their limited department budget.

When their agents are ready the player sends them into the past to attempt to change history. Time is represented by a series of concentric circles and the current time line by a line of arrows. As history is changed, the time arrows move clockwise or counterclockwise around the board. A card is drawn showing the task which must be performed in the past. (For example Assassinate Abraham Lincoln or Aid Napoleon in his coup against the Directory. Success is determined by the skill of the agent and the modifiers on the card.

Success means the time line shifts in the favor of the player making the change. Failure makes the time line change randomly (which could benefit the player's opponent). Players can also send agents into the past to guard portions of the time line or to track down and kill their opponents agents.

After 20 turns the time line is examined and the player most benefited by the time line (determined by the distance of each part of the time line from the player's "base line") is the winner.


This game is quite fun to play, even by people who do not normally play "war games". Some of the missions the agents are sent on are quite amusing (and everyone will probably find one or two they find offensive) but they add a great deal of flavor to what would otherwise be a fairly abstract game. The department management aspects of the game add to the fun and the way in which the time line shifts means that victory is in doubt up to the very last move. This is one of the very few games which have ever been attempted on the subject and one which works extremely well.

2 comments on Time War:

Neil at August 1, 2011 12:31 said:
You wouldn't have a digital copy of the rules would you?
Don Hawthorne at April 20, 2011 18:58 said:
Love this game, still play it!
Have played on an expanded Admin board using miniatures and the "Adventurer" combat system for raids on the enemy Admin Centers (an idea given to me by Graig Taylor himself). I would love to see this game get a 21st Century re-make with miniatures and a slick map treatment, but until then, I'll keep mine and keep playing it old-school!

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