The First Tsar: Ivan the Terrible

Game Design: Stan Kordonsky
Artwork: Michele Esposito

2-3 hours



Game Overview

In the year 1547 Ivan Vasilyevich, Grand Prince of Moscow, was crowned as the first Russian Tsar. During his fifty-year reign, the tsardom experienced numerous rises and falls, their echoes can still be heard today. All these events, good and bad, would have been impossible without the participation of boyars, warlords, nobles, prelates and other faithful servants of the sovereign.

In this board game you will lead the boyar families competing for power and honor in the 16th-century Tsardom of Russia. Over four decades, you’ll collect income from estates and equip troops, trade with foreigners and fortify cities, seek privileges and carry out royal assignments. Use your influence on the tsar, bribe his minions, and perhaps it is your family that will succeed in taking the Russian throne in the next century.

International Publishers


Key Selling Points

Deep and diverse strategy board game set in one of the most dramatic periods of Russian history

Historically correct illustrations and clever visual design based on the documents of the time and scientific reconstructions

A thematic sequel to the popular board game Rurik: Dawn of Kiev that rethinks and develops the game mechanics of the predecessor


Game board

66 cards

181 wooden pieces

102 tokens

4 player pads


The First Tsar: Ivan the Terrible – Economic Strategy in Historical Setting

Learn more about the development and production if the game!

English review by What Board Game – Reading time: 8 min.

This game is absolutely fantastic. From the midpoint of my first round, I was completely hooked. Every choice feels crucial, every move significant. You’re constantly considering your opponents’ actions and potential moves. You’re strategising about which areas of the main board to control by the round’s end and how to counter your opponents’ strategies. Your brain is working overtime from the get-go to maximize your efficiency.

English review by @boardgamebahrain – Reading time: 5 min.

Overall, The First Tsar: Ivan the Terrible has easily earned a spot in my top 10 board games for 2024. It is another amazing title from Hobby World!
A superb game! Highly recommended!

English review by @brettspielfieber – Reading time: 1 min.

The more I play it, the more I like it. Highly interactive and tense euro game experience!

English review by @brettspielfieber – Reading time: 1 min.

Definitely worth a try, if you enjoy interactive games with a focus on sound game design!

English review by @abroadgame – Reading time: 2 min.

Overall this is a game I highly recommend and if you’re a fan of the genre you should definitely grab it on release!
Gameplay 8/10

Game Rules (EN)

All you need to know to play the game.

Sell Sheet

Single-page gameplay overview with all the business information included (MSRP, MOQ, Availability).

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