Anno 1452
An Historical Competition for the Imperial Crown
For 2-4 players aged 12 years or more

Overview |  Summary |  Rules |  Player Aid |  Cards |  Variants


  • As German medieval princes the players are trying to attain Imperial dignity by diplomatic, economic and strategic means.
  • "Expand your estate, attain city charters and house new citizens. Gain new estates by marriage, and make your luck by clever use of the cards you are dealt."
  • All your actions have an immediate effect on your Prestige, which is an important key to victory.
  • "In every generation - that is in every round of the game - a new king is elected, who influences the fate of the Principalities."
  • The varied actions and the high interaction between the players guarantee tension right up to the end.
  • "Only the mightiest ruler of ANNO 1452 will be crowned Emperor..."


    The Historical Background

    The time predating the first elected king was characterized by unrest and injustice - brute force ruled.

    To restore law and order the German princes decided to institute a freely elected king from among a specific group of Electors. Three ecclesiastical and four lay princes would elect the first German king.

    They preferred a candidate from one of the weaker houses as that would enable them to negociate privileges and political influence. For these reasons they also wanted to intermix the crown dynasties.

    The elected prince had therefore an interest in making the most of his period of office and expanding his own power.

    The House of Habsburg proved to be particularly skillful during these hard times. Rudolf I von Habsburg was elected King in 1273 - as a congenial but not particularly affluent noble.

    With skillful matrimonial politics, intrigues, alliances and at least partly, annexation of conquered territories, the Habsburgs became more and more powerful through the centuries, and despite this still managed to present royal candidates who were too good to dismiss.

    A coronation in March 1452 by Pope Nicholas V finally crowned Friedrich III von Habsburg Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

    Idea & Layout: Gerhard E. Kodys
    Development: Gerhard & Elisabeth Kodys
    Rules: Knut-Michael Wolf
    Historical Consultation: Dr. Franz Hartmann
    Illustration: Simon Roberts (the cover illustration is based on a historic painting)
    Game testers (in alphabetical order): Rudolf Ammer, Angeli Damda, Franz Grundner, Franz Hartmann, Reinhard Karger, Ferry Kral, Johannes Riener, Manfred Schreiber, Michael Valent and many more...

    Special thanks to: Dagmar & Ferdinand de Cassan and Spiele Kreis Wien (SKW) for many years of happy gaming. We would also like to thank everyone who has supported us in word and deed during the development of ANNO 1452 as well as the many anonymous test gamers.

    If you have questions on the rules, suggestions or playing tips for ANNO 1452, or if you simply want to get in touch with the makers of this game, please write to:

    Wiener Spielefabrik
    Ferd. Piatnik & Söhne
    ANNO 1452
    Postfach: 79
    A-1141 Wien

    Translation: Mik Svellov
    Thanks to Rick Heli for the help!
    1999 v1.5

    Overview |  Summary |  Rules |  Player Aid |  Cards |  Variants