Mark's #34: History of the World.
Then, Avalon Hill changed hands, discovered the benefits of stuffing their games full of plastic minis, and published the newest edition of History of the World. A copy ended up on the prize table at a Gulf Games and I picked it up, intrigued by the positive buzz.
What was once a long & semi-tedious game with niggly decisions that took time without mattering a great deal (garrisoning, fighting for sea zones) is now a lean, mean empire-building machine. The game has sweep & story in great gobs... and it's just plain fun to play.
It's still long - but I never find myself watching the clock. I need to get a game of it going again real soon.