Battle through the Galaxy!
We are currently right in the middle of the huge Star Wars revival. After the success of The Force Awakens and Rogue One, and the hype surrounding The Last Jedi, the Star Wars franchise is at full speed ahead. With one new Star Wars film every year for the foreseeable future and Fantasy Flight Games pumping out great Star Wars board games, the future looks bright for Star Wars board gaming.
But with more and more Star Wars board games being released, how do you choose between them? Some of the games are certainly on the more expensive side. Especially the games with collectible miniatures. This list of the best Star Wars board games will help you decide what games are best suited for you. The games on this list vary greatly so there should be something for everyone! Be sure to check out the specific suggestions for different types of games as well as the ordered best of list.
The list will cover board games that are currently widely available so that people can pick these up and play these easily. There are some great older Star Wars board games but that will probably end up being the focus of another article. Enjoy this list of the best Star Wars board games and may the force be with you!
For the more casual gamer nothing on this list can be beaten by Star Wars Carcassonne. The original Carcassonne is well known for being an amazing gateway into the world of board games and is extremely popular. If you don’t own the original version of Carcassonne I highly recommend picking that up over at Amazon!.
The Star Wars edition of this board gaming classic provides new Star Wars themed artwork and a revised set of rules to fit the theme. The meeples are now bigger and each colour represents a different character from the Star Wars universe, complete with a sticker depicting that character. Roads have been replaced with trade routes, cities are now asteroid fields and cathedrals are now planets. Each planet in the game represents one of the planets from Star Wars and is labelled to make it more fun. Dice combat now allows players to fight over tiles and steal them from other players. Although there are new mechanics in the form of combat this does come at the expense of original game mechanics like farms.
Star Wars Carcassonne is great for anybody that already loves Carcassonne. It’s different enough from the original to be interesting but doesn’t change it so much to lose the fun and charm of the original mechanics. The new artwork is great and is very colourful. Overall this is a great spin off and definitely worth picking up as an alternative gateway game, or as a fan of Carcassonne.
Everyone has played Monopoly, even if they don’t like board games. So if you happen to find yourself in need of a game to play with non-gamers in the Star Wars universe, then look no further than Star Wars Monopoly. With the base game for the most part left intact new players should find it easy to pick up if they are familiar with the original.
The theming of the game is excellent. The board is entirely circular with custom player pieces representing Luke, Vader, Finn and Kylo. The centre of the board contains different planets that allow for the placing of tokens to increase rent. These planets link back to places on the board which makes it easier to fit multiple pieces in a single place. The chance and community chest cards are replaced with Millennium Falcon and Star Destroyer cards and although still paper, the money is made to look like Galactic Credit chips.
Aimed at kids
The rules are a somewhat dumbed down version of Monopoly that is clearly aimed at a younger audience but can still be fun for older groups. Although each player plays individually, the resulting outcome will either be a win for the Rebels or a win for the Empire. This is based on how many planets are controlled by each faction once all properties are owned and the game is over. There is no bankruptcy in the game, instead players sacrifice a base on a property and keep whatever cash they have. This allows players to collect additional cash as they pass Go and continue playing.
Though the game is aimed at younger players it is still fun for anyone who likes Monopoly. The game is also much shorter than a traditional game of Monopoly with house rules applied. Therefore if you are looking for a Star Wars themed game to play with non-gamers then Star Wars Monopoly is a worthy choice. Though if you think they may be interested in some more complex mechanics then Star Wars Carcassonne (mentioned above) might be worth a try.
Clue Game: Star Wars Edition is a Star Wars version of the old Clue game. Players play as the rebels who have managed to sneak onto the Death Star in an effort to find information. They are looking to find out which planet will be targeted next, the room in which the Death Star plans are hidden and to identify the correct escape vehicle. The game is more or less the same as the original Clue but there are a few small mechanics changes. The mechanics changes are by no means perfect and some can cause major issues but it’s nothing that a few house rules can’t fix. Additionally there is a complete rules variant available on Board Game Geek that fixes a lot of the issues and even introduces light combat!
Difference between this and Clue
The Star Wars edition of the legendary game is certainly a little different! The most noticeable change is the rather cool 3D board with 2 separate levels. It’s only made of cardboard and can be a little tricky to put together but as a Star Wars fan it’s one of those things that is just really cool. Additionally the game comes with a set of 6 miniatures representing characters from Star Wars, and a set of cards and tokens for representing the different planets, vehicles and characters.
The game board is surprisingly detailed and has a few little fun things for big Star Wars fans to find and the multiple levels add something a little different. The way the board is constructed does mean that it is impossible to see the entire board at one time, so the board needs to be spun repeatedly, or players have to stand and look over and round. Not a major problem and in my opinion a small price to pay for such a cool game board.
The game can be fun, especially with kids who are fans of Star Wars, but the game certainly does have its problems. However the alternate ruleset available on Board Game Geek solves some of these problems and makes the game a lot more fun. The board and pieces are of a good enough quality and in my opinion are good enough to make this game worth picking up. It’s only slightly better than just a straight Star Wars skin over Clue but with a tiny bit of modification it can be a fun game with cool pieces that really appeal to kids.
Everyone has played Trivial Pursuit at some point in their lives. This Star Wars edition of Trivial Pursuit is exactly what you would expect it to be. Players choose a Star Wars faction and then move around the board aiming to collect all 6 wedges and answer the all-important final question to win the game. The game features over 1800 questions from the Star Wars universe including questions about the Force Awakens.
There isn’t a lot that can be said about a Trivial Pursuit game. The underlying formula remains completely unchanged. However the appeal here isn’t new mechanics but rather a theme for the questions. In that regard the game performs pretty well. The questions definitely aren’t going to be too difficult for any super fans but they can still provide a fun challenge and allow people with a less comprehensive knowledge of the Star Wars universe to still enjoy playing and not be left out. The custom game board is styled nicely though it’s nothing revolutionary. The game pieces are also styled nicely but again this really hasn’t deviated far from the tried and true Trivial Pursuit formula. If you like Star Wars and you like Trivial Pursuit I see no reason not to pick this up and have a go.
Empire vs Rebellion is a fast paced card game for two players. As implied by the name, one player controls the Empire and another player controls the Rebellion. Each player starts the game with a unique set of cards. Additionally there is a set of universal event cards and a few different tokens to help with gameplay. Players battle it out to win event cards, of which each card is worth a number of victory points. The game is over when one player has 7 victory points at the end of a round.
A round consists of 3 phases: planning, struggle and dominance. During the planning phase an event is revealed and players choose a strategy card they wish to use. During the struggle phase players take turns performing a range of actions that could help them win the event. Once both players pass then play moves on to the next phase. During the dominance phase players reveal their strategy card and the cards are resolved. The player with the highest resource value that does not exceed the number on the event card wins control of that card and claims those victory points.
A kid friendly filler game
This is by no means a complicated game and that is reflected in the low price. However it is still fun to play and can be used as a nice little filler game. It makes a nice alternative to the usual filler games, especially for Star Wars fans. The game uses stills from the movie instead of artwork which isn’t a bad thing, but some people would prefer actual artwork. The artwork of a board game can be one of the major draws and for some people movie stills are a deal breaker. However if movie stills don’t bother you then Empire vs Rebellion is worth a look, even just for the low price!
Being a more simple game this can be great fun with kids as they can pick it up fairly quickly and play by themselves without too much help. If you’re a Star Wars board game fan then it is worth picking this up for the low price alone, as a couple of times on your table will be more than enough value to cover the cost. A fun little filler game that may not be for everyone but can certainly be fun. If you’re looking for something more complicated then keep reading for some of our higher picks.
Risk has not escaped a Star Wars makeover either. Risk: Star Wars Edition however is more of a complete transformation than a makeover. Players fight for the galaxy as the Empire and the Rebellion across 3 separate battles. Emulating the battle at the end of Return of the Jedi, players fight over the shield generator on Endor, the space battle outside the Death Star and the lightsaber battle between Luke and Darth Vader. Each section of the game board uses different gameplay mechanics to offer rewards and progress the game in your favour.
How does it play
The shield generator section sees the Rebels on a slow march towards the shield generator. The Rebels must roll dice higher than the difficulty laid out on the track to move forward. The Empire can send out more Stormtroopers in an attempt to slow the advancing Rebels, giving them a chance to destroy the Rebel fleet circling the Death Star. The Vader vs Luke section has players fighting the final dramatic battle from Episode VI and offers rewards and bonuses that can help either side in the other ongoing battles.
The main event is the huge space battle taking place above Endor around the Death Star. Complete with a really nice selection of miniatures and some larger card pieces representing larger ships, this battle truly feels epic. The space combat is fairly straightforward and based on simple dice rolls against armour, but this helps to keep the game moving at a swift pace. The capital ships have a few actions available to them such as docking smaller ships, releasing more squadrons or even attacking. In addition to this the Death Star is also operational and can be used to take out large swathes of the Rebel fleet. There are bonuses available for different things such as clearing sectors or even for participating in the fight between Vader and Luke.
Diamond in the rough
Some of Hasbro’s forays into the world of Star Wars board games have been major disappointments and missed potential. Risk: Star Wars Edition however hits the sweet spot. It truly is a fantastic game. It doesn’t take too long to play and can be understood and picked up in a relatively short space of time. I have also found this game to be fun to play with both kids and adults which for something based in the Star Wars universe makes it much easier to recommend. This really is worth picking up if you like Risk or want something with miniatures that isn’t going to cost a fortune and take up all of your time. Highly recommended as an awesome Star Wars board game.
In addition to the wide range of Star Wars board games that have been released recently, there has been a number of tabletop RPGs. Currently there are 4 available however the latest one is somewhat under developed compared to the others so hopefully in the future it will be expanded and more games will be created. Each game sees the players taking on common roles from the Star Wars universe with each game having a theme. Edge of the Empire has players taking on the roles of smugglers, bounty hunters and pirates. Exploring the world of the Star Wars scoundrel. Age of Rebellion thrusts players into the fight against the Empire as they play as rebel soldiers and freedom fighters. Force and Destiny has players follow the stories of the last Jedi Knights during the time of the Empire.
All 3 of these Star Wars roleplaying games are set during the time period of the Original Trilogy. Much like a traditional roleplaying game such as Dungeons and Dragons, players each take on a character with a set race, career and skills. Skills can be increased by spending experience points or spending Talents. Players work together to use their skills to progress through the stories. All 3 games are available as a beginner’s core rule set. In addition to this there are a number of expansions and supplements that allow players to expand and customise the experience.
The production value for these RPGs is incredibly high. The artwork is all original with a really nice hand drawn appeal and there are no photos or movie stills in sight. The books are large and heavy and seem to be for the most part well written. If you are a fan of Roleplaying Games then these really are a must have. Pick the story setting that most appeals to you and your friends and have a go! You will definitely enjoy these.
If you are into more traditional card games or deck builders then this is the game for you. Star Wars: The Card Game is a two player game that once again pits the Rebels against the Empire. Each player has a deck of Objective Cards and a deck of Player Cards. The Player Cards consist of characters, droids, vehicles, items, events etc. The Objective Cards naturally consist of a series of objectives. Each objective card is directly linked to 5 player cards. Deck building requires each player to choose which objective cards they would like to play, and then putting together the associated player cards to form a deck.
Players must play their cards in an attempt to attack and destroy their opponent’s objectives. At the same time they must protect their own objectives to stay in the game. The Rebels win by destroying all of the Empire’s objectives. The Empire however has a few different ways to win. Each time a dark side turn takes place a counter is increased on the Death Star. Once this reaches 12 the Rebels are defeated. This counter increase can be sped up by beating the Rebel player in the force struggle and destroying rebel objectives.
The game is very well produced with original artwork for all of the cards as well as nice quality tokens for tracking gameplay. Additionally there is an awful lot of expansions and booster packs to allow players to further customise their decks with a variety of different cards and really choose the way they play. Though it could quite easily become quite expensive. If you’re looking for a collectible card game or something like Magic but set in the Star Wars universe then you really can’t go wrong with Star Wars: The Card Game.
The Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is a game about battling ships from the Star Wars universe against each other. Detailed pre-painted miniatures help players to act out their own Star Wars space battles with their own choice of ships and crew. The base set comes with enough for a couple of simple games but once you start to get into miniatures it can become quite expensive to get all the ships you want. So it’s best to read a few reviews and start slow and build up your fleet.
The base set comes with everything needed for a simple game. An X-Wing and 2 Tie Fighters. The pilot cards are double sided which offers a little variety. Also included in the box is a selection of manoeuvre tokens and a variety of different dice. This is clearly a miniatures game accessible enough for more casual and younger players. So the pre-painted miniatures and the pre-made movement and positioning markers are great for playing a game quickly without the need to bust out a tape measure.
The X-Wing Miniatures Game can be really fun when it’s played with a few extra miniatures and the ships you really want to play with. We recommend you pick up 2 base sets to give you some extra dice and extra movement markers etc. The TFA base set is also a good starting point. Then we also suggest picking up a couple of the slightly larger ships such as the Millennium Falcon or Slave I. Until you’re fully invested in the game I would avoid grabbing any of the large expensive capital ships. Though they look incredible they tend to only be seen at a higher level of play and also take up quite a lot of space.
If you’re looking for a Star Wars miniature game then this is probably where you should invest your time. Star Wars: X-Wing seems to be the most widely played Star Wars miniatures game and the base game can be picked up pretty cheaply. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is super fun if you have the space and want an easy miniatures experience. Highly worth grabbing! Keep an eye out for deals too, the base sets go on sale pretty often.
Star Wars Armada is somewhat similar to X-Wing above. However where X-Wing is focussed on fast and nimble, Armada focusses on large strategic capital ship movement. So if you were disappointed when I suggested holding off on the larger ships above, then perhaps Armada is more for you. Players take on the role of fleet admiral for either the Rebels or the Empire. Commanding entire fleets and squadrons in an extremely strategic way is very satisfying and makes you feel very powerful.
Compared to X-Wing the miniatures for Armada are much bigger. They are still incredible quality and come pre-painted in great detail. Some people may struggle to see the differences between Star Wars Armada and X-Wing. The simplest way to describe the difference is to consider X-Wing as an aerial battle and Armada as a naval battle. The battles in Armada are much bigger, slower and more strategic than X-Wing. Armada also has objectives that mean games can be won in more creative ways. The only way to win in X-Wing is to destroy the other player’s ships.
X-Wing vs. Armada
Both Armada and X-Wing are really great games. If you are looking to get into the games at a higher level to play in tournaments etc., then X-Wing probably has a higher player base. But if you prefer slower and more strategic combat with larger miniatures then Armada should help to satisfy that itch. Unfortunately Armada can be quite a bit pricier than X-Wing. The base set is more than double the price in the UK. But if you want to get into either game in a big way then both will be quite expensive.
It’s probably a good idea to research which game style you prefer and then stick to that game and learn it well. If you can find someone who has a copy then it’s worth trying the game out first to make sure it’s your thing, but if you are looking for a Star Wars miniature game based around space battles then X-Wing and Armada are both incredible games.
Star Wars: Imperial Assault is a 2-5 player strategy board game that once again pits the Empire against the Rebellion. 1 player controls the endless power of the Empire while up to 4 players work together to pull off covert missions in an attempt to undermine the Empire. The campaign takes place during the Galactic Civil War, but after the destruction of the first Death Star. During the campaign both sides earn experience and new skills that help to progress their characters as they get further into the story.
In addition to the campaign the game offers an alternative way to play. Skirmish missions put players against each other in a head to head strategic battle. Players must gather together a strike force and form a deck of command cards to try and give them the edge in battle. There is a nice variety in the skirmish missions available which give a decent amount of replayability. Having a way to play that doesn’t require any story progression really helps to get this game out on the table a lot more. You don’t always need everyone present or the same group of people to play the game. If you fancy a quick skirmish game to face off against a friend then you can do that. Additionally it means that once the story has been completed the game is still playable without having to repeat the story.
What do you get?
The sheer amount of stuff that comes with this game is somewhat ridiculous. The base game may be expensive for a board game but it’s more than worth it for the amount of stuff you get. And all the components are of a really great quality. The miniatures are detailed but they aren’t painted. For someone who lacks any art skill I wish they were painted, especially if they were painted as well as the X-Wing and Armada miniatures. However I can see the appeal of painting for others. Regardless the miniatures, cards, game pieces and board are all very well made and come with great original artwork.
The core set comes with 30 campaign missions. Each campaign within the game consists of 10 missions, some of which are triggered by different events each time. Each mission can last anywhere from 1-3 hours. Combined with the skirmish missions the core set is going to last you a long time. The skirmish mode is somewhat similar to X-Wing in that players build up an army of miniatures and fight it out. However unlike X-Wing, Star Wars: Imperial Assault comes with enough miniatures to keep most people satisfied for a long time. The campaign can even play out differently depending on how the Imperial player chooses to play. But if you manage to play through the core set, then there a number of really great expansions available which add new characters and missions and extend the life of this game even further.
One of the best
Imperial Assault isn’t just one of the best Star Wars board games, it’s also one of the most popular games in general right now. It’s sat near the top of the Board Game Geek rankings for a long time even though it came out in 2014. If you are a Star Wars fan then this game should be an easy purchase. It really goes above and beyond as a board game in terms of value for money as well as quality. Even if you are not a fan of Star Wars I can highly recommend this game on all accounts. And if you haven’t played it yet then find someone who has it and beg them to play! It really is worth it.
Choosing between the top 2 spots for this list of Star Wars board games was almost impossible. In fact you could consider 1 and 2 more or less equal. You should absolutely play both! In the end though it was the sheer scale of Star Wars: Rebellion that led me to put this at number 1. Additionally each game of Rebellion is purely independent. While I love a good campaign for a board game, getting board games to the table when I travel a lot for work is hard enough as it is. Attempting to collect my friends (many of whom are at university in other) to play a campaign game on a regular basis can be tricky. So in that respect Star Wars: Rebellion appeals to me more as the number 1 best Star Wars board game.
In Star Wars: Rebellion the Empire are once again fighting against the Rebellion but this time at a truly galactic scale. The game can be played by 2-4 players and takes a good few hours to complete. The gameplay largely follows the plot from the original movies. The Empire must find the Rebel base and destroy it before the Rebels manage to complete their secret objectives and overthrow the Empire. This results in an asymmetrical game experience that is engaging and challenging for both players.
Players move units around the board to move towards completing their objectives, and can perform a variety of actions as they do so. This includes deploying hero characters or fighting battles for control of planets. The only slightly lacking part of this game is the combat which lacks a little depth. But in the grand scheme of things it is forgivable and doesn’t take away the charm and fun of this game.
Stuff in the box
The game comes with over 150 miniatures of great quality. Like Imperial Assault the miniatures aren’t painted but that isn’t a major issue and for some people will be a plus. The game is played on a huge gameboard which is split across two folding pieces of cardboard that are placed together. The gameboard covers the whole Star Wars galaxy and shows a large number of planets from the Star Wars universe to fight over. Once laid out the gameboard is truly expansive and makes you feel like you’re commanding an entire fleet or leading a near impossible rebellion. This game really draws you into the action and feels incredibly cinematic, capturing that original Star Wars feel perfectly.
Star Wars: Rebellion will always play out slightly differently and allows players to construct their own Star Wars stories that will be memorable for a long time to come. Perhaps the Death Star isn’t destroyed but goes on to destroy large amounts of the Rebel forces. Perhaps Luke is converted to the Dark side. Almost anything can happen and that is great. You truly feel like a part of the universe when playing this game and the fun that my friends and I have had playing this cannot be understated. If you are a fan of Star Wars board games then this really is a must have and we cannot recommend it highly enough!
The best Star Wars board games
So there you have our list of the best Star Wars board games that are currently available. Fantasy Flight Games have really done a great job with the Star Wars licence so far and with more films coming out pretty much every year for the foreseeable future let’s hope we keep getting gems like the amazing Star Wars: Rebellion we saw in the second half of last year!
Let us know your thoughts in the comments! What are your top Star Wars games? What other lists would you like us to make? We love hearing from you. There isn’t much left to say other than go have fun and may the Force be with you!