With the next generation of Star Wars movie coming out this year, interest in this timeless franchise is clearly on the rise. Fans everywhere are ready to jump into their X-Wings with both feet and pretend that midichlorians never existed.
Over the years, there have been some great Star Wars games produced…and also some not so great ones. Today we are going to dive into our Top Ten Star Wars Board Games. Due to licensing restrictions, many of these games are from just a couple of publishers. This also means that there aren’t as many quality titles to choose from. So we also had to hop into our wayback machine a bit and you’ll find a healthy mix of old and new games.
Regardless, from number 10 down to number 1, each game on this list is still good in in some ways, or, as you get further down, pretty fantastic. So strap on your lightsabers and enjoy as we present our Top Ten Star Wars Board Games.
Top 10 Star Wars Games
10. Clash of the Lightsabers
This simple little card game came out during the glut of licensed product following the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. As far as quick “make a buck” games go, Clash of the Lightsabers actually wasn’t horrible. The game takes place over three rounds, depicting a battle between Qui-Gon Jin and Darth Maul. Players play cards trying to get the highest attack value each round. In some ways, it reminds me a bit of the Gwent game from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. On the other hand, this game is probably best left in garage sale bins for all but the most die-hard of Episode 1 Fans (Fan?).
9. Star Wars CCG
You have to take your flying Dolorean back to 1995 to find the release of the Star Wars Collectible Card Game, published by Decipher. The Star Wars CCG sought to capitalize on the Magic: The Gathering craze that has been around for decades. I actually played this game back in high school (I think that was also the last time I played it) and have some fond memories of it. Unfortunately, Decipher lost its Star Wars license back in 2001 which spelled the end of new content for the game. Surprisingly though, the Star Wars CCG still has an involved and active fan base. They even are releasing virtual expansions to keep the game’s players involved.
8. Star Wars: Empire vs Rebellion
While the previous two entries were somewhat here to round out the list, we are finally getting into some of the more solid games. Star Wars: Empire vs Rebellion was published a few years ago from Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) (don’t expect this to be the last title you see from them). Empire vs Rebellion is a small hand management card game where players are competing over objective cards. While it’s fairly simple to play, this card game actually has a decent amount of strategy too it. If the game seems somehow familiar to you, it’s because it’s a reimplementation of the old Cold War: CIA vs. KGB card game.
7. Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG
While not a board game or card game, this Role Playing Game (RPG) is definitely worth its spot on this list. Set in the time after the destruction of the first Death Star (spoiler alert?), players take on the role of heroes on the outskirts of the galactic empire. FFG came up with a unique set of rules for this RPG that uses a unique set of custom dice. This could be a breath of fresh air to anyone tired of the often used D20 Ruleset. If you’d enjoy playing bounty hunters, slicers, or pilots, then Edge of the Empire may be the game for you. Unfortunately the Jedi are all but extinct in Edge of the Empire, so if you have dreams of shooting force lightning out of your fingers, you might be better off checking out the new Star Wars: Force and Destiny RPG.
6. Star Wars: Epic Duels
Epic Duels is a miniatures game that pits various characters in the star wars universe against each other in intense battles. The game comes with a dozen Star Wars universe characters, including pre-painted miniatures (although not high quality) and a corresponding card deck. The game play actually works well for what it is and we’ve had a lot of fun in the past with this game. The down side is that Epic Duels has long since fallen out of print, so be prepared to spend a decent amount if you want to have battles where Yoda fights Jango Fett.
5. Star Wars: The Card Game
Designed by experienced game designer Eric Lang (throw a rock, you’ll probably hit a game he’s designed), the Star Wars LCG pits two players (more with the expansion) against each other in a battle over a series of objectives. During the game, players will be playing characters, vehicles, droids, and creatures into their tableau to both attack their opponent’s objectives and also defend their own. Interestingly, the game features asymmetrical goals as the empire can win by getting their command dial to reach 12 (effectively putting a timer on the game), while the rebels need to destroy three empire objectives before that happens if they want to win.
4. Star Wars: The Queen’s Gambit (review)
I’ll be the first to admit it; the game play in The Queen’s Gambit is far from deep. It’s a massive dice fest at best. But wow is this game fun especially if you enjoy rolling piles of dice and moving around gobs of miniatures. The game is set during the climactic battle of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (stay with me here kids) as the rebels are trying to destroy the trade federation’s control ship, while the trade federation simply needs to slaughter the rebels in the palace. One of my favorite parts about The Queen’s Gambit is that it takes place over 4 theaters of war, simultaneously. Players must constantly divide their attention between each area, as neglecting one for too long can prove to be disastrous. The only down side is that this game is LONG out of print and fetches anywhere from $200+ on the second hand market.
3. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game (review)
If you want a tactical game set in the Star Wars universe, you’d be hard pressed to find better game than X-wing. With dozens of ships already released, included massive epic play ones, anyone looking to pilot an x-wing in a galactic dogfight will be good to go. The rules are easy to learn, the components are fantastic (everything is pre-painted), and there is a really active tournament scene for X-wing. The only downside I have with X-wing is that the end game can get a little dull and repetitive as two ships end up just flying back and forth trying to finish each other off. Other than that though, X-Wing is everything you want your tactical minis game to be.
2. Star Wars: Armada
I had to think long and hard about putting Star Wars: Armada over X-wing, but at the end of the day, I just enjoy it more. While it doesn’t have near the amount of ships yet (Armada was only released within the past year), the game play is much improved in my opinion. If you want a tactical game, where you are acting and reacting to your opponent’s maneuvers, go X-wing. However if you’d like a more strategic game, than Star Wars: Armada is your baby. These massive capitol ships have a lot of firepower behind them with many needing to have their actions planned out 2-3 turns in advance. That Star Destroyer doesn’t stop on a dime you know. One of the great things FFG did with Armada was limit the game to 6 rounds and make it objective based. This can help make sure each round is filled with excitement and also end the game before it falls into the X-wing scenario described above.
1. Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Coming in at the top of our list is Star Wars: Imperial Assault. This tactical minis game puts players in the shoes of either the empire or the rebellion as they engage in firefights over map objectives. The game can be played in either campaign mode or skirmish (I greatly prefer skirmish) and already has a number of expansions released. The game has had a bit of criticism over its movement rules which, to some, are a bit too loose. For me though, Imperial Assault is one of those games that I will always be willing to bring to the table. The components are fantastic, the game play is solid, and building a team of iconic Star Wars characters to go on galactic missions is just so much fun!
There you have it folks. This was definitely one of the harder lists for me to round out but if you are looking to get your Star Wars fix in, I think you’ve got a nice group of options here. Did I miss your favorite game set in a galaxy far, far, away? Let me know in the comments below.