10 Star Wars Board Games You Should Play Before Seeing Rise of Skywalker

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With everybody getting sucked into Jedi: Fallen Order, Baby Yoda winning hearts and minds in The Mandalorian, and Rise of the Skywalker just around the corner, Star Wars fever is officially in full swing. In other words, there’s no better time to get your friends and family together to play a Star Wars board game.

You’re not short on choices—there are more than two hundred Star Wars-themed board games in existence. But with that many entries in a series, odds are that some of them are going to be more The Phantom Menace than Return of the Jedi. But how do you tell which ones are worth playing? Why, by reading this comprehensive list of the 10 best Star Wars board games available right now.

This list has everything from card games and miniatures games to new spins on modern classics set in a galaxy far, far away, so there really is something for everyone. Grab your plushy BB-8 and whack on your Darth Vader helmet because we’re going to play some Star Wars board games.

Star Wars: Rebellion lets you live out your space battle fantasies. | Fantasy Flight Games

Star Wars: Rebellion

If you’ve ever wanted to re-enact a classic Star Wars space battle on your own dining room table, then Star Wars: Rebellion has you covered. An intergalactic wargame of epic proportions, Rebellion allows players to experience the original trilogy as either the mighty Imperial Empire or the plucky Rebel Alliance. As the Empire, you’ll be commanding a bevy of Stormtroopers, TIE Fighters, Star Destroyers and even a Death Star in your efforts to stamp out Rebel scum. By contrast, the Rebel player will have access to a smaller pool of forces featuring T-47 airspeeders and Corellian Corvettes, but will have a slightly easier task of uniting enough planetary civilisations to survive the Imperial assault. With the ability to recruit notable characters such as Princess Leia or Emperor Palpatine, and the chance to take part in memorable events from the films like Luke’s training on Dagobah, Rebellion feels surprisingly cinematic to play.

Star Wars: Destiny is mostly a trading card game. | Fantasy Flight Games

Star Wars: Destiny

Perhaps large-scale space warfare isn’t quite your thing and you’d like something more intimate. Then consider giving Star Wars: Destiny a go. It’s a collectible card and dice game where two characters from the Star Wars universe—one for the Jedi and one for the Sith—duke it out to the death. In Destiny, players take turns to select their cards and perform actions, with the aim to deal as much damage to their opponent as possible. Collectible card games allow their players to customize and build their own decks by swapping out the cards they don’t want with ones they do, and Destiny is no different. As long as you stick to either side of the Force you can realistically pair any cards with each other. Imagine having Lando Calrissian fight side-by-side with Poe Dameron! You’re not just limited to swapping out cards either, oh no; you’re able to replace your Destiny dice as and when you please, giving you even more options for customization.

Star Wars‘ X-Wing series has you collecting miniatures. | Fantasy Flight Games

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game

What if you wanted something a little more physically appealing to play with? Say hello to X-Wing, a miniatures game featuring models of classic spaceships such as the Empire’s zippy TIE Fighters and, of course, the Rebels’ graceful X-Wing. Whichever ships you take will have to dodge, withstand and return the attacks of your opponent’s chosen vessels; and with each ship and character having their own unique attributes, deciding what to fly and who’s piloting it really does matter. Before each turn players secretly choose their speed (how far you move) and maneuver (how you move) using their ship’s piloting dial, with each round making for a tense dog-fight full of mind games.

X-Wing is more than just a simple dogfight between opponents, though, as each game can have a set mission with a series of objectives, whose completion are the only way to actually win. As with Destiny, you’ll be able to swap out your ships, scenarios and cards as you please, making it a similarly customizable game.

Star Wars: Legion lets you relive famous Star Wars battles. | Fantasy Flight Games

Star Wars: Legion

Maybe you don’t want to fight in space, and you’re looking for something a little more down-to-earth. Command your troops from the frontline in Star Wars: Legion, a miniatures wargame (imagine a Star Wars Warhammer) that focuses on the series’ ground battles between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire. Choose to play as either side in the Galactic Civil War and direct your various Rebel or Imperial units to victory, ensuring that your opponent always remains on the backfoot. Legion isn’t an incredibly deep wargame, at least when compared to its contemporaries like Warhammer, but it’s very easy to jump into and gives you an excuse to get to painting your own miniature Stormtroopers, Rebels and AT-STs—as well as leaders including Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. What’s more, you can use the game to stage your very own Battle of Hoth or standoff on the Forest Moon of Endor, which is an extremely exciting proposition for any hardcore Star Wars fan.

Star Wars: Imperial Assault even has a companion app on Steam called Legends of the Alliance. | Fantasy Flight Games

Star Wars: Imperial Assault

How about if you’re looking to play through a more specific Star Wars scenario—say, a covert Rebel operation taking place after the destruction of the Death Star above Yavin 4? Well, Star Wars: Imperial Assault is a dungeon-crawling game that allows you to do just that.

Imperial Assault isn’t just great because it caters to this very particular desire, it also does a pretty good job at making players feel immersed in the world of Star Wars. During the campaign mode, one player takes control of the all-consuming Galactic Empire in their pursuit of treacherous Rebel forces, whilst up to four other players assume the roles of the Rebel Alliance fighters as they attempt to successfully complete their mission in the face of overwhelming odds. But all is not lost, as the Rebel characters will be able to gain new skills and experience to use in their fight—though so will the Empire. The ability to improve your units over multiple scenarios, combined with the careful tactics employed by each team, makes playing Imperial Assault a satisfying experience.

Star Wars: Outer Rim focuses on galactic warfare. | Fantasy Flight Games

Star Wars: Outer Rim

The appeal of the Star Wars universe extends beyond the fight between Jedi and Sith, so what about the board games that don’t focus on galactic warfare? Here’s where Star Wars: Outer Rim comes in. This is a sandbox adventure game for up to four players where you can live the life of a pilot looking to make a name for themselves in the galaxy. Whichever character you pick will determine your personal goal for that game, whose completion will net you more fame—which is what you need to win the game. Your character gets their very own starship which you’ll work to upgrade throughout the game, as well as various gear and associated reputation cards. By taking suitably dangerous jobs, tracking down bounties, delivering illegal cargo and generally doing impressive things, players will eventually gather enough notoriety to attract the attention of legendary Star Wars characters (I’m sure you can guess who those might be). All this makes playing Outer Rim perhaps the closest you can get to being a Star Wars outlaw.

Star Wars: Dark Side Rising is one of the few games on this list not made by Fantasy Flight Games. | The OP

Star Wars: Dark Side Rising

Have you ever wondered what Darth Vader would look like as a squat plastic figure holding a flimsy transparent lightsaber? Play Star Wars: Dark Side Rising and you’ll be sure to get the answer to this question alongside a pretty neat co-operative game for two to four players. Following the events leading up to the construction of the Death Star, Dark Side Rising has you and your friends working together to prevent the above from happening. Taking the roles of key Rebel cells (intelligence, leadership, support and tactical), your fellow freedom fighters must thwart the Empire’s attempts at intergalactic domination by recruiting key characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo, focusing their efforts on disrupting the Imperial plans. Dark Side Rising is a really well-paced co-op game with plenty of tense moments, and the ever-looming threat of the Death Star’s potential construction continuously urging you on.

Star Wars: Armada is another miniatures tabletop game. | Fantasy Flight Games

Star Wars: Armada

It’s time for one more Star Wars miniatures game and this one’s a doozy. A sort of super-sized sibling to X-Wing, Star Wars: Armada has players adopting the role of a fleet admiral in command of their own massive army of spaceships. You know what that means: are you a proud member of the Galactic Empire or a brave leader in the Rebel Alliance?

Armada is an impressively in-depth space combat simulator that has some unique little mechanics scattered here and there throughout. The maneuver tool is a particularly intriguing gameplay concept, as it employs a system of flexible rulers to chart how far each spaceship can travel and how the hulking vessels turn. There’s also plenty of strategy to be found in the game’s command stack mechanic, which has each player secretly building their action decks beforehand in order to create the perfect potential series of commands. If you’re into the idea of directing your own starship army and using your wits to outsmart your opponent, then Armada is definitely the right Star Wars game for you.

Star Wars: Force and Destiny is a great tabletop RPG. | Fantasy Flight Games

Star Wars: Force and Destiny RPG

This Star Wars roleplaying series is perfect if you are after something a little more personal. All of publisher Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars roleplaying systems are good, but I reckon you and everyone else are just itching for an opportunity to live the life of a Jedi Knight: which is exactly what the Star Wars: Force and Destiny RPG allows you to do. Or, you know, take the darker path of a Sith warrior if that’s what you want instead.

The point is, in Force and Destiny you can decide what your character is going to use for the Force for; will you seek opportunities to protect the vulnerable from harm? Perhaps you’d rather take the fight to the Empire and join the Rebel Alliance? Or maybe you’ll use your powers for your own gain and seek to survive in a world full of peril. The choice is really up to you. If you fancy trying out a tabletop roleplaying game for the first time, then you can’t go wrong with Force and Destiny, especially if you’re a Star Wars fan.

The cover art for Carcassone: Star Wars. | Hans im Glück

Carcassonne: Star Wars

We finish up with a quintessential board game given the Star Wars treatment. Carcassonne: Star Wars is pretty much just a straight one-for-one remake of the original tile-laying favourite, but instead of scoring points from artfully-drawn French scenery, you’ll be looking to win by placing appropriately-themed Star Wars tiles instead. However, we wanted to include it on this list because Carcassonne is a fantastic game in any format. Also, this is a Star Wars list.

So, what’s Carcassonne? It’s an incredibly simple game where players take turns to lay down tiles and place their meeples (should they choose to) on said tiles. It’s slightly different in the original game, but it when it comes to Carcassonne: Star Wars, these tiles could have trading routes, asteroid fields, and planets which will score players points whenever they place a meeple on them. If you’re a newcomer to tabletop gaming, then playing Carcassonne: Star Wars is a great way to get into the hobby. Or to just get that extra hit of Star Wars in.

If you want more board game recommendations like this, head on over to our brand new sibling site Dicebreaker for all the latest board game, pen-and-paper RPG, and tabletop news, reviews, features and more!

Header image: Star Wars: Legion’s box art.

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