What are the best Warhammer board games? Games Workshop’s Warhammer has become a wargaming juggernaut that’s expanded far beyond the realm of dice and tape measures, with countless spin-offs across every genre, on and off the tabletop – but boxed Warhammer board games are perhaps the most numerous. We’ve played a lot of these, and this guide profiles the best, most memorable games of the lot.
Most of the games here lead off directly from one of Games Workshop’s main-line miniature wargames, the sci-fi Warhammer 40k and high fantasy Age of Sigmar universes. While you won’t find any of the all-time best board games here, there’s a huge amount of tabletop fun to be had if you can get your hands on them. They’re also among the easiest ways to try out painting miniatures, or find your favourite Warhammer 40k faction.
And before you ask – no, Warhammer Monopoly is not listed here. Monopoly is not a good board game.
The best Warhammer board games in 2023 are:
- Space Hulk – the mythical lost treasure of Warhammer games
- Warhammer Quest Silver Tower – a surprising fantasy adventure
- Warhammer Quest Cursed City – a fantastic but ill-fated gem
- Horus Heresy The Board Game – epic, card-driven 30k battling
- Deathwatch Overkill -a spectacular wargame/board game hybrid
- Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress – best 40k dungeon crawler
- Forbidden Stars – a mini Twilight Imperium for Warhammer 40k
- Warhammer 40k Risk – a licenced Risk adaptation worth the name
1. Space Hulk
The mythical lost treasure of Warhammer games
For many, Space Hulk is a title synonymous with the best of Warhammer 40k. First released in 1989, this two-player game sees Space Marine Terminators hunt through the ruined corridors of colossal spaceships while beset by ravening aliens: the Tyranid Genestealers.
Noted for its brutal difficulty for Space Marines in earlier editions, Space Hulk has been re-released and updated several times with the current version dating back to 2009.
Like all the best board games, Space Hulk retains a core of simplicity to its ruleset, making it an exemplar of the ‘easy to pick up, difficult to master’ design philosophy. It’s incredibly quick to start playing but, as you move on to different scenarios and begin to explore how its hidden play mechanics interact with each other, it unveils itself as a game with near-infinite replayability.
Space Hulk is a classic for good reason, from its beautiful unique miniatures in the latest version to the core fantasy remaining compelling throughout the years. If you can get your hands on it, you’ll have at your disposal one of the best Warhammer board games money can buy.
2. Warhammer Quest Silver Tower
A surprising fantasy adventure
There’s a deep truth that few fans of Games Workshop’s board games dare utter for fear of being cast out from the hobby: HeroQuest is a beautiful board game and was the starting point for many a life-long love affair with miniatures – but some of its mechanics aren’t very good, and don’t hold up these days.
Thankfully, Warhammer Quest came along to buff out some of the original HeroQuest’s rough edges and show us how to do the thing right. Originally released in 1995, it went out of production in 1998 until a 2016 revitalization in the form of Warhammer Quest Silver Tower.
Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower combines the dungeon crawler core of HeroQuest with the character persistence and upgrades of tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons. Filled with stunning Warhammer models and colossal dungeons that never have the same layout twice, Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower is a board game that swiftly can take over your life with dungeon-delving goodness.
3. Warhammer Quest Cursed City
A fantastic but ill-fated gem
Following the release of Silver Tower, Games Workshop started using the Warhammer Quest name for a variety of products. Warhammer Quest Cursed City, released amid some controversy in 2021, took the setting out of the dungeon and into the streets of a sinister city.
Set in the city of Ulfenkarn, Cursed City sees 2-5 players work to learn the secret of a mysterious curse that has befallen the city, causing undead creatures to stalk the streets. Over a series of missions, players learn more about the curse and begin to put together the truth of the darkness at the heart of Ulfenkarn.
For those who love the mechanics of Warhammer Quest but need something a little more narrative-driven, Cursed City ranks as one of the best Warhammer board games around. It also helps that, like previous releases, this version of Warhammer Quest comes loaded with some of the most beautiful models Games Workshop has released.
4. Horus Heresy The Board Game
Epic, card-driven 30k battling
There have been several releases named after Warhammer’s Horus Heresy saga – but 2010’s Horus Heresy The Board Game is, for our money, one of the best that Games Workshop has produced.
Set during the final stages of this colossal conflict, this two-player board game pits Space Marine vs. Space Marine as the forces of Horus Lupercal wage war on the Emperor of Mankind‘s palace on Terra. Developed by Fantasy Flight Games, Horus Heresy The Board Game brings together strategic decision-making with card-based combat to form an elegant look at this chaotic, warp-twisted stage of the war.
With a ton of different scenarios to play, Horus Heresy The Board Game is a game that keeps on giving. In addition, for those battling through the Horus Heresy / Siege of Terra novels, this board game may be the perfect way to recreate some of the iconic battles depicted in those tomes.
5. Deathwatch Overkill
A spectacular wargame/board game hybrid
One of the benefits of playing a Warhammer board game is taking a complex universe and seeing it stripped down to its essential components. In Deathwatch Overkill, those components revolve around small skirmishes between a team of Deathwatch Space Marines and Genestealer Cults hybrids.
Designed for two players, this game sees one player control an elite Deathwatch Kill Team as they descend into the bowels of a mining planet that has become infected with Genestealers. Coming in halfway between a war game and a board game, Deathwatch: Overkill is a masterclass in design.
Tense, full of brutal tabletop action, and featuring almost puzzle-like decision-making for both Genestealer and Deathwatch sides, Deathwatch: Overkill is the Warhammer 40k setting at its absolute purest.
6. Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress
Best 40k dungeon crawler
Warhammer Quest hasn’t been content to just sit in the fantasy bracket, dear reader: Games Workshop has seen fit to blast off into the stars and the grimdark setting of Warhammer 40k with Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress.
This 2018 board game takes the concept of Warhammer Quest and transplants the action to the far future aboard one of the mysterious Blackstone Fortresses – giant void-borne structures that hide many secrets. This game for 1-5 players sees adventurers explore the Blackstone Fortress, seeking treasures and hidden truths, beset at all times by Warhammer 40k Chaos forces and the defenses of the fortress itself.
Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress is a brilliant game to be played over a campaign or a series of standalone sessions, bringing together the best of Warhammer Quest and the 40k setting. It stands as one of the best Warhammer board games ever created and with regular expansions released over recent years, it’s a game that’s only been getting better.
7. Forbidden Stars
A mini Twilight Imperium for Warhammer 40k
One of the forgotten names in the Warhammer board game roster is Forbidden Stars. Released in 2015, this Fantasy Flight Games epic sees 2-4 players take control of Warhammer 40k factions and fight for supremacy in the Herakon Cluster.
Choose from Ultramarines, Iyanden Eldar, Evil Sunz Orks, and the crazed Chaos Space Marines of the World Eaters, to battle it out in a game that stands as one of the highest-rated board games that bears the Warhammer name.
The best way to summarise Warhammer: Forbidden Stars is to compare it to that other stalwart titan of interplanetary conquest: Twilight Imperium. With much of the same 4X game style ambition, but in a pared-down, quicker-to-play format, Forbidden Stars runs with many of the same ideas present in Twilight Imperium – albeit with a Warhammer twist.
With a unique combat structure and a phase system that allows players to dabble in equal parts strategy and deceit, Forbidden Stars remains one of the high points not only of Warhammer 40k board games but of the Warhammer setting as a whole.
8. Warhammer 40k Risk
A licenced Risk adaptation worth the name
A classic board game, Risk has seen many variations over its lengthy history, from Risk: The Walking Dead to Risk: Europe. Risk: Warhammer 40k sees the venerable game relocated to the planet Vigilus, a war-torn rock under siege from the Ultramarines, Aeldari Craftworlds, Genestealer Cults, and Chaos Space Marines.
If you’ve played Risk before you’ll have a firm foundation for this variation, however, several unique changes have been implemented to ensure that Risk: Warhammer 40,000 plays in a more Warhammer-y fashion.
From leaders with Warhammer-themed special abilities to special objectives that can grant game-turning rewards to the player that completes them, Risk: Warhammer 40k isn’t just Risk with a paint job. Even the map itself has been designed to encourage battle – fitting for a Warhammer board game.
If you’re a fan of Risk and want something different then Risk: Warhammer 40k brings enough to inject new life into the game. For those more familiar with Warhammer 40,000, this version of Risk is the perfect way to set foot into the original strategy board game for the first time.
Getting a bit cheesed off with the grimdark far future? Try chilling out with some funny board games instead – or take to the seas in a pirate board game. Alternatively, explore another district of tabletop nerdville with our guides to the best tabletop RPGs and trading card games.