Jedi! Blasters! Troubled family lineages! The best Star Wars board games capture it all. With three cinematic trilogies, acclaimed videogames, and a colossal body of lore that catalogues galactic life down to the tiniest detail, it’s little surprise there’s a fleet of Star Wars tabletop games aimed at bringing the classic space saga to your kitchen table. Fortunately, many of these are of top quality – and we’ve collected the very finest of them into the list below.
Representing some of the best board games and couples’ board games available, these Star Wars titles run the gauntlet from heavier-duty strategy board games, to miniature wargames in the order of Warhammer 40k, to card games for adults, and even dice games (seriously, don’t sleep on Star Wars: Destiny).
If you’re champing at the bit for more journeys into a galaxy far, far away, it’s also worth checking our sister site The Digital Fix for the latest on the Andor Season 2 release date.
Anyway – make sure Lando really finished those repairs to your hyperdrive, hold on to something, and get ready to make the jump to lightspeed, because…
These are the best Star Wars board games in 2023:
- Star Wars: Legion
- Star Wars: X-Wing
- Star Wars: Rebellion
- Star Wars: Armada
- Star Wars: Imperial Assault
- Star Wars Villainous
- Star Wars: Destiny
- Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion
- Star Wars: Outer Rim
- Risk: Star Wars Edition
- Carcassonne: Star Wars
Star Wars: Legion
If the mention of Star Wars immediately casts your mind to the battlefields of Hoth or guerrilla assaults through the bush of Endor’s forest moon, Star Wars: Legion by Atomic Mass Games might be just your thing. A miniatures game designed to evoke the series’ grand infantry warfare, two players command squads of soldiers as they skirmish for domination on the battlefield.
Strategic army-building and novel unit mechanics add a variety that distinguishes this wargame from other tabletop offerings, but it’s Legion’s ability to capture the chaos and rush of warfare that has earned it a reputation for being one of the best Star Wars miniatures games around. Customise your army with a slew of upgrade cards, adding powerful buffs and abilities to your troops that are capable of turning the tide of battle if used with sufficient tactical nuance. All your favourite units make an appearance; even the starter box comes complete with lines of stormtroopers and rebel soldiers led by the familiar faces of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.
There’s plenty of expansions available to kit your armies out with more colourful Star Wars characters – from imperial royal guards to Wookiee warriors – and you can always opt for Clone Wars-era sets if the prequel trilogy is more your thing. The Star Wars: Legion miniatures are a fine collection of sculpts and, being unpainted, you can dress up your army as you please. If you feel Darth Vader would look better wearing a glittering purple cloak – go for it.
Star Wars: X-Wing
From the gigantic Star Destroyer rumbling overhead in the opening of A New Hope to the rebel assault on the second Death Star, frantic space combat has typified the Star Wars franchise. Atomic Mass Games’ Star Wars: X-Wing does a fantastic job of bringing this tactical, fast-paced dogfighting to the tabletop, as players are pitted against each other to blast apart their opponent’s starships.
X-Wing isn’t a big game, but it’s frenetic. In most games, players control at most three or four ships, and rely on calculated manoeuvring to pick off their enemies while evading deadly asteroid fields and enemy firing lines. Equip your starfighters with a choice of pilots and upgrade cards so they better cater to your playstyle, while bringing additional firepower and tactical depth to the field.
In a nice shake-up, turns are taken simultaneously, with players deciding the movement and combat of each ship in secret before revealing their choices and resolving their effects. You could go from dominating the dogfight to drifting alone in space by just one crucial oversight.
The X-Wing miniatures come painted (handy for anyone that wants to jump straight into a firefight) and each ship has its own attributes, forcing players to balance their own abilities against the advantages of their enemy ships. Players can expand their arsenal with additional ships from the prequel and sequel trilogies, as well as a ‘Scum and Villainy’ ship line if you’re a smuggler at heart. X-Wing does a great job of recreating frenzied space dogfights and it’s well worth dipping into the starter set.
Star Wars: Rebellion
If you’re looking for the archetypal Star Wars board game, you can’t go far wrong with Star Wars: Rebellion. A grand strategy game that recreates the Galactic Civil War of the original trilogy, Rebellion has players assume the role of the Empire or Rebel Alliance as they vie for control of the galaxy.
The rebel forces must engage in covert insurgency as they infiltrate the Empire’s territory to inspire resistance, destabilise the imperial terror, and unite planets to bring peace to the galaxy. The Empire, meanwhile, uses their vastly superior military forces – from the humble Stormtrooper to the almighty Death Star – to weed out the rebellious agitators. As time ticks down, the race is on to see if the Empire can find and destroy the rebel base before the galaxy is inspired for revolution.
True to the films, Rebellion is played asymmetrically, as the Rebel Alliance look to disrupt the Empire from within, rather than face their massed military forces directly. There’s starship combat and military strategizing, but you’ll also be looking at the bigger picture to see how you can force your opponent to reveal their weaknesses. Governed by straightforward mechanics, and split into numerous but not overwhelmingly protracted phases, Rebellion is a great pick for those looking for a strongly thematic strategy leviathan to add to their tabletop musings.
STAR WARS: ARMADA
If X-wing is a game of frenetic, quick-firing dogfights, then Atomic Mass Games’ Star Wars: Armada is its zoomed-out, strategic, slow-burning older brother. This naval-warfare-in-space miniatures game dispenses with small-scale, tactical fights in favour of epic, strategic fleet warfare. Command a handful of the biggest dreadnoughts of the Star Wars universe in massive battles that decide the fate of the galaxy.
You’ll be manoeuvring star destroyers and rebel corvettes across the battlefield to line up the perfect shot, will squadrons of TIE fighters and x-wings nip about the fray in critical bombing runs. Instead of zig-zagging across the map in an endless game of chase, more emphasis is given to strategic positioning to lure your opponent into your primary line of fire.
You can deck out your fleet with a bunch of upgrade cards to improve their stats and provide powerful abilities, and might fancy tailoring your force to a specific playstyle. Expansion packs, which continue to release, leave room for added customisability, as well as the opportunity to field even more pretty space ships.
Armada can be slower in pace than X-wing and a single battle is likely to have less action and fewer close shaves, but it aptly recreates the epic scale of space warfare as you launch volleys of laser fire across the battlefield. It makes a fine addition to any collection of Star Wars board games.
Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Star Wars isn’t all theatrical, galactic-scale conflicts and epic pitched battles. Away from the mysticism of the force and political machinations of the republic lie a host of swashbuckling adventures about plucky bands of idealists fighting the good fight. If the adventures of Han and Leia blasting their way through corridors full of stormtroopers is your idea of a good time, Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars: Imperial Assault might be for you.
One team of players assumes the role of a crack group of covert rebel ops attempting to infiltrate Imperial strongholds and complete a series of objectives. Another player will control the near-limitless Imperial forces to crush the rebels before they escape.
But Imperial Assault really excels because it leans into its party-adventure setting. It plays more like a dungeon-crawler than a typical miniatures game, with players navigating a combat grid to outflank and gun down their enemies while they inch closer to their objectives, cleverly employing character abilities along the way to strike a critical advantage at just the right time.
Even better, Imperial Assault is played across a persistent campaign that sees characters accrue new skills and buffs as they progress through an unfolding narrative. It adds a certain colour to your play, but if you can’t commit to a full adventure you can also play the game’s skirmish mode wherein you and an opponent will muster your forces and duke it out in a one-off battle. Either way, Imperial Assault is a brilliant recreation of dungeon-crawling in the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars Villainous
The latest addition to Ravensburger’s growing dynasty of card-based strategy board games based on ultra-popular fictional universes, Star Wars Villainous (as the name suggests) flips the script by having you play as the Galaxy Far Far Away’s nastiest baddies.
As per its Marvel-themed predecessor and the series’ original breakout Disney: Villainous, each of the base game’s five villains – Kylo Ren, General Grievous, Darth Vader, The Clone Wars’ Asajj Ventress, and The Mandalorian’s Moff Gideon – is playing a slightly different game here.
Each villain gets their own customised victory conditions; their own player board depicting various iconic Star Wars locations that’re somewhat tied to the character’s particular movie/TV/cartoon storyline; and two unique decks of cards – a Villain Deck and a Fate Deck.
Each turn, you’ll move your adorable little plastic evildoer to one of your board’s locations, and do any or all of the actions available there – almost always collecting resource tokens, spending them to play cards, or both.
Honestly, Villainous’ core mechanic feels perfect for the Star Wars setting: at various resource costs, you can play your own Villain cards to bolster your own board and pursue your dark objectives – but you can also play cards from other players’ Fate decks onto the ‘Hero’ side of their boards to stymy their dastardly plans. It makes for delicious tactical choices, despite the total actions per turn remaining light.
For fanatical Star Wars purists, this Super Smash Brothers-style hotchpotch of competing villains from different timelines and narratives might be a turn-off; having multiple Anakin Skywalkers and Obi-Wan Kenobis in play at one time isn’t just possible, but relatively likely.
STAR WARS: DESTINY
A trading card game that combines card-duelling battles with dice-rolling combat, Star Wars: Destiny is a peculiar game, but quite a brilliant one. Two players will battle it out using a deck of cards, filled with all your favourite Star Wars characters from across the three trilogies, from Kylo Ren, to Jabba the Hutt, to Padmé Amidala, and more.
You’ll take turns playing characters from your hand to the battlefield, activating those cards to roll dice, and spending resources to resolve the effects of your rolls. Destroy all of your opponent’s characters, and you’ll win the game, claiming the battlefield for the Jedi or Sith forces.
Unfortunately, Star Wars: Destiny was shelved by its publisher Fantasy Flight in early 2020, marking the end of its three-year run. Although the game won’t be getting any new content, the expansions that did release are still available for retail purchase, and are just as good as they ever were. Far from dead, the game still has an active online community and a presence in friendly local game stores.
Start off with a two-player starter set, and see if it takes your fancy. There’s plenty of expansions to explore from there, including pre-constructed character decks with unique playstyles. Once you’re au fait with the game, create your own deck to put to the test.
Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion
No points for guessing which Star Wars era this game centres around. Unlike the other board games that explore the conflicts of the galactic civil war, however, Fantasy Flight Games’ Empire vs. Rebellion is a self-contained card game that sees players don their best poker face as they compete for galactic influence.
At its core, the game operates like that much-loved gambling card game, 21. Players blindly turn over cards from the top of their deck to earn resources and compete for victory in a series of confrontations. The player who accrues most resources will win and earn points for their success in the conflict, but if they overshoot and pledge too many resources, they’ll relinquish control to the enemy. You’ll have to finely balance your decisions – careful not to overplay your hand or fearfully withhold your resources and prematurely acquiesce.
Occasional character cards have powerful effects that disrupt your opponent’s plan and there’s a deck of hidden strategy cards which have the power to shift the tide of conflict in an instant. They add a certain spice to the game, but Empire vs. Rebellion’s enjoyability lies in its simplicity. It’s a great pick if you want to quickly jump into a contest of intrigue and deception, and the cards’ artwork lovingly depicts all your favourite characters from the original trilogy.
Star Wars: Outer Rim
For some, the best Star Wars stories are those that don’t appear on screen: the hidden underbelly of crime and corruption stalking the fringes of the colonised galaxy, and the dastardly scum and villainy that lies away from the heroics of the Jedi.
Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars: Outer Rim places you in the life of such a scoundrel. Tasked with racking up enough renown to cement you as a legend of the galaxy, you’ll be journeying across the game’s planetary map trying to increase your infamy and stay alive in the treacherous landscape of outer space.
You might smuggle spice across planetary borders, involve yourself in the territorial disputes of rival gangs, or even choose a more virtuous vagabond life. You’ll also be acquiring gear and giving your ship some loving modification as you hop around the galaxy.
Make no mistake, this isn’t a tabletop RPG. You’ll be managing resources and collecting cards to fulfil objectives. But it’s a great way to jump into the shadow society that lurks in Nar Shaddaa or Jabba’s Palace.
Risk: Star Wars Edition
Chances are you already have a copy of Risk kicking about in your house. Hasbro’s classic board game about sending legions of troops to conquer a sprawling map remains a staple for both tabletop superfans and casual-gaming families alike. But there’s good reason to think this Star Wars-themed variant of the game is the coolest around.
For starters, the board is shaped like a TIE Fighter and this isn’t only for aesthetic effect. Its three sections represent distinct battles that must be managed simultaneously. The central area is the typical Risk fare that sees players command B-wings, Y-wings and other classic Star Wars ships to capture regions of space and eventually destroy the Second Death Star. Elsewhere on the board, rebels are assaulting the shield generator on Endor and Luke Skywalker is battling Darth Vader. Players can influence these periphery battles through various dice-rolling and card moves to ensure they land favourably, earning bonuses as they do so.
Managing three interlinked battlefronts adds some nice variety to the classic Risk formula and means the tide of battle could suddenly turn. Some light strategy played against the backdrop of one of the most renowned moments of the Star Wars franchise, Risk: Star Wars Edition will leave you more than satisfied.
CARCASSONNE: STAR WARS
Hans im Glück’s original has become a staple of euro-style board games, and Carcassonne: Star Wars is a worthy, spacefaring adaptation. Centred on laying tiles to create medieval French cities and placing down ‘meeple’ figures across your constructed realm to collect points, Carcassonne is quick to pick up and open to as much strategising as you care to put in. But if you want to spruce up your castle-building, take the Star Wars version for a spin.
At its core, it’s the same Carcassonne wrapped in a fitting Star Wars sheen. Roads become trade routes, cities become asteroid fields, and abbeys become planets. In place of the lush, green, gallic fields lies the vast expanse of space.
But in minor ways, it’s a lighter version of the original game. The farming mechanic has been scrapped, to save you the trouble of lying meeples prone on empty fields, and players now decide who dominates a city by rolling a die – adding a healthy amount of luck to any game. It won’t revolutionise your board game collection but will make a nice addition for any Star Wars fan.