I’m excited about Star Wars: the Force Awakens, and chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably excited about it too. Hell, even the critics at Rotten Tomatoes seem to love what J.J. Abrams has done for the franchise.
So if you’ve been preparing for this tour de Force, whether it’s by watching the original movies or braving the prequels, try adding some Star Wars boardgames to your list of activities. Sure, Star Wars Battlefront might just be more conducive to the Star Wars experience, but there’s something to be said for looking your opponents right in the face with a smile as you push them into a carbonite chamber. Without further ado, here are 5 Star Wars board games worth giving a shot:
1. Star Wars Imperial Assault
The whole packaging and design of Star Wars Imperial Assault undoubtedly conjures up memories of Dungeons and Dragons or some similar tabletop RPG. And that’s actually the vibe that it’s going for. Imperial Assault pits 2-4 Rebel players against a gamemaster who controls the Imperial forces. During the course of the campaign, you’ll embark on missions to sabotage Imperial facilities, meet up with many legendary characters from the Star Wars universe, and see your characters grow in the process. On top of that, the game also comes with a skirmish mode where two players can build armies and pit them against one another.
2. Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game
If the Imperial Assault board game’s skirmish mode sounds more like your cup of tea or you find the dogfights that happen during New Hope and Return of the Jedi to be more thrilling, you’ll want to play the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures game. In X-Wing Miniatures, one side controls the Rebel forces while the other side takes the role of the Empire with their ability to unleash tons of TIE Fighters. The game is fairly fast-paced though there is a bit of setup time as you customize your ships in the beginning.
3. Star Wars: Armada
At first glance, Star Wars Armada looks like the X-Wing Miniatures game, but with bigger ships. But past those trappings is a game that’s a bit slower-paced as the Armada focuses more on capital ship combat and more emphasis on strategy than the tactical nature of X-Wing Miniatures. Think of the difference in this way: instead of participating in a dogfight, you’re the fleet commander!
4. Risk: Star Wars Edition
A Risk game you say? Why on earth would we ever recommend such a thing? Actually, the title is very misleading as Risk: Star Wars Edition is actually sort of a nex-gen release of an older Star Wars game titled Star Wars Queen’s Gambit. Risk: Star Wars Edition takes place during Return of the Jedi and consists of 3 components: the duel/redemption between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, the mission to sabotage the shield generator on Endor, and the fight against the operational Death Star 2. The Rebels win if the Death Star is destroyed, but the Empire wins if they succeed in wiping out all opposing ships. It’s a fun, exciting dice-chucking game where you have to balance a competing set of priorities to win. In other words, nothing like Risk at all!
5. Star Wars Looping Chewie
The whole premise behind Star Wars Looping Chewie looks about as bonkers as you can get. In this game, our lovable wookie Chewbacca is flying around in a motorized Millennium Falcon knocking off your little stormtroopers from their perch. Your job is to prevent Chewie from swooping down to knock off a stormtrooper by tapping on a lever that will cause him to fly up, up, and away from you and towards someone else. What makes this game fun is that Chewie’s flight path can be a bit unpredictable, which does a great job in keeping you on your toes as you strive to be the last one standing.