We live in a golden age of Star Wars board games, and these are the best

The future of the Star Wars universe is always in flux… at least when it comes to movies and television, where well over half of the projects currently in development still don’t have a publicly available release date. The world of Star Wars tabletop games, on the other hand, is a bit more predictable. Both this year and last year it looks like new releases are coming Cock just about every few months. Along with some excellent older titles still in print, it’s clear to me that we’re living in a golden age of Star Wars board games – especially if you also include card games, TTRPGs and miniatures games. Here are the very best.

Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

Corey Konieczka has had a hand in a lot of great Star Wars themed board games, including the Star Wars: Imperial Assault dungeon crawler and the popular one Star Wars: Fate dice and card game. But his crowning achievement with the license is the epic strategy game called Star Wars: Rebellion. For fans of the original trilogy, it simply doesn’t get better than this.

When you open the large, square Fantasy Flight Games box, you’ll first encounter more than 150 small plastic miniatures, all molded in the shapes of well-known Star Wars vehicles. Next come the standees of 25 characters, representing everyone from Princess Leia to Grand Moff Tarkin. The gang is all here and ready to rock, and the setlist features none other than the biggest space battles in the franchise’s history: fleet-breaking battles like the Battles of Yavin, Hoth and Endor.

In the core, Star Wars: Rebellion is a high stakes game of hide and seek. One player takes on the role of the evil empire and ruthlessly searches for the hidden rebel base. Meanwhile, the Rebel player builds strength as he launches daring attacks against Imperial interests across the galaxy.

To give you an idea of ​​the scale of these battles, the game features not one, not two, but three miniature Death Stars, all of which can be deployed if the Empire plays its cards right. It’s a downward, drawn-out battle for galactic domination with a delicate ruleset that all but promises a blowout battle at the end. Just be prepared to spend two or three hours at the table.

An assortment of cards from the Luke Skywalker starter deck featuring various Kyber crystals and a lightsaber.

Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

Star Wars: Unlimited surprised me when I first played it at Gen Con in 2023. The trading card game is fast and snappy, with two lanes of combat – one in space and one on the ground – offering interesting player choices. Will you go all-in on vehicles to wear down your opponent, or strike quickly with powerful character abilities? Ultimately, the choice is yours, both in developing your own deck and in responding to the random cards that appear in your hand once the game begins.

But where Star Wars: Unlimited has really shown his courage booster boxes filled with packs of random cards. I find TCGs extremely intimidating, both in terms of theme and rules. But this game excels in graphic design, producing cards that are easy to read and easy to organize into winning decks. Throw in some wonderful alternate art cards to chase, and it’s a great deck.

Please note that because the game has only recently been released, supplies are quite limited at the moment. If you just need to shuffle and play a Star Wars themed card game, you can’t go wrong Star Wars: The Deck Building Gameanother excellent but mechanically unrelated offering from Fantasy Flight.

A miniature Jango Fett, raised with blasters like in his final moments in the prequel films.  The brushwork is invisible and the highlights are sharp and clear.

Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

Atomic Mass Games, a newer imprint of Asmodee’s ever-expanding development studios, was fortunate enough to Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game just after the 2.0 relaunch. While that larger fandom continued to chew on its adaptations, the studio also began coming up with an advanced miniature skirmish game called Star Wars: Shatterpoint. The result is a great success, supported by a laundry list of excellent extensions.

which I came across for the first time Star Wars: Shatterpoint at AdeptiCon 2023, where the Atomic Mass team was just getting ready for Star Wars Celebration in London. The beautiful game features larger than average miniatures, meaning they’re a lot easier to paint. In fact, a viable team only needs a handful of small plastic figures – about three to five on each side of the table. That means you spend less time cutting, gluing and painting and more time competing with your friends.

And the gameplay itself is excellent, featuring thematically different units from throughout the franchise’s history. Of the Bad batch Unpleasant militant teddy bears, masters Unpleasant pupileSthere is something for everyone here.

Best Star Wars Tabletop Role Playing Game – Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beginner Game

The cover of Edge of the Empire shows a number of villains taking out stormtroopers along the way in a speeder.

Image: Fantasy Flight Games

The current version of the Star Wars roleplaying game can look quite intimidating from the outside – especially considering it uses custom dice and a unique story-oriented system that won’t work well with standard math tiles. But by far the hardest part of getting started is understanding the game more than 50 sourcebooks. These range from the Age of Rebellion series, which details settings and plot hooks from the original trilogy, to the Force & Destiny series, with plenty of resources for building powerful Jedi and other Force users.

For new players, however, the clearest entry point is the Edge of the Empire beginner game, a box set with a simplified core rulebook, pre-generated characters, a set of those funky dice, and a starter adventure. The Edge of the Empire product line is my favorite subset of the SWRPG. They give games a feel that is more in line with the raw, localized personal stories of The Mandalorian instead of the chaotic, galaxy-wide adventure of films like The phantom menace. Those sourcebooks contain stats, skills, equipment, etc. for games that focus on bounty hunters, smugglers, explorers, mercenaries, and other fringe dwellers. They give you a lot of detail on how to play all those scum-and-villain types that don’t fit into the standard Jedi-versus-Sith or Rebels-versus-Empire dynamics.

In other words, it is the area of ​​the game where you can play the most colorful characters, with the most variety, the most personal stakes and the most room for creative play in all corners of the Star Wars universe where the films and films prevent. TV shows have been largely ignored until recently. Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beginner Game is a very simplified introduction to that product line, but it’s a good starting point for understanding how the Star Wars Roleplaying Game works, and why the system is easy to understand and full of story-generating nuances that go far beyond the usual “successful” or fail” game mechanics. —Tasha Robinson