Posted Sunday, 20-Dec-2015
With The Force Awakens having just left its mark on our collective cultural consciousness, what better way to bring the joy of spaceships and lightsabers into your home to share with your family than with board gaming?
Here are 5 great games for Star Wars lovers (and Star Wars lovers-to-be) of all ages.
2-5 Players 90 Minutes Ages 12 & Up
Don’t underestimate the power of the dark side – Imperial Assault hurls you into in the action as you fight off stormtroopers, Imperial mechs, and even Darth Vader himself.
Imperial Assault sees 2 to 5 players facing off – 1 to 4 as the intrepid rebel heroes and 1 playing as the might of the Empire. Based on the same rules system as Descent: Journeys in the Dark and Doom the Boardgame, Imperial Assault features a story campaign set between episodes IV and V, where your heroes can level up and gain experience and equipment through the multiple scenarios in the campaign book.
Apart from Campaign mode, Imperial Assault also has a 2 player skirmish mode, akin to a tabletop miniatures game, where players must race to complete objectives or destroy their opponent’s forces, essentially making an Imperial Assault purchase 2 games in 1.
Imperial Assault is a great game with just the core set box, serving as an introduction to RPG-style games – but it also comes with plenty of expansions – Hero and Villain packs to introduce variety and play as the characters you’ve always loved – Boba Fett vs R2D2, anyone?
2-3 Players 15 Minutes Ages 4 & Up
Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops – but when Chewie’s got the keys to the Falcon, he’s going to do just that!
A dexterity game for the entire family, Loopin’ Chewie is a rebranding of Loopin’ Louie and retains the frantic fun while adding a dash of (even more) zaniness.
Powered by a small motor, Chewie makes laps around the board, while players keep him from hitting their stormtroopers with a small push-lever while trying to get him to knock out their opponent’s. Last stormtrooper standing wins!
And for those electronics-savvy players willing to get some extra challenge, he game can also be modified to go faster, randomize movements, and even travel backwards!
Loopin’ Chewie is great fun for all, especially those with young children.
2-4 Players 60 Minutes Ages 10 & Up
Rule the galaxy as father and son – Risk: Star Wars Edition dumps most of the classic Risk elements and instead allows players reenact the climactic battle from Return of the Jedi in three separate theaters of conflict.
2 to 4 players side either with the Rebel Alliance as they try and destroy the Death Star, or as the Empire trying to crush them for ever. Both sides must balance their attention between Han Solo and his troops trying to bring down the Death Star’s shields on the forest moon of Endor, the titanic clash of fleets in orbit, or the climactic duel between Luke and Darth Vader.
If all this sounds amazing, that’s because it is! The game comes in both a regular and Black Edition, with added miniatures for the Death Star, super star destroyer, Millenium Falcon, and Stormtroopers.
Risk: Star Wars Edition gives a sense of titanic struggle without being overly heavy on complex rules, remaining fairly family friendly while still retaining that epic feeling.
2-3 Players 30 Minutes Ages 10 & Up
Stay on target! X-Wing is a fast and furious miniatures combat game for 2 to 4 players. Haven’t you ever wanted to reenact the exciting space battles from the films? X-Wing is your chance.
The game can be as small or as large as you like – a core set’s 3 ships can do unhurried battle – or you can field a massive TIE swarm vs the Millenium Falcon and a Rebel Transport trying to escape from Hoth – or even recreate the Death Star scene from A New Hope.
X-Wing comes with a huge variety of ships, including some from The Force Awakens, pictured above. They also include larger vessels, such as the imposing VT-49 Decimator, Princess Leia’s ship from the start from Episode IV, and my personal favorite, the Imperial Assault Carrier, which ferries TIE Fighters into battle underneath its belly.
X-Wing is a blast to play and easy to teach, and scales very well from small furballs in an asteroid belt to all out space assaults. The Core Set remains a great way to sample the experience, although you can just grab whatever ships take your fancy and be ensured of a good time.
2 Players 120 Minutes Ages 14 & Up
Concentrate all fire on that Super Star Destroyer! On the opposite end of the scale from X-Wing is Armada. Where the Blockade Runner in X-Wing is the largest ship in that game, in Armada it’s among the smallest.
Command Star Destroyers and whole squadrons of fighters as you fling them against each other in epic conflict among the stars. Compared to X-Wing, Armada is slower and more thoughtful, requiring more strategic planning as you maneuver your huge ships to take advantage of their firing arcs and keep your weak spots facing away from the enemy.
While not having as many expansion ships as X-Wing, Armada is a grander experience that you can get in on the ground floor for without having to chase too hard to buy everything – although who wouldn’t want to plonk down TWO Star Destroyers onto the table instead of just one?
An Armada core set is an epic experience on its own, and just like X-Wing and Imperial Assault, you can pick and choose extra ships at your leisure, or just stay with the base experience and still have a grand old time – John Williams music playing in the background as you roll your spaceships into firing range…
Published by BoardGamePrices.com
Can we fit all the photos we took at Spiel into this article? No. But we’ll sure try! Here’s your last look at the last day of the biggest board games show in the world.
The tiredness starts to take hold; but we press on toward Day 3! We’ve got dice! We’ve got minis! We’ve got mechs! It’s Spiel!