Board games deal with a variety of themes and game mechanics. You can be solving a murder mystery one moment and fighting a war the next. Such war games are often tense and full of strategy. Many games in the genre focus on actual historical events. Other war games will play imaginary wars on distant planets.

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Whether you want an epic battle that will take up an entire night of play or some short, quick experiences, there’s a war game to try. Here is a selection of war games from historical to fantasy that are worth checking out.

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10/10 Risk Inheritance

Risk is an excellent war game in which your army tries to control the entire world. You’ll be rolling the dice to determine the outcome of each battle, deciding when to stop and when to strike. The standard game can be fun, but the Legacy version of Risk is the best version to play.

Legacy games are all about results. You will play each game after your previous playthrough. Risk Legacy is set in the future, with five unique factions vying for control. The legacy edition has a lot of content that keeps this war game fresh and exciting throughout the campaign.

9/10 Air, land and sea

Air Land and Sea Board Game Box - The Cards

Air, Land and Sea is a war game for two players that takes less than a few hours to complete. You play as a commander, first try to get 12 victory points. You do this by winning battles in each theater of war: air, land, and sea.

Each round, you’ll manage your hand of six Battle Cards, deciding when it’s best to deploy them. Whenever you play a card, it will increase your power in one of the three theaters. If you have the most power in the theater, you are in control. Air, Land and Sea is a fast paced game. Battles end very quickly. It’s all about timing. Each decision has a unique impact on the battlefield.

8/10 A Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones board game box with two palaces/castles

Due to the initial success of Game of Thrones, there have been many Game of Thrones. But no one comes close to this epic war game. You will take on the role of one of the houses of Westeros before the brink of war. You’re in for a long, epic battle that lasts about four or more hours.

The Game of Thrones board game can be dangerous. There are too many complications to wrap your head around. It’s not just about fighting. There are other ways to gain influence and power throughout the field. You have to negotiate, form alliances and be willing to betray your friends. But once you get caught up in this immersive experience.

7/10 Twilight Imperium

Twilight Imperium 4E Box Art

In Twilight Imperium, you play as an alien civilization that dominates the galaxy. The galaxy is different every time you play, full of planets to fight and asteroid fields to avoid.

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There are many tricks you can try to succeed in this sci-fi battle. For example, you can build a strong army or take over an economy. The faction you play as will have traits that will affect your play style. You decide for a grand conference and fly your spaceship across the galaxy until one of you reaches ten victory points. Twilight Imperium is a vast, sprawling adventure that’s unique every time you play.

6/10 Cthulhu Wars

Cthulhu Wars Board Game Box

If you’re into Lovecraftian horror fighting against each other, you’ll love this game. In Cthulhu Wars, you play as a terrifying Great Elder and his loyal cultists. But only one alien god can take over the earth. You’ll gather power, stay on the battle map, and unlock useful spellbooks.

Cthulhu Wars features incredible, detailed miniatures that you’ll be excited to paint. The alien gods have their own play styles and destructive abilities that will destroy the Earth at the end of the game. It’s a tough battle, full of strategy. Plus, it’s great to play as a giant monster.

5/10 Star Wars: Rebellion

Star Wars Rebellion Board Game Box - Board and Components

For even more sci-fi war shenanigans, you can venture into the world of Star Wars. There are plenty of great Star Wars video games out there to play. But for those who prefer a tabletop experience, you should try Star Wars Rebellion. Set during the original trilogy, you play as either the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance, doing everything you can to win.

The game is full of fantastic miniatures as you fight your way across the galaxy. Both sides have their advantages and strategies. The Galatic Empire has a huge army. Meanwhile, the rebels have plenty of sneaky tactics and a rebel base that they need to avoid being discovered. You will create a new version of this classic space story.

4/10 War of the Ring

War of the Ring Board Game Box

War of the Ring is a massive asymmetric board game set in the world of Lord of the Rings. One side will take on the role of Sauron and his seemingly unstoppable army of Orcs. If they capture enough fortresses, they win the game. The other side will play the good guys, trying to convince these strongholds to go to war to stop Sauron. Not only will you go into battle, but you’ll also try to lead Frodo to Mount Doom to destroy the ring.

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The battle map is huge. There are also numerous thumbnails to use. War of the Ring is an unforgiving experience but it will leave you mesmerized throughout. It feels like a two-sided conflict, where you don’t know who will win.

3/10 original

Route board game, four different meeples on a jungle map

Even small, adorable creatures are not above war. ROOT is about the battle for the forest. Cats are fighting birds, while woodland critters are rioting in the shadows. ROOT is a completely asymmetric war game. Each faction has its own goals and game mechanics to help them achieve victory.

Don’t be fooled by the cute art style. This war game is just as ruthless as the other games on this list. You must keep a close eye on all your enemies to ensure that no one escapes with victory. Several extensions have also been made for root. These expansions add even more fun factions to join the battle, such as cultist lizards. You will soon have your favorite faction to play with in this epic battle.

2/10 Blitzkrieg

Blitzkrieg Board Game Box - Main Board

Blitzkrieg is a fast paced board game. It simulates a war in just 20 minutes. Instead of fighting for control of areas on the map, this war game is about multiple tug-of-war contests happening simultaneously. The Mandal has several theaters of war. You will play army tokens in these theaters to pull the chance of victory closer to you. If you win enough of these individual battles, you will win the war.

Blitzkrieg is all about picking your battles. You often have to leave theaters to focus on fighting elsewhere. But you also don’t want your opponent to walk away victorious. You only have a small selection of battle pieces to use, so every decision feels as important as the last. Whether you win or lose, you’ll be eager to play again.

1/10 Undaunted: Normandy

Uncompromising Normandy Board Game Box - Land Tiles

Unmistakable: Normandy is an incredible two-player game. You will play as American or German army during World War II. The game mixes deck building with battle strategy. Each turn, you will have a limited number of cards to control your army, fighting for control of the land. If one of your troops goes down, they’re out of the game for good.

There are various scenarios to play. The game gradually introduces more features like sniper. No battle is the same. There is an excellent balance of luck and strategy. The turns are easy, and this keeps the game moving at a fast pace. If you’re looking forward to more scenarios, Undaunted: North Africa and Undaunted: Reinforcements expand on the game in a variety of exciting ways. The Undaunted series is easy to learn and a joy to play.

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