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10 Best War Board Games For Game Night (2024)

War board games can be a lot of fun, as much as they can be competitive (although many enjoy the competitive aspect as well).

But with so many great board games out today, how do we decide which to play?

Today we’re hoping to make answering this question easier.

This article covers ten of our favorite war board games available today, and we’re going to start our list with some likely familiar titles.

1. A Game of Thrones

a game of thrones board game

Recommended players: three to six players.

Average session time: two to four hours.

One of the best war board games, fans of the GoT franchise will love this game.

It’s based on the same backbone of the story of the novels and series, claiming the Iron Throne.

And like the literature and films, players can’t just do so with sheer force; oh no, they’ll need to be shrewd, forming alliances and using some good classic diplomacy.

The game takes place after the death of King Robert Baratheon and is set on a giant game board representing Westeros.

It’s divided into different territories that players can control.

With one hundred and thirty-eight units representing siege engines, ships, knights, and footmen, a Game of Thrones is as much about combat as it is about politics.

Each player, using one of the six available houses, will get a player screen with valuable information about their houses.

Each session is divided into three phases: the action phase, the planning phase, and the Westeros phase.

The Westeros phase relates to events that affect every player and where players will have to fight common enemies such as wildlings.

The planning phase is where you issue secret orders to your armies and also has to do with diplomacy and negotiation.

Finally, the action phase is where everybody’s orders are revealed, and at this point, anything goes.

After ten rounds, scores are tallied, with the person who holds the most castles and strongholds declared the winner (alternatively, a player who controls seven is immediately the winner).

This well-balanced game will be a hit on a family game night or those Friday nights after a long week’s work.

Pros: excellent replayability, many expansion packs, and great for fans.

Cons: not ideal for just three or four players.

Buy A Game of Thrones at:

2. War of the Ring

war of the ring board game

Recommended players: two to four players.

Average session time: the average session is usually around three hours.

If A Game of Thrones wasn’t thematic enough for you, then War of the Ring might perform the nostalgic task.

As one of the best war board games, relive the classic adventure of Middle Earth to destroy the one ring in the fires of Mount Doom.

The free people win if they can get to Mordor and destroy the ring, but the Shadow wins if the ring bearer becomes corrupted.

Alternatively, you can earn victory through military might.

While a highly complex game, War of the Ring is brilliant once you get into it, and its complexity becomes quite appealing.

Each set of actions in the game is as significant as the last.

And it either pushes the forces of Sauron closer or further away from their aim of conquering the world.

With their reliance on hope, the free people will have to balance their defense, drawing on reinforcements and protecting citadels from Sauron’s forces.

If you’re looking for a game that effectively incorporates the beautiful world of J.R.R. Tolkien, then War of the Ring is what you’d want to play.

Pros: infinite replayability, rich gameplay, and brilliant for fans of the books/series.

Cons: difficult to learn and not for casual players.

Buy War Of The Ring at:

3. Star Wars: Rebellion

Star Wars Rebellion Board Game

Recommended players: two to four players.

Average session time: three to four hours.

And our final game on our thematic war board games list is Star Wars: Rebellion.

Star Wars enthusiasts will enjoy this experience, and the rare (but stern) supporters of the Empire will have the chance to play on their side while other players will be placed in the shoes of the Rebels.

Players will have to use their side’s strengths to defeat the other.

The Empire will use its economic power to create large armies, while the Rebellion will have to use ingenuity as the underdog.

The strategy game starts with the Rebels choosing a planet to hide their base in: should the Empire successfully find and destroy this base, they will lose.

Rebels win if they’re able to complete their objectives.

The game also boasts special event cards, which exist solely to upset the balance.

Did I mention that the Empire has access to a working Death Star?

Indeed, and they’re able to use it, blowing up planets to slowly narrow down the illusive Rebels’ location.

Pros: incredibly thematic, can be played comfortably with two people, and boasts excellent miniatures.

Cons: it’s a bit confusing.

Buy Star Wars: Rebellion at:

4. Monopoly: World War II, We Are All In This Together

Monopoly: World War II, We Are All In This Together game

Recommended players: two to six players.

Average session time: one hour.

Designed around the events of World War 2, this Monopoly edition, while not like the other games (the more traditional war board games), is still worth mentioning and is definitely one of the best war board games.

It’s a brilliant game for people who love war history and can even be an excellent tool for teachers.

And while it’s educational, it’s also a lot of fun to play, particularly for players who already enjoy the original Monopoly game.

Monopoly: World War II is about establishing headquarters and camps and working your way to a win.

Not only is it a great game, but it’s an excellent game for kids (although adults will enjoy it just as much); essentially, it’s fun for all ages.

We could even argue that it’s better than the original, but then we might be committing some sacrilege.

And in fitting with the theme of the time, you’ll use physical notes as opposed to the card machines found in the modern Monopoly versions.

Pros: fast-paced and great for war history enthusiasts.

Cons: not a conventional wargame.

Buy Monopoly World War II at:

5. This War of Mine: The Board Game

This War of Mine: The Board Game

Recommended players: One to six players.

Average session time: 45 minutes to two hours.

This War of Mine: The Board Game is inspired by the best-selling video game This War of Mine.

The video game offers players a unique perspective of the struggles of civilians during a war.

In the board game, players play as part of a group of survivors struggling to stay alive in a constant search for food, medicine, materials, and other survival equipment.

Players will also have to cope with other, less friendly survivors who put their survival at risk.

You start the game in a besieged city, taking shelter in a ruined home: you and the other players will be tasked to manage their shelter by building beds, stoves, water filters, and other improvements.

At night you’ll have to defend this shelter from bandits and explore various locations throughout the city in search of things to ensure your survival.

You’ll also encounter other characters on your journey with unique stories.

The deep plot, complex decision-making, intense survival circumstances, and engaging gameplay make this board game a must-play for any war game enthusiast.

Pros: it has decisions that affect the story, is easy to learn, and can be played alone.

Cons: it may feel slow-paced.

Buy This War Of Mine: The Board Game at:

6. Risk

risk board game

Recommended players: three to six players.

Average session time: can be anywhere from one to eight hours long.

No war game list will be complete without mentioning Risk.

It’s a war game that tasks players to take over the world, complete a secret mission, or in the case of special editions of Risk, conquer a specific geographical region.

Risk was made in 1957, although under the name La Conquête du Monde, and it was re-released in English in 1959.

Players are to use troops to take over the map, using battle strategy and relying on the chance of dice to oversee their victory or defeat.

Each player is pitted against the others and chooses or is given particular territories across the map.

Should a player conquer every territory in a continent, that person is given extra troops to aid them in their conquest.

Due to their nature, these board games can go on for many hours.

It’s a strategic war game that has the potential to create feuds between friends; you might even decide to make temporary alliances with other players as part of your strategy.

But remember, in the end, there can only be one victor.

Pros: tons of replayability and easy to learn.

Cons: some argue that sessions can go on for too long.

Buy Risk at:

7. Memoir ’44

Memoir '44 game

Recommended players: two to eight players.

Average session time: thirty to sixty minutes.

The Memoir ’44 war board game visits historic battles of World War 2, such as Pegasus Bridge and Operation Cobra; the board game boasts many battle scenarios.

Forces are deployed using command cards, and players are responsible for effectively using their unit’s skills, be it the artillery, commandos, tanks, or infantry.

The varying terrain makes each battle unique, as players must adapt to win these historically accurate battles.

This game could even be a teaching tool for students who love games (and we suspect that that’s most of them).

There are also numerous expansion packs that you can purchase, including the New Flight Plan expansion, the Eastern Front expansion, and the Through Jungle and Desert expansion.

Each original set includes eight battle dice, 60 command cards, nine summary cards, 36 obstacles, 144 army pieces, and a double-sided game board.

This is a fantastic game to play with friends, your kids, and other family members.

Pros: it’s easy to learn with simple rules, and you can create battle scenarios.

Cons: long set up time.

Buy Memoir ’44 at:

8. Undaunted: Normandy

Undaunted: Normandy game

Recommended players: two players.

Average session time: 45 to 60 minutes.

Set in the summer of 1944 after the D-Day Landings in Normandy, this battle reenactment game takes players deep into the trenches, where they’ll have to lead their troops and resist and force the German forces away (or vice versa).

Players will either select Germany or the United States to play out the battle scenarios: each starts with a unique set of cards you’ll need to divide between your supply and your deck.

You’ll draw cards with special actions each round and either play or discard them.

The board game boasts a mix of squad-based warfare and deck building.

It’s highly replayable, boasting an entire campaign for you and your friend to go through.

Even players who aren’t particularly into war games may find themselves drawn in by the deck building.

Players are encouraged to use a variety of tactics in this board game, depending on the side they choose to gain control of the battle map and win their scenario.

At times you may want to hold opponents down by suppressing fire, while at other times, you may wish to launch full-fledged attacks, giving them everything you’ve got.

Pros: quick gameplay and easy to get into.

Cons: setup may take a while.

Buy Undaunted: Normandy at:

9. Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan

SEKIGAHARA: Unification of Japan game

Recommended players: two players.

Average session time: three hours.

This war board game is based on the battle of Sekigahara, which was fought in 1600 at the crossroads in Japan.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s death has left the country’s rule in flux.

Players will take the roles of factions ruled by Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu, clans seeking to take power.

Each game is completed through seven rounds, although, subject to your leader’s death in battle, it can end prematurely.

After the seventh round, points are scored for resource locations and castles that you control.

Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan takes place over a seven-week campaign in which opponents have to maneuver their forces across Japan, attempting to get territories and positioning their armies in such a way as to engage them with enemies.

Your combat is limited depending on your cards, however.

Your cards represent the effect you have over the clans on your side: you’ll use these cards to maneuver troops around the board and deploy them.

This is an excellent game for two players looking for a unique battle experience and who find themselves particularly interested in Japanese history and combat.

Pros: Engaging in strategic decision-making is a lot of fun.

Cons: it can be a bit overwhelming and lead to analysis paralysis.

Buy SEKIGAHARA: Unification of Japan at:

10. Twilight Imperium

Twilight Imperium 4th Edition Board Game

Recommended players: three to six players.

Average session time: four to eight hours.

The Twilight Imperium war board game is set in a sci-fi world where players are tasked with conquering the galaxy and ultimately becoming Emperor of the cosmos.

Each player will control one of seventeen civilizations that boasts their own unique technology.

Players will have to navigate the complexities of war through diplomacy, trade and various battles to help their civilization flourish and rise above the others.

It’s a fantastic game that fans of the sci-fi genre will thoroughly enjoy.

Each game is unique, with the board uniquely constructed with galaxy tiles featuring planets, asteroid fields and supernovas, amongst others.

Each round begins with players choosing one of eight different strategy cards that determine both player order and give their strategic action for the around.

Pros: very replayable and has many elements, including combat, diplomacy, trade, and exploration.

Cons: games can be extremely lengthy and quite complicated to understand.

Buy Twilight Imperium at:


risk board game

What is a board wargame?

A strategy war game simulates warfare on a deeply strategic or even operational level.

Playing board games like this means simulating various realistic or fantasy war scenarios that players engage in, usually in competition.

What is the best wargame out?

Which is the best-of-the-best war board game is always up for debate; however, based solely on how long it’s been out, Risk could be considered the best war game.

It’s easy to learn yet challenging to master.

What is the #1 board game in the world?

While we didn’t mention it in our list because of how well-known it is, Chess is undoubtedly the #1 board game worldwide due to how often it has been sold and adapted.

And if you think about it, it’s a war game: consider the pieces and how they’re kingdom-inspired (knights, castles, bishops, etc.) and how it’s two kingdoms going up against each other.

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