Adventures in board gaming: Best board games for sci-fi and superhero fans

imperial_assault_by_michalivan-d8m7fatAlthough I grew up playing board games, I was mostly just familiar with common childhood games like Clue, Monopoly, and Sorry. I didn’t realize the sheer volume and variety of board games that existed until I started dating my husband, who is a big board game fan. Naturally, I got pretty excited when he introduced me to board games that also appealed to my love for science fiction and superheroes. 🙂 I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of these board games from the Star Wars and Marvel universes. A special shout-out to Bradscribe for giving me the idea to do this post!

Marvel Dice Masters
Players: 2
Difficulty level: Medium

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Marvel Dice Masters is, as you might have guessed, a game involving dice. 😉 You put together a team of various Marvel characters and then battle the other player. You can put together themed teams, such as the Avengers or the Guardians of the Galaxy, or you can just put together a team of random characters that you like. My husband teases me because I can never seem to put together a team that doesn’t involve Captain America.

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The game is a bit complicated to explain, but each character card has corresponding dice. You roll the dice on your turn to see what your attack value will be. You can see a more detailed explanation of how to play the game here.

To get started, purchase one of the many starter sets, like Age of Ultron or Civil War, then you will probably want to buy singles to flesh out your collection. It’s a fun game to play, and I love collecting the cards with my favorite characters. You can also find Dice Masters sets featuring DC Comics and Dungeons and Dragons characters.

Marvel Legendary
Players: 2-5 (a solo mode is also available)
Difficulty level: Challenging

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Marvel Legendary is a cooperative deck building game. This means you start the game with a basic set of cards and expand your deck over the course of the game. You select what Marvel heroes you’d like to play, then you battle an adversary, such as Magneto, Loki, etc. If you’re feeling villainous, you can buy the Legendary: Villains set, where you can play as the villains and make superheroes, such as the Avengers, your adversaries.

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Legendary was a little overwhelming for me at first, but the more you play it, the more you’ll get the hang of how the cards combo off each other. You can see a more detailed explanation of how to play the game here. In order to get started, you’ll need either the regular Legendary or villain base set, then you can add cool expansions, like Guardians of the Galaxy.

Star Wars: X-Wing
Players: 2
Difficulty level: Easy

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Star Wars: X-Wing is basically a dogfight in board game form, and it comes with really cool miniatures. Seriously, the detail on the Millennium Falcon model is just amazing! (Sadly, it’s not included in the base set; you have to buy it as an expansion.)

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Each player puts together their fleet, and then you take turns moving your ships and attacking. Even if you end up not liking the game, it’s fun to display the miniatures, which include X-Wings, TIE fighters, and more. While you can technically play this game with just the simple base set, you’ll definitely want to add expansions to improve the flavor of the game.

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Learn how to play the game here.

Star Wars: Imperial Assault 
Players: 2-5
Difficulty level: Medium

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Star Wars: Imperial Assault is the crown jewel of my board game collection. 🙂 One player controls the Imperial army, and the other players play four Rebel characters (there are a variety of original characters to choose from). I recommend you get four players to play the four Rebels, although one person can play all four of these characters. Using tiles, you create a map for your characters to battle on. While you can play one-off skirmishes, I recommend using the campaign setting, where you play through a story and both sides upgrade their forces over the course of multiple linked games.

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The miniatures are detailed and well-designed, and the map tiles offer endless variety: forest, space station, desert, etc. Below you can see an example of one of the heroes that came with the Bespin expansion pack.

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This is a really fun game that makes you feel like you’re experiencing an adventure in the Star Wars universe. Although there are some really cool expansions available, you can have plenty of fun with just the base set. The campaign alone will take you weeks to finish. You can find a more detailed explanation of the game here.

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7 thoughts on “Adventures in board gaming: Best board games for sci-fi and superhero fans

  1. Yay! That gap in me brain has been filled! !
    Thanks for th “special shout-out” – strangely enough, WordPress didn’t notify me, but u know I always pop round as soon as i get the Buzz.
    Amazing – seriously I thot boardgames went out w my generation
    Dicemasters and Star Wars: Imperial Assault look fab – will check out their availability on these shores
    Can’t “put together a team that doesn’t involve Captain America” – uff, tell me about it…
    Great Post!
    Cheers!

    • Imperial Assault is definitely my favorite of the bunch. It includes some really cool original characters, and it’s fun to play through the missions. I hope you can track down some of these games! 🙂

  2. If you haven’t heard of it, there is a game called Star Wars: The Card Game.I have it but I don’t have many people to play it with so I’ve only played it a handful of times. There is a lot to it and I don’t think I still fully have a grasp on it, but I think it is very fun.

  3. All of these sound like so much fun. I used to play tabletop games when I was younger and really want to get back into it. I live in NYC but I still can’t seem to find any groups to join. And it’s hard to make new friends when you’re 50… almost 50. I love RPG games and sci-fi in general, Star Wars and Marvel in particular so these sound right up my alley. They come with dice but they don’t come with friends.

    • Yeah, my husband and I try to look for a lot of games that are just good for two players because sometimes it’s hard to find other people to play. It’s especially tough to find a group of five people that are willing to commit to a month (or longer) to play Imperial Assault. Most people that I’ve talked into playing Imperial Assault had a lot of fun, though, and said they’d do it again!

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