Top 12 Best War Board Games of 2024 Ranked

Explore the top board games with a war theme, from classic battles to fantasy wars, perfect for strategic minds and history buffs.
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Risk coverAxis & Allies cover

Hey there, fellow game lovers! Welcome to our roundup of the 12 best board games that are all about war. When we picked these gems, we focused on a mix of strategy, fun, and yes, a bit of history too. Whether you’re into classic battles, fantasy clashes, or even intergalactic wars, we’ve got something for you. We wanted games that bring folks together around the table for epic showdowns and unforgettable tales of conquest. So, grab your dice and prepare your best war face; we’re about to march through history, fantasy, and beyond with some top-notch board gaming action.

On this list:

12 Memoir ’44

  • Age Range: 8+
  • Players: 2
  • Play Time: 30-60 min

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Starting off, we got Memoir ’44. It’s like stepping into a history book but fun. You get to relive World War II battles with miniatures. What makes it cool is how you and your buddies can jump straight in. It’s easy to learn, fast-paced, and every game feels like you’re making your own war story. Plus, who doesn’t like playing with tanks and soldiers?

11 Risk

Risk cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 2-6
  • Play Time: 120+ min

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Risk is a classic. You’ve probably played it. It’s all about global domination. The cool part? It makes you feel like a real general, planning out your attacks and trying to take over the world. Every game night turns into an epic battle for power. And the alliances and betrayals? Chef’s kiss. Just make sure your friendships can survive the game.

10 Axis & Allies

Axis & Allies cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 2-5
  • Play Time: 180+ min

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If you thought Memoir ’44 was cool, Axis & Allies takes it up a notch. It’s like Risk on steroids. You get deeper into World War II strategy, managing not just armies but also economies. Winning requires brains, not just luck. It’s a bit of a time investment, but absolutely worth it for the stories you’ll tell after.

9 Twilight Struggle

Twilight Struggle cover

  • Age Range: 13+
  • Players: 2
  • Play Time: 120-180 min

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This game is a cold war face-off and boy, does it deliver. You’re in the thick of US vs. USSR global influence battles. It’s not just about battles; it’s about mind games and strategy. It really makes you think about the moves you’re making. Plus, the tension? You could cut it with a knife. It’s a bit complex but stick with it, and you’ll be hooked.

8 Star Wars: Rebellion

Star Wars: Rebellion cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 180-240 min

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For the sci-fi fans out there, Star Wars: Rebellion is a blast. It’s like creating your own Star Wars story. One side is the Rebel Alliance, the other, the Galactic Empire. The scale of this game is huge. You’re planning strategies, battles, and even sneaky missions. It’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you get it, it’s epic.

7 BattleLore (Second Edition)

BattleLore (Second Edition) cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 2
  • Play Time: 60-120 min

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Fantasy meets war in BattleLore. It’s all about tactics and lore. The game is gorgeous, with detailed miniatures and a rich world. You’re commanding troops, casting spells, and battling out with monsters. It’s easy to pick up, making it great for newbies and veterans alike. And the variety of scenarios means no two games are the same.

6 War of the Ring (Second Edition)

War of the Ring (Second Edition) cover

  • Age Range: 13+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 180 min

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If you love Lord of the Rings, this game is for you. It’s the ultimate battle for Middle-Earth. One side controls the Free Peoples, the other, the forces of Shadow. The detail in this game is insane, from the map to the miniatures. It’s a bit daunting at first, but once you get going, it’s incredibly rewarding. Plus, who doesn’t want to control the fate of Middle-Earth?

5 Blood Rage

Blood Rage cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 60-90 min

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Blood Rage is all about Vikings and mythology. You’re leading your clan to glory before Ragnarok. The mix of strategy and luck, plus the drafting cards mechanic, makes each game intense. The miniatures are amazing, and it’s always fun sending your warriors into battle or to Valhalla. If you like Norse mythology and strategic battles, this is your game.

4 Command & Colors: Ancients

Command & Colors: Ancients cover

  • Age Range: 12+
  • Players: 2
  • Play Time: 60-120 min

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History buffs, this one’s for you. Command & Colors: Ancients takes you back to historical battles. It’s easy to learn but offers deep strategy. You’re commanding Roman legions or their enemies, using cards to order your troops. It’s like chess with a historical twist. And the best part? Learning a bit of history while you play.

3 Scythe

Scythe cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 1-5
  • Play Time: 90-115 min

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Scythe is an alternate history 1920s war game but with mechs. It’s not just about combat; it’s about strategy, resource management, and diplomacy. The game is stunning visually and the mechanics are smooth. It’s a bit to get your head around at first, but once you do, it’s so rewarding. And the theme? Simply cool.

2 Root

Root cover

  • Age Range: 10+
  • Players: 2-4
  • Play Time: 60-90 min

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Root takes war to the woodland. It’s unique because each player has different goals, resources, and ways to win. It’s like a charming fairy tale turned cutthroat. The balance between the factions makes every game a nail-biter. Plus, the artwork? Adorable and yet so fierce. It’s easy to learn but hard to master, making every game exciting.

1 Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven cover

  • Age Range: 14+
  • Players: 1-4
  • Play Time: 60-120 min

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Gloomhaven is the cream of the crop. It’s not just a war game; it’s an adventure. Each session is part of a larger campaign where your decisions have lasting effects. It’s insanely detailed, with a massive world to explore. The combat is strategic and satisfying. What makes it stand out? It’s the storytelling and the depth. Every choice feels important. This game is an investment in time and space, but man, is it worth it.

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.