The 10 Best Combat Board Games

Many board games feature combat in some form or another. Whether it’s rolling dice or flipping cards, a game’s combat is best when combined with a fun adventure. The combat in games can be fast and frequent or slow and strategic. The best games use the right kind of combat to pair with their story and characters.



RELATED: 10 Board Games To Play With A Beer

Combat games are not always player vs. player. Some great games have players teaming up against a common enemy, but sometimes this leaves the door open for betrayal. Sidelining a former partner in order to gain all the treasure adds an explosive dynamic to any game. Classic games last through the years but also find themselves getting adaptations with pop-culture franchises that freshen them up and give new players and fans something to get excited about.

10 Ride Out To The Wild West With BANG!

Bang! is a card game that puts players into cowboy boots in the middle of an Old West shootout. There are four different roles, Sheriff, Deputy, Outlaw, and Renegade, that players are assigned randomly, each with their own special abilities and winning condition.

Players take turns shooting at each other and reacting to the shots by revealing cards in their hands. There is also a Haloversion of the game that changes the rules, characters, and guns from classic Wild West to Sci-Fi. Either version offers a great shooting frenzy for up to seven players.

9 Munchkin Is The Game Of Betrayal

Munchkin is a game of dungeon crawling, defeating monsters, grabbing treasure, and absolute betrayal. It was designed as a satire on Dungeons & Dragons and similar games, capturing all the tropes and stereotypes perfectly. Each player takes a turn entering a dungeon and facing a monster.

RELATED: 10 Word Games Better Than Scrabble

The other players can choose to assist that player or assist the monster. Defeating the monster results in the acquisition of treasures while losing the battle results in consequences like losing levels or treasures. Munchkin is a game to find out who really is a friend or foe.

8 Epic Spell Wars Is Zany, Magical Fun

Epic Spell Wars pits players against each other as they create devastating and hilarious magic spells. These spells are created from three cards from the player’s hand and can have snowballing effects with other spells cast by other players. The winner is the last wizard standing.

The names of spells and characters are zany, outrageous, and hilarious, and the art itself is visceral and done in a style familiar to fans of Rick and Morty, though there is no direct connection. The games are fast and furious, and shouting the spells out loud with vigor really makes this a game worth playing.

7 Risk Has Options For Numerous Fandoms

Risk is the strategic game of world domination. Players choose their armies, set them up on the appropriate country, and then engage in battles to eventually take over the entire world and eliminate all competition.

While the original Risk was set on Earth, different versions have been released over the years, including Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Metal Gear Solid, Game of Thrones, and many other franchises. The adaptations for each franchise alter the rules and objectives slightly, so even veterans of the original game will find something new in their favorite fandom version.


6 Gloomhaven Is A Lengthy Battle With A Branching Story

Rather than battling against each other, Gloomhaven gets players to work cooperatively to progress through the ever-changing narrative. Players select their characters and level them up by clearing out dark dungeons and ancient ruins, both filled with monsters.

The narrative branches out in numerous ways depending on how each player reacts to choices during the game, much like a “choose your own adventure” book. It is a game with a lot of depth and story development and is worth the time to sit and play over numerous sessions, each continuing from the last.


5 War Of The Ring Is A Great Interpretation Of The Lord Of The Rings

War of the Ring is a game based on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The game is best played with two players, one controlling the Free Peoples and the other controlling the Shadow Armies. The Free Peoples battle against Sauron’s armies with the help of all the familiar characters like Gandalf.

While the Shadow Armies are trying to conquer a number of Free People’s cities in order to win, the Fellowship, controlled by the Free Peoples player, must try to get the One Ring to Mordor. The game is one of strategy and war, with battles erupting all over Middle Earth, and uses both event cards and die rolls to kick off its epic battles.


4 Star Wars: Imperial Assault Gives Players Two Ways To Play

Star Wars: Imperial Assault is a strategic combat game that offers both a Campaign and Skirmish mode for players to engage in. The campaign puts one player in charge of the Imperial Forces while up to four others become the Rebel Alliance, in a story that follows the Rebels fighting back against the oncoming Imperial storm.

Through the story, characters level up and evolve, adding depth to the experience. In the Skirmish mode, players battle against each other by building card decks and blasting each other away through epic space battles. The game features nicely detailed miniatures, though they could use a lick of paint.


3 Doom 2016 Was A Video Game Reboot And A Board Game Reboot

To accompany the 2016 videogame reboot of DOOM, a board game of the same name was released. A DOOM board game was released in 2004, but this new one improved on it in every way. DOOM: The Board Game pits a team of up to four players, as marines, against one player who controls hordes of demons.

RELATED: 10 Best FPS Game Campaigns

The Marines must complete mission objectives on the board to win while the Demon player throws hordes of different enemies in their way. The demons win when every marine is killed. The board game might not have as much blood and gore as the video game, but the combat is fun. Overall, the experience does feel very much like DOOM.


2 King of Tokyo Is Godzilla And Pacific Rim Combined

The poor city of Tokyo gets no relief from giant monsters, aliens, or robots in this game. Players take control of one of the monsters and battle against up to five other players in order to become the King of Tokyo. Through each turn, players will destroy buildings and battle against each other with the roll of the dice.

The winner is decided by the player who either destroys the city by accumulating 20 Victory Points, or is the last monster standing at the end of all the destruction. The monsters have their own abilities and can be enhanced with special cards that have temporary and permanent effects.


1 Battleship Is a Classic That Hasn’t Aged At All

The classic coordinate guessing naval assault game Battleship has been around for decades and was even turned into a movie. Despite the game’s age, it still remains a great game. Players set up their ships on opposing sides of the game board and take turns giving coordinates, trying to strike enemy ships. The winner is whoever destroys the other’s ships first.

Battleship has updated over the years to include an electronic version, complete with explosion sound effects, and even a Star Wars version. It remains a classic board game for two players that will seemingly never sink to the depths of the dusty basement storage room.

NEXT: 10 Best Video Game Cars, Ranked