Real war games are rare in the board game world. In return, the available military board games are qualitatively above average. So if you are a board player planning to play war, you will hardly be able to go wrong when choosing a suitable title. Nevertheless, there are also some particularly prominent candidates among the war board games that score with such entertaining game mechanisms that these titles should not be missing on any game shelf of a hobby general. As already known from the other top lists of the best board games, we are once again introducing you to five board games: the top 5 of the best board games for adults from the War & Military category.
Dust - the board game
Fifth place for the best war and military board games goes to the sci-fi board game Dust from Heidelberger Spieleverlag, which is responsible for the German localization. The original version was published by Fantasy Flight Games and that says a lot about the quality of the game concept and the material. As usual with board games from FFG, it also shines Dust with excellently processed figures and a successful look. At first glance, the similarity to the classic risk strategy is noticeable and a relationship cannot actually be denied. The setting, on the other hand, is anything but typical for a military board game: The year is 1950. German researchers have discovered alien technology hidden under a thick layer of ice, namely the remains of a crashed spaceship. Of course, this new type of technology cannot be used for peaceful purposes, but the knowledge flows into the research of innovative weapons of destruction, which the players command in the form of 'Mechs and other armed forces. Each general has air, sea and land units at his disposal, which must be skillfully deployed against the opponents. The name of the title is based on the appearance of the world in the parallel universe of 1950. Instead of blooming landscapes and national borders, there is only dust and chaos. It goes without saying that the goal of the game can only be absolute world domination.
Important utensil for warfare Dust are the so-called battle cards, of which each player has six at the beginning. One of these is needed at the very beginning to determine the start order. The other battle cards are used in the following rounds and determine at the beginning of each round in which order the players act. At the board game Dust So the game is not played clockwise, but the commander who uses the combat map to display the most attacks of the current round begins. This requires a certain amount of tactical approach even before the actual move is carried out. The moves themselves consist of three phases: production, movement and combat. That sounds familiar and is unlikely to pose any problems for experienced board players. Factories, cities and energy sources, which are distributed all over the dusty world map, take care of the production level. It is hardly surprising that the production level determines the number of units that can be used. The units can then be relocated during the movement phase. The movement rules are subject to minor restrictions, so that already occupied areas may not be entered and the sea routes can only be crossed with the support of sea units, so much realism must also be in an alternative year 1950. Battles in neighboring regions are declared in the battle phase.
The individual fights are then decided by rolling the dice, so that a certain luck factor prevails, which, however, also ensures tension. However, every opposing army can be defeated by clever tactics. Dust plays like a more strategic variant of risk, which also means that offensive action usually leads to better game results. These are at Dust Incidentally, more predictable than you think in the first few games. The award of victory points ends the round. Victory points are awarded for successfully occupied map markers such as factories, capitals or energy sources. Dust is fun for 2 to 6 players, not overwhelmed by in-depth mechanisms and is therefore also suitable for beginners who have never played military or war board games before. The war board game is for players who like to push small howitzers across the board Dust perfectly suited.
Auch Risk evolution is unmistakably a variant of the risk strategy board game. This title is certainly one of the more famous of the top 5 best board games for adults in the war and military category. As with Dust also uses Risk Evolution on an alternative war scenario in which futuristic combat units play a role. Many board games advertise a constantly changing gaming experience, but on closer inspection they rarely keep this promise. at Risk evolution The name says it all: Every decision has consequences and affects the current game as well as all of the following games. Changes are permanent, so each player group creates its own offshoot of the game world. The greatest strength of Risk evolution is also the only weakness. Once a group of players has started to play with a certain line-up, it makes sense and is fair to the other players if the original line-up continues to play in exactly this form. This is often not a problem at game get-togethers that have regular appointments for board game evenings. On the other hand, irregular rounds of players often cause difficulties to get a regular cast together. You should be aware of this before purchasing. The permanence of changes is a curse and a blessing at the same time, because once you have seen everything, even the greatest innovation loses its charm. Until then, however, countless hours will pass and until then Risk Evolution will skillfully play to its strengths.
The setting of Risk evolution puts the player in a distant future, namely in the year 2128. Research into new technologies leads people to other worlds that can now be colonized. However, since people can rarely live together peacefully, fighting quickly breaks out there too and once again everything revolves around complete conquest. What is conquered, however, is determined by the players - for the duration of their personal experience of risk evolution. Together the players transform their version of Risk Evolution is an exciting game world. The entire gaming experience is designed over 15 game rounds, after which the game board is completely played, pasted and labeled. That doesn't sound like a lot and little game for a lot of money at first, but if you count down the investment, each player pays between 0,70 and 1,10 euros per game, so very little money for a lot of fun. The playful basic structure is based closely on the original version of Risk. This is good because it also allows beginners to get started quickly. On the other hand, the permanent changes caused by the decisions of the players are really exciting. You can tell right from the start that this is not a publicity stunt. Before the first game, all players must sign a declaration; that makes for a pretty cool introduction and makes it clear who the creators of the respective risk world are. Other important decisions concern, for example, the naming of continents or the sticking of small town stickers on map markers (as a loser) or the deficiency seal. The winners of the games, on the other hand, are allowed to found and name large cities. All of this ensures a close connection to the board game and has never been seen in this form before. Even the rules of the game change in certain details over the course of the game experience. It is impossible to evaluate risk evolution on the basis of a single batch. If you want to get a comprehensive picture, you have to play through all 15 games. And I am sure that every one of them will provide tons of entertainment.
WWII: Operation Barbarossa 1941
Third place in the best board games for adults in the War and Military category went to a war board game with a classic setting: World War II - Operation Barbarossa 1941. That not only sounds like World War II in its purest form, it is. Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the German Wehrmacht's assault on the Soviet Union and thus the beginning of the German-Soviet War on June 22, 1941. So here is neither fantasy nor foreign technology: everything revolves around classic military tactics in one of the most devastating Wars of our time. Despite the serious background, it should be said directly that World War II - Operation Barbarossa 1941 is a hit for lovers of war and military board games. The level of detail of the board game from Zvezda is impressive. The extent is already evident the first time you unpack it. Countless units need to be removed from the plastic frame and assembled. This is sometimes quite tricky, because Zvezda has thought of everything, even the axles of the utility vehicles, armored chains and barbed wire fences. The units make a great impression on the game board, which also consists of hex fields that can also be changed using overlays. The multitude of units ranges from infantry through tanks and artillery to headquarters and aircraft. Fans of military board games attend World War II - Operation Barbarossa 1941 At your expense just because of the optics.
As it is well known, appearance is not everything and the inner values are sometimes important World War II - Operation Barbarossa 1941 However, the playful part is also right, otherwise this title would hardly have made it to third place on the top list. Due to the enormous tactical possibilities and the somewhat inaccessible game instructions, some games pass before the rules are really in place. Perseverance and patience are worthwhile, however, because once the players have internalized the rules, many hours of entertainment beckon on the battlefields. On the Zvevda website you can also find good English game instructions that make getting started a lot easier. The playing time is stated on the packaging as 45 to 90 minutes, but this time frame is often not sufficient. 90 minutes to two hours is better. The highlight on World War II - Operation Barbarossa 1941 Incidentally, is not the way in which the tactical orders are given. The commands are written down on the unit cards with the help of the enclosed pens (water-soluble!) And the cards are only then revealed together. This creates a wonderfully exciting game feeling, in which it is not always clear from the start what the opponent is going to do. World War II - Operation Barbarossa 1941 is the perfect war board game for strategists with a love of detail who don't shy away from assembling sometimes fiddly units.
Alexander the Great
A board game from Phalanx Games, which is distributed in this country by Kosmos, made it into second place. At the center is none other than Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia and leader of the Corinthian League. The military board game of the same name inspires with an exciting historical setting that has never been implemented in such a detailed way in any board game before. The board players walk in the footsteps of the warlord and follow his path to Persia. The game principle is comparatively simple and would allow a quick start, if it weren't for the somewhat unfortunate game instructions, which are anything but easy to understand. In the mind game Alexander the Great thinking begins very early. Board game strategists shouldn't let that stop them, however, and work their way through the instructions with test games. It's worth it, because the exciting board game is a real treat for fans of titles with historical background stories. If you are wondering how more than one person can embody the popular Alexander the Great in a multiplayer board game, rest assured: nobody slips directly into his role, but commands the armed forces of his retinue.
The basic structure is simple. The winner is whoever has the most victory points. One can do this by occupying provinces and founding cities and temples. The individual play areas are played in chronological order, which corresponds to the true historical events. Each player has 15 pieces available to develop their tactical moves. These are covertly assigned to the operational areas, so that you don't just have to react to the other players, but think up a strategy. This creates a tactically shaped, but exciting game feeling, although luck plays almost no role. Concentration and attention are always required in order to keep an overview of the tactical possibilities. These can be adapted to the circumstances with each new play area. Alexander the Great is the ideal game for military strategists for whom tactics are more important than the mere trial of strength with combat units.
Axis and Allies, Europe 1940 2nd Edition
Maybe the winner isn't a big surprise at all. Fans of the genre should at least have heard of this war board game: Axis and Allies, Europe 1940 2nd Edition. In this board game, military tactics are not only played, but actually celebrated. At a high price, because anyone who dares to tackle the strategic heavyweight should have time and preferably a lot of it. A game of Axis and Allies, Europe 1940 2nd Edition often lasts well over four hours, and some players' rounds celebrate their tactical moves in such a way that they even play a game for several days. It's good when the board game table is then out of the reach of children's hands or cats. The map size, around two meters long and one meter wide, does not require a lot of space. Research, tactics and team play are the cornerstones of Axis and Allies, Europe 1940 2nd Edition. If one of these factors suffers, the fun of the game automatically suffers as well. You should therefore take your allies and their strategies seriously and design your own tactical instructions accordingly. Any armed force that one would expect in a world war game can be played, including the USA, Germany, France, England as well as Japan, China and Russia. Each of these nations has its own miniatures that make an excellent visual impression. Is already optical Axis and Allies, Europe 1940 2nd Edition a stunner. This is not only due to the detailed unit models, but also to the illustration of the playing card. Only the ports and factories look a bit different, as these are only included as cardboard tokens. Real fans use models from other Axis games or buy the models individually on the Internet. This is not a must, but it reinforces the lasting impression Aaah just leaves more. The extremely active fan base also provides the appropriate German instructions for each version of the game on the Internet, so that even those who don't like foreign languages are not afraid of it Axis and Allies, Europe 1940 2nd Edition need to have.
The greatest strength of this military board game is its enormous tactical depth. Before a player puts his strategies into practice, it can happen that planning all possible moves takes several minutes. So you should have patience and perseverance, even when it is your fellow players' turn. After all, their decisions also want to be included in their own tactics, so that there is always something to be done. The enormous train possibilities promote long-term motivation to a great extent, so that fans of Axis and Allies, Europe 1940 2nd Edition will probably get this title off the shelf on a regular basis, provided they dismantle the board game at all. Anyone who wants to carry the war beyond European borders can Axis and Allies, Europe 1940 2nd Edition Incidentally, with the board game Axis and Allies, Pacific 1940 2nd Edition combine and thus create a world map to fight the acts of war globally. If you are deterred by the purchase price of around 65 euros, you should make it clear that investing in the Axis series will probably be an investment for a lifetime. In the second edition, numerous bugs were revised (smaller others added) and the rules were marginally adjusted in order to optimize the fun of the game. Axis unfolds an epic gaming experience. Summary, one can say: Axis and Allies, Europe 1940 2nd Edition is a complex war game with military tactics in their purest form.