For such a rich genre it should come as no surprise that there are a number of incredible sci-fi board games out there.
In our list of best sci fi board games we made sure to choose a diverse range of games that will appeal to the fledgling sci fi player, the die hard fan, and everyone in between.
Our 5 Best Sci Fi Board Games
You’ll find Eclipse in many top 10 lists, as it isn’t just one of the best sci fi games but actually one of the best board games generally.
The game places you in control of an intergalactic civilization, with the goal of advancing further than your opponents and ultimately taking them out.
You’ll take your time exploring space, colonising, building new ships to fight with, researching technologies etc. Each action you take costs you energy, and once everyone is out of energy the game moves into the second phase: combat.
Combat is determined through dice rolls. A 6 is a hit, a 1 is a miss. Anything in between can be altered by your ship’s technology, shields, targeting etc in order to reach a 6. After this phase you move into upkeep and then cleanup.
This sequence is carried out 9 times, and the person who achieves the most Victory Points by the end of the 9 rounds is the winner.
It’s a long game, but I feel that time really flies while playing and I never feel like i’m sitting there waiting for my turn. There is always something to think about and plan.
Despite its length and the amount of different rounds, its actually a really simple game to play and you can learn it pretty quickly.
Highly, highly recommended.
As with Eclipse, in Race for the Galaxy the main theme is to build a civilization that will dwarf your competitors. You’ll have to explore, conquer, settle and develop technologies to beat your friends.
It’s a card game in which cards can either be played or traded, and each card has a cost or can grant a special power/ability.
The way to win is by getting Victory Points, and these can be gained by playing your cards that build up your powers and then can be turned into VPs.
What I love about Race for the Galaxy is that it’s super fun even just with 2 players.
It also has a lot of replayability due to the different strategies you can use and card combinations you can play.
I think my main problem with the game is that there’s not a lot of player interaction, but this is offset by the strong atmosphere and feel the game creates.
For this reason there’s a certain element of luck that I think makes things much more exciting.
Each player is a fleet commander whose goal is to conquer certain sections of space.
The ships of your fleet are also dice, and you must manoeuvre them across the tiled board.
When you land on a tile you’ll try to place a “quantum cube” on it, by having the dice equal the number on the tile. The first person to place all their quantum cubes wins!
An element that pushes this game into the realm of ‘awesome’ is the fact that each ship has a different power that can be used once per turn. This adds a nice dose of strategy to the game that brings with it great satisfaction when you master how a ship is best used.
Quantum is best played with 2-4 people and should take you around 1.5 hours.
Some say it’s difficult but to me that difficulty is because of a complex game, and once you learn how to play its so rewarding that it makes it all worth it.
I read that it was first created in 1977 by a small publishing house. I also heard that it was the game that inspired Magic! The Gathering (whether that entices you or not!)
Since then 3 other publishing houses have taken on the task of keeping the game in print.
That should at least be an indicator as to how good this game is!
In Cosmic Encounter you play the role of an alien race trying to establish colonies on other players’ planets.
There are over 50 alien races, each with their own special abilities and powers.
It’s a basic game in many ways and to win you must be the first player to place 5 colonies on planets other than your own.
There are a number of expansions for the game now and it should take you around an hour to complete. We recommend playing with 5 players for the best experience, but anywhere between 3-5 is great.
If you’re looking for the grandaddy of Sci Fi games, the one that will take you half a day to play and will leave you with stories, “remember when”s and the feeling of taking part in an epic space opera then Twilight Imperium is the game you need.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you: you will get sucked into this story.
At it’s core its a 4x game, which means eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate.
You’ll play the role of one of 10 alien races fighting for control of a dying star empire. Each of these races have their own special attributes and powers to be used to your advantage.
There are numerous clever game mechanics that make this game as enthralling as it is and a story that really sets it apart from the rest.
When playing Twilight Imperium you’re setting out on a lengthy journey, but one that will leave you deeply satisfied.