Recommend a good space combat board game?

Looking for something like a modernized Star Fleet Battles or Noble Armada – suggestions for something deep but easy to understand?

Anyone ever played Starfire?

I played Starfire and long long time ago. I came to this thread to say SFB, but it’s already been covered.



:) The first wargame I ever purchased :)


Has the state of the art not really progressed past SFB in 30 years?

Currently I’m thinking Renegade Legion and TORG, but don’t remember if they were part of the same game universe or not.

Always enjoyed the TSR Star Frontiers’ RPG - Knight Hawks space combat system.

And yeah, Starfire.

Of course, all of these games are totally out of print, with the exception of SFB.

I thought I read somewhere about a space boardgame based on the Honor Harrington universe, as Weber of course co-writes with Steve White, who originated Starfire and has written books based on Starfire. Have seen absolutely nothing about that though, so it might have been just a rumor.

Wasn’t there a 40K space combat game? Battleship Gothic or something? [Not Space Hulk.]

— Alan

Battlefleet Gothic

Has the state of the art not really progressed past SFB in 30 years?[/quote]

Nope. Then again, SFB was pretty hideously complex. I can’t believe someone hasn’t done a VASL-style SFB playing aid, as the game system pretty much begs for it.

SFB did not start out hideously complex. But as they added expansions, things got worse and worse. The basic rule set wasn’t too hard to learn. As only a very casual boardgamer, I had no problems with it. I wouldn’t come anywhere near Squad Leader.

Warpwar rules! Never played Godsfire (the big version), though.

I’ve played all the games mentioned above, and while they all have their points, I still prefer Hard Vacuum. It’s a fast paced game with slick vector mechanics and a cool setting.
Official Website
Boardgame Geek

The best place I’ve found for info about the genre is here:

I dunno, even the original SFB rulebook is filled with rules & exceptions. It’s basically a space combat version of ASL. There’s a lot of record keeping going on. A turn with large numbers of ships can take hours to finish. And that’s just Volume I.

I mean, I friggin love SFB, but even the basic rules take some time. And you probably don’t even want to use some of them… originally you had pre-plotted movement to start with, and the phase-by-phase system was more advanced. Holy crap, I can’t even imagine playing SFB with pre-plotted turns.

— Alan

I’ve always been partial to Full Thrust, (and the companion book More Thrust) myself.

The core rules are pretty simple and clean and has made for some great miniatures combat when I used to live closer to people into such things.

Babylon 5 Wars is a robust, deep, and ultimately simple system. I highly recommend it. The complexity level is such that you can expect to get through a round of combat in about 20 minutes.

the original west end games Star Wars RPG had a space board game component. Can’t remember the name off hand though. It was a lot of fun to play.

One of the more original, more fun (and perhaps now impossible to find) space games I’ve played was FASA’s “The Last Starfighter” game. It had this neat circular way of tracking starship damage and the like. I’m not sure if they cribbed the system from their other spaceship games (having played none of them) but it was fast and fun without being braindead.


I’d forgotten about the Star Warriors. That really was alot of fun! I especially like the way pilots could push the envelope of their skills with uncertain results, and it really did tie in well with the RPG (well, aside from the fact that those without Starfighter skills had nothing to do).

While hunting for it I also found this comprehensive list of spaceship boardgames, including those long out of print.