There are few things in life quite as satisfying as commanding your cyborg hordes to wage war against the grognard across the kitchen table. Whether you prefer to blast Darkseid with your heat vision or lead a heavy lance in a raid against one of the Inner Sphere houses, miniatures games will meet your need for conquest. Check out our list of the five best scifi games that wil burn up your tabletop.
Car Wars, Steve Jackson Games. Yes, the rules are flawed. It can take two hours to play through two minutes of action. And the "miniatures" were really 2D paper cars. But you can't beat the concept: Road Warrior style running battles between heavily armed and armored cars and trucks. If you've ever gone to a car dealership and asked which options package includes "Autocannon," this is the game for you. Photo by: Steve Jackson Games.
Star Wars Miniatures, Wizards of the Coast. Another game where the concept outshines the rules themselves, which were shoehorned into the Star Wars setting from Wizards' D&D miniatures game. They aren't bad rules, just a little dry. But anything that allows you to recreate the Battle of Hoth is a sure winner. Bonus: you can own your own Stormtrooper army. Photo by yowzer.
Heroclix, Wizkids. If you're looking for a comic book themed miniatures game, Heroclix is pretty much your only option. Luckily, it's a great game. You can choose between both Marvel and DC universes (or mix and match), and unless your tastes run to the impossibly obscure, a version of your favorite character already exists. Heroclix is a quick-playing game that captures the action of a good comic book fight scene.
Warhammer 40,000, Games Workshop. I'm going to confess that I've never played Warhammer 40K, so I can't speak to the rules. The minis are gorgeously sculpted, and the game's near ubiquity means that it will never be hard to find an opponent. Line up your Space Marines against your buddy's Tyranids and make your own "What if Earth waged all-out war against the aliens from Aliens?" scenario. Photo by: Games Workshop.
BattleTech/Mechwarrior, FASA/Wizkids. Whichever flavor you prefer, this classic game of warring giant robots is the godfather of sci-fi minis games. Old-school BattleTech featured metal minis you painted yourself, an intricate and detailed combat system, and the occasional hour-long turn. Bolstered by a rich backstory of galactic politics and conquest, the franchise was revitalized when Wizkids released a clix version. The larger-scale, prepainted miniatures negate the need for paperwork, and the game itself presents a compelling version of combined arms sci-fi warfare.
Top photo by: Catalyst Game Lab.