It's 1941, and you're sending a battalion of giant combat mechs to attack Russia. Your air support fighters were built using technology you recovered from a crashed alien ship in the Antarctic, and no one has bothered trying to develop atomic weapons because you're all too busy trying to gather a weird alien energy source known as "VK." This isn't World War II. It isn't even World War III. This is Dust, an 800-piece strategy board game by Fantasy Flight Games.

Dust is actually two different games. The "Premium Rules" allow each player to control an established superpower in world that has been divided by the battle to acquire and use alien technology. The "Epic Rules" start each player with a meager power base that gradually expands as the game goes on. The epic version can take up to six hours, compared to the three or four hours for the shorter version.

Each game plays out on a large map of Earth, and has some similarities to Axis & Allies - you produce units, move existing units and then fight your battles. The turn order is determined by an innovative mechanic in which each player secretly chooses a card. The cards set the order of battle along with production and combat limits. On any given turn, you're forced to compromise with yourself and hope your cards fit in with your plans for conquest. The coolest part of Dust is the mix of WWII flavor with alien tech. The mechs look like walking Sherman tanks, and the air units are strange, boxy machines. You can read both versions of the rules online. Images by: Fantasy Flight Games.