In the last ten years, there have been some big shifts in the wargaming landscape. Let’s take a look back at some of the biggest and best releases from 2010-2019!
Today we’re feeling all retrospective so we’re taking a good look back at the best wargames that have been released in the past 10 years. We’re looking at games and game systems that have really made an impact on the gaming landscape and have been major boons to the industry as a whole. We’re going over these games in no particular order – so let’s dive on in!
Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition
Let’s just get this out of the way first. Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition has arguably been the biggest and most successful edition of Warhammer 40k ever released. It’s also one of the most popular, if not the #1 tabletop wargame in the world. When this edition came out, players from all over came out of the woodwork to give it a spin. With the first major rule overhaul in the ruleset since 3rd, Games Workshop took a gamble and it paid off big for them. It’s continuing it’s dominance and we can’t wait to see what the next decade brings for Warhammer 40,000!
Star Wars: X-Wing
With the first edition of the game launching in 2012 and the second edition launching in 2018, Star Wars: X-Wing has made a HUGE impact on tabletop wargaming. This squadron based dogfighting game earned a place at the tabletop not just with great miniatures, but also a tight ruleset, and a loyal fanbase. It’s been a fixture in the industry and shows no signs of slowing down. Second Edition did experience some hiccups with Organized Play but once that got ironed out, it’s continued to be a massive hit. The accessibility of this game means that it’s great for new players or casual fans of Star Wars to grab a ship and dive right in!
A Song of Ice & Fire
CMON has had a pretty impressive showing with A Song of Ice & Fire. The miniatures are great and come pre-assembled and the rules are also streamlined enough to learn quickly but deep enough to reward strategic and tactical play. It’s continuing to grow with more factions and more expansions and looks suitably epic on the tabletop to live up to the brand’s name. This game is no “quick cash grab” on the uber-successful Game of Thrones TV Show. It’s also based on the books and is more “accurate” in its representation of characters in miniature form. If you were looking for a rank-and-file game to fill a certain void, this game was and still is a major contender!
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
When Warhammer Fantasy Battles died, Age of Sigmar was supposed to be the heir to the throne. It was not. It was a completely new game and another massive gamble for Games Workshop. The launch was rocky, to say the least, as it rejected a lot of the things that fans wanted from Warhammer Fantasy. Arguably, it shared a lot more in common with 40k than WFB and was trying to position itself as a “loose” game system with no points and a lack of structure. It didn’t work. That all changed with the General’s Handbook.
The General’s Handbook quite literally turned the boat around for Age of Sigmar. This book marked a massive shift in the game and while GW lost a lot of players to other systems, they gained a new influx of players with this book. When Soul Wars was released and AoS essentially established a second edition GW had fixed many of the issues that fans of the game had while venturing out into its own territory. It’s not Warhammer Fantasy Battles and it’s not trying to be. Games Workshop left a void for rank-and-file games and moved over to something new with Age of Sigmar.
Kings of War
Mantic Games’ Kings of War first edition launched technically launched in 2009. However, it’s had 2 more editions released in the past decade and they are celebrating their 10-year anniversary this year so we’re letting it slide in. Plus, it’s been another massive success out of Nottingham. When it first launched, if we’re being honest, it was kind of an “also ran” game was positioned as an alternative to the more expensive Warhammer Fantasy Battles. It had some buzz but why would you play KoW when you could play Warhammer Fantasy…and then the End Times happened and Mantic POUNCED.
Kings of War has established itself as the top dog when it comes to a rank-and-file mass combat miniatures game. There is no denying the impact that it’s had on the industry and the third edition of this game proves that Mantic knows what they are doing. This game might have had a slow start but it’s continued to improve and grow. Many of the gamers who felt abandoned by GW quickly found a home in KoW and have been happy with that system. Sure, GW has announced Warhammer: The Old World, but by the time that actually comes out, Mantic will have had another 2-3 years of KoW being on the top.
Star Wars: Legion
Star Wars: Legion finally delivered something fans have been asking for: A Star Wars miniatures wargame! It’s been a couple of decades since the Westend Games version of a Star Wars miniatures wargame had collapsed. There had always been a big void and a massive question mark where there should have been a Star Wars wargame on the tabletop. Fantasy Flight Games finally delivered on that with Star Wars: Legion. Perhaps the timing was right and the Star Wars Universe was ripe with enough expanded factions that a full-on wargame could be made. With the release of the Clone Wars Era factions, the game has grown and is continuing to grow as more Star Wars fans get into the hobby and tabletop game experience. Who knows where FFG will take it from there, but the Star Wars license is white-hot and they have the backing of Disney. The only direction this game is going to go is up!
There are LOTS more wargames that have come and gone in the past decade and we didn’t mention your favorite just drop us a line in the comments and let us know why you think it’s the best!