By this point, any nerd that’s worth his salt will have a quarantine comic backlog that could choke a horse. Whether you’re keeping up with the latest offerings from the X-Team at the house of Marvel, gathering DC’s innovative Black Label Collection, or nibbling your way through some stunning Image compendiums – there’s no better time to catch up on your reading.
And it doesn’t have to stop there.
We’ve gathered eight of our favorite options for nerds who want to settle scores with their favorite villains across the tabletop. Starting with-
8. Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers VS X-Men (2014)
Which side will you join?
The event that gave us an excuse to pit two super-teams together and get a stunning dice game, AVX is an exceptional pick for players looking for a simple but challenging game for their group. Based on the iconic comic series that saw the two teams go head-to-head, play is built around Eric Lang’s Quarriors system. Play involves building your own superhero teams, managing your player powers and comes with a generous starter set that lets you assemble a team that will really show the phoenix force who’s boss…or end up getting you vapourised.
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: City Fall (2020)
You’re already singing it, aren’t you?
Whether you were introduced to the team by the late 80’s cartoon, the arcade brawler, or the awesome comics series – you’d be hard pressed to find a better franchise to bring to the tabletop. A scenario-based campaign game, the TMNT Adventure Series builds on IDW’s Turtles universe and results in a game that you would have killed for when you were a kid. With one player taking on the role of Shredder and the others taking your turtle of choice -or with a full co-op experience with the turtles and their allies-, players slam their way through a light campaign system that offers continuous leveling with minimal upkeep. Turns are pacy and rewarding and – if you want to win – you need to work with your brothers to bo, chuck, sword, and sai your way to victory. Cowabunga indeed.
6. Splendor: Marvel (2020)
Collect and sell… Infinity Stones?!
Ok, if we’re being honest, this is the crossover we deserved. Combining the original game’s tactical play with Thanos’ single-minded vision is a perfect match, as players gather infinity stone chips to mimic the 90’s famous quest for the gauntlet. This keeps the original’s pacy play and adds additional tactical options as players are forced to gather the infinity stones they need before acquiring the gauntlet. While not as dynamic as its on-screen depiction, the game perfectly captures the slow and steady scramble for the infinity stones from the comic series and adds enough end-game wrinkles to keep even veteran Splendor players fully satisfied.
5. The Walking Dead: All Out War (2016)
Who will survive?
Think of a long-running soap opera. Now add zombies. That’s what you get with Robert Kirkman’s beloved Image comics series. Marking one of the most iconic runs in the series, two armies of survivors clash against each other for supplies and to bring the hammer down on their rival clan. A relatively lightweight tactics game, players take on their opponents while avoiding drawing the attention of the nearby zombie hoard – all of whom are listening to your delicious footfalls very, very intently. With scope for campaigns and characters customization, it’s tough to find a better game for your table.
4. Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter (2019)
A multiverse street fight!
Why limit yourself to just one 2000AD series? First launched in 2019, Helter Skelter is a dream come true for nerds brought up on the iconic British comic. Using the excuse of a multiversal tear, the game plonks all your favorite comics characters on the streets of Mega-City 1. Featuring card-driven gameplay, the game combines all the best elements from your favorite strategy games. Variable player powers, secret deployment, and careful hand management means that the judges will be run-ragged by the dimension-defying characters popping into play. Add a slim rulebook and stunning art and pieces, and there’s truly no better representation of life in Dredd’s megapolis here or anywhere else.
3. Hellboy: The Board Game (2019)
Punch your way through mystical and ancient threats
Now we’re talking. Published by Mantic games and offering all the incredible thrills of Mike Mignola’s long-running comic, Hellboy’s board game adaptation is like something out boy-in-red would love. A co-operative dungeon crawler, players take on the role of BPRD agents as they explore each location and tackle the gorgeously sculpted critters that take up residence in dark and winding hallways. Offering stat-control and a lack of player elimination, rounds clip past at an incredible rate, and a wealth of expansions wait in the wings to let your group. And while the game can prove to be a hit with groups of any size.
2. Batman: The Animated Series – Gotham City Under Siege (2018)
Can you defend Gotham?
When it comes to the Dark Knight, no other series captured the world of the character better than Bruce Timm’s work on the original 90’s TV series. Spawning an entire animation franchise and a beloved comic-book series, the DCAU is a touchstone for nerds around the world. And if you want to dip your toe back in, the exceptional GCUS is a tremendous way to get your bat-fix. Played co-operatively, players take on roles within the bat family as you defend the streets of Gotham from one of the show’s infamous rogues. Coming packed with gorgeous minis and involving incredible team-work, players can find themselves feeling like they’re experiencing their own episode of the show. And with quick play and a simple setup, this is a tremendous filler for groups of all sizes.
1. Witness (2014)
Whisper and solve mysteries
Based around one of the lesser-known Belgian comics imports, Witness is set in the world of Edgar P. Jacobs’ Blake and Mortimer – delivering an astonishing 64 cases for you and your friends to solve over the course of the game’s lifespan. A game of deduction and information management, Witness is built around a game of Chinese whispers as players share information between each other across the table – slowly putting together a web of interactions that let you find the criminal at the heart of the mystery…or just fail to accomplish anything outright. With gorgeous art and a short playing time, Witness is a delight that’s welcome at any table.
What are your favorite board games inspired by comics? Tell us in the comments!