Best Political Board Games
However you slice it, politics are necessary for decision making and negotiation around the world. Having political skills is an asset in life — whether you want to be a world leader or not. Some people are natural-born politicians, while others have to hone their skills a bit more.
So what do you think — would you make a good politician? Do you have what it takes to gain power and influence over people and countries? Find out with our top picks for the best political board games.
🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Political Board Games
In a hurry? Take a quick peek before you go.
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#1. Pax Pamir (Second Edition)
Playing time: 45-120 minutes
In Pax Pamir, you will travel back to the 19th century as Afghan leaders trying to establish a new government. The player with the most Victory Points is the most influential leader — and of course, the winner.
So how does one nab that seat of power? Pax Pamir is about card drafting and area control. Work to build up your set of cards to add to the map. Use some cards to strategically sabotage other players. You’ll also work in coalitions throughout the game. However, these joint forces could help or hurt you. Only history can tell. Watch it unfold as you vie for influence over these lands.
#2. Twilight Struggle
Playing time: 120-180 minutes
Twilight Struggle involves using influence and action cards spread out across the map. The action cards walk you through real events in history such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. The challenge here is one most governments face — how to use their resources and connections to build and steal political strength.
Gain influence, and ultimately points, over this 45-year period of history. The player with the most victory points at the end will be the winning superpower.
Will you reconfirm… or rewrite history? Only time and some careful strategy will tell.
#3. A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)
Playing time: 120-240 minutes
The King of the North is dead and power is up for grabs!
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game is played on a map of Westeros. Move around the board and gain control of its 7 kingdoms.
The Westeros phase of the game involves revealing cards that affect the kingdoms such as resupplying or an attack from the wildlings. In the action phase, players place secret tokens on their territories. The tokens are revealed once everyone has placed them. So be sneaky and savvy to outsmart your opponents’ token placement. These tokens can be used to attack, defend, support, or consolidate power.
The second edition ups the stakes by adding in some features from the expansions such as the Tides of Battle cards.
This game involves politics of all kinds, not just battles. Create connections for support. Then backstab your enemies when the time is right. Use your diplomatic skills and strategic thinking to rule over Westeros. But you better hurry… Winter is coming!
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Playing time: 60-120 minutes
Lisbon has been shaken to the core — literally. The earthquake of 1755 has nearly destroyed the city and it is your job to rebuild it. Travel around a historical map of downtown Lisbon to reconstruct this vibrant city.
As a member of the wealthy nobility, you hold the power. The players work with architects, engineers, and the Marquis to fund projects and open buildings. Player actions determine if their power increases or decreases. Currency in these times is in the most valuable of luxuries, wigs. The player to collect the most wigs after a set number of rounds is the winner.Lisboa
#5. Dune: Imperium
Playing time: 60-120 minutes
The desert planet of Dune is in need of a new leader.
Start with a house faction, 2 agents, soldiers, and a starter deck. Place your soldiers on the map for future battles. Play a card, place your agents on the corresponding section of the board, and gain that area’s abilities. At the end of the round, soldiers head to battle, with the highest number succeeding.
While worker placement is crucial, the cards you hold can dictate what happens in the game. It allows players to use strategy but also gives them an element of surprise.
#6. Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)
Playing time: 240-480 minutes
The top game Twilight Imperium has been upgraded! The Fourth Edition is easier to set up and learn and just as much fun, if not more.
The moveable tile board is set up uniquely every time you play. This allows for a high level of replayability and a fun element of unpredictability.
To begin, select a strategy card with special skills to help you in the round. Work your way across the galaxy to get as many resources and territories as possible. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, use those clever political skills and commodities to find your way out.
At the end of the rounds, the agenda meeting gives this game a lively twist. Present your case and debate opponents to pass new laws. With equal voting power in this edition, the verdict could go any way.
Who will gain the most power over these extraterrestrial lands? There’s only one way to galax-see!
#7. A War of Whispers
Politics often happens behind the scenes. What the public knows is only a small fraction of reality. In a War of Whispers, your goal is to lead your empire to victory. Not through big power plays, but by pulling secret strings and manipulating moves.
A War of Whispers is an area control game. Each player will support one empire. Over the course of four rounds, you will move players into different regions, engage in battle, and decide where your loyalties lie. Players get points for controlling different regions on the board, and for their loyalties.
A War of Whispers plays faster than most political games. So if you’re looking for a competitive, strategy game on a time crunch, this is the game for you.
Be the mastermind behind these covert political plays and lead your empire to victory!War of Whispers
It’s the turn of the 20th century in pre-World War I Europe. Play as one of the seven great powers to gain the most influence over the continent.
There’s no luck of the dice in Diplomacy. This game is based on area control, military movement, and negotiation skills.
The mechanics are pretty simple. You can move your armies or fleets, attack, support allies, or stay put each turn. Empires weren’t built overnight. Players make moves twice a year, starting in 1901. With a bit of patience and diplomacy skills, you can be the leading power of Europe!
#9. The King is Dead (Second Edition)
The King is Dead! The powers scurry to take over as the head of British royalty. The moves that come next will determine the future of the kingdom.
Play as one of three British factions: Welsh, English, or Scottish. While 3 players are ideal, players can also work in two teams.
The game is played over 8 rounds, one for each region on the map. Players also get 8 action cards to use. Work to resolve each area with actions and placement cubes. A faction is assigned to that region at the end of the round.
When players use an action card, they also steal one cube from the map, changing the power dynamic in areas. The player with the most sets of cubes and influence over the map wins.
Or check availability on Amazon:The King is Dead (Second Edition)
#10. The Republic of Rome
The Republic of Rome brings historical politics to life. In this government, different influential factions fight for power over the Roman Senate.
Bring proposals to the table, vote based on your power within the Senate, and find new ways to the top of the ladder.
The Republic of Rome requires players to work against each other while still keeping the peace in the city. If the townspeople revolt or world powers overtake the city, it’s game over. Much like real life, it’s a game of using both politics and balance to gain control.
An influential Senate member can eventually become the ruling power. However, Republican Rome was an unpredictable time. Beware of life-threatening illnesses or assassins waiting around the next corner.
Or check availability on Amazon:The Republic of Rome
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best political board games! From imperial machinations to galaxy-wide manipulation, we’ve got a board game for you. Which of these political games have you tried? Did we miss any of your favorites? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.