7 Best 4x Board Games That You Should Know Update 12/2022

best 4x board games

March of the Ants

March of the Ants

In 2014, March of the Ants was a Kickstarter project that had a lot of people interested. It’s probably the best 4X game out there that plays quickly. It takes about 5 minutes to set up and about 60 minutes to play.

People play the game to build and grow their ant colony while competing with other ants for resources and space. At the same time, there are still a lot of complicated decisions to make when there are many ways to win.

For even more replayability and variety, the game also has a solo and cooperative mode that you can play alone or with your friends. The expansion, Minions of the Meadow, adds new predators, better tools, and more rewards to the base game.

Pros

The best 4X game if you’re short on time or just want a quick game.

Every choice you make is important. People die in combat on both sides, so politics and player interaction play a big part.

Beautiful graphics and strong game pieces.

Cons

There is some randomness in how cards are drawn, but not as much as in most other games.

Civilization: The Board Game

The Civilization Board Game is based on Sid Meier’s Civilization video games. Like the original game, the board game lets players play as leaders of different civilizations as they explore a module board, build settlements, fight, and gain more power.

Every X in the 4X format is covered well by Civ, even Exploration, which many games don’t cover well, but Civ does very well. The tech tree is very detailed and interesting in scope, and combat doesn’t use dice, which reduces the chance of things going wrong.

One problem with Civ is that it has a military part. This puts you in a big disadvantage, and some parts of the combat system are based too much on luck than strategy. Draw cards before a fight and you’re almost certain to lose. So, if one player improves their military, all the other players have to do the same and do the same thing.

As a good thing, there are two expansions for Civilization, and both of them do a great job of fixing this and other problems, as well as making the game a lot more balanced. For example, the Wisdom and Warfare expansion adds new military unit cards with different values, and it also takes into account wounds on units when deciding who wins in a fight.

A lot of the time, the pros do a good job of capturing the feel of the PC games.

There are many ways to win.

Beautiful art and a great overall look.

Hits all four of the 4Xes very well, which is good.

Archipelago

Archipelago

Archipelago is a game that isn’t very well known. It’s a semi-cooperative game that has great, unique gameplay. People live on an island in Archipelago, and you can only see one hex of the island each turn. All of the players are working together to make sure that the island natives don’t start a rebellion. Each player has a secret victory condition that they’re working to meet.

This means that the game is both cooperative and competitive at the same time, which makes it more fun. It could be bad for another player if you play too well together. If you play too selfishly, you might make everyone else lose, which is bad.

In terms of 4x games, Archipelago hits three of the four very well. The game is all about Exploring, Expanding, and Exploiting, so it’s very good at that. To remove your fellow players from the game, you would have to kill them so much that they wouldn’t be able to play anymore. But you can still do enough damage and backstabbing to make this game on this list.

Adding the War and Peace expansion makes the game a lot more about killing things. Evolution cards can be used to get an advantage over other players in the game. There are 40 new cards in the expansion.

Pros

The art is beautiful.

In this game, you have to manage resources, deceive people, work with your friends, and more. It’s a very complicated game.

Every turn, there are a lot of things you can do. You can harvest or buy resources, explore the board, tax, hire, reproduce citizens, build ships, and so on.

Clash of Cultures

If you’ve played the Age of Empire video game series, Clash of Cultures will look a lot like it to you. You will feel like you’re playing a real-time strategy game when you play this game. It’s set in the pre-powder era.

Race: Players choose a race and lead their civilization through exploration, building and expanding settlements, and exploiting and conquering other civilizations in order to grow their own.

To win the game, you must get victory points based on how many skills you learn or improve, how many buildings you own, how many objectives you complete, how many battles you win, and how many Wonders you build.

The game lasts about an hour for each player, and it’s full of a lot of different things. There’s a lot of replay value because it takes so many games to get a good grasp on all the different strategies and how to best use them.

Pros: Checks all four Xs and has a map, a tech tree, culture, trade, and more.

People can learn and play quickly with this game. That’s not all. It also has enough depth that you’ll learn something new each time you play.

The parts of the game are well-made and strong.

Cons

In the expansion, there are 14 new civilizations, but they’re hard to find because the game is no longer being made and is out of print.

Dominant Species

Dominant Species

Dominant Species isn’t your typical 4X game, and it isn’t one you’d think to put on your list. Most people think of it as a war euro, but it also has all of the things that make a great 4X game.

Each player picks one of six types of animals: amphibian, arachnid, bird, insect, mammal, or reptile, and then moves to the next one. In the game, players get victory points for exploring new terrain and gathering elements through Adaptation. They also get points for competing with each other and destroying each other through Competition and Glaciation. (Don’t worry if these words are new to you. They’re just game terms)

I think it’s a 4X. And it was just a great game all around. It seamlessly combines area control, worker placement, a modular board, tile laying, and card drafting to make a strategy game that’s very hard to master. While it may seem hard to set up, the game is actually very simple to teach and learn.

Pros

Whether you’re playing with two or six people, this is a great game.

There isn’t any time to sit around and wait for things to happen. In other words, no matter how long the games are, the time flies away.

You can still play the game the way you want even though each animal has its own special ability, which makes the game more interesting.

Blends short-term tactics and long-term strategy well, and does it well.

Cons

You might not like games that involve direct attacks on other players, so just be aware of who you play with.

Fantasy Flight Games Twilight Imperium 4th Edition Board Game

Teens and adults can play this strategy-based game, which is best for three to six players and lasts between four and eight hours. Players compete for interstellar supremacy through trade, politics, allegiance, and warfare in a game of galactic conquests with 17 civilizations and a lot of different things to do. With friends and family, you can play a competitive and exciting game that is fun to play.

Gamelyn Games Heroes Of Land, Air & Sea

Gamelyn Games Heroes Of Land, Air & Sea

For children who are 14 and older, this game lasts about 30 minutes. It can be played by one to four people, and it’s good for kids who are older than 14. Short but exciting, the box comes with 80 cardboard structures and detailed miniatures. Each player in the game, Aughmoore, has to figure out how to explore the land, grow, and build cities while killing enemies to conquer land and take the board.