In the early 80s, hobby game publishers produced a whole series of small, relatively inexpensive tabletop science fiction and fantasy games--starting with the "Microgames" from Metagaming, and including the "Capsule" games from SPI, and games from Mayfair and many smaller manufacturers. Steve Jackson got his start in this medium (with Ogre), and much of my earlier work was in it as well (The Creature That Ate Sheboygan, DeathMaze, et al).
Heritage, mainly a miniatures publisher, produced a series of 8 titles--of varying quality, but some excellent--under the "Dwarfstar" name and the aegis of Howie Barasch and Arnold Hendrick (who later went on to a stellar career as a game designer for Microprose and IMagic). Some time ago, Reaper Miniatures, which currently owns the rights to these games, made them available as free downloads (you'll need a color printer to produce the maps and counter images).
Short takes on each of the titles:
Barbarian Prince: Superb "paragraph system" boardgame from Arnold Hendrick -- similar to "choose your own ending" books or graphic adventures, but in a boardgame context.
Goblin, from Howie Barasch--mildly entertaining hex-based wargame of goblin raids against human villagers.
Grav Armor, from Hendrick -- tank combat with flying tanks, great concept, okay implementation.
Star Smuggler, from Dennis Sustare (designer of Bunnies & Burrows, and one of the core game design team at Coleco during the Colecovision era) -- another paragraph system boardgame, but with an SF rather than fantasy setting (and one of the few games badly hurt by inadequate proofreading -- a game that relies on telling you to turn to paragraph 310 to continue has a problem if no one makes sure it's really 310 instead of 311, or even 130....)