Ten of the Best: Gifts for Board Gamers

04 December 2022
The eternal problem for board gamers and those who love them is ‘what can I get them for Christmas this year?’ The trouble is that with the cycle of Kickstarters that could arrive at any time, or what they already have in their collection or will have added by Christmas Day. Here’s some of our (maybe slightly early) gift ideas that sidestep that tricky problem of trying to find the right game…

Words by Christopher John Eggett


Want to go big? Then carving out a space in your home with a gaming table might be the way to do it. The excellent Geeknson tables might be at the bigger end of the Christmas gift scale, but as many of them have discreet tops that can keep games set up beneath they solve the endless ‘dining table or gaming table’ conflict. If you don’t want to go all the way, then a giftcard could be the nudge they need. Other than that, how about some new shelves or a fresh Kallax to keep everything in good order, or a LevelUp gaming table.

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Solve the ‘what would they like to play’ conundrum with a board game rental service subscription. Companies like Rent, Shuffle & Roll offer a service where players can borrow games from their library of 600+ games, play them as long as they like (within reason), and return them when they’re done. Naturally there’s an option to buy the games they really like. If you wanted to keep on gaming throughout the year, then this is a great option that can solve the endless cycle of buying new games that don’t get played.


One thing you quite likely know about your giftee is what they don’t do. Maybe they’ve never tried painting their game miniatures, or they’ve never tried a roleplaying game, they’ve not had chance to try a solo game or an escape room in a box. Opening up a new part of the hobby to someone is a great thing to spark at Christmas (especially as they might even get a little bit of quiet time). A starter paint set from the likes of the (award winning) Army Painter and some brushes can kickstart a whole new side of the hobby.

Find Army Painter Kits here


And not just ours (although, it’s really good this year). There’s plenty of exciting options to make Christmas a thing for the whole of December. The Tabletop Gaming advent calendar is 25 days of exciting games, accessories and goodies leading all the way up to Christmas itself. The EXIT advent calendar is returning with a month-long version of the popular escape-room-in-a-box series that takes place inside the advent calendar windows. Or there’s something simpler, like the Polydice calendar, which is just nice dice all December. It’s hard to argue that a little something every day doesn’t add up to a great present.

Find your countdown to Christmas here


The explosion of puzzles in gaming is partly credited to the various lockdowns endured over the past few years. The great thing about a puzzle with game elements is that not only does it have the usual good fun of a gaming puzzle, literally anyone around the table can get involved. If you just want something gaming related, there’s a Gloomhaven puzzle out there. If you wanted to do a kind of Where’s Wally thing, then the Big Potato puzzles offer the chance to find 101 movie, book or music references in the scene you create. Or, there’s the EXIT puzzle games where there’s puzzles in your puzzle. Plenty for everyone to find the easy bits with.

Find your puzzle in a puzzle here


Personally, we believe it’s not really Christmas unless you’ve got a good book to unwrap. You’ve got a few options here, such as the good-fun pulp of the Aconyte books which are set in the worlds of board games like Legend of the Five Rings, Keyforge and Arkham Horror, or something more refined. There’s James Wallis’s upcoming Everybody Wins – a book chronicling the Spiel des Jahres, as partially seen in this magazine. Chaosium have released Keepers Tips for Call of Cthulhu, a lovely little book of advice. Or even Ivan Brett’s jolly The Floor Is Lava, which gives you lots of real-world games to play with a comic twist.

Find your Keeper Tips Here


This one might be cheating a bit. Rather than getting the gamer in your life a new game, pick one of their favourites and get them the biggest, shiniest version of it available. With publishers leaning in to making really nice versions of games at the moment the moment has never been better. If you can splash out on the amusingly overproduced Catan 3D, the giant Ticket to Ride 15th Anniversary Edition, the very shiny Carcassonne 20th Anniversary Edition, or for bonus points, that much loved Kickstarter they play all the time – but didn’t get the deluxe version with stretch goals. Hunt that last one down on the second hand market for a real win.

Find 3D Catan here


Really. Who doesn’t just like a new set of dice? There’s a few ways to go about this. Some companies sell big bags of random dice by the pound, which is always amusing – if they didn’t have a dice collection beforehand, they do now. Otherwise there’s all sorts of dice options out there that can speak to someone’s personality, the games they play, or just look really cool. PolyHero offer Dungeons & Dragons style class dice, while the likes of Terratop Workshop go all in with dice that contain ships and even krakens.


There’s a huge range of gaming conventions out there, and the promise of tickets (or actual tickets if they’re on sale already) can be a great treat for those gamers who don’t necessarily feel like they can carve out big chunks of time for their hobby. Ranging from massive events like GenCon in the US or UK Games Expo in the UK to slightly smaller events like (personal favourites) AireCon and Dragonmeet or highly targeted events around the country. Giving your gamer (and yourself) the day(s) off to fully delve into the hobby without worrying about the rest of the world is really the best gift.



Failing all of that, there’s always Merch. Do they need a MÖRK BORG onesie for their newborn baby? Probably! How about a tasteful Everdell print from Meeple Design? Why not! The world of board game merch has got a lot better in recent years and means you could even wear some of it outside or display it in your house without causing confusion amongst your non-gaming friends. Those friends would also be intrigued by the classic game upgrades like metal coins, a custom 3D printed miniature from the likes of HeroForge, or one of those fancy board game backpacks.



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