Christmas time is here and board gamers are notoriously tricky to shop for. It’s always hard to find the perfect gift, and even hard to make sure they don’t already have it.
Don’t worry, we’re here to make it easy and help find the perfect gift for the board gamer in your life.
The Casual Gamer
For those that are new to the hobby or just getting into casual gaming, there are some excellent gateway games that won’t be overwhelming for newbies. Typically, gateway games are board games that showcase a particular mechanic or play style, are easy to learn, and start playing right away. They’re perfect for beginners and casual gamers.
Visit the island of Catan and building settlements, cities, and roads… before your opponents can! This classic Eurogame is a family favorite and a great place to start a lifelong board gaming habit.
- STRATEGY GAME: Trade, build and settle the Island of CATAN in...
- FUN GAME WITH COUNTLESS REPLAY OPPORTUNITIES: The completely...
- BUILD AND/OR JOIN A COMMUNITY: Whether you play as a family, a...
Once your casual gamer has mastered Catan, there are so many great games like Catan and Catan expansions that are easy to pick up and play. Check out some of our favorites!
Stone Age is an excellent gateway for worker placement games. It’s easy to pick up and there’s a ton of different strategies that can lead to victory.
If the gamer in your life likes Stone Age, there’s a good chance that worker placement board games will be a hit too! Check out our best picks for games in this solid genre.
Sheriff of Nottingham (Second Edition)
Sheriff of Nottingham is a medieval-themed romp into a world of bluffing, persuasion, and bribing skills as an honest merchant making a not-so-honest living. Steer clear of the sheriff and his customs inspections in this humorous game of black market merriment.
- Updated Rules and Artwork
- Sneak Your Way Through
- Expansions Included
As the leader of one of the great cities of the Ancient World, it is your task to build an entire civilization… from a stack of cards. You can do it. Gather resources to build roads, a military, an economy — and don’t forget to build one of the Wonders of the World while you’re at it.
The Intermediate Gamer
For the gamer in your life who’s looking to upgrade their collection and expand their gaming repertoire, there are plenty of games out there that offer an enhanced experience without becoming horribly overwhelming.
I’d classify these games as intermediate and are moderately challenging. They are great for gamers who are familiar with the classics but looking for the next best thing.
Viticulture is a worker placement game where players run their very own winery. They’ll take control of every aspect from visitors to the actual winemaking. It’s an excellent mid-tier game for those looking for more of a challenge.
- For 1-6 players
- 45-90 minute playing time
- The essential edition includes the second edition of viticulture...
The Hardcore Gamer
Hardcore gamers like a challenge. They’re familiar with most mechanics and have enough experience to know which ones they prefer. Some games that fit the bill and are sure to satisfy the most intense of gamers — covering their table and keeping them engrossed for years to come.
Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)
Twilight Imperium is a big ol’ box of space opera goodness. It’s a massive game that spans the galaxy, and when you see the box and rulebooks you’ll know why. It’s an epic game that requires several hours to truly play right, but it’s one of the most satisfying tabletop experiences you’ll find.
- THE DAWN OF A NEW AGE: Explore the latest reimagining of the...
- SCI-FI STRATEGY BOARD GAME: In this game of galactic conquest,...
- THRILLING AND COMPETITIVE: Every faction offers a completely...
Gloomhaven takes an entire fantasy world and plunks players right into the middle of it. It’s an entire world, ready to explore and as you delve deep into the box, your characters become integral parts in that world. It’s a legacy-style game in which players have serious consequences for their actions.
- For 1-4 players; ages 12 plus; 60-120 minute playing time
- An award winning game of Euro-inspired tactical Combat in a...
- Over 200 hours of gameplay
Scythe blew up the gaming scene with its incredible artwork and theme, but it’s all stuck around because of its gameplay. With a game about massive robots and a post war world, you think it would be all about beating each other into the dust with the mechs.
Instead you have a highly strategic game where players need to balance multiple aspects to come out on top, not just sending mechs to destroy the neighbors.
- It is a time of unrest in 1920s Europa. The ashes from the first...
- Lead your faction to victory, building mechs, working the land,...
- Explore the alternate-history of 1920 plus Europe through Jakub...
The Kickstarter Backer
Kickstarter has revolutionized the way board games are produced and there’s a massive following for every company. Some bigger companies like CMON exclusively produce their games through Kickstarter while offering up tons of extra goodies to backers.
It can be hard to shop for these gamers as their pledges usually take months (or years) for them to actually receive their games. Looking at their past pledges and hunting down missed exclusives are usually safe bets for exciting Christmas gifts.
For the gamer with a house full of Kallax shelves and shrink-wrapped games that they’ll get to eventually it can be tricky finding the perfect gift when it seems like they already have all the games that have ever been made.
For these gamers, it’s all about the personal touch. Finding custom dice and accessories is the easiest way to find the perfect gift for these gamers.
If they don’t have one already, even getting them a Kallax shelf would be an extremely thoughtful gift. Kallax are the most popular brand of board game organization technology out there and beloved by board game collectors far and wide. They are the perfect size shelves with an open design to systematically arrange a collection while showing them off at the same time.
|1||IKEA KALLAX shelving unit, 30 3/8x30 3/8"", White||$82.00 $76.00||Buy on Amazon|
|2||IKEA KALLAX Shelf, Black-Brown||$151.99 $134.00||Buy on Amazon|
|3||New KALLAX Shelf Unit, Black-Brown (Black, 57 7/8x57 7/8 ")||$319.00||Buy on Amazon|
The Little Ones
There’s plenty of kid-friendly board games, but finding the ones that are fun for the little ones and the adults can be tricky. Luckily, there are quite a few modern board games that are perfectly suited for young and old alike.
For a kid-friendly take on a classic, Catan Junior uses the familiar Catan mechanics but adds a fun pirate theme and kid-friendly rules. It’s a bit simpler but still fun for all ages as it requires a bit of strategy and thought.
- STRATEGY GAME FOR KIDS: CATAN Junior takes place on a ring of...
- FUN ADVENTURE GAME FOR KIDS: You start with 2 pirate lairs, and...
- PERFECT INTRODUCTION TO THE CATAN FAMILY BOARD GAME: Whether you...
My First Castle Panic
My First Castle Panic is a great cooperative board game that lets the whole family play together. It’s a cute introduction to the original Castle Panic, in which players defend their castle from invaders!
Outfoxed is an adorable cooperative game. Players work together to find out who stole the pie. It’s a perfect age-appropriate game that’s really fun for adults as well.
You can also check out some of our age-specific games to find the perfect gift for burgeoning board game lovers or the children thereof. Gotta start ‘em playing young!
- Best Board Games for 4-Year-Olds
- Best Board Games for 5-6-Year-Olds
- Best Board Games for 8-Year-Olds
- Best Board Games for 10-Year-Olds
The Rules Lawyer
Rules lawyers may not all necessary enjoy reading massive tome rulebooks that some games include, but they enjoy playing a game… and playing it right.
There are several complex games out there that are incredible, but hard to play because they require either a lot of setup or someone else to read the rules for them.
Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition
Mage Knight was one of the games that took me several days to read and understand how to play. The Ultimate Edition fixed a lot of the odd wording in the rulebook and after rereading and playing through an opening scenario, an incredible world opened up on the board.
- The critically acclaimed, award winning Mage Knight board game...
- Now, after wowing solo game players and groups of up to 5, this...
- The Ultimate Edition includes the original base game plus all...
The greatest Christmas gift to any roleplayer is actually showing up to a session on time. We all know that will never happen, so instead, why not give them some fun new material to work with while they wait.
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Let’s face it, world-building is time-consuming. It takes a lot of thought and can be pretty difficult. So this year, why not gift them a copy of the sequel to the Lazy Dungeon Master? It’s a handy resource book that takes the knowledge of hundreds of DM’s into a single book making it easier to play and less time planning elaborate dungeons.
It’s a great resource that’s useful for getting right into the game without having to spend weeks in advance planning.
- Shea, Michael (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 94 Pages - 12/08/2018 (Publication Date) - Independently...
For the beginner Dungeon Master and D&D player Wizards of the Coasts constantly put out new sourcebooks that add rules for new monsters, magical equipment, and brave new worlds waiting to be explored. Look through their collection and see what they’re missing. Some of the most useful ones can be found here.
Now that you’ve got your Christmas list sorted out, you’re all ready to relax for the holidays. Sit back and enjoy a glass of eggnog. The hard stuff is done.
We hope you enjoyed our list of best Christmas gifts for board game lovers! If you have any questions or comments (or need more direction), don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!
Happy holidays from our herd to yours.