Board gamers. If there are people that are harder to buy for, we’ve yet to meet them.

No matter whether you’re struggling with the right gift, feeling completely uninspired, or just unsure where to start – finding the right gaming gift for your friend can be a nightmare.

Thankfully, our expert in-house team of nerds are here to help 😉

Here are eight of our favourite gifts that can stuff stocking or two this festive season. Starting with-

8 | Storage Solutions

Ok, we’d be the first to admit that this isn’t exactly the sexiest gift but finding a storage solution for your collection that works is easier said than done. These can range from simple shelving to let your friends display the stars of their collection all the way to a Kallax or Expedit unit. Or, if you’re confident with your hands-on skills – picking up some reclaimed wood and metal fixtures can be a great custom addition to your space. This can also extend to picking up transport solutions for your games to avoid the bumps and knocks that come with ferrying your beloved copy of Cosmic Encounter from A -> B. Thankfully, there are a range of quality carrier bags that can keep your collection safe and save your back into the bargain.

7 | Portable classics

Does your friend have a favourite they pull out all the time? Check out your options when it comes to picking up a light-weight, portable copy they can take everywhere with them. These can range from portable versions of classics such as Hive, Go, or other amazing card games with some immense replayability. Alternatively, you can consider looking into the explosion of digital games that have swept Steam, Apple, and Android. Matching asynchronous play with a range of QOL improvements, these can be a great addition to their routine and a way to keep the gang together during the time of Covid disruption.

6 | Scoring Boards

Let’s be honest. Crushing your friend at a game is fun. But destroying your friend for the tenth time in a row is even better. Picking out a decent-sized whiteboard, corkboard, or scoring solution can help your group keep track of who’s buying the next round of pints once the pubs reopen. In addition to tracking your victories, many popular lines such as Scrabble specialise in scoring and message boards that house a game, letting you keep playing during office hours, or keep busy while grinding through work at home.

5 | Expansions and Extras

This can be a bit of a tricky one, but finding the right expansion for your friend’s favourite game can breathe new life into an old favourite (and give you a winning chance against the one pal who’s mastered the series). Though it may involve a little double-checking in advance, getting the right expansion can help increase your player count for your group, tackle dominant strategies, and be a great excuse for a get-together. Failing that, breaking out your Etsy account can help you pick up some premium components for beloved classics. These can range from linen-finish replacement cards, metal coins, or hand painted miniatures for your friend’s favourite D&D characters.

4 | Quality games

One of the things that we’re loath to admit about boardgames is that they’re disposable. Paper tears, carboard warps, and even plastic degrades over time. Picking up a copy of a game or playing pieces that are built to last can give your friend a game that not only lasts a generation but can be passed through the family. Whether this is a premium Chess set, a peerless carrom or Crokinole board, or gorgeous Backgammon kit – matching their passion with professional expertise can be a fantastic shout.

3 | The Outdoors

Remember them?! While the winter can be a deeply dark and unpleasant month, picking out games that encourage us to get outside can be a great way to fight off seasonal depression or provide an excuse for a walk. The exceptional Arboretum is a tremendous accompaniment to a walk round your local forest as is the peerless Wingspan for the twitcher in your family. And, for those looking for something a little special, the game of Kubb is a great shout for those looking for something a little more strategic than boule.

2 | A gaming Table Upgrade

If you’re looking for the one thing that separates board gaming from its rivals; it’s tactility. Having the right playspace for your components can escalate even the shortest session and our team at Rathskellers know that there’s no one-size-fits all solution for your space. Our currently line contains a range of tables for all comers from our classic Councilor, the minimalist Phalanx, to the trusty Garrison. Or, if your friend already has one of our quality tables, you can pick up some modular extras that can help their sessions run as smooth as silk. These range from cup-holders, snack or parts trays, and more. No matter what your group needs, we’ll have an in-house option that fits the bill.

1 | A 'Clean-Up' Service

Take a minute to look up from this article and cast your eyes over your collection. Because, chances are, you’re staring at a shelf that’s full to the brim. No matter whether your space is swamped with expansions, untouched games, and boxes that are little more than gorgeous space hogs. If your friend is struggling with their collection (and trust us, they will be) giving the gift of your time and energy to help them spring-clean can be a great way to free up space and get a little bit of extra cash to start adding to their setup again. Start by taking all the boxes down from the shelves and sorting them into three piles together – keep, store, and sell. Once you’ve put the first lot back on the shelf and stashed the second group in their storage space, it’s time to get online and shift those games. Sites like eBay, Music Magpie, and BoardGameGeek are quick and easy to use and, before long, you’ll be able to help your friend scare up some cash and start the process over again. After taking your cut of course 😉

What gift will you buy for your gamer friends?! Tell us in the comments below :)

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