Holiday List – For the Board Gamer
So we’re back into the realm of board games for today’s holiday list. But I don’t want to just list off the most popular or highest rated games. Those you can find on Board Game Geek if you want. But if the person is pretty big into board games they might already have a number of them, or know the games that they like. So instead, we need to look around board games and what related things would be a good idea.
Scratch Off Poster
Now, that sounds weird, what does that have to do with board games? Well, this was something that was big a year ago, I’d say and is still definitely doing well, but these are posters that you can scratch off and they’ll reveal an image when you’ve done something. For example, I have the Top 100 Board Games, from BGG’s (Board Game Geeks) 2019 rankings, so when I play one of the top 100, I can scratch off a spot for that given game. Almost all of these posters do something along those lines (and they aren’t just for board games, I just have one for that). I know that other posters will have things for when you complete a certain challenge, like play a game 10 times in a year, or something along those lines. They are something fun to display in a game room and pretty well designed.
Geek Up Bits
This is going to be specifically for what Board Game Geek sells, but you can find similar things on Etsy as well. And that is basically upgraded bits for your board games. So the example that is shown off most often is for Quacks of Quedlinberg, a bag building push your luck game where you put cardboard tokens in a bag, mix them up and then draw them out. The card board pieces are fine quality, but because you are handling them so much they can get beaten up, colors start to rub off, edges become dinged, so Board Game Geek sells plastic pieces to replace those in your game. Now, that’s a bunch of pieces and might not be cheap, but they also sell other ones, like more realistic looking resources for games. As you’ve probably noticed from some of my other lists, I like to suggest those kind of luxury items that people wouldn’t buy themselves.
Speaking of luxury items, box inserts are another one. There are a lot of great options out there for them, but why would you want them? A lot of games, Fantasy Flight is especially noticeable for this, don’t have great ways to store their games. It might be that there’s nothing in the box, so the handful of cards just slide around. Or there isn’t room for everything when it’s punched out, or in the case of something like Gloomhaven, there are just too many baggies that you’d have to use. So there are companies, Broken Token and Folded Space for two examples, that make inserts for these games. The Gloomhaven one that I have has spots for all the monsters, for the minis, for the tokens, and everything and they just fit in way more neatly than anything I could have done without it, and I tried and did kind of make something with out it, but I was carrying around 3 boxes then versus being able to get everything and the expansion into one box. Now, not all games need these, but they are a fun thing to put together and they can really help speed up the set-up for some games.
This one will depend a bit more on the person that you’re buying for, but if they like games that have a lot of minis and don’t have them painted, they might want to paint the minis. So you could get them a paint set for the holidays. There are a number of different companies, but I would go with something that says that it’s a beginner set if they aren’t already painting. If they are are already, probably skip this one. But painting minis can be a fun hobby to go along side board gaming for a lot of board gamers. As compared to something like the box insert or some geek up bits, paints are going to be a bit more of a commitment for a gamer, so make sure it’s something that they’ve shown at least some interest in, in the past.
Now, kind of like I did with the Geek Up Bits from Board Game Geek, there are a lot of other options out there, but Game Trayz is one of the more recognized brands. Game Trayz are basically little plastic containers with sloped edges for holding game pieces while you play a game, though they have done a lot of custom ones for specific games that come with the game. Game Trayz are nice because you can just have some sitting around to hold tokens for when you are playing a game, or if you want, you can use them to store the pieces in the game box instead of a baggy so that the game would be even faster to set-up. Now, you don’t have to go with Game Trayz, there are other companies that make ones specifically for board games, or you could just get a bunch of little bowls if you aren’t storing the tokens in there, just using it on the table. But these are again those bling type items that someone might not get for themselves but would appreciate getting.
Now, I obviously skipped games, so many people get the games that they want that it’s hard to know what game to get, and just going on BGG’s Top 100 won’t help that much because it depends on the players tastes in games what they will or won’t like. If you know there taste well enough and really want to get a game, look for something that is new or hard to find. Kickstarters can also be a decent idea, but most kickstarters that you back now might be delivering around next Christmas.