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December 18th, 2013 by Mad Dave Comments

Buying presents for a gamer can be a problem, especially if you yourself are not a gamer. Most gaming related gifts I get is because I’m told to buy myself something for Christmas.

So here’s my top ten safe presents for gamers.

GW Scenery

OK, this is only a marginally safe idea and you will need to find out if the gamer in your life plays sci-fi or fantasy based games; if it’s both like me then you’rr laughing. Scenery is the staple of a gamer’s diet and is a must have and varies greatly in price and design Gale force 9 have some great all-round gothic ruins that can be used in both fantasy and some sci-fi. The mighty giants that are Games Workshop have a tremendous selection of both sci-fi and fantasy scenery from trees and craters right up to full modular tabletops, their scenery is somewhat more expensive but the quality and build options are second to none

Chessex Dice

If scenery is the meat on the gamer’s plate then dice are the vegetables. I have a tonne of dice and always love getting more. But how about a set of custom 6-sided dice with initials on one side?


Firefly the board game from GF9

OK, the biggest problem buying gamers gifts is keeping it relevant to games they play but there is a lot of stand alone boxed games out there so my next pick is Firefly: The Game, in which players captain their own Firefly-class transport ship, traveling the ‘Verse with a handpicked crew of fighters, mechanics and other travelers. As a captain desperate for work, players are compelled to take on any job – so long as it pays. Double-dealing employers, heavy-handed Alliance patrols and marauding Reavers are all in a day’s work for a ship’s captain at the edge of the ‘Verse.


For that gamer that loves chess, Shouro is a must have. Alessio Cavatore’s own take on chess is a pleasant blend of the ancient strategy game with elements of tabletop gaming.

Risk Legacy

Risk is probably the first strategy game I ever played and comes in many themed editions like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, but a variation called Risk Legacy is a running campaign of fifteen games, Decisions made in the earlier games can change the outcome of future games. On the down side, this can really only be played 15 times but I have it from reliable sources this game is just amazing.

Themed Monopoly and/or Chess

Talking of themed versions of classic games, why not treat the gamer in your life to a Star Wars themed chess set or a Simpsons themed Monopoly – depending on their personal tastes, obviously.

Mantic boxed games

Well, for my number five it’s more of a company than a single game. Mantic Games offer a wide range of boxed games that can be played as stand alone games or can be expanded if you feel the urge. Games include Dreadball, a sci-fi football game with lots of options and lots of fun. Dwarf King’s Hold is standalone two-player board game that pits the Elves against the mighty green menace that is the Orcs as both sides ransack the ancient Dwarven Hold: the Elves reclaiming their stolen treasures and the Orcs looting the dilapidated Dwarven Halls.

Check out Mantic games for lots more christmas gift ideas


A lot of gamers, at least the ones I know, also paint their own miniatures and can go through paints and brushes remarkably quickly.
There are a lot of paints and accessories available and Vallejo paints, Games Workshop paints and Mantic paints are a few of the best.

Star Wars X-wing

One of my favourite gift ideas is Star Wars X-wing starter set.

Now, despite being called a starter set, it can be played as a stand alone game. The game is based on dogfights between the Empire and the rebels From Fantasy Flight Games – “Control the most advanced starfighters and outstanding pilots in the galaxy! In X-Wing Miniatures Game, you take the role of squad leader and command a group of merciless Imperial or daring Rebel pilots in furious ship-to-ship space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, X-Wing recreates exciting Star Wars space battles from small engagements of only a couple of crafts, to large conflicts where multiple squadrons clash. Select and equip your ships, pick your crew, plan your attack, and complete your mission.”

Hawk – Dropzone Commander

One of the greatest tabletop games of the past few years and probably thee best starter set in the past ten years is Hawk Wargames’ starter set for Dropzone Commander. The starter set contains everything – and I mean everything – you need to play DzC and the rules are intuitive and very easy to pick up. Why not read my full review here

Gift Certificate

OK, my number one gift idea is a wee bit of a cheat but as I have recently suggested this idea to a friend I thought why not stick it down here. If and when you are really stuck with what to buy a tabletop gamer go with a Gift Certificate. Most of the gaming companies that supply tabletop games provide voucher options of one kind or another but I personally would go with a stockist that deals with a wide range of games and systems along with paints and supplies, Wayland Games is just the ticket and I regularly use them for all manner of  hobby supplies.

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I'm Mad Dave one of the team's growing collection of tabletop gaming nerds. I was raised on a healthy diet of TV like Blake 7, Doctor Who and Star Trek with a side of sword and sorcery / sc-fi movies and a large dollop of board games like Cluedo, RISK and Hero Quest. You know your a gaming nerd if: You bring toy soldiers to work? You bring toy soldiers to work and you work has nothing to do with toy soldiers? Most of you jackets / coats have dice in one of the pockets? You hate throwing away packaging because you know it's actually a ruined building or field generator? You have a collection of old packaging? You can find something relevant to your hobby i.e. books, magazines, figures etc in almost every room in your house? I no I'm a nerd because I've done all of the above, how many of these made you smile and nod yes to?

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