Each year we have an episode on gift suggestions for the season. With me working my super amazing hours, I was concerned about not getting my guide out in the episode. While we were out at BGG-Con this year I had a few ideas come to mind. Rather than miss out on the gift suggestion episode, I decided to make a blog post and get the information out there.
Historically, I always make my gift suggestions in three categories. One for the Board Gamer, another for the new player to the field, and lastly one that is mostly add ons that make games more fun or better in some way.
For those Gamers in your life.
This is one of the games that Andy has backed and it is one of my all time favorites to play. When first looking at and approaching the game it can seem overwhelming. Don’t let that deter you. This is a fantastic game with so many great things to talk about. I think the best aspect of the game is that depending on what merchant you are playing, the way you bring your goods to market is unique.
This mechanic makes it a game that has great appeal, Merchants Cove can reach almost everyone's style, and people really like it. Say Dave really wants to play a roll and write; he can play as the Oracle. Nathan likes to roll dice and would play the Blacksmith. Andy likes chaos and will play any of the other five available Merchants Cove with all the expansions (four in the base game.) each merchant has a different style of play to bring his or hers goods to market. Once you have brought your goods to market you play the game with your friends. You score points depending on what meeples are in the market.
Because of all the unique merchants and the fact that each has a different style of play this game has a high level of replayability. One of the highest marks Meeple Nation can give. Even with how many games are on our shelves it gets played without being on Nathan’s game goals.
Available at Final Frontier Games.
In my mind no other game has a larger impact on serious board gamers than Twilight Imperium. It is an epic strategy game that is notorious for lasting in excess of eight hours with some lasting much longer. Knowing that and wanting to make it more approachable to more players, Fantasy Flight made Twilight Inscription, a game that does not necessarily give you that “takes forever” feel. It will give you a great and wonderful game experience for a much shorter time commitment.
It is a roll and write on an epic level. Lots going on with even more different paths to victory. I was able to play it at BGG-Con a couple of times. As a group, we very much loved this game. Andy made a comment about how pleased he was with the complexity of this game. Most roll and writes are pretty simple. This one has a lot going on. If you have a friend with that urge to play Twilight Imperium this is a great gift.
Being a newer game it is widely available.
For New Players.
Fantasy Realms (Deluxe Edition.)
A very simple card game that is very approachable for people to come to the table and really like. The Deluxe edition has new art, the promos included, and even full art shelves for the game. I purchased this game at BGG-Con, almost immediately after I purchased the game Douglas and Nathan T. went to purchase the game as well. Nathan H. told me he ordered the game as well. I thought, “Well darn, what am I going to do with so many copies of this game in my group?”
At a family dinner a sister was telling me that she was going to a local board game store and buying whatever games the employees would tell her was good. Yes, I know, she has me as a resource. She goes to a store and basically asks them what games they really need to move off the shelf. They made suggestions that were not horrible but not what I would suggest for her and her family. It came to me in a moment. This was a great game for them to take home. Hindsight, I would have given it to them for Christmas, but I am happy they are going to have the game and enjoy it.
Fantasy Realms takes seconds to learn: Draw a card, discard a card — though you can draw from the deck or the discard area. Make the best hand you can by making the best combos. The game ends when ten cards are in the discard area. Aim for the highest score to win. Very good choice to get people to the table.
A great choice, and again widely available.
To a Board Game Player but Not a Game.
In the past I suggested metal coins, holders for neoprene game mats, and last year clips to hold the board game in place. This year my suggestion is also inspired by BGG-Con. Both Andy and I had a situation where we bought games that did not fit into our luggage. He had a great idea to buy a game haul bag and use it as his carry on bag. Me, knowing that Andy is a smart cookie, followed his lead and got a bag myself. I have never used one before. It was an awesome idea. They work great to carry games! We both bought two different ones, one from the BGG store and one from Gametoppersllc.com.
I am partial to the one from Game Toppers and they have many available in a variety of sizes. They work much better than I could have hoped to carry games and accessories to game night. They would make an excellent gift to a gamer on the go either to carry games to a friend's house or to your local Convention.
What really matters most this time of year is not getting or receiving gifts.The best gift of board games is making memories with those that you love. In a world that is increasingly digital, board games are an amazing way to get people together. Those memories are the main reason we get together to play games.
I know we put out a gift guide every year, but if you want suggestions any time, don’t be afraid to reach out to any of us on Facebook, Instagram, or by using our email, Meeplenation@gmail.com. I bet we can help you find a gift for someone in your life.