December 13, 2015 by brennon
With Christmas just around the corner we’ve put together a list of what we, (Gianna, Dawn, Sam and I) think that you should be looking at picking up over the next few weeks as presents for tabletop gamers AND to pick up after the sales kick in during in January…
You can check out the products that we’re talking about in the links for each so if we’ve swayed you go and check them out.
X-Wing: The Force Awakens (Fantasy Flight Games)
Gianna: With all of the excitement building over the upcoming release next week, it would only seem fitting that a Star Wars title make this list. What makes this even better is this game is actually a really good game and easy to get into.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward and the templates make moving a snap. The bonus to this game is that the miniatures are already assembled and painted, just put them on your stands and you are ready to go.
This version of the game is fully compatible with the original release of X-Wing, just update the ships for the upcoming movie along with their special ability cards.
So, if you are looking for a game you can just pick up and get playing right away then you might want to put this on your Christmas list. The only downfall to this is it will have you wanting to buy all of the ships!
Beyond The Gates Of Antares: The Xilos Horizon (Warlord Games)
Ben: Beyond The Gates Of Antares had an uncertain start after the cancelled Kickstarter. However, it has steadily grown under Warlord Games and each of the main factions in the game has got a whole horde of infantry and more.
The Xilos Horizon Starter Set has been a great gateway into the game too with a massive bunch of plastic miniatures and a rules set which is based on the successful Bolt Action mechanics that we’ve come to know and love in the industry.
It’s always going to be hard launching a new Sci-Fi product onto the market but Gates Of Antares has been doing well and has garnered a loyal following. The game is fun, the miniatures are increasing in quality and it looks like there’s much more to come from this universe.
Frostgrave (Osprey Games)
Ben: In a time where all of our games are getting bigger Frostgrave from Osprey was like a breath of fresh air. The rules are simple and easy to understand with enough depth and complexity to keep you going back to it, leveling up your Mages, and then heading back out into the icy city.
The game hopes to build on the feeling evoked by old games like Mordheim where you take a gang of warriors and pit them against one (or maybe more) other warbands. You will be scrapping over treasure and more in ruined cities where there are plenty of wandering monsters and other horrors awaiting you.
This great theme mixed with some brilliant plastic kits and options for expansion in all directions make this a campaign game worth checking out.
Dungeon Saga (Mantic Games)
Dawn: A proper dungeon crawler that comes in a storybook box? Yes, please! If this doesn’t scream Christmas present, I don’t know what does.
While waiting for our Kickstarter copy to arrive, we had the opportunity to play a demo of the game at our FLGS while Mantic was there for their KoW regionals. What a great game! It can be played as a standalone, single game or in campaign fashion, which is always fun when your adventurer finds treasures and things along the way.
The rules are fantastic- clear, easy to learn and understand, so you can jump right in and play without reading tomes and tomes.There’s a nice assortment of heroes to play and baddies to stumble on along the way. There’s assorted dungeon tiles to configure your quest so it looks different every time you play- but let’s talk about the scatter terrain.
This is where the game really excels. There’s doors, tables, bookshelves and more to add to your dungeon, which really brings the game to life- the devil is in the details, after all.
Sam: Mysterium is what happens when you take the simple, abstract gameplay of Dixit, add in a bit of Cluedo and then pile on dreamlike, paranormal atmosphere. If you are not sold on that description there may be no hope for you.
The game sees players taking on the role of either paranormal investigators trying to solve a murder, or the ghostly victim themselves. The ghost tries to guide the investigators through the use of vision cards. Players must try to guess the person, place and murder implement from these beautiful abstract images.
This may well be my favourite board game I have played this year. It’s dripping with the Gothic atmosphere that I love and the art is superb. It has far more depth than Dixit, which I think really enhances the experience, although you could definitely use the cards of Dixit or Mysterium to expand the other.
I will say, I actually played the Polish version of this game first, which I believe features slightly less different artwork.
Malifaux: Two Player Starter Set (Wyrd Games)
Dawn: Gianna and I got to play a game using this set at Gen Con this past year, and it was really fun to play and easy to use. Whether you are looking hop into the world of Malifaux for the first time, or add some handy little mercenaries to your collection, the Malifaux : Two Player Starter Set is a great way to go!
This is a great gift idea because you’re giving the gift to one person, who then can play it with another! It’s a win/win for getting potential new players into the eccentric world of Malifaux.
The Steampunk world of Malifaux is one of those fantastic games that really sets itself apart from the rest with its card mechanic. There’s no blind dice rolling in this game- no dice at all, in fact. Instead you play with a Fate Deck, where you operate with hand of cards each turn.
The cards replace dice rolling as you play mini games of War with your opponent to determine success and failure. The flip side (no pun intended), is that you can cheat fate with cards you hold in your hand every turn! Don’t like the result you flipped? Cheat.
There are loads of interesting mechanics in Malifaux that vary from model to model and the starter set does a brilliant job of setting up balanced game play with simplified instructions to get new players the ability to literally hop in and play. A great example of this is in the Fate Decks.
The decks in the starter set have Weak, Moderate and Severe written along the sides in addition to their typical faces, which is a lifesaver for new players trying to grasp the concept of Positive and Negative Flips in the game and damage results.
It can be argued that these models are not most flashy compared to the rest of the Wyrd line (which are exquisite), but they were made this way to keep the game accessible to new players and not intimidate with complicated builds – which if you’ve ever assembled one of the new plastic Malifaux minis, you know can be a big job.
American Civil War: Battle In A Box (Perry Miniatures)
Ben: While a lot of people are leaning towards modern warfare as their historical period of choice for wargaming there has been a massive resurgence in the amount of people getting invested in the American Civil War.
The Battle In A Box from Perry Miniatures is one such avenue we would suggest you take a look at for playing games in this turbulent period of history.
You not only get a whole bunch of models for both sides, North and South, but also a mass of terrain which can be used to fight around AND a rules set by Alessio Cavatore and the Perry twins called Firepower.
I can’t think of many better ways to get stuck into a game that is seeing a massive resurgence of popularity
Gianna: American Civil War you say? Yes, it is one of the most trying times in my country’s history and many a lesson was learned here. If you are into big battles with many soldiers and sweeping landscapes, you just might want to take a look at this incredible set.
It is a terrific way to get into the ACW and get some battles on the table. Everything you would want is in this box other than glue, paints, and miscellaneous terrain pieces to complement what already comes in the box.
Most already know the quality of the Perry sculpts and to have a collection such as this is a big win for any gamer or modeler. I would love for Santa to bring this and have it under our tree this year.
Team Yankee (Battlefront)
Gianna: After such a highly successful boot camp two weeks back, what can I say that is not already been said? If you have any interest at all in a more “modern” warfare game, then you will want to look into this.
The models are terrific and are nicely detailed and go together pretty easy. The rules are fast and brutal as it would be in an actual modern battle. The addition of stat cards for each of your units is an awesome touch and makes game play even more streamlined and prevents you from getting bogged down by not having to refer to the rulebook constantly.
What makes this game even more fun is that there are helicopters! This add such an extra dimension to the game that you really have to think many steps ahead to get the most effective use out of all of your units.
Since this is a “what if” game, you can now play out those scenarios that kept many a general up nights worried how a battle would play out.
This is a game for anyone, whether you play Flames of War or not, historical gamer or not, you will find this game easy to get into and start playing. I highly recommend it to anyone to give it a go.
Dawn: Here’s a must have game accessory, and a perfect stocking stuffer for Christmas. We stumbled on this beauty at Adepticon this past year. The ModCube is the answer to simplifying and controlling the massive number of tokens that we all have for the games we play.
Instead of bags and bags of game specific tokens, the ModCube allows you to customize your cubes with a variety of token alternatives on each side. There’s loads of game systems to choose from including: X-Wing, 40K, Malifaux, Warmachine, Infinity, and more!
If you can’t find exactly the game you’re looking for, there’s a relatively plain game designer set that you can customize to your heart’s content.
So whether you’re looking to minimize the number of tokens you’re lugging around for games, or you’d like to upgrade your cardboard tokens to something more solid, the ModCube has you covered!
Vallejo Game Air Paints (Vallejo)
Gianna: Vallejo’s Game Air paints are a wonderful addition to any painter’s arsenal. I truly love these paints. Being pre-thinned makes them flow nicely in an airbrush.
The colours are vibrant and cover well. I do have to admit I add an additional drop of the thinner just to insure easy flow and prevent clogs. What I also like about these paints is that I also use them to paint with regular brushes also.
They make wet blending much easier and get into all of those recesses well without caking in the paints. The range of colours is large enough for just about anyone’s needs and make airbrushing a joy and easier than trying to thin out standard paints.
These make excellent stocking stuffers and add-ons to anyone getting an airbrush for Christmas.
If you have any other ideas about awesome Christmas gifts include them in the comments below!
"Gates Of Antares has been doing well and has garnered a loyal following..."
"If you are into big battles with many soldiers and sweeping landscapes, you just might want to take a look at this incredible set from the Perry Twins..."