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Christmas Gifts for Lockdown Geeks – Suggestions & Giveaway

So with a lockdown Xmas beckoning, it’s time for our annual run-down of the best geeky goodies to splurge on your nerd (ew) this season. First of all though, before we get to our recommendations and geeky giveaway (oh yeah, you’re going to want to stick around until the end of this post), let’s talk suppliers.

Our first recommendation is ideal for your storage and super hero gaming needs, and it’s the lovely Top-Hatted Hamster (top-hattedhamster.co.uk) down in Ayr, Scotland. Sean already has ridiculously good prices, and you’re supporting a local, ethical small business in the process: particularly awesome in these difficult times. And if that’s not enough, there’s these amazing deals to be had:

=====Cool Mini Or Not=====

George RR Martin’s ASOIAF:

Buy two get one free – Songs of Fire and Ice. -Discount code- bogof1

Buy three boxes get one free Songs of Fire and Ice. -Discount code- bogof2

Buy fourth boxes get one free Songs of Fire and Ice. -Discount code bogof3

Buy five boxes get one free Songs of Fire and Ice. -Discount code- bogof4

=====Marvel Crisis Protocol=====

15% off any products on the Marvel -Discount code- Marvel

=====Fantasy Flight games=====

15% off any products on Star Wars Legion/Imperial Assault/X-wing. -Discount code- FFG

Knight Models – Batman Miniatures, DCU and Harry Potter: 5% discount.

=====TT combat=====

Buy 5 get one free

These will all be on Pre-Order until the 4th December and shipped out on the 6th.

The second is my go-to discount online gaming store for GW, Warlord, and Mantic – Goblin Gaming. Use THIS LINK and you’ll get £10 off £100 (and I get points, woo!)


Early Gift

I have to thank my excellent wife for this one. I’m not a great eater of chocolate, and although booze advent calendars always go down rather well, this year she’s knocked it out of the park with the Reaper Advent Calendar from Mighty Lancer Games.

Reaper minis have been going for years with their wide range of characterful (predominantly fantasy) sculpts, and they’ve got a real cult following. I recently picked up the Nightslip figure from their Chronoscope range, as she’s a dead ringer for Dark Horse’s Ghost (a personal favourite), and their wide range of animal familiars are excellent for all sorts of games (or Beast Boy).

This is a really fun, quirky gift that will keep the nerd well-occupied.

PURCHASE LINK: CLICK HERE


Scenery

Once again, I have to give a plug to my big find of this year, Brutal Cities – MDF brutalist architecture that’s stupidly easy to build and a great price.

Now yes, you’re shipping from Australia, but I would strongly urge you to get in now before UK import taxes change on Jan 1st, because that really will sting.

PURCHASE LINK: CLICK HERE


Traditional Board Games

My hot-take this year for a conventional board game has to be Mando Monopoly.

I have a very dicey (sorry) relationship with Monopoly, as I object in principle to a game that is about making your opponent LOSE rather than you WINNING. That gets compounded with the inevitable slew of family house rules that seem different between everyone – and we’re all just waiting for the table-flip rage-quit. But a variant version of the game with fun new mechanics coupled with a basic rule-set that pretty much everyone knows? This is the way. Every character has their own abilities, and everyone’s after The Child.

It’s a much more dynamic play experience, but one that’s immediately accessible to non-gamers: a much more family-friendly festive treat.

PURCHASE LINK: CLICK HERE


Collaborative Games

Despite being fairly fanatical, me and my boys don’t always see eye-to-eye on our gaming. Collaborative games are often the best way to avoid tears and snotters, where you work as a team towards a common goal. The ever-engaging Hellboy Board Game (RRP £75 from those lovely northerners Mantic GamesREVIEW HERE) remains our big-ticket favourite, especially with the addition of the BPRD expansion, which allows you to randomly (or semi-randomly) generate your own scenario: cue much Hallowe’en nonsense versus bats, wolves and witches (#spoileralert – we died horribly, it was great!)

Hellboy is undoubtedly a big investment but we’ve never felt that we’ve not got the value out of it. Also, the pieces are so well made that it really doesn’t matter if you’re not of a mind to paint models – it looks great regardless.

PURCHASE LINK: CLICK HERE

However, our most recent discovery is the charmingly brilliant (and pleasantly inexpensive) Forbidden Island, a £20 tile-based game of treasure hunting and teamwork: part Indiana Jones, part Jumanji, and a whole-lot of fun. As a randomised group of explorers each with different skills, you try to find the four elemental treasures whilst trying to not drown as the island sinks around you, before helicoptering off with your reward.

Incredibly intuitive with a scaleable difficulty mechanic, it feels like a proper swashbuckling matinee adventure and can be learned, and played, in under half an hour.

PURCHASE LINK: CLICK HERE

We’ve yet to try to the sequel game, Forbidden Desert (£25 – you find and build the parts to ancient flying machine!), but it’ll likely jump onto a wishlist fairly soon.


Miniature Games

To be clear, by this I mean more traditionally “competitive”, oppositional games. Me, I like a boxed game with a clearly defined world, accessible, intuitive rules and not too serious (and the moon on a stick, thanks very much). I tend to lean sci-fi, but hey, I’m open-minded. So when I heard about ARMADA, Mantic’s a new fantasy naval game using the same engine as Warlord’s Black Sails, I was all ready to yell arr, splice various mainbraces, hoist yardarms and prepare for ramming speed.

With various recognisable tropes (herioc holy humans, big smashy orcs, steampunk dwarves) and neat twists (floating undead pyramid barges) – plus a crackin’ Kraken – from the outset this is an eyeball-grabber, with a very well-priced starter set at £75 with everything you need for Orcs and Basileans (those pesky humans).

We’ll have a full review for you soon, but for now, get a copy if you can, because it’s flying (sailing?) off shelves at top speed!

PURCHASE LINK: CLICK HERE

If sci-fi is more your thing, I have to give a shout-out to the Galaxy’s Greatest Sport: Dreadball! Now if you’ve ever swung by here you’ll know by know I’m a huge advocate for Dreadball, the finest sporting murder ball game you’ll ever play. Fast, furious fun, with over 30 different teams to suit every play-style and interest.

Ridiculously intuitive, endlessly complex, with huge online community playing globally throughout lockdown over Vassal, Steam and Zoom – and a very well-priced 2-player core box at £60. It’s still consistently the most-played game in our house, with the 3-6 player version (board also included in the core box) always a guarantee of a fun afternoon. With a new expansion announced for March, and the Xtreme version (3 teams, and no ref!) of the game available at bargain price direct from Mantic, you’d be a fool not to!

PURCHASE LINK: CLICK HERE

I’m going to go out on a limb, though, and give a mention to a bit of a dark horse: Aeronautica Imperialis, the aerial battle boxed game from Games Workshop. Skies of Fire, the current core box set, features planes for the Imperium (fascistic humans) and Tau (grey-like alien co-operative).

Great sculpts that are easy to build, and core mechanics that’s evolved and streamlined from Ares’s Wings of Glory (another great game, to be fair) – and it’s undeniably satisfying to move tiny planes going neeeeeeeeeeeoww around a board.

Very reasonable price too (£55 RRP, but that’s only £44 at Goblin). I know it’s a bit strange to describe a game from the almighty dominator of the hobby as a “dark horse” but it’s not got the widespread love it deserves, in my opinion, even from Games Workshop themselves.

PURCHASE LINK: CLICK HERE

Of course, sometimes you want EVERYTHING for a game. Dice? Tokens? Both factions? Well, how about the amazing value Moonstone Christmas Starter Bundle! Everything you need to play a full two player game of Moonstone at a price sure to raise some Grimble cheer for yourself or a loved one. Available until 24 Dec 2020 only.

This is a bargain price for a quirky, self-contained game of fantasy mystery. You get to drop dice from a great height (the moonstones of the name) and your troupe of Henson-goblins or humans hunt for the most to bring home.

It’s weird and wonderful, and well worth the price for literally everything (even gorgeous acrylic tokens) in the box to play. And of course, if you need more, there’s other figures in the range from our chums at Goblin Gaming.

PURCHASE LINK: CLICK HERE


Grown-Up Toys

No, not that sort of toy. Tsk. Honestly.

One of the great pleasures of being a geek these days is the plethora of quality nerd loot. And Hasbro’s Mandalorian goodies are simply ridiculous. We have a whole host of lovely toys to share with you – and we DO mean SHARE.

The mini Bounty baby yodas are the perfect stocking filler – we’ve already picked some up – but the star has to be the poseable Child, for this is… well, you know the rest.

So… want one for yourself?

Well then, it’s very simple: just like, comment and share THIS POST! And if that’s not enough, you can like/comment on Twitter and/or Instagram for an extra entry! UK only, I’m afraid.

And we’re not just talking one prize, either. The winner will get the big poseable Child, but there’s runner up prizes of mini Bounty edition versions of The Child as well!

We’ll announce the winners in two weeks on the 13th of December 2020, to ensure that we  the prize to you in time (post, and Corona, willing) for the festive season!

Geek out!


The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
Article Archive: Ceej Says
You can follow Ceej on Twitter


5 Comments on Christmas Gifts for Lockdown Geeks – Suggestions & Giveaway

  1. Love the child toys. They will always brighten up any day.

  2. Lots to love in this article.
    And I totally agree with you about Monopoly- it never ends cheerfully with my family! The Mando one definitely sounds like it’s worth a look.

  3. Thank you very much for mentioning Mighty Lancer Games we hope you really enjoy the advent calendar and any other Games Workshop, Mantic etc products that you may have got from us. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

  4. Lots of choice for everyone here. I quite like Here’s Negan for coop play with the kids as well.

    Hope you and the family have a good Christmas in these strange times.

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