Secret Santa: chat, wild speculation, and photos

If you would like to join in with a gift exchange in December, please either PM me or post below.


  • Sign up by 11/11/2020
  • Gift value £15-£20 (or equivalent in your local currency)
  • I’ll use a randomiser to match gifters to giftees
  • Post gift by 30/11/2020

If you want to join in, please post some ideas for your Santa in this thread (or PM me if you prefer). The ideas should be primarily game related. Links to BGG/RPGG/Steam wishlists are probably the easiest way to convey the information, but are by no means mandatory. Links to local online game shops are also helpful, to avoid exorbitant international shipping/customs fees.

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Because I’m lazy, I’ll copy my letter from the BGG secret Santa as an example of the sort of information you could provide. It does not need to be anywhere near this long!

Dear Santa,

I hope you are doing as well as you can during the completely bananas situation that is 2020. I’ve been relatively fortunate this year, so I’m looking forward to contributing to this secret Santa and brightening up someone’s day. I’ve included quite a lot of information below, but you can find everything you need in the TL:DR section at the top.

Happy Santa-ing,



List vs. surprise : I’d be delighted with any of the games on my wish list, no matter the ranking (3s and 4s are fine). If you read my profile and spot something that you think I’d love that isn’t on my list, then go for it. Please check my ratings and previously owned games first though.

Are used games OK? : Of course! As long as they’re in decent condition and don’t have the same weird smell as the copy of Roll for the Galaxy at my local gaming café… Some of the shops linked below have a section for damaged games at cheaper prices - feel free to get me something from there as well.

Non-game gifts : I enjoy constructing inserts (mostly folding-space so far). I already have inserts for: Sidereal Confluence, Caverna, Gloomhaven, and Scythe. Upgrades for components are also always welcome.

Language : English

Game store : If you can support a small or local game store, that would make my day. My FLGS is The Travelling Man. I’ve also had positive experiences with, or heard good things about, the following:

Dietary restrictions : vegetarian

My Tastes

Things I love in games : Asymmetry, variable player powers, spatial puzzles, logic puzzles, optimisation, engine building, multiple paths to victory. I probably skew more towards games with a lot of tactical depth (reacting to the board state/other players), but there are some very strategy-focused games that I love. I enjoy a good brain-burning economic game too.

Things I like in games : Player interaction is nice, but not essential. If there is a strong component of randomness I prefer the ability to mitigate it, unless the game is short. Interesting themes and great art are always a plus, as are mechanics that fit well with the game’s theme. I prefer party games that encourage interesting conversation (e.g. Wavelength) rather than take-that meanness.

Hit and miss : Auctions, bluffing, dudes-on-a-map. I can think of games that include these that I like, but it’s very dependent on the rest of the game. Generic space/fantasy/mythology themes are a bit of a turn-off, but if there’s a great game in there I usually warm to it (I still don’t want to play Race for the Galaxy though!).

No thank you very much : Games that involve yelling at each other, anything resembling charades, Cards Against Humanity/Apples to Apples or similar, The Mind, anything involving rolling a lot of dice in a cup (I know its weird, I just hate the noise), any variant of Werewolf, role-playing .

My Gaming Accomplices

At the moment, I only play IRL games with my husband and a friend who is in our ‘bubble’, so games that are good at three players would be much appreciated. If you’re feeling exceptionally diligent, you can check out our friend’s collection to avoid overlap, but I certainly don’t expect that level of effort. My husband and I don’t tend to play two-player games – gaming is a social activity for us. In normal times we also have an occasional fourth player, who intensely dislikes traitor games (Detective Club is her one exception). My husband dislikes co-ops, which is a shame since I love them! If you want to get me a co-op game, it would need to be playable solo.

Outside of our weekly game sessions, we would normally go to conventions and local game meetups fairly regularly. We have a group of friends that we see at conventions who have a very wide range of gaming tastes, so I have a few games that are convention-only occurrences (Sidereal Confluence and Galaxy Trucker spring to mind). This just makes conventions full of even more exciting possibilities!

I also organise occasional game nights with my colleagues (when we aren’t all working from home). Games that have gone down well with them include Codenames, Concept, Colt Express, and Magic Maze.


Dear Svyatitel Nikolai,

I’m sorry they didn’t name the missile submarine for you after all. That would have been a good joke.

My BGG list should be up to date (also notes things I already own, or have pre-ordered). But my tastes are quite odd, generally lighter than most serious gamers, and I prefer a game to be either deeply thematic or completely abstract. I also don’t do legacy or app games. I do like coops and social deduction, and games that can be soloed.

I usually 3d-print my own game bling, but I have no objection to that for a game I like. (I already have the resin bits for Quacks, but not Quacks itself…)

Eclectic Games is the shop closest to me, then Thirsty Meeples.


Great idea, but I will pass. Postage to NZ is probably more than the value of the gift in most cases. I wouldn’t do that to my Secret Santa, and leave it to the Chimney specialist itself.

But I will be nosey if you don’t mind :slight_smile:


That’s what the adresses for local shops are for unless you are only allowed to order with an NZ credit card… :innocent:

I’ll be writing a letter to Santa when I’m a bit more awake.


Tricky that… I will need to investigate what Lovecraft does these days…


Lieber Weihnachtsmann,

thank you so much for delivering last year’s games on time. This year I am sure it’ll be much more complicated what with all the social distancing measures you’ve surely had to implement at your workshop. Please be careful to disinfect all the chimneys, so that future generations will also get lots of presents.

Anyway, here’s my BGG list which is 99% accurate and includes expansions, previously owned games and all my pre-orders. There’s a wishlist to give you some ideas but please feel free to surprise me. (geekgroup allows more filtering)

I grew up on Spiel des Jahres in the 80s, became an RPG player at uni and was playing MtG in the late 90s and early 2000s all the time. I know you know all this but you’re so busy, I thought I’d remind you. Even though I’ve been playing boardgames for many many years, I am a bit new to the hobbyist side of games only getting drawn in deeper during the last 3 or 4 years. In general, my tastes are still all over the place. With friends, I play party games or lighter euro-y games. With my partner, I play a lot of coop games. If it was all up to me, I’d play complex strategy games all the time. I also enjoy solo playing.

So here are some pointers for you: I like games. No shit.
Well, let’s be more specific. I like games…

  • (edit:) with multiple paths to victory, be it distinctly different strategies or alternate winning conditions, this more than anything makes a good game for me I realized during lunch today
  • with pretty maps to conquer with cubes or Plätzchen(1). I don’t care how, as long as I get to increase my territory.
  • that have a steady unfolding of “fine moves” rather than lots of swingy highs and lows that depend on luck.
  • that allow me to combo like I was still broke from buying magic cards.
    • Corollary: I also like the long-term combos that result from a satisfying tableau or engine builder.
  • that give my brain some puzzle candy like deduction or fitting that last tetris Plätzchen into a spot
  • that let me cooperate with my partner.
  • with strong mechanics over theme. I do feel that these days there are so many games that have both that I do not miss out.
  • that are purple or have purple as a player color, because purple!
  • that are pretty. I would probably be willing to overlook some other weakness if the game material is just beautiful.
  • with a science fiction theme but besides war every other theme is fair game.
  • in English or German.

I also like to bling out my favorite games with extra components like coins or deluxe tokens like the one’s for Spirit Island I got with the kickstarter the other week. I build my own foamcore inserts usually so I am covered on that side. If you feel like a geeky t-shirt would make my day I am usually a European women’s size 40 or an L and I very much prefer natural fibers.

A few local shops with decent prices that I have ordered from are:

My FLGS has a website but their online presence is wanting. (

If nothing else works out the big everything shop is a good source for all kinds of boardgames and several of the above shops were found there.

(1) Plätzchen is German for cookies, especially Christmas cookies. This is an affectionate nickname or common mispronounciation for anything in a game that would be called Plättchen which would be cardboard markers or tiles of any shape or size.

PS: how do we exchange the adresses? do we all give them to @Whistle_Pig?


Sion Corn

Christmas is a big deal in our house, my wife and I are big kids and love the whole shebang. We normally have a big party for Christmas/ Thanksgiving on the last weekend of November, which is not happening this year.

Are my local shop, but their website isn’t the greatest for finding what is actually in stock.

Also have a store in Cardiff. Otherwise I spread my money around various UK retailers like Zatu, Chaos Cards or Thirsty Meeple. And ebay. I’ve also just discovered trading.

My game taste is pretty much anything, although I do like games that play well at 2, as well as more. I think I’m exploring both very light and very heavy games at the moment. I’m not keen on war games, or games that make you feel rubbish when you’re not doing well. We game as a family (boys are 13 &11 and can handle most games). Most often it’s my wife and I, but IRL games that play well at 2,3 & 4 are the ones I look for. Back in January we started a weekly gamenight at ours with up to 7 players each week. That’s not been happening, but we hope to start again when we can next year.

I think I’m into the ‘classics’, older games with great reputations at the moment rather than new stuff. The game at the top of my wishlist currently is Troyes, but I like social deduction and light party games. Basically anything! I’d love play a game that I’ve never heard of that my Sion Corn loves.

Second hand games are great.

I am also partial to t shirts/ shirts with a game theme (XL), or even game themed art.

This is my BGG, I’ve got things listed as ‘want in trade’, rather than a wishlist.


If you’re happy to PM me the address where you’d like things sent, I’ll make sure the right person gets it. Definitely don’t post it in this thread :laughing:


Is it too late to sign up?

You have until the 11th of November, so plenty of time!


Cool will write a letter to Santa when I don’t have a beer in my hand.


Querido Amigo Invisible

Tricky thing to do, in this day and age, but I will give it a go. I will admit I had a peek and looked into what other fellows were writing (common sense? cheating? somewhere in the middle, I’d say.

I will start with my collection, which should be up to date Collection It’s meagre, but it is full of games I like, or that I like to play with my friends and family. I am not against expansions for those, or any small cards games within the price tag. I am fairly easy going with games, I’d give a go to anything, so that may make it easier for you (or difficult for being so vague, who knows). In the price bracket we’re talking about, I am fairly easy.

Regarding the complications of being Down Under, I’d say the best comparison website down here in New Zealand would be The Market NZ. With that comparison in mind, you could get the best prize and then look at the website itself. Normally Mighty Ape, Game Kings, The Nile, Fishpond or Hobby Games are the most common sources.

Or, we could go through the closest game store from Napier Lovecraft. They sometimes have decent offers, but I’m not using it much lately, as I barely have gone to Napier CBD the last few months (it is a good half hour drive). Nice chance to change that and give them some cash, I’d say.


Bonjour Papa Noël!

I’m in love with this idea of connecting people around the world with a common love and a desire to bring joy. Thanks @Whistle_Pig for the planning of such an undertaking!

I do not have a BGG account, so I’ll put a wishlist here :

  • A nice deck of standard card set (any kind of standard actually! Italian deck, german suits, french playing tarot)
  • MicroMacro : Crime City
  • Any child games (we only have My first Orchard, Rhino Hero, Outfoxed, and a few unknown one)
  • Fox in the forest (the original or the duet one)
  • No thanks !
  • One of those wallet games that looks so nice.

Basically, our jam is small , fun card games; or family weight board games. Games you could play with a cup of herbal tea next to you, just having a good, cosy time.

Probably the easiest way to order from the outside of the country is through the french website Philibert ( It is a huge webstore, and I know some people buy internationally from them.

I would not worry too much about buying something I already have, but I’ll still put a quick list of what we already have that fill the criteria I gave above.

Cosy games we already own
  • The Crew
  • Cottage garden
  • Patchwork (hand made!)
  • Eternity
  • Kodama
  • Parade
  • Arboreteum
  • Lords of Scotland
  • Carcassone

Once again, I’m really touched by this. I know secret santa are “A Thing”( :tm:) but still, I really think it’s really nice.



To secret Santa,

Ok I’ve tried to make this easier and created a BGG list of my games

BGG games list

To simplify I’ve listed on this as owned, kickstarters I’m waiting for. I’ve left on the list, but not clicked the owned box for games I’ve owned but passed on (to give a flavour of the fickle horrible human being I am).

On my current list Of games I’m keeping an eye out for, I have:

My wishlist/curiosity list

Quacks of quedlinberg
War chest:nobility
Cosmic encounter duel
Fox in the forest duet
Search for Planet X
The king is dead
Food chain magnate (more as a reference than anything)

I’m not fussy about second hand games and do like bling and good table presence in a game (although I have already pimped a lot of my older games from before 2019, what I’ve done to Arkham horror lcg is disproportionate to how much I’ve played it).

I’m totally open to a surprise (if you think there is a glaring omission from my collection) or just something random, I have no allergy’s / food restrictions or phobias.

I’m UK based and my nearest brick and mortar is Static games, although their selection can be limited.

After this year and all the madness that keeps on maddening I think it’s a really good idea to put a bit of positivity out into the internet.

Thanks Santa, from


Time left for sign-ups:


Dear Santa,

My BGG collection is up to date and hopefully gives you a sense of what I’m into. It includes what I own and what’s marked for my wishlist. Mostly I’m interested in lighter games, social party games or quick 2-player ones. Usually I try to get games that bring something unique to the table.
I love trying new types of games and am looking forward to expanding my horizons a bit. My wishlist has a few games that I’m interested in (all marked as 3s and 4s but I’d be very excited by any of them) but feel free to go with any surprise that you would recommend! Bonus points if the box is small, that always makes me happy.

Food restrictions:vegan

I’m in London, so any UK brick-and-mortar of your choice. My stores of choice are Leisure Games, Board Game Guru, or Rules of Play.


Dear Santa,

I am more of a role playing gamer than a board gamer but I count myself lucky to have landed on this site and that all these new fun people landed here also.

I don’t have anything set up at BGG in terms of a list. So this drivethrurpg wishlist is likely the best option for me what with how much gaming books cost in print these days.

Game Goblins is the good local gaming shop if something occurs as a physical gift that is just perfect though.

The cat and the six year old are not particularly destructive and there’s no food restrictions here other than an aversion to shaved coconut.

I’ll make sure there’s an extra cookie or three set out on the 24th!



O mighty one,

Could you get me some games please?

Thanks, GT



I also have a BGG Wishlist:

They are sorted, but anything on there is fine, except the “do not buy” ones.

Now personally, I don’t usually buy games new, and inasmuch as the wished-for items are mostly old, I am perfectly fine with used games. Used games very good. :+1: :+1: :+1:

I love game-related trinkets like dice, cards, random components for games I don’t have, 40-inch paintings, etc. Just recently, in fact, I bought a 7-sided die. 100% useless, but worth having around, especially as it answers the nagging question of “What if Yog Sothoth, but dice?”.

I like anime. Not gonna ask for a dakimakura. Definitely not. Um. Games? Yes games. Always like anime games.

Also like sci-fi, and dudes-on-a-map games.

That’s basically everything. There is also the list of things I already own

And I have no allergies, FWIW.


Last day to sign up!