We’re getting extremely close to the deadline for the 2022 holiday season – it’s time to share Goonhammer’s yearly gift guide so you can fill those stockings with sprues and glues! This will be a universe / system agnostic guide – we’ll have recommendations from a variety of sources, because we know gamers dip their toes in a wide variety of game pools all the time.
If you’re just looking to round out a gift or find something small for a clubmate, here’s the source!
Sunstar Kadomaru Pro, Corner Cutter – $12.60. This item is really simple – it cuts rounded corners in small, medium, and large sizes on paper or cards. For those gamers who are making their own cards for stuff like narrative events for 40k / AOS, your own homegrown games, or print and play stuff this adds a level of polish that looks great! -Michael O (Mugginns)
Vis-A-Vis Wet-Erase Overhead Transparency Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 4-Count – $7. We all play at least one game that requires you to mark boxes or wounds etc. Get your cards laminated and mark them with these wet erase markers (don’t get dry erase, they erase too easily). Having a four pack of these in your backpack will make sure you’re always prepared. –Michael O (Mugginns)
Battletech Salvage Box: Urban Mech – $7. These little things are balls of pure joy, even for someone who doesn’t play Battletech, these might make for an adorable painting project, especially for younger folks. And looking at the game itself for a moment, these little guys are a deadly addition to any Mech collection. –Aurelia (Momma Negan)
Craisins – A delightfully tart snack, edible at the table or in the comfort of your own home. Can be mixed into your cereal to provide a nutritious breakfast, or eaten by themselves as a little treat for the hungry gamer. –Greg
240 Pack of #11 Hobby Blades – $16. Any wargaming kit typically involves messing around with plastic, and the most dangerous thing you can do is make a cut with a dull blade. Buy a bulk pack, do everything in your power not to spill it, and use an old medicine bottle to store the dull ones so you don’t accidentally recreate a scene from a horror film. Happy Holidays! –Primaris Kevin
Ultra Thin Razor Saw – $12. If you’re doing any kind of kitbashing or converting, having an ultra-thin saw that will reliably cut through plastic is invaluable. Note that it’s packaged in a little cardboard sheath so that you can be assured your recipient will not cut themselves reaching into the stocking. –Primaris Kevin
Entry Level – (for youngsters and those new to wargaming)
We all know young gamers (or newbies) who may have just started or don’t have anything at all – check these ideas out to help them get started on their path to ultimate glory, crowned at a GT, #1 overall.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar Warrior Starter Set – $50. This box set comes with 18 push-fit minis, dice, range rulers (whippy sticks are dead 8( ) a gaming mat, and maybe most importantly: a rulebook, introduction to the AOS universe book, warscroll cards, and rules reference sheets. I like that the crunchy stuff is all included because if you have to look stuff up online or in a deep crusty index then you’re already losing newbies. I personally love the return to the old school nasty orcs and Stormcast usually appeal to anyone new to the wargaming hobby. -Michael O (Mugginns)
Rhino Hero Super Battle – $34.99. A great game for the whole family that can be played by kids ages 3 and up. Consistently one of the only games I’ve ever bought that can be played competitively with small kids and doesn’t require cheating/going easy on them/letting them win in order for everyone to have a good time. Just a solid game and a fun time for everyone. -Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones
Plastic British Napoleonic Line Infantry box set – £22. Want a perfect way to help your friend expand from limited gaming interests to the glory of historical gaming? Grab a box of Perry Miniatures. I listed Napoleonic Brits here, but really you could grab one of their similarly priced boxes for any time period you like and gently guide your friend into re-fighting the most unknown, inglorious fights of history. Perry Minis are easily put together and come with painting guides in the box. They’re also sculpted by the best in the business, Michael and Alan Perry. -Michael O (Mugginns)
Gift Subscription for Warhammer+ – $18, $36, $60, $120. Warhammer+ started small but fierce, but now has a ton of content for newbies to help them get into the GW universe of games. Some of the animations are pretty gory and not for kids (which is a shame, I feel like it’d be a great way to get my 10 year old further into Warhammer) but kids can watch the Loremaster videos, battle reports, painting tutorials etc. -Michael O (Mugginns)
Don’t Look Back – $60. Don’t Look Back is a miniature game using around 5-6 miniatures that can be played quickly and in a small space. The main starter set is based around high school kids running from a Slasher villain and the rules do a great job of reflecting that in a compelling way. The rules are short but cover most situations that come up during the game (I wouldn’t call it ‘quick play’ as to me, quick play usually means roll dice, random stuff happens, not many stats, and not a lot of strategy). Black Site Studio offers a ton of miniatures and STLs you can use to expand your game. I love this for a quick family game or a night of fun with friends. Our review can be found here. -Michael O (Mugginns)
Dawn of Iron – $10. Dawn of Iron is a fleet-based American Civil War Ironclads ruleset. 10 ironclad / steamer / cottonclad minis should do well enough for most games (for both sides, total). I’ve looked for a long time for a compelling Ironclad ruleset and this one is it. It’s modern, with great graphic design, cards, an index, keywords, etc. It’s somewhat of a mix of X-Wing and other rulesets. It’s a great foray into ACW era naval combat without having to get an accounting degree. Our review can be found here. -Michael O (Mugginns)
Wargames Atlantic Plastic Box – $34.95. Wargames Atlantic offer a variety of different miniatures spanning across centuries, into the far future and into the mists of fantastic realms. Every one of these boxes offers great value and given their wide variety of products, it is highly likely you will find something in the range of interest of your loved one. If given a closer look, you will also find some of these boxes working pretty well together. -Aurelia (Momma Negan)
Wargames Illustrated 1 Year Subscription ~ $73. Wargames Illustrated is a fantastic hobby magazine that covers a broad range of the wargaming, painting and modelling hobby, while they do have a bit of a focus on historical wargaming, they also do have articles on fantasy and sci fi games. A big plus for this magazine is the fact that occasionally(roughly every 2nd magazine) it comes with a plastic sprue from Warlord games, these can be for any game or time period and are always a great little thing to test your skills on or have fun with. -Aurelia (MommaNegan)
Fleshing Out A Collection
If you’re shopping for a regular or longtime player and looking to spend a bit more, consider one of these.
Painting War paint guides – $35. These are in a thiccer magazine format. They’re a bit pricey, but they come shipped from Spain and they’re extremely well researched, full color, etc. They have a guide for most of our favorite wars so it is likely you can find one for the historical gamer you know who wants a more in-depth look at each uniform for the period. At this time they have German WW2, Japan and USA WW2, British Napoleonic, French Napoleonic, ACW, Dark Ages, Feudal Japan, Spanish Civil War, Crusades, Wild West, French and Indian War, and Romans. They also have a special on bases that looks great. -Michael O (Mugginns)
Warhammer Underworlds: Gnarlwood – $95. Underworlds is consistently the best competitive game that GW puts out (fight me!) and is criminally underplayed. Grab this set and gift it to a friend, then take one of the warbands and their cards and get playing. It’s hugely expandable later on with more warbands and cards, especially Rivals decks. Gnarlwood does a great reset of everything with a new rulebook that includes info on the different types of cards that have come out if you haven’t played in a bit. -Michael O (Mugginns)
Dungeons and Lasers: Townsfolk miniature pack – $59. For the aspiring or experienced Dungeon Master or diorama maker; This kit comes with 62 miniatures to populate a fantasy town, nobility, traders, Guards! Guards! All your heart desires(even the mysterious ratman) and more. Cast in hard plastic and with plenty of detail to spare, this set is an amazing way to expand your loved one’s fantasy collection. -Aurelia (Momma Negan)
Subscription to Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy magazine – $40 per year. A system agnostic magazine, you can get six issues a year of WSS delivered to your house for around $7 an issue. Each issue has a theme – not necessarily a period, but could be a certain method of warfare, or weather, etc. There are also columns by industry regulars such as Rick Priestley and Richard Clarke. -Michael O (Mugginns)
Subscription to Game Pass – $29.95 to $44.95, depending on type, for 3 months. Game Pass fundamentally changed the way I download and play games, and the library you get access to is both impressive and constantly updating. It’s a great way to discover cool indie games or try games out without the upfront investment of the entire title’s cost.
For the Hobbyist Who Has Everything
We all have friends, family, or clubmates who buy everything when it comes out or don’t have an issue getting what they want when they want it. Here’s some big jewel like objects of wonder or items off the beaten path they may not have thought of.
The TooFatLardies Ruleset You Love the Most – £26. If you have a friend who is historical curious or even doesn’t know yet that they’d love historical games, grab your favorite ruleset from TFL (I recommend Sharp Practice, of course), wrap it nicely, and toss it under the tree. Consider adding in some TFL dice for added spice.
If you’re not familiar yet with TooFatLardies, check out their YouTube channel for more on their game systems. The focus of their rules is always on accuracy, large skirmish level, characters, and friction – the idea that your troops don’t always do 100% what you want them to do. You can find our Sharp Practice review here if you want more info. Their newest ruleset, Infamy, Infamy, was reviewed here. -Michael O (Mugginns)
Cargo-8 Ridgehauler – $95. I’ve put together and painted three of these since they came out and I love them. While you may not have the points to include in a gang in Necromunda, they make amazing terrain / scenario pieces as well. They’re really fun to paint, with a ton of weathering opportunities. I’m going to use one in a display board for my 40k Genestealer Cult. In short: they’re an amazing kit and GW needs to make more. Civilian / infrastructure stuff in 40k always looks sweet on the table. -Michael O (Mugginns)
Promethium Tanks on Cargo-8 Ridgehauler Trailer – $60. Look, if you’re going to buy the absurdly overpowered super vehicle that every gang should probably have, then make sure to get the absurdly undercosted trailer that attaches to the back of it so you can have even more shenanigans. It doesn’t really matter if you go Tanks or Cargo Containers; they’re interchangeable and you can always buy more tanks or containers for terrain. -Primaris Kevin
Munitorium Armored Containers – $60. You can’t have the Holidays without logistics, and you can’t have logistics without standardized containerization. Celebrate this Season of Giving by recognizing the invaluable role that metal boxes play in our daily lives by using them as scatter terrain on your next battlefield. Can also be readily converted into a self-contained shop stall in case the Underhive Market never comes back in stock. -Primaris Kevin
Promethium Tanks Refueling Station – $47. If your recipient truly does have everything, then their name is probably Joey and they already have a Ridgehauler, four trailers with armored containers, and no sense of shame. Still, it’s 2022 and they might not have purchased four sets of oversized flammable drums to go with their boxes and transports so this might still work. Consider keeping the receipt just in case. -Primaris Kevin
Dead Cops and Gangsters – $18. While seeming small, I find there’s nothing more bizarre yet charming than a handful of casualty miniatures, and when talking about off the beaten track, these really spring to mind as you don’t often see bigger companies producing many casualty models. So while I propose the cops and gangsters in particular, I do think any box or blister of casualty models is a viable option to decorate your loved ones’ bases or just enrich their collection with some peculiar miniatures. -Aurelia (Momma Negan)
6mm WW2 from Baccus – varies, models from £8 If you’re buying for someone who has everything, why not get them into a completely different scale? Everyone has something at 28mm, right, but try the King of Scales (™ pending) and upend everything they thought they knew about modeling. Suddenly painting very small is a very different and very new experience, and one that really resets the brain during marathon painting sessions and kick-starts new creativity when you’re in a modelling slump. The WW2 range is just one of hundreds of time periods Baccus make, so go wild and pick up an entire playable army for $30-40 and give someone the gift of several hundred tiny guys. -Aaron “Lenoon” Bowen
6mm WW1 from Baccus – As above, but much better because of the hats and the historical distance providing enough of a disconnect that no one has to play the bad guys and feel like a weirdo (or, worse, not feel weird about it). It’s a much cooler war and Lenoon is insanely wrong, though I should also give him credit for getting me into The King’s Scale historicals in the first place. -Greg
Flush Cutter Bulk Pack – $29. Sure you could spend $30 on a single bespoke flush cutter hand-crafted by artisans in Japan using techniques shared from generation to generation and made out of steel that’s been folded a million times. Or you could spend $30 on five of these things that will cut pretty much just as well, are easily recycled if you screw something up and the blade gets dull, and will ensure that you never lose more than four of them. -Primaris Kevin
Osprey Wargames – If you’ve read our review of Xenos Rampant, you should be happy to know that Osprey has a plethora of small and bigger rulesets for various settings the discerning wargamer can explore. From Pulp to pike and shot combat, there’s a solution to most of your wargaming questions. Pikeman’s Lament, Lion Rampant (now in second edition), Rebels and Patriots and The Men who would be kings will have you playing larger scale skirmishes and build up armies at an agreeable pace, and get quick and exciting games going. The range has some interesting weird/alt history rulesets as well, like Zona Alfa or Dracula’s America. With a price point of around $25/£25 they’re a perfect little gift for someone who’s tired of panel lining a bunch of marines. -Jackie Daytona
Looking for more?
If you’re still looking for more, be sure to check out our other holiday shopping guides for different games and categories. And if you have any questions or feedback, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.