Face it: tabletop gaming ain’t a cheap hobby. Sometimes you can save cash by nabbing some free wargame rules, or using free character creators and character sheets in your Dungeons and Dragons campaign – but buying the best board games, miniatures, or trading card games can cost a bundle. Lucky, then, that you can snag your favourites for less when the year’s largest international festival of discounts comes around. Black Friday 2022 is a long way off yet – but some of the 2021 deals are still kicking for now – and, when the time comes, we’ll be here to clue you in on the best board game deals to be had.
Maybe you dream of a big-box miniatures spectacular like Gloomhaven, whose lofty price tag has for too long lingered just out of your reach; maybe your sharp competitive acumen is itching to try a new strategy board game; perhaps your collection of historical board games currently leaves a crucial era shockingly unrepresented; or it could be that you just need a simple yet sublime kids’ board game to entertain your family’s young brains – and give yours a rest.
Whatever your cardboard-and-plastic poison, the likelihood is that Black Friday 2022 will have some tasty board game deals for you – so we’ll keep an eye on them all, and keep this guide updated with the biggest discounts on the best of the best.
Black Friday 2021 is over, but we’re still in the afterglow, and some of these deals may stay alive for a few days yet – so here’s a roll call of our top picks. Click on the one that takes your fancy to jump straight there, and try your luck. Once they’re gone, they’re gone!
- Ticket to Ride: Europe – up to 50% off
- Gloomhaven – up to 27% off
- Azul – up to 33% off
- Tapestry – up to 30% off
- Scythe – up to 30% off
- Pandemic – up to 52% off
- Twilight Imperium – 27% off
- Robinson Crusoe – up to 40% off
- Arkham Horror – 36% off
- Eldritch Horror – 36% off
- Star Wars: Imperial Assault – 20% off
Missed the boat on this yea’s best Black Friday board game deals? There’s always next year – here’s what you need to know about Black Friday 2022:
When is Black Friday 2022?
Black Friday 2022 is on Friday, November 25 – meaning Cyber Monday will be on Monday, November 28.
As ever, it’s likely to be the biggest sales day of the year for retailers, with a whole range of tabletop gaming delights available at huge discounts. These days, the celebrations (and savings) can sometimes live on throughout the month of November – but don’t be fooled; the biggest discounts are always limited to Black Friday weekend.
How to find the best Black Friday deals
Dead easy, this – we’ll keep this here guide stocked with the very best Black Friday board game deals (and, if you’re lucky, the best deals on card games, miniatures and other tabletop games too) – so make sure to bookmark this page and keep coming back through the weekend and Cyber Monday.
It’s also a very sensible plan to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, to keep abreast of the latest deals (as well as the latest news and greatest guides, reviews, and more in the world of tabletop games, of course).
Plus, Wargamer isn’t an only child – our big sister site PCGamesN will be fanfaring the very finest Black Friday deals in PC games and PC gaming hardware; Pocket Tactics will be calling out the best mobile gaming deals; and The Loadout will be digging up the shiniest discounts for console gamers and esport lovers – so, if you’re a digital gamer too, be sure to keep a beady eye on their sites.
Best Black Friday board game deals 2021
Well, 2021’s biggest carnival of consumerism has drawn to a close – Black Friday 2021 is officially over. We’ll keep our favourite deals listed below for a few days, as some of them are still live – but, for the most part, it’s time to give your wallets a rest, crack open the brand new board games you’ve scooped, and enjoy the spoils of our deal-searching labours. Until next November, that is!
Ticket to Ride: Europe – up to 50% off
Do you like trains? Silly question; of course you do, everybody loves trains. That, however, is only one of many reasons why Ticket to Ride has been recognised as one of the best board games of all time, since making its humble beginnings back in 2004.
Gameplay is simple, but endlessly entertaining and surprisingly unpredictable at times. Draft cards to make sets; cash in sets to place your plastic trains onto routes across the board’s map; build routes to your secret destinations to earn points; bank the most points, and you win. But, for loads of people, Ticket to Ride simply steals their heart with its sheer looks and charm. Everything about this game’s visuals sparks joy, from the box art down to the teeny weeny coloured plastic trains.
Ticket to Ride is a beautiful, wildly successful ‘swiss army knife’ board game, suitable for almost any type of group, of all ages and skill levels – and it’s a must-have in anyone’s collection. If you haven’t taken a ‘ride’ yet, now’s the time to buy your ‘ticket’ – with a whopping 50% Black Friday discount on the game’s Europe edition.
If you’ve got younger kids to entertain, there’s also 49% off Ticket to Ride: First Journey, an adorable and cannily-designed slimline version designed to be more accessible to kids aged six to eight, that’s hands down one of the best kids’ board games of all time.
Gloomhaven – up to 27% off
Gloomhaven is, without a trace of hyperbole, the reigning monarch of modern, big box board games. Comfortably the number one top-rated board game of all time on BoardGameGeek, Gloomhaven is a vast, luxurious fantasy board game, drawing on the vivid physicality of classic dungeon-crawlers like HeroQuest, the deep, strategic cardplay of Magic: the Gathering, and the expansive worldbuilding of a good Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
Ingenious, dynamic, and relentlessly challenging, its card-driven, dungeon-delving gameplay takes some time to get the hang of, but, after your first couple of scenarios, you’ll be hooked. Which is good, because the vast, heavy, crate Gloomhaven is chock full of stuff to keep your adventures going through hundreds of hours of gaming.
With a whole rack of boxed miniatures, player boards, skill cards, and unique materials for 17 different classes; rules, maps, and tokens for hundreds of unique scenarios; an entire world map; secret campaign materials, and more, right there in the box, Gloomhaven is a beast that every board gamer can, and should tame.
At up to 27% off depending on your region, this Black Friday / Cyber Monday might be the ideal time to take the plunge.
Azul – up to 33% off
Taking on the role of rival decorators tasked with creating gorgeously patterned tiled walls in a royal palace, you’ll be taking turns to draft colourful plastic tiles and add them to your board, aiming both to embellish your own point-scoring patterns – and to deprive your opponent of the varieties they want most.
Azul is a spectacular 2-player board game, and a perfect example of board games’ ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ doctrine, but – with its pretty little boards, and cloth bag full of smooth, clinking, colourful bricks – it also offers more tactile and eye-pleasing satisfaction for your money than almost any other top-tier board game.
Azul is well worth your money – especially when you can get for 33% less than usual this Cyber Monday:
Tapestry (and expansion) – up to 30% off
Lovers of the classic Civilization series of era-spanning strategy videogames, don’t let Tapestry pass you by. Described as a “competitive, asymmetric, medium-weight civilization-building game” by creator Stonemaier Games (the same folks behind Scythe and Wingspan), Tapestry has you start a civ from scratch, and lead it to historic victory.
Along the way, you’ll collect income from your territory, and spend it on advancing from era to historical era by progressing through four tracks: Technology, Science, Military, and Exploration. It’s your choice how to invest into any or all of the four paths – leading to a wide variety of overlapping strategies, depending on how you build your engine.
Tapestry is an impressive, highly detailed strategy board game that’s developed quite a following since it first came out in 2019 – and, at 30% off for Black Friday, it’s high time you started your own civilisation. While you’re at it, you can grab the first expansion pack, Plans and Ploys, at 20% into the bargain, adding a bunch of new civilisations and options, plus seven beautiful new dinky building miniatures!
Scythe – up to 30% off
Scythe is something of a phenomenon these days – a big, heavy, exciting box, full of the promise of strategy, world-building, dystopia, and dieselpunk robots. As many of us discovered since the game hit stores in 2016, Scythe has all these things – but not in the way you’d think.
It’s not a big, smashy mech-on-mech skirmisher – but a heavy duty, relentlessly atmospheric game of economic engine-building, exploration, territory pressure, and the constant existential threat of war looming.
There’s a lot of moving pieces here, and it’s not recommended for beginner board game fans – but if you enjoy strategy board games, an immersive fantasy / alt history setting, and atmospheric storytelling, Scythe is an essential experience. Ordinarily, it’s a chunky game with a chunky price tag – but right now, you can get it for $63 (30% off) in the USA; or £58.95 (26% off) in the UK.
Pandemic – up to 52% off
OK, so we’ve all had a bit too much pandemic in our lives recently – but that’s no reason to miss out on Pandemic (the board game) if, by some strange quirk of fate, you haven’t yet given it a try. It’s quite simply sublime.
Pandemic is a highly strung, perfectly engineered, intense co-operative game in which you and your pals have to coordinate global operations to fight not one deadly infectious disease – but four of them, all at once. To win this one, you’ll have to work together to use your limited actions, resources, and special abilities as effectively as possible, to develop four cures against the clock, before everyone’s dead.
Winner of awards beyond counting, Pandemic is an unquestioned board gaming hall of famer – and, if you don’t own a copy, there’s no excuse not to scoop it up right now, at more than half off.
Twilight Imperium – 27% off
The ultimate grand-strategy board game, Twilight Imperium isn’t just a heady mix of galactic conquest, shrewd diplomacy, political manoeuvring, and economic might, it’s a whole gosh darn day’s worth of the stuff. This six-player game is massive in scope and detail, handing you 17 races to command as you lead them to victory and claim the galactic throne for yourself.
It’s a beloved game that’s earned all the praise it regularly receives. It’s gloriously immersive, although the rulebook is massive, so prepare to set aside a while to digest it. But if you’re interested in nabbing the game at a discount, you probably already know what you’re in for. This is the kind of game for which you set aside an entire evening, invite your best friends around to play, and kick back in the warm glow of intrigue, scheming, and plotting.
A big game with an, ordinarily, big price tag, you can swoop it up right now for $119.99 (27% off) in the US. Fancy something a little lighter? Check out the best strategy board games to dive into this year.
Robinson Crusoe – up to 40% off
Robinson Crusoe is a name that commands huge respect in board gaming circles, and with very good reason.
A heavyweight, co-operative game for one to four players (but which also works phenomenally well as a solo board game), Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island shipwrecks you on an (apparently) deserted island and challenges you to survive, explore, and thrive. Build and upgrade your camp to shelter from the elements; fight off hostile wildlife; craft new items; and search for treasure through seven different adventures – all the while basking in the excellent game materials’ surfeit of scrumptiously designed nauticalia.
At the $65 RRP, it’s already cheap at the price, in our books, for such a stuffed box. But with 40% off for Black Friday, well, we’d grab hold of Robinson Crusoe as if it were the last coconut on a desert island…
Arkham Horror – 36% off
Embrace the gnarled beauty of Lovecraft in Arkham Horror. A true modern classic, and arguably the best horror board game ever made, it throws you into the twisted, tentacular fantasies of the author, as aliens, Ancient Ones, and the cultists who serve them seek world destruction.
You and up to seven other players will take on the role of investigators sworn to thwart the evildoers’ machinations. Choose between 16 characters, upgrading their skills, spells, items, and equipment as you stalk the streets of Arkham, uncovering a breadcrumb trail of clues. If you can close the strange dimensional gates opening around town, you might just stand a chance at saving humanity.
Arkham Horror works so well for its atmosphere. The game is baked in Lovecraftian imagery and thematic choices, so even if you’ve never read any of his books or aren’t sure how to spell Cthulhu, you’ll pick up the general vibe of things pretty quickly. Plus, its large player count and extended playtime of up to three hours make it a fantastic choice for hunkering down on a game night. At $44.76 (36% off) / £43.20 (18%), you can’t go wrong
Eldritch Horror – 36% off
Are you a fan of Arkham Horror, but craving a bigger challenge? Do the walls of one city in Massachusetts feel too suppressive? Do you want the entire world to hang in the balance for every adventure you embark upon? Then Eldritch Horror is for you.
Foul monsters stalk the globe, hailing complete global destruction. You and up to seven other players will embark upon an investigative monster chase, solving mysteries, gathering clues, and fighting all manner of (usually fish-like) beasties. Games evolve as emergent narratives that will respond to your actions and pose different challenges each time you play.
Eldritch Horror is a game of pressing survival, and effective teamwork is the key to prolonging your time in this world. With twelve adventurers to play, each with unique traits, and hundreds of encounter cards to play through, it’ll keep you occupied for a while. At £38.39 (36% off) / £39.57 (12% off), there’s no better time to nab it than now.
Star Wars: Imperial Assault – 20% off
The best Star Wars board game ever released? Quite possibly. Imperial Assault casts you and up to three others as a daring squadron of Rebel soldiers, infiltrating the inner sanctum of the Empire to cripple it from within and bring peace to the galaxy far, far away. Except it won’t, of course, be easy. The final player will command squadrons of stormtroopers, bounty hunters, and even an AT-ST to destroy your efforts and the hope it represents.
Make no mistake, this is a competitive dungeon-crawler, and a fantastic one at that. You’ll be manoeuvring miniatures around a modular map to reach objectives while blasting anyone who gets in your way. Mixing dice-rolling combat, tactical card play, and a persistent upgrade system, its narrative is enticing, but it’s the fantastically balanced semi-cooperative gameplay that will keep you coming back for more.
Packed with a thick scenario booklet, each match will take upwards of an hour to complete, perfect for family gaming nights. Most importantly, this game is hard to come by, having stopped printing several years ago. New copies are rarely sold for cheap, so $87.99 (20% off) / £72.95 (27% off) is quite the bargain.
These big damn heroes aside, there are so many Black Friday board game deals across the world of tabletop gaming that we’ve rustled up a delicious buffet of extra board game deals for all tastes – so nobody goes hungry this Black Friday: