Boardgames in the News: Where to Buy Modern Boardgames

Occasionally, Euro-games can be found in the high street including charity shops or stores like Waterstones, WHSmiths or even Tesco.  However, for a good selection, it is best to go to a dedicated seller.  There are many online stores, but we also have a few “bricks and mortar” stores in the local area.  In general, shops without a physical shop-front to maintain are often able to maintain lower prices, but the staff at a “bricks and mortar” store can offer advice if you visit in person.  Here are a few suggestions of places to go to and websites to have a look at.

          1. Thirsty Meeples – If you are unfamiliar with modern boardgames and live in the Oxford area, Thirsty Meeples is an excellent place to start.  For a cover charge you can play anything you fancy from their extensive library of games.  Members of their troupe of dedicated “games sommeliers” are there to help you choose what to play and can teach you the rules too, as well as keep you supplied with refreshment during your visit.  They also sell games, so if you really enjoyed it, you can take a copy home afterwards.  Although the shop is small, they have more stock off-site and also take orders online for delivery or collection.  Since Thirsty Meeples has an alternative revenue stream, they are able to sell games at internet prices, though parking in Oxford will add to the cost considerably.
            Thirsty Meeples
            – Image by contributor Mac Amazing
          2. The Gameskeeper – A little store on the Cowley Road, The Gameskeeper is Oxford’s oldest games shop.  John and Carol Benney who run it are extremely friendly and love to talk about games of all sorts with beginners and veterans alike.  Although their stock of Euro games is a little more limited, they are always happy to order anything in and specialise in beautiful editions of traditional games.
            The Gameskeeper
            – Image by contributor Kake
          3. Eclectic Games – This Friendly Local Games Store won co-owners Darrell and Becky Ottery Reading “Retailer of the Year” in 2014.  Recently moved to larger premises on Union Street, Eclectic Games host gaming nights during the week and also have have plenty of playing space available for demonstrating games.
            Eclectic Games
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          4. GamesLore – This is another excellent online store, based in Telford and run by Paul Bryant.  Since there is no physical shop-front to maintain, the games are very well priced and the shop is also well stocked with a reliable online inventory.
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          5. BoardGameGuru – Formerly run by Paul Lister organiser of London On Board, this online games store is now run by Angus Abranson and is based in Southampton.
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          6. Amazon – Probably the largest online seller is Amazon, however, as well as the UK outlet, it is often worthwhile considering the US and German sites.  Since Amazon can ship items internationally using their own transport network, it is often considerably cheaper to import games, particularly from Germany.  Eurogames in particular are very popular in Germany and many games are a lot cheaper on than on  Shipping from Germany can be very reasonable, especially for multiple purchases.  With the new automatic translation, buying from Germany couldn’t be easier, however, care should be taken to ensure the game is genuinely a multi-lingual version, or at that the game parts are at least “language independent” as a lot of manufacturers won’t readily replace foreign pieces if it is your mistake.
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