There are many different places that you can buy boardgames both in local gaming shops and online. We obviously want to support our local shops and it’s not uncommon for them to have unusual, back-catalogue and kickstarter games that you might not be able to source easily online. Also it’s not uncommon to find special offers in these stores that beat online prices. BUT it’s also true that they have overheads to meet and other costs that online/bulk-purchase vendors don’t. So as with any shopping, getting familiar with prices and the reliability of vendors is important no matter where you end up buying from.
On this page I will list some local gaming shops and then some online ones. It’s not intended to be comprehensive, but should get you started. If anyone has any extras to add let us know and we can add them to the page.
Just before the list I cannot underestimate how useful BoardGameGeek (BGG) is for exploring and getting a good feel for games AND the many video reviews and how-to-play tutorials online. In BGG you should look out for the mean rating, type of game and complexity ratings. It also has text and video reviews from the community and downloadable files for things like games rules which can be very helpful. If there are particular types of game mechanic or theme you like you can search on these and many other criteria too.
Local Gaming Shops
Black Lion Games (Newington) – An Edinburgh institution, great collection of games and a lot of experience. If you want some advice about game choices a very good place to go.
Games Hub (Tollcross) – Cafe, Shop, Games Library to play, rooms for hire, burgeoning regular tournaments/leagues and a very friendly proprietor. I’ve been here with the kids and its been lovely.
Red Dice Games (Leith) – I haven’t been here myself, but have heard many good things.
Geek Retreat (Newington) – Newly opened UK-wide franchise, bright and friendly with plenty of space, cafe and shop. Specialising in D&D and card games including MtG, but with boardgames too.
Murphy’s Vault (Viewforth) – Very much MtG oriented, but does also have other products like D&D, collectible card games, Warhammer and some board games too.
A good thing to do is head over to https://boardgameprices.co.uk and search for games there. It is a meta-search engine that crawls the main UK boardgame retailers prices and finds the best deals. It is excellent, but it is not infallible so make sure you follow the links to check the price and deal is still correct. The market does actually move pretty quickly and its also possible to set up custom searches and alerts to keep track of prices of games on your wishlist(s).
Particularly for mass-market/high volume games can be cheaper though often not the cheapest on the market. Several online retailers sell as 3rd party sellers through Amazon also and their price on there can be different (sometimes higher) than direct from their own online stores. Cautionary note that I have had counterfeit games on orders through Amazon before and although I had no trouble getting replacements the high-throughput nature of their business and marketplace potentially makes it easier for counterfeiters to distribute their wares.
I always check here. They are especially good at LCGs and Magic the Gathering in particular, but stock a very wide range of games and have a loyalty scheme that can get you discounts from purchases. I’ve always found their service and quality to be very good.
Zatu Games https://www.board-game.co.uk
Another big player, with a wide selection. I’ve found them to be generally good and they can have good deals so worth keeping an eye on. Certainly fine for ordering, but I’ve had a few minor problems with them in recent years so wouldn’t have them up there as one of my personal favourites.
and one left-field one…
Meeples Corner http://meeplescorner.co.uk
For some reason I really like this place. It sends out a nice newsletter and I really like their simple, cleanly designed website. I’ve had some very good prices from here and the service is very good too.