The best board gaming cafes and events in Cardiff

Students of Cardiff, the search is over! “Tell us where to find good board games in our local city,” you cried. “Fill our schedules with fun and food so that we never have to do any work!”

You asked, and we delivered – the only cure to your boredom is a healthy dose of board games.

As it happens, we know the best places to be, (almost) every day of the week! You can play board games, hang out with friends, meet new people, eat the best food Cardiff has to offer, and become the social butterfly you always dreamed of being. Result!

This blog post was co-written with Rules of Play, Cardiff’s premier board game emporium and my friendly local gaming store. As well as keeping me hooked on the hobby with their impressive range of games, they also host a number of gaming events throughout the city.

NOTE: This article needs to be updated – some of the events on here are no longer running.

Monday: Urban Tap House

5-10pm, £5 entry

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If you want to start your week with a dedicated evening of board games, craft beer, and some of the best-tasting burgers in Cardiff, head to Urban Tap House on Mondays between 5-10pm!

Rules of Play have been running their weekly Cardiff #BoardGameBar there since October 2014, and it’s an amazing student hang-out place for board games in Cardiff, with art-and-graffiti-covered walls and more fairy lights than you could imagine.

They’ve celebrated Christmas there (twice!) with hundreds of guests, and drank more pints than they’d care to admit to… Did I mention the burgers are made by the gods themselves? Those games ain’t too bad either.

Find out more

Tuesday: Glyndwr Hall, Penarth

7-10:30pm, £15 annual membership (first three sessions free)

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Photo by Ross Broadstock. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Looking for something a little more hardcore? The Penarth & District Wargaming Society just might be for you.

This long-running group has been dedicated to tabletop miniature wargaming since 1978 and is still going strong. They cover everything from the Roman invasion of Britain all the way up to World War II.

If recreating epic battles from the American Civil War or World War I is your thing, then the PDWS is the place for you. They also cater for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K players, so don’t fret if you’re more of a fantasy or sci-fi fan. Pay them a visit during their weekday sessions, have a chat and get stuck in!

Find out more

Wednesday: Tramshed

7-10pm, free

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Found yourself on the other side of Cardiff on a Wednesday night? Swing by one of Rules of Play’s newest partner venues, Tramshed! You’ll find them playing games in The Waiting Room, where you can drop by for a drink, a bowl of chips, and a game with friends.

The venue is a diamond just across the River Taff, hosting regular comedy nights, music gigs, food festivals, and the odd ‘crystal ball and psychic’ sesh for good measure. Great for students looking for a chilled out vibe in Cardiff, who wouldn’t say no to a game while they’re chatting.

Find out more

Wednesday: Ernest Willows Wetherspoons

8-11pm, free

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Can’t make it all the way to Tramshed? Not to worry.

You’ll find the Cardiff Boardgaming, Roleplaying and Wargaming League (or Cardiff BRAWL if you like to save time) at the Ernest Willows with a host of board games in tow.

If you’re new to the hobby and thinking of testing the water, Cardiff BRAWL’s friendly members will be on-hand to bring you over to the Dark Side (likely with cookies).

Cardiff BRAWL is the student union’s gaming society, so you’ll likely see them around campus from time to time. They also host all-day gaming sessions each month at the SU – so you’ll both beer and board games on your doorstep!

More info

Wednesday: Y Mochyn Du

7pm, free

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Feeling a little more ‘Cardiff geek creative’? Got an idea for the next big board game? Every Wednesday, join in with group of testers, designers, and game enthusiasts at Y Mochyn Du, to playtest games and share your passion over drinks!

Get or give feedback, chat about the hobby, and – most importantly – play some games. It doesn’t matter whether you’re old or new; they welcome all types of gamers and play-testers.

Find out more

Friday: Rules of Play FNM

7pm, standard £5 (incl. booster) / draft £12

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Are you a student who plays Magic the Gathering and needs somewhere new to join the MtG action in Cardiff? …Then you came to the right place!

Every week, RoP plays Standard Constructed and also hold a Limited Draft, upstairs in Rules of Play. They hold a gazillion Magic events a year, and have a great community spirit with our players, both seasoned and newbies. Come to the dark side! Muahaha!

Find out more

Sunday: Chapter Arts Centre

3pm, free

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Why end the week on a lazy note when you can end it with even more board games? Shrug off that two-day hangover and mingle with some fellow geeks over coffee and cake!

The Sunday Board Games Cardiff group meet up at around midday (there’s no set time – they’re that chill) and focus on social and cooperative games.

When it comes to creative spaces, Chapter Arts Centre in Canton is second-to-none. It’s always buzzing with creative and geeky events – from pop-up theatre performances to Japanese animation festivals. Even if you’re there just for the games, you’ll want to come back again and again.

More info

Thanks again to Rules of Play for collaborating on this post. If you swing by one of their events, tell them I said hi.

Did we miss anything off this list? Is there a gaming event that we didn’t cover? Let me know in the comments!

About Jamie 33 Articles
An 80s kid trapped in the body of a 90s kid, Jamie is fond of hyperbole and tends to get excited about things. Whovian, Ravenclaw, and proud Welsh geek.