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Our Story

'There once were three friends and a dream.
A shop selling games was their scheme!
So they opened a store, for us all to explore...
Say hello – they're the 'Rules of Play' team!'

Rules of Play's first shop in Cardiff, 2010


In May 2010, Michelle, Ian and Steve, a group of university friends, hear that Cardiff's most prominent tabletop store is closing down. They realise the city needs one, and set about making that happen.

Rules of Play in 2010


They open their board game shop at 28 Castle Arcade, Cardiff. At first, there's much fewer board games on the shelves, but month by month, the empty space dwindles as more games are added and the growing list of customers expands.

The Guardian features the shop in an article in 2011, on the growing resurgence of board games (which still hasn't stopped!).

Rules of Play featured in The Guardian newspaper


In 2012, a space just across the arcade corridor becomes available. Rules of Play snaps it up, and will continue to keep it until present day. Nestled within one of Cardiff's famous arcade quarters, with an upstairs floor for game tournaments and group events, lies our shop.

Rules of Play board game shop in Cardiff - store front


We host our first proper International TableTop Day upstairs above the store. In October 2014, we open Cardiff's first Board Game Bar, upstairs in Tiny Rebel (formerly known as Urban Tap House). 

Rules of Play board game shop in Cardiff - games evening every week


We host our second International TableTop Day. This time, it's an all-dayer that takes place in Chapter and The Gate. We have over 200 people join us, from families to students!

TableTop Day with Rules of Play, Cardiff


We host our third International TableTop Day! This one's a biggie; 12 full hours of gaming at The Angel Hotel, with publishers, game designers, special guests and more. We take up several side rooms, the mezzanine balcony, and the entire function room with over 400 guests. It's the biggest tabletop event Cardiff has ever seen, and some of the most fun we've ever had!

International TableTop Day 2016 in Cardiff

We also add another board game evening to your weekly Cardiff calendar; you'll now find us at The Waiting Room in Tramshed most Wednesday nights, where you can chill out with games and friends in a relaxed atmosphere.

Tramshed games evening on Wednesdays in Cardiff


Right at the end of the year, we open our Bristol store! We want to offer our range of products to more people, and find a fantastic location in St Nick's Market for everyone there to peruse our game collection.


With International TableTop Day moving to June, we decide to transform our late April event into our very own #RulesCon extending across the whole weekend!

Now, in present day, we aim to be YOUR go-to board game shop in Cardiff, Bristol and online.

We believe games are for everyone, from the newest novice to the oldest expert, and we're on hand to advise you honestly and help you out whenever you need it. Our whole team of staff have a passion and wealth of knowledge that covers pretty much the whole spectrum of board gaming.

We run regular, fun, organised game events that range from tournaments to drop-in days and we'll take the time to demo games for you in the shop. 

We provide a friendly and welcoming atmosphere so that you can come in feeling comfortable and leave feeling happy! Come in and say hi in either of the shops, or contact us – we'll always have something fun to show you!

Contact Us

Rules of Play board game shop in Cardiff - inside store