Posted on April 19th, 2013

We’ve edged into the second quarter with lots of very good games from the first quarter. Here’s a quick recap of some of our favorite favorite recent plays: Archipelago, Co2, Keyflower, Tzolkin, Myrmes, Arctic Scavengers, Batman Gotham City, and Fantastiqa. The entire second quarter will be a great time to try some of these out since new releases turtle until the US convention season in third quarter. Check the rental shelf for some of these, with more to come soon.

One piece of big news for the 3 loyal fans reading this, our Strategy Game Gatherings on Wednesday and Saturday nights will no longer be entirely free of charge. We hate to do it, but both of our weekly game nights have reached capacity (with a great group of gamers mind you), and we need to cover our increased costs. Full details will be released at our game nights and on our web page this week, so stay tuned. Formal complaints can be filed with the management, in person, just step into our office (though you may want to make a perception check first. CLICK!).

Before I mention the single new release we received this week, I want to remind everyone to get on down to the Cloud on May 5 for our Jaipur tournament. This great little card game is easy to learn and lots of fun, so if you have not played it yet stop on by for a lesson.

Race to Adventure: This is pulp action adventure in a small package, picture the classic Indiana Jones theme but with talking apes. You want to be the first to race around the globe while visiting exotic locations to complete missions find danger. The rich theme, easy rules and shorter playtime make this a great casual and family game.

Cheers everyone and stay dry this weekend!

Posted on April 12th, 2013

Hello Gamers, welcome to the final countdown before the taxman rings the bell! We’ve got just a few new games this week, but I want to first announce that we have set a date for our next shop tournament, get ready to throw down some camels and goods in Jaipur on Sunday, May 5, starting at 1pm! Many have tried this great 2-player card game, and now will be your chance to prove your merchanty worth. For once I have no desire to enter our competition because I NEVER WIN JAIPUR! I’m having a series of tests run to figure out why, but the results won’t be back for some time. And no, I don’t want to hear your professional opinions, it was hard enough to share this painful personal fact with you, but I’m told its the first step toward healing.

New Arrivals

This week we received only a few brand new ones. First, the expansions. 7 Wonders has a new Wonders Pack, with 4 new Wonder boards, including a revised Mannekin Pis board that should be more useful for those not at a pub. As I write this, we are out of stock, but more should arrive next week; if you want one, let us know so we can lock it in. Finally back in print are add-ons for the game Survive: Escape from Atlantis, a fun aggressive survival game. We now have copies of the 5-6 player expansion, the Giant Squid expansion, and the Dolphins and DiveDice expansion.

City of Remnants: Plaid Hat Productions has snuck out a new one, I remember reading about this some time ago but was completely surprised to see it show up this week. Each player controls a gang of aggressive criminals fighting for territory within an alien infested city. This game has a whole mix of mechanics, including dice and card combat, an interesting take on deckbuilding, area control with building construction, bidding, and resource management. This is a tactical and combative game with a refreshing mix of existing game mechanics. It makes me want to take a break from the stuffy eurogames and call up my old high school buddies for a good old fashioned dudes-on-a-map good time.

String Railway: Railroads are an incredibly popular theme for games, there is something universally satisfying about watching your rail empire grow. With String Railway, your empire will end up looking like the remnants of a cat party because you will literally be using pieces of string as your rail lines. Sounds like a crazy elementary school project, but it also makes perfect sense. Look for it in the sewing aisle.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Posted on April 5th, 2013

First off, we want to thank everyone who joined us last weekend for the International Tabletop Day. We could not have asked for better weather, and we were blessed with a great group of players, helpers, and of course games. Call us sappy and proud, but it does warm our hearts to see the positive energy that develops within our space when so many jolly gamers gather. The day stands as a testament to the health and healthiness of the hobby.

On to the new games, including an expansion for Smash Up called Level 9000, (update, once again these did not ship, hopefully they make it into boxes next week!) and an expansion for Neuroshima Hex called The Convoy. Speaking of Neuroshima Hex, we’ve added a copy of the 2-player game to the rental shelf for those interested in giving this little skirmish game a try.

Deck-building has become a bit of a dirty word lately thanks to the overwhelming number of crummy Dominion clones. But 2 new deck-builders are out this week that aren’t just simply trying to ride the Dominion wave with plastic surfboards. The first is called Fantastiqa which is an innovative mash-up of a deck-builder and a board game, as well as a mash-up of many strange genres and art. From what I’ve read, the theme has thrown many off, but the mechanics appear fresh and solid. As is typical with Gryphon Games productions, the unnecessarily high price point on this baby means it won’t have the exposure nor the longevity that it might deserve, so we are going to try and get a rental copy up and running by next week.

The other new deck-builder is one that some have been anticipating for many years now, Arctic Scavengers. This is a Rio Grande production of the game that was originally released in limited quantities back in 2009 by the designer’s own company. In the game, you control a band of people who have survived a massive climate shift and are now living in a new ice age. In true apocalyptic fiction style, its every band for itself, and you’ll have the opportunity to directly assault other players. For those who snub Dominion because of its lack of player interaction, here is your chance to give deck-building another try.

Finally we have Cinque Terre, another Rio Grande production by designer Chris Handy, the man behind one of our favorites, Long Shot. Cinque Terre is pure euro, with a theme that is about as exciting as, well, most other euro games. Instead of retiring in the beautiful coastal Italian region, you’ll get to work your tail off as a produce salesperson, hustling from one beautiful town to another hoping all those wealthy second homeowners will buy your wares.

In addition to all the new arrivals, we’ve thrown a few new ones on the rental shelf, which means some good games got moved to the used shelf. Here they are:

Fresh Used Games: Wits and Wagers Family, Myrmes, Atlantis Rising, Game of Thrones 2-Player HBO Card Game
New Rentals: Keyflower, Lord of the Rings Dice Game, Neuroshima Hex: The Duel, Batman Gotham City

Cheers.

Posted on March 29th, 2013

Holy Sunshine, looks like a fine Easter weekend ahead of us folks. In between those Saturday tanning sessions you may want to head by the shop for some serious casual gaming. This Saturday is International Tabletop Day, and we’ll be celebrating tabletop games all day long. Flags have their own special day, so why can’t games?

In addition to just casual play throughout the day, we’ll be holding hourly mini-tournaments for a chance to earn some swag. If you bump into Eric Keyser at all on Saturday you should give him a massive hug for the hard work he’s put in grabbing some even better swag. In between tournaments and playing at the tables, you may also want to check out some of the items we’ll have on sale!

In the evening, guess what, we’ll be playing more games, but this time with pizza in our hands, so bring a few bucks to pitch in for some pies. A huge shout out to Bridge City Pizza for helping us out with this, and again to Eric for setting up this connection.

As for new games this week, well, we should have the expansion for Smash Up in the shop, but I’ve been sick all week so my ordering was far less than stellar. My bad, Smash Up is a fun game and does not deserve this kind of neglect. If you need something new though, the first quarter of 2013 has given us some stellar stuff that deserves your attention. Here’s a short list of some of the 1st quarter games seeing play in the shop: CO2, Tzolkin, Keyflower, Tammany Hall, Myrmes, Copycat, Archipelago, Suburbia, Ginkgopolis, Police Precinct, Batman Gotham City, Zpocaplypse, Ground Floor, and Tokaido.

Now go forth and game, and we’ll see you Saturday.

Posted on March 22nd, 2013

Alright everyone, the dark pensive months are behind us and the exuberant ones are just ahead. Time to start thinking about those tan lines, though I think I’ll be worrying more about my fly line. Its also time to start prepping for gaming on our back deck. We’re working on getting things ready back there, we hope to have a new table or two soon.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, the northwest’s largest game convention, Gamestorm, is happening now through Sunday. I poo-poo’d the event this year thinking that I already had plenty of games to play with plenty of people. We went last night though and now I’m strategizing my moves for returning as often as possible this weekend.

Gamestorm, unlike other conventions, is entirely about game playing, and the energy of hundreds of passionate gamers is very contagious. For an entire weekend we gamers get to be the dorks we truly are, but unlike the comic cons and such, the costumes stay at home and the focus remains on the games and the players. Unabashed gamer geekiness, and surprisingly funk free. We ended up playing a game of Keyflower that took far longer than it should have, mainly because we were socializing quite a bit during the game. I highly recommend checking it out.

And now, the new games. For starters, the new data pack, a Study in Static, is now available for the incredibly hot Netrunner card game. Budget well because we’ve got some good ones this week.

Keyflower: The Key series garners a ton of respect from gamers. Keyflower is the latest in the series by Richard Breese. The game is essentially a worker placement game, but with the added bonus that you can bid to acquire the action spaces. Those action spaces are also hexagonal tiles that, once acquired, you’ll be placing in your own little plot of land, trying to maximize your spatial advantages. The choices in this game can feel a bit overwhelming at times, but the game is not all that complicated and the choices offer that puzzly type of fun that most worker placement games do.

Zpocalypse: Zombie games typically involve lots of cool plastic but no real game mechanics. Zpocalypse goes the other route. Sure, its got some minis, but they’re nothing to rave about. What it does offer is a refreshing change from the mindless assault of mindless zombies. In Zpocalypse you get a bit of resource management as you collect food, bullets, and salvage that you can spend to build fortifications or trade to your competitors. All-in-all, this game is far more tactical than other zombie games without sacrificing the story elements.

Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game: Remember Quarriors, the darling of the 2011 GenCon that turned out to be truly a random dicefest? Still fun, but not what a lot of gamers had hoped for. Well, now you can get your Quarriors with a Lord of the Rings skin. At least you won’t have to add Qua to the beginning of every darn word now.

Batman Gotham City: From the designer of the fantastic card game, Libertalia, comes this very interesting take on an area control game. In this one, you’ll play as one of the villians from the comic books, but you’ll get the chance to send Batman after your opponents as you battle for control of Gotham.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Posted on March 15th, 2013

Short and sweet today folks, running way behind. I want to quickly mention the Tabletop Game Day again, we’ll be running hourly short games with prizes and having a pizza party in the evening. Should be a blast and we have some awesome customers who have agreed to help out with the event, all for the love of games.

As for new arrivals, back in stock is the great little card game Love Letter, one of the huge hits from the big game convention in Essen, Germany. Love Letter is perhaps the best bit of fun you’ll have with just 16 cards. Also back in stock are the first two Netrunner Data Packs, and the Study in Static pack should be here next Thursday. The first expansion pack for the Star Wars Living Card Game, the Desolation of Hoth, also arrived today, should be a fun trip to the snow planet.

Both Keyflower and Zpocaplyse should have been here today, but due to some late shipping to the distributor no one on the west coast will have these babies until next week, so more on those great looking games when they arrive. Game Salute publishes both of these fine games, and despite the shipping issue, we love Game Salute because they absolutely won’t provide their games to online retailers who deep discount, which hurts the publisher’s  bottom line and discourages game shops from carrying the games.

Now I know I said I wouldn’t rant anymore about online shoppers, but what follows is not so much a rant as it is an explanation. On the boardgamegeek forums, Game Salute has been getting a lot of flak for their decision to restrict sales to brick and mortar stores, mainly by people who just hate paying full price for games, but also by some who either do not have local stores or do not like their local stores. In fact most bgg users refuse to support their local stores because most of them are musky Magic the Gathering dens. What Game Salute wants to do is change this and help stores like us profit off board games and thereby create incentives for stores to support board game players.

Magic players support their local stores by purchasing products from them and happily paying fees to play, board gamers tend to use a store’s play space for free then buy their games online. This is why most game stores offer more support for their Magic players than their board gamers, and why most game stores are not board gamer friendly. We set out to be different, and the Game Salute model helps. If their model were more prevalent, board gamers would find a lot more stores meeting their needs.

Now, go forth and game!