Posted on January 11th, 2013

Here we go, the first full update of 2013, and lots to report, so let’s jump right in.

First, an update on the games Tzolkin by Rio Grande Games and CO2 by Stronghold Games, two very exciting games that were technically released in 2012 although we never had our greedy hands on copies. It seems that both of these games were sent in small batches to distributors and some online retailers primarily to say the game was out in 2012. Why? To be eligible for 2012 awards. We are hoping that these publishers are also interested in making money off these games in the states, so expect a larger release later this quarter, possibly in a few weeks. We won’t know when the games are coming until the Monday of the week they hit. So, if you want to lock in a copy of either of these at our preorder discount, let us know. We’ve got our numbers in at the distributors, but those may not be enough, so a preorder with us is a great way to guarantee a copy and get a significant price break.

Now for some seriously exciting news, we will be hosting a Lords of Waterdeep tournament on Sunday, February 10 starting at 1pm. More details are coming, but signups are starting now, so stop on by and reserve a seat. We are hoping to make this the first in a series of tournaments this year with some sweet door prizes and very enticing grand prizes.

In other events news, just wanted to restate that we are encouraging LCG players to attend the saturday night game gatherings. We’ve got a few Lord of the Rings, Netrunner, and now Star Wars players looking to play these great games. The more the merrier I say. We are also going to try and grab some of the promo packs Fantasy Flight will be offering soon and use them for special events and possibly even tournaments if we get enough players.

For the start of 2013 we are working on some turnover on the rental shelf. This week we have added a few new games and trimmed off others. I’ve listed the changes at the bottom of the post. In addition to the regular rentals, we are working on a set of “Top Shelf” games, basically bigger games. Look for those soon and send us any titles you would like us to consider.

OK, on to the new games,and there are a ton, so nestle in:

Mage Knight Lost Legion: Mage Knight expansion, enough said. OK, maybe not enough said about the game I’ve waited for all my life. This game is in the top 10 on boardgamegeek for good reason, and it is designer Vlaada Chvatil’s 2nd game in the top 10. Go Vlaada. The only other designer to have 2 games in the top 10 is my other favorite designer, Uwe Rosenburg, with Agricola and Le Havre.

Netrunner Trace Amount Data Pack: The game that is currently ranked just above Mage Knight at BGG is Richard Garfield’s Netrunner Card Game, and later today we will have the second data pack available. For those who like deep and intricate card games, Netrunner is a winner and with two data packs available already it is a good time to jump in if you have not already. Try renting this one if you are not sure.

Myrmes: A deep strategic game about ant colonizing, I’m all in. Something about ant colonies as a theme for a game just sounds awesome, and the fact that this could be a rich experience makes it even better. I spent many hours as a child playing SimAnt on my PC, one of my most memorable surprise Christmas presents. In this game You’ve got all the ant trappings: Queens, larvae, workers, soldiers, pheromone trails, and resource management. Check out that box art too, so good.

Ladies of Troyes: Troyes is a great worker placement style game where your dice determine the actions you can perform. You can also buy your opponents dice to ehlp out or just be a punk, so much more interaction than you normally find in a eurogame. Now we get the chance to inject a little femininity into the game, always a plus.

Ginkopolis: Have not had chance to really look into this game. Sounds like it has a bit of a Kingdom Builder style area control thing going on. Sounds fun and it gets some high ratings, we’ll see how it plays out. Apparently it even has a solo variant. Ginkos are just cool too.

Guildhall: A surprise release by AEG at Essen, this little card game in a big box with a scary pig herder on the front is receiving surprisingly favorable reviews.

Archipelago: We had a few copies of this before Christmas and now have it back. This baby is tickling my big beautiful civ-type game acquisition disorder. Some say it trumps Clash of Cultures, the big Z-Man release that everyone is buying exclusively online. Maybe you’ll have to use all that money you didn’t really save to grab a copy of Archipelago. Oh, and when you bring that sweet online copy to play at your local game store, give a smile to the guy cleaning your bathroom and taking care of your trash, that should be enough. Sorry, my evil alter ego just broke free. Its so much fun but I’ve really got to stop. It just feels like beating up the poor scrawny kid in the schoolyard. Yeah, I was that scrawny kid. OK, new resolution, no more jabs at online shoppers who use game store resources.

Spartacus: This is a game based on the STARZ original series by the same name, so naturally I expected it to blow and did not pick up any copies when it first came out (what the heck is STARZ anyway?). Turns out though that a lot of reviewers are loving this game, a lot. So now we have it in all of its sexy sweaty shirtless guy glory.

Zombicide: Love Zombies? Love cool miniatures? This big baby is for you then.

 

New Rentals: Star Wars LCG, Stone Age, Tobabgo, Ticket to Ride US (finally), and many more to come next week.

Used Games: Nightfall, Candamir the First Settlers of Catan, Save Dr. Lucky, Charon Inc., Diceafari, Pizza Theory, Pentago, Risk + Castle Risk, classic Stratego, classic Battleship.

 

EVENTS

Saturday Strategy Gathering, 6-10pm: Same great game night style, now more palatable for the weekday workers. Check out our guild forum for planned games, to reserve a seat, or recruit for a game of your own.

Friday Afternoon Magic (Friday, 4-6pm): Bring your cards for playing and trading. We want to work our way toward Core level so we can run official prerelease events and tournaments, so bring some friends!

Pokemon League (Saturday, 10am-Noon): Trade and play and earn some free cards and badges. Unfortunately, Pokemon USA has stopped sending promo cards, so we will now charge $3 per day per person to maintain prize support. Fortunately, this will result in everyone getting much better prize cards.

Family Game Gathering (Sunday, Noon-6pm): Sunday is family game day, arrive when you want and test drive some games from our demo library. Do not be shy about asking us to teach you a new one.

 

Posted on January 8th, 2013

Hey everyone, may have noticed that I skipped the last weekly update. Between counting every game left on the shelf after the holidays, then restocking those same shelves, the update completely slipped my mind. You really didn’t miss too much except my ranting though. Anyway, here are a few new product updates you may be interested in:

** A limited number of the Mage Knight Lost Legion expansion will be in the shop this Wednesday, and we will try to get more by the weekend.

** Tzolkin may or may not hit shelves before the next predicted end of the world date. Rio Grande Games released a very limited amount to distribution warehouses on the east coast, and most of those went straight to online retailers. Just another addition to the growing list of kidney punches that publishers are delivering to brick and mortar stores. We are hoping to have some by the end of the month, but that prediction is about as reliable as the Mayan Calendar prediction that the game is based on.

Alrighty, more on Friday . . . .

Posted on December 28th, 2012

Well we are once again in that sweet spot between Christmas and New Years, a time of calm and relaxation for most it seems. We are still working our tails off though, trying to get the shelves somewhat restocked after the busy season. Thanks once again to all of you for choosing us over the many other options available, and we hope you are enjoying your new toys!

I had an experience yesterday morning that reminded me of what we offer that no other game seller in Portland offers. Two young ladies came in just after I opened the doors, along with a few other customers, so a busy morning. They had in their hands an unopened copy of Escape, I assumed they had come to return it. But no, they asked if I wouldn’t mind teaching them how to play their wonderful gift. I happily agreed, and so for about the next 30 minutes I taught them the game in 5 minute intervals between customers and phone calls. They were extremely patient, and ready to go when I hit play on the soundtrack. Two rounds later they thanked me and left with smiles on their faces. Everyone made out grand on this visit, I got to see the joy of young ones experiencing something entirely new and thrilling, they got to go home where I hope they will rope some family members into the game.

Now we do not mark up our prices, we charge MSRP for our hobby game products, and we do the best we can with Hasbro and Mattel products. Those young ladies could have acquired their gift for about 20% off if their family had shopped online. Instead, they received something much greater than saving the cash equivalent of 3 lattes. Thanks to all of you smart enough to shop with us instead of online. If you do the math, online shopping saves you very little, and does very little to support the hobby.

No new games this week surprisingly. Two long awaited titles, Tzolkin and the expansion for Mage Knight, will not hit our shelves for a few more weeks. We did finally receive our copies of the new Star Wars Living Card Game and Legends of Andor, so check those out.

As for the Star Wars Card game, Chris and I cracked his copy open this past Wednesday night, and after two hours had finished a game from scratch. Our opinion: an incredible achievement from Fantasy Flight. I have played about half of their Living Card Games (LCGs) now, and they have all been fantastic, with the Lord of the Rings topping my favorites list. LCGs play a bit like collectible card games, such as Magic and Pokemon. First, you assemble a customized deck of 60 or so cards, then you play the game. With collectible card games though, most of the enjoyment comes from collecting the cards and assembling the decks, once this is done, you deck sort of plays itself and you have very limited choices to make during the game. With Living card games, playing the game outshines the deck-building because Fantasy Flight does not have to worry about the collecting aspect and can invest much more time on game design. The Star Wars LCG is a fine example of this strong design. Your hand of cards does not just play itself, every turn requires challenging choices. Also, Fantasy Flight has made the brilliant decision to simplify the deck-building process, leaving even more time for play. If you have enjoyed previous LCGs, or wanted to try one, this is one of Fantasy Flights best entries.

In honor of the fine LCGs that Fantasy Flight has produced lately, we want to encourage more LCG play in the shop. Starting this Saturday, our Saturday board game nights will also be considered LCG nights. One drawback of the LCGs is the commitment they can require due to intricate rules, the dedication to deck-building, and the regular addition of new cards. Our goal is to provide a stable place and time for LCG players to congregate and continually enjoy their games. See you Saturday, maybe we can convince Chris to stick around with his copy of Star Wars.

Cheers.

EVENTS

Saturday Strategy Gathering, 6-10pm: Same great game night style, now more palatable for the weekday workers. Check out our guild forum for planned games, to reserve a seat, or recruit for a game of your own.

Friday Afternoon Magic (Friday, 4-6pm): Bring your cards for playing and trading. We want to work our way toward Core level so we can run official prerelease events and tournaments, so bring some friends!

Pokemon League (Saturday, 10am-Noon): Trade and play and earn some free cards and badges. Unfortunately, Pokemon USA has stopped sending promo cards, so we will now charge $3 per day per person to maintain prize support. Fortunately, this will result in everyone getting much better prize cards.

Family Game Gathering (Sunday, Noon-6pm): Sunday is family game day, arrive when you want and test drive some games from our demo library. Do not be shy about asking us to teach you a new one.

Posted on December 23rd, 2012

Sunday: 10-7                              Monday:9-2                                                                                 Closed Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Years Day.

Posted on December 21st, 2012

Well it is finally starting to feel like Christmas. and with a bit of white fluffy stuff on the ground it should really look like Christmas. We want to wish all of you a very merry holiday and hope that you get to spend some quality time with friends and family this season.

Oh that’s right, we won’t even make it to Christmas, today is supposed to be the end of the world because the Mayan calendar maker got tired. Well, better live it up, or better yet game it up. In fact, we were supposed to have a very nice strategy game called Tzolkin based on the Mayan calendar in stock by now, but in true board game publisher style this game about the end of the world won’t be available until after the world actually ends.

One of our main distributors must really believe in the end of the world nonsense because they were unable to provide us with a fairly substantial order we placed midweek. Gotta love the big dogs with exclusivity deals who know for certain that they do not have to work hard to maintain your business. Anyway, I’m hoping that one of our smaller distributors can pull through to help us stock the shelves for the weekend, if so they will absolutely see more of our business, don’t want that big dog to get too overweight now do we. Still, our shelves are emptying as fast as they get loaded, so it would be a good idea to get some shopping in early.

Holiday hours: we will be opening at 10am all weekend and staying open until probably 8pm tonight and Sunday. We have a game night planned for saturday night so if folks show up we will be open for business until about 10pm. Monday, Christmas Eve, we are planning a 10am-2pm schedule.

OK, some very exciting new games arrived this week. I had been hoping for that Mage Knight expansion this week, but we won’t see that until after Christmas. Still, the list below is very thrilling indeed.

Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients: A year after the release of one of the hottest games ever comes an expansion loaded with more of everything: more races, more technologies, more goodies on the board. This add-on got 5 thumbs up after a play session Wednesday night, and confirmation that the game won’t be played without the expansion now that they own it.

Descent: Lair of the Wyrm: Another long-awaited expansion to a fantastic game. This expansion adds more heroes and monsters, but also adds more quests that get added to the main campaign in the base set as rumors that the heroes can track down. This is hands-down the best board game dungeon-crawl type game currently on the market, so more is great. We only have a few of these left in stock.

 The Hobbit Card Game: Martin Wallace is on a streak with games based on TV and movie franchises. He follows up his surprisingly good Dr. Who card game with this little trick-taking game based on The Hobbit. We had a chance to play this little gem wednesday night and are again impressed with the Wallace mind. This is a pretty straightforward trick-taking game, but with a semi-cooperative twist. Multiple good characters play against one or two evil characters, and the winner of a trick distributes the trick cards according to his or her character abilities, possibly hurting or healing other characters. So the goal is to defeat good or evil, which does not always equate to winning tricks. A very fun light card game, and a steal at $10.

 Star Wars Card Game: Oh my goodness, this is one sweet looking card game, and it is the real Star Wars, not that nasty bit of lunacy George Lucas spit out recently. From what I have read, Fantasy Flight could have a huge home run with the new game design by simplifying the deck customization process. You see, the Living Card Games are amazing, but they require so much commitment to deck construction outside the game that you may as well start collecting Magic cards again. With the Star Wars Card Game, you won’t have to choose every card in your deck. Instead, you build a set of 10 or more objective cards, and thos objective cards determine the composition of your player deck. Less time building and more time playing sounds like an excellent direction for the Living Card Game series.

 Legends of Andor: And yet another new Fantasy Flight game I’m dying to play. This fascinating cooperative fantasy adventure game has flown a bit under the radar, and it is hard to tell whether it will be a hit or not, but I am always a sucker for dudes with swords on a map with mountains and forests. What Fantasy Flight has done with this game is try to get rid of reading rules before play. Instead, the design tries to copy that of a fantasy adventure video game, where you learn how to play as you play. Trade in your copy of Skyrim for some cash and put it towards this beauty.

 

EVENTS

Saturday Strategy Gathering, 6-10pm: Same great game night style, now more palatable for the weekday workers. Check out our guild forum for planned games, to reserve a seat, or recruit for a game of your own.

Friday Afternoon Magic (Friday, 4-6pm): Bring your cards for playing and trading. We want to work our way toward Core level so we can run official prerelease events and tournaments, so bring some friends!

Pokemon League (Saturday, 10am-Noon): Trade and play and earn some free cards and badges. Unfortunately, Pokemon USA has stopped sending promo cards, so we will now charge $3 per day per person to maintain prize support. Fortunately, this will result in everyone getting much better prize cards.

Family Game Gathering (Sunday, Noon-6pm): Sunday is family game day, arrive when you want and test drive some games from our demo library. Do not be shy about asking us to teach you a new one.

Posted on December 14th, 2012

Happy Holidays everyone. Some of you are already in the thick of celebrating while us gentiles have a week to go before the big day. And though it is getting a bit colder, the weather still just isn’t right for the season. So I’m sacrificing some of our finest games to the weather gods every night to encourage a shift toward freezing temperatures and falling snow. If it doesn’t happen soon there will be little left to sell and I’ll be doubly grinchy.

To help with my sacrifices, we’ve got some exciting new games arriving today, and if you want a crack at them, better get to them before my torch does. But first I wanted to mention a few deals we’ve got going right now: Netruner base sets, all Quarriors items, and copies of Alcatraz: the Scapegoat are all 20% off, so help us make some space for next week’s stock-up. Cheers, and here are the new games:

Last Will: I know, I know, this was new a while ago, but I had to mention how much fun we’ve been having with this medium weight european strategy game about losing all your money. We are going to try and get it ready for the rental shelf soon, and we’ll have it back in stock today. Definitely worth a try for the euro fans.

Netrunner: What Lies Ahead: This is one of the long-awaited releases for the week, the first data pack expansion for the great 2-player card game, Netrunner.

Space Cadets: This is the second release from the Engelstein father and son duo, a somewhat famous pair in the podcasting world. They consider themselves experts on great game design, so Space Cadets should be amazing. Sadly, their first attempt at a game was a 2-4 player game that could only be learned as a 2 player game, a very strange design choice. Space Cadets holds far more promise as a cooperative game involving a mix of minigames throughout the spacecraft. Assuming there are not a zillion parts to this game, we will try and get one on the rental shelf for some test flights.

 

 Clash of Cultures: I am a big fan of Merchants & Marauders, so I have been looking forward to the designer’s next game, Clash of Cultures. This is a big civilization building game with exploration, research, warfare, and financial management. Its a massive endeavor for those up to the task of wielding some serious ruling power.

Ticket to Ride: Heart of Africa Map Pack: The next in the map pack series for Ticket to Ride. You will need a US or European base set to be able to play this.

EVENTS

Saturday Strategy Gathering, 6-10pm: Same great game night style, now more palatable for the weekday workers. Check out our guild forum for planned games, to reserve a seat, or recruit for a game of your own.

Friday Afternoon Magic (Friday, 4-6pm): Bring your cards for playing and trading. We want to work our way toward Core level so we can run official prerelease events and tournaments, so bring some friends!

Pokemon League (Saturday, 10am-Noon): Trade and play and earn some free cards and badges. Unfortunately, Pokemon USA has stopped sending promo cards, so we will now charge $3 per day per person to maintain prize support. Fortunately, this will result in everyone getting much better prize cards.

Family Game Gathering (Sunday, Noon-6pm): Sunday is family game day, arrive when you want and test drive some games from our demo library. Do not be shy about asking us to teach you a new one.