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.

Posted on December 7th, 2012

Well we are turning the corner and nearing the holiday homestretch, which means a busy shop, just the way we like it. Sure, it is a lot of work, but the alternative is an empty shop, and being alone in a store full of games meant to be played by multiple people feels strange. It is so much better to have shoppers and the opportunity to just say “wanna learn a new game?” As busy as its been I may not get the chance to say that much, but I’m still going to try.

Roping folks into a game will be easier though with the arrival of the new game Love Letter. This game is part of publisher AEG’s new Tempest series, which will be a set of games tied together thematically by a cohesive fictional world. Love Letter is one of the first four Tempest games recently released and now on our shelves, the others are Courtier, Dominare, and Mercante. Such sickly names, but they all look very interesting and unique (That’s AEG for you, Almost Excellent Games). Anyway, back to Love Letter, a game with only 16 cards, some wooden cubes, and a groovy felt pouch. Oh was I skeptical, but I always am, and once again I was pleasantly surprised by the nice light mix of luck, deduction, and bluffing. This is a great choice for a quick game before, between, or after some bigger games, or to take to small gatherings with family or friends. Ask us for a demo when you stop by, a single round will only take about 5 minutes, just a quick brain snack.

Other new items include some promo expansions for the game Escape from the Temple Curse, perhaps the most refreshing game released since 7 Wonders. A new scenario has also been released for Settlers of Catan called Frenemies which adds a bit of cooperation to the generally competitive game. And lastly, we have a new version of Resistance called Resistance Avalon, with a King Arthur theme and some new special characters to mix it up a bit.

Oh, and don’t let me forget to mention that we now have Nanoblocks, itsy bitsy little lego blocks, they make great stocking stuffers. Our Metal Marvel models fit well in stockings also, as do a number of fantastic card games like Archaeology, No Thanks, Coloretto, Gloom, and now Love Letter.

Well, thanks for listening everyone, and happy friday!

New on the rental shelf: Pirate Dice, roll your dice to program your ships movements, fire at your opponents, and grab the loot!

Fresh used games: Snow Trails, Elfenland, Arimaa, D-Day Dice, Shadows Over Camelot, Battleground Crossbows and Catapults, Battle Beyond Space, Catacombs, Risk, Dungeon (1989), Masterpiece, Aggravation, Dixit, Fabula.

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.