Punchcards, and the Spiel Nominees

If you don’t attend our strategy game nights, you have missed a fair bit of drama this past month as we announced our plans to begin charging gamers for our Wednesday and Saturday night gatherings. For over 2 years now we have offered some of the best board game gatherings in town for free. Twice every week we convert the entire retail space into dedicated board gaming space until midnight. A wonderful community of gamers has developed, and the attendance has exploded this year, with many nights reaching standing room only levels. This, in large part, is why we have had to reevaluate the system and figure out a way to maintain the game nights from a business perspective. We never intended to charge for playing, but we also never expected the events to reach such heights.

So this weekend, the change will officially happen, and game night attendance (as well as some other uses of our play space) will require the purchase of a Punch Card. If you want the full scoop on how it works, click here, but essentially the game nights will cost anywhere from 50 cents to $3 per night. As expected, the price of a latte is too much to pay for many, and we have already seen a significant drop in game night attendance. For those we’ve lost, we do hope you’ll come back, because, the thing is, we know we are worth it.

There, I said it, and I’ll say it again because I can’t keep it in, our game nights are awesome and we know it. But we’re not solely responsible, we have all of our supporters to thank as well. Some of those supporters received a serious trash talking at the table Wednesday night, cuz that’s how we roll, and we have a blast.

Alright, on to the Spiel des Jahres (German for Game of the Year) nominations, which were announced last week. This is a rather prestigious award, since the winner will go on to sell far more copies of their more game than they ever expected. Here’s a list of the nominees, I’ll ignore the children’s game of the year category because we will never see those games in the states, and even if we do, they will be too expensive and advanced for the United States of KinderDigitalia:

Spiel des Jahres

1. Augustus by Paolo Mori (of Libertalia fame)
2. Hanabi by Antoine Bauza (of Seven Wonders fame)
3. Qwixx by Stefen Benndorf (not all that famous)

Kennerspiel des Jahres (basically, hobby game of the year)

1. Bruges by Stefan Feld (the new Reinier Knizia)
2. Legends of Andor by Michael Menzel (best known for his art in other games)
3. The Palaces of Carrara by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling (designers of many good games)

Now I would love to comment on these games, but NONE OF THESE GAMES ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN THE US!!!!! OK, Legends of Andor was available, and I rather enjoyed the game. But seriously, when Rio Grande, Z-Man games, and other US publishers are choosing games to bring to the states, how can they miss nearly every game that ends up getting nominated for the best of the year? Instead we get overpriced crap like Cinque Terre and Ginkgopolis. I don’t want to be so harsh, but it really is just mystifying and frustrating as both a gamer and as a retailer. Luckily, all of these games are eventually going to make it to the states. But for crying out loud, if it weren’t for these awards, we gringos would never see some of the best games ever made, instead we’d be stuck with boatloads of plastic zombies, Arkham Horror expansions, and mediocre Kickstarter titles.

By the way, we are taking preorders for the Spiel nominees.

Cheers for now folks,

Posted: May 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm
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  1. Andy
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    This post was extra fun to read. See you Saturday.

  2. Eric
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Awww, I like Ginkopolis! 🙂

  3. Posted June 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Yah, sorta figured someone would get upset with those comments. Ginkopolis is not a bad game, the term ‘crap’ was used in a relative sense, not an absolute sense. For the price, there are far better games, in my humble opinion, and Ginkopolis would not have been on the top of my list were I a publisher choosing euro games to bring to the states. But please continue enjoying Ginkopolis and ignore me, I’m just a guy with a filthy mouth sometimes.

  4. Eric
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Ha ha, you’re fine, I just won’t bring it to game night next time! 🙂 I agree with you though, I don’t understand the priorities of the big North American game companies. There’s probably an opportunity there for someone to exploit…