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.
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.