Monday, December 04, 2006

Turn hard earned cash into pieces of cardboard, wood and plastic. . .

A few of the things that my currency has rencently turned into:

I haven't done a what I've bought in a long time so here ya anyone really cares!

Hex Hex Next-Great game, adds in or stands alone but for me it just adds in. Great new cards

Ticket to Ride Marklin-Move those passengers along.

Ticket to Ride 1910 Expansion-BIG cards for the USA map with new destinations.

Puerto Rico-Finally got a copy of my favorite euro game.

Settlers of Catan-Picked up this classic too.

Settlers of Catan Event Cards-I'm gonna use them as event cards but also gonna keep rolling the die...cause it's suppose to be that way! Should shake things up quite a bit.

Iliad-Neat little card game with lots of nuances.

Aton-2 Player, very nice looks to be a lot to this game too.

Catagena-Get your pirates outta prison first...then SCREW everyone else!

Mission Red Planet-Ahhhh another Bruno game. I love it.

Nexus Ops-Bugs...war...alrighty.

Vegas Showdown-This game gets better with ever play. EXCELLENT!

Oasis-Love the card mechanic, very unique, fun game!

Carcassonne The City-A Carc. Variant and the wall look like they might be fun.

Metro-Not really crazy about this game but it was cheap.

Memoir '44 Pacific Theater-Another Mem. expansion, this one is superb, almost as good as the Eastern Front. Cant' wait for the carry case and expansion with it.

Aquarius-Crazy short game by Looney Labs, makers of Fluxx and Chrononauts.

Junta-Politics, Bribes, Backstabbing and we need anything else?

Relationship Tightrope-Good game, lame theme.

Rocketville-Not as bad as the gaming eliteiest at BGG say it is. Light and fun.

Grand Tribunal-Not played yet but interesting.

Recess-Same as above with a cute theming.

Succession: Intrigue in the Royal Court-Back stabbing galore.

Battleground: Fantasy Warfare-Card based mini fantasy war gaming. Neat.

Lifeboats-Pretty disappointing actually, way too long.

Return of the Heros-Dungeon crawl type of game.

Under the Shadow of the Dragon-Expansion for above.

Barbarossa-Almost exactly like cluzzle but came years ago. Hmmmmm.

Catan the Card game-Looks really neat actually.

Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers-War game based on the book.

Nero-We'll have to see if it's as bad as the BGGer's say it is. I doubt it.

Some of my recent learnings include:

Die Macher-Finally played this amazing game. WOW

War on Terror-This IS fun.

Mykerinos-A friend calls this Louis Light (as in Louis XIV) but I don't really agree. Very different game with one similar mechanic.

Cluzzle-EXCELLENT party game. LOVE it.

Seismic-Alright tile laying game. Could have been better kind of boring looking green tiles with no texturing at all.

Assault on Stalingrad-Very fun little deathmatch mini's game. Kill, pick up power ups, die & drop a stim pack, respawn. Fun fun fun.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I Just Want To Pillage, Rape and Plunder. . .Is That Too Much To Ask?

Funny thing about humans…we tend to forget the atrocities that happen in life. The longer the time span the more flippant we are about it too. Certainly in our time certain events still ring true with a vibe of revulsion such as the holocaust, Ted Bundy and those sorts of things. However as time has separated us we tend to look back on a guy like Jack the Ripper and it’s not so much revulsion of his acts like it was back then but more curiosity. Going back further to the “Golden Age of Piracy” around the 1600’s and now we are idolizing these villains. We now dress our children up as them and see them as heros whereas the fearless armed forces who were out on the high seas trying to bring these criminals to justice are portrayed as the “bad guys.” How wrong is that?

Truth is I don’t care how wrong it is, I’m on board with it! I too like so many others, like pirates. So why then can’t I get a decent pirate game!?!?!? The right combination of a game that is not overly light yet not drowning in rules and fiddly mechanics. Quality components that look and feel piratey and actions that do the same. This elusive game has been haunting my desires for quite some time now…but no game company out there seems to want to bring this to me. WHY!?

In my opinion the one game that comes the closest to fulfilling this is Pirate’s Cove by Days of Wonder. I get that piratey feel I want and it’s a fun game. Clocks in at just over an hour and is easy to teach to anyone, gamer or not! As with any DoW product it looks amazing and the game play is quick and fun. Still doesn’t clock in as being a deep enough game to fit my ever empty list of “Good Pirates Games.”

Plunder (by a company called Laughing Pan Productions) is an option but here’s a game that could use a really good re-tooling. It’s just clunky enough in game play to make it not so much fun as irritating. Then comes the components. OK Great idea to have the box the same of a little treasure chest, but I can’t help wondering….if they hadn’t paid extra for that in the manufacturing process could they have then been able to afford a larger “Regular” shaped box and a mounted board? Hmmmmmm.

Swords & Skulls. Avalon Hill has a tendency to good games. Then they have a tendency to do bad games. This one isn’t so much bad as it is just dull. Great looking game but we expect no less from AH right, so no brownie points there. Theme is worked in alright and you can go “Garrrrrr, I think I’ll be moving my pawn further on down the track.” So see, neat idea but the track system kind of dumbs down the game….something that seems more common with AH games now that Wizards of the Coast bought them. (althought apparently recently dumped them again! Go figure you buy a franchise, change the style of the games it makes and it’s fan base disappears on you…fucking idiots!)

Front Porch Classics created what has to be the coolest looking pirate game ever in Dread Pirate. WOW if you get the expensive $80 version you get this awesome wooden chest, a cloth map, great pewter paws, super cool wooden dice that are aged, real heavy pieces of eight for money and well done cards too. WHEW! What did they leave out? Easy….a game. This game SUCKS! Roll dice move, roll dice whoever is higher won the fight, roll dice move….FUCK that’s not a game that’s stupidity. The components give a pirate feel but if they’d been shaped like puppy dogs and instead of attacks the towns were kids at a park it could be about getting more “pats on the head” then your opponents.

7th Seas is based on the Role Play Game by the same name and produced by Alderac Entertainment Group. Alright here we go. This is a pretty good pirate game. Cards are beautiful, theme fits so perfectly, game play is in depth but hell it’s a CCG so you know it’s not overly so. The problem is…well first it failed and is now out of print. (Go to eBay and buy someone’s entire lot of 800+ card for like $12.00…they spend $300 on it but fuck them.) Next problem is simply…it’s a CCG. It does have some neat little mechanics of it’s own but over all it plays just like all the other CCG’s and I’ve seen matches go for longer than an hour and a half which is entirely too long for a CCG. Very close but still strikes out in the long term playability factor.

Pirates of the Spanish Main ( and all the various expansions) by Wizkids is pretty cool. Neat looking little boats that when not being used to play this game can be used in a ton of other games as ships. Game plays is fair but being as they really wanted to target a younger audience there’s just not enough there to want to play this time and time again. A collectible game that has released 5 or 6 expansions so far, so the $40 I spent on boats on the initial run AND the first expansion is wasted as all the new boats kick mine’s ass…just like Magic you gotta keep investing if you want to play, which is bull

Loot by Gamewright. Oh come on, did I really bring this one up? Five bucks at your local Wal-Mart in a tuck box ($10 at online distributors if you want a nice fancy lidded box.) Another game designed by Reiner Knizia and it’s another game where you do simple math all game long and any theme could pasted onto this game. SIGH….no thanks.

Skallywags is a cute game by Bent Castle Workshop where you “build” a crew by giving them a Head/Body/Feet using different cards so you can come up with different combinations. Fundementally a matching game because you want to get similar part “types” together to get the best guys/gals for your crew. Cartoony artwork takes away from the serious aspect and overall pirate feel but it still great looking (probably the best part of the game) and fun. Little replay value here and overall not much fun, also seems like this game should be over in 30 minutes but it’s well over an hour ever damned time.

Mutiny! Currently being published by Fantasy Flight Games as part of their ever affordable “Silver Line Series” so the MSRP is only $20. Basically this is a bidding game (and I love bidding mechanics) where you fight over who gets to take the actions of five different tiles and earn these little swords. Neat game but very much non-pirate feeling. Still it’s cheap you should probably own it.

Broadsides & Boarding Parties by Milton Bradley as part of their old Game Master series is one As it is out of print and can go for $80+ on eBay and doesn’t get good reviews from gamers I tend to think this is one of those situations of people reliving their childhood. I've read the rule book and it's a very simple move and fight game. Granted the pieces look amazing a board with two giant ships manned by deckhands everywhere. Cool as crap looking but game play? Doesn't seem to be there from reading the rules and I don't feel like spending the time to actually sit through a game of it just to find out what I already know.

Cartagena is a cute little strategy game. Really it's a race game...see the story is you are all pirates imprisoned in the vile fortress Cartagena. To win you have to get all your pirates to the escape boat at the end of the tunnel. Now you do this by playing cards that take you to different ares of the tunnel like the pistol, the keys, the sword....wait a second, if I can arm my pirates with pistols, and swords and give them keys to the damned prison...why aren't we going out the front door? Bah, tis a fun little game really is, but piratey? Well the theme is just barely tacked on and not very accurate. NEXT!

Speaking of racing let's talk about Lifeboats the game that has been released in the Americas by Z-Man Games. In this one the ship has sunk and all the pirates are scrambling to survive by getting in and out of the rickety lifeboats that are headed towards the island. Because this one is played through a series of back stabbing votes to move the ships, spring leaks in the ships and throw someone overboard it's very cut throat and well....back stabby. Granted these are all fine pirate qualities and it allows for a lot of piratey table talk to be spouted in terrible pirate accents but still the game is not what you are looking for when you are looking to be a pirate.

Pieces of Eight a new game on the streets by Atlas Games. The whole game is this bunch of coins you hold in the palm of your hand and each is a character and you can only use the front and back on and it’s dumb. The idea is neat, to be a game you can easily carry in your pocket and play anywhere but the game play is not fun and very unpirate feeling. Plus it’s collectible so expect to shell out bucks to keep up with all the cool new coins that come out. Shit I hate that.

Alright now on to a game that originally was not a pirate theme at all. Armada 3 and yes in 1 & 2 the theme was just nations trading goods and with 3 it's PIRATES! I will say this for the game. The ability to attack, steal goods and yes even hijack the ships of other players does indeed make this game rich in pirateness from that's still at it's core a resource management game and you can feel the "nations" theme under it all. A good try by EuroGames and a fair game, but nothing of greatness here.

Blackbeard. Back in the hay day of gaming when Avalon Hill ruled the world with their epic war games, they produced Blackbeard, the grand daddy of all pirate games! This game has EVERYTHING that could possibly be thought of as piratey. Given that it’s an old AH game the quality is nowhere near what we are use to these days but for the game who with an imagination you can still get into it. The problem is you are looking at 3 hours to play the game IF everyone involved knows and understands all the rules…longer if not. The good news is GMT Games is looking at republishing this game called “Blackbeard: The Golden Age of Piracy” with 1. much nicer components to give us a lovely pirate look/feel and revised rules to cut down on all that fiddly AH nonsense they use to love working into their games. So there is hope here…my copy is on pre-order already.

Speaking of GMT and the hopes of a good pirate game another in the pre-staging process (but closer to completion then Blackbeard) is Winds of Plunder. I do also have this one pre-ordered and having read a ton of material online about it think this might be my “Good Pirate Game” that I’ve searched high and low for. Very nice looking game, mechanics are simple but the choices are many, actions seem to all be very pirate like and reviews so far have all been stunning. So here’s me holding my breath….maybe Winds of Plunder will fill that much needed pirate gap in my game collection.

There are still a few games on the horizon that I've not had the chance to play and wonder if I ever will. The Pirate theme is and has been quite a popular theme (even more so since Disney's little Depp film) and so the abundance is there. Some of the games that interest me that I'd like to give a shot at are; Buccaneer, Caribbean, Age of Piracy, Meuterer, Corsairs and Rum & Pirates (pretty sure this one is not going to fill the niche either but still might be a fun game.)

…oh there’s other pirate games out there but none of them that excel at juicing me up like a real pirate game should. I mean it's been several hundreds of years since there murdering, raping bastards would skin people and hang them to die in the sun on the mast of ship...shouldn't I be able to feel like one of them by now?!?


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's a sickness I know it is. . .

My recent acquisitions:
Bolide-racing without dice

Dynasties-2 player fuedal Japan

Hive-Creepy crawly bug fun

Mag*Blast-Space ship blowing up in the TI3 world

Fjords-Two player tile layer

Dread Pirate-Crappy assed game with the best components EVER

Girl Genius-Very cleaver little card turning game sounds weird but is fun

Saboture-Dwarves in mines digging for gold...with a traitor

Miskatonic Madness-Cthulhu game, free print and play, neat 'o

My recent learnings (IE Played but don't own):
Space Hulk-Basically Aliens

Hansa-Boats, markets, goods, fun!

Tenjo-6 hours of my life are gone due to this game

Diamant-Fantastic, quick, light.

Ticket to Ride Marklin-I love me some TTR

Princes of the Renaissance-Martin Wallace greatness, bidding, war, what else is there?

The Fallacy of Optimism

It’s true that despite good intentions a persons inner self will eventually come through. I knew from the get go that I didn’t need to have a blog all my own. I knew I’d never have enough content to actually have something worth reading by anyone else. Still I had this fleeting hope that just by having created the blog I’d be motivated enough to write more. BULLSHIT! I knew it was bullshit from the first moment that little optimistic bastard inside me was telling it to me. Fuck him!

It’s not that I’ve been short of ideas, hell no. I’ve had plenty of ideas for topics…I even started a couple (actually this post right here is the 2nd time I’ve written this one, only I’m hoping to actually finish it this time) but for whatever reason they’ve never made it to the publish button.

I was going to write a bit about some particular games I’ve been playing lately….just sort of dedicate an entry to a single game. That didn’t happen. I was going to go ranting off again on the state of gaming and gamers with their silly idiosyncrasies that can be found virtually nowhere but the world of gaming. One of those got started but never completed and I’m pretty darn sure I didn’t even save the damned thing.

Good ole procrastination coupled with little time creates a real recipe for disaster when it comes to blogging. The only thing I think I’ve got going for this blog is that I think I’m a relatively creative guy. Still if the creative juices don’t ever get tapped…well you dear reader will never know of these things.

I’m not really concerned about the state TDHM as I’ve said before this is an exercise for me myself to purge some of the demons of writing within me. If anyone accidentally stumbles upon this page of the internet then may God have mercy upon them and allow them to find their way to BACK button or the Google search box or any other browser device that will get them the hell off this blog. Maybe I should rename it to “The Blog That Will Eat Your Soul.”

But if you are of the persistent bunch who feels perseverance is something of a virtue and you decide that you will continue to drop back by here from time to time then let me be the first to pat you on the back. I don’t know why you are doing it but because you might be out there I’ll try and get a few more things written. Not that I owe it to anyone but myself mind you…but that damned little optimist…not matter how many times I squash the little fucker down he stands back up and says “Come on man, we can put something up…”


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's never enough. . .

My recent acquisitions:

Deflexion - An abstract game...with lasers! So how's that not a good thing?

World of Warcraft the Boardgame - HUGE game, tons of minis pretty fun, about 3 hours I think once everyone knows the game.

Oltre Mare (Merchants of Venice) - Haven't played or read rules to this yet

Way Out West - Rules make this look great, we'll see soon enough.

Durch die Wuste - German version of Through the Desert...mmmmm pretty pastel camels.

Ice Frenzie the Hockey Card Game - Kinda sucks but it's HOCKEY!

Cape Horn - Racing around the southern tip of S. America, very cool little game, high screw with others factor

Babylon 5 Component Game Syste - they call it a CGS...cleaver huh? Chances are good this will never get played, a huge rule book for this being the core system, don't know if it's gonna happen or not.

Stratomatic Hockey - 2000-2001 team stat cards. Looks neat again probably won't get played. The rules are very in depth however.

Family Business - Mayfairs low budget re-release of this mobster card game. 10 bucks just about anywhere.

Dying Lights - 220 cards crammed into a tiny little box with a rulebook, beautiful art and space combat to boot.

Chalk Talk Action Hockey Trivia Game - with a title like that you get the idea.

What's the Score - Stand alone game/addition to above title funny the cards in this are higher quality than the ones in above title.

Just Add Ice - Hockey card game, simple mechanics might be fun for a little bit, probably won't hold attention more than a hand or two.

Speed Circuit - AH classic game of formula 1 racing. Woo Hoo. Excellent rule set, dice play a significantly smaller role than in Formula' De.

Win Place & Show - AH game from same era as Speed Circuit but is horse racing, won in lot with above title.

My recent learnings (IE Played but don't own):

Carcassonne The Castle - I love Carc. games.

Hey! That's My Fish - Techinically geared for kids, but a great game.

Elasund the First City of Catan - Great fun, lots of player interaction (read screwing over).

Twixt - Old 3M classic bookshelf game, very fun abstract game. Highly suggested as it's easy to get.

Talisman - WOW Superb game, there's a reason this is a classic.

Revolution the Dutch Revolt - Pretty in depth but a bit dull to me.

Runebound - Neat dungeon crawl without the dungeon, by Martin Walace. Lots of expansions, beautiful game.

Friday, May 12, 2006

When Morons Collide

Gaming is about a lot of things. It's about social interaction with people. It's about stimulating brain exercises that allow you to win the games. It's about chips, soda, beer whatever you eat/drink when you game. It's about showing off the neat new game you got with all it's pretty pieces. It's about learning new mechanics and trying to figure out how those people you play all these games with are going to react to these particular mechanics.

Then there's a handful of things gaming is not about. The two biggies in my book are religion and politics. In my experiences these topics are just too hot buttoned to be discussed in this arena where we all have gathered to let go the stresses of the day. So at my club it's a hard, fast discussion on these topics unless it's directly game related, which means you have to be playing a political or religious themed game (Twilight Struggle or Mesopotamia that sort of thing.)

Well maybe it's a rule that doesn't get mentioned enough because it just so happens that a couple guys in the group started into it a few weeks back. SIGH. I'm only glad I was busy playing a game...because that's what I was there for...playing games...and so I was playing a game and having a good time. These two decided that game night might be better suited for standing around and discussing politics on which it was obvious neither would ever see the others point of view.

So their conversation starts to get warm and the volume goes up. Then it starts to get very heated up and names get tossed around. It kept going with them continuing to disagree with each other until one finally had enough and stormed out...leaving behind the only game he owns a fairly new copy of Hammer of the Scots...and dammit I was nice enough to make sure he got it back the next day but that's another story. The real issue here isn't even that they got mad and one's the negative mood the entire place was put into because of these two morons who were stupid enough to start the conversation took it to a infantile level and let it linger. Now they were screwing with my gaming experience and sweet Nelly that pisses me off.

My big question is why. Didn't we all (see above) show up this blessed eve for a friendly night of competitive gaming? Why would you even start the conversation and when it begins to spiral downward why wouldn't one of you just make a statement like "Look we aren't going to agree here so let's just stop here and play a game." No it had to continue to the point of breaking and it really left everyone around in a weird mood so it had an effect on everyone not just these two.

It's just sad, I mean we have great conversations, some times, and a lot of time we don't agree on things but when you bring politics and religion into the equation "not agreeing" tends to escalate into severe arguing. People hold these issue too close to their hearts for them to be able to be discussed lightly, so dammit if you've got that on your mind and you're about to game with me, shut the fuck up cause I don't wanna hear the drivel you have to say. Chances are real good we won't agree on it anyway.

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Addiction Grows must...have

My recent acquisitions:

Combat Soldiers in the Battle of the Bulge - Lost Battalion Game - Card driven WWII game for 2 to 6 players.

Battlegroup - Lost Battalion Game - Card driven NAVAL WWII game for 2 player.

Sergeants! on the Eastern Front - Lost Battalion Game - Introductory light war game for 2 players.

Sergeants! Expansion - Lost Battalion Game - More chits and rules for Sergents.

Dungeoneer; Vault of the Fiends - Atlas Games - Dungeon crawl where players are both hero and Dungeon dude 2 to 4 players.

Let's Kill - Atlas Games - Everyone's a serial killer, 2 to 6 players.

Ice Frenzy - Anderson Family Games - All the action of a real hockey game, says the publisher, 2 players.

Lightning: Midway - Decision Games - Card drive WWII plane game about...well battle of Midway, 2 player.

Target Arnham, Across 6 Bridges - Multi Man Publishing - 2 player light introductory war's free for $5.00 shipping fee.

My recent learnings (IE Played but don't own):

Circus Imperium - Chariot game, race, fight, kill, destroy, win.

Power Grid - Power cities by connecting them to your plants.

Hellrail 3rd Perdition - Tain the souls to hell.

Twilight Struggle - Cold war game...2 players.

Girl Genuis - James Ernest's card flip-floping game.

Bohnanza - Bean farming at it's best.

Of Bricks, Mortar and Rays of F'ing Light

If you are going to read the things I post here you are going to need to learn to read past the smarminess and sarcasm. When you do I think you'll find that there might be a small nugget or two of useful information tucked in there...or maybe I just sharted, not sure. At any rate my true feelings on this subject can be understood and felt underneath the flaming arrows I'm about to throw. That being said let's get on with it.

Gaming is a fickle hobby and gamers are bunch of jerks with fickle attitudes who speak in an endless string of contradictions. I know I'm a contradictory throwing jerk who loves playing games and if you're a gamer reading this chances are you are thinking "But that's not all gamers, I'm not one of them." To which I say..."yes you are, now shaddap!"

How many times have I seen the post somewhere about "Oh woe is me, my local gaming store where I play and meet new gamers is closing"? I see it a good bit, more than is comfortable for me someone who see this as a loss to his hobby. ***Does a quick search for the poster's name on the forum*** Ahhhh here it is the post where that SAME person said "Hey look at this huge $631 order I just put in with some online distributor, man I can't wait to drag these games into my local store and play them."

Hmmmmmmmm and you were saying gamers are not contradictory.

So we've got this situation that has arisen that pits two opponents against each other. The Brick and Mortar stores (We'll call them BM's from here on out) and the online retailers who's sites are made up of Rays of F'ing Light (you got it we'll, call them ROFL's). But THoiA, what ever can I do to help out all those poor little children living in tree house tribes in Indonesia? Well I don't know about them but I can tell you what I see is going on between the BM's and the ROFL's.

ROFL's offer HUGE discounts.
BM's usually offer play space.
ROFL's throw in free shipping at price break points.
BM's give you that "touch-n-feel" experience.
ROFL's you can place an order while in your underwear.
BM's you can order in your underwear as well and usually not be thrown out.

That's really the big points now isn't it? How much money am I spending and a place to play/meet gamers. So where to start? Well let's rewind a bit. Game stores...ahhh yes it's a nice world with stores that sell games, everyone's happy. Internet come along and low and behold ROFL's appear and what do you know due to low overhead they are offering discounts! Now the BM owners are freaking out...calm down fella. Did VCR's put movie theaters out of business as they screamed would happen? Did Amazon squash retail bookstores? Did online prescription buying put Eckerd’s out of business...well maybe that's not the best example (see most Eckerd Drug stores have been bought out.) The answer to my question there are all YES. YES they did shut down some of those businesses...the one's owned buy people who refused to change their business model. You can not open a business today and expect it to be run exactly as it is being run 3 decades down the road. If that were true we'd be buying our euro games from the Sears & Roebuck Catalogues we get in the mail.

Take heart, there is certainly room in this world for both BM's and ROFL's but there will probably be some casualties taken here and there. So *sound of sucking wind* BM's are going to have to make adjustments if they intend on being here for the long haul. Can they afford to give their customers 35% to 40% discounts off of MSRP prices? Hell no, they've got way too much overhead to do something like that.

So where can they wiggle in and make some money? Well first of all they throw me "Joe Shopper" a fricking bone already. Do you know how insulting it is to me to walk in a store and see a game that I know has a MSRP of $49.99 and see a price tag on it of $49.99. Read my lips BM owners...NO ONE pays full MSRP these days. I just checked the price of a popular Day of Wonder title who's MSRP is $ ROFL has it for $31.45...that's $18.50 in savings. If I know I'm going to order enough games to get free shipping why would I throw away that extra $18.50? This is what I'm talking about. How about if the BM offered me 15% to 20% off of MSRP? Well now they sell said game for only $39.96, compare that to the ROFL's cost of $31.45 and guess what? I'm going to buy from the BM simply because as a greedy American I've got that "instant satisfaction" thing in me and it's worth it to me to pay a FEW dollars more to have my game RIGHT NOW!

The next thing I see that BM's can do is diversify their stock. It's time to stop be a pretentious "gamer than thou" store who stocks only obscure titles that no one not registered on BGG has any idea even exists. That's right I'm talking about being a "sell out"! The common thread with all the popular sell outs is that they now make (or have made and are living off of) an obscene amount of money (Metallica springs to mind.) Cha-Ching. The point is BM's need to carry items that are going to sell. Is it some variant of a classic (read boring like; Stratego, Risk, etc.) that now has a LotR or Star Wars theme on it...pick up a couple copies. Chances are good some 40 something aunt will wander in sometime and know nothing of gaming except her little nephew just loves Frodo and she'll buy it. Boom sale. Let's face it, the slew of games like these keep coming out right? Well that's because people keep selling them. If they didn't sell you wouldn't see new ones hit the shelves.

Next, go collectible. I personally hate collectible games and feel they are the bane of western society but they sell like a $2.00 whore outside the dock where US Navy vessel port for shore leave in Indonesia (see they working hard to feed those children, we don't need to worry about them anymore, now we can all breath easier and buy another game.) D&D Minis, Axis & Allies Minis, Heroclix, obviously MtG and other established games can be picked up and then host a weekly DRAFT tournament. Not just an open tourney, no no, do a draft! That way the players who want to play in said sanctioned (and yes do the paper work to make it sanctioned so they can be "ranked") tourney will be forced to BUY product from you. Wow clever.

Another though on collectible games is to offer large quantity discounts. If someone is interested in buy an entire retail display of boosters don't make them pay full MSRP for each pack. Obviously again the BM's can't sell for the ridiculous prices they can find on eBay but making some sort of effort to lower the cost makes a huge impact to the end buyer. They feel special!

My last thought is something I've seen in some smaller game stores here and there but nowhere near enough of it. Sell used games. Give someone about 30% of what a game is worth in trade dollars in your store, then sell the game for about 65% of what the game is worth to others. Of the 2 stores I've seen doing this both said it's very successful. Can't get gamers to come up off of their games? Well then go consignment. Same thing as above but now let the person owning the game name his get a say 25% of the sale. This could be a bit more risky though as if you are buying the games outright you don't have to buy the games that you are currently selling new copies of.

I've got other ideas for the BM's as well but they start getting more difficult to manage and possibly just hair brained ideas that won't work so I'll stop there.

What can ROFL's do? Well not really a damn thing. They get the business already and even if the above steps are taken they will STILL get plenty of business. You are not going to make all the ROFL's go out of business, it's just not going to happen. The BM's just need to make sure they stay not only afloat but are profitable. If the BM's treat their customers with respect and are little more kind to their wallets they will generate die hard fans of their stores who will always buy from them first.

Now the next time you see that "going out of business" sign in your local BM's window don't cry about it on the forums. Just think back to that big assed box UPS sent you last week and think to yourself "It's all my fault, I should probably go kill myself."
and you are most likely right.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

An attempt to perpetuate the ever growing nothingness that is the internet.

Bloggety-blog blog! Everybody and their little sister has a blog these days. Hell every bodies little sister’s hamster has a blog too. So why on God’s big beautiful green earth would I bother with creating…yet another blog?

Because I’m a dork. That’s right folks you heard it here first, straight from the dorks own mouth…or fingers as I type…whatever, the point is I know it already and don’t need a endless strew of comments telling me this.

At first I wasn’t going to create a blog. I really did want to write some gaming related articles and what-not but I know I won’t be posting to this thing even as frequently as every week which doesn’t make for a good blog now does it? (Then again maybe the act of creating and owning a blog will spur my imagination to come up with even more boring mundane shit to write about and it will be updated frequently.) My original idea was to guest blog on someone else’s back once a month or so but after reading through many gameblogs I couldn’t find the blog home that felt right for me. My reasons are stupid I know but they are the reasons of a self proclaimed pessimistic dork. You know stuff like “Well he read a description of Beer Money and swore of the game.” “Well this guy’s a pretty prolific writer my stuff would get lost in the spew he drivels on about.” “I hate this person.” those kinds of things.

So here I sit keyboard at hand writing my…ugh I can’t believe I’m going to say it…blog.

Expect to the see this blog updated on a strict schedule of whenever the hell I feel like updating it and keep in mind I never miss my own deadlines. As such I would say that I’m open to the idea of guest bloggers riding on my back like it was my intention of doing but you’ll probably come up with some really stupid reason for not doing it. You know stuff like “Well he read a description of ASL and swore off the game.” “Well this guy’s not a very prolific writer my stuff would flood the spew he drivels on about right off his own blog.” “I hate this person.” However if you manage to make it past those hurdles e-mail me, we’ll have some coffee, we’ll talk.