Ben Calica

Ben is the owner of D20 Games.

D&D Loot Bags

New Mystery Loot Bags—D&D this time.  

Mini Paint bag ($50) Nolzur’s Mavelous Adventurers Paint set (10 paints), Extra brush kit, Bonus Figures (6-8)
Big Mini Paint Bag ($100) Everything above, but with a 36 paints set and extra bonus mini’s to paint.  Limited Quantity .
D&D Everything You Need ($200) Everything you need to play D&D.  All three of the big box, plus the Essentials Kit with an adventure, DM screen, dice and more.  Plus an extra surprise or two.
D&D themed game loot bags ($75) Any of these games plus more (at lest $100 in retail value) for this D&D themed Mystery game Loot Bag.

As usual, call first to make sure I’m around and we will get ready to bring it for curbside when you get here.

Family Game Night-making a habit worth keeping.

Ok…we all know it is a painful  time, going stir crazy trapped in our homes with our kids/parents, desperately hunting for things to do to make the time move a little faster without getting on each other’s nerves. So lots of us have been pulling out projects, puzzles and board games. But in a time with all the old habits thrown up in the air, can we take one of the good things, family game night, and turn it into something everyone wants to keep around?

The thing of it is that this moment we are all going through has done something interesting and important that is worth thinking about. We’ve all had to basically blow up what we thought was the way life had to operate, and when this is done, we’re gonna need to put it back together differently then it was before. So maybe, we can use this to sneak back in somethings that were just too much of a change to get everyone to buy into before.

Old picture of a family playing games together

See I own a game store, so I get to see a lot of families come in, and I know from the tips of my toes to the top of my massively in need of a haircut head (remember when we used to be able to get haircuts, in the “before times”? Ah, the exotic luxury of it.), that the families that had regular family game night were bonded in ways that were just different from everyone else. I won’t go through the details on the case for board game nights again since I did that once upon a time in my store blog, but it’s an idea that almost every parent intuitively knows about as well as they know how exquisitely impossible it is to get going once screens and phones lodge into our kids brains. Getting this “quaint” idea going, with people who are able to fill every bored moment, is almost impossible. I will also not go into the details of why I’m deeply worried about the serious issues around the “Digital Nicotine” aspects of many of the things passing through smartphones/tablets, (So I’m Addicted to Cell Phones Too, Ben Calica). However, I will say that I’m much, much more worried about the danger of the literally physical addiction aspects of smartphone/screen problems right now, to the point where they could be much more difficult to deal with. Let me be clear, I’m not Luddite guy looking to throw all the glowing Satan boxes into the river (though there have been times when I wanted to take my own kids phones and lovingly put them under the tire of my car and just drive slowly back and forth for a little bit. I will put huge money that there is not a single parent of a kid with a phone reading this that isn’t nodding right now.) For learning, for communicating with loved ones, for opening the whole world of knowledge to us, these are amazing tools. But there are thousands of really smart people out there that have been paid a great deal of money to tickle those parts of our brains that keep us coming back to give them our eyeballs, and they know where the endorphins are kept locked up in the cupboard.

So now that things have got blowed up nice and good and we are face to face to face, at least with the family that got down in the tornado cellar before the big virus twister hit, how can we turn our shelter experience into a regular family habit that becomes a regular part of our lives?

The Elements of Successful Family Game Night:

Pick Carefully: The first and most important part of a successful family game night is what game are you gonna play. When I have couples come into the store to find a game, the first thing I ask them is how do they do playing against each other or with each other. There are some people who love the joy of getting to stretch their minds and skills against each other, and others who feel picked on or condescended to or just feel under pressure to “play right” and therefore don’t feel like they like games at all. If you have a family, what are the age differences in the kids? Will the youngest feel over-matched or left out? Is it a game of speed that leaves the Grandparents feeling left out? Is the game too complicated for people to be patient to understand the rules, or too simple and feeling random for more sophisticated players.

Generally speaking, the best thing to do is to start with simpler and more successful games and then let the games get richer from there. For those who don’t like feeling left out of behind or the pressure of understanding all the nuances to be successful, look at some of the really great cooperative games. The best ones aren’t Pollyanna crunch fests, but have the game as the “bad guy” opponent and source of challenge/tension. Other things to watch for is games that involve everyone as quickly and immediately as possible. Games where one person takes their turn for 5–10 minutes while everyone else waits around tend to kill a game night but good.

The Game/Rules Master: Once you’ve selected the types of games you want, each family game night, someone should be preselected to be the Game/Rules Master. One of the things that kills games nights but good is a lot of time where everyone is trying to battle over the one rule book to figure out how the stupid game works. Most games are pretty straight forward to play after you’ve muscled through the first game, but figuring out the basic setup, object and how the game works turn to turn isn’t always obvious the first time through. The game master is the one who gets the game the day before and who goes ahead of time to set the game up and to run through a practice round or two on their own to figure out how to play the darn thing. They are gonna be the ones who explain the game play to everyone else. You can also have them be the one who picks the game for the night. But if you do so, they need to have the goal of picking a game that they think everyone would like. (If you wanna be really cool about it, have them pick a game that they think one other person in the family would most love…kid picks game that they think mom would love, mom picks game that dad would love, brother picks game for younger sister, etc. If you do that, then they feel great when they see someone else in the family love the experience. It shifts the focus outside themselves. )

Big, big hint for the Game/Rules Master when they are teaching the game!!! Have the least amount of time possible between the time you start talking about the game and everyone is starting to play. The natural tendency is to go through the whole game, but people are getting bored off their rocker listening instead of getting to it. Better to be a little more basic in your description and let people ask you if they don’t understand something, then to take a lot of time describing stuff that people probably get already. And if there are complicated variants to how something happens in a particular circumstance, just say that there are some rare exceptions and move on. Once people get into the flow, you can get to that. What you need to explain to get started is:

  1. Objective-i.e. how do you win the game. (Collect the most X, get to the end of the board, be the last mushroom standing..). If it is complicated, give a basic view first and point to the part of the manual that has it for people to look at. If it is super complicated and the game doesn’t come with reference cards for everybody, consider making a copy of those pages for everyone playing.
  2. Set up– Ideally have this already done or have the place in the rules about this underlined and ready to describe. (“everyone gets 7 cards and 3 caterpillar tokens”)
  3. Basic steps to a turn: What does each player do in a turn. Again, top view and let people ask you questions if they don’t get it.
  4. Practice round!: This is really important if you can possibly do it. Run through how the game works by having people do it, but let them know the first round doesn’t count. That way people won’t feel under pressure or get grumpy cause they “never would have done that if they understood”.

Rules of the Table
What do they say, “good fences make good neighbors.” This is more then true of the table rules for game nights. Some of these work well printed out on the table to make sure that it is fun and not hurt feelings that rule the night, and others are examples to set.

  1. Phone Basket: Family game night is a sacred, phone free time. Make a big deal of putting your phones in a basket and even letting other people know that this time every week is time you don’t respond unless it is an emergency. Model the hell out of this. It is like sabbath, an electronics free zone.
  2. Family rules: You guys own the games. If you come to a rule that you guys don’t like as a family or you prefer a different way, agree and then change it. The big stack of cash under free parking in Monopoly wasn’t in the rules originally, but we always thought the game was way better with it. )
  3. Smack Talk/Shaming: This is a tricky one. The shaming is obvious, but extends to telling someone that they made a stupid move…just shut that stuff down, and I’d print this rule up. The smack talk is a different issue. It can be lighthearted and part of a family/friend dynamic. (I sure did it with my best friends in high school..the epic battle on who was better, Richie Rich or Scrooge McDuck took on an epic level of smack talk that makes me smile to this day.) But we have a rule against smack talk in the store because, well, the whole idea of smack talk is to try and get just a little under someone’s skin. The problem is that with teens and tweens in particular, their job is to not show when they get feeling hurt, so someone could be really hurting someone without realizing it. So just to play it safe, we just don’t allow it in the store. This is a call you gotta make for your own family, and I don’t know em enough to know if they have a good handle on that line, but I’ll include it in the list later and you can blame me if you need “aw Ma/Dad” cover.
  4. Food at the Game Table: Ok..I know I just got done with this whole thing about you knowing your family best and making your own choices but, YES…food at the gaming table. Let me make this simple: Hungry=low-blood sugar=crankiness/short tempers. Keep out that bowl o’snacks. Sure, make it grapes and pretzels and not Cheetos, BBQ and powdered donuts if you care about keeping the game clean, but snack ’em up. There are reasons that the image of D&D players in their basements included boxes of pizza. 😉
  5. No Know-it Alls (Table Captains), or Rules Lawyers: Table Captains is usually the older sibling who understands how the game is played and starts ordering people around like they are extensions of themselves. This is most often in cooperative games. It takes away the fun of playing from the other players, even though all they think they are trying to do is help. A little talk about being their to support the other players and asking the question “would you like a suggestion” and actually waiting for the answer goes a long way.
    I need a private moment with the game playing dads…(I’m gonna say something a little hard to hear. It is super likely that you are doing this too and don’t realize it. It is the single thing that makes their spouses not want to play with them. They may not get the pattern as fast cause that isn’t what they’ve done a lot, but they are pretty damn smart and it is way better to give them space to ask questions, then to over explain. It comes across as condescending and you are pushing off the person you most wanna join in.
    The second type of playing to be careful of is what is called Rules Lawyer-ing. This is playing gotcha with the rules, calling someone on a mistake they made because they didn’t understand or missed a nuance of the rules. Don’t, just don’t. If someone can take a move back because they didn’t get something, let them. It is way better to play a great game and lose it, then to make someone feel like they can’t try and learn a new game because they are afraid to be made to feel stupid because they misunderstood something.
  6. It’s Just a #%$ing Game: The slogan for the store that grace the back of our tee shirts and hoodies is a graphic representation of “Win with Grace, Lose with Style, and Play for Fun”. This is about the most important part of a good family game night. One thing to do is to make a winners trophy that rotates from player to player that is so epically stupid that it makes it clear the nature of winning and loosing in this house. (Right now, I’d probably take a roll of toilet paper and stick it on an old trophy to indicate the value of family triumph. Although that may be a little too valuable at the moment.) One word about modeling winning and loosing to small children that is a little counter intuitive. This works particularly well with coop games when the game wins. We tend to thing that acting serene and accepting a loss is what we need to model for little kids. The problem is that just make us alien beings to them, ones who just don’t have the same emotions they do. It is actually better to show starting to get frustrated and then taking a moment to breath or in some other way calm down and get to that “ah well” state. That way we are modeling something for them that is much more accessible, how to have those feelings and then manage them. Even with the older kids, if you get frustrated in a game, say so, and then talk it out. As adults, we often get frustrated with games, particularly if the rules are complex and we feel like we have more important things to be doing, and if this isn’t fun, then why are we bothering. Believe me, the kids will pick up on that frustration and walking away. But what we are walking away from is working out a problem that they were part of rather then expressing our feelings and trying to work it out. Much better to stick it out and work it though on this much safer ground, so when it is much bigger issues, you’ve had some successful practice rounds. I think this may be the very heart of why those families who got family game night into their regular pattern of life have this different feeling about them.

That seems like as good a note as any to end this on. This seems like play time, but it is some of the best parenting time that you can invest in. It isn’t easy, and is kind of like teaching a teenage dog to do new tricks (they already know all the tricks, and why should they listen to you anyway, dumb dad/mom dogs), but it is worth it. And this is an absolutely unique time to take the shattered pieces of the old life and maybe build something a little better from the pieces.

The Family Game Night rules

  1. Electronics Free Zone:
    No phones at the table, (unless the game requires it.)
  2. No Commenting on someone else’s dumb (or more clever then you realized) moves.
  3. No Insulting/Shaming other players, or teaming up on anybody besides Dad. (Ok..he deserves it.)
  4. No Rules Lawyer-ing…if someone makes a dumb mistake, let ’em take it back already.
  5. Don’t Cheat: Losing with grace is pretty cool and you learn and get better. Cheating just robs you of having people believe you when you win later.
  6. Oh yeah, remember the three magic words:
    It’s A Game.

Win with Grace, Lose with Style, and Play for Fun

Sew what can we do to help? Making DIY masks to relieve the pressure….

(I stared this at the beginning of the week before the CDC recommendation for everyone to wear masks….this is a list of the best links for DIY masks I’ve found. PLEASE comment back on which ones are better and send others that you find, I’ll keep the list updated as much as I can.)

We’ve all heard about the mask/materials shortages for hospitals, and its been sticking in my craw that we’re stuck at home with the impulse to help but nothing to do besides trying not to drive each other crazy.  So when I heard about people sewing masks at home to help out, that seemed pretty like a pretty cool use of creativity.  I can’t do it, but I can help figure out what is real, vs. nonsense, and try and spread the word.    The interesting thing is that even masks that are not of medical quality are of value.  Turns out that tea towels are pretty close to fancy medical grad material in terms of catching virus side stuff.  And even if it doesn’t do that, it helps with one of the biggest sources of spread, the almost impossible task of not touching yer damn face/mouth during the day.    What I’ve included is the links to resources that I’ve found, following the contents of a letter that just came to me from a member of a Kaiser task force on what is acceptable designs for them to use to help with their medical professional.  They would like masks for their local Kaiser centers, but obviously, get them to where ever they need to go.  Probably best to wash them, and put them in ziplock bags after extremely carefully cleaning…we don’t wanna pass the virus on in something designed to keep it out…too stupidly ironic.   If you find better information or improved designs, leave a comment or email us at info@d20alameda.com.   And if you do end up making one, send us a picture and tell us where it went and we’ll share it.  I know it seem like it’s too big for us to do anything about this besides hide in place, but there are a lot of us.  😉


From Kaiser (3/27/2020)
Materials that should be used to make the mask:

        • Reusable/washable
        • Cotton or T-shirt material

Design components:

Cleaning requirements:

        • Must be able to hand or machine wash when soiled or contaminated

Approval/Distribution:

        • Regional approval of masks is not needed if volunteers follow instructions and design components provided
        • Masks will be distributed locally (to medical centers)

We are extremely grateful for your willingness to help our organization keep our patients, members, visitors, staff and physicians safe.

Other Resources I’ve found for this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Apocalyptic D20 Update-Week 2 Mystery Loot Bags (and more)

Hey folks,

Trying to keep things (me) from drifting off into the timeless aether.    I can’t tell you how much I miss seeing people in person.

First off…as a fellow owner of a game store, I need to say something about Gamestop’s decision to stay open with the argument that we were “essential” businesses.  NO!…No, no, no, no, stop complaining you utter irresponsible whiners, NO!  Ok, look, I understand the panic of wondering if your business can survive this kind of thing. I get those feelings too.  But if someone came up to me today and said that my folks were sick and the only way to keep them alive was to close the store for a month or two, I wouldn’t even think about it.   So if we need to get bored out of our skin in order to keep this from spreading to even one unnecessary grandma or grandpa, then we’re doing it, even if it puts the business at risk.

Having said that, we are gonna try and do some things to both help folks from getting too stir crazy and to see if we can find some rent money under the cushions.  We are doing “knock up” business…basically knock on the door if the light are on or call before you come and we can come out to the curb. Since we can’t have people do browsing, what we can do is bring stuff to the door.  So that means Specific games if we have them in stock or the next batch of our  mystery loot bags.   The bags are $60-tax included, and have between $80-120 retail worth of games.

Just to be very clear about the nature of these bags.  They are currently the vast majority of our business, and even that like a 10th of our normal business.   We really appreciate the concern for our survival and will need the help, IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT.  For those customers who are struggling too, reach out to us.  The other purpose of the loot bags are to give us a chance to keep from going stir crazy without the mental bad side effects that can creep in with too much screen/phone time. If you are in $$ trouble too, reach out to me.  I’m going to put together some bags for our customers who are hurting too, and for those, pay what you can, and if that is nothing, talk to me. Normally we’d all be helping each other out, but in this instance, I’m the one with unopened, uncontaminated stuff.   The one cavet in that if you can’t afford $$, just pay it back in kindness.  And this isn’t true for most of my customers but I gotta say this anyway, I’ll only have a limited number of the kindness bags, so make sure they are there for folks who need ’em.  We need to count on each other right now, so small does of do the right thing go a long way.

I’m also working on variations to the loot bags.  These will include:

  • Magic Loot bags for sealed fun.-
    • Silver Chaos Loot Bags: $50 (12 random packs—good for 2 person 6 pack sealed, or 3 people 4 pack mini sealed.)  Plus mystery bonus $50-80 value
    • Gold Chaos Loot bag: $100 (A pair of random prerelease kits and a mystery bundle.  Plus a mystery extra magic goody.)  $120-160 in value.
    • Platinum Chaos Loot bag: $200 ( A booster box, fat pack, two prerelease kits, and an extra surprise worth at least $50)$230-270 in value.
    • Diamond Chaos Loot bag: $500 ( A booster box, one of the Analogy sets, Archenemy, 4 prerelease kits, 4 brawl decks and a Conspiracy booster box, and whatever else I decide to toss in.) $550-800 value

And for D&D folks, we got all the basic books back in stock, have the new book in now. and are putting together a set of painting loot bags.  These will be $60 and include mini figs to practice on and dedicated D&D paint sets.

Give us a call before you come over to see if we (I’m) around.  I’ll be in during the day on Saturday and Sunday with the exception of when I go take the pooch to the dog park. Other then that, I’ll be in the store a lot doing various long ignored jobs.  It feels super weird to not be having regular store hours…I worked very hard to take those hours as a promise from me to you guys, but we live in strange times at the moments.

BTW…here is a story that I wrote about that first shelter in place week.

View at Medium.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Games-Special “stuck at home” Drive Up Mystery Loot Game Bags

Mystery Loot Bags.  These are bags that we are selling for a suggested donation of $60 that have at least 3 or more games with a retail value between $80-$120. (sometimes with bonus demo games thrown in.  These are $60 including tax, so if you have cash,  give us a call about 5 minutes before and then when you are down the street and we will bring it out to you.

Ok…two problems with a common solution.

  1. The next month is gonna be a tough one for us as a store as business drops to the floor.
  2. Its a stir crazy time for people who are home from school or work.

We know that new board games are a great solution, and we will be here to give good recommendations, and will work hard this week to see if we can try and become able to take orders online and but for now, we are doing officially unofficial curbside/at the door delivery as a way to keep things safe and still do what we can for you and to stay alive. .

If you can, we really appreciate the support over the next little bit.  It means a lot to us, and this way we can be here when this is all done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s a Responsible Game Store to Do?

I’ve been struggling with the right thing to do at the shop to be good ducks right now and it is very tough. We don’t wanna be over the top, but we also really want to make sure we keep people safe and do our part to help as we can.  And we can also see how we can shift the business so we are still around when the cough’s clear.

Last week we replaced our usual tablecloths with the not as pretty ones we had that we used for parties, since we can clean/disinfect them. And before we did the magic draft where we passed the cards around we had everyone use disinfectant hand wipes.  Seemed a bit overly cautious at the time, but not so much at this point.  We are trying to figure out the best ways to make events at the store as safe as we can, including lots of disinfectant and even limiting the number of people at the events to insure more space.

We also know that we actually have something to offer to help so that people who are stuck at home as an alternative to video games or getting utterly sucked into phones.  We are going to look into trying figure out how to get people games in ways that don’t necessarily require coming into the store. And we are looking at creating game events for (limited) amonts of kids during the days when they are off school.  We don’t want these to be lots of people coming in and out, instead we need it to be less people who are staying with  a small group for the day.

So here is what we are doing as of now:

  1. Friday Night Magic will be 4 pack sealed instead of a draft:
    For the next few weeks everyone will get a “prize” Pack with the normal 3 and then the prizes will be promo packs for the top 4 players.  Since we now have the Mystery Packs ($5)  in, and were gonna do the drafts for $20 anyway, this should still be plenty of fun, sort of a Chaos Sealed. –Limiting to 26 players to insure there is enough space to have between people.
  2. We are gonna be suspending the Pokemon League for the next 3 weeks at least.  Don’t think there is any way to insure the little ones keep their fingers out of eyes, and mouths between playing/trading.
  3. Enforcing the 6 person max for D&D so there can be space between folks at the tables.
  4. Well–don’t be sick.  😉  We are all doing our best through this, but one of the biggest things is if yer coughing etc, don’t take the chance.  The truth is that a pretty good percentage of the folks who come to the store are young enough that they will likely be fine though this, but that don’t mean that they might not inadvertently pass it on to another kid.  No big deal unless they end up inadvertently passing it on to their grandma.  So to protect all our grandmas…don’t take the chance…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success!!! A huge pile of random kindness….The Great “Givings” Sale-holiday hours and Recommendations…

Success!!!!  After filling the box for the firefighters, we (you guys and us) ended up putting together about $650 worth of games to give to the  Midway Woman’s shelter!!!  Thanks so much for supporting us so we could do some random kindness together. 

We’re gonna do a clearance sale through the end of the year….a bunch of special, but the best is a buy one at regular price and pick one for $10 on some games up to $90 (the $10 must be equal or less then the purchased item…usual deal.)

New this year….We not be offering any savings for our sales this year…we’re doing Givings instead.  Instead of trying to out cheap Amazon, we’re opting for going for being good people.  There has been way too much of the opposite in the world these days.  And the best way I know to deal with selfishness and bullying is with fierce kindness.    So from now till the end of the holiday season, I’m gonna ask that you save a little chunk of your gift $$ to spend with us, and in exchange,  when you buy gifts from us, together we will give more gifts for those who are a little short of random kindness.  Spend $50 or more, put a $10 gift into the big box, $100 and put up to a $20 gift, etc.   We have a bunch of great games and goodies that we’ve hand picked for the holidays, including good games for getting everyone off of screens for both thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays.

-Holiday Hours

Date Open Close
Fri Dec 20th 3:30 pm 11 pm
Sat Dec 21st 11 am 9:30 pm
Sun Dec 22nd 11 am 9:30 pm
Mon Dec 23rd Noon 10 pm
Tues Dec 24th 10:30 am 7 pm (maybe later..call)
Wed Dec 25th Noon ???
Thurs Dec 26th 2 pm 7 pm


The great battle—Face to Face, not face to screen this year!
Thanks for supporting Local and our good excuse to do so….(swapping discounts for what counts) 
I know how hard it is to continue to make the choice to support local, particularly in the face of online places that end up selling things for often close to what we pay. And I really wanted to thank you for it.

Replacing Savings with Givings:
We decided to try and do something to make it easier to feel good about that, and are continuing our Givings vs. Savings approach this year.(For those of you who don’t know, what we are doing is for every 50 bucks someone spends, we get to put 10 bucks to a game to go into the giveaway box.  The world is full of people who had to leave abusive situations in the middle of the night with their families and not much else, with too many folks who lost everything in fires, or with just folks who barely have enough to scrape by, where a little random kindness goes a long, long way.)  From now till the end of the holidays, we will be gathering games for the Alameda Woman’s shelter.  When people need to get out of dangerous situations, they grab the kids and some clothes and go, they don’t wait to grab toys and games.  But when they are out, they have kids that are scared and displaced, so if there was ever a time to find some ability to get your mind off things and connect and laugh a little bit, that is it.  It’s one of the places where a small bit of random kindness can have a huge amount of impact.  We aren’t gonna be able to be cheaper then the online folks, but we can absolutely be kinder. 😉

Investing in Face to face (vs face to screen:
As we find our kids (and ourselves) getting more and more drawn into the siren’s call of the screens, it requires more and more effort to establish the patterns of seeing the smiles in each other’s eyes, not the emoji’s of them, of actually LOL (you know laughing out loud is actually better when it’s, well, out loud.).  I know I own a game shop, and my job is to sell games, but the real reason I like it is because games are a great excuse for people to connect with each other.
For parents, the sooner you can establish the regular game night, the more it will weather through the great cell battle to come.  And a big recommendation on my part is that you get a bucket/basket and make a big deal of dropping your phones in before you start. (set up an auto-response or send out a message to those trying to get through to you that you are offline except for emergencies during that time.  It’s the best way to model that there are times when it’s ok to let the flow of social media know that you are out of touch for a little bit.  It will pay off later.)  We have a bunch of games that are co-op…i.e. everybody together against the game that are good for different ages playing together.  And one of the best thing is one of the Legacy games.  These are board games that actually change with what happens every-time you play, so instead of “what will we play tonight” it becomes “what is gonna happen next?”.  A lot of these games work great for couples too.

We don’t tend to stock a million games, but we are pretty careful about the ones we pick and we have a number that we are putting in the spotlight this year that we stocked up on.

Advice gift guide for Magic/pokemon

Gift Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D20 Recommended Games

Recommended games  Who is it good for
Planet All , Families Image result for planet gameFrom the makers of Dr. Eureka and Photosynthesis comes a game that is like a 3d puzzle version of King domino (another recommended game)…simple yet pretty interesting.   see video review here  
Godsforge Tweens and up…anyone who likes MTG Godsforge Godsforge was Ben’s fav game at the last big game store owners show.  It’s kind of like Magic meets Yatzee. Extremely well designed and just a ton of fun.  Extremely highly recommended and a great game for magic players when you don’t know what they already have.
Tiny Towns Adults, Famlies, Party This is one of the first games I’ve seen where people can just enter and leave the game without it being a problem. Sort of like town building Tertris, the goal is to get the best score by making interesting combos of buildings with the block that the next person in line picks in turn. Want a better score, stick around a do another card.  Need to go check the pies, let someone else hop in.  The game is great and it is easy to imagine it being played by different people all day, with the top score on the fridge whiteboard.
Cover Your Kingdom (Cover your Assets follow on) All Image result for cover your kingdomWhen the all time fav game in the store (Cover Your Assets) gets an “absurdly ruthless spinoff”, you think it isn’t going on our recommended list?  Preview here 
Trekking the National Parks All
Mice and Mystics All Image result for mice and mystics Redwall meets self running D&D in this coop family game that is great to play with parents and kids together. More info here and here 
Coop games/Legacy Games 
Dark Souls Board Game
Mansions of Madness
Hogwarts Battles
Gloomhaven
Terraforming Mars

 

On Sale Reg Price Sale Price
Ogre $
Terraforming Mars

 

 

Thanksgiving Sales: Relax…go play…we’ll be here- ;-)

Enough…Thanksgiving is for being with people, not shopping….

(This is a mostly a repost…but hey…we’ve been doing the same thing every year)

New this year….We not be offering any savings for our sales this year…we’re doing Givings instead.  Instead of trying to out cheap Amazon, we’re opting for going for being good people.  There has been way too much of the opposite in the world these days.  And the best way I know to deal with selfishness and bullying is with fierce kindness.    So from now till the end of the holiday season, I’m gonna ask that you save a little chunk of your gift $$ to spend with us, and in exchange,  when you buy gifts from us, together we will give more gifts for those who are a little short of random kindness.  Spend $50 or more, put a $10 gift into the big box, $100 and put up to a $20 gift, etc.   We have a bunch of great games and goodies that we’ve hand picked for the holidays, including good games for getting everyone off of screens for both thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays.

We are Closed for Thanksgiving…Open at 1pm  on Friday the 29th. (maybe earlier depending on when I can get back…but that will be bonus.)

Black Friday =Family Friday
Every year. I do my traditional Thanksgiving thing, and stand up against the marketing Tsunami  and become a foolish business guy. 

I’m not going to be part of the industry that has done such an amazing job of implanting in our minds that it is SHOPPING time, that we have forgotten that this is a day where our family/friends have often traveled a big distance, are together and don’t have to go to work.   Don’t go shopping on Friday (or Thursday night, etc).  Not in the stores, not on line, none of it.

Go play!!!  Sure, I’m the board game guy, so that’s my auto suggestion, but go for a walk, hike, de-dust the football (and stretch first..those of us who’s memories of being 12 are a few times older then being 12.)  But go goof with each other, and have some (gasp) fun!  Relax, go back to the leftovers a bunch of times when no one is looking. Or just chill out.

I’m not saying we don’t want and need yer business.  We absolutely do.  Competing with the near cost prices of Amazon means that every sale from customers who appreciate that we are creating a home for community more then anything else is absolutely key for us.  (So save some of your gift money to spend with us).  But it does mean that I’m not going to make my sales last 45 minutes so you have no choice but to leave the house in order to get them.  We’ll be doing sales all week , but we’ll base them on how many we need to sell at that price so, you can come in this weekend, or next week, etc.

Our big thing is to make sure that we listen and can point you to things that will actually be fun to play and make people happy.  (And no fake reviews either.  Ok…that was a little shot at Amazon…couldn’t help myself.)

Coming…list to a page of our recommended gifts for this year, as well as any other special stuff.  But for right now, just think about special stuffing.  (Ok…if you come into the store today, you can get some great games to play over the holiday.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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