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Wayne Argabright

local vs non-local LGS rant.

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So at my local LGS last night the owner came over and said he would have to start charging us 5 bucks a week or 15 bucks a week purchase to have the "privilege" of playing at his store. (words in quotes are embellished for your reading pleasure). All the other non-local LGS's i have played at do not do this but usually have bi-monthly ops where you pay 5 bucks to play or a ship purchase. Matter of fact there is a non-local LGS that I support far more than my local LGS for the following reasons:

NoN-local LGS has dedicated Miniature/X-wing gaming tables.

Has lights that actually work!!!

Doesn't boot us out at 8P.M.

runs bi-monthly OP kits...

tables are goo free...  (as is clean)...

Has a good selection of diet drinks!  (local seldom has diet drinks) even though it pretty much sits across the street from a grocery store)

 

Contrast that for the "Privilege" of playing at the non-local LGS..

 

Non-dedicated play area that we constantly have to move folks out of the way and then move tables around so we can make a table big enough for an X-wing mat even though its our dedicated play night.

 

cheesy "Magic" type plastic card tables, no dedicated Miniature/x-wing tables.. (even though I made the store ONE table topper) for that purpose but due to the way the store is set up if you use it you have to scoot the other tables back for sitting space every time!!) (which you have to do anyway but then you get uneven tables where they join up in the middle)

 

Tables are frequently covered in food goo that I have to clean before moving them around to set up.

 

Got tired of having to move folks and tables around so we started setting up in the "back room" of the LGS.  Tables are uneven when placed together however at-least we dont have to move them around every time we play. we just have to deal with the warped space effect where the two tables join up at the mid way point. (uneven hill at mid point of mat) or use the single table topper if only two folks are playing. 

 

However lights in back room suck!!  Flickering florescent strobe effect with only half of them working! AC is also not to good in the back room!! have mentioned that to owner years ago seems to only get fixed when back room is getting used for war hammer..lol 

 

Owner has only run ONE op kit in the last 3 maybe 4 years! (as long as i can remember the place being open)

 

boots us out at 8P,M,. did i mention that?? lol 

 

Frequently has a problem with kids running around unattended while the parents are busy smoking outside or playing magic. 

 

Also his prices are sky high. I remember going in to purchase a few extra Tie advanced prototypes and paying nearly 18 bucks each for them i even asked why they were so expensive and he just shrugged.. He also gave me the look of death when I borrowed some paints from a friend so i could paint one of my Z's rather than buy the paint he had. 

 

In a nut shell I have no problems supporting an LGS that supports us. I also think the owner is confusing us X-wing players with his cash cow magic players/pokman players in that we do NOT need his store most all of us are older and  have houses or access to other places to play. Really the only reason most of us go there is to grow the game which actually helps the LGS..  Ok thanks for letting me vent!!!  

 

 

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If I was you I would just rotate the game night between your houses, you will be much happier and get better conditions. You could then just once a month or something go as a group to the store that's 1 hour away to meet new people and get more variety with players. I would also avoid purchasing anything from a store that does not appreciate you.

If you want to grow the local game try and get everyone in your group to get just one friend involved, they could show them a basic game in their own time then bring them along to one of the evenings if they interested. If everyone there just recruited 1 person every 3-4 months after a year you probably wouldn't all fit into 1 house for an evening of X wing lol.

As an example our group has grown in this manner, not using any stores but just asking friends, from just 2-3 to about 9-12 in about 9 months.

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You could also go to any of the Comic Stores or other "Nerdy" stores in the area if they would be interested in hosting and carrying FFG product. FFG, and now asmodee, have a MASSIVE range of board games that people go nuts for as well. So you may gain some traction there. 

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it is indeed its closing time but it does stay open tell all hours on Friday and Saturday. Days that at reserved for magic/pokman and other NON-xwing games... Due to space limits i doubt we could play Friday due to crowd.  

He also tends to stay open longer on nights when he is playing games with other folks. We only seem to get the boot when its just us X-wing players in the store.  To clarify if we are playing X-wing and he is playing some other game with his magic clan or whatever he tends to stay open longer for them/himself. 

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I choose to support the best game store in the area.  It's not the closest and traffic can be absolutely horrible, but that's where I go.  There is a very close store that is quite small and caters to card gamers.  The tables are tiny card gamer tables.  They just don't have the room for X-wing there and don't seem interested in trying to get it.  

 

There was another store in the over-crowded side of the city that charged per game space.  You either had to spend that much on new product (that they didn't keep much in stock of what I played) or pay for the table space.  I went a few times, but I hate it.  I played Warhammer in those days and had to pay for 6 spaces as that's how much a 6x4 table took up.  He definitely catered to card gamers.  I quit going there and I heard they went out of business a few months ago.  

 

I have chosen to stop buying any X-wing online (except the epics) and buy the rest at my LGS that I do go to.  I want to ensure I still have a place to go to.  

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Storgar that is basically what we are doing now as for local "nerdy" stores i think we only have one other one but will check it it. i know they dont have X-wing stuff. We are also located right next to an Air force base so that brings in a good bunch of well paid disciplined nerds..lol matter of fact i think EVERYBODY in my local group is ether active duty retired or a family member of an active duty person... I plan on going out to the base today to see if they still have a REC-Center as another option. would be cool if FFG would let us order op kits. But we really dont have a problem travelling to the non-local store once a twice a month to play them. 

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reminds me of the LGS on the other side of town. Though not quite that bad lol.

 

This place has a reputation for being a rather hostile environment for people playing there and things tend to disappear. I dont know why people go over there since they know about the one i usually goto (which fortunately im closer to).

 

My FLGS doesnt kick us out immediately when it closes (9 weekdays 10 fri/sat) they just urge us to finish our round and pack up. Ive been there about 30mins after closing multiple times lol.

Doesnt and has claimed to never charge us to play there. Hobbie isnt an idiot he knows if he does that a lot of people will stop coming for that alone. Though hes not afraid to tell people they cant play here if the entire party never buys anything there because its "cheaper" online and i completely agree with that notion: you use my tables, buy stuff from here not a 5% discount online otherwise the tables may vanish one day.

 

Your closest gaming store sounds like a hole in the wall claiming to be a store. Let that place burn and just travel to the other one. I know it sucks since its harder to go there as often but fewer more enjoyable trips > frequent bleh trips.

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Storgar that is basically what we are doing now as for local "nerdy" stores i think we only have one other one but will check it it. i know they dont have X-wing stuff. We are also located right next to an Air force base so that brings in a good bunch of well paid disciplined nerds..lol matter of fact i think EVERYBODY in my local group is ether active duty retired or a family member of an active duty person... I plan on going out to the base today to see if they still have a REC-Center as another option. would be cool if FFG would let us order op kits. But we really dont have a problem travelling to the non-local store once a twice a month to play them. 

 

OP will only send them to a store unfortunately. That is strange that with a base of that size nearby the store behaves in that way towards wargames. Usually, having that military presence allows for profitability from pure wargames. TBH it sounds like this guy just needs a competing store to kick him in the rear. 

 

If there is a barnes and noble, they also sell the game and might be willing to host events. 

 

As for the uneven table problem, you can go to home depot and have them cut 3x3 squares out of spare siding and stuff for dirt cheap. Or you can go the pink foam route and ask for defective pieces. 

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Storgar that is basically what we are doing now as for local "nerdy" stores i think we only have one other one but will check it it. i know they dont have X-wing stuff. We are also located right next to an Air force base so that brings in a good bunch of well paid disciplined nerds..lol matter of fact i think EVERYBODY in my local group is ether active duty retired or a family member of an active duty person... I plan on going out to the base today to see if they still have a REC-Center as another option. would be cool if FFG would let us order op kits. But we really dont have a problem travelling to the non-local store once a twice a month to play them.

Is the Non-Local LGS Ready to Play in Columbia? I just saw you were from Sumter

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I've had issues at one of my LGS. The owner is always a jerk and every person who I met has had the same problems with him. The other employees are great, and the owner gives away so much free stuff, but no one wants the free stuff if he's being a jerk the other times. Finally I gave up going there and wrote a review on Yelp. I simply stated examples of what happened and the owner found me on Facebook and didn't apologize once. Just made excuses and that I was an awful person. He even threatened my job as if he has any power over my job. The guy is crazy and only reason he's in business is his dad is a millionaire.

My recommendation for you would maybe see if you can play the games at your house or a friends and order online, if the owner doesn't change. If not go to the alternatives.

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My own 2 cents: the notion of supporting a "local" gaming store could be shortened to simply supporting a gaming store, period.

 

Every store in my area is 1 hour away through public transit (I picked the one area without them, go figure), but our community is very mobile for events and such.  I would say that generally speaking, we tend to support the stores that support the game.

 

One store ran multiple tournaments, is involved in the community and even hosted an epic league over several months, so I bought an entire wave there (and some of my epic ships).  His prices were standard (no online discout) and his store was out of the way for me, but his efforts helped grow our community and we had a lot of fun, so I voted to keep him in business using my money.

 

In the end, it's a personal choice.

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If a game store wants to charge for gaming on his tables... well, I have my own at home thanks.  If he wants to operate as an event hall rather than a store that encourages people to stick around and buy food and merchandise then that is his call but I am not interested.  Lucky to live near the FFG center, though seriously wish they would invest in sound dampening tiles for the ceiling.

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Vote with your wallet.

 

If you appreciate a LGS, show them a little love by spending your dough with them when you can and being a courteous patron.

 

If you don't appreciate your LGS, then close the wallet.

 

Capitalism is survival of the fittest. Stores with poor practices suffer the consequences of their own bad decisions. If you want to help yourself and possibly the store, you might try to share these feelings with the owner in a calm and constructive manner.

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Ok. I don't own a store but I have to rant here.  These guys are there to make money.  They are not there to foster our entertainment.  So you should always look at everything they do through the filter of they need to feed their family too.

 

That said, if he makes a decision that you don't like, just go shop at another store.  The public in the US forgets just how much power we have. If we don't spend our money, at a store that displeases us, in great enough numbers they will have to change or go out of business.

 

Personally, we have great store owners near me, but don't think for a min, that if they could find a way to do it that would not slit their own wrists, that they would not start charging for table space, Air conditioning, or anything else that would make them money.  It is a business after all. And they walk a fine line between being very successful and being bust. 

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I have a sizable credit at a store that is about a 40-minute drive. It hosts all kind of gaming but not certain about League play. Another store with a very large gaming area, hosting all types of tournaments is 50-minutes away. I say that because when I found a store that's a 20-minute drive, I was pleased enough to buy a play mat to show my appreciation. (The expansions are all there but a bit over retail price.) Now I find another store that's less than 10 minutes (XW is definitely getting popular again!) away and will be carrying product as well. It's nice to have choices. 

 

But dukewolf is right about business being business, which is why I bought the mat at the store that is trying to get XW going and is closer to me. It's why I will also make purchases at the store that's even closer. You have to vote with your wallet. 

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