March!

Rather than risk boring everyone with my non-stop Heavy Gear updates, I thought I’d take the time to bore people in other ways –namely by highlighting the in-store gaming for this month!

Regular In-Store Gaming?

Over all my years in hobby retail, I’ve worked at stores that were role-playing games focused, comic-books focused, Warhammer Focused and board-games focused; over all this time, I’ve learned it’s the warm bodies in the store –the ones that aren’t employed there– that makes a store feel like it’s thriving …or at least like it’s not in its death throes. Hence, every games store that isn’t blessed with being a high foot-traffic location tries to have in-store gaming as much as possible just to feel like the place is a busy hub …and also to keep away the oppressive crushing silence that dominates an empty store during business hours.

March events 4 blog

.

Gaming This Month

I was first going to give a synopsis of how gaming’s been going and then follow through with a run-down of what games are being played on which days. However, at the starting point of writing that, I realised I being fairly redundant …and then I looked at the games-nights flyer and saw that if I continued on that course I’d be triply redundant. Triple redundancy is a great thing in passenger planes …and the space program. For a blog: not so much. I’ve decided to simply scribe a few thoughts with each day’s gaming (the format of the flyer we hand out and display really limits how much we can say / advertise for each gaming night; some of the gaming days could stand some fleshing out).

.

Infinity Mondays
Infinity has really surprised me: I’m of the view that any game where the one of the first things players say about it is “and you’ll never need more than a dozen models” is a game that is likely living on borrowed time. Infinity sure seems to be bucking that trend! My hobby plate is more than a little full, so I’ve side-stepped this sci-fi skirmish game, but it sure seems to scratch enough itches that the players who buy multiple factions are more the norm than the exception. For an upstart game, our nights are well attended; we do get some slow nights, but we get some quite busy ones too.

.

Tuesday’s Warhammer Fantasy Battles
Warhammer nights for us are up and down. That said, we have a few regulars, one of which has been posting battle reports on Youtube regularly (quite a few of them done at Imaginary Wars too!). What’s interesting is that on more than a couple of occasions, we’ve some guys (relatively) new to Warhammer 40,000 show up on Tuesday evenings –mainly because their schedules can’t accommodate Thursday or Sunday gaming. Say what you will about Games Workshop, but the pervasiveness of 40k in the gaming world easily rivals Coca-Cola’s in the world abroad.

.

Wednesday: Canadian Minis Night becomes Strange Aeons & Paint Club Night
With the Heavy Gear slow-grow league in full force …and being regularly attended on Fridays and (some) Saturdays, I felt having a Heavy Gear night in the middle of the week was risking players showing up to play on several days during the week without ever actually meeting other players.

.

So for now, gaming on Wednesdays will focus specifically on Strange Aeons. As has become tradition, Uncle Mike (the creator of Strange Aeons) shows up at the store on the first Wednesday of each month to run introductory games, show off new rules etc; and though our Wednesdays are attended by a smaller crowd, our Strange Aeons players show up every week …almost religiously. They are one of the store’s most solid groups, and anyone hoping to get into this more casual skirmish game (it’s almost a mash-up of X-Files, Call of  Cthulhu and Mordheim) could do no better than to come down to the store on Wednesdays.
(In other Strange Aeons news, it should be pointed out that a new scenario was just released for free on the Strange Aeons website!)

.

Warhammer 40,000 OWNS Thursday Evenings
Once, we had this one disastrously slow Thursday evening (I think there was a blizzard or something to that effect) and only six people showed up to play 40k.  Not all nights are crazy-busy, but Thursday is one of the best nights of the week for guaranteeing players an opponent.

.

Eclectic Fridays: More than FNM!
Where Thursdays are dominated by 40k, Fridays usually sees double the amount of players engaged in a broad assortment of different games. The tent-pole games are really Magic the Gathering’s Friday Night Magic and Flames of War, but we’ve added Heavy Gear to the repertoire (which is seeing success; I think we have 12 people active in the league right now!). That said, Friday Nights at Imaginary Wars have been no strangers most recently to Victory at Sea and previously Dystopian Wars, Black Powder and Firestorm Armada.

.

Saturdays: Open Gaming and Events
Saturdays remain the domain of open, unscheduled gaming and special events. We’ve run more than a couple very successful tournaments on Saturdays; non-tournament events tend to fall on Saturdays as well and they’ve all been well received. I’ve been pondering making Saturdays our board game day…

.

Sunday: 40k in the Afternoon
Proving that Warhammer 40,000 is the game ’round these parts, we have it running on Sundays as well –though on Sundays we also tend to see one or more Firestorm Armada games hit the tables as well. For me, Firestorm Armada scratches the itch that GW’s Battlefleet Gothic stopped being able to take care of years ago. Though games regularly take longer than standard 40k games, the rules are elegant enough that players rarely notice the time going by. Easy to learn, difficult to master, great game play and awesome models: all reasons to get into the game!

.

Paint Club?
Paint club is our effort to provide space (and supplies) for players to meet up and paint their models. This is all done under the auspice that when people do creative work in concert with others, their productivity flourishes. Sometimes that productivity is evidenced by how much work is done, other times it’s in skills learned or ideas that would never have been struck  upon had others not been around to help germinate the initial thoughts and ideas.

Anyways, this is what I experienced in university …and (oddly enough) while working at Games Workshop. In fact, ask any ex-Red shirt who worked for GW –back when the Hobby Centres painted store armies– about how their painting improved during their tenure with the company. This is my hope with our painting club night (right now being directed towards Wednesday evenings).

.

So there you have it:
that’s what a week of gaming at Imaginary Wars tends to look like. In the coming days, I’m hoping to do an update about our Heavy Gear Slow-Grow League, as well as announce some exciting events on the horizon for the store concerning Flames of War, Firestorm Armada …and possibly Warhammer 40,000 (and maybe Heavy Gear also).

Also, Imaginary Wars Gaming and Hobbies: the store hits its first anniversary next month, and we’re going to do something special for that!

Advertisements

In-Store Gaming This November

In my effort to be more active with my blog—and to also acknowledge that the blog is also an extension of the store—I’ve decided to post about this month’s in-store gaming information sheet (along with a bit of embellishment to make it read less like I’m simply going over the flyer day by day, bit by bit).

To have a bit of fun with the idea, I decided to also include the flyer from our first month of business (back in April of aught-twelve…heh) as a bit of a comparison between what I thought we’d have for gaming upon opening and where we’re currently at for in-store gaming.

Continue reading

“A Fully Operational Battle Station”

Cheers!

June 9, 2012 marks (essentially) the second month of Imaginary Wars Gaming and Hobbies being open for business!

I decided back before opening the business that I would have a “soft” opening (that is, opening for business with little fan fare or hoopla) and then do some sort of grand opening event a little further down the road. This weekend is officially “a little further down the road” for the store, and we’re having a bit of a sale to celebrate! Obviously, because I’ll need to restock any I sell, the deals won’t be anything crazy like everything half price BUT there will be a store-wide deal and a few more product-specific deals–plus cake! And popcorn!

To make the whole weekend feel a little more event-ish, we decided to also showcase some of the games we specialise in AND we’re running a Warhammer 40,000 tournament in the store all day on the Sunday of the weekend.

While some of the product lines I was hoping to have in stock for the grand opening have not arrived for the weekend, one of my other goals for the weekend was to have the store’s points program (the “Imaginary Dollars Points Program”) up and running….which it is!

Continue reading

White Dwarf #389 Reviewed!

Well, White Dwarf #389 is out…and this is the first chance I’ve had since opening the store to do one of my White Dwarf reviews. The last two issues were forgettable blurs for me; apart from some wave two Necron release pictures and information, I can’t remember much about the last two issues of the magazine. I guess that must mean that they were forgettable in their mundanity (far better that that than being noteworthy due to exceptional awfulness).

Issue 389 is almost noteworthy for awfulness…almost. I lay full blame on the Space Marine Stormtalon for this—not that the Stormtalon is truly terrible….I just think it will be one of Games Workshop’s more …polarizing model kits. That, and why anyone would choose to release this kit—and show it off—right beside the AWESOME Ork Bommer and Necron Night/Doom Scythe models is beyond me. The Stormtalon just doesn’t compare to those two kits. As a Space Marine player, opening up this issue and seeing the Stormtalon alongside the other two kits, I’d be feeling like GW was giving me—and all Marine players—the short end of the stick.

I mean, what, with something like EIGHTY percent of all the armies being played right now being Space marine armies, hasn’t GW firmly established that only red-headed step children play armies that aren’t Space Marines? But I digress…

Continue reading

The Post Where I Explain What I’ve Been Up To

Yeah, yeah…

I know I haven’t updated the blog in quite a while–three weeks, to be precise. What can I say? Starting up a store takes up a lot of time!

Beyond embarking on a one-day road trip to procure store armies for Heavy Gear, I’ve essentially done NOTHING as far as hobby time goes. What I have been doing though has been working (fairly) hard to transform the spot I’ve leased from an empty bay….to an empty store.

Because I’m TERRIBLE at documenting things as they happen, I don’t have much to show in the way of  incremental improvement. However, I DID at least take a couple quick movies to show how the store has been coming along.

I’ve already included pictures of the store from the first day I went to check it out and decide if I wanted to put in the offer to lease; those pictures can be seen here.

Continue reading

White Dwarf #386 Review

So it’s a week after the White Dwarf was released, and I’ve had plenty of opportunities this week to flip through it (many times even). The extra time I’ve taken has meant that I’ve had the opportunity to flip through the book several times; which is good thing: in many ways this is actually a really good issue of White Dwarf. I’m not sure how much of a passing grade I’d give this issue, but it does have its strengths–which is exceptional considering how many past issues over the last few years have been nothing more than a conglomerate of weaknesses and failures.

This issue is a little different compared to the last…two years of White Dwarf—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The first thing that struck me was that the table of contents (which, for my format for reviewing the magazine, is practically the most important part of the rag) was shifted forward a little.

More interestingly, the month’s editorial moved as well: no longer relegated to the backside of the front cover, it’s been given its own proper page. More significantly, the editorial is presented less as a footnote and more as an introduction to the month’s issue, due mostly to the mug shots at the bottom of the page of this month’s contributors to the magazine.

I think this may be the first signal that GW knows there is something wrong with their magazine: to me, this feels like a first step to making real changes. I’m hesitant to attribute the changes to the editor, as it has always felt to me he lacks the personal initiative to really try and improve the book. No, Andrew “Cut-and-Paste” Kenrick’s efforts seem to be more about perpetuating the “just good enough” culture that has permeated the magazine for the last few years.

—Indeed, as I was writing that last paragraph, I had to double check the spelling of the editor’s last name; at the top of his editorial page, the editorial header says this is White Dwarf #387 (which it is in the UK)…even though the front cover of the North American edition clearly shows it to be #386! Come on, White Dwarf: either change the numbering system to all the White Dwarfs across the world, or perhaps make sure your editor is able to know what issue number he’s working on! Sloppy.

.

Continue reading

Boss Zagstruk: Work in Progress

I’ve been thinking that I should be showing off more of the stuff I’m working on—in an attempt to get me to sit at my painting table and get more painting done. So today, I’m “showing off” where I’m at right now with a commission I’m working on: Ork Boss Zagstruk.

Continue reading