I live in switzerland, traveling this week in the Minneapolis area.
Wanted to take the opprtunity to buy some stuff (Agot LCG core set boxes, packs, oher games..). Can anyone of you give advices as where I could find a shop (physical :-)) ?
I have been looking through the internet, but appart from Games By James (didn't went there, their website dosen't give any hint as if they sell FFG's), didn't find anything.
Thank you in advance.
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Well, the worst part here is that I am going to have to talk about my competition!
Not, I am not all that familiar with al lthe game stores in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, as I now own my own store (5+ years, knock on wood) and several of the ones I did know about have gone out of business in the last few years as well (the sad state of gaming overall). Here are a few I know about:
The Source Comics and Games is perhaps the best store in MN as far as selection is concerned. They have been around for many, many years and carry just about everything, including comics, book , movies and pop culture stuff. I am sure they are going to have ample Game of Thrones products, and perhaps even some older, out of print games you might be looking for. They are located in Falcon Heights, which is just north of St. Paul at the intersection of Snelling and Larpenter (Snelling is a major Avenue in the area). If you hit only one game store on your trip, this is the one.
In the north eastern suburbs of Minneapolis is the city of Anoka, and there you can find Village Games. They are a little harder to find -- their store is located in the far lower corner of an old Milk House, but they will be carrying some Game of Thrones products. I actually know the owners of the store, and we communicate often about games and stuff.
There are other gaming stores in the Twin Cities area -- Monster Den, Outpost 2000, several others -- but many don't carry Thrones products.
Now, I will pimp my store, The Gamers Den. We are located in Cambridge, MN, which is about a 45-60 drive north of Minneapolis on Hwy 65. We do carry a large variety of Game of Thrones products, and naturally I am an obsessive about the game -- which is why I make sure we carry the game. It might be a bit of a drive for you, but there are a few things I can offer over the other stores: Thrones singles, trade potential, and a booster draft event on Saturday night, January 31st, if you are around! I was going to say that I could order stuff for you, but I couldn't guarantee I'd have it in stock as I have to place my order by Wednesday at 3:00pm our time to arrive Thursday. I'm sure that Carl at Village Games could manage to order what you want in time as well.
Joe "JerusalemJones" Becker
Flew back to Europe last night, my comment:
Actually you were right, your shop was a bit far away, so I choose to go to the second one you proposed. Thank you for your advice.
I was looking for the core box (I needed 2, to get to the magical number of 3 and begin optimizing base decks). They only had one :-(
Overall nice selection of a lot of things.
However I was quite surprised by the lack of reseller in the country of FFG. Is that there were always so few reseller or it has changed ??
Game of Thrones has always been a small market card game, and as the US economy has gotten tighter, many game store are more selective about what they carry. Often, if a game doesn't have a proven track record, stores are less likely to carry it. Our store has been very successful with GoT because I an a fan of the game, and have spent hours doing demos and promotions, and have also hosted weekly events. On the opposite end of the spectrum are store's like my brother-in-law runs in St. Cloud (about an hour north-west of Minneapolis -- the Twin Cities, my store and his make a triangle of sorts). St. Cloud has over 10x the population of our home city, and I suggested he try Thrones. Both him and his wife enjoy the books, and I told him if he learned the game and did demos and events (like I did) he should do well with the game. Instead, he put it on the shelf and never looked at the rules. He finally sold off the last of his Valyrian starters in the past year, and won't even consider stocking the LCG.
To be fair, though, I make many of the same decisions. There are many card games out there, and unless you are a major store there is no way to carry them all. We consistently stock Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, World of Warcraft and Game of Thrones. I occasionally carry Naruto, Pokemon and UFS. I tried L5R, Warlord, Vs., Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and many others over the years. Some games do well in some areas, some not so well.
On the other hand, I doubt you could walk into any game store in MN and not find a FFG Board Game. This is where FFG truly excels, and we carry a large selection of their games ourselves. I think this is what FFG and Christian is trying to tap into with the LCG model -- put the card game next to other board game products, make the base game stand alone and try to promote the Chapter Packs as expansions. This gives the opportunity for board gamers to actually give the game a try, and for folks into collectible games it actually makes Thrones a very cheap game comparatively. After all, what other game can you buy the full set of cards for $40? And looking at the success of games like Dominion why shouldn't this model work.
I do feel that most game manufacturers do a poor job of getting product information into the hands of retailers. Most often a retailer has to contact a manufacturer directly, and then hope they get on either their mailing or email list. Even then, you often don't get good or timely information. I know as much about FFG games as I do because I practically live on this site, but the other day I got a phone call from looking looking for Elk Run, which I had never heard of. Turns out, it is a game by Mayfair, the makers of Catan. Yet I had no idea this game existed, as Mayfair has not sent me any catalogs, emails or other information about their games in years, if in fact ever. And out store has been open for 5-1/2 years, and I have talked with their reps at trade shows, and know they had to have received a business card from us at some point. At least FFG sends out a weekly email to keep me posted, but again I had to sign up to receive it.
Well, once again I have gone off on a gaming tangent, but the way it see it, information is power, and the more people know, the better off they are. Hope you enjoyed your visit, and be thankful you weren't here the previous week when temperatures where 20 degrees colder (in Celsius).
I should also add that even if you showed up at my store, I would only have had one Core Set as well, as I sold the second to last copy on Wednesday night.
Thank you for this extensive answer.
I better understand now.
I should come back in March for one week, will definitely try to come to your shop.
Let me know when. we can always do a Five Kings/Iron Throne booster draft. I have some booster boxes left over that I bought back in December, so the draft would be free, but you don't get to keep the cards. Its still a fun time -- last night there was 8 of us, including Nate from FFG.
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