Sunday, February 10, 2013

Why I love my local gaming store

Four blocks from my house is a small gaming store featuring miniatures, roleplaying games, and board games.  The owner, Mike, bears more than a little resemblance to the comic book store owner on "The Simpsons."  But one reason why I like the store, Hometown Games, isn't just its convenience, it is because Mike is perfectly willing to talk me out of buying an RPG rather than try to convince me to, if it isn't the game I want.

Case in point.  Last night I was wandering around there and Mike said to me, "are you looking for something?"

I explained to him that I was several months away from ending my D&D campaign and was looking for something else, something different.  "Let me guess," said Mike, "you've got shelves of games at home, and none of them are right."

I agreed, and told him what games I had decided not to go with, like Pathfinder, because it was too much like what I had been running for the past several years. I asked him Dark Heresy, because I had heard some mixed reviews about it.  "Let me ask you this," said Mike, "does your group know the backstory to Warhammer 40K?"

"Only two of them," I said,

"Okay, then Dark Heresy may not be for you.  If you want to go with something like that, go with Only War, which I really like, because the notion of a military unit is more accessible to people, but you have to be careful with games that have a command structure some times.  Your players who are commissars might start shooting other people.  You can also go with Rogue Trader, because those are merchants in space, which is a pretty common concept for anyone familiar with sci-fi RPG's."

"What about Iron Kingdoms or Shadowrun?"

"Iron Kingdoms is another one that you need to know the background.  Shadowrun is pretty good, but there's a new edition coming out this summer, and since every edition has been better than the last, you're better off waiting."

So, just in case you missed it, a store owner told me to not buy product on his shelves that he probably will not be able to move in a few months.  Why?  Because he knows it is better to keep a customer happy with good service than score a quick sale.

Best store owner ever

What are your thoughts on the games I asked Mike about?  Comments welcome.


  1. I don't know about the games, but what I do know is you are SO fortunate to have a game store that worries more about the long term relationship with its customers than about the quick sale.

    Mike does indeed sound like the best store owner ever!

  2. must be great to have a store so close and with an owner who knows his stuff!