The process of opening a successful store has been an ever evolving one. There were some things i did know. I knew it would be a lot of long hours and hard work, with slim margins for quite a while. I knew Magic: the Gathering would be our biggest seller, along with the table top war games, role playing games and accessories. I also knew that there was a large amount of things i did NOT know. What i was not prepared for was how MUCH I didn’t know!
Board games, while not a significant slice of our business, are a key point in our business strategy. They are attractive to the casual and family oriented gamers while bringing in a large variety of product. I quickly came to realize how much variety there is.
…. Board games: Traditional - some assembly required - no board required ….
These aren’t your traditional games. Sure the staples are still out there; Monopoly, Risk and such, as well as their variations (Risk Godstorm etc..). Now there are games with expansion. Talisman comes to mind. This game has a traditional structure where you roll dice, move around the board, collect items and aim to be the last man standing, but it also adds in more boards. There are two expansions which sit at the corners of the board, as well as expansions that change the end goal and ones that add twists like bringing the grim reaper into play. Definitely a step up from Monopoly.
In some games you assemble the board from tiles and play the rest like a traditional game. One example of this type of game is the hugely popular Settlers of Catan. In this game you randomly assemble the board, acquire resources to buy settlements, cities and roads. These, along with gaining achievements like the longest road and largest army, are converted into victory points, with the first person to ten winning the game. There are also a number of expansions to this game that allow for great re-playability. This is a very simple explanation of a game that is easy to learn, but more in depth that the games i grew up with.
Other types of games i never knew about are tile laying games. These games involve building the board as you go. Some examples of this type of game are Dungeon Quest, Zombies! and Carcassone. Carcassone is probably the most well known of this category. You begin with one tile face up and 71 others placed face down. Players take turns drawing tiles and placing them next to played tiles, making sure they connect them appropriately (roads to roads, cities to cites etc..). Players can opt to place followers on the tiles they laid. When the last tile is laid, players get points for tiles they have followers on and the person with the most points wins. This game also has several expansions which add more variety to the game play.
This does not include the plethora of games that could be lumped in with board games, but do not quite fit. These include the deck building games, living card games, dice games and other such games that I will get into in future posts. Suffice it to say that I have discovered that there is a huge variety of games to play, and that Monopoly is not the be all end all of games, but just a gateway into a greater domain of play.