Friday, July 31, 2009

Hang Ups

As I stated in the first post of this here blog type thing, I have not played game of Warhammer 40K since 3rd Edition. It was a game of Armageddon Steel Legion (mine) vs. Black Templars (some random dude). We went to the old Hometown Computers in Lawrence, now a few blocks away and called Hometown Hobbies, a nice shop run by nice people. Anyway, I do not remember much about the game except that it was obvious that neither of us were veteran players. It was clumsy, slow, and no one knew exactly what to do. It was fun, though. After we arived back at my apartment, a neighbor gave me a shelving unit she did not want to move. We carried it up the stairs and put it in my apartment. I still have it in my living room, two moves, one state, and 7 years later.
I moved to Missouri a few months hence and ended up in Liberty. Liberty, MO is a nice town. It has virtuallly no crime, the old downtown is pretty cool, and there is a lot of growth on the other end of town. There are no game stores. There were, when we moved in, only two nearby game sellers: Hammond Hobby and Hobby Town. Hammond was an old model shop in the mall that carried Warhammer and 40k, but it did not have a wide selection and was not, generally, a destination. The lack of tables and painted models to ogle gave the place no reason to linger. It always felt, to me, like they just wanted the customer to walk in, buy some stuff, and leave. That might work in most retail corners, but for a hobby shop, this is bad business. Hobby Town was similar, in that 40k was simply a product on the shelf and not an intrinsic part of the store. Hammond has been gone for a year and a half now and Hobby Town no longer sells Warhammer. Thus, Kansas City, MO and KS have no place to buy Games Workshop.
Do not misunderstand, there are stores in the suburbs. Lee's Summit has the excellent Pulp Fiction Comics, a store I would love even more if it were not 45 minutes from my house. Independence has the slightly closer, but less well stocked, Game Cafe. I might have gotten the wrong impression, but Game Cafe seems to be more for the collectable card game and board game set. I have only been in once, primarily since there is nothing around it my wife would have any interest in, thus reducing my chances of getting her to drive half an hour.
On the Kansas side, there are two shops. Olathe has the very cool 31st Century Games, a pure game store with lots of tables and displays and that certain something that a store in which people have fun playing games develops. You feel like you are having fun, just by walking in. I have heard good things about the store in Overland Park, Tabletop Games, but I have not darkened their doorstep, yet.
So, would it kill someone to build a store in the Northland? More on this tomorrow.

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