This is a shameless plug post. I make no apologies for it.
I recently had the pleasure of finding a new independent games shop in Middlesbrough: Asgard Wargames.
I'm a big fan of businesses setting up in town/city centres – I think that towns should be places for people to go and interact and do all those human things that just don’t really, well, work in retail parks or on the internet.
Anyhow, I found out about Asgard from the Faeit 212 blog.
(If you’re a wargamey person and haven’t come across Faeit 212 here it is: http://natfka.blogspot.co.uk/ )
Faeit 212 runs a ‘blog exchange’ and one of their chosen blogs was about starting up a games store. Imagine my astonishment to discover that this little Indy start-up was in my very own Middlesbrough. I work nearby so the very same day, I waved goodbye to the circus and popped down town.
|Gilkes Street's Premier Wargame Supplier|
The owner greeted me, he was a thoroughly pleasant and engaging chap, and didn't once try to push a hard sale on me. He stocks some core GDub stuff as well as ranges from Mantic, Wyrd Miniatures, Privateer Press and Hawk Wargames.
I walked away with the Malifaux rulebook (I've been curious about Malifaux for a while) and left with new feelings about other ranges:
I'm very tempted by the Dropzone Commander (Hawk Wargames) stuff. As an old Epic 40,000 player, I'm genuinely excited to see a resurrection of small scale Sci Fi. There'snothing as satisying as advancing columns of tanks and massive war machines across the board.
My biggest perception shift was with Mantic though – their stuff is a lot better than I thought.
I had a quick game of Dreadball. By my definition I won (2:0 on fatalities) but technically I lost (6:2 on points).
|This is my Orx bludgeoning a human into submission (as is right and proper)|
Dreadball is a simple, fast paced game and the models are getting there…
Asgard have plans to run an old school Gorkamorka campaign as well and I'm all over that like a Labour peer over an expenses claim form.
Well, Asgard have a website here: http://www.asgardwargames.co.uk/ and their blog is here: http://www.asgardwargames.co.uk/
I always advocate supporting bricks and mortar stores where you can*, but… If you’re going to order something on-lin, maybe you could order it from these chaps for a change, rather than wait a MONTH for a certain internet order company from Essex to send you two pots of paint (for example).
It’s been said by many different people in a variety of locations that we are currently in the golden age of wargaming. For various reasons (Kickstarter is one of them) there are a huge number of different companies out there, all producing miniatures and games (and the little pocket universes in which they exist) at a quality approaching or even equalling that of Games Workshop.
If these games or products are to take off; someone needs to display them, extol their virtues, sell them and get little communities gathering around playing with them.
I'm really happy that there’s another little company helping to do that. It’s a bonus that, as a corollary, they’re bringing trade and footfall to an otherwise quite depressed part of the world.
So that's it. Hope you don't mind the shameless plug, But I think this shop deserves to do well.
Viva le Geek, Viva Le Boro.
* If someone’s going to take the business risk to have a high overhead store that a customer can come into and actually poke, prod, see and talk about the product that you’re buying and is going to be helpful and friendly about it – all of which is good for the customer – I think that someone deserves the customer’s support.