Thursday, June 3, 2010

Support your local FLGS, but what if you really don't have one?

FLGS = Friendly Local Gaming Store. Most of us have a flgs that we frequent every week or so. Now I am a big supporter of small businesses so I avidly support the local flgs (in my case, Leisure Hours Hobby Shop). The problem is, Leisure Hours does not have any space at all for gaming. I've talked to the owner about it and he shot down the idea, which is kind of depressing. So instead I go out to the famed Chicago Battle Bunker with the rest of the DLT guys.

The Bunker is nice and all but I'm really starting to get tired of it. It has now become a spot where suburban parents think they can drop their kids of for a few hours (if not the whole day) while they go fool around with their personal trainers or Mailman or whatever. We were also told that we would have access to the annex of the Bunker because of our gaming club, which at time was was awesome. These days we are basically having to pull teeth in order to get to the annex we were promised access to. There has been times that we were told to play in the main room  because (paraphrased)your armies are painted and we would like new customers to see painted armies which would hopefully boost sales. Are we a marketing ploy for GW? No. Do we get a discount if you are using MY army to try to boost sales? No. All in all I am getting sick and tired of the Bunker.

As I said earlier, I am a big supporter of small businesses. The GW Battle Bunker is not a small business. Now, I have heard stories of independently owned gaming stores that are as big as the Bunker, stock every gaming system (not just GW), have tons of tables to play on, give discounts to regular customers and are open till the wee hours of the morning. I honestly don't think a store like this exists in the Chicagoland area. I have heard of Games Plus and Black Sun games, but they're at least an hour drive from my house, if not longer. I am greatly disappointed that the third largest city in the US doesn't have big independently owned flgs's.

If such a store existed in my area, I would do all that I could to support it because I know a store owner would appreciate the support and he would return the favor. GW just wants my money, that's all they care about. Because of this, GW has lost a huge chunk of my business to Leisure Hours and The Broken Forge. I still buy the random product at the Bunker because I do believe in buying where you play, but no where near as much as I have in the past. Now let's say I want to give another gaming system a try, if it's not GW I can't play it at the Bunker. Fuck that.

So how is the flgs's in your area? Do you even have one or does GW have a monopoly in your market? Do you support your flgs? If you don't have one, which online site do you use? How can I remedy my problem, start my own store with the guys? Feel free to speak your mind.


  1. I am in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area and we have only FLGS. Well, not all of them are as friendly as others, but they are all locally owned. Not all of them sell GW product. We have one store that specializes only in the collectible card games and board games. Three of the stores are primary comic book stores with a decent selection of gaming supplies and places to play. The one I frequent is primary game store with some comics. This is the only store I have found that will get me anything gaming I want if he can. It is the store that has some of the best players around and some of the nicest. We don't get to many little kids showing up there like the other store do, but the kids that do show up act very mature for their age.

    I support at least 3 of the 5 stores in our area. The one I frequent the most I buy the most from of course, but one of the other stores is close to work and if my regular store doesn't have it, I can usually find it at the store by my work. The third one I only buy paint from and the occasional board game.

  2. I have the same problem at the local independant shop its more of a place to drop of kids while mum goes shoping. the owner co habits with a pet shop and im betting they dont sell much product and get most income from chargeing for tables. The best way is to get the "quality" players together and start your own club, use a garage or if their are enough rent a space one night in a civic centre. you can also frequent the store and cherry pick suitable players you meet there.

  3. Well I personally think this means you guys should open a store like that... obviously if you feel this way then the business need is there and surely you are not the only one that feels this way... I'm just saying like I said the other night, I'm calling for a DICE LIKE THUNDER gaming store, and you know the name is even perfect.. I think you guys should think about it :D

  4. Well I have been thinking of opening a bar/gaming store for a while now I am still doing research on it. I am still trying to draw the outlines of the concept I want to create but I think it would be great to have beer and play some 40k have a more like my buddies and I went out to go shoot some pool type atmosphere.

  5. No FLGS near me either. There's a nice one a short drive down the road from work, but I commute to work, so... yeah. Not really an option for a regular visit on my days off. =(

    I really, REALLY need to win the damned Lotto.

  6. I dont have one here .. but here in Australia .. we are more about the interdependent games clubs, rather then playing at stores ...

  7. I don't know how many people out there ever was the kid from the gaming store but I was. Now at 26 I'm always careful about complaining about kids being left there alone. It depends on the age of the kid and the disposition of both the child and parent but if I wasn't left alone to enjoy myself to my leisure at my FLGS then I never would have become the hobbyist that I am today. A problem with having to let the kids, good and bad, stay in the hobby shops so that you can get a few really quality opponents down the road is that even the good ones are going to act up and be stupid kids a little. I'll tell you that I didn't act up but that's only because I'm a stick in the mud, my brother and friends were terrors but they are also some of the better gamers now that you can run across. I'm not saying that you should have to deal with them all of the time and especially in a GW environment where the kids have a little too much power but it takes a village...or maybe a bunker to raise a young hobbyist.