Saturday, February 29, 2020

Happy Meal toys

Not our area of expertise but we picked up 35 boxes of McDonald's Happy Meal toys this week. The toys date from 1999 to around 2010 and include promotional toys from Beauty and the Beast, Spy Kids 2, Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean. We will list most of them on eBay but have a couple of boxes in the store if you want to come in and poke through them.

Friday, February 28, 2020

To the Aid of Falx

It is not surprising if you have never heard of "To The Aid Of Falx". It was a 16 page module released by TSR in 1982. Written by Frank Metzer with art by Jim Holloway, only members of the RPGA at the time could purchase it. The only module rarer than this one, as far as I know, is the first printing of Palace of the Silver Princess, all of which copies were recalled and destroyed, although some remained in distribution.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Magic Unsanctioned

Magic Unsanctioned releases tomorrow and seems to me that it is a test drive for the new Jumpstart format coming this summer, since the set comes in one box with different 30 count decks that you shuffle together and play. Of course, the problem is separating the cards after you finish playing. I rather bet that Jumpstart won't last very long. Look at how long the Battlebound and Conspiracy formats lasted. Interesting ideas but vanished after the release of the set.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

new Releases

Looks like three new releases arriving this Friday from WOTC and Paizo. It would appear WOTC does not expect much from the new Unsanctioned set as there was almost no promotion for it and the release on Friday hit us by surprise but the lands look pretty cool. Then there is the new Dungeon Mayhem game, Monster Madness, which can either play with the original Dungeon Mayhem decks or play by itself. Finally, Paizo releases the Game Mastery Guide for 2nd Edition Pathfinder.  all of these are available, while quantities last, on Friday.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Temple of Elemental Evil

Got in a copy of the original Temple of Elemental Evil over the weekend. The first edition version , still in pretty good shape. I remember the year it came out at GenCon. D&D players had been waiting for it for several years, ever since the village of Homlet module came out. Players had gotten to the point that they thought the TOEE would never release so when it finally arrived, the line at GenCon was a block long (rather like Illinois marijuana dispensaries last January) and 90% of the people walking around the convention had a copy.

Monday, February 24, 2020

1st Edition Combat Computer

Had a 1st edition Combat Computer come into the store over the weekend. This was a giveaway in Dragon #74 and is a cardboard dial for the DMs use when calculating to hit numbers for monsters. It figures in all relevant stats such as weapon bonus, class bonus, level adjustment etc. Not particularly useful for players who generally have all of their THACOs figured for their characters but very helpful for the DM who has to calculate lots of different THACOs.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Trade over the Next Decade

The industry will see a lot of disruption in trade over the next decade.
This will prove to affect a lot of boardgame publishers, especially those launching new games via the Kickstarter channel. Since most of them use China for sourcing the manufacture of their launched games, disruptions in the channel will greatly affect their logistics and pricing. The industry dodged a pricing bullet with the delay by the administration of a tariff on boardgaming (and other related products) imported from China but neither nation has signed off on even the touted Phase One of an agreement. The president has said he is in no rush to sign off on an agreement and we could see a delay in one until after the 2020 election.

 More concerning than that though, at least to a lot of experts, is the neutering of the WTO trade courts by America’s decision to block the appointment of judges to the court, not only under the Trump administration but also the Obama and Bush ones. This deprives the court of a quorum, forstalling it from making rulings on trade disputes. Thanks to the court serving as an impartial referee (although the US argues otherwise and has made its displeasure known by blocking judge appointments), the last 50+ years have seen tremendous growth in international trade, aided by the arbitration of the court, reducing instances of trade wars and allowing multilateral agreements to flourish. With the projected demise of the court in the next few years, I would expect to see a return to greater reliance on bilateral agreements and more instances of stronger economies imposing agreements on weaker ones.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

When the Publisher Also Sells

vendors selling both through stores and directly to the consumer is pretty common, common enough that we have a term for it, dual distribution, which sounds pretty innocuous. Vendors have used dual distribution for decades now but the internet has made it so much easier for a manufacturer to do. You can purchase Nike products at any shoe or sporting goods store in the country as well as from the Nike website. The website even allows customers to custom design their shoes and a number of my students over the years have said they purchase custom shoes from the website, as well as purchasing them through stores like Priority Sports and Academy Sports.

So what does Phipps say you should do in a situation where one of the publishers you stock is selling direct to consumer.  In a word “Get over it.” The publisher made the product and, unless they have some sort of contract with stores, the publisher has the right to sell the product to whomever they wish, at whatever price they wish. Phipps also veers off talking about economies of scale, the idea that the more you purchase of something, the cheaper you can generally get it. Check the price per roll on a four-pack of toilet paper versus the price per roll of a 48 count pack. Larger quantities means you can buy more of an item and get it more cheaply, often with extra benefits like free shipping or extended terms.

As I mentioned earlier, publishers can and do sell their product for whatever price they wish. Most of them sell it at their MSRP, in order to avoid devaluing their product. If you publish a product and set a certain MSRP on it, customers expect that. However, if you publish a product, set a certain MSRP on it and then sell the product consistently to the customer at a discount, customers start expecting that discounted price all the time and extinguishing that expectation can prove pretty hard to do. This is a reason Paizo has seen a significant dropoff in retailers carrying full lines of their books. We see significant discounts on WOTC’s line of D&D books through Hasbro but most stores still sell a lot of those books. Why? My thinking it a lot of it has to do with in-store events. Running D&D games (and other events) gets the customer in the store where, Phipps says you sell to them, right then, right there. Customers in your store want the product now. That is why, even with its 2 day Prime guarantee, Amazon is still working to bring its delivery time down to one day and even same day delivery, because Amazon knows that immediacy is something customers want and still cannot get consistently from Amazon but they can from their FLGS.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Magic Jumpstart

It appears WOTC has looked at the popularity of AEG's Smash Up and decided to put out its own version, Jumpstart. From what I can tell, each booster pack of 20 cards will have a theme such as "cats", "Garruk" or "doctor". Players will decide what two themes they want to combine, buy boosters with those themes, and shuffle them together to make a 40 card deck, to which they add land. The set reprints about 500 cards and adds 37 new cards, only legal in Jumpstart or in Eternal format tournaments (Vintage, Legacy and Commander). Interesting idea but I do not see the player based embracing Jumpstart as a regular format. It will likely go the way of Conspiracy and Battlebond within a year.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Ski and Excel Beverage

Stop in and check out our selection of the various sodas from Excel Beverage, including Ski, Cherry Ski and Moonsicle. According to Excel, we are the only place remaining in southern Illinois where you can mix and match their flavors and currently, if you buy 5 bottles, you get the 6th one free.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


Put in pre-orders of TALONS OF THE EMPEROR:VALERIAN AND ALEYA (BL-02) for Warhammer 40K today to arrive next week. We have six coming. After they sell out, they will become special order only. The set runs $49.99 so let us know by the close of business next Monday if you want a set

Monday, February 17, 2020

30th Anniverisary

If you would like to look at a couple of the video stories on yesterday's 30th anniversary celebration, here are links to the Facebook video from the city and the WSIL story.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

30th Anniversary Celebration

We have Domino's pizza, Texas Sheet Cake, cookies, carrots and chips in the back room. Wova from the Humane Society of Southern Illinois  up by the front and Cells at Work on the store teevee. Our 30th anniversary drawing takes place at 4:30 today so you still have plenty of time to stop by and pick up a ticket.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Games Workshop Releases 2/22

Coming next week from Games Workshop

This week we release the latest expansion for Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress, No Respite.

And for Warcry, we release the Fomoroid Crusher and the Mindstealer Sphiranx, two new monsters, as well as the third wave of Warcry Card Packs for another 8 existing Warhammer Age of Sigmar factions.

We also release a host of Character models for Warhammer Age of Sigmar that have only previously been available in Battle Box Sets!

On the world of Necromunda, House Goliath receives an upgrade with a new book, House of ChainsGang Tactics Cards, and the Goliath Stimmers and Forgeborn set.

  The new releases have a street release date of Saturday 02-22-20.

(Please note these items may be allocated for release.)

Friday, February 14, 2020

Yu Gi Oh Prizes

We received several Yu gi Oh t-shirts and duffle bags today so will use them as door prizes for Yu Gi Oh tournament for the next few weeks as well as giving away a couple during Sunday's 30th anniversary celebration.  You will have to enter the tournament to have a chance of winning the shirt but do not have to win in order to do so.


Wanting to build up our non-existent Commander play on Tuesday night. Trying to figure out some ideas as to how to handle it. Maybe a point system whereby a player receives a point for doing something during a game like knocking another player out of the pod. Will give it some though and certainly open to suggestions. If you have any, post them in the comments.

30th Anniversary

Although we celebrate the anniversary on Sunday, we actually had our soft opening 30 years ago today. We just opened the doors up in our 600 square foot store and let people in. I think we did around $500 that first day but sales dropped off so to about $60-$80 per day before slowly increasing over the years.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


It would appear that there was some sort of screw up with the container of Wingspan games that shipped from China earlier this month and a significantly smaller number arrived than expected. Ergo the publisher decided to keep the copies that arrived for direct sale through their website and leaving most local game stores short. I have heard of stores with 25+ people on a waiting list and people who have waited since before Christmas for a copy.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Fantasy Flight RPGs

Not sure what is going on with the FFG line of RPGS, especially the Star Wars Line.  The company let go its RPG staff a couple of months ago but did not say anything about discontinuing the RPGs but we have not seen some of the items, like the dice back in stock in over  a month. Usually FFG is much quicker about restocking its out of stock products.

Monday, February 10, 2020

30th anniversary

If you make a $10 donation to the Humane Society while you are here on Feb 16, you will receive an extra ticket for the raffle as well as a coupon good for 20% off everything you can fit in the gift bag. Snacks, original art and items behind the counter are excluded from this offer.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Games Workshop Releases 2/15

Coming next Saturday from Games Workshop:

This week we release the latest installment of Psychic Awakening: The Greater Good, together with a fantastic new rendition of Commander Shadowsun, supreme commander of the T’au Empire.

We also release the brand-new Start Collecting! Genestealer Cults, alongside the gunslinging Kelermorph.

Meanwhile for Adeptus Titanicus, we hail the return of the Starter Set with the first expansion Shadow and Iron. We also release the Warbringer Nemesis Titan and new Civitas Imperialis Industrial Scenery.

  The new releases have a street release date of Saturday 02-15-20.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

30th Anniversary Party

The store will celebrate 30 years in business on Feb. 16 and you are invited. We will have 50 gift bags to give away containing Castle Perilous branded items, a free comic, free RPG supplement and a free copy of the Camelot boardgame. In addition, the Humane Society of Southern Illinois will be here and for a $10 donation to the organization, you will receive a coupon good for 20% off anything you can fit in the the bag on that day.

We will have a drawing for over $1000 worth of merchandise at 4:30 p.m. You will get 1 ticket with your bag,  and 1 ticket when you donate $10 to the HSSI. You can get additional tickets by:

showing your Preferred customer card
come in wearing a Castle Perilous T-shirt
bring in 10 usable food items for the Good Samaritan House
bring in 10 cans of food or a 15 pound (or larger) bag of cat or dog food (no dyes in the food please)
bring in 10 pounds of Newspaper
earn a stamp on a Castle Card.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Picard Episode Easter Eggs

 If you are a fan of the new CBS Streaming Service Picard, here are links to Easter eggs in the first 3 episodes to keep a eye out for. Warning that there are spoilers in each article.

Episode 3

Episode 2

Episode 1

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Interview With the Creators of She Said Destroy!

Five questions with the writer and artist of the upcoming trade paperback She Said Destroy!  Let us know if you want to pre-order a copy

Could you describe the plot of She Said Destroy?

The last two Goddesses are at war! The Goddess of the Sun, Brigid, has taken claim over everything the Sun touches save one space colony that houses the few remaining followers of Morrigan, the Goddess of Death. With the final invasion underway, can the faith of Morrigan’s followers hold out against Brigid’s overwhelming forces?

Readers of which series would probably like She Said Destroy?

The Wicked + The Divine, Camelot 3000, Sera and the Royal Stars, The Marked, Star Wars, Saga

What other books, graphic novels, comics have you written?

Joe: I’ve edited the Eisner nominated (Best Short Story) and Ringo Award winning anthology Mine!, the GLAAD nominated Oh S#!t It’s Kim & Kim, edited and wrote stories in the Dead Beats anthology, wrote shorts in the Everything Is Going Wrong anthology, This Nightmare Kills Fascists, Dates Volume 3, a short prose story in They Keep Killing Glenn edited by Peter and Kathleen David, as well as a number of currently unannounced projects I am editing and writing.

Liana: I started my career with a piece in Joe's Ringo winning/Eisner nominated Mine!, working my way to Black AF's Devil's Dye, and being published in the 2018 2000AD SciFi Special. I've also been working on anthology pieces for All We Ever Wanted (AWBW), Dead Beats, Everything is Going Wrong! and then doing shorts for Renegade's new GWAR book, and a ton of other fun projects! I even started writing (co-writing with Joe!)

What else would you like to say about the book?

This is a story that taps deep into our youth and the media we consumed at the time. Everything from Sailor Moon, Final Fantasy, Star Wars, The Legend of Zelda, and all the excitement and creativity it sparked at the time that carried over into adult life makes it to the pages of She Said Destroy. 

How can readers find out more about your work and upcoming projects?

Follow us on
Twitter @joecorallo & @lianakangas or Instagram @corallojoe & @lianakangas

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Stranger Things Stranger RPGs

It appears that the success of Nexflix’ Stranger Things will have an effect on the series source material. One of the key points of the series was the bonding of the main characters over their shared enjoyment of the Dungeons & Dragons RPG. Even Games Workshop gets to make a cameo appearance in one scene as the camera shows one of the characters painting a Citadel figure while talking with another character.
So flipping through the current issue of Alliance Distributions Game Trade Magazine, what did I spot but a couple of RPG’s set in or inspired by 80s style RPGs and culture. The first one I noticed comes from Fat Goblin Games, which by the way also publishes adventures suitable for use with 1st edition AD&D and is titled Vs. Stranger Stuff:  Send In The Clowns. From the GTM descriptive text:  Send in the Clowns is a special edition of vs. Stranger Stuff, a mini-roleplaying game of 80’s inspired adventure/horror/sci-fi, typically involving children and teens. At $14.95, it looks inexpensive and interesting enough to stock in, especially if you can tie it into interest in the upcoming second season of Stranger Things.

The other offering is Monte Cook Games’ much pricier expansion for the company’s Cypher System, Unmasked. From the GTM description:  It’s 1986. Top Gun is in theaters, “Papa Don’t Preach” is on the radion, Hailey’s Comet is in the sky and IranContra is in the news. The Russians are in Afghanistan and the Doomsday Clock is at 3 minutes until midnight.

But that doesn’t matter. Because at school, at the mall, down by the 7-Eleven, you’ve started seeing things others don’t. Hidden power glowing in what seem to be everyday items. And when you follow that strange compulsion to create a mask from those items, you become…someone else. Someon with abilities and strengths the world has never seen, and agaend that may not be your own. And there are others, with their own agendas. Maybe that Doomsday Clock matters after all… Superpowers. Horrors. A Dark 80’s.

Again, an interesting sounding premise that opted to get set in the 1980s rather than in some unspecified time as most modern format RPGs do. The page long GTM preview makes the game sound as if it would be a pretty interesting novel. I am not sure how well it will work as a RPG. However, as noted earlier, this is not a stand alone RPG, it also required the players to have a copy of the Cypher System core rulebook, meaning that anyone wanting to play Unmasked needs to plan on spending over $90, around $50 for the core rulebook and another $45 to pick up a copy of Unmasked. Although WOTC and Pazio have both demonstrated the willingness of consumers to shell out the necessary $50 for a core rulebook, there is still a significant amount of price resistance among customers regarding purchasing expensive rulebooks that don’t have the Pathfinder or Dungeons & Dragons logos on them.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Thai Taste Reopened

Thai Taste has reopened as of yesterday, although the restaurant is still looking for staff, if you would like a job.

Monday, February 3, 2020

New Games Workshop

New Games workshop releaseing Feb 8th

Soul Wars: Wrath of the Everchosen (80-05)
  • A narrative expansion containing a brief background of the Ossiarch Bonereapers’ invasion of the Eightpoints, led by Katakros
  • Includes fully colour section with painting hints and tips for all types of Chaos miniatures
  • Also contains 14 brand new Allegiance Abilities for all types of Chaos – Slaves to Darkness, Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch and Slaanesh, adding a huge swathe of options to all Chaos commanders

US $50/ CAN $60
For sale in your shop on Saturday 02-08-20

Warhammer Underworlds: The Wurmspat (110-81)
  • Contains 3 brand-new push-fit Putrid Blightkings
  • Hard-hitting, able to soak up lots of damage while dealing out even more
  • Introduces Cycle cards – a brand-new type of ploy
  • Includes pre-built warband deck and 27 universal cards


US $30/ CAN $35
For sale in your shop on Saturday 02-08-20

Warhammer Underworlds: Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers (110-82)
  • Contains 6 push-fit Ogor Mawtribes miniatures
  • A hard hitting warband centred around the Ogor Mantrapper Hrothgorn
  • Able to pull the enemy out of position from range
  • Includes pre-built warband deck and 27 universal cards


US $30/ CAN $35
For sale in your shop on Saturday 02-08-20

The Wurmspat Card Sleeves (110-79)
  • The perfect way to protect your card decks
  • Features Iconography to match with The Wurmspat
  • 40 Power Card Premium Sleeves
  • 20 Objective Card Premium Sleeves
  • 10 Clear Fighter Card Sleeves


US $12.50/ CAN $16
For sale in your shop on Saturday 02-08-20

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Short Interview with the Writer of the Upcoming Finger Guns

Justin Richards is the writer of the upcoming Finger Guns series from Vault Comics. We reached out to him with some questions about the series

How would you describe Finger Guns in 1-2 sentences
- Two kids with troubled home lives who discover they can manipulate emotions with finger guns will show us why that's probably not the best thing for them to have.

If you like (comic), you would like Finger Guns.  Why?
- We Can Never Go Home, because they both truly capture what it's like to be a teenager who doesn't have a clue what to do with their lives, much less powers.

In What genre would you classify Finger Guns?
- I kinda hate to give such a "writer" answer, but Finger Guns isn't really a single genre. It's a bit of slice-of-life with highly emotional stakes and a supernatural twist. We have a lot of fun and a lot of drama. We might even dip our toes in some horror by the end?

What other work of your's would people recognize?
- This is actually my first work in comics. So thank you for coming along for the ride with us!

You say this is a "deeply personal story".  Why?
A lot of this story deals with some really heavy themes and a lot of it draws on my experience as a kid. There's a lot of myself in our two protagonists, especially Wes.

How finished is the story? Is there a chance of issues getting delayed or are all of them complete?
- I can't really go into details on where we're at in the process, but know that we're currently on schedule and we're gonna work out butts off to get this comic to you all on time!

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Game Theory and the Prisoner's Dilemna

The classic example of the Prisoner’s Dilemma involves a fairly labored example involving whether a pair of prisoners inform on each other to the benefit or detriment of the pair. A far better example comes from the 1970s National Hockey League before the League mandated players wear head production. A player wearing a helmet was much less likely to suffer head injuries. However, wearing a helmet cuts down on the player’s peripheral vision, making them a less effective player on the ice.

So, consider two players competing for an open spot on an NHL team. Both are equally talented and both wear helmets to reduce the likelihood of injuries, giving both an equal chance at the spot. Now, one removes their helmet, improving their play and thus giving them an advantage in securing the spot, but also increasing the likelihood of injury. The other player thus has the choice of continuing to wear a helmet, reducing the likelihood of suffering injury, but also losing their chance of securing a spot on the team.

In short, if both players choose the safe option, both players remain safe and have an equal chance of securing a spot on the team. This is arguably the best option. The worst option is, of course, neither player wearing a helmet, giving them the same shot at the position but with greater chance of injury. If neither seeks an advantage over the other, both wind up in a superior position while, if one seeks an advantage over the other, both wind up in a poorer position.

Thai Taste Closed Temporarily

Thai Taste closed yesterday and apparently will remain closed for a few days. The sign in the window says the head chef passed away unexpectedly and the management and staff need some time to deal with the loss and look for a new head chef.