Saturday, September 26, 2020

Commander Legends Spoilers

 WOTC has released 15 cards from the new Commander Legends set, which is currently scheduled for a release of Nov. 6. Our preorder price currently is $149.99 per draft booster box

Friday, September 25, 2020

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness

 Remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from your youth? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness RPG released in 1985, two years before the cartoon and toys swept the nation. Palladium Books was the first company to recognize the potential impact of the Turtles and was the first company to ever license the rights to them

Thursday, September 24, 2020

SuperHero Movies Rescheduled

 A number of superhero based movies, both Marvel and DC have been rescheduled, some until December of 2021

  • Black Widow from November 6, 2020 to May 7, 2021
  • Eternals from February 12, 2021 to November 5
  • Shang-Chi from May 7 to July 9, 2021
  • The King’s Man from February 26, 2021 to February 12
  • Death on the Nile from October 23 to December 18
  • Empty Man from December 4 to October 23
  • West Side Story from December 18, 2020 to December 10, 2021
  • Wonder Woman 84 from December 18, 2020 to December 10, 2021

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Buy 2 Get 1 Free

 Now through Oct 18, buy two of these Asmodee games and get a third from the list of equal or lesser value free


Catan

Splendor

Carcassonne

Dixit

Mysterium

Small World

Ticket to Ride

Mille Bornes

Arkham Horror 3rd Edition

Rory's Story Cubes (Box)

Pandemic

7 Wonders New Edition

Spot It! Classic (Box)

Dead of Winter

Cosmic Encounter

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Short History of Marketing

 

I figure now is a good time for a refresher look at the history of marketing, which is, if you make, distribute or sell a game, an activity in which you engage. Marketing itself, when you look at it as the process by which a good or service moves from the producer to the consumer, dates back to ancient times with much exploration due to seeking new trade routes or access to products. Columbus’ voyages, for example, were undertaken to find a shorter, and therefore less costly route, from Europe to southeast Asia. Printed and clay seals used  to consistently identify the producer of such products as wine and olive oil were used in Mesopotamia  as early as the 4th century BCE while archaeologists have found marks in Pompeii indicating  Umbricius Scauras branded his own fish sauce as early as 35 CE However the term “marketing”  first applied to buying and selling products during the 16th century CE while the use of the term in its modern sense first appeared in Harper’s Magazine in 1884.

Marketing can be divided into three general areas or eras:  production, selling and consumer and, much like the development of study of marketing, all took place within the past century

During the production era which ran from time immemorial until about the 1930s, the focus was on production. Consumers did not have much choice, nor for that matter did producers. If you wanted to make a product, you were pretty much limited to what you had on hand. Similarly, if a customer wanted to buy something, they were generally limited to a very small or no selection.  The production era can be summed up in Henry Ford’s famous phrase “You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black,” which Ford famously said in 1909. The customer had very little choice or say in what they wanted and had to take what was available

Over time the next few decades, more producers entered the market (rather like the gaming industry over the past decade) and the focus shifted from customers having to select and purchase from the products that producers have available to a more active “selling era” in which producers, instead of merely making products available to consumers, actively started selling their products to them. Although advertising and other forms of promotion existed before this period, their use quadrupled with the advent of the selling era, as producers competed with each other to get their products with no consideration as to how well the product met the consumers’ needs. The focus was on mass marketing and selling as much product as possible to as wide a group of consumers as possible.

Currently we are in the marketing or consumer era where the focus has shifted to the consumer. Marketing firms segment and target the consumer, analyzing their wants and needs in order to make products to satisfy said wants and needs. Markets are generally much smaller than in the selling era so less of a given product will sell but the producer has a much more satisfied consumer who will likely return to purchase from them again.  TCGs are a great example of products produced with a marketing focus as each TCG alters its positioning slightly, so that there is not a huge cross over between Magic and Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh and Force of Will players Yes, there are some players who will play several different types of TCGs but the overwhelming number stick with their preferred game and are happy with it. That’s the power of good marketing.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Magic Cards

 Just bought about $2000 worth of Magic cards. Staple cards for Standard and Modern formats. Almost all of them are in the binders now so check them out the next time you are in.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Good Cheap Gift Games

 

. For these, you want a game that provides a lot of fun without melting down your pocketbook. Here are some suggestions:

1.       Love Letter from AEG. This is Castle Perilous Games & Books Selected Stocking Stuffer of the Season for several reasons.  First, Love Letter is a lot of fun, plays quickly and offers quite a bit of replay value, especially with the number of variants that AEG has released.  In addition, it boasts a great price point at $9.99 for the basic game and only $10.99 for the Batman, Hobbit and Adventure Time variants. There’s even a Letters to Santa version if you want to get really thematic. Add in that the game is attractively packaged in both boxed and clamshell versions and you have a great stocking stuffer.

2.       Timeline from Asmodee. Gnome Games picked this one as its Stocking Stuffer of 2015 for the same reasons Castle Perilous Games & Books chose Love Letter (In fact, Gnome Games selected Love Letter as its Stocking Stuffer for 2013).  Timeline comes packaged in an attractive tin that fits neatly into a stocking, has an equally attractive $14.99 price point and offers plenty of replayability. Add in the fact that it actually teaches a bit of history and you have an all-around great choice.

3.       Fluxx from Looney Labs.  At $16 to $20, Fluxx is a bit more expensive than the first two options but still comparatively cheap and comes in a wide variety of variations. You can buy Nature Fluxx, Stoner Fluxx, Star Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx, Pirate Fluxx, Batman Fluxx or even, should your tastes run that way, just plain Fluxx. The number of Fluxx games make it relatively easy to find a version that would appeal to anyone on your Secret Santa or gift exchange list. In addition, since the rules change with every game, even with every hand, Fluxx, whatever version you buy, offers immense replayability.

4.       Happy Birthday from North Star Games.  Though Happy Birthday doesn’t have the name recognition of North Star Games’ other games such as Evolution and Wits and Wagers,  or even the other games on this list, it is an enjoyable game in its own right, which is one of the reasons it makes the list. Also, surprisingly given the size of North Star Games’ other products, Happy Birthday comes in a compact 3’ x3’ box with a nice heft to it, perfect for tucking into a stocking. Add in the extremely reasonable $12.99 price point and that fact that Happy Birthday is a game that younger children especially like to play, the age range is 6 and up and the game can handle up to 8 players, making it good for family get togethers and you have one more great stocking stuffer.

Miniatures Painting

 Since a number of people have picked up painting miniatures during the epidemic, we will start offering painting workshops on the last Saturday of the month. This month's workshop will be led by Syd and will run from 3 p.m to 4 p.m. this Saturday, after Teen D&D

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Zendikar Rising

 Zendikar Rising has risen, well at least partially. We have draft booster boxes for sale at $129.99. With each box, you get a Reliquary Tower; Orah, Skyclave Hirophant; and a Zendkiar Rising promo pack.  Sorry, no single boosters available until the 25th.  We also have some Pre-release kits remaining. While they last, get one draft booster and one Set booster with each kit. After the Set boosters run out, you receive 2 draft boosters. Cost is $30 for 1-3 and $25 each for 4 or more.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Eilodon City In the Sky

 In the 1990s, buoyed by the success of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, every publisher that designed a fantasy RPG decided it also needed a setting for the players to adventure in. Ergo, ICE decided to release Shadow World as a campaign setting for its Rolemaster (or as it was known back 25 years ago, Rulesmaster or Chartmaster) RPG. Eilodon City in the Sky was a city setting for Shadow World. Moderately well received and reviewed, Shadow World never gained much traction , even among Rolemaster players, who prefered to use the rules in their own games. Rather surprised to see this second edition of Eilodon come in  with books in an RPG collection we purchased as we had never heard of it and it seemed to slip under the radar.

Little Wars

 Little Wars was a publication from Tactical Studies Rules which morphed into TSR. Tactical Studies Rules started out as a publisher of wargames and wargaming supplements, especially for the Avalon Hill line of games. With the success of Dungeons and Dragons, Little Wars started including more material for that game, shift its emphasis from wargaming and ceasing publication after the sixth issue, relaunching as The Dragon #1 with the next issue.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

New GW This Week

Scheduled for On Sale Sept 19th

Lumineth Realm-Lords Alarith Stoneguard (87-54)
 
  • Contains 5 plastic Citadel Miniatures
  • A heavy infantry Battleline option – a multi-purchase unit
  • Contains components to be equipped with a choice of weapons, either Stone Mallets or Diamond Pick Hammers
  • Contains components to build an optional unit leader, and an optional Standard Bearer

(87-54)

US $60/ CAN $70
For sale in your shop on Saturday 09-19-20

Lumineth Realm-Lords Avalenor, the Stoneheart King (87-56)
 
  • Contains 1 plastic Citadel Miniature
  • Can be built as either an Alarith Spirit of the Mountain (an unnamed Behemoth Monster), or Avalenor, The Stoneheart King (a named special character, Behemoth Leader Monster)
  • The Spirit of The Mountain can be built as one of two alternative poses
  • With multiple unit build options, this product is a multi-purchase kit
 
(87-56)

US $110/ CAN $130
For sale in your shop on Saturday 09-19-20



Lumineth Realm-Lords Vanari Dawnriders (87-60)
 
  • Contains 5 plastic Citadel Miniatures
  • Excellent at taking out massed ranks of enemy infantry
  • This unit is multiple purchase product
  • Contains components to build an optional unit leader, and an optional Standard Bearer
 
(87-60)

US $60/ CAN $75
For sale in your shop on Saturday 09-19-20


Lumineth Realm-Lords Alarith Stonemage (87-55)
 
  • Contains 1 plastic Citadel Miniature
  • A Leader and a Wizard option for the Lumineth Realm-Lords
  • Enhances friendly Alarith Stoneguard units’ weapon attacks, and can force enemy units to halve their movement value
  • Includes basic rules in the box
 
(87-55)

US $40/ CAN $50
For sale in your shop on Saturday 09-19-20

Brutal Kunnin (BL2864)
 
  • Author: Mike Brooks
  • Format: Hardback, 272pp
  • Languages: English
  • An ork-stravaganza!
  • A novel from the point of view of Orks for the first time in a long time
  • Related products: Orks range
 
(BL2864)

US $27/ CAN $32

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Tenra Bansho Zero

 Lest you forget, there are a number of RPGs beyond D&D and many of the most popular are not published in English.  Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay dominated the RPG scene in Great Britain for a number of years and The Dark Eye, from what I understand, is still the most played RPG in Europe.

In Japan, the breakout RPG was Tenra Bansho Zero. Based on an original world of technology and magic, the game includes concepts drawn from Kabuki theater and manga. You can read more about it here.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Rorschach Comic

 Arguably the most popular character to come out of Alan Moore's Watchmen, Rorschach gets his own series stating in about a month. Set in 2020, it is neither a followup to the original series nor a sequel to last year's DoomsDay Clock. If you are interested in getting a copy or a subscription to the 12 issue series, let us know.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Super Villains

 Even back in 1982, the idea of playing a super villain intrigued people. So Task Force Games came out with the Super Villains board game in which players could take on the role of a super villain and fight for control of the city. Unique for the time, the game came with rules for both playing as a strategic/tactical boardgame and as an RPG

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Hercules and Xena RPG

 Back in the 1990s, West End Games came out with a line of games based on various media properties including Necroscope, Indiana Jones (once they got the license from TSR) and Xena and Hercules. Surprisingly, the company did not use the d6 system it had developed for use with the Star Wars RPG (another license) but developed another system based on custom dice included with the game.

Unfortunately, as with most licensed properties, once the series lost steam, so did the rpg.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Where to Find Cards in Zendikar Rising

 Zendikar Rising has a slew of different types of card styles. Here is where to find them:


Monday, September 7, 2020

Pathfinder Society

 We do not have any sessions of Pathfinder Society running at the store and do not know  if there are any running in the area, but if you send an email to the regional coordinator at Semopfs@gmail.com, he can point you in the correct direction. There are two sessions a month running in Cape Girardeau and some running online in Southern Illinois on Rolld20

Sunday, September 6, 2020

RPG and Magic Collection

Picked up a good sized RPG collection over the weekend with several 3.5 D&D books, a number of Call of Cthulhu books, quite a few Rifts sourcebooks, a number of small press RPGS and a stack of Dungeon, Dragon, White Dwarf and Heavy Metal magazines.

We also bought a decent Magic collection with quite a few rares and Mythic Rares in it. Devon spent much of Sunday processing them into the display case and binders. We should get the rest of them in the binders and case tomorrow.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

GW Releases for Sept 12

 Lots of stuff for  the Lumineth Realm-Lords

Battletome: Lumineth Realm-Lords (87-04)
 
  • The essential book for Lumineth Realm-Lords in Warhammer Age of Sigmar
  • Contains rules and background for using every Lumineth Realm-Lord unit on the tabletop
  • Format: Hardback 96pp, Eng, Fre

(87-04)

US $40/ CAN $50
For sale in your shop on Saturday 09-12-20


Vanari Auralan Sentinels (87-58)
 
  • The main Battleline unit– and essential purchase!
  • Contains numerous optional components to build a unit leader and unit variety.
  • A multiple-purchase unit, this unit unlocks other units within the Lumineth Army List.
 
(87-58)

US $60/ CAN $70
For sale in your shop on Saturday 09-12-20


Vanari Auralan Wardens (87-59)
 
  • The main ranged Lumineth unit.
  • Includes numerous for unit variety and optional components to build a unit leader.
 
(87-59)

US $60/ CAN $70
For sale in your shop on Saturday 09-12-20


Archmage Teclis and Celennar, Spirit of Hysh (87-53)
 
  • Contains 1 plastic Citadel Miniature
  • Teclis is an archmage of incredible power and father of the Lumineth Realmlords in the Mortal Realms – an essential purchase for Lumineth customers!
  • Teclis and Celennar are the centerpiece model for the Lumineth Realm-lords army
 
(87-53)

US $170/ CAN $200
For sale in your shop on Saturday 09-12-20


Lumineth Realm-Lords Warscroll Cards (87-03)
 
  • An excellent upsell item to the Battletome
  • Includes 13 handy Warscrolls for every unit in the Lumineth Realm-lords’ Battletome
  • Also contains 40 handy double-sided tokens for all of the Lumineth’s spells and abilities
 
(87-03)

US $25/ CAN $30
For sale in your shop on Saturday 09-12-20


Lumineth Realm-Lords Dice Set (87-61)
 
  • An excellent upsell item to the Battletome
  • Not the standard cube D6s, this set includes 20 stylish hexagonal barrel D6s
  • Features a skull icon on the ‘1’ and the Lumineth Rune of the Mountain on the ‘6’
 
(87-61)

US $35/ CAN $45
For sale in your shop on Saturday 09-12-20


Lumineth Realm-Lords Endless Spells (87-64)
 
  • An excellent upsell item to the Battletome and Scinari Cathallar
  • Contains 5 plastic Citadel Miniatures, making up 3 separate Endless Spells for the Lumineth Realm-Lords
  • Rules are included in the box
 
(87-64)

US $35/ CAN $45

Friday, September 4, 2020

Flooring and Reshoring

 

Reshoring and flooring. Reshoring is simply the concept of moving production that a company offshored due to cheaper production costs, back home. The trade off between offshoring and producing products overseas and in the publisher’s home country is that of lower production costs versus the loss of sales due to the extended supply chain. Overseas production runs save costs in terms of lower materials costs, lower labor costs and greater flexibility but add costs in terms of additional shipping costs, wait time and managerial and oversight costs. A survey of manufacturers in 2015 found that 17% had already reshored production to the US while another 37% had plans in the works to do so. A number of US game publishers, including Kobold Press, Troll Lord Games, Looney Labs and Catan Studios, have never off shored production, finding that the speed with which they can print and restock product outweighs the cost savings of offshoring.

Flooring is the concept of a publisher or manufacturer which uses a distributor storing additional product on site at the distributor but retaining ownership of the product. When the distributor gets low on product, it simply moves product from the publisher’s stock to the distributor’s , taking ownership and paying the publisher. This allows the publisher to make more product than it could easily warehouse and drastically reduces out of stocks. Steve Jackson Games had a successful flooring arrangement with Alliance for several years and, when Chessex Manufacturing was located in the same building with Alliance Fort Wayne, a out of stock on dice could be rectified with a walk next door.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

CARES Act

 

. The $349 billion appropriated for the CARES act and the Paycheck Protection Plan, which was a major component of the Act, ran out after about 2 week. Of course, it did not help that several chains, such as Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Potbelly Sandwich Shop applied for loans/grants under the program and received $10 million each ($20 million in the case of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, since the corporation had two different subsidiaries apply), the maximum allowable under the PPP.  Under the plan, the government considered any business employing fewer than 500 people a small business. I would wager that is 450 more than 95% of the companies in the game industry employ. With the average loan, according to the SBA, running just under $240,000 and over 1.3 million loans, at least, approved, it is no wonder the program ran out of funds so quickly. I do find it interesting that, since the CARES Act does not require the SBA to release loan/grant amounts, it has declined to do so. The only reason we know about the $10 million loans some corporations received is because they are publicly traded corporations and required by law and their charters to make that sort of information publicly available. Privately held companies and corporations are under no such requirement and have no legal obligation to do so. Several members of Congress are pushing the SBA to release the names of organizations that received CARES loans. We will see if their badgering of the SBA, which gave out more money in the past fourteen days than it had loaned out in the past 14 years, pushes the SBA to make public the names of other companies that received loans.

Meanwhile Congress is looking at putting more money into the PPP but the plan has run into an impasse  with some members of Congress wanting to just appropriate more money for the PPP as it stands, while others want to add wording to a second funding proposal that targets more new funds towards more specific parts of the economy, including hospitals , state and local governments and food assistance.  Until some agreement is reached, which will probably include adding the extra funds for hospitals and state and local governments,  we should not expect to see any more money coming immediately from the Federal Government, unless you are someone who gets your tax refund in the form of a check, in which case you can expect to see those funds show up anywhere from early May through mid-September.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Yu gi Oh Maximum Gold

 Just received an email from Konami that, due to shipping problems, the release of the Maximum Gold set has moved from October 9th to November 13th.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Zenkikar Rising

 Since we have gotten some inquiries, we will be selling boxes of draft boosters for $109.99 and boxes of the new Set Boosters for $149.99 through Sept 13. We expect to see the Set Boosters allocated so, although we have two cases ordered, we have no idea how many we actually will get.