I walked into a game store that I haven’t been in for many many years, if ever (I can barely remember) and it was a religious experience. This was a real game store with new board games that were vastly outnumbered by old ones of every kind you can imagine. I perused the shelves and among the stacks found a copy of Warrior Knights: Crown and Glory expansion, which has been out of print since 2009. I haven’t been able to find it for a decent price for years. I picked it up for retail at 20$, but it goes for $70-120 still in the shrink online. Sweet right? But the problem is, I don’t like the Fantasy Flight version of Warrior Knights very much. Both times playing it was a bit of a chore– like a bad version of Shogun or Wallenstein. However, from what online nerds say, the expansion is essential to making the game good and the base game should never be played with out it. I’m at a bit of an impasse. With similar titles that I know play well, like Fief and even Game of Thrones (not a very good game, but easy to pull out because people know the backstory), Warrior Knights would be tough to get on the table. What’s more I have the old ’87 Games Workshop version to boot! So sell it, or keep it in the shrink– or play the fucker?
The point of this post is to note what an actual game store should be like. Front face has new stuff everywhere, this is the stuff that will flow through the store like MTG and Dead of Winter and various 7 Wonders and Catan expansions with whatever RPG’s are hot enough to be on the shelves (likely soon dominated by 5th Edition based on feedback), but I see no reason to have a large area for old ass games, RPG’s and general gaming crap to sell, and to have a trading system for gamers to get rid of their old stuff. Because game stores usually do not occupy prime commercial real estate, as they are destination stores that people will go out of their way to go to, the pressure that everything on the shelves has to flow out of the store within a month can’t be too high?
While focusing more on old stuff, this place I was at today is the type of store Napoleon’s down in Milwaukee used to be like. They had an area in the store where they would place stuff that they had bought from people or traded, and sold them at fair or low prices. Checking that every few weeks was nearly always a gold mine. For example, I got an entire first edition wood elf blood bowl team for 15$. I picked up a stack of old modules for basic D&D for a song as well. Store was happy, they made cash, I was happy as I got something not easily found. This is good.