Published on April 8th, 2013 | by Luke Turpeinen
Where to Find Games
Where do you find games to try?
If you’re like me, you like to try things out before you buy them. Having been a very avid video game player for as long as I can remember, I am very wary of ads, marketing and licensed products. Will that Lord of the Rings game really make me feel like I do when I read the book or will it just make me hate every licensed product a little bit more? In cases like these it’s best to find a friendly local game store, or FLGS (and yes that’s a real abbreviation), and participate in an open game night. In the Seattle area it has become popular to have a board game store attached to a cafe and/or bar so that people wanting to try out a game for a bit can do so over a beer or coffee, then walk over and buy a new copy if it suits them. These types of social events are becoming increasingly popular and are expanding to areas that initially didn’t have much in the way of nerd stores.
If there aren’t any local game stores in your area or any Meetup events where you can hang with local gamers, there are other options. Because board games tend to have simple rules that are easy to program, there are more and more traditional board games making their way onto the app markets of various phones and tablets out there. In some cases I actually prefer playing these games digitally over the board version. Carcassone is one of those games- a lovely game that I really enjoy, but one where I find scoring to be a bit tedious (it’s those farms!) and the Android version takes care of all of that for me, in addition to showing me where valid places to put pieces are, which is nice. Paying a couple dollars for a digital version might be a great idea if you just want to try something out first.
Then there is the obvious one- find a site that talks about gaming and plumb the depths of their knowledge until you know more about what you like and what you should be looking for. Besides this wonderful site with our ever expanding tutorials, reviews and articles, there is the lovely boardgamegeek.com which also acts as a way to get quick info about a game. They don’t do much in the way of articles, but if you want to know what kind of mechanics a game uses or what year it was published, it’s definitely useful as a tool.
Where should I buy games?
Well, assuming you have a friendly local game store (FLGS) then that is probably the best place to buy games. Supporting local small business is really important, especially in hobbies that exist only because of the communities that make them up. Sometimes though, games stores aren’t friendly or local. In such circumstances you have a couple different options.
Honestly, Amazon is a great way to find new and used games online. There is a large amount of small sellers that list their games there, as well as Amazon’s own warehouses and other warehouses and distributors. With Amazon’s new-ish way to sell your personal belongings, anyone can become a seller or buyer, making rare used purchases even easier than before.
Everyone knows that you can go to eBay to buy things, but it bears mentioning. Just make sure to cross reference prices on Amazon as you can get things for a steal on eBay, but you can also get ripped off. For some reason rarer items tend to find their way to eBay more often than Amazon stores (such as the stylish version of Glory to Rome, almost impossible to find now) and making sure to do your rounds on eBay is a good habit.
Troll and Toad
Though Troll and Toad isn’t specifically for board-based board games, they do carry a lot of games and gaming related materials. Primarily a CCG and minis-based game store, they have things that you may find useful for games you play anyways. They have playmats, deck boxes and card sleeves for any card-based games you might play. They also carry many different miniatures from HeroClix to D&D to Pathfinder minis, in case you lose a piece to a game that uses minis. Also, a lot of the games they do carry are a lot of fun!
Where do you go to buy games? Do you have a local store? Tell us about them in the comments!