Nottingham is no stranger to the tabletop gaming industry and Geek culture with all it entails, we have seen the likes of Games Workshop, Forbidden Planet, Alt and Dicecup rise and sometimes fall. However it looks like we will
be seeing the latest in poplar trend towards gaming Cafes with the announcement of a Geek Retreat store soon to be opened in Nottingham.
For those who don’t follow popular trends or have missed out on the often miss abused idea that being a geek is something to hide, as those kids who read comic books and played games have grown up and realised there is a business and a business model in their hobby, so why not franchise it. And with thriving and expanding universities and colleges within the city, Nottingham has a ready market for trade, and a long history of being the ‘Lead Belt’ with regards Tabletop gaming, and so it’s obvious it ticks all the right boxes for a Geek Retreat Franchise, yet like anything it’s about Location, location, location.
I think board games in general are making a resurgence due to people being overly saturated within electronics most of their waking lives. It’s a great way to just unplug.
Nottingham Board & Wargames Club Member
We have also seen a massive cultural shift towards the traditional Geeky with superhero movies consistently becoming the highest grossing films in the world. The video games industry is a mult ibillion pound industry and Kickstarter has brought to the fore the popularity and revenue of Board games.
With the very loud purple and yellow logo and shopfront. You will if nothing else not miss the place as you pass by, but on entering you’ll find not just another comic or games store, but a popular and trending gaming cafe filled with a focus on gaming and a gaming space and not merchandising as its whole. A place that pushes open gaming and a cafe culture.
This is where people come to hang out and play trading card games, either on their own initiative or in store organised competitions. Geek Retreat also provides a cafe as well, helping to push its Gaming cafe ethos obviously, catering to the high level of drinks, cooked hand foods and snacks that gamers will work through as they spend 6 to 8 hours playing games.
The products Geek Retreat sell are becoming more popular, and the whole geek culture industry has seen an amazing 19 – 22% growth pattern over the past few years (bucking a lot of local retail trends) , which has also be seen with local Games Workshops recent rise.
Geek Retreat sells the types of products that are made to be played with and enjoyed, both as a social and competitive nature, discussed and treasured. They are also offering a place where people can come and game and be safe sharing these experiences.
So 2018 saw the disaster of collapsing retailers with many sinking into administration. With other brands and local start ups all considering a wave of shutdowns. And as we are seeing the troubles are a reflection of a change in culture towards enjoying experiences rather than buying products. We are seeing people trying to make the most of their time doing something with family or friends and if you are going to have an amazing time doing something you can put on Instagram, or FB. Yet shopping this comes with a double edged blade, as gamers are like a lot of savvy shoppers quite cerebral and can quickly workout that the cost of a days gaming at a Boardgame Cafe while fun, could have the costs cut by half if they go shopping online, get it same day or next day and play with friends at home. And while gamers are part of the same community, their goals and needs are different. Recently seen with the closure of the local Flag Store Chimera, as they migrate to online sales. This environment then obviously sets the stage for competitive or specialist groups to adopt a mindset that is more “us vs. them” rather than “us as a whole.” The functioning gaming groups then stop communicating politely or otherwise with each other and that’s when things start to go tribal.
However as the franchise pack says Geek Retreat ethos is built around the idea of ‘community’. It’s about people coming together in a dedicated space to share their hobbies and interests with like-minded others. Obviously, community is absolutely at their core. With a ready market and stores in several cities they have put the ground work into a successful brand and dedicated community of customers over the past three years adding value to those core relationships. Geek Retreat marks itself as a champion of the geek community and caters its products and events to those in demand from its regular customers, so time will tell on the Boardgame Cafe culture and if Nottingham’s abundance of gaming venues and cafes can all play nice.
Ok a bit of light news for a change, with everything being so heavy and dark in the news its always nice to have something that raises a smile and the spirits.
(Table an example only and not to be
confused with any
IKEA actual products)
|Brad Smoley it seems is it seems both passionate about gaming and socially aware with regards how many in the community are cash strapped in these hard times and so has decided to petition IKEA to help out the fellows gamers by having them design, build and sell gaming tables. However this is not as crazy as it might sound.
There has in the community been several attempts over the years to develop a gaming table that provides for the gaming community at large and as a family dining table. However funding and costs have always made this inappropriate.
Brad Smoley it seems is it seems both passionate about gaming and socially aware with regards how many in the community are cash strapped in these hard times and so has decided to petition IKEA to help out the fellows gamers by having them design, build and sell gaming tables. However this is not as crazy as it might sound.
And here is why Brad decided to petition IKEA, as an industry leader in sleek and well designed home furniture with an ethos that started as an idea in the woods of southern Sweden more than 70 years ago and what now has become ‘The IKEA Concept’ an ever evolving design processes still improving. So if they are ever evolving and designing new lines then it is reasonable that a product that could see grow in sales would be something that they would be interested in and it would allow gamers who already buy book cases and storage units for games to extend the look to a table.
With IKEA’s existing ranges and lighting ideas this could turn out to be something of a game changer (No pun intended) and one I would very much like to see happen.
|Brad Smoley’s Letter to IKEA
That is why this petition has been created. IKEA is an industry leader in creating multi-functional furniture at affordable prices. The tabletop gaming community is already a heavy user of IKEA’s KALLAX product as it is an efficient way to store and display their gaming collections.
An affordable multi-function dining table designed by IKEA with an under-table storage area/gaming surface would be an incredible addition to not only IKEA’s line up of products, but the board gaming community’s list of essential gaming accessories.
And the Petition has been open a couple of days and has already garnered over Twenty two thousand petitioners, Let’s make it happen!
If you have been in the Industry or merely just watching the tabletop gaming news will know that the once owner of Saxon Miniatures miniatures was looking to sell the business in order to expand the company range. The core concept they were looking at was to develop a merged take-over were the current owner and sculptor in order to allow them to expand the range of miniatures.
This is an interesting concept as the current range of figures are exquisite as the Saxon Warbands below show.
And for a while, it seemed that Saxon Miniatures was going to fall by the wayside like so many great companies however it Warlord Games has just come to the rescue… With an interesting news announcement.
Warlord Games is delighted to announce its acquisition of the Saxon Miniatures Dark Ages ranges from History Maker.
‘Paul Sawyer, Head of Product Design at Warlord Games, says “One of the cornerstones of the Warlord Games offer is our Hail Caesar game and the very first Warlord products were plastic Early Imperial Roman Legionaries (ten years ago!) so this period of military history is very dear to our hearts. The Dark Ages are a popular and exciting period for wargamers so when Saxon Miniatures became available we jumped at the chance to add it to our Hail Caesar range. Renowned author, John Lambshead has already almost completed writing the first of three supplements covering this period and we hope this will be released during 2018. We are delighted that Colin has agreed to carry on sculpting for us and adding to this great range. We’ll be releasing these gorgeous figures as soon as we possibly can so keep an eye on our email newsletters and social media channels.” ‘
And to quote Colin Patten, the owner of History Maker, said: “I am really pleased to announce that Warlord Games are the new owners of the Saxon Miniatures Range. To be honest it will be a great relief to concentrate solely on the sculpting while a super-efficient machine handles all the rest, including the shows! Look out for a constant stream of new figures, warbands, and armies. Lastly, a huge thank you to all my customers – you will never know how much you were all appreciated“.
What this news from Warlord games sees is an expansion of their Arthurian – British & Saxon lines, and adding newer aspects like El Cid, and a variety of Normans, Saxons and new an invigoration of Viking Warbands and with what looks like a restructuring of the company, sudden lack of vacancies, could mean that the company is about to expand its line and the company profile. This would tie in nicely with the Warlord Games anniversary of Bolt Action 2nd ed release and also intertwine with the upcoming launch of a new collection of Tank War sets, set to be released in the fall of 2017, a new license deal with the BBC on Dr Who and bringing Tim Bancroft onto the Warlord team to help develop the Gates of Antares development and communications and finishing with the upcoming Blood Red Skies.
So Exciting times ahead.
In what has been seen as a sudden flurry of activity by GW with the release of new AoS Generals handbook, BloodBowl, Necromunda and other exciting activities like the Devir Licenses Games Workshop Characters for Wacky Racing Game: ‘Gretchinz’ is the second surprise with regards licensing. As GW has just announced a licensing deal with Ninja Division to develop an Interactive Card Game ‘Doom Seeker’ set against the popular background of the Warhammer Fantasy Old World background.
However, with GW’s tendency towards protecting its core product it is very unlikely (to impossible) that we will see Chibi Dwarf Slayers unless they go with a Kickstarter or release exclusive model.
N-Fx Game Design Studios pushes out newline of Terrain for Gates of Antares
N-Fx Game Design Studios A division of N-FX designing and manufacturing, have started what seems to be an interesting and possible exciting new line for both |Warlord Games popular sci-fi game Gates of Antares and branching out towards products for the miniature and war game industry. Crystals.
Made to Order
While many in the core design industry may know of N-Fx, they are still a small entity in regards a wider knowledge of the gaming industry, however it is looking like that is about to change with an interesting new release Resin Crystals. However what makes these a particularly good resource is that they have a round base allowing them to be placed into a standard skirmishing mdf base hole allowing terrain to be placed anywhere on a board in more interesting ways.
Each set contains 4 different crystals that are between 25mm and 35mm tall. They are designed to fit on a 20mm or larger base, and can be used to create exciting terrain features or unique basing elements for larger models.
They are of cause available from the N-Fx Webstore, and through Warlord Games Store and really do allow the casual gamer to put some bling on the table and with a little create and thought, including a few small flashing led’s placed under the crystals really could make it a blinging table
This is a fun line and could see the company really moving places in the future so one to watch.
‘Preview’, launch of the initial box set. Like BloodBowl it will be a self-contained box with steady releases.
(This does highlight the small nature of the specialist Games team and the explanation to the cries of why not release X,Y,Z sooner) and subsequently in individual kits until present. The rules will allow for play in the way players are used to on gangways, ramps and gantries, but also in tunnels making use of the Zone Mortalis tiles available from Forge World.
Well their has been a lack of posts and apologise for that, real life issues of commission painting, rule writing for Sky Relics, family and health seems to get in way, but hopefully these posts will take up some of the delays and lack of posts.
See you soon.