I have created another new series. There will not be an regularity to frequency of posts with this one. Let me first state or remind some readers that I travel a lot for my job. I am going to try to find local gaming stores in the areas that I visit. I will do my best to find shops and share my experience and opinions of the stores options, location and staff of these. The first shop I want to share is the Lost Legion Games & Comics "The Rifleman" in downtown Charleston, WV. They had only been at this location for less than 3 weeks. I didn't see the inside of their old location but from seeing photos of the old store front I would guess this spot offers a lot more room for onsite gaming.
I arrived a few minutes before they opened up and shared a few words with a patron and a staff member out front before going inside. Both were very friendly which is a good sign for anyone looking to frequent this shop. This is a good first impression due to the fact it meant they had no issues with chatting it up with a complete stranger that simply had a common interest in gaming. I will be the first to admit there isn't much worse than walking into a store with an elitist vibe from patrons or staff members that only seem to pressure you into purchasing something and then ushering you out the door. This shop gave off neither thankfully.
I looked around for a few minutes and noticed a wide range of items for sale including: Books, Comics, Magic The Gathering (and other CCG's), various wargaming models and systems including GW, Wyrd Miniatures (both Malifaux and Puppet Wars) and much more!
After browsing for a bit I found myself looking through the Malifaux items and picked up a pack of swap base inserts and swamp base accessories. These two items should be just enough for me to base what I have so far for my Ophelia crew (11 models).
There were a total of 6 full size tournament style wargaming tables available with tons of terrain pieces both on top of the tables (see pictures below) as well as crates of additional pieces underneath. There were also about a dozen or so folding tables that could be used for various things including CCG's. There was also a room in the back that I didn't get a picture of that I think they use for Role-playing games which is really cool!
I proceeded to the counter to make my purchase and asked the friendly staff member if she would mind me taking some pictures for this blog entry. I told her I was from out of town and am just a fellow traveling gamer. She said she didn't mind at all and that the store actually offers a discount for anyone that travels from more than an hour away. I informed her that I was actually from about 4 hours away. I was quite surprised by the discount. Here is how it works: This discount is given to offset the cost of fuel used to travel to the store from greater distances. Fill up your tank, get a receipt and bring it into the store. They will give you 20% off until that percentage of discount equals what you paid in gas. This is a very unique way to give a discount as well as bring in some more customers. Any kind of discount a consumer can receive is nice. At the same time any way to bring more consumers in the door helps a company owner. This is even more important for today's small businesses to survive.
The next thing to mention is they have a Google calendar that can be viewed from their website with a smorgasboard of events! From what I can see they don't have any less than 3 events scheduled for any given day. During the discussion before entering the store there was mentioned of a ton of things scheduled for Black Friday (This Friday 11/25/11).
The last thing I will mention before giving a summary of all things is the location. The spot of the new shop is a very nice looking town. It has a very small town shopping center feel to it which was nice. There were eateries, banks and shops lining the streets with several benches scattered throughout to take a rest on. The only real draw back is navigating this area during rush hours. Downtown Charleston, WV is rather dead from my experiences after about 6:00pm but hitting these streets during the rush hour periods can be nerve wracking if you don't know your way around. Older GPS units can be tricky in the area as well as a lot of road ways have changed in the past few years. The shop is still worth a trip though!
Experience at "The Rifleman":
- Staff 5/5 - There was only one staff member present but she seemed to love the hobby just as much as any other gamer walking through the front door.
- Gaming Space 5/5 - With several tables available for various types of gaming you can't go wrong!
- Products 5/5 - They had a wide range of products from collectibles to gaming and were willing to order anything not currently in stock.
- Events 5/5 - Again their calendar shows the tremendous amount of events taking place at this shop
- Location 4/5 - It is a friendly area but as I said it could be a little tricky in finding your way here with your sanity still intact.
Name: Lost Legion Games & Comics "The Rifleman"
Physical Address: 600 D Street, South Charleston, WV 25303
Phone: (304) 205-7919