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Subject: Buying games in WISCONSIN?? rss

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JP LaChance
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My job takes me all over the state to cities big and small. Where are some of the best stores to buy boardgames in Wisconsin?

Thanks
JP
 
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Chaddyboy
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Pegasus Games is a great game store in Madison. Tons of Euros. However, everything is full retail most of the time, so don't expect any deals.
 
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Bob Mosdal
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Pegasus Games http://www.pegasusgames.com/index.php and The Last Square, http://www.lastsquare.com/ both in Madison, are good stores. It's been awhile since I've shopped in either one but I think it's probably still generally true that Pegasus is going to have more Euros, RPGs and cards and The Last Square is more oriented toward miniatures (esp. historical) and conflict simulations (aka war games).
 
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Dow Jones
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Noble Knight games is based in WI. I get all my war games through them. I mail order of course, but I am not sure if they have a walk in sales. Call and ask them. they have an 1-800 number listed on their web site
 
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Gary Heidenreich
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Here is my list of game stores, that I hit when traveling the State...

Milwaukee:
Board Game Barrister (KK and Lincoln) - my fave in Milwaukee. Gordon and Alicia are really working hard to make their store THE place to go for board games.

Games Universe (Hy 100 and Layton) - more RPG/CCG but still a decent selection of board games. They are the one store that gets in GMT games.

BFG Paintball (just off of 167 and US 41/45) - great selection of games and a decent rewards program.

Blue Frog (166th and National) - new store, decent selection.

Green Bay:
Gnome Games (nearby Lambeau) - just moved to a bigger store. Great selection, as well. Great owners!!! Just a shout out to them. I went there on my birthday (was in Green Bay for the weekend) and went to their scheduled board game night. Unfortunately, noone came for it (miniature painters, some ccg folk). I was chatting with the owner (who I've chatted with before) and he found out it was my birthday. He gave me a copy of Dual of Ages. Great folk. I had always made it a point to stop at their store anytime I was in the area.

Appleton:
Chimera Games (intersection of state 47/96) - great selection, great rewards program - they sell scrach and dent, as well. Another must stop on my way "up north".


Madison:
Pegasus games (Gammon rd and Odana). Great selection...surprising items popping up (I got El Grande, brand new, about 9 or so months ago) and a rewards program.

 
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Charles Boyung
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bop517 wrote:
Here is my list of game stores, that I hit when traveling the State...

Milwaukee:
Board Game Barrister (KK and Lincoln) - my fave in Milwaukee. Gordon and Alicia are really working hard to make their store THE place to go for board games.

Games Universe (Hy 100 and Layton) - more RPG/CCG but still a decent selection of board games. They are the one store that gets in GMT games.

BFG Paintball (just off of 167 and US 41/45) - great selection of games and a decent rewards program.

Blue Frog (166th and National) - new store, decent selection.

Green Bay:
Gnome Games (nearby Lambeau) - just moved to a bigger store. Great selection, as well. Great owners!!! Just a shout out to them. I went there on my birthday (was in Green Bay for the weekend) and went to their scheduled board game night. Unfortunately, noone came for it (miniature painters, some ccg folk). I was chatting with the owner (who I've chatted with before) and he found out it was my birthday. He gave me a copy of Dual of Ages. Great folk. I had always made it a point to stop at their store anytime I was in the area.

Appleton:
Chimera Games (intersection of state 47/96) - great selection, great rewards program - they sell scrach and dent, as well. Another must stop on my way "up north".


Madison:
Pegasus games (Gammon rd and Odana). Great selection...surprising items popping up (I got El Grande, brand new, about 9 or so months ago) and a rewards program.



Fond du Lac also has a Chimera Hobby, on Division street, just off of Main.

Chimera Hobby's are the best gaming stores in the state, and I've been to pretty much every store in the list several times. I haven't been to the Appleton store, but I do know that the stores are run essentially identically, and I will drive the hour to go to Fond du Lac any time over any of the several closer options.
 
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Jeff Binning
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Fond du Lac also has a Chimera Hobby, on Division street, just off of Main.


I can vouch for this place, and I've only been in the store once, many years ago. My mother-in-law lives about 6 blocks from the place, and every year when my wife visits there, I call them, find out what they have on hand, and my wife buys her family a game from me when she gets there. They have a nice selection of Euro games, and if you're driving from the southern part of the state, this location is a bit closer than the Appleton store.

http://www.chimerahobby.com/about.shtml
 
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Charles Boyung
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Colorado_Jeff wrote:
Quote:
Fond du Lac also has a Chimera Hobby, on Division street, just off of Main.


I can vouch for this place, and I've only been in the store once, many years ago. My mother-in-law lives about 6 blocks from the place, and every year when my wife visits there, I call them, find out what they have on hand, and my wife buys her family a game from me when she gets there. They have a nice selection of Euro games, and if you're driving from the southern part of the state, this location is a bit closer than the Appleton store.

http://www.chimerahobby.com/about.shtml


So you don't ever go visit your mother-in-law, that's not very nice.
 
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Jeff Binning
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So you don't ever go visit your mother-in-law, that's not very nice.


Those 2 weeks each year are my only real chance to have time alone, and I savor them. I tale those weeks off of work, and use the time immersing myself in game rules, updating my game database, and in general, doing game stuff that gets neglected during the year. (I have lots of games, and at least once a year I rearrange my shelves to include the many new arrivals.)

I do go back and visit family every 5 years or so, though. And they're always welcome to come and see me, because this is where most of the games are!

 
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John Stimson
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I'll just tell anyone listening that Chimera Hobby in Appleton is much much better than the Fon Du Lac store. It's a lot bigger and the selection is much better. Heck they still have Old Avalon Hill games in stock (NEW) like Flat Top, etc.... By far the best selection in the state.




motoyugota wrote:
Colorado_Jeff wrote:
Quote:
Fond du Lac also has a Chimera Hobby, on Division street, just off of Main.


I can vouch for this place, and I've only been in the store once, many years ago. My mother-in-law lives about 6 blocks from the place, and every year when my wife visits there, I call them, find out what they have on hand, and my wife buys her family a game from me when she gets there. They have a nice selection of Euro games, and if you're driving from the southern part of the state, this location is a bit closer than the Appleton store.

http://www.chimerahobby.com/about.shtml


So you don't ever go visit your mother-in-law, that's not very nice.
 
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MGS
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Madison:

Pegasus Games
Last Square
Misty Mountain
 
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JP LaChance
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I am based in Madison and here is an updated report on where I have been buying my games.

MADISON's Misty Mountain - I will never go in this shop again.soblue The owner and employees do not want to help. I don't know if they knowlegable in games as both times I was in there it was like pulling teeth to get them to even respond to a question.shake Hopefully they will not survive. This is a shame as they have the best location for me because my son goes to school right around the corner from their shop. If they were the only game in town I would be buying from on-line stores.

Pegasus Games - This was the first game store I walked into laugh and the first local game store I had called. About 1/2 of the store is dedicated to warhammer 40k and the other 1/2 is boardgames. A good selection but they don't to my knowlege have any "store copies" of games. The frequent buyer program is also a fairly good deal ($15 OFF next purchase for every $200 spent if membor serves me correctly) Lory (the owner I believe) was very good as far as recommending good family games they have a very good staff, but do not seem as willing to spend time with a customer as the folks at my new FLGS.

meepleNETHERWORLD GAMESmeeple - Location is downtown Madison which i would normaly not go to as parking is a hassle. Netherworld has their own parking lot that is shared by a few other businesses, and they are easy to get to. The owners (Jim is the guy I have mostly delt with) are very knowlegable about all the games they carry. The store has store copies of games and a Sunday afternoon / evening play day which I hope to check out today. The owners are more than willing to pull out the store copies of a game to show you the bits and explain how the game is played. I was there for about 2 hours last night and learned how to play several games, found out that some of the games I have been interested in may be too complex for my gaming group (Currently my wife and 6yr old son). Great srevice and good selection. The only thing they are missing is a frequent buyer plan. I don't mind paying more for games at a local store when you get knowlege and service like this.


If any of the owners of these store reads this and would like to comment or send me an email please do so.
Jon
 
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Charles Boyung
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custom golf clubs wrote:
MADISON's Misty Mountain - I will never go in this shop again.soblue The owner and employees do not want to help. I don't know if they knowlegable in games as both times I was in there it was like pulling teeth to get them to even respond to a question.shake Hopefully they will not survive.


Speaking of game stores that we don't want to stay in business, I am elated to announce that the worst game store I've ever set foot in - Adventure Games Plus (AGP) in Milwaukee no longer exists. I've been waiting for this day for a LONG time.

Unfortunately, rumor has it that the manager at the store, one of the main reasons to never set foot in there, is going to be the co-owner of a new store in Milwaukee. He was 100 times worse than the actual owner of AGP, so I honestly don't give this store much hope, since the guy's clearly delusional, if he didn't realized that he was a big part of the problem at the old store.
 
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Tim Myers
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The list for WI is great and I have been to almost all of them. I used to go to Pegasus Games in Madison when we lived over there. The last time I was there was when they were on State St by the Capitol.

The company I work for has an office in Appleton and living down by Kenosha I stop in at Chimera Games anytime I have to go to Appleton. They have a huge selection of games and a large playing area.

I found out about Board Game Barrister last week and it is what a game store should be. When I stopped by last Friday, Gordon welcomed me when I came thru the door and asked if I had any questions or needed any help. While I was there I noticed that Gordon welcomed everbody that came thru the door. Before I left I had played a demo of a game and found out about the gaming sessions Friday and Saturday night (and now Sunday afternoon). The game nights start at 5pm and run tell the games are done (midnight or so, maybe a little later). It does cost $5 but they have plenty of games to play and are were willing to open up a game if there was interest in it. I went back on Saturday with 2 of my sons and we played 2 games they had on the counter and Carcassone - The Tower, Vegas Showdown, Tongiaki x2, Shadows Over Camelot, and Family Business before we left about 11:30. Several other gamers were still playing when we left.

I have been to Games Universe and it is OK, mostly RPGs and CCGs but they do have a fair selection of board games.

I have not been to BFG Paintball but have checked out the website. I'll just have to stop by the next time I go to Appleton.

I ussually buy most of my games at Rockheads in Kenosha (support your FLGS). They mostly play Magic, Hero Clix, Mage Knight and have a Warhammer group but sometimes we play board games there Saturday night.

I was beginning to wonder about gaming in SE Wisconsin after Napolean's near UWM in Milwaukee closed a little over a year ago and Adventure Games Plus (on Hwy 100 near I-94) in Milwaukee closed about a month ago.
 
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Charles Boyung
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Well Napoleon's closed because the owner was retiring, so that's okay. AGP closed because they were horrible to their customers.
 
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Trevor Gunter
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I'm one of the people who runs the board game group that meets at Pegasus Games on Saturdays (starting at 3:00), so it should be fairly obvious as to my personal preferences.

Saying half of Pegasus is devoted to 40k is pretty blatantly false. About 1/5 of the shelf space is devoted to Games Workshop product, but that's to be expected at just about any game store. Their board game selection is decent, although it's rare you'll find anything unexpected there. The prices are MSRP, but they do have a small buyer rewards program, give 10% off on the days of in store events (Saturdays for board games) and give 20% on your birthday. I know all of the people who work there, and they're all good folk, although don't expect most of them to know more than the average BBGer. Pegasus is going to be moving to a new location (in the same strip mall on Odana) in a week or so. I've seen the space they're moving into, and it's much bigger than the space they're currently in.

Misty Mountain I'm not too big on, but they're on the other side of town, so I haven't given it many chances. Their board game selection is slightly smaller than Pegasus, and their prices are about the same. I don't know what if any discounts they have.

Last Square has lots of miniatures terrain supplies you won't find anywhere else in town, but they're not really the place to go for board games. If you're looking for things that have recently drifted between printings, they're the place to go to, because not many people go there for board games and their stock tends to languish on the shelves for a while.

Netherworld I've not yet been to. I probably should check it out sometime. I've heard good things in general, and I believe they've got a decent selection of board games.

One thing you have to realize about game shops in Madison is that one of the biggest game distributors in the country (ACD) is based here. While all of the shops also go to other distributors, much of their stock comes from ACD, which means a) most of them will have the same product available, b) most of them will charge the same prices, and c) they are able to restock or special order things quickly.
 
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Gary Heidenreich
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Heh, I bought a brand new English version copy of El Grande at Pegasus about six months ago. Apparently, ACD had a couple of copies stashed away.

Haven't been anywhere else in Madison, tho.
 
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Robt. Ferrett
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Follow-up from a Madisonian:

Netherworld: I like the store...not quite the selection of the two on either side of town, but I still manage to find something to buy! If nothing else, they deserve support for trying to keep a game store open downtown...I can think of three casualties off the top of my head (Downtown Pegasus, Blue Dog, Game Haven). Always found them to be helpful with info about games, too.

Pegasus: The old stand-by. They have received much of my money since I moved here...good selection, willing to special order.

Misty Mountain: I'm less familiar with them...caught a couple good clearance sales on Game of Thrones CCG there, they occasionally have a fair amount of stuff on clearance. They have a massive back room for game nights, if you're into that sort of thing.

Great place to find super-cheap out-of-print games: (please fill in the blank).

But seriously, there's a bookstore on Monroe Street--Bookstore at the End of the Universe (formerly the downtown Frugal Muse)--that's trying to be a source for used boardgames and RPG's. It's not cheap, particularly; but it does have some boardgames I haven't seen anywhere else. They buy used boardgames, too, though not at premium prices. I've sold and bought some things there, and the owner says he's trying to build up his stock of boardgames.
 
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Charles Boyung
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Drew1365 wrote:
You southerners! Spoiled is what you all are! shake

cool


Come on now, the best store in the state (Chimera Hobby) is only 4 hours away from you! Surely you can get there at LEAST once a week.
 
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John Stimson
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motoyugota wrote:
Well Napoleon's closed because the owner was retiring, so that's okay. AGP closed because they were horrible to their customers.


While I don't have any personal knowledge, I'm 99% sure the closing of Napoleon's was not related to retirement. The newpaper quoted Fritz as citing "health concerns". Personally I suspect there were financial issues.
 
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Jim Thompson
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I live in the middle of the state and my local game store is located in Stevens Point. Called Jadeco stamp and hobby, they have a pretty good game selection, with sales regularly. They have a HUGE section for wargames.. everything from Avalon Hill to Avalanche press to many companies I haven't heard of (not being too familiar with anything beyond the aforementioned companies)large selection of miniatures and terrain. I'd say 1/4 the store is wargames, 1/4 WarHammer, 1/4 boardgames, roleplaying and card games like Magic, and the last 1/4 is stamp collecting/coin collecting. The back of the store is decked out with many tables and game areas. They are located on business hwy 10 on the north side of town, not too far off Highway 39, near the UW- Stevens Point campus. I highly recommend them for wargamers! Their selection is quite good.
 
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Mike N.
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I mainly know Madison and Kenosha:

Madison has four fine stores:
*Pegasus, which has been well and deservedly praised, has the best selection.
*Last Square is a fine store with more war-gamey type stuff.
*Misty Mountain, which is fine - I have never had any trouble with the owners or managers.
*Netherworld, which is owned and run by Sam and Jim, who are two very fine people who LOVE questions and have many store copies. They play board games every Sunday night, have had a St. Pete's tourney, and once hosted the Madison Board Gamers when the Union was closing too early.

The only Kenosha store I know and like is Rockhead's. Brian, the owner, is a swell guy, and though he doesn't have the selection of some stores, he does seem to have the essentials.
 
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Jason Woodburn
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Good thread. I'm anxious to stop by BG Barrister when next I'm in Milwaukee.

There have been good comments about the Madison gaming stores. All of the stores mentioned will commonly have a reliably decent stock of boardgames, all at msrp. Netherworld stands out a little due to the abundant store copies and knowledgable staff. It's also the place in Madison for Magic: the Gathering, if that's your bag.
 
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Tim Myers
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A couple more things about Rockheads in Kenosha:
1) Brian is more then willing to try and order whatever you want and when something new comes out he ussually has it.
2) I believe that most of the games have a 10% discount off of the MSRP. This may not be what you can get a game for on the internet but I think that if we don't support our FLGS, someday they won't be there.

I agree that so far Chimera in Appleton is probably the best. If you are anywhere near Appleton you should check it out. Large selection and large gaming area. They even have some decent items on clearance sometimes. I picked up Entdecker for $25 before Christmas and got a GREAT deal on Disk Wars (1 of each starter set and 1 of each expansion) for $10.

I try to find Gaming Stores wherever I go, I just like to check them out and you never know what you will find.
 
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JP LaChance
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stayman wrote:
motoyugota wrote:
Well Napoleon's closed because the owner was retiring, so that's okay. AGP closed because they were horrible to their customers.


While I don't have any personal knowledge, I'm 99% sure the closing of Napoleon's was not related to retirement. The newpaper quoted Fritz as citing "health concerns". Personally I suspect there were financial issues.


When you worry about money all the time it tends to have a bad effect on your health.

 
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