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Subject: The State of FLGSs in Albuquerque, NM rss

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Rick Vinyard
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Las Cruces
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I'm visiting Albuquerque today and for the next few days. The most recent comprehensive post on BGG I could find was 2010, so here's an updated post of what I've found so far.

Active Imagination
Juan Tabo & Montgomery
http://www.facebook.com/AIFamilyAndArena

Since I was last there, they've moved a few spots north in the same mall. In the move they acquired a pretty nice gaming area; large and brightly lit.

Had a good selection of Euros, FFG, cards, 40K, etc., and a LOT of demo games. Didn't see much in the way of used or wargames. They used to have a lot of wargames, and I may have missed them. Employees friendly and knowledgeable on board games.

I've always had a soft spot for AI as their legacy traces back to Wargames West.

Twin Suns Comics and Games
North end of the Riverside Plaza off Coors Blvd. near Rio Rancho
http://www.twinsunscomics.com/

Good selection of Euros, FFG, cards, Clix, 40K, etc. Didn't see much in the way of demos, used or wargames. Had a very nice and very clean gaming area and tables. Employees friendly and knowledgeable on board games. You don't always find that on stores that are also comic stores. Started a couple of years ago by two former employees of Tall Tales Comics.

Tall Tales Comics/Kaboom Test Labs Eastside
1510 Wyoming NE (NE corner of Wyoming and Constitution)
http://kaboomtestlabs.com/

I didn't make it (yet) to the West Side store. The East Side store bought out the old Tall Tales Comics. Tall Tales was one of those stores that had everything piled everywhere, but you could occasionally find something cool tucked away. It looks like they moved a few spots up from the old store in the same mall, and have really cleaned things up. As far as board games, mainly older stuff, some used, some wargames, but they said they were going to expand the board games around Christmas. They had some tables, but not as big as AI or Twin Suns; but clean and friendly staff. Definitely a focus on comics and collectibles.

Kaboom Test Labs Westside
10250 Cottonwood Park Road, Suite E
http://kaboomtestlabs.com/

On Thursday I made it out to their west side store. Much bigger than the Tall Tales Comics/East side store with a much larger gaming area. Definitely a focus on comics and collectibles with some 40K and board game stock. The mix of board games was a little newer than their Tall Tales/Eastside store but still not nearly as large or as new as Active Imagination or Twin Suns.

Ares Wargames

Closed.


Overall

Overall, it seems that the state of FLGSs in Albuquerque is as strong as I've seen it in a long time.

One thing that impressed me was that all four stores were pretty busy.

My wife and I stopped in to Active Imagination Thursday night and picked up Smash Up: The Obligatory Cthulhu Set. As it turned out that was their board games night. Two games were just starting up (Alien Frontiers and Endeavor) and a third group was just arriving. The play area is large and there were also several M:tG games as well as a large 8-12 ish group playing Pathfinder.

Twin Suns also has a board game night, but I forget when it was. I think it was either Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

On Saturdays there is also gaming at the Kung Fu Cowboy Tea House Cafe at 3107 Eubank, Ste. 12.

The group at AI was very welcoming and invited my wife and I to join them. Unfortunately this was a working trip for her, so we declined.

If you're in Albuquerque I would definitely recommend stopping by. As far as demographics there were a mix of ages and genders, as well as several families. I think it made my wife more comfortable seeing that she wasn't the only female... or even the second, third or fourth in the room. It looked like they were not only worthy opponents but also great people, although in general it seems most gamers tend to be that way.
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rvinyard wrote:

I've always had a soft spot for AI as their legacy traces back to Wargames West.


I think this store is run by Glen Goddard's son still. Glenn bought Wargames West storefront from Wayne Godfrey in around 1994, right after MtG, so that Wayne could focus on the distro.

I worked for both Glenn and Wayne for many years. I may have to stop into AI if and when I get back home.
 
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