Rob Burns
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Long-time journal lurker, first-time journal entry here (ding!)

Just relocated to the metro Detroit area. Naturally, the following questions arise in my little head:

1. Where are the game stores? Where are the good ones?

2. Where are the gamers? What groups are there?

Thanks for any tips!goldencamel
 
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Ken Shogren
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Welcome to Metro Detroit and to a sad state of gaming...

Ok - it's not all doom and gloom, but Oakland County isn't the hot bed of gaming it seems. Here's my best attempt to your questions.

1. Game Stores:
None. At least I do not know of any focused on boardgames enough to be considered game stores. There are several stores that focus on CCGs and RPGs, but their stock of boardgames is low and Euro-games are nearly unheard of. There are also several hobby stores that also sell games. One I know carries some (read 2-5) Euro-games, but they charge over retail price usually.

2. Gamers & Game Groups:
They are out there, but its a tough hunt to locate them. Many that do exist end up gravitating to the game groups that seem active. So where are the game groups? Ann Arbor, Toledo, Lansing, and recently Flint. None are in Oakland County. Perhaps something can be done about this. Drop me a line and we can see what we can put together.

Be sure to check the gamer's database for your zip code. There are several people in Royal Oak proper.
 
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Rob Burns
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True, there are some gamers here in Ann Arbor East (R.O.). But they all seem fairly inactive geeks, with a couple of exceptions. Perhaps they're gamers who don't log on much.

I went to Rider's Hobby Store on John R in Madison Hts. Some Euros, more RPGs, CCGs though. Not much there, but I was intrigued by Anno 1503.

Thanks for your response. I imagine if we set up a euro in one of the many Royal Oak coffeeshops, there'd be some hipsters kibitzing. Don't know if I wanted to start a group though; kinda woulda rather preferred being an occasional participant in a regular one.

Maybe this thread will get some other bites.
 
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Joe Andrews
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Ain't No City Like a Detroit City
Welcome to our little bundle of joy called Detroit. Glad to have you. I've been pretty frustrated with the Rider's shop mentioned (that's about it...there's a cool store in Ann Arbor and another in East Lansing...that's about all I know of...). Every time I've gone into Riders the "guy" running the gaming "department" (read: three feet of eurogames) seems very eager to please, but when you mention games they could be stocking, his eyes fog over. Seems hopeless.

We have a group of four guys I work with who get together about every other month. I've seen a group that gets together in Livonia. The boys at Fairplay games get together in Grand Blanc periodically (I believe...I've never been there). The store in Ann Arbor (a hike for you and me in Oakland county) has open gaming on Monday nights.

 
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Dale Martin
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Stores and Stuff
One place that rarely gets mentioned is Old Guard Hobbies at 15 Mile and Van Dyke (north of 15, east of Van Dyke; in a strip mall located at the first- I think- traffic light north of 15 Mile). They have a small selection of games (which makes them the best in Metro Detroit). The one in Ann Arbor can't be beat- Underground (located on S. University). A sister store is located in E. Lansing, but I've never been to that one. The Riders in Ann Arbor carries a better selection than the Madison Heights Riders (but still not much compared to Underground).

We have started a group in the Flint area, playing in a hobby store in Grand Blanc on the second Friday of each month. The group is just now starting to take off. From Royal Oak, it's probably a 45-60 minute drive, which, depending upon how desperate you are, can be okay or too far. Let me know if you need more info.
 
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Scott Russell
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http://www.prhobbies.com

They are in Waterford off of M-59.

I went in here for the first time a few weeks ago and it looks decent. They had several (not a hundred, but close, by guesstimate) games, mostly Euros. They also have a great gaming area, probably 8 large tables in the back. They also had some games on the shelf behind the cash register. I assume, but didn't confirm that these are available for demos.

There was a rumor of a game day similar to the one Dale mentioned above (at which I plan to be a regular), but no details.

Happy Gaming,
SCott

 
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Joe Andrews
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I've never heard of this store, Scott! I'm going to have to head out there and check it out.
 
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Rob Burns
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This is a start!
Thanks guys for responding!

Joe - Thanks for the welcome. How far away are you? I wonder if the sad state of gaming in the area is due to the 'brain drain' I just saw something about in the Freep. I know when I lived in Chicago that a lot of the Xers my age had grown up in Michigan (including my wife, who calls Livonia her hometown). The Rider's game dept was indeed pitifully small, but like I said, I did see Anno 1503 there and was quite intrigued, which is why I go to game stores. I never looked at it on the Geek all this time; it was seeing it at a store that made me curious.

Dale - Thanks for the tip. Keep me posted on any events.

Scott - Thanks for the tip. Waterford is not too far away, and if they have some cool events, I may be very inclined to go up.

You'd think in an engineer's town like the Motor City there would be more gamers. Maybe they're all designing robots.robot
 
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Scott Russell
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Gameday in Waterford?
Maybe we should schedule a weekend afternoon there. I wasn't convinced by the salesperson that anything would get going, but if we told them we would be there on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, they'd probably put it on their website.

How's this weekend looking for you guys?
 
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Joe Andrews
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Good idea
We may be able to do it on Saturday afternoon. My son would want to come also. I'm not sure he'd want to play himself. At the Michicon last year he was happy just rolling the Memoir '44 dice for dad. Great idea.

Rob--I'm in Beverly Hills (I'm the original Beverly Hillbilly) and work in Troy.

 
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Scott Russell
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I'll check on Saturday. I have a seven year old and an eleven year old that would probably come as well.

Does your son like Pokemon CCG? It's hard to find players, but that might even tempt my fifteen year old (mostly) non-gamer.

I live in Clarkston and work in Auburn Hills.
 
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Joe Andrews
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I have managed to keep him off of crack cocaine ...err...Pokemon CCG (sorry...got confused there) so far. He's a quick learner, but he doesn't have any cards. He knows everything from Transamerica to Ticket to Ride, though. He's played everything up through Puerto Rico (I'll warn you, he ALWAYS uses a builder strategy...).
 
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Scott Russell
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tables available 12-7
I should be able to confirm by Wednesday if I can make it.

At 7 there is a M:tG tournament, there may be another in the afternoon, but she said there should be a few tables available worst case.

Any other Oakland County (or close) gamers interested?
 
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Scott Russell
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Cool, since the league died off, the purchases of Pokemon CCG have diminished greatly, it used to consume most of the allowances. If you want to continue avoiding the crack CCG, I tell them it's boardgames only. But if you want them to bring a deck...

Mine like TTR and PR, too.

I'll broach the subject tonight and see how it flies!
 
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Joe Andrews
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I just got the green light from my wife...Nick and I are cleared to go. Earlier=better for us. Maybe @ 11 or 12? Format...let's figure out a few games (maybe a light starter, some "beef", and a light closer for this first time around). Suggestions? Kind of depends on how many we'll have, huh?
 
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Scott Russell
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Sounds like a Go!
I'll bring a bag of games, I am sure we can find something. There's a good chance I'll be bringing a few out of town gamer friends along as well.

THere used to be a find local geeks feature where you entered a zip code, radius and out spit a list of geeks, anyone know if that still exists?

Anyone else interested in showing up?
 
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Scott Russell
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Store opens at 12
So don't be too early.
 
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Dale Martin
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Gaming
Scott, the gamer database still exists (lower end of the left side menu scroll). I won't be able to join this weekend: I have my three daughters (although one is becoming a gamer, she's not quite to the point yet of dedicating that kind of time; the other two just aren't old enough). I can't (and don't want to) pass up the opportunity to spend the time with them (we'll probably be sledding on the local hill). And a reminder for those willing to come just a tad further north, we do have our Grand Blanc session scheduled for Feb 11, 6p-midnight.
 
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Joe Andrews
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Dale,

Kids over gaming? What kind of sick-o priorities are those? Sorry you can't make it. I'd love to try and make the Grand Blanc sessions soon. -- Joe
 
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Dale Martin
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Kids & Games
Hey, the oldest is starting to get into games and the younger twins aren't too far behind, so soon I'll be able to have my own five-six person gaming group (my wife definitely, but my stepson may be a hopeless cause).
 
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Paul Thomas
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ROBA is on the web!
Check out the new website of the Royal Oak Boardgamers Association:
http://www.gbgm-umc.org/stjohns_ro/roba/

Also, ROBA has a Yahoo Group, which can be joined by going to:
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/ROBA/

Remember, our first meeting is Saturday, March 26th!
 
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Paul Thomas
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ROBA Meeting THIS SATURDAY
Just a reminder that the first meeting of the Royal Oak Boardgamers Association is this Saturday (March 26)!

For times, details and directions, visit - http://www.gbgm-umc.org/stjohns_ro/roba/

Hope to see you there!

PT
 
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