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Subject: Relocation to Texas - Where are the hotbeds of gaming activity? rss

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Christian Spear
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Marysville
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The subject says it all, my company may be relocating me to Texas so I wanted to find out where the gaming was at I've never been anywhere in Texas other than DFW Airport so I thought I would check here before scouting out places. So far my boss has mentioned Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas as possible locations but the choice would most likely be mine.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Quinn Munnerlyn
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Carrollton
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Well, in Dallas there's gaming to be had at

Dallas Gamers on a couple of weekdays
At least one group in the Arlington area
One in Allen
Dallas Games Marathon mini-con type event once a month except November and December
A meetup group in Carrollton, another in McKinney
The group I host in Carrollton once or twice a month
Probably some more I don't recall

For game stores you have

Lone Star in the Arlington area.
Madness Comics and Games in Plano
Another Madness in Denton, not sure if the two are affiliated. The Plano one hosts gaming Saturdays.
The Game Chest at Valley View Mall?
Boomerang Comics in Lewisville
Reaper Miniatures has a newish game store in Denton
The Gamers Realm
Probably some more I'm missing

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Aimee Fredericks
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austin
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I am from Houston originally, and let me tell you, DON"T MOVE TO HOUSTON. Not only are there no good gaming groups in or around downtown, most of it is spread out and horrid. I recently moved to Austin and it is a wonderful place full of game stores and game groups.

Dragon's Lair games - Meetups every weekend
Great Hall Games - Game meetups Friday and Saturday
Boards and Brews - Meetups every Tuesday
Wonko's Toys and Games - Meetup every Wednesday
Tribe Games - No meetup but fairly decent amount of good board games.

Hope to see you around!
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Nevin Ball
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There are a lot of gamers in the Dallas area that play a wide variety of games. The North Texas Wargamers has a forum on Consimworld in the Clubs & Organizations folder. We get together once a month averaging 20+ people per session but there is always something going on every week. In addition to wargames, we play "ameritrash" and the occasional euro. We also have BGG.CON to look forward to every year.
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CHAPEL
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Well if the choice is yours, I would take Gaming out of the equation for 5 minutes, and then I can tell you none of them beats the coolness of Austin. And no one will dispute that.

Then put gaming back into the equation, and Austin becomes awesomer.
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Nicholas Vitek
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I have to disagree with Aimee and take a little offense. Houston gaming groups are not horrid. There is open gaming every night of the week in Houston. Everything is played from Euro to American style games.

We have a number of game stores throughout Houston with active support by the majority of them. We also have several local gaming conventions throughout the year.

What we don't have is great public transportation but with your own vehicle, gaming groups are within 15 minutes of downtown. Downtown is not the mecca of gaming, this is true, but then again the land of skyscrapers isn't the best place to play games.

Depending on your age and lifestyle choices (Clubber, stay at homer, indie scene, etc), Austin may be your better choice as their night scene is more Indie as opposed to Clubber that Houston has.


In the end, I would say that you'll be happy gaming in Dallas, Austin or Houston. I'm not positive on San Antonio though as I haven't met many people there. Look at the other activities that the cities offer before deciding.
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Jeff Adair
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Another vote for Austin. With so many young techies in town, gaming groups abound. For some reason, techies and games go together.

Austin is just an all around good place to live. Only place in Texas I would live.
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Jeff Jones
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Looks like there is plenty of gaming opportunities in Dallas and Houston. The problem with those cities is that you would actually have to live there. For quality of life and quality of gaming combined... your only real choice is Austin.

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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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I live in Austin and Michael said it best: Austin is cool all on its own and then you throw in the gaming scene...nothing else compares. (IMHO)

Austin is growing, but it's not nearly as big as San Antonio, Dallas, or Houston, so some quality-of-life factors favor Austin.

Even better, it's a hub to to get to any of those others places for a gaming convention or anything else you want to do there. And there are towns around Austin (Round Rock, Pflugerville, San Marcos, Kileen, and Waco) that have their own gaming groups.

Eurogaming, AT-gaming, Wargaming, Miniatures Gaming, Role-playing—not to mention video gaming...

Austin is teh roxors.
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Sandra Powell
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Where is the gaming group in Carrollton? When and where is the next Dallas Games Marathon. Thanks
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Darin Shaw
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Another vote for Austin. Others have said it best. Considering your choices, Austin is a much better place to live. There are many gaming options as well. Good luck in your move.
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james collins
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Anywhere south of San Antonio is going to disappoint you and everyone else.
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Brian Kassler
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I live in San Antonio, and have trolled all the game stores in Dallas, Houston, and Austin.

The Dallas area and Austin have a ton of great game stores and there are always folks playing.

In Austin, Great Hall and Dragons Lair are always excellent. Great Hall has a larger selection of board games (with a ton of copies that are store-owned for demos - Bonus!) and seems to have a thriving wargame population. In addition, they carry a lot of items that a lot of other games stores just don't stock. (Extra bits, pawns, etc, lines of minis that I rarely see anywhere else, things like that.) The only issue I have with Austin is that traffic can be pure evil on a stick if you are coming into or leaving Austin, as there is pretty much one way in and one way out - I-35. And that has been under construction for as long as I have been in Texas. (I think it's some kind of sick game to them...)


In the Dallas area, a store that has not been mentioned is Generation X Comics. While they do advertise themselves as a comic shop, they also carry a great selection of minis, board games, and the like. They also have a small play area, but I have yet to see anyone using it. Unfortunately, they have gotten a bit of a reputation for rude staff lately. Thankfully when we were in there over the weekend, the gentleman behind the counter was great - loved to chat about games and comics, made several excellent recommendations, and was terrific to work with.


In Houston, the only game stores I visit when I am in the area are Nan's and Midnight Comics. Nan's has a great selection of new and out of print minis, comics, and games, but the staff can be really rude. We have walked out a time or two and left our intended purchase on the counter. Luckily, a call to the owner got promises of change, so we shall see next time. Midnight is great - mainly minis, but they do have a decent selection of games, both old and new and will negotiate from time to time. (We picked up 2nd Ed. Talisman Adventure, Expansion, and Dungeon there for less than $100 total because they had been gathering dust...) I have not yet been to Asgard Games, but they do get very good online reviews.


For San Antonio, the gaming scene can be a bit lacking unless you are a GW or CCG junkie. The best stores in town are Dibble’s Hobbies and Dragons Lair (see the description of the Austin location). Most of the rest are GW pimps and don't tend to carry many board games. Dibble's Hobbies is my personal favorite. They are mainly a train store, but stock a great selection of games (new, used, and OOP) and the staff there is awesome. For example, a friend just picked up an used Avalon Hill game (I forget which one) and the guy that runs the shop hooked him up with an entire set of replacement counters (in case some where missing) and all of the scenarios and articles that were relevant from the AH website on CD. I can't say enough good things about this store and the crew that work there. The only downside to Dibbles is that there is no gaming space onsite.

Welcome to Texas, and may you find a great gaming experience wherever you end up!
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Quinn Munnerlyn
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Music3 wrote:
Where is the gaming group in Carrollton? When and where is the next Dallas Games Marathon. Thanks

The meetup group in Carrollton meets at the Fuddruckers at Frankford and the tollway.

http://www.meetup.com/DallasAreaBoardgames/

My gaming group meets at my place at the corner of Rosemeade and Old Denton Rd, or alternately at another members place in Coppell.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/guild/9


The next Dallas Games Marathon is June 18-20. It's generally held the 3rd weekend of the month. The location is Xmax games downtown, another game store I forgot to mention.

http://www.dallasgamesmarathon.com/

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Jonathan Grabert
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I moved to Austin when I was 18, and even after 12 years, I like it more now than I did then. There's tons of great stuff to find here, and it's just a great place to make a home.

I'll plug our group, South Austin Game Night (http://groups.google.com/group/sagn). We meet every Tuesday at the Rockin' Tomato on S. Lamar. We share space (and games and players) with the Boards and Brews group, so we have a pretty big group each week. Tribe sponsors us, so we get some demos and such from them.

For a city its size, Austin has a great board gaming community. Aimee did a good job mentioning the stores here. We also just had Protspiel South (http://www.protospielsouth.com) here. We've also got a good geek vibe in general with Staple indy comic expo and Wizard moving its Texas comic convention here in November. We're even getting our own LEGO store this summer. (That was one that Dallas and Houston had on us for a while.)

Though Dallas does have a Medieval Times...
 
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Austin really is the only sane place to live in Texas.
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Mike Johnston
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I moved to Houston from the East Coast 5 years ago, and I lived in Ft Worth for most of the 90's. Each place you go to is going to have it's ups and downs. I say that I live in Houston, but I rarely go downtown. I can do most of my gaming (and the rest of my life) "Outside The Loop". Still, it's nice to have the city stuff there when I am ready for a dose.

There are some great gaming groups in small chunks, mostly just outside Houston proper. There are lots of little game stores with dedicated folllowers, especially when you talk about Magic and miniatures. Since I started looking, there has never been a weekend when I have wanted to play that I haven't found a game. Sometimes that involves driving a bit.

Nan's has to be seen to be believed. It's like browsing someone's game collection in their house, but everything is sealed and has a price tag. They never have sales, but they have a fantastic selection, though prices are general around list. I bought a copy of Ambush: Purple Heart that came out of their warehouse with a price tag from the 80's for $25, which I believe was list back then. You won't find stuff like that anywhere else in Houston, maybe even TX. The guys can be a little crusty and have some unique miusical tastes, but they are very knowledgable and can answer a lot of questions. There is, however, not an extra square inch of space anywhere in the store, so no gaming.

There are many small shops that run multiple gaming nights, but have small stocks. Montag's in Pearland, Skirmish Games in Pasadena, BattleGround, Little Wars, and Asgard Games are just some of the shops I have been to and enjoyed.

Bottom line - Texas is better than most other places, so pick one and come on down. They used to have an ad that said "Texas: It's like a whole other country." If I can't be near my family in VA, I'd rather be here.
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Christian Spear
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Thanks for all of the great replies. I plan on taking a couple of weeks off to head down and check out the area So far I think Austin sounds like a pretty awesome place. I'm an engineer so the techiness of the area sounds like a great fit.

Once I get some timelines I'll have to post again to see if I can get game night in during my visit
 
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Matthew Tadyshak
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Quote:
Dallas Gamers on a couple of weekdays
At least one group in the Arlington area
One in Allen
Could you give a link for the group?
 
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Quinn Munnerlyn
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http://www.boardgamegeek.com/guild/318

Only link I know of for the Allen group, you might be able to contact the manager about them.
 
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Cole Wehrle
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This is great news, I'll be starting grad school at UT Austin in the Fall and I had hoped that there would be some gaming to be had.

I saw that there are several names on the ASL list from Austin. Anyone for more heavy stuff, 18xx, Titan, Republic of Rome, and Close Action?
 
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Darin Shaw
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Cole Wehrle wrote:
This is great news, I'll be starting grad school at UT Austin in the Fall and I had hoped that there would be some gaming to be had.

I saw that there are several names on the ASL list from Austin. Anyone for more heavy stuff, 18xx, Titan, Republic of Rome, and Close Action?

Check out this forum for people playing Republic of Rome in Austin. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/5094118#5094118
 
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Kev.
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i just invested in SGBoH SPQR and Alexander. I own several other games. Love to do a F2F or VASSAL. I have room to setup and leave up one or more games. in Austin FTI.
 
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Grant Johnson
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Darren linked to our Republic of Rome thread- our group has two 20+ year Titan players in it (I'm slowly learning) and I was taught 1830 last month and really liked it. So we're not a bad jumping off point if you can get a little north of campus.

Make sure you drop us a geekmail when you make your way down here.
 
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Cole Wehrle
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Sounds good, I'll be living in North Loop so its just a short bike ride.
 
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