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Subject: New Game Store in Champaign-Urbana rss

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Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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I have eaten some Netrunner counters, a treasure token from Nemo's War, and a First Martians condition token. Also maybe a Fallout "L" token.
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I used to live in C-U, Illinois, and still have friends there. One of them told me there's a new game store in town called "Valhalla". This is what my friend said about it:

Quote:
The location isn't the greatest: it's on the second floor of the nondescript building just south of JBJ on Neil. All anyone could tell me about it was that it was "somewhere on Neil." However, the owner assures me that they will have better signage and an advertising presence by next week. And the location isn't all bad, as at least there's free parking, plus I don't have to drive into the ever-more-crowded downtown Champaign area.

The initial store is kinda small, with only a single display room and one gaming area, but I'm told that they have approximately three times that space available to them and expect to expand to meet demand. They're selling Warhammer 40K, Warmachine, board games, various collectible games and comics. Apparently, they've got a large inventory of comics back issues, and intend to put them out soon.

Those who live there know that this store will be competition for "The Dragon's Table", or as I used to call it, "The Dragon's Pile", as the owner there was usually more interested in playing online games on the computer than selling items or cleaning up his store. Hopefully this will provide the needed impetus to get him to do both.

In the decade I lived in C-U I was always surprised that it didn't have better game/comics stores. If you're in the area, check out Valhalla. A new store might be interested in increasing its presence by hosting boardgame nights or sponsoring a club!
 
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Michael Pennisi
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Carpentersville
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Quote:
Those who live there know that this store will be competition for "The Dragon's Table", or as I used to call it, "The Dragon's Pile", as the owner there was usually more interested in playing online games on the computer than selling items or cleaning up his store. Hopefully this will provide the needed impetus to get him to do both.


I was there in the late 80's / early 90's and that guy who ran the store was a jerk. "Don't lean on the shelves! Don't kneel! Buy something or get out (which I did, every week, yet I was still treated like dirt)". He was like the Comic Nazi. I swear that Matt Groening must have vistited the store at some because Comic Book Guy is THAT guy.
 
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Dave Lartigue
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I have eaten some Netrunner counters, a treasure token from Nemo's War, and a First Martians condition token. Also maybe a Fallout "L" token.
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Fizzix, I think you're talking of a different place, as the Dragon's Table isn't that old. It sounds like you might be talking about "Fantasy Realm" or "Sword and Crown," neither of which are in business anymore.
 
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Michael Pennisi
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Doh... Fantasy Realm ...that's the place I was thinking of-- it was on Green Street next to the Locksmith. I was in there every week. Everything I said about the guy being a jerk is still true.
 
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jared shmikler
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Illinois
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Well, i believe you guys get the wrong impression of john, the owner of dragon's table. i swordfight with him and he is my troop leader, i've yet to find anywhere else in champaign that sells warhammer. john might have his moments of assholishness but is far from being a complete jerk, i suggest you guys start getting to know people instead of your night elf level 15 with night vision blah blah blah, before you start flaming someone behind their back, yes he does play computer games when no one is around, but come on who wouldn't love to play city of villains when they aren't doing shit on the job?

hes not there to be a salesman either, he owns the place and its a hell of a lot better than when he ran it out of his house, but i still will have to check that valhalla place out.
 
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Jeff Thompson
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"because Comic Book Guy is THAT guy."

I've wondered this myself.


Jared: In response to your upset post, the only person commenting on John here was Dave. Everything else was about Fantasy Realm.

- Jeff
 
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Dave Dubin
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Champaign
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Crotchetyness has got to be an occupational hazard of running a FLGS. John at Dragon's Table seems pretty mild and easy-going compared to most of the game store owners I've met in the past 30 years. I'm used to finding them a lot grumpier, and I'd be much worse if I had that job.

In fact, it wasn't until I moved to the C-U region that I met a sweet and good-natured game store owner. But Sandi's web site has been offline for months, and I think it's pretty likely that she's closed her store. If so, that's a real shame -- got a great deal on La Foi et le Glaive last summer.



 
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Dave L.
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I checked out Valhalla recently. I actually like the location, right on Neil Street above a barber shop. But the store seems strongly oriented towards Warhammer (God love those people - I find it all totally bonkers) and CCG. They have a wall for board games, but its a pretty limited selection. They also have board game night on Sundays, although I haven't been.

I also checked out Leisure Time Hobby, which has a much bigger, unkempt aisle of board games, between the aquarium room and the dog food and beer making supplies. It's a fun store far removed from orderly chain retailers, on Mattis right across from the Kraft plant.

I'm pretty new to town and haven't gone to the other two places mentioned on this thread.


 
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John Ross
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Legomancer exaggerates for comedic effect. The Dragon's Table is a good store. The owner, John, is a fine owner and salesperson. Shame on anyone for bad-mouthing a fellow geek.

John does play computer games while waiting for customers to peruse the shelves. When I have questions for him or am ready to purchase, he pauses the game and rings me up. I do not have a problem with this -- it gives me a chance to drool over merchandise and dream about future gaming sessions without being harassed by a salesperson. He is willing to special order at no additional charge -- and it arrives quickly. He is knowledgeable about a cross-section of games - Eurogames, CCG's, RPG's, wargames, miniatures, and so on. He frequently invites me to public gaming sessions held in his store which - sadly - I turn down due to other priorities.

Valhalla is nice as well. It is a new store and it has a smaller selection, but it is wonderful to have a few choices in town when I want to buy something NOW, TODAY -- instead of waiting for shipping.

Leisure Time Hobby is also a pleasant experience. They also have animals (small mammals, reptiles, birds, and the like) and other cool hobbyist items like rocketry and trains.

All three stores offer a different shopping experience. Check them all out and frequent the one(s) that appeal to you.

 
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Karl Deckard
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Seattle
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Did Valhalla go out of business?
 
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John Ross
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I also heard rumors that Valhalla was closing.

I called a few minutes ago and got an answering machine that said it was under new management. Something's up.
 
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Karl Deckard
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Thanks for the quick response! I called information before posting this and checked the phonebook and couldn't find a number. Is "Valhalla" the full name of the store?
 
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John Richert
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The best place Champaign had was Bear Productions, man I loved that place. Games from the floor to the ceiling, and there was always a game going on in there. Sure it was cramped and small, but it had everything!
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John Ross
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I found the number here:

http://www.valhalla-store.com/
 
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Dave L.
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I can confirm that Valhalla is definitely going out of business. I went today and I talked to the store manager about it. The owner (his son) moved to Chicago and left the store in care of some people who didn't do real well at the whole selling thing. So, he's trying to move everything. Basically, the whole store is 35-50% off except for the few most collectible items.

They never had much in the way of board games, and I definitely got the juciest plum in getting Age of Steam and a Scrabble set for about $50. The remaining board games are mostly themed 'favorites' like Star Wars Monopoly and Narnia Stratego, but they do have a few better rated games left, like Blokus Trigon, Settlers Expansions, Cleopatra/Architects...can't remember what else.

If you're into miniature games, you should definitely see what they have. They still have tons of war and fantasy miniatures, and they are even selling their gaming tables and terrain/scenery. They also have a load of comics at cheap prices. They could be closing any day now, so you should go quick if you're interested, or call them at 217-840-0209.

 
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