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Went to the orcs nest in London earl ham road on Saturday. It's a real mess in there (games seemingly thrown about at random) but they had a decent amount of stock and multiple copies of newer games like drizzt game of thrones and world builder (or whatever it's called) lots of rpg and figures as well.

It's very cramped, but something of a treasure trove. I just wish my mind wouldn't go blank whenever I enter a shop like this. I get so excited by all the product that I forget the games I'm actually looking for. Managed to bet elder sign which is always out of stock online, so was quite happy

I remember going in when they first opened...still have an Orc's nest badge somewhere. Always pop in if I'm in the big city for any reason, if only for nostalgia's sake.

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Is that where Bishop Games was? I was looking for it a few months ago but it must have been while between names.

Can't believe they use Bink Maps. It doesn't show the small pedestrian streets I think it's probably on.

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My Christmas copy of Arkham Horror came from the little games shop in Orchard Square in Sheffield that I had forgotten existed entirely. Used to be quite good despite its size, although I haven't been in years. Never seen it mentioned on here though.

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I'm sure I've mentioned it numerous time, it's called Wargames Emporium. They're a bit random, sometimes they have an absolute abundance of games to choose from and sometimes they've got the square root of fuck all.

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Sounds as it was back in t'day.

I'm not sure the name would have rung a bell so I'd probably not put two and two together when you've mentioned it...

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Just in case anyone was wondering, I gave The Gameskeeper in Oxford a call and they are still open and quite perplexed as to the rumours that they were closing.

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I don't suppose anyone's had experience ordering from Total Wargamer before? I somewhat hastily placed an order last night after some cursory investigation into the validity of the shop, but not the reliability. A slightly more in-depth search has rounded up some conflicting messages regarding reliability. But I'm mostly perturbed with how recent many of the complaints are.

Doesn't help that I'm trying to order Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer, which as far as I can ascertain only existed in a time vacuum within 2011.

Calling has netted no results, which is generally a sign of crapness, but I thought I'd try and get your opinions before considering cancelling the order.

Edit: Just thought I'd update this with my experiences with them: they are truly bloody awful. We've all had that disappointment of seeing a game incorrectly listed on their website as in stock, but these bastards were incredibly inept.

They take payment immediately, regardless of whether the game is in stock or not and informed me that while they didn't have a copy in, their supplier would have a brand new one arrive in a month. Being the damned fool I am, I kept the order floating around until the month came around and - after sending numerous messages because you can't reach them on the phone - it would take another month.

Getting a refund was a ballache. As I'd ordered a Magic booster at the same time (which hadn't been sent on my request), they tried to state that I wasn't entitled to a refund. A lot of to'ing and fro'ing resulted in eventual success but far too much effort.

I was also continually spammed with catalogue emails for months even after unsubscribing and the above communication.

Total Wargamer and Mythreal are essentially the same company so I'm inclined to avoid both.

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Is that where Bishop Games was? I was looking for it a few months ago but it must have been while between names.

Same strip of shops, yeah. The guy who runs Escape used to be an employee of Bishop. The new shop doesn't carry a tenth of the stock Bishop used to, but then if you ever visited them when they were in that massive corner unit opposite the strip club you'd have seen how overstretched they were. I mean, it's a shame they had to close, but they must have carried everything I'd ever heard of on those shelves. The new Escape might only stock the most popular titles at the moment, but the staff are friendly enough and there's always people in there whenever I've been. Prices are pretty much RRP but I'd hate for another such store to go under, and I try to support local businesses when I can, so I've bought a few things from them since they opened.

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Huh. Forum ate my post. Anyhoo...

If anyone else is passing through Swaffham, a new indie toy/game shop has opened up. It's tiny, and has a relatively small stock of boardgames, but chatting to the owners they're clearly gaming enthusiasts and worth supporting if you're heading into Norfolk on holiday. Bit out of the centre, but there's a map on their website.

http://www.henchmans.com/

Also, does anyone know if the really old-school game shop still exists at the top of Elm Hill in Norwich? Haven't been back in years...

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Oxford is getting a new gaming retailer/cafe at the square near the bus depot (shut up, I've only lived in the area for... nearly two years) in July. Think it's called Thirsty Meeples.

It looks like they're putting a hell of a lot of effort and money into this, and are hiring for cafe staff and gaming gurus: staff who can guide customers to certain games, manage their social media and help around with cafe duties. Their gaming selection looks pretty impressive, and they also intend on having some powerful opening hours - most days closing at 2300/0000, but are preparing to close at 0200/0300 on weekends.

I had a look at the job ad for the gaming gurus as almost everyone I know with even a passing interest has applied for the position, and I must confess it's left me somewhat confused with their arrival. The position is well paid for what is essentially a shopfloor sales position - £18,000 pro rata - but the ad was appallingly written. There were also duties that felt very strange to me, namely being tasked with "connecting with publishers to engage with Thirty Meeples, with an aim of sponsorship". I'm also unimpressed with the fact that they've approached staff from local game shops with job proposals: I know that's me being naive, but surely Thirsty Meeples will need to make connections with the businesses that currently sustain the gaming community. Poaching staff is a dick move.

But anyway, this is a lot of speculation and negativity for a shop that hasn't event opened yet. So! Thirty Meeples. Oxford, Gloucester Green (not a green at all), July. Why not?

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Wow that's really exciting! I'm just about to move away from the area alas, but I'll be back often to visit I imagine so this is really good news. I'm very interested to see if it works as I'm sure it'd be a blast to run a place like that some day.

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It's about a 15 minute walk from where I work! The £3.50 entry fee means it's not worth popping there for just 30 minutes at lunch but I'll certainly be going along at some point to take a look.

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Same strip of shops, yeah. The guy who runs Escape used to be an employee of Bishop. The new shop doesn't carry a tenth of the stock Bishop used to, but then if you ever visited them when they were in that massive corner unit opposite the strip club you'd have seen how overstretched they were. I mean, it's a shame they had to close, but they must have carried everything I'd ever heard of on those shelves. The new Escape might only stock the most popular titles at the moment, but the staff are friendly enough and there's always people in there whenever I've been. Prices are pretty much RRP but I'd hate for another such store to go under, and I try to support local businesses when I can, so I've bought a few things from them since they opened.

in a fit of extreme irony, Escape games is now located in the exact same room that used to be the upstairs of bishop games before it closed (since jan/feb ish). you have to enter through the Asian food shop that forms the downstairs now.

Leamington has a good shop now (for a couple of years) in the form of Avon Toys - there's a decent boardgames section upstairs which is where I get most of my stuff from.

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in a fit of extreme irony, Escape games is now located in the exact same room that used to be the upstairs of bishop games before it closed (since jan/feb ish). you have to enter through the Asian food shop that forms the downstairs now.

Leamington has a good shop now (for a couple of years) in the form of Avon Toys - there's a decent boardgames section upstairs which is where I get most of my stuff from.

I always feel bad for that Asian food shop. They must get more traffic for upstairs than actual customers.

I like that it's a local independent, but Escape is the worst store I've ever been in for underselling their product. Every time I go, I inquire about games I'm interested in, but I've never once been encouraged to place an order for stock they currently don't have on the shelves, or even asked to consider alternatives they do have. I was in last weekend to see if they had any Data Packs for Netrunner, and they pointed out they had they had the core set (for RRP) on the shelf, but the guy behind the till didn't seem the slightest bit interested in asking me whether I'd like them to order some for me. It's frustrating how poor their sales technique is. Perhaps I made an error in mentioning I had no interest in wargames, as he sat there painting his miniatures.

Conversely, I was in Leamington this weekend for the Peace Festival, and popped in to Avon Toys to check them out. It helps a lot that they have a proper store, with several levels, but my visit was much more enjoyable. Their staff were generally a lot more helpful and when I mentioned I was after Data Packs (they didn't have any :() they were eager to try and get me to place an order. Shame Avon Toys isn't my local store, I like Eclipse and don't want them to go out of business (again), but I feel they could be doing a lot better.

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