UK Board Games order has arrived!

Funny. Before I got around to telling people the games had been ordered, they’ve arrived.  Games that came in today (undamaged) are:

Ars Mysteriorum
Big Manitou
City and Guilds
Fagin’s Gang
League of Six : Loyal Retinue
Mamma Mia! PLUS
Opus-Dei : Existence after Religion
Origins : the Age of Reason
Scepter of Zavador

A few other games were damaged as well, so we are awaiting word from our distributor about the status of our refund request before we put them up for sale.

Customer Rewards Program

So, we’ve been considering putting together a customer rewards program lately.  The way the program would work is very similar to Chapters – customer would need to pay a membership fee to join the program, but would then gain all its advantages.

Some of the advantages we could see adding to such a program would be:

  • lower free shipping threshold
  • additional price discounts (3, 5 or 10%)
  • special sale days and offers to members

Here’s the question I have for you:

– would such a program be of interest?

– how much would you be willing to pay for it? what would you expect from such a program?

– which of the above three benefits is most important to you? least?

– is there any other benefit that you would want to see added?

A concrete example of the program could be a 5% additional discount with free shipping at $150 for $25.

Large shipment of new and restocked board games

New board games
Attack! Expansion
Catan : Portable Edition
China Moon
Mare Nostrum
Mare Nostrum Expansion
TPOC : The Politics of Cannibals
Way Out West

Restocked board games
Age of Gods
Black Sheep
Combat Commander Europe
Cosmic Encounter
Ideology : 2nd Edition
Last Night on Earth
Lost Cities the Board Game
Modern Naval Battles : Global War
Okko Expansion

Power Grid : Card Expansion
Settlers of Catan
Settlers of Catan 5&6 player expansion
War of the Ring

Ecommerce software – your virtual storefront

Your choice of ecommerce software is probably one of the most important decisions you make when creating an online store, whether it’s a board game store or any other.  The ecommerce software can be seen as the equivalent of a stores physical layout.  It doesn’t matter how well designed your store is – if the layout consists of multiple different levels in a tiny space, cracks in the ceiling and horrible plumbing, you’ll be spending more time fixing your store than selling.
Continue reading “Ecommerce software – your virtual storefront”

Cashflow – a pair of perspectives

Jack over at Reiver Games just wrote an interesting post about cashflow issues when publishing a board game.  It’s an interesting post, like his blog, providing customers a behind-the-scenes view of games publishing.  One of the few blogs out there I regularly read.

It’s a nice counterpoint to my own revenue / product purchase cashflow post and an aspect of business that most people who don’t deal with it would not think about.  Certainly the entire merchant account / bank processing issue is entirely an online business problem.
Just to  add another piece of the puzzle – most merchant accounts hold a ‘reserve’ amount that they can use to settle refunds / chargebacks/etc.  It’s basically to safeguard themselves from merchants closing business and the merchan account provider not having the funds to pay Visa/Mastercard back.  That amount can range from 5-10% depending on your chargeback rates/etc.

It’s also why pre-orders are such a hassle for us.  Having to set aside board games that have not been paid for can seriously impact your cashflow.

Huge restock of board games

New Board Games
Combat Commander : Pacific
Combat Commander : Stalingrad
Duck, Duck, Bruce
Europe Engulfed
Fields of Fire
Ideology 2nd Edition
Space Dealer
Wicked Witches Way

Board Games Restocked
Chateau Roquefort
Cutthroat Caverns : Deeper & Darker
Dice Town
Field Commander : Alexander the Great
Galaxy Trucker
Heroscape Master Set
Lost Cities
Memoir ’44: Mediterranean Theater Expansion
Memoir ’44: Campaign Book Expansion
Munchkin Quest 2: Looking for Trouble
Neuroshima Hex
Okko Expansion
Pirate’s Cove
Ticket to Ride Marklin Edition
Ultimate Werewolf

Fire & Axe (damaged)

Small Publisher Contest : SmartAss Games Ltd.

Well, the first month for the small publisher contest just finished.  It’s now time for month 2 and we’re highlighting SmartAss Games Ltd. who were kind enough to run a tournament for us at our Anniversary Party.

Please post your submissions here for the contest (helping Peter name his new expansion).  The winner will be announced in the July newsletter.

Look forward to reading some great submissions.

Carcassonne board game review

Carcassonne , like it’s biggest rival Settlers of Catan, is an award winning ‘Euro-game’ that has many adherents and a large number of expansions. The basic game is very simple to learn but takes an innovative approach to the creation of the board, thus altering the ensuing game-play.

In Carcassonne , players turn over a new randomly chosen tile at the beginning of each turn. The player must then decide where to place the newly revealed tile on the growing board, each tile having to fit to the existing features of adjoining tiles (roads to roads, fields to fields, cities to cities). This both limits how a tile can be placed as well as dictating a structure to Carcassonne . After placement, players may then choose to claim the tile with one of eight followers or to leave it empty to save their followers for more useful locations.

An interesting addition to the rules is that any connected feature already claimed by another player may not be claimed again. The only method to gain control of a new feature is to first, claim an unconnected feature of the same type (e.g. a new road) and then connect both features together through placement of a new tile.

Scoring is simple – each time a specific feature has been fully developed – roads that meet, cities and monasteries that are completely enclosed – the player with the most number of followers claiming that feature scores all the points. At that time, followers return to the players hands except in the case of farmers who are only scored at the end of the game.

This feature provides the additional strategic element to Carcassonne – place too many followers down on unfinished features or as farmers and you’ll not be able to compete against other players. Don’t play them at all as farmers or concentrate on too few farming locations and you’ll lose as players claim highly prized fields.

Carcassonne is a very simple, easy to learn game that has good replay value and quite a bit of fun included. It’s biggest disadvantage (for some) is the lack of player interaction – competition of features must be through multiple placements and as such, you rarely need to interact with players. Also, some players do complain about the ‘luck’ element of drawing tiles; though in our opinion, this can be managed through proper use of the followers.