Friday, December 31, 2010

Austin Game Scene 2011

Another year of gaming in Austin awaits!

FLGS and Meetups

Google map of Austin Area RPG / Game Stores I maintain (let me know if I'm missing something).

Battleforge Games like Thor's Hammer before failed its Save vs Business Reality.  Taking a good gaming space with it (same as Thor's).  Austin lacks (like everyplace I've lived) public gaming space.  RPG's just aren't commercially viable.  They run long 6-10 hours, take 5-10 peoples worth of space, require infrequent and/or minimal purchases, and few people are willing to pay say $5 to have a place to play.  Metro Seattle's Gamers is/was? kind of working that pay to play model.  Don't think they break even, and are subsidized by Dragonflight Con, and MSG is an exception.   The only game stores surviving in Austin are supported by comics sales and focus more on CCG/miniatures and recurring income games such as Hasbro's 4ed.  They certainly have (some) shelf space for all sorts RPG's but can't justify having much playing space for them.  It's not their fault, it's just business.

Dragon's Lair
 is the only (AFAIK) "not way the flip up North" public place for RPG.  But is very crowded, often booked and too noisy for me.  [I was just there utilizing my xmas gift card (thanks Paula!) and space has been rearranged, with several more tables in different areas.  So, I must reserve judgement on crowd, availability, and noise until I get a chance to play in the new setup.  Looks promising though]  They do have the largest selection of games I've found.  Standard stuff, oddball stuff, indie stuff, local stuff, OSR stuff.  Some of everything except wargames.  They also have many events, tournaments and author/celebrity signings.  Definitely should subscribe to Dragon's Lair email newsletter.  DLair also started a podcast, but I'm not podcast kind of troll so know zilch about it.

Tribe Comics and Games is still the southernly place for RPG, board games, minis, and of course comics.  Also, still, not letting people game in their store :(.  But a great store, with friendly folks, a varied stock of RPGs and other games.  Will order anything you may want that's not in their store, pay when you pick up.  I've used this service twice it was painless and quicker than waiting for USPS delivery.

Tribe "sponsors" S. Austin Game Night, Tuesdays 6pm-late at Rockin Tomato on S. Lamar.  Great group of people, great place (tables, booths, beer, and pizza!) But for board games only.

Great Hall Games (a bit north for some) still has great board game, historical minis, wargame, Go, and other game nights.  The place in Austin for wargames and historical minis.  No RPG games or gaming.

King's Hobby still has RPG section and is worth an occasional visit.  And if seems to be Austin's modeling HQ.  Although, I'm not into that scene and could be wrong.

I believe the "modern" D&D Meetup folks have moved from defunct BattleForge to Dragon's Lair. But, it seems the D&D meetup activity has died down (could just be holidays). The GeekingOutOldschool contingent of the D&D Meetup has been gathering at the Troll's house in S. Austin recently.  More activity with Austin's RPG Meetup group of late is encouraging.  Sadly I don't believe Redbox BCS ever built up enough steam.

Georgetown RPG Meetup (too far for me).  Another, Friar Tuck Meetup, for the Northerners.   This thread about Options for gaming in Austin.

Game Conventions

OwlCon XXX Jan 28th-30th, Houstin Bam!  If I could, I'd clone myself and go twice.

ChimaeraCon April 1-3, San Antonio "Chimaeracon is a South Texas festival for Gamers, Sci-Fi enthusiasts and Anime fans. Come and enjoy video games, miniatures, card games, RPGs, live action role play and much more. "  Probably won't make this one.

North Texas RPG Con June 2-5, Irving.  Heck yeah! I'll be slamming the early-bird registration page when it opens on July 1st.  I went last year and had the best time.  The size and old schoolishness of NTRPGCON give it a unique atmosphere.  Pics.

MillenniumCon Nov 11-13, Round Rock - RPGA, Historical Minis, Boardgames.  By November might be feeling the need to get my Wargame On! Will hafta wait and see.

Maybe there will be another Central Texas Mini-Con.

Austin Region Game House!

Starting Sunday, Jan 9th I'm opening my house for gaming almost every Sunday.  Since SAGN covers board games pretty well, ARGH! will "focus" on RPGs and wargames, but I'm open for what ever.  I'll be running my new Labyrinth Lord campaign "Gold & Glory" on some of those days. GeekingOutOldschool may still be meeting there 1/mo, at least until a more centralish location can be found.  If interested email me. 

Next update 2012.  Hopefully my enthusiasm and stamina maintains for the next 52 weeks!

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