Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sheer Idiocy

I really don't get it. I just don't get it.

To be clear. I have never...EVER.. said that "I can outsell 'storeX'". If the owner/owners of 'storeX', want to keep on saying stuff like that, then there's nothing I can do to prevent it.

To be even more clear. There is only one store that I care about how and what it does. Mine. I don't care about the store down the street, I don't care about the store on the other side of town. I'm sick and tired of petty animosity being slung my way when all I want to do is run my store to the best of my ability.

To the owners of 'storeX'. Stop spreading gossip. Either you're making the gossip up yourselves, or you're listening to people who are acting as agent provocateurs. Either way, it's petty. Exceptionally petty.

It's days like these that make me want to find the first buyer for the store and walk out of here. I'm serious. I am tired of people trying to play the stores against each other by making up crap about other store just to 'score points' or become part of some 'inner circle', and I'm tired of other stores playing along in this game. I'm tired of the snide comments, left handed 'compliments' and outright hostility.

Let me be even FURTHER more clear. It has come to my attention that another store is upset because I have managed a 'store exclusive' on some product line. Well that's farking news to me, if it is true. And by the way, if I find out that is indeed the case, I will make it end, as I don't believe that access to products should be handled in that manner.

I do not think I am better than any other store owners. I do not believe that my store is better than the other area stores. Different, yes. We do things differently and that is the nature of competition. Being in competition does not mean a "For me to succeed the other guy must loose." I do not believe in that, but it appears that attitude is not reciprocal. That attitude is immature and petty. What makes me even angrier is the customers who trust this owner/owners hear all of the drivel that's being spewed and believe it without any proof or confirmation.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Kickstarter no more

Yep.. I'm pissed.
Kickstarter just announced that they will no longer allow publishers to offer 'bulk or retail' discounts on their products...effectively shutting us out of the loop now.
As of this moment, I have spent over $2000 on products. I've helped support games for 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming, Reaper Miniatures, Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Flying Buffalo Inc. Crash Games and many MANY more.
For years, I've beat my head against the desk with the rise of PDF's. I've seen great games and gaming companies abandoning print runs for the domain of digital publishing. Looking at it objectively, who can blame them. It takes tens of thousands of dollars to bring a book to market, and then have to undergo the trial of market acceptance. It doesn't take many brain cells to figure out why publishers would rather go the route of digital pdf publishing for their RPG's, and even the occasional board game. It makes a whole bunch of financial sense for publishers to be able to eliminate that huge, up front, publishing cost, and go direct to their consumers.
However as a retailer, it chaps my ass to hear my customers talking about all of the awesome books they're getting online that I can't provide to them. Now, some people say that's just greed on my part, that I'm upset because I can't get a cut of it. The noble part of me wants to say "no...that's not it.. I like being able to present these fine things to my customers, and let them know that I care about them and what they want by having a diverse selection." However the realist part of me then says "OF COURSE IT GODDAMN IS ABOUT ME NOT GETTING A CUT!". I'm a retailer. I do this to - make money -, and when I see gaming dollars bypassing the retailer that DOES piss me off to some degree.
Or, as another man, far better with words said :
“About 50% of the human race is middlemen and they don’t take kindly to being eliminated.”
Captain Malcolm Reynolds
Now, kickstarter. It's a fairly recent comer on the scene, and I looked on with a little bit of amusement when I started seeing some projects some up on it. Then..I saw that one of them..the Far West game had a 'retailer support level' on it. At the risk of sounding crass..I touched myself when I saw that. Here was a game publisher, who was 1) overcoming the burden of initial print run costs. 2) significantly eliminating the 'well now we hope it sells now that we've spend all that money on a print run. ( now..points 1 and 2 sure do look an awful lot like the benefits of pdf...Buuuuuut...) 3) have a physical print book out there, that people can hold in their hands and flip through 4) let me as a retailer stock the product on my shelves and let me do what I do best. SELL BOOKS.
It was a glorious moment. I signed up immediately. I giggled like a schoolgirl at the thought of publishers coming BACK to the print market, confident if their project was funded that the demand WAS out there. I cavorted around the store with the thought of no longer having to wistfully look at DriveThru RPG and hope that some of the stuff there would one day make it to my shelves. I frolicked up and down the length of my RPG wall, giddy that my RPG selection (one of the best in the state, and I'd honestly put it in the top 10% in the nation) would have even MORE diversity. I needed a cigarette.
Now kickstarter comes along and tells the publisher that it can no longer offer retailer levels or 'bulk discounts'. *insert sound of a car hitting a wall at 100 mph*. Wut? All of a sudden now, I'm being cut out of the loop AGAIN. Now, with the pdf thing, there were some huge logistical hurdles there keeping retailers out of the loop, it wasn't JUST a 'money thing'
This TOTALLY is just a 'money thing'.
What was that Mal? “About 50% of the human race is middlemen and they don’t take kindly to being eliminated.” Thanks much, good buddy, glad ya got my back.
At this point I'm just reduced to an agape mouth, with a severe look of 'what the fuck' on my face. Yet again, I get to watch as a new distribution scheme manages to completely avoid me, the retailer, and in essence, take money from my pocket.
Some might say that 'just wait a little while...these products will end up in'll eventually be able to get them.' That I highly doubt. The vast majority of sales on a product will be in it's initial release. If a manufacturer makes a game, and releases it through kickstarter, then THAT's where the majority of the sales will be made. Any sales through the distributor will be afterthought sales, and likely will not amount to enough number to make it worthwhile for them to carry. Also, it's likely that the manufacturers, using the kickstarter system will be printing enough copies to be able to even stock the distributor warehouses, as making a bunch of copies that you aren't sure are going to sell is sort of at counter odds to the whole approach of a kickstarter project in the first place.
So..once again, retailers are left out in the cold. On the outside looking in. And people wonder why more and more retailers are leaving the industry for greener pastures elsewhere.
Thanks again Kickstarter. Thanks for nothing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Of Paint Racks and Planning

Interesting article on IcV2 here.

And by interesting, I mean "the first half of the article seems reasoned and well thought out, but the last half of it seems to be little more than a monkey throwing his feces at the wall."
In this article, Scott Thorne says....

"It would really have helped us out in terms of budgeting if GW had given us more information about this more than two weeks in advance. "
I was told by my rep, almost TWO MONTHS AGO, that the current line of paints were going to be phased out. We were told that instead of ordering them by the box of 6, we could order them individually, so that we could have a 'minimum stock on hand'.

Now, it doesn't take a mental titan to figure out what's going to happen.   We were also told...MONTHS prepare for a 'large financial outlay'.    Again, it sure doesn't take a mind of Mensa to figure out what's going on here.

Now here's the funny part.  Scott here is bitching about an outlay of $2000 bucks.  Now, to a game store owner, 2 large isn't a small chunk of change.  It surely isn't.  But, if a person who was watching their money couldn't set aside the sales from all of the paint on their current rack (which will NOT be restocked), then I'd suggest a serious look at the way they do their financial tracking.    
Over the past couple of months, we almost completely sold out of the paint on our soon to be replaced rack.   The money from that, under normal circumstances, would go to pay for restocks, and then other sundry items, like rent, electricity.  Instead of putting that money into restocks (or, I'm willing to bet in Scotty's case... dumping those sales into other departments....) just set it aside.  When the time comes to shell out those bucks for that rack, one should have almost half of the money already set aside.

This is what we in the industry call "financial planning".
Now, in the interests of fair argument, this scenario doesn't take into account the fact that the range expanded from 70 some odd paints to 145. This means that, depending on the previous rack's stock levels, you'll have in the neighborhood of one quarter to one half of the new rack paid for. 

Now, for myself, hearing that the line was going to be expanding to 145 paints, I was fully expecting Games Workshop to want me to buy 12 bottles of each paint, putting the cost of the new rack system at about $3600.   When they came and said that it was only going to be 6 of each paint, that actually freed up about $1800 dollars in my budget. 

Still though, the point remains that anyone who possesses even basic observational skills should have been able to adequately prepare for the new rack. 
Now, onto his comments about the rack itself.

"Unfortunately, the new rack suffers from a design flaw, at least from the retailer point of view.  Unlike GW's last two paint racks, I guess in order to fit the wider range of paints into it, the paint slots fit at a much steeper angle, only holding six paints, unlike the older ones, which held 12.  Since GW ships paints in quantities of six, the store either has to maintain extras in backstock somewhere away from the rack or wait until paint runs out before putting in a reorder."
Really?  I mean....really? This is actually worth kvetching about?   Now, I noticed the same thing too, and for the briefest of moments my brow furrowed slightly at the fact that I wouldn't be able to store more than 6 points on rack.    My marginal disappointment at that was countered by the fact that now, with the increased angle, and another changes to the rack, All of the paints in the rack would actually slide down to the front of the rack properly.   Before, the rails that the paints set between were just a hair too narrow, and since they used a flat metal pan to slide on, there was much greater friction.  The result was many times people would buy a couple of paints, and the ones behind them wouldn't slide forwards.

 Sometimes, it would look like we were out of paints, when in reality we had plenty more, just tucked up in the darkest deepest recesses of that rack, unable to slide down into the light of day.
Now, we'll have to keep a box set aside with backstock paint.  I have several things that are in my backroom as backstock (and overstock too..which is another insidious beast).   It's not going to take too much for me to tell my employees to keep an eye out, and if they see a paint low on the rack, to check the inventory in the computer, and if there's plenty of inventory left, go into the backstock and get some.

This is what we in the industry call "inventory management". 
Is it a touch more inconvenient?  Yeah, I'll grant that.  Is it over the top inconvenient?  Not in the least.   It's more than made up for with a rack that has all of the paints slid to the front, and helping to make the rack look full and stocked.  As one of my retail mentors once said "if you can't afford to keep your paint rack stocked, get out of the business."  I'll take this rack six days of the week and twice on Sunday over that last rack.  My job is inventory management, and asking me to do my job isn't a 'design flaw'. 

Some people might think I'm just being a sightless fanboy, waving the games workshop banner in utter and loyal devotion.  People who know me will know otherwise, as I'm one who point out what I perceive to be flaws, but I also feel it's proper to point out when people only feel like whining about the potential negatives of a situation, instead of at least acknowledging the positives.
There are plenty of very legitimate things to bitch about concerning Games Workshop.   The fact that a retailer can't pay attention to some very basic signals, and seemingly can't be bothered to pay a little more attention to his stock levels, doesn't count among them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Where does it all come from? Part 3

Ok, when I said a few days ago that "tomorrow I'll put up the RPG chart" I forgot to take into account that

1) the weekend was coming up
2) I had a Warhammer Tournament to get ready
3) I had 2 sessions of Pathfinder to run for our Pathfinder Society group here on Sunday
4) IT'S CHRISTMAS season and I am in retail (which generally means that I do NOT get to control my own time, it controls me.)

But, I have a few minutes now, (aided by the fact that the order that I was expecting today didn't come in because of the storm in California a couple of days ago) so I promised myself I wouldn't get dinner until this post was up.

In my database, I have two ways of breaking RPG's down  First of all, I break them down by basic genre; Fantasy, SciFi, Western and so on and so forth.   I also break them down by product lines; D&D, Gurps, Traveller and such.

Let's take a quick gander at which genres are selling the most.

Now, this isn't much of a surprise.  Fantasy RPG's are the market staple. (thank you Mr Tolkien, Mr, Howard, and Mr Lieber).  In the store we have D&D and Pathfinder taking up much of the burden of fantasy RPG sales, but there are a few others contributing to that.  Earthdawn, Exalted, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay  and a couple of the Indie games also added into that.   SciFi games came in second with sales of Traveller, Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and a few other minor ones.

Now for the chart that probably will be a big surprise.  I know that it was for me.

Yep... not only was D&D NOT number one, it wasn't number two or three either.  It came in at number 4 and from the looks of the chart, it sure wasn't too much higher than the number five, Savage Worlds.  Traveller is the number one, and that's for one reason.  We have a gaming group that's switching over to that game, and the person who's running it and one of the other players have been picking up the line.  Here's the sad fact.  This will be an abberation on these sales figures, and I highly suspect that next month, Traveller will fade farther back down on the list.  It's position this month, is really not something that can be counted on, but the fact that ONE group, was able to bump it to the top spot speaks volumes.  What it says to me, is that the RPG market, at least for me is in a horrid decline.  When one group can come in and overshadow D&D like that, there is a problem.

Now, WFRP had one special thing on it's side which gave it the number two slot.  It costs 100 bucks for the main boxed set.  Sell a few of those and it would be hard to keep it out of a top slot.

Pathfinder is number three, and more importantly it's eclipsing it's parent D&D.   There's a lot of grousing about 4th ed amongst veteran gamers, and many of them have sworn off of playing.  To me, this is a bit of tragedy, as basically it's saying "im so stodgy that I really don't want to hang out with my friends anymore and socialize with them because of some silly game rules".  To me, the game was always secondary to the real reason of getting together with my friends.  I'm sad that feeling isn't more widely held.  Pathfinder, however is picking up SOME of those disaffected players who aren't interested in converting to the 4th ED rules.  In fact, i'm running games for their organized play campaign, The Pathfinder Chronicles, here at the store on the first Sunday of the month.  I'm happy that it's doing well, but that it's doing better than D&D proper, is telling.

All of that aside, these charts tell me that D&D is no longer king of the heap, and I can no longer afford to just bring in several copies of each new release as they come out, and expect them to move.  D&D will now be subject to the same scrutiny that the other RPG's get.  If I don't reasonably know of someone who will buy a copy of a particular book, I'm not likely to order it.  D&D books were usually immune to any kind of process like that, but no longer.

By looking at sales, and seeing what the trends are, I don't carry a lot of hope for RPG's in general, at least here in the store.  I love RPG's and I will continue to carry them, but it would be irresponsible of me to keep carrying them in the ways that i've done in past years.  A good business is one that's flexible enough to adapt to changing markets and make decisions based off of that.  

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where does it all come from? Part 2

Yesterday, I posted some basic sales information concerning how the sales of IOG are divided up between the various departments.   I'd like to continue that with showing a breakdown of two of those departments.  CCG's and Accessories.

Let's go ahead and start with the CCG's.


Anyone who's known me for any length of time knows that CCG's are just something I'm not into.  With a couple of rare exceptions (Vs system, WWE Raw Deal) I've never really gotten into CCG's.  I've dabbled here and there, but i've never gotten into them to any great degree.  The last time I actually was REALLY interested in Magic, the word Ante was still in the rulebook.  My gaming interests have always leaned more towards RPG's, Mini's games and Board games, and it's really little surprise that my store would tend to reflect that. 

I've actually avoided bringing in CCG's and (until now) have only dabbled occasionally in the CCG market.   It certainly isn't because I have an active animosity towards them, it's just simple basic unfamiliarity with CCG's and their players.  I don't speak their language, and I have difficulty relating to that gaming style.  Therefore.. I've avoided it.   With all that's happening in the gaming market, and what  my predictions of what WILL be happening here in the local gaming market, i've decided I can no longer afford to have such a gaping hole in my product lines in the store.  Some other retailers I've talked to are just shocked to learn that i've lasted 11 years without Magic.   Also, there's been a local store that has pretty much been dedicated to Magic.  When I opened up, it was Jesters Court (now gone),  Beyond Gaming (now gone), Mana Werks (now gone).  So it's not too hard to see that between having a local competitor that pretty much solely dedicated themselves to Magic, and the general churn I've seen in the store that DID hit Magic pretty hard, I've never been too excited to get into Magic.

Recently, with the new 2010 Core set, and the release of the Zendikar block, i've decided that we will now be doing Magic.  I have no intention of turning the store into a Magic ONLY store or even a Magic dominated store, but we are now running regular tournaments, selling boxes, and soon will be selling singles.  It's a big step, and I'm glad that I've chosen to do it.


You've heard the BASF ads.  "We don't make a lot of the products you buy; we make a lot of the products you buy better!"    That's pretty much describes my Accessories department.   Things like Dice, Paint, Tools, Card Sleeves, Miniatures Cases all fall under that umbrella.   Here's how accessories sales break down here at IOG.

Most of these categories should be pretty self explanatory.  Gaming Aids, is mostly things like templates, tokens, counters and the such.  Mapping is for things like battlemats, or GamingPaper or the awesome Paizo Flip Mats.  The Modeling category is for things like basing materials, bases,  and plasticard.

This is one of the categories in the store that's seen more and more growth over the past few years.  Years ago, the idea of someone selling pre-sculpted bases was a novelty, and now there are several companies doing that (some better than others).    Recently, Battlefoam, has just stormed into the market selling high quality and very configurable custom foams for miniatures.  Up until they came in, Sabol Cases were considered the Cadillac of gaming cases.  With the introduction of Battlefoam, they've slipped down to Honda Civic status.  Gale  Force 9 is perhaps one of the premiere example of this emerging market.  They've made their entire business on making tokens, bases, templates for other people's games.

Now, there are a few places here where I want to do some improving.  As we get more Magic being played, we'll sell more card sleeves, that goes without saying.  One of the surprises to me was just how strong terrain REALLY is.  For years, I've dismissed it, saying 'people generally play here in the store and just use our store terrain, so there really isn't too much of a market for selling it here in store.'   As Lex Luthor so succinctly said in the recent superman movie.  WROOOOONNGG!!   It's clear that there IS a market for terrain, beyond what I was seeing (or letting myself see), and I would be remiss to ignore it longer.

That's enough for today.  Tomorrow I'll continue with a breakdown of RPG sales.   Which RPG line is the best seller here in the store?  The answer might surprise you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Where does it all come from? Part 1

A while ago, I did a post where I went over all of the store expenses for a month, giving a general look at where all of the copious dollars I manage to make a month  (bwhahah) go. (You can find that post here.)  This month, I thought i'd take a different tack and go over the other end.  Where does all of it come from?  Some people might be surprised to see the breakdowns of various departments and categories in the store, especially as I've found that most people will tend to over estimate the facet of the hobby that they are actively engaged in.

This is going to be a multi part post, broken up over several days.   For the first day here, I'm just going to show the overall categories and their relation to each other vis-a-vis sales here in November.

Before I go into that I'd just like to reflect on a two different numbers.  73% and 53%.    The first number, the 73% was the increase in sales from this Black Friday to last year's Black Friday.   Now, Black Friday is generally not that huge a day for us.  For many retailers selling more conventional wares, Black Friday is the make or break day of the year.  It's called Black Friday because this is the first day of the year that many business start to show a profit, or as we say 'run in the black'.   Yes, this means that many businesses run at a loss for most of the year until the holiday sales season start.   I honestly don't know how people who are involved in these business cope with that, as it would drive me stark raving bonkers to run for a loss for SO long and then to make up for 10 months of losses with 2 months of breakneck sales.  That is FAR to topsy turvey for my tastes.

For us, Black Friday isn't too different than most other Fridays. We do see SOME Christmas sales, but the majority of people are shopping at the big box stores getting 94% off of laptops, or MP3 players for free after rebate.   Short of deciding that I wanted to go out of business in a spectacular fashion, there's nothing I could do that could even remotely compete with those sales and promotions.  So I don't bother.  It's been my general experience that people do their shopping for sister Sally and brother Billy in those first few days after Thanksgiving, mostly because what Sally and Billy are asking for are fairly common things.  Barbie, X box and "whatever the hot toy that will cause fistfights and at least 2 trampling deaths at the big box stores", are what people  are looking for.  But what about crazy little cousin Elmo who plays those funny games with the little figures and funny dice?  People tend to come in a bit later in the holiday shopping season to buy those kinds of gifts.  More often than not, they have NO idea what they're looking for, and either hand me a list with a frustrated look on their face, or they just ask for a gift certificate.

The second number I mentioned, 53% is what this November's sales are up over last November.   73% and 53%.  Those are some pretty significant increases.  In looking at things with as an objective an eye as I can muster, I have to come to 2 conclusions as to why sales are better.

1)  People feel better about spending money, regardless of how good the economy is going/isn't doing.  A LOT of my customers are out of work right now, but this time last year, most everyone was feeling shellshocked into not wanting to spend money.  There are some signs that the economy is improving, but I think people are feeling a bit better about spending.  It should be noticed that I have really noticed that people are buying things more on debit and cash than on credit.
2) The store is in better shape than it's been in for a good while.  We have better inventory, and a better 'attitude' than we've had for a long time.  I've had many customers come up to me in the past couple of months and tell me that they haven't been as excited to be here and to buy things as they have here recently.  I'm in the store a lot more, im paying attention to what's happening a lot more, and I think that's really showing.

Ok..that's over and done with, and now let me show you that little breakdown I promised WAY back at the beginning of this post.

For anyone who's really been in my store, seeing that miniatures are 50% of sales really shouldn't be too much of surprise.  CCG's while low, are still building here and we are, week by week, getting more and more people coming into play Magic.  If there is a bit of a surprise in here's it's that the number two department in the whole store is Accessories.  That includes things like, dice, paint, tools, mapping aids, game aids.   It goes back to something I said earlier, we don't need more games, we need more things to make games BETTER.

Here's a breakdown of the top 15 items overall for the month of November

1) Zendikar Boosters (WotC)
2) Skaven Army Book (GW)
3) Space Wolf Battleforce (GW)
4) Imperial Guard Chimera (GW)
5) Fortress of Redemption (GW)
6) Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying 3rd rd (Fantasy Flight Games)
7) Ork Battlewagon (GW)
8) Assault on Blackreach (40k starter set)(GW)
9) Hammer of Thor Boosters (heroclix)
10) 2010 MTG Booster Box (WotC)
11) Zendikar MTG Booster Box (WotC)
12) Pathfinder Bestiary (Paizo)
13) Cadian Battleforce (GW)
14) Tau Battleforce (GW)
15) Ravenwing Battleforce  (GW)

Tomorrow, I'll continue this with a break down of some of the categories, giving you all a bit more of a look at what moves here at IOG.

Friday, November 27, 2009

New stuff at the Outpost : 11/27/2009

Some bright, shiny, new releases this week for your gaming pleasure!


Radicals Handbook-Dark Heresy: The most extreme and zealous Inquisitors of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the Radical factions, walk a dark and dangerous path. Now, you and your acolytes can walk among, or against them, with the knowledge contained in the latest sourcebook: The Radical’s Handbook. From the mysterious Ragged Oracle of Seedworld AFG-218 to the horrors of the Maletek Stalker, The Radical’s Handbook contains a wealth of background information and game mechanics to enrich your Dark Heresy campaign.

Vorkosigan Saga-GURPS: From the award-winning science-fiction stories of Lois McMaster Bujold comes The Vorkosigan Saga Sourcebook and RPG . . . set in a future universe of honor and betrayal, war and intrigue, great victories and great defeats. Miles Vorkosigan is brilliant, charismatic, the heir to a noble house on a warrior planet . . . and hopelessly crippled. No. Not hopelessly. A Vorkosigan never gives up. And when the fragile, dwarfed, odd-looking Miles charges headlong against the universe . . . Miles may break, but he's used to breaking. And he'll pay that price, for his Emperor's honor and his own, because when Miles hits it hard enough, the universe gives way. Now you can enter the world of Miles Vorkosigan. Play his soldiers, his agents, his comrades. Play Miles himself, if you're up to the challenge . . . and if you think you can dare as much, and talk as fast, as the "little Admiral."

Character Creation / Combat & Adventuring-Hero System 6th Edition:
The Hero System has a new edition out, and it's better than ever! Incorporating everything we've learned from over 28 years and input from the most fervent fans in the industry, the 6th Edition rules will be in full color and hardcover for the first time, just in time for the new excitement being built up by the forthcoming Champions MMO releasing this summer! Now in two separate books, the 6th Edition is also available for purchase as a set of both.


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a new, exciting way to experience the popular Warhammer Fantasy setting. It is a grim world, constantly at war. As a hero, you will take up weapon, spell, or prayer and do your best to combat the might of enemies terrifying to behold. As the Game Master, you will make the lands of the Old World real as you craft the story, the people, creatures, and the mysteries the other players will encounter during their adventures. Everything your group needs to begin its adventures in the Old World is included in the Core set. This Core set is an excellent way to bring new players into the fold, as well as to reward experienced roleplaying with new and exciting innovations.


Arcana: Will the Guild of Blades control the city? The Guild of Thieves? Its up to you as you fight for the best agents to exert your influence. As the game is played, various stacks of "Stake" cards are revealed. Using the cards in your hand from your Main Deck, you will play agents to the various Stake cards, and you will use other cards to augment your agents. The player whose agent wins the Stake will claim it, placing it in his Resource Deck. Any card from your main deck that has been played also goes to the resource deck. When the main deck runs out, you reshuffle your resource deck into a new main deck. The more powerful the Stake card you win, the better it will make your deck as the game progresses. However, should you win a stake for a card that does not directly help your strategies, you can put the card under your Guild card, and still score at the end though not have to reshuffle that card into your deck, maintaining focus. Every card has a point value and at the end of the game the total point value of all the cards in your possession determines the winner. Each Stake is determined by various factors, such as military power, political power, money, etc. Each Guild has different abilities, such as the Guild of Blades always winning ties on Stakes determined by military power. Along with the Stakes, each player is given a number of Objective cards at the beginning of the game. Completing these objectives, such as "Control three Automaton Stakes" will earn the player additional points. By customizing your deck as you play and with four different Guilds to choose from, the replay value of Arcana is nearly limitless.


Captain's Log 40- Star Fleet Battles:
The Federation GSVX survey ship has encountered the first known Space Manta, a dangerous monster. Unable to find any way to destroy the ship, the captain must expend the lives of his pilots to gain as much information as he can before the Space Manta destroys his ship!  Captain's Log includes fiction, tournament reports, and information for all of our product lines including updates, new ships, new rules, and new scenarios.  Star Fleet Battles: Six new scenarios, Romulan variants of the F5W, Tholian heavy police units, Anarchist part 20, WYN LTT, Old M81 Galaxy pirates, Starswarm, S8 update, Victory at Origins, Term Papers, Triaxian Primer, Growler, and much more.  Federation Commander: Three new scenarios, six new ships including two new empires, stasis field generators, command notes, Victory at Origins. Federation & Empire: A new rule, Q&A, Tactical Notes, Why, proposals board, new ships. Klingon Armada: Tactics, example of play, a new scenario, four new ships. Ten questions, Awards, After-action, Command the Future, Input Guide, Why, Proposals Board, Background Questions, Galactic Conquest, Klingon Imperial Line, SFBF Terrain Cards.

Atlantis: You control a faction in beautiful Atlantis, the glorious civilization built upon the sea. No other city rivals its power. None command such riches. Now, the link between the land and your beloved home of Atlantis is crumbling! You must race to move your people along the great bridge to the mainland before it disappears into the thundering waters below. Picking up artifacts as you move, you must be wary of creating gaps in the bridge. For as the gaps proliferate and widen, those behind you face a costly-even perilous-journey to safety. So, flee with care and cunning. Be the first to guide your people to their new haven!

Megacorps: MegaCorps is a game of economic domination. You control a MegaCorp — one of the six enormous conglomerates that dominate economic and political life in the mid-21st Century. You control industries, manipulate governments like puppets, and even wage war to open new markets. You win by making more money than the other MegaCorps. A player chooses industries in countries, hoping for big payouts by having less competition in the industry. But if you own an industry and want to build the same industry in another country you will need to get permission. Of course, you can try to take over the country first then build in there, using the force of countries you own and mercenaries you have or with those you can persuade allies to contribute. The type of government a country is can also have an effect on what you buy (or what you keep!). Kleptocracies can steal ownership of your industry. Dictatorships can nationalize an industry to shut you out. Democracies can buy you out.