Monday, August 29, 2011
A look into Game Vault, Fredericksburg, VA: A Great FLGS!
Old School here with a quick review of another DC/VA area Game Store during my trip. This time, I am looking at Game Vault in Fredericksburg, VA. First off, I would like to give this store kudos for having a great Web site. The hours and current information are posted on the front page, which was helpful because the hurricane caused the store to be closed on Saturday. Since that info was posted on the Web site in a timely manner, it saved me a trip (yeah, I'm the guy who goes to FLGSs during natural disasters).
The Web site also features links to the local forum, where you can buy/sell/trade with other local players, find and schedule pick-up games and just talk about whatever games you play. A final note on the site - if you are heading to this store, check the directions they have listed; the plaza the store is located in has a funky set of turns to access it.
As you walk in the door, you enter the merchandise room. I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with the selection here. Game Vault carries the obvious 40k, WHFB and LotR products, but also carries Secret Weapon, MicroArt bases, Avatars of War, Ultraforge models, a good selection of commonly used Battlefoam and even some Blood Bowl teams. Additionally, the store has tons of cards, Flames of War, Privateer Press, RPGS and much more!
As I checked out the 40k stuff, the clerk let me know about the 5 Year Anniversary Sale. Once you select your purchase, you approach the counter and roll a D12. 1-6 yielded a 15% discount, while 7-12 landed you a fat 20% off. This, along with friendly staff, resulted in me purchasing another terminator squad (which I might not have purchased otherwise) and a pot of Vallejo weathering powder.
This store is also pretty large (as you'll see throughout the photos). Just to the left of this set of racks is a RPG area outfitted with a table and some decent sitting room (sorry, I wasn't in 'store review' mode at the moment or I would have taken more pics here).
In the main gaming room, there is also a painting station, which while a little disorganized, is fully kitted out for somebody who just showed up with models and needs equipment to paint. Also, it is clear that it is well used and all I can say is that I wish the FLGSs I play at in Michigan had a station like this in them, as I think it would encourage more painting and allow the experienced folks to help the new guys out more. I made use of this area (though I brought my own gear) for most of the day on Sunday and had a great time talking to some of the local players.
Just to give you an idea of the table top space, imagine the Magic players' area is behind me, there are four 6x4 tables pictured, then there is also a room behind this area that houses more tables. Essentially there is room for 8 regular games, though an employee told me that the store can outfit (I think he said) 22 players in total during a tournament - which is plenty of space for a FLGS and especially one that hosts so many players from so many different games.
My overall opinion: A great store with knowledgeable staff, a useful, updated Web site, tons of product - to include alternative sources, lots of terrain, a decent amount of regular table space, clean bathrooms and a nice painting station. Let's not forget the most important thing: The community in this store really were friendly and inviting (especially the 40k and WM crowd) and with an atmosphere like that, I would certainly make Game Vault my FLGS if I lived in this area.
In any case, I will be back for more painting and more gaming in the weeks to come, as the store is hosting 'Ard Boyz Round 2 as well as a 2500 point tourney to benefit wounded veterans (count me in). Once again, sorry about some of the areas not being pictured, but I was in 'paint the Death Wing' mode, not review mode. If you are ever in the area, check this store out!