The Ascension of a Code Blue in a Tribune’s Fresco

I’m suffering today.  Mostly, it’s due to the pittance of sleep (3 hours) I got on Tuesday night.  I always sacrifice rest to game night on game nights, but this week was even worse since I wanted to hang around and spend a few last moments with Alton, who will be leaving the area (and our group, obviously) after this week.  Alton was one of our original members, being one of the six of us who attended our very first game night 4 years ago! 

The old man was a force to be reckoned with, and I know that I and the rest of the group will miss him greatly.  Good luck, Alton; go and enjoy the ridiculous amount of money they had to throw your way to lure you away from us.  But still try to come back and visit us soon!

Otherwise, our numbers were again down this week, with only 6 of us being able to make it.  It’s not that unusual for us to have a little bit of a winter slump after the holidays and our anniversary party, but we can’t help but wonder if this drastic decline in attendance is also related to the store’s new membership program.  Basically, you have to pay a monthly fee (or by the night) to be able to use the play area, and while you get this money back as store credit for game purchases, I’ve already heard a number of comments about people who haven’t been able to come due to money reasons.  And I also fear that it’s especially becoming a barrier to those in our group who travel a longer distance and are more intermittent in their normal ability to attend and to new members, of course.  

So, local guys, do you think this is what’s going on?  Should we worry?  Is it affecting your ability or interest to attend? 

Everyone else, do your FLGS’s have programs like this?  Does/did it affect your game group?  Do you have any advice?

But that’s enough talk about that.  Let’s get on to the actual games I played… 

Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer [BGG]

I got there a little late, as normal, so the gang was finishing up a game of our new Game of the Month!, Factory Fun, as I arrived.  Afterwards, Chip and Kenny peeled off to play a couple games of Julius Caesar while the rest of us played a quick game of Ascension.

We started with a lot of demons and high-cost cards cluttering up the board, so most of us grabbed up Heavy Infantry for a few turns.  I think that I managed to come out of that the best, though, and then started trying to move towards a more rune-based deck from that point on.  I didn’t feel like any of our decks were very good (due mostly to what came up), and I was especially surprised when I found that I had actually won, edging Alton out by one teeny-weeny, little point. 

Time: 23 minutes
Score: Me 50, Alton 49, Chris 45, Shawn 42
Ratings: Me 8, Alton 9, Chris 10, Shawn 9

Ascension is pretty light, but it’s still a lot of fun and always interesting to me.  I’m still having a lot of fun with it each time I play, but I’m also starting to feel like it needs an expansion just to keep it fresh.  We even talked a little about what we thought might be included in the upcoming expansion, in fact, and I really can’t wait to see it.

Code 777 [BGG]

We then had our obligatory few moments of looking at each other and saying, “I don’t know, what do you want to play?”, but then Chris mentioned Code 777 and it was on like Donkey Kong.  There’s not really much narrative to speak of in this themeless deduction game, but we had fun and ended up playing 2 games back-to-back, both of which I managed to win. 

If there’s anything really interesting to talk about, I think it’d have to be how differently I and Shawn (who finished second in both games) played.  I approach this very conservatively, carefully tracking any numbers that I see or figure out and making sure that I don’t make a guess until I’m absolutely certain I know what I’m doing.  Shawn, however, made a lot of incorrect guesses in both games, where he maybe knew one or two of the numbers but took the chance of possibly getting ahead by going out on a limb.  He was really close to pulling it out in the second game, but still came up a little short.   

Time: 25 and 27 minutes
Game 1: Me 3, Shawn* 2, Alton* 1, Chris* 1
Game 2: Me 3, Shawn 2, Alton 1, Chris 1
Ratings: Me 7.5, Shawn 8, Alton 7, Chris 7

Other than the obvious observational and logic skills involved in Code 777, the other thing that I think is important is figuring out how best to take notes on the little note sheets.  I mean, clearly, you scratch out numbers that you see or can eliminate.  But pretty often, you get a little nugget of information that doesn’t help you right now, but possibly could in the future, so you need to be able to keep track of that effectively as well. 

And something that I’m still trying to get my head around is what, if anything, you can do to get an advantage when the tiles are reshuffled (once all of them have been used once).  It sort of resets the game, so at least on the surface, it seems like you almost have to completely scrap all of your previous information and start over, but I get the feeling that there may still be something that I should be able to carry forward.  And certainly, on a tactical level, the turns leading up to reshuffle are very important since identifying your numbers twice before it is a huge advantage, and that may even warrant taking a little more risk in making a less-educated guess if the new tiles you get will still be from before the shuffle.

Now I want to play again so that I can see if any of this actually matters, or if I’m maybe just reading a little too much into it…  

Here’s the whole crew this week: Alton, Chris, and Shawn at my table, and then Chip and Kenny at the far table.

Fresco [BGG]

Next to hit the table was Fresco, which is still relatively new to all of us (and brand-spankin‘-new to Alton).  We all sort of felt our way around for a few turns, picking up paint and completing a fresco tile or two here and there.  It’s hard to remember a lot of details, though, until we got into the endgame.  

On what turned out to be the penultimate turn, I managed to complete three tiles to increase my income to six and take a pretty decent lead, but completely exhausting all of my paint supply in the process.  My plan was to then spend the remaining turns just collecting money (which turn into victory points as well) and maybe picking up another few points from the altar.  But I didn’t really figure on Chris and Shawn completing enough tiles to trigger the end of the game, meaning that I would have pretty much nothing to do on the last turn of the game (other than collect money and waste my two other actions).  Alton, meanwhile, had planned well and completed 3 big tiles on the last turn to push past me and get the win.

Time: 54 minutes
Score: Alton* 68, Me 57, Chris 55, Shawn 42
Ratings: Alton 9, Me 7.5, Chris 8, Shawn 7.5

After finding Fresco a little bland in my first play, it has continued to get better and better as I’ve played it a couple of more times.  The “get up time” mechanic is just awesome, and I really appreciate how cool and thematic/realistic the paint mixing element is.  Plus, what always gets me excited is when I can think about and plan for a game when I’m not actually playing it, and I’m already thinking of what I’m going to try next time.  So that’ll probably mean that next time will be pretty soon, and hopefully will include one or two of the little expansions included in the base game. 

Tribune: Primus Inter Pares [BGG]

Tribune was our Favorite Game of the Year in 2009, and it continues to get play pretty often in our group.  Unlike Fresco, all four of us playing are very experienced with Tribune, so the game just flew by (causing me to forget to take any pictures!). 

Alton made “the move” on turn 1, managing to pull off some leader shenanigans and claim a freaking Tribune (the hardest victory condition to get) right at the start!  The rest of us were definitely playing catch up from there, but I thought I was doing pretty well until he was able to get 4 faction markers, 8 laurels, and 3 legions on turn 3 to end the game.  I had 2 conditions myself (money & favor of the gods) and probably could have pulled off two more on the next turn, so I still felt pretty good about how I did. 

Time: 30 minutes
Score: Alton 4, Me 2, Chip 0, Kenny 0
Ratings: Alton 9.5, Me 9, Chip 9, Kenny 8.5

30 freaking minutes!  That’s just crazy.  I still don’t play this game enough.

Blue Moon City [BGG]

To finish off the night, we sort of made Alton choose how he would end his time with us, and he finally decided on a game of Blue Moon City.  Somehow or another, Kenny had never played before, so we went over the rules first and then got down to it. 

Again, the game doesn’t have the strongest narrative, because for the early game we just sort of ran around making some contributions to buildings here and there.  I don’t usually think that it’s quite as big a deal as some to make offerings when they’re cheapest, so I spent a little more time doing work around the “board” while others occasionally headed back to the center.  Alton has the expansion tiles in his game as well, so I also used a couple of them (the one that lets you move anywhere and the Hospital, which lets you draw 2 more cards) a few times to get a bit of an advantage.  In the end, I managed to make my last three offerings on three consecutive turns, with Chip and Kenny being just one turn away from making their fourth as well. 

Time: 50 minutes
Score: Me 4, Kenny* 3, Chip 3, Alton 2
Ratings: Me 8, Kenny 7.5, Chip 9, Alton 10

If we didn’t already have 2 or 3 other copies of this game, I’d pick it up in a second.  It’s a really cool game of hand management and semi-cooperative play, along with a very significant element of pace and timing.  Plus, I seem to do pretty well at it. 

Hey – why the heck hasn’t this been Game of the Month! before?  Maybe we should remember this come the end of the month… 

Other Games Played

Factory Fun
Time: 47 minutes
Score: Kenny 77, Chris 67, Chip 64, Alton 54, Shawn 45
Ratings: Kenny 8, Chris 8, Chip 8, Alton 8.5, Shawn 8

Julius Caesar
 50 and 45 minutes
Game 1: Chip* (Pompey) 10, Kenny* (Caesar) 3
Game 2: Chip (Pompey) 10, Kenny (Caesar) 2
Ratings: Chip 7, Kenny 7

Lost Worlds
 ?? (short)
Score: Chip* (Lizard Man) – Win, Kenny (Goblin) – Lose
Ratings: Chip 7, Kenny 8

Race for the Galaxy
 25 and 25 minutes
Game 1: Chris 62, Alton 51, Shawn 39
Game 2: Chris 67, Shawn 40, Alton 24
Ratings: Chris 10, Alton 10, Shawn 8

* First play for that Person


  1. I for one am going to miss Alton. I hope you come back to us at some point. If not, may your game encounters be glorious. As for comments on the games, I had a lot of fun…it seems like this is the first time in a long time that I actually had a “LOT” of fun. Thanks to those of you who came out this last week and made my night fantastic.

    I for one am not having a problem paying the membership. And you know what, it actually gets me patronizing the store even more than I did. That’s a good thing for Denise and the store.

    How many people are willing to open their doors for 6-15 players each week? Not having the store area is a major plus for me. Their is overhead to pay, and Denise makes very little on this monthly membership, because she has to pay the cost back for the games that we purchase and still has to take what ever is left over for overhead costs (utilities, etc).

    Granted it may have hindered some of our regulars.

    There are many stores that do the same thing and charge $5.00 or more per play. I play at least 6-7 times a month so I get my money’s worth out of the membership.

    Remember, you are not limited to just BOARDGAME night. Come on over and play boardgames any time she has open tables. Tuesday does not have to be the only night to get out and play. And heck, call me…I just may join you as a 2nd , 3rd, 4th player…

    She is still working out some logistics with this, and it may change…so hang in there.

  2. Chris Ingersoll

    I’d probably prefer it if we were to treat Board Game Night as a “tournament” so people wouldn’t need a membership to participate. Not that it would affect me or my participation in the membership program, and I can’t really speak for the people who would be affected, so hey. Of course, any opinions we have on this matter are essentially on hold until the 23rd anyway…

    As for Code 777: In theory, as soon as the tiles get reshuffled (the first time…) you should know EXACTLY what your three tiles are, since they’re the only three you will have never seen. I have NO CLUE as to how to ensure that this happens as far as your notes are concerned, but a cursory run-through of the math in my head suggests that this pretty much has to be the case. Even if you’ve already guessed correctly once, as long as your current tiles were drawn before the shuffle you should know them by that time.

  3. Chris Norwood

    re: Code 777 – Exactly!  So if you haven’t guessed once before the shuffle, it would probably behoove you to go ahead and make a guess (even if it’s pretty wild) to get a second set of tiles before it happens (especially if there are only 3 or 4 left) because you’ll almost immediately know what the new ones are. 

    See what I’m saying?

  4. Wow! I didn’t know Alton was leaving. I guess that’s what happens when you miss a month.
    Alton, I will miss you a lot. You were one of the ones who made sure I felt welcomed and always made sure to speak to me and play a game with me. I hope you are able to find a group to game with when you get settled. Take care.
    As to the decreased numbers, I take some responsibility for that. At least for me. We’re just in the post Christmas and unexpected expenses poor house. It’s not the fee. It’s burning gas that needs to be burned toward work or school. I will probably be back around April or so.

  5. Keith Carter

    Alton’s going is a sad thing. He is a strong opponent that has drawn me into many an interesting game… and stomped all over me most of the time. He has been a core part of the Hypermind Gamers experience to me. And who am I going to swap asian wife stories with now?

    I was out because of work. 91 hours last week. 18.5 hours last game night. Yes, I am whinning/bragging about work, but I really would rather have been there. Better to be tired from too much gaming.

    The new membership to play program is no barrier to me. Trials are the only thing I see causing an absence.

  6. Alton will be missed.
    His grandfatherly doddering welcomed every new face, and his senile facade fooled many into believing that he often had no clue as to what he was doing. Meanwhile, the schemer made every attempt to hide VPs, game cash, etc from the other players. His thunderous sneezes often made many game night attendees temporarily deaf, and his bawdy jokes brought many guilty laughs. He is a wiley gamer…
    And he is a friend.

    Goodbye, Alton. May you return many times in the future.

  7. I would like to address the “membership program”. I have many concerns over the program, such as consistent application as well as the cause for its creation.

    First, I, like Tom et al, commute to Hypermind because of loyalty to the store and because of the fantastic fellowship that all of you create. Out of loyalty to the store, Ive made many purchases from Hypermind. Many of these purchases were games that I first played during game night. I was not coerced into making these purchase; I did this because I wanted to give Hypermind business. The “membership program” will now mandate/coerce my purchases if I am to use the play area.
    I have not crunched numbers to determine the average dollars that I have spent at Hypermind relative to the number of times that I have played at the store.

    With the “membership program”, an evening of emotional fulfillment has become an economic exercise. A value has been placed on my evening enjoyment. Instead of fun, my initial thoughts have turned to “what is this costing me to game at Hypermind”.
    I can easily pay the membership fee, but the membership program has created a psychological hurdle for me.

    I would respect the program if I were simply paying a several dollar fee to use the store’s tables, but being told that I essentially must buy product from the store, I feel, betrays my loyalty. I resent it.

    I also cannot get past the play area formerly being free to use. I have NEVER been to a game store that mandated a fee to play there, except for special tournaments.
    In the Raleigh area, NONE of the local game stores charge patrons.
    In talking with gamers at a couple of these stores, they are surprised to hear about this policy, and they shake their heads in dismay. Each of their comments essentially stated that they would not give their patronage to such a store, unless there were no other store within a short driving distance.

    Since the membership program began, I have opted to stay home or game locally at my favorite Raleigh store, the Game Connection. The Game Connection does not charge to play, and at this week’s boardgame night, I counted 33 attendees.
    Since the Hypermind membership program began, I have also gamed at the Burlington Barnes and Noble. It had baked goods for sale, was quiet and was free.

    Because of the $40 “special tournament” fee for holding even a single Blood Bowl game at Hypermind, I am not including Hypermind in our Blood Bowl league this summer. There will be no championship game or any other specially promoted games there.

    Likewise, one the school year ends, I am going to give serious consideration to how much I will game at Hypermind.

    The membership program may be an attempt to generate revenue, but I believe that it will engender ill will, hinder adding new gamers and actually lead to less revenue from Hypermind’s boardgamers.

  8. Kenny

    I’ll try to make a long, well-reasoned post about my feelings on the membership program tomorrow. Tonight I just want to say that Chip and I rated Julius Caesar a ‘provisional 7’ based on the fact that I did the wargame equivalent of shanking the ball off the fairway into the parking lot and breaking my own car window both times we played it. Hopefully our rematch next week will enable us to give an honest, well-reasoned rating.

  9. Chris Norwood

    Yeah, I remembered that you had a big trial going on, so I figured it was the cause of your absence. 

    Chip and I actually agreed that for us, the membership fee is almost a good thing, because it at least establishes a game budget for us to use, rather than feeling the need to hide purchases from our wives because we, well I at least, never feel like it’s “okay” with Gwen to pick up something when it’s not a holiday/birthday/whatever. 

    But Kenny also brought up the fact that in not allowing us to buy memberships ahead of time (for future months), it actually encourages him to wait until he has store credit built up and therefore actually reduces his game purchases, squelching the impulse-buy element of picking up something unexpected.

  10. I don’t think you are required to buy anything at the store. So that statement is not true. You CAN buy something if you wish, and you CAN use your membership toward the purchase. You are not required to use it though. So, your paying a fee to use Table space is just that…

    Also, if I remember correctly, Denise did say Tournaments are different and she would work with you on whether there would be a fee or not. I know it’s on the GEEK that way in her post.
    Maybe ask her about what the fee would be (if any) on a bloodbowl tourney…

    Trust me, I have had this conversation with her, and she is not out to screw us.

    That would not be in her best interest.

    Have you actually spoke to her about this versus posting here and the Geek?

    I know this is a hot topic and there are many oppinions on both sides.

    I believe in going to the source and discussing it versus slamming it one way or the other. Therefor, I am not slamming you either. I respect your oppinion, but also ask that you at least talk to her directly about concerns, etc.

    Again, she is not out to screw any of us. Although I have a feeling some people think that is the case.

  11. Kenny

    “But Kenny also brought up the fact that in not allowing us to buy memberships ahead of time (for future months), it actually encourages him to wait until he has store credit built up and therefore actually reduces his game purchases, squelching the impulse-buy element of picking up something unexpected.”

    To be brutally honest, it not only squelches the impulse-buy concept, it’s even put the brakes on things I’d planned to buy. Not out of ill-will or anger, but out of the simple fact that I’ve now been presented with a system, and I feel compelled to minimize the costs that system will generate for me (I know this will be surprising to those of you who’ve played eurogames with me, but trust me if we were playing with my money instead of little wooden cubes my gameplay would sharpen considerably). If I know I’m going to have to be paying into the system in $20/month increments, I don’t want to throw in a single dollar over the limit. Ignoring discounts for clarity, a $40 game isn’t a two-month wait, it’s a THREE-month wait, because I want the tax taken care of as well.

    I don’t want to talk in too much detail about my personal gaming finances, but I can say that I know I bought more than $240 from Hypermind last year. It’s going to be hard to get me to do so now, as I feel like anything above a rate of $20/month will feel like I’m ‘wasting’ that overage. Again, if it could be tallied and carried forward, or used as ‘guest pass’ credits or something; but that’s going to be even more of a bookkeeping headache for Denise.

    Also, without calling out anyone by name: I went to the store to meet Alton last night and do some final game transactions. Some of the card players and the guy running the store were gathered around the register, swearing and making homophobic comments. Some of them know me, but the guy on the register didn’t; for all he knew I was walking in off the street for the first time. If I had been, I’d have left, never to return – again, those of you who’ve played against me know I’m a bit of a cusser myself, but that doesn’t mean I want to hear gay necrophiliac jokes from the people I buy things from. The point of this is not mere finger-wagging; but rather that one of the justifications I’ve heard for the program is that it would improve the tone and behavior of the player base at the store. So far, that isn’t happening.

    I agree with Chris I’s point that it would be better if Tuesday Boardgame Night was treated as a tournament; no fees to come play. If you want to meet up on an off day, then use your monthly or buy a day pass. I also will mention here the rather heartless idea of buying a single $40 ‘strawman’ account for the boardgame group, and then using the exclusivity proviso to kick everyone else out on Tuesday nights. We could sell the credit to whoever wanted to buy something next, or use it to build up a Club game library. I wouldn’t have done this before the monetization of the loyalty program. But now? Why not?

  12. Chris Ingersoll

    “You have the worst slice in the history of Golf.” — Caddyshack 2.

  13. Kenny

    Replace ‘Golf’ with ‘the Iberian Peninsula and parts of Asia Minor’ and that’s pretty much what you’d have to say about my performance as Caesar Tuesday night, yep.


  14. Kenny

    Shawn, I don’t think anyone thinks Denise is out to screw us; rather, we’re worried that what she wants this membership program to do, and what it’s actually doing, might be two very different things. Again, I can say from my personal experience that I am spending less, and not buying stuff I would have bought prior to the system. The question, and it’s one only Denise can answer, is whether the system is raising overall purchasing, whether or not it’s lowering it for some people.

  15. Shawn,
    Of course, I don’t have to buy anything with the $8, $20 or $40 fee to use the play area, but it has been very explicitly stated that this money is store credit with an expiration date. Essentially, I use the store credit within a year, or I have paid an exorbitant fee for using the play area.

    What determines whether the fee is exorbitant? I do, the consumer. It is not the store’s place to tell me what I can or cannot do with my money. That is my choice. I would much rather pay $5 to use the play area and, if I want, buy a snack and drink for $1 each than be told through the program that I will pay $8 for table space, snack and drink. The table space at Hypermind was once free. I am offered other gaming venues that charge NOTHING to play there, except for tournaments. There are no fees at these other stores because the ownership exercises its right to exclude from the premises anyone deemed riff raff, but the publicly stated reason for the membership program at Hypermind is to run off the riff raff by forcing them to pay.

    I am not riff raff nor have I been a disloyal customer. I buy games from Hypermind b/c I want to support the store, but my emotional loyalty has been turned into an economic exercise via this program. In a free market, the consumer is the prime mechanism in driving good and service prices. Consumers vote with their wallets and their feet. What can be gotten for little or nothing will be preferred before the same, more expensive service. With a fee staring me in the face before I set foot in my car, I now must weigh whether the drive and fee at Hypermind is worth it. As of this writing (while time is quite tight), I have decided that it is not.

    As for Hypermind trying to “screw us”, from where does this comment come? Who said that Hypermind is out to screw the boardgamers or any of its patrons? Hypermind does not need to intend to screw its boardgamers if by de facto that is what the membership program does.

    Why would I need to go to the source? I understand, apparently unlike yourself, the ramifications of this program for me. Each of us as consumers will make a choice as to whether to continue to affiliate with Hypermind because of this program.

    Chris has asked for our input about to the program. I have offered my opinion.
    As I stated previously, I resent the program for the reasons stated for its creation by Hypermind and for the reasons I have stated as a consumer. I believe that it is bad for the Hypermind boardgamers.

  16. Chris Norwood

    Well, my main concern is for the health of the game group.  Personally, as I’ve already said, I’m happy with the membership program.  But as I’ve already come to witness, it is and will continue to hurt us in this form. 

    But in regards to the “purpose” of the membership program, I can’t say for certain what her priorities were.  There are a few things, however, which were definitely involved:
    1) Limiting the rabble that accumulated in the play area and spilled into the retail space, scaring off potential paying customers.  In many cases, this also included parents dropping off unruly minors for essentially what was free babysitting.
    2) Seeking to monetize the use of the play area to increase revenue, especially from people who only played and rarely bought from the store.

    As far as #1 goes, it’s almost completely irrelevant for our group.  We meet on Tuesday night, not the busy Friday night or Saturday, and for the most part, we tend to be neither unruly, unsupervised minors, or all that scary.  

    And likewise, I don’t think that we were really the problem with #2 either.  Some of us buy more than others from Hypermind, but in general, I think that we’re mature enough to realize that the health of the store is important for the health of the group feel it’s important to support it monetarily as well.    

    In other words, we weren’t the targets of this program, but we’re certainly becoming collateral damage.  Unfortunately, I don’t know what, if anything, can be done with the current state of Denise’s (and her baby’s) health. 

  17. Britt,

    Thanks for the input. I’m still going to try to get you and Chris N one of those promo’s if there are extra’s tomorrow 🙂

    Looking forward to playing some games with you again soon, whether it be here at Hypermind or some other place (even a CON like MACE or something).

    It’s all good.

    Peace out.

  18. Chris Norwood

    Britt – I agree, almost wholeheartedly, with what you’re saying.  One difference, of course, is that I do not have 2 or 3 other local gaming stores, so I have a much greater need to make this work out.

    And even more importantly, I have a game group that I love, both as an opportunity to play games on a regular basis (which, more or less, I’ve never had before) and because of all the friendships that I’ve build through it.  And that’s where I think I most strongly disagree with you.

    You said, “Why would I need to go to the source? I understand, apparently unlike yourself, the ramifications of this program for me. Each of us as consumers will make a choice as to whether to continue to affiliate with Hypermind because of this program.”

    Well, the “why?” is because it’s not just about free-market economics.  Hypermind and Denise are more than just another faceless store selling products that you want to buy.  And our game group is more than just random people to play games with.  I know that I’m probably more invested in it than anyone, I suppose, but I still hope that the relationships we’ve all developed over the last 4-5 years mean something.  Like, at least enough to see if we can work this thing out before pulling up stakes and finding a new home store. 

    In the end, of course, it’s still up to you whether the investment of time and gas and money and everything else is worth it to keep patronizing Hypermind and our group, but in the equation going on in your head, I just hope that the relationship we have built gets its little entry in all the ciphering.  I mean, I don’t want to see anyone driven away by this program, especially you and Carol, because opportunities to see and play with y’all are rare enough as it is.    

  19. I think Superman’s journey is to become comfortable on earth. Of course he’s got his role as earth’s greatest protector but he also wants to be as happy as he can and if that happens to be with Lois then he’s going to find a way.

  20. Adam K

    Alton gone? What’s this?

    Wow, this news came as a shock to me. I actually only found out last night at the end of game night as Chris N. unlocked the door for me to let me out. I happened to ask “So where’s Alton?”

    Oh, this is sad news. Really sorry I couldn’t make it out at all in the last month to game with one of my favorite gamers.

    Like many of you, I experienced the warmth and friendliness of Alton immediately upon my first night checking out the Hypermind game group. Even though a lot of the games were over my head in the beginning, Alton always encouraged me to play with the big boys and learn through experience. His jokes are bawdy and sneezes are terrifying, as Britt has said. Yes, you’re never going to suffer from boredom if Alton is at your gaming table.

    There will be a definite hole in this group without you, buddy. Hope you find a good group in your new locale. Sniff sniff.

    Transitioning to the other hot topic … Since I’m one of the out-of-towners, I should solicit my thoughts on the membership I suppose. The membership fee is NOT AT ALL prohibitive to me. I was just busy this past month. If Hypermind were a store that felt like it was basking in fortunes and was a cold, corporate-y kind of place, I might feel differently, maybe. But let’s be realistic – it’s a local game store, which means its products are already very niche in their appeal to the general public. Without steady purchases from those who do patron it, it will fold or, at best, struggle. So I guess there’s a little place in my heart that feels moved by a small business that’s trying to make profit enough to support a family of 6. I don’t have any facts to support the relative profitability of Hypermind currently, but I don’t think Denise is going to be rolling up in a Rolls Royce anytime soon.

    Also keep in mind that the game group is treated pretty darn well, allowed to police ourselves on buying snacks and stay well past closing time in order to game into the wee hours.

    But the biggest thing that makes it okay with me is that all your money can be recouped as a purchase(s) at the store. Yes, it forces you to buy from the store. Seems fair to me though, in the grand scheme of things. I know my money is going to a friendly person and keeping the lights on at a local game store, something there seems to be less and less of these days. Them’s my thoughts.

    Alton, I hope you’ll come back as often as you can, and publicize your return prior so I can be sure to make it out that night. Great gaming with you. Till next time!

  21. Keith Carter

    “I still hope that the relationships we’ve all developed over the last 4-5 years mean something.” Chris Norwood

    You have sounded out my longer term hope in joining the Hypermind Gamers. I did not just show up to get back into face to face gaming. I showed up with the hope to eventually get back to gaming with friends.

  22. tomg

    YES! Well said. I hope to see you Tuesday as I must return Chris’s coat.

  23. I do not want to repeat this website, but I really like the theme. Could you comment on which theme are you using or is this customized for this website?

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