Friendly Local Gaming Stores

The Friendly Local Gaming Store (FLGS) should be the heart of any role-playing community with expert staff helping gamers discover new games and gaming groups. Until recently though, it seemed to be a dying breed. In my home town, Nottingham, we haven’t had a shop selling a decent range of RPG games for years.

But all that has changed in the last month. Three, yes THREE! independent games stores have open in Nottingham in the last four weeks.

Nottingham is an odd place in the gaming universe. It is one of UK’s smaller cities with a population around 1/4 million but it also the home to giant of the UK’s game industry – Games Workshop. Though GW only moved their head office to Nottingham ten or so years ago, Citadel Miniatures have been manufactured in the area for 30 years. This has led to numerous smaller, miniature companies in the area as ex-GW staff have set-up on their own.

Despite, or perhaps because of, Games Workshop’s presence in Nottingham, we haven’t had a really great, long lasting independent RPG shop in the city. Ironically, when I started gaming in the early 1980s, the Games Workshop shop carried a wide range of RPGs and was the FLGS. My social life was based around the shop for several years.

The last proper gaming shop we had was Travelling Man but when that moved to a better location, it dropped most of its RPG stock and a few months later the Nottingham branch closed. Though this did leave a legacy ….

RPG Shops in Nottingham

Vague Connections

First of the new RPG shops in Nottingham to open was Vague Connections located on Derby Road on the way out of the city. It is a games shop in the classic mold. Run by ‘Ginga’, a hardcore gamer, it is small, cheap and friendly with several gaming tables and a good stock of games. The store has regular games nights and is host to the East Midlands Roleplayers

Mondo Comico

The second of Nottingham new shops was Mondo Comico. Situated in the heart of the city but off the beaten track, it is the spiritual successor of the Travelling Man store as it is run by David, the ex-manager of the Nottingham branch.

As its name suggest, the store stocks a wide range of comics in addition to RPG and board games. It has a spacious area for gaming and hosts the Friendly Association of Nottingham Gamers board games group.

Chimera (Beeston)

Our third and final gaming shop is in Beeston, not far from Nottingham University, and is the second branch of Chimera. The original shop is in Ripley, near Derby, and this expansion is part of the companies on-going growth. Chimera are big in the collectable card game scene and run many leagues for them. They are also connected to the Ascendancy LRP events.

Having the backing of an existing company, Chimera in Beeston feels the most established and professional of the three new shops. For starters it has staff where as Mondo Comico and Vague Connections are run single-handedly by their owners. The shop has a good collection of comics and, not surprisingly, a wide selection of collectable card games. The RPG selection is small but perfectly formed. However the best thing about the shop is that it is literarily just round the corner from my house. Which is great but it could also prove expensive.


Image Credit – Hobby and Figure Shop by jpellgen – CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

 

10 comments

  1. I don’t really have a FLGS any longer. There is a comic shop in town but they have a very small RPG section. Maybe 9′ feet of shelf space. They have a lot of support for CCGs though. We did have a decent shop years ago but they moved years ago. There is one I visit a few times a year that is around 40 miles away. And I found one in a neighboring state this past September that was awesome. I plan on going back next September as part of my birthday celebration. I buy 99% of my gaming books online. Often from Amazons used market. I do miss having a FLGS though.
    .-= Tetsubo´s last blog ..Land of the Rising Sun =-.

  2. Hello there!

    I just wanted to let everyone know that I have started two groups. One on Myspace and one on Facebook called Support your local gaming store. I would invite anyone that wants to join to come and post plugs for YOUR local store! Anyone can join up some come on down and support your past time!

  3. Just a quick note to say that Mondo Comico also hosts East Midlands Roleplayers games as there is a regular Tuesday night game there (downstairs while FANG have the upstairs) and a regular Thursday game.

    Also the Mondo Comico Open Event is being organised by members of the East Midlands Roleplayers group (myself included) which will take place in Mondo Comico on Dec. 5th.

  4. I hate to be a bit picky but you have a couple of things wrong.
    Travelling Man dropped hardly any of it’s roleplay stock when it moved (and what was was stuff that just wasn’t shifting at all) and it closed over a year later.
    I only clarify because your sentence seems to suggest a connection that wasn’t the case.

  5. That Mondocomico link goes to VC.

    I’m fascinated to find out about all these shops – didn’t think there were any.

  6. Hi just to add my store to the list as well…..although predominantley we have specialised in PC Repairs since we opened up on the Ring Road we have started oficially stocking GW Products, one of the very few official independent stockists in the Nottingham area and I believe the only one offering instore games as from the New Year.

    You can find our group page on

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=11582&uid=221923963162#/group.php?gid=221923963162&ref=mf

    We have a BloodBowl tournie in the new year and a league will hopefully follow on from that in partnership with Vague.

    Kind Reagrds

    Gary Powell

    1. hey man im well interested in buying my Gw stuff from a local store rather than a chain Gw shop. where abouts are you? i live in st anns so any directions would help!

  7. Mondo Comico is a great shop, David runs a great variety of comics and roleplaying games etc..
    I play in a weekly group there which has great atmosphere, also looking to start my own sunday group in Mondo Comico, would highly recommend this store.

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