Friendly Local Game Stores- The Heart and Soul of the Tabletop Game Industry

Richard Dracass | February 27, 2018

All Gamers are Welcome

Waiting to enter the Dragon’s Lair in Austin TX for the Unrivaled 2017 Tabletop Tournament Regional Event


If you have been fortunate enough to discover in your travels a Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) that has it all – then you are in every sense of the term, ahead of the game. I’m not writing about a mythical ideal of a place that has everything for everyone, nor will I compare the stores I have run across in my years on the road to such a fantasy.

I’m writing about the FLGS that is gifted at making you, the player, feel welcome every time you walk inside looking for a new tabletop board game or simply to see some friends across a gaming table. The trick is – it doesn’t matter what you play. If you are into historical military simulations, collectible card games, miniature games, math-based games, or for the family, traditional games and educational games – ALL ARE WELCOME.

Unrivaled 2017 Tabletop Tournament at Hex & CO in NY NY

The Friendly Local Game Store is the heart & soul of the tabletop game industry because by the very nature of its design, it encourages players to disconnect from their electronics and reconnect with their friends and family members. The FLGS builds and sustains communities of players to nurture their growth and create a fun-filled haven from the world outside their doors; that’s why the Unrivaled Tabletop Tournament begins at local gaming stores and rewards not only the winning players, but the stores they represent as well.

 The social aspect of their dedication to their player base includes the continuous offerings throughout the year of new titles, new campaigns, and new tournaments & game series to bring their regulars back time and time again (hopefully with new friends each time). This commitment is also seen in the readiness of their employees and staff to answer any questions about the games while also being able to suggest new titles to demo for their players and groups.

Having a huge selection of tabletop game titles of nearly every type and genre is admirable, but not always possible. This is where you, the player, get to help them. The staff and owners of each established FLGS listen to your requests. The more of you who ask for a certain game, the more likely it will appear on their shelf in a few days. Theirs is a service-based business and anything you can do to improve their service ultimately helps them and you achieve a better place to sit down for a while and enjoy the time spent there.


CJ the Judge with Unrivaled 2017 Tournament Players at The Dragon’s Lair in Austin TX

We at Unrivaled Tabletop Series for 2018 have been so lucky to have worked with some of the top FLGS in the country last year and we are very much looking forward to this year’s Satellite and Super Satellite events! From the East Coast to the West Coast, and all points we stopped in between, we found the Friendly Local Game Stores more than lived up to the Friendly part of their title. Whether it was the numerous last-minute requests made by the players or the shuffling around of their inventory and shelves to make room for our events, all was accomplished with smiles and gratitude. If something went wrong inside their stores while the events were in progress, the players didn’t notice (or they were kind enough not to say anything) as we worked in coordination with the staff to get things back to normal.

We at Unrivaled can’t say enough good things about the many stores we visited – but I’d like to single out one of the venues I was lucky enough to have seen firsthand in action as a Super Satellite location. Dragon’s Lair in Austin, Texas had just about everything a tabletop gamer would appreciate: a courteous and knowledgeable staff, a wide open gaming area, private gaming rooms (also used for classes covering a number of games and hobbies), a fine selection of tabletop games, the latest comic books, and plenty of games related merchandise. The line was out the door before the official opening and the players were truly excited to be there!

The community of players at Dragon’s Lair ranged in ages from kids to seniors and it appeared that a good time was had by all. We couldn’t ask for more! Not from the wonderful team at Dragon’s Lair (or from any of the fine FLGS we visited), and certainly not from the players.

We will strive to surpass our success from last year by building a bigger, better Unrivaled Tabletop Series for 2018 and welcome all gamers to join our tables!


—-Kevin “KevDog” Sullivan