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The Game Annex moved!

When we opened our store over six years ago, I said to my husband. “I don’t know if this will work, but if Fort Wayne wants a store like ours it will support us, if it doesn’t. Well we tried.” So I have to be honest. I am definitely taking that same approach as I did back then. Because honestly, I don’t know. I am hopefully, but candidly it is scary for sure.

However, six years and many customers later, the team and I decided it was time to move. We felt like we want so much more. Nobody ever wants to move a business, but we knew it was time. (Insert Dawn’s panic here)

It was a very hard decision, but last summer we started looking as our lease was up for the third time and we really wanted to make some changes. So we started the process of deciding between resigning a lease and/or moving.

We also looked at the building and nothing about that plaza says “The Wander Inn”. The Wander Inn is what we envision for our beer and wine area. The more adult night out concept. So we again started looking more diligently. We weren’t sharing this with anyone, but we really were starting to get excited. I am still proud at how long we kept this to ourselves. We love to talk about exciting things so it was killing us!

We also realized that the building couldn’t accommodate any more growth. As an older building, it didn’t really have any special characteristics that I was attached to or would miss. And although we actually did a great job in making the facility look amazing. There were issues that were just becoming annoying. The way we expanded, the restrooms were in the middle of our building as well as the utility closets. There is plenty of repair that needed done and we seemed all very excited at the opportunity of building something we dreamed of vs. creating more out of what was already there.

We loved what the store had become, but had much larger aspirations. And as we started looking deeper into our customer base next. Making sure our move wouldn’t be to paralyzing to our customers and what we have created. We don’t want to go 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. However, we were shocked when we realized that so many of you were traveling to see us from the northern part of the city. So the idea that we weren’t trapped in the southwest part of Fort Wayne opened up so many opportunities.

Fort Wayne is not that big and is beautifully laid out so that it is easily accessible from all directions. So the goal was central or easily accessible from all sides of town. We didn’t have that luxury near Jefferson Point. So the search was on. We determined quickly that we needed to be near a very busy place like Glenbrook Square Mall or the Interstate. Since so many of my friends and colleagues were all ready near Glenbrook, our first location pick was just proving to be too close to their businesses. But it was a really good building that would have a complete build out to create exactly what we wanted from the ground up. Everything I wanted in the move.

So we lamented and were literally just about to sign the intent to lease on the Glenbrook area lease when the realtor called and said “Dawn, we have that building on Lima road to show you now. It is vacant.” I was shocked. We had already made our mind up. What are you doing to me, Lord? What do you have in store?

So, I gathered Scott, Zach, Katie and myself for a team meeting and asked if we should go look at it? We loaded up that day and rushed out the new location in Zach’s car, because we already made the mistake of driving The Game Annex Mustang to other properties and the jig was up for a few of them. Glad to know the car was working! Just not in this moment.

When we walked in the building I knew this was the building. I just didn’t want to get too excited, I sell board games! So would this or could this work? I mean really that is still to be determined right? But this seemed like the right direction. We could really make this store something Fort Wayne deserves. I mean, Fort Wayne is a mecca of board gaming companies, customers and stores. We were the 10th to open at the time. So Fort Wayne is vastly rooted in the game industry.

Well the rest is history right? But now we can’t wait to get everything up and running. We want the Wits & Wander Adventure Center to be THE PLACE for all of us Fort Wayne proud nerds. And we want to most importantly show so many unfamiliar people the amazing hobby that encourages family quality time, brain health, socialization, and mostly FUN!

So join us at 6230 Lima Road for our amazing transformation and help us to continue to support the growth of gaming. We can’t do it without you the customer. Thank you for all you have already done for us and here is to hoping the growth works!

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GenCon 50 Recap

GenCon 50 just came to a close and I wanted to touch base with everyone to talk about some of the BIG HITS according to publishers, attendees and some reviewers. Mostly from my perspective.

So let me set the stage a bit. Every year I help out at Arcane Wonders booth as a member of the team as Retail Liaison, I run the front end of the booth. Thus seeing what is important or relevant from our booth as well as others….based on the many bags coming around our booth.

Now this year was completely foreign to me in the fact that a very large number of people came to our booth for Viral and Sheriff of Nottingham’s expansion, Merry Men.

This amazing combination of desired games made our booth the epicenter of must see and must have games at a booth this year.

We had a line circling the booth almost 2.5 times. It was a constant stream of eager GenCon attendees for 3 hours until we sold out of the entire allotment of Viral. 2 hours later all 500 Merry Men were gone. This definitely tells me these games are going to do very well for us this season. Especially since we brought in twice as much as we sold out of and sold out again.

*** VIRAL IS IN STOCK ON WEDNESDAY!~ at The Game Annex….Reserve your copy today.

Next without a shadow of a doubt is Photosynthesis which was hilarious to me as it has been in our store since early last week. But MOBS of GenCon attendees swarmed the Blue Orange Games booth. (which we can all agree is not something we are used to saying) But between Photosynthesis and Kingdomino, Blue Orange Games is having a great year.

Next we would be amiss if we didn’t talk about Code Names Duet – Which will be in our store on friday. If you missed Czech Game Edition, it is because they are in a side room versus the main hall.

The game itself is labeled this years best 2 player game already. So we will soon see. I have not played this version yet, but am really excited to try it this friday.

The biggest LCG (living card game) was without a doubt, Legend of the Five Rings. This will be something like the third reincarnation of this game. Formally a collectible card game, the new format combined with a fan base like no other, has caused quite the media buzz. And The Game Annex will be hosting all sorts of events to support our many fans that already love the IP and now are excited to have Fantasy Flight in control of the game.

You would think that The L5R release would have been enough for Fantasy Flight Games at GenCon, but alas……nope.

So beyond the parades, starting party and tournaments……..Fantasy Flight couldn’t be satisfied. They had a major announcement. Star Wars Legion. Yes another Star Wars game. However in this version it appears they will be competing with another miniature hobby giant and bring all those miniatures players a way to relive their childhood on a miniature board. Who could say no?

Next we move on to Iello Games. Iello brought back designer Richard Garfield (King of Tokyo) for this years anticipated game: Bunny Kingdom.

Bunny Kingdom is a 2-4 player area control/area influence game with card drafting, where you will lead your clan of rabbits to glory by gathering resources and building new cities to have the largest bunny kingdom.

Some famous bunny impersonators show up in this really adorably designed game. But don’t let the cute bunnies fool you. This game is very solid.

Next I would be amiss if I didn’t mention Designer Rob Daviau’s newest game, Mountains of Madness. Iello brought him on board to tell the story of an expedition to Antarctica in 1931 which unveils what scientists believe to be and ancient city in impassable mountains…..but as the title suggests, there is so much more here than meets the eye. Ripped from the theme of H.P. Lovecraft, this game has more to it than just a Cthulhu theme. Unique game play you would expect from Rob Daviau (creator of Pandemic Legacy, Betrayal at House on Haunted Hill, Seafall, Downforce and more…) is the focal point for this game.

Also available in store this week.

So these were some of the big hits…..but with it being GenCon’s 50th anniversary, we are aware that so many others are sure to be talked about. We also have our predictions of what will gain momentum after the show and will dive into those in a later post.

But until then, don’t forget about our GenCon Show and Tell this saturday night. It is where you can bring games you found and love. Show them off and learn to play or simply come see what everyone else has. We understand not everyone was able to make it. So come on out and see what all the excitement was about.

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Game Review – Onitama

Game Title: Onitama
Game Company: Arcane Wonders
Players: 2
Recommended Age: 14+
Play Time: 10-15 Minutes
MSRP: $29.99

Onitama is a two-player abstract strategy game, played on a 5 square by 5 square play mat. Game components are high quality and the theme and artwork are very well done.

Each player controls 5 pieces; a Master and 4 Students. Players take turns using their available moves to maneuver their pieces to either capture the opposing Master OR to get their Master to the other Master’s starting square.

The game play is unique in the fact that the game comes with 16 movement cards, each with a fitting Kung-Fu style name and artwork. Only 5 cards are randomly drawn each game. These 5 cards make up the available moves for both players during the game. Each player starts with 2 cards. The fifth card is placed off to the center of the board. When a player executes one of his card maneuvers, he places that card onto the center spot and takes the card that was there. This unique play mechanic not only ensures that no two games are ever the same, but allows for each player to know what moves their opponent has or will have in their following turn.

If you’re looking for a simple yet strategically challenging game for 2 players, we highly recommend Onitama. Come in today for a demo of this or many other awesome 2 player games.