Friendly Local Game Stores (FLGS)
Friendly Local Game Stores are just that. They sell board games, and their staff are generally knowledgable, helpful, and friendly. FLGS frequently have tables you can play on as well as a collection of demo games you can play there (sometimes for free sometimes for a table fee). In addition, FLGS are also where you can find gaming tournaments such as Magic: the Gathering and hopefully Epic Card Game.
If you want to talk to a human sales person, find new people to play with, interact with your local board gaming community, or support a local small business, I highly recommend finding a FLGS. Below are some of the ones I have personally visited and recommend:
- Gamers World: Gamers World has multiple locations in Illinois. I have personally been to and played at the Fox Valley Mall and Woodfield Mall locations and would recommend both. Both locations have very friendly staff.
- Graham Crackers Comics: I’ve played in a few Magic: The Gathering tournaments here, and I have bought a couple games and game accessories as well. While primarily a comic store, they do have a small but high-quality selection of board games.
- Board Game Barrister: I played in a Magic: The Gathering pre-release tournament a few years ago here. They’ve moved since then, but it seemed like a good place with good people.
- Game Universe: I played here once at the Menomonee Falls Location. Seemed like a nice place from what I remember.
Online Mass Retailers
The most inexpensive option for buying board games is through online mass retailers. They have significant discounts and most games in stock consistently.
If you know what board games you would like to buy and who you want to play them with, this is the most economical option.
- Miniature Market: Frequently the best prices. Very reasonable shipping.
- Cool Stuff Inc.: Rivals Miniature Market in prices, sometimes better.
- Fun Again Games: The old sponsor of The Dice Tower. Don’t know if I’ve ever bought anything from here but worth mentioning.
- Amazon: Amazon usually will not have the best price for board games (exceptions being extremely popular games like Ticket to Ride). They do, however, have excellent wish list options.
I am currently not sponsored nor payed to promote any of these stores. If you know of or have a store within approximately an hour and a half from Saint Paul/Minneapolis, I would be happy to check it out and add it to these lists. (I’d also always be up for teaching Epic Card Game at a store.)