weekly store update 230512

Weekly Store Update: 12 May

Mother's Day is upon us, and we hope you take the time to say 'hey' to the one who once rolled you out like crazy percentage die, or she might be the one who raised you as her own. Moms of all stripes just kind of rock. Props! Around the shop we got a chance to unbox Star Wars: Shatterpoint, find time to complain about a new Facebook policy, and more! Jump on in, the newsletter's fine!

INTRO

Welcome to our weekly newsletter! For our new readers I'm Eric, and Wendy and I run Stone Valley Games. This newsletter is our way to share both local and world-wide gaming news of interest that popped up last week. It also provides our subscribers, both local and remote, some information on the going's on around here so everyone feels like part of the action. At the bottom of this newsletter we show you the restocks, new items, and preorders added to the store last week. It's not too difficult to navigate, so let's get to it!

SHATTERPOINT UNBOXING / INITIAL IMPRESSION

Very, very late in the week we received our demo copy of Star Wars: Shatterpoint. It was exciting to get that plastic off the box and open it up! We were super stoked to get this game two weeks before general release. Which also brings up the fact...there's only two weeks before it releases!! Time is definitely moving along quickly this year! However, I did not get too much time to play with my new toy as I needed to get the newsletter pulled together. So, I took what little time I did have to provide a quick assessment and snap a few shots. 

Right off the bat, the components are really minimalistic. I mean, outside of the myriad of plastic pieces that make up the miniatures and terrain, there are some dice, a single board, a few cubes, a small stack of cards and some measuring tools. Obviously, the focus of the game is on the gameplay itself. I can dig that. 

The rules are relatively clean at first blush. I won't know until I run them through their paces to see the 'weird' things that ultimately will pop up through gameplay. Now, the assembly instructions for the miniatures and terrain features were not in the box. A quick Google search led me right to the publisher website for the core set assembly guide. That's the same general location for all of the other anticipated releases as well, so you might want to bookmark it.

I also appreciate the tactical focus of this game. It appears to be much more than 'my side vs. your side' in a rumble royal. No, instead of a straight up slug-match, the overarching goal is to achieve Objectives. The Objectives are revealed during gameplay, so the players have to be on their toes and be able to quickly adjust to the changing situation. Kind of like the real thing. Both sides have the same Mission, but ensuing Struggles will modify what Objectives are necessary to achieve their Mission. Ultimately, the goal of every game of Shatterpoint is to complete the mission by winning Struggles. Examples of Struggles are 'Steal the Secret Plans', and 'We're Going to Need a New Exit', The first player to win two Struggles wins the game. I counted 1 Mission and 9 Struggles in the base box. 

As for the characters and combat itself, I haven't dug into that too much. After all, that will make much more sense once I get the miniatures and terrain features assembled. However, a quick read shows that each unit has stats, and their Stance Card define how they fight. I'll discuss that in more detail later. My next task is to get the miniatures assembled. I don't know how far I'll get; I might have to just cherry pick a few units to get to the gameplay, but that's the current plan. Ultimately, everything will be assembled and painted, but that may be a bridge too far for next week. 

Hopefully by next week's newsletter I can discuss the gameplay in more detail. That, in my opinion, is where a game really starts to show itself. I have high hopes for this title, but let's take it one day at a time, shall we?

COME ON FACEBOOK, REALLY?

You may have noticed that we display our products on our Facebook page in what is known as 'Shops'. If a Facebook browser likes something on our Shop, they click it, and it takes them to our webstore where they can finish their transaction. Well...that just went bye-bye. 

Honestly, we don't draw a lot of business from Facebook, if any at all. It's a place we generally share our newsletters, things of interest, and memes. Always with the memes!

However, on the 24th of April (and we were notified a few days ago...thanks for the head's up) Facebook will only support our Shop if we enable checkout thru them, and regardless, it will no longer carry customers to our site. 

No thank you. 

So, on top of the fees we already have to pay for all the transactions to our webstore, we'll also have to pay 5% for a 'selling fee' (which they say they are waiving until July - at which point they will impart their terrifyingly ambiguous 'standard processing fee'. Yikes!

Anyone in the board game business that can just absorb another 5% fee (soon to jump who knows how high in July) must be living the crazy life we've only heard about. Here in the real world, that's back breaking. 

So, our Shop will just disappear from Facebook, which is okay with us. I understand they are feeling the pinch in the current market and need to drum up capital to keep things humming. We're just not in a position to help them, so we're opting out to better help ourselves. 

NEW RELEASES

This week is the highly controversial release of Magic the Gathering's first 'mini release' with March of the Machine - The Aftermath. Released just a month after March of the Machine, this small set of 50 cards 'cleans up' the storyline and adds a little bit of something across the board - lots of neat adds for several deck types. 

However, instead of 15 cards in a pack, it's 5. Collector boosters will score you 6 cards. That's caused a bit of an uproar from the community, but after looking at some of these cards, it's really not that bad. We've watched the price point fall to where a set of this size should be too. After all, with a set of only 50 cards, 12 of them are at the $20 mark or higher right now. Not too shabby! 

The other is a Kickstarter that just landed, Hegemony. Unlike the 'regular' Kickstarter version you might see elsewhere on the interweb, ours also includes the card sleeves and metal coins - that extra bling to really bring the game home, and for only about $20 more than others with just the base game. 

Hegemony: Lead your Class to Victory perches high on Board Game Geek's rating system and is an absolute study in asymmetric political - economical intrigue. Using a fictional world but with well researched policies, the Working Class, Middle Class, Capitalist Class, and State all vie for ultimate victory. It's really a game unto itself and worth a look if any of that tickles your fancy. Check the link to be whisked to Board Game Geek and see what others have to say about the game. 

 THE WRAP UP

Okay, enough news for this week! Below are the Restocks, New Items, and Preorders added to the shop last week. You can click on the item to learn more, and many of the products have review and gameplay videos so you can see the game in action. If you're visiting our page and you'd like to keep up with our giveaways, sales, new products, and articles like this one just create an account here. Once created you will be subscribed to our newsletter and become enrolled in our loyalty system, instantly earning 50 Stones that you can use on your very first order. A Stone? One Stone is equivalent to One Cent. That doesn't sound like much, but you earn 2 Stones for every dollar spent and 5 for each product review, so though it may seem small, those savings add up fast! Redeem your Stones upon checkout, and they can save you up to 10% off your cart total. Loyalty Matters! 

New Items

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Restocks

Preorders