Red Card Meeting

Red Card Meeting

This Sunday, November 10th, will be our first Red Card Meeting.  Red Card Meetings will become a regular thing quarterly (every three months or so).  At Red Card Meetings Jay will meet with our Red Card Members to discuss everything that is going on at the shop.  We will touch on everything from store programs, product lines, future plans, issues that we are dealing with, the structure of our events – everything!  This will give us a great opportunity to fill in some of our most valued customers, and give them a chance for direct feedback.  We will also welcome many of our Standard Bearers to sit in and to hear what our Red Card Members have to say and to discuss ideas and plans for their game system.

We will have coffee and donuts too, so if you are a Red Card Member please be sure to attend!  And if you’d like to attend, but aren’t a Red Card Member, there is still time to register as one!!

When: Sunday, November 10th, 3:00pm – 4:00pm

Open to: Red Card Members, and Standard Bearers only

Bring: Yourselves and any questions or ideas you’d like to discuss

Summer of Terrain Blog 01: Seven Years

Now that the move is over and we are fine-tuning things here I finally have the chance to begin a project that has been seven years in the making.

Seven years ago Black Knight Games was not in our exciting new location, it wasn’t in the original location, it wasn’t even a registered business.  Seven years ago Black Knight Games was a dream I had, that I was actively working towards.  I was living in Ottawa working as a manager at Games Workshop and taking night classes in the hopes that I might learn something useful about opening my own shop (I didn’t). I had this idea about what I wanted my store to be, it was clean, spacious, and had a fun environment.  People could play all kinds of games in the shop, but our specialty was to be wargames.  And one thing was certain: we would have AMAZING terrain for those games.

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Working at Games Workshop I had acquired a love of really nice scenery, and I had a knack for making it too.  I knew that no matter what my store’s scenery would impress…I was wrong.  Turns out opening a business is hard work, and when you are dealing with mandatory things like ordering inventory, opening a bank account, and painting the walls the fun stuff like store terrain falls to the back of the cue.  So, we ended up with some great pieces, but mostly quick and dirty and functional terrain.  It didn’t match, there wasn’t a great theme to it, but it would do.

Until now.  Now that we have moved, we have upgraded pretty much everything here at Black Knight Games.  We have more space, we have more shiny, and the shop is much closer to the dream I had seven years ago.  So now it is time to dust off my old goal of having amazing terrain for the shop.  I am declaring this the Summer of Terrain!  My goal is that by summer’s end (September 21st) that we will have purged all the old ‘good enough’ terrain, and replaced it with themed sets, matching terrain, and premium tables.  Every week I will be scheduling myself and another staffer to work on new tables, updating terrain, and adding new stuff – and I plan to document it all here so that you can get as excited about the new scenery as I am, and so you can see the process for yourselves.

Justin’s Infinity Table

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There is a lot we are planning to do, but you’ve got to start somewhere and to me the natural starting point is with the terrain and tables that we owe to our generous BUILDER and LANDSCAPER perk-holders from our fundraiser. This will give you a chance to watch our progress as we fulfill the requests of our perk-holders as well adding some transparency to the process.

The first project I will be working on is the first Premium Table.  Premium tables are special display tables that will be set up all the time, allowing us to do all sorts of things we can’t do with usual modular tables.  The first premium table was claimed by Justin who wanted us to address our lack of terrain for Infinity.  He wanted a congested city with lots of levels, and lots of cover and terrain.  This kind of project is a perfect use of a Premium table as Infinity requires more complex terrain elements than a table for 40K or Warmachine, so I couldn’t wait to sink me teeth in to it.

Initial inspiration came from the idea of a crowded, high-tech sci-fi city like in the picture to the right, and movies like Blade Runner, Minority Report, or A.I..  I also really liked the idea of tying elements of Time Square in with advertisements everywhere.  Billboards and signs would be a fun way of taking this table to the next level and playing with the lines of sight.  After exploring websites of companies that deal in infinity-style scenery it became clear that an affordable and very detailed style of terrain, using laser-cut MDF, was very common.  So I have scoured the internet and ordered from five different companies, acquiring a great selection of buildings.  I have also snagged a bunch of great little details like com-panels, furniture for inside the buildings, phone booths, and sci-fi vehicles.  Honestly I may have gone a bit overboard, but truthfully it’s for a good cause as our Infinity players have been forced to bodge together terrain scraps up until now.

I have given the design to Fred who will make us the frame and base of the table which will have two levels to it, as well as a tunnel.  Total price tag so far: $725.00.

Join me next week when we begin to put the terrain together, and hopefully have the base table built!  I will also share details on the layout.

I hope you enjoy following our progress as we quest to have the terrain our gamers deserve!

~The Black Knight

Infinity Kits

Open For Business Mk.II

The New BKG sm

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We are now open for business in the new location, so be sure to come check it out!  The new store features plenty of improvements over the old store, and we really think you will like them.  The store layout itself is quite different, with the store space surrounding our new Stronghold Game Lounge.  We have a three gaming areas, a lounge where you can relax and even play X-Box or Foosball, a bar where you can sit and chat with staff, a food-prep area, and much nicer bathrooms.

Last night we had our Founder’s Party and it was a huge success.  About 60 people enjoyed food, gaming, and touring the new store.  The new space really worked well as all the areas of the store ended up being used, from the gaming area, the lounge, and bar area, to the Keep game room and store – it definitely felt right.

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We still have plenty to do in the immediate future, so our work is far from over.  There are some finishing touches we need to add, and a bunch of organizing to do, but it’s looking good so far.

We will also be implementing several other new adjustments and changes over the next month or so now that we are in the new space.

For those that contributed to our Fundraiser we will be looking at the surveys over the next week or so and organizing all of your rewards, from updating membership statuses to ordering T-Shirts and other goodies.  If you have not yet filled out your survey (and there are a handful of you that haven’t yet) please do so as soon as possible, link HERE.

photo 3Game Share Program
We will be starting up the Game Share program that we have been talking about for the past several months.  Game Share will allow members to borrow games right off the wall (even sealed games!), take them home and try them.  The charge for one use of Game Share is $5.00, however if you loved the game you’ll have the option to buy it minus the $5 you already spent.  This program will give you the chance to try the many great games we offer and find the ones that are right for you.  As a consequence of the program we will begin selling used copies of board games as well as acquiring used copies – so if you have some games you never play you’ll be able to trade them in and put them towards a game you will play!  More details will be released when we start this program, so stay tuned for that.

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After-Hours Veterans Nights
The final stretch goal of our fundraiser was achieved on the last night of the campaign, and as a result we are committed to doing everything we can to acquire a liquor license for Black Knight Games.  We have begun this expensive and complicated process.  Hopefully everything goes well!  If we are successful we will run After-Hours Veteran’s Nights on Friday & Saturday nights after normal store hours are over (9:00pm-12:00am).  These hours will be open only to members that are of age (19+), and during these times we will serve bottled beers and coolers.  Even if we are not successful we may end up running gaming for mature gamers only during these times as the idea has been very popular.  This will not affect our usual gaming times for all ages.

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More Food & Drink Options
We have already added a Kuerig coffee machine, along with a great selection of warm drinks to go along with it, and we will be attempting the liquor license as we mentioned.  We will also begin serving microwavable meals like pizzas, burritos, pastas, rice & chicken, Jamaican patties, etc. as soon as we are cleared by the health inspector.  By the time we’re done you should have a lot more options when it comes to food & drink at Black Knight Games

photo 3 (1)Better Terrain & Premium Tables
We have a much bigger gaming area, but our terrain is still the old, dinged up stuff from the old shop.  We have been calling the next few months ‘The Summer of Terrain’ as we will be using it to seriously upgrade our terrain and tables.  Every week we will be scheduling staff to work on the new premium tables, regular tables, and terrain.  We will begin with the items that we owe to our Landscaper and Builder perk levels contributors, then continue on until all of the terrain we have is of a high quality.  We want our wargamers to be excited by all the great new options.

photo 4Lastly, I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone that helped us move, that contributed to our fundraiser, and that otherwise made this all possible.  We had so many great volunteers that pitched in to keep us to the two-day close, and if it wasn’t for them we’d never be open by now – in fact I would likely by sobbing in a corner at this point.  So to everyone that made this happen, and you know who you are – you ate my pizza afterall – thank you so much.

When we opened I did my best to put together a great store, but with limited knowledge of the business, limited start-up capitol, and other limitations it was never quite how I had always dreamed and I would often imagine ‘what if we only had more space and a chance to do it over?’  Well we got that chance and it’s all thanks to you the loyal Black Knight gamer.  Thank you for all of your support over the past six (!) years, you have made my dream come true and have given us every opportunity.  I really hope you enjoy the new store as much as I do!

~The Black Knight

 

Moving Day

The New BKG sm

CLOSED TUE & WED
Tonight after the store closes for the last time we will begin the process of moving to our new location.  Black Knight Games will be closed for two days: Tuesday and Wednesday, and our goal is to open again for Thursday as long as everything works out alright.

LEND US YOUR MUSCLES
If you are interested in helping out with the move itself, please let us know and we will add you to the list of volunteers.  We especially need volunteers for Tuesday morning (from about 9am-4pm) so if you are available and willing we would very much appreciate your help!  If possible please give us some notice that you are coming so that we can plan for the number of volunteers we have.  We can also use some help tonight from 9pm-12am, Tuesday from 4pm-9pm, and Wednesday from 9am-6pm, however we don’t need as many people then as we do Tuesday morning.  We’ll supply food and drinks to all those helping out.

FOUNDER’S PARTY
Those that contributed towards the larger perks in our fundraiser got a pair of invites to our Founder’s Party.  If you didn’t then you may still attend by getting a ticket in the shop today ($30 each).  The Founder’s Party will be Wednesday evening at 6:00pm, and it will be your first chance to see the new space finished!  We will have food, drinks, and gaming – it should be an all-around good time!  For those with tickets just show up, and we’ll have you on our list – we will also email you to remind you.

BK Celebration

We Did It!!!

Wow, what a ride!

A couple days ago I was talking about how I hoped we could hit the $7500 Stretch Goal, and suddenly we are beating the big one, the final goal, the $10,000 albatross.  Our final total was $10,041.00, and the final donation came with only hours to go.  It is truly amazing, and I am so very grateful.

Now our attention will turn to two big things: Preparing for the big move, and fulfilling all the rewards our contributors deserve.  For those that have contributed please check your email for a survey that we have sent out – and complete it as soon as possible!  If you don’t see it check your spam, or link to it directly HERE.  The surveys will give us important information like T-shirt sizes and what you want us to write on the Founder’s Wall.  It will confirm your rewards, and give you a chance for feedback as well – so please take a few minutes and respond.

I can not wait for you to see the new space, and put your generous contributions to good use!

~The Black Knight

Indiegogo Campaign: The Final Day

UPDATE 11.23pm:  Our current total is $10,041.00!  With 3 hours left we have achieved our final goal!!!  Big update tomorrow, and a big thanks to everyone!

You can contribute to our campaign here or in the shop!

There are fewer than two days remaining in our fundraiser for the Stronghold Game Lounge!  We are down to the home-stretch, so anyone still considering contributing or upping their contributions please make sure to do so by Friday at midnight!

Things have gone very well overall, and we are thrilled by the amount of support our community has given us.  We currently sit just shy of the $7500.00 stretch goal, so hopefully we can achieve that, and if we have a really good run over the next two days we may even have a shot at the final stretch goal as well!

Fundraiser Update: Only One Week Left!

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Grand Total Update: $6141.00

There is one week left, so it’s time for us to make that final push! We are still aiming at that big $7500.00 level where we unlock ‘The Keep’ private gaming room. There is also still a chance that we get to the $10,000 goal and earn the liquor license.

So, if you have been considering contributing – or if you want to convince your buddies to contribute there is still some time – but only 1 week!

I filmed a walkthrough so you can see the new space, and how the renovations and other work is progressing. We’ve done a ton of work, but everything is still on target for a move in late May.

If you’d like to get your name on the big Founder’s Wall shield that we will be mounting in the new space the only way to get it is by contributing!

Thank you to everyone that has contributed, and worked on this massive move, I really can’t wait to share the new store with everyone!

You can contribute either in store, or on our indiegogo campaign!

Fundraiser Update: New Perk Level Added

sm BK Painting MiniWe have had a very generous donation to our campaign by Kaz our resident painting expert! Kaz is a very friendly and helpful member of the Black Knight Games community, and as anyone that has seen his work can attest: he is a great painter. Kaz has generously offered his services to two lucky perk-claimers, so we have added a new perk to the list!

A Work of Art
This new package includes everything from THE KNIGHT – which means you get the $25 Membership (or $25 towards any membership you want). You get the limited edition Stronghold Game Lounge T-Shirt, and the 12 pack of BKG D6s. You get your name on the Founder’s Wall, and a neat icon on our forum telling everyone that you are a founder. You get 2 tickets to our exclusive Founder’s Party that we will have the evening before we open the new location.

But the best part is the part Kaz has donated. You can pick any miniature that you want to have painted as long as it isn’t too large (roughly the size of infantry or a light warjack is about right). BKG will supply the miniature for you – to a maximum of $30 (If the miniature is more than that, or you wish yo supply your own mini let us know and we’ll work something out). Then Kaz will take his talents and do a very high-end paint job to your specifications! Not everyone is an amazing artist, but that doesn’t mean you can’t own some amazing art! Kaz has done plenty of commissions in the past and he knows what he’s doing – you won’t be disappointed.

Because he does this in his spare time, and because he really takes his time to do it right, the first one claimed will have a finished target date of July 31st, and the second will be August 31st.

If you’ve already made a claim on a different perk, but you prefer this one now just let us know and we can make the switch for you!

Don’t miss this opportunity to own an amazingly painted mini! And a big thanks goes to Kaz for offering his services to help out our project!

Fundraiser Update: Another Goal Hit!

indiegogoTotal Funds Raised: $5065.00

That means that we have shattered the $5000 Stretch Goal! Your help has earned us all an X-Box game console (complete with 4 controllers and a stack of games, and probably we’ll get headphones too) to play in the lounge area! We will also be adding a Foosball Table to the space. Both will be free to play and should add some fun ways to kill time while you wait for an opponent!

The next goal will be huge. At $7500 we will get started on the renovations that will give us an extra gaming space that will be known as ‘The Keep’. The Keep will be a smaller, private gaming area. It will have enough room for two tables and will add a ton of versatility to the store. It will be great for running private gaming events, like birthday parties. It will be great forRPG sessions. It will add an extra 2 tables for major events. It will be great for smaller events allowing us to run a small event at the same time as a major one. Basically it’s going to be sweet, and at $7500 you will have helped us get there!

So then we come to it. The big reveal. The Stretch Goal that so many have wanted. At $10,000 we will pursue a liquor license. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that we will be successful, however we will make the application, get the proper inspections, and go through the application process. If we are granted the license we will be able to run Age Restricted, ‘After Hours Veterans Nights’.

Goal 4 Reached

AFTER HOURS VETERAN’S NIGHTS

BugmanIf we are lucky enough to surpass our $7500 goal (which will give us a private game room) and we actually reach our $10,000 Stretch Goal we will begin the application process for a liquor license.

If one is granted we will begin running ‘After Hours Veteran’s Nights,’ starting with two of these each week – one on Friday, and one on Saturday. Both will begin at 9pm when the store’s regular hours are done. Once the After Hours Veteran’s Night begins only of-age (19+) members (or guests of members, or those with day-passes) will be permitted to remain. We will serve bottled alcoholic beverages along with our usual menu (which already included snacks, pop, and water – but now will include hot drinks and warm meals thanks to unlocked Stretch Goals). The alcoholic beverages will include beer as well as some cooler-type drinks, and we will do our best to keep the prices reasonable. There will be staff on hand, all of whom will be Smart Serve certified.

On Friday night (after the FNM) we will run a ‘Drinking and Drafting’ event for Magic: the Gathering, but you are welcome to play other games as well. On Saturday we will target wargames mostly – but once again you’re welcome to play other games.

Our goal is to find a nice balance between keeping our family-friendly game store mentality, while still allowing mature and responsible gamers the opportunity to have a drink with the guys while playing some fun games. We want to do our best to give you that comfortable, at-home feel in a safe and professional way. We believe that our plan will allow both. When not running these After Hours Veteran’s Nights there will be no alcohol served, nor will it be obvious that we do so at other times. We are keeping the concerns of parents in mind throughout the planning of this.

Feel free to ask staff more about our plans for our After Hours Veteran’s Nights, and we will do our best to alleviate any concerns and listen to any suggestions!

And if you want to check out the campaign or even contribute you can find it HERE.

Thank you all so much for all your help so far!

~The Black Knight

Fundraiser Update: Stretch Goal Hit!

indiegogoTotal Funds Raised: $4505.00

We have unlocked the $4000 Stretch Goal! Now we will begin to offer some quick and easy microwavable meals, and maybe even some other food options as well. You’ve also earned us all a stack of cafeteria trays which can be used for meals as well as for carting around your armies on tournament days. Also, you earned an upgrade to the Perks! All sets of 2D6 have now become sets of 12D6 (except the Wizard and Master Wizard who gain a Playmat instead of the upgrade. The king gets both a Playmat AND 2 sets of 12 D6!).

Next up is the $5000 Stretch Goal, which will get us an X-Box, and a Foodball Table to add to the gaming space! These fun additions will give you something to do while waiting for your friend to show up, or in between games! We’re only $495 away from it, so we could get it quite quickly!

I am now revealing the next perk after the $5000 one, and it is a major one: If we hit $7500 we will renovate part of the store and add a private game room which we will call ‘The Keep’. The Keep will not cut in to the existing gaming space, so it will give us 2 extra tables of gaming, and also give us a nice private area that can be used for RPGs, private events or birthday parties, or just a quite corner to play your matches in. I would love to hit this goal especially as it will really give us a bunch of added options. Without your support it isn’t possible however since it requires quite a bit or renovation, but I sure think it will be worth it!

I can’t thank you enough for all the support. We’re almost at the half-way point, so let’s keep it going and make this gaming space something to truly be proud of!

Goal 3 Reached

You can help us make the new Stronghold Game Lounge the best game room in town, check out our fundraiser at indiegogo.com or contribute in the store!