Ten Thoughts for Ten Years (PART 2)

Jay HeadshotIn PART ONE I discussed how the ten-year mark gives one an opportunity to reflect on how we got here, where we are, and where we are headed.

6. It’s all fun and games
The best part of my job is that I get to sell fun in a box.  It’s all about getting the right kind of fun to each person.  Events, demo games, open copies, competitions, online reviews and content, are all things done specifically to help each person find the right kind of fun for them.  Just like teaching, each person responds differently to these methods of reaching them.  Some people respond to competition, and hosting elaborate events and tournaments is what will get them most excited.  Others are casual occasional players, who are looking for something unthreatening and easy, something they can convince their non-gamer friends to play.

We are at our best when we are providing opportunities for all kinds of people to fall in love with the right kind of game for them.

It’s also very important to separate my own opinions on games, from what I know others will enjoy.  I may personally think that Catan is a bit slow, that the trading is a bit clunky, and that randomness takes over more than I would like – but I also know that it is an amazing gate-way game.  It’s something a good chunk of the public is familiar with, or has heard of.  It’s developed a solid place in the history of games, and is an excellent game to get people playing, because it hooks them on the hobby. It’s a straight up Hall of Famer, no matter how much I personally want to play it these days.  I will pitch Catan all day long to the right kind of person, and be confident that they’ll go home and love it, and that there is a more than good chance that they’ll come back looking for recommendations: that’s when I can pitch some of my personal favs.

Gamers all have opinions, strong ones.  This game is crap, that company sucks, anyone that doesn’t like ____ is a moron.  But the truth is that this is a big industry, and EVERYONE in the world should be able to find something they can enjoy in it.  It’s my job to help them find it.

7. It’s not all fun and games
Owning and operating a game store is a surprisingly complex endeavor.  As far as businesses go there are more moving parts than I can count.  I have had to become at least competent at handling business things like payroll, taxes, bank-stuff, paperwork of all sorts.  Also I have to establish systems for trade ins, sales and organization of singles, customer rewards, managing store credit, returns, online sales.  I have employees to manage, hire, train.  I have events to coordinate, volunteers to wrangle, prizes to manage, feedback to take, adjustments to make.  I have to sift through the hundreds (yes hundreds) of new products that are released each and every month, research trends, build rapport with distributors, orders to place, customer order to manage, product to receive, walls to merchandise, signs to make.  I have a play space with terrain to make (and fix), customer trash to pick up, floors to vaccuum, and games to sort.  And that’s before we open our doors for the day to the public.

There are a lot of balls to keep in the air that’s for sure.  But it keeps us busy.  It also always gives us something to work on, because there is no way we keep all those balls in the air at the same time consistently. Which is why…

8. Customer feedback is liquid gold
No matter how much I love to hear that people enjoyed themselves, and love our store, I will always make time to address people with constructive criticism.  Sometimes after an event, or shopping experience people leave unsatisfied.  I hate it but it’s true.  Usually these people just silently sit thinking that we let them down, or that our event was kind of meh, or even worse that they’ll never come back – and I never even know about it.

On other occasions people let us know their disappointment.  Sometimes they let me know in person, or they email us, and often they vent a bit on Facebook.  Now I do prefer the direct approach, because it’s a bit painful seeing your efforts diagnosed and critiqued online.  However the FB method has it’s own merits because you get to see beyond one person’s opinion.  Quickly you discover if this is a universal complaint, or a one-time screw up.

As much as moments of it are painful, I love getting feedback, even when critical.  At least this way I can exercise  some diplomacy, ask some questions, and get to the bottom of it.  At least this gives me a chance to fix the problem.  I even get the opportunity to get a second chance from those vowing never to return.

I am always grateful for those brave enough to give me the chance to address their concerns.  Especially because…

9. Reviews are important to my business
Whether on Facebook, Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, or elsewhere reviews are an important step towards customer acquisition.  My business needs positive reviews to attract new customers.  And I need new customers to stay in business.  That’s not to say that reviews are the glue that holds my business together, but it is an important tool to have.

I hate getting a negative review.  I think most small business owners feel that way.  Which makes negative reviews a great way to get our attention right?

Well…sort of.  You see the problem with giving a place a negative review is that you aren’t all that likely to go back and address it again.  If you have a problem with a business, I would suggest the following: tell them, and give them a chance to fix it, and if they don’t THEN review them negatively.  I can tell you that if you come to me I will absolutely hear you out, and likely will take steps to fix the problem you’ve had.

If you just write a negative review, I will address it too, take similar steps, but your review will almost always remain even after a problem has been fixed, because people rarely re-view their own reviews.  It’s a permanent blotch on my record, one that may not be relevant anymore, one that may not represent the original poster’s current opinions, but certainly continues to hurt my shop.

That being said reviews, both good and bad, are important.  If you have the time, please post a review yourself about BKG – good or bad I will appreciate it.  They create a complete picture of my businesses to others, and it’s my job, and my staff’s job to earn good ones.  Which is why…

10. Good staff are the crown jewels of a game store
Nothing is more important that having good staff.  They represent my store to the public more hours of the week than even I do.  Finding the right kind of people to work for me is tough, because there is a lot to learn, we need reliability and flexibility in hours, we don’t have a huge payroll budget, and they need to have the right personality.

Luckily for us, gamers love the idea of working in a game store, so we have our choice out of a pretty big field of applicants each time.

Unluckily for us, our customers are also important regulars, that we like, and are often friends with.  You need to disappoint a lot of people each time you hire.

We don’t hire often, which I take as a good thing.  It means that we hire good people, and those people stay with us a long time.  I have hired only sixteen people in ten years, most of those worked for over two years with us.  I’ve also always had people in the management level that I could trust, bounce ideas off off, and rely on.  The first years it was Rob, and currently it’s Mike and Tim.  Mike and Tim are opposites in some ways, they project two different sides of my own personality.  Tim likes to think things through, really analyze, and execute over time with all the angles covered.  Mike likes to just get things done, figure it out on the fly, and roll up his sleeves.  They balance me out, and keeping things moving, while also making sure we properly think things out.

I am extremely grateful for the staff that I have had over the years, we wouldn’t be here today without them.  And I am especially grateful for the untold hours of council with Rob, Tim, and Mike.

11. The first ten are only the beginning
We are now in our eleventh year.  So far it’s our best yet.  We have gotten over some financial hurdles, recovered from mistakes, and things are going well right now – but they won’t all be boom years.  What I have learned is that after ten years in business that I love it, and that I can grind my way through the rough spots, and get pack on the fairway.  BKG will continue as long as I remain passionate for it, as long as I feel it’s worth fighting for, and as long as I have great staff, and enthusiastic customers walking through my door.  I can’t wait to begin the next ten.

Ten Thoughts for Ten Years (PART 1)

Jay Headshot

Whew.

That was a hectic few months.  For those that haven’t been following along, we celebrated our 10th Anniversary last month.  I basically used the occasion as an excuse to do all the things that I was meaning to do.  We updated our Stronghold Membership program (it needed it), we rearranged our store, we brought in 10 new product lines, we had sales, draws, an auction, and all kinds of other hype and celebration.  It was a lot of work, so much so that I barely had time to pause and actually take in the fact that Black Knight Games is ten.  A decade old!  As I took some time away with my family this week I finally got to reflect on our place here and now, how we got here, and where we are going.  I have assembled ten thoughts for ten years, here are the first five:

1. Turns out the gaming business is actually a business
One thing that has become apparent to me is that compared to most industries, the games industry is full of amateurs.  Whether it’s the retail side, or the manufacturing side, most people get in to the business because they love games – not because they are great at business.  Now, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t excellent business people in the industry, there are, but even most of them probably started off in over their heads.  I sure was.  I was only 24 when I opened Black Knight Games.  I certainly planned, I certainly did my best, and I certainly worked my ass off, but I was absolutely a noob when it came to the finer points of business.

I learned my lessons the hard way mostly, through failures.  I got in situations with my taxes, overextended myself, made mistakes with inventory, and didn’t even always handle the scheduling and running of events well all the time (something I felt was my forté going in).  Some of these mistakes were minor, some nearly sunk us.  But, ten years later I can confidently say…that I’m still a noob.  I still haven’t a perfect vision of how to run a profitable business, but I am starting to figure some things out, and even better – I now know where to go to figure a lot of things out…

2. Games Stores DON’T have to be enemies
It is absolutely true that when I first opened I viewed other stores as threats.  I think a lot of people assume that game stores are arch-rivals, and certainly in some places they are.  But in the ten years that I have run Black Knight Games I have learned that other stores can be a healthy resource, they can even be allies.  I have a fairly good relationship with other stores in the area, and a great relationship with some.

Enric owns a MTG-specialist shop down the road, literally one block from us.  His singles selection is great, it’s better than ours.  He was open first, and despite our proximity, here we both are.  It turns out that there is room in this town for the both of us.  The reason is this: in a niche business like ours when you have multiple shops that offer something of value you grow the gaming community.  It doesn’t really matter what my market share percentage is when the pie is growing.  I don’t have to see others fail to succeed.  And it helps that we’ve never resorted to aggressive tactics – we don’t undercut each other, we don’t trash-talk each other, we don’t intentionally schedule at the same time.  In fact we’ve always been friendly, we’ve even coordinated in the past to avoid double-booking.  I hope his business continues to succeed, because I think he fills some gaps that keeps our community strong.

The same goes for other shops in the area.  We’ve got two great board game cafés in town (Mancala Monk & Gameopolis), growing the local community every day by getting more people to try games in an easily accessible environment.  I’ve got Logan over at Dungeon Comics, who is a solid game store owner, and is someone that I have worked with a few times and it always a good guy to talk with.  Beyond the Hamilton area I’ve dealt with the owners of X Planet, The Dragon, Game Chamber, and others on many occasions – even running inter-store leagues and championships with them.

By focusing on how we can build a bigger and better gaming community we make room for us all.

3. I’m NOT the first to be here
I’ll never forget the first time I sat in a GenCon Trade Day seminar, the room was full of other game store owners from all across North America.  I had NEVER really had a lot of communication with other game store owners at the time, and it felt weird to be in a room with so many people that shared my exact profession.  These people all cared about how to get MTG players in their store, how the new FFG terms would affect them, and what the best way to store terrain was.  Cool.

Since then the world has really opened up for Game Store Owners.  What used to be a somewhat lonely career path has really grown over the past five years or so.  There is a wide network of Game Store Owners who run seminars at GAMA and GenCon.  It was incredible discovering a whole world of people who I could actually learn from.  Now there are many message boards and Facebook groups filled with game store owners sharing ideas, looking for advice, showing off successes, and practicing their (our) favorite pastime: complaining.

There are also a special few who have become role models.  Owners who happen to be very generous with their time, and also own and run exceptional game stores.  Gaming meccas in their own cities.  These individuals have given me something to aspire to, and a road map to get there.

4. Just Keep Swimming
Something that I have realized about myself is that I need to always (ALWAYS) have a goal.  Which means I can never really reach it.  I’ll never be ‘done’ with Black Knight Games, because the second I take the foot off the pedal is when I sink.  It is key to always have something new to be working on, some exciting change.  It gives me something to be excited about.

And change is good.  It keeps things fresh, and the changes we make are usually improvements.

Our tenth anniversary was a big example of this.  It was the excuse I needed to make some changes, and to kick myself in to doing some things I had been thinking about doing for a long time.  But now that it is over I can confidently say that there are more and more things that we are aspiring to do.  If you’ve read this far I feel it’s fair to reward you with a few sneak peaks: currently we are working on dealing in used and vintage video games.  We’re looking to unveil a new community out-reach program to assist teachers and community leaders in creating and running gaming groups in schools and clubs.  We are looking to add even more items to our store-brand ‘Strongbox’ gaming accessories.  And, we are still (yes still) dreaming of getting a liquor license.

5. Gaming with a beer in your hand
That reminds me of a fairly big moment in our history, one that I would like to look back on a bit.

Four and a half years ago we moved to our new location.  Some may remember that we ran an indiegogo fundraiser where customers could get cool swag in exchange for helping us raise some money to make the gaming area awesome.  A little known secret about that was that the indiegogo campaign actually cornered us in to spending twice what it earned us, but still it was a great way to subsidize the cost a bit and include our community in the process.  It was pretty fun too.  The campaign offered stretch goals like TVs, and a Foosball table.  The last stretch-goal that was hit was that we would seriously look in to getting a liquor license which would allow those that were old enough to attend game nights with alcohol.

It was the only stretch goal that we didn’t knock out of the park.  That being said, we absolutely did as we said we would do, and pursued it hard.  It turns out that a big part of getting a liquor license is tied to food.  You are required to be able to offer your patrons food options.  These can’t be snacks, they must be hot-food.  To handle hot-food properly you need a kitchen, which requires space, and lots of equipment…you can see why this didn’t happen right away.  So we spent a couple hundred dollars, and hit a dead end.

Since then though, the thought has never fully left my mind, and I have been looking at ways that we might fulfill this condition.  Perhaps selling frozen food that could be microwaved would count.  Perhaps we could handle a small oven, or panini press.  Perhaps we could meet the conditions by partnering with another business.

Well I am happy to say that the first step towards this ultimate goal is now done.  We are now a registered food establishment, licensed, and paid.  This allows us to do more with food, and drops one barrier.  We still can’t quite do the ‘hot food’ as required because we don’t have a kitchen.  But now we can try some things that I hope will ultimately lead to fulfilling the conditions of the liquor license.  The dream lives on.

Join me shortly for more rambling thoughts in Part 2 shortly

10th Anniversary Top 10 (Summary)

With so much happening in celebration of our 10th Anniversary we decided it made sense to provide a summary for you all.  Here is the #BKG10 Top Ten List – Links to all are included below:

#10 The Anniversary Party & Auction

We are hosting out biggest Auction ever on Saturday, June 24th, as part of our Anniversary Party!  Join us between 12pm and 6pm for cake, prizes, and fun!  The Auction looks to be our biggest ever (by far) so bring your wallets to get some insane deals!  Silent Auction begins at 1pm, and the Live Auction will finish off any items that get more than one bid!

#9 Ten Draws for Ten Years

On June 24th, at the end of the day, we will be drawing ten winners for ten big prizes including the likes of a 40K Dark Imperium set, a Blood Bowl, a Pokémon EX/Mega box of your choice, and more!  Anyone that attends the Anniversary Party will get a ballot, and in addition for every $50 a person spent in June they got one (including things you buy at the Auction)!

#8 Ten New Product Lines for Ten Years

We announced a couple months ago our intention to bring in ten brand new product lines that we never carried before as part of the celebration.  Most of those lines have been announced – but expect to see more announcements before the end of June!  Currently announced lines include:

#7 MTG Seasonal Championships

We announced that we will be adding a Seasonal Championship reward for our big three Magic: the Gathering gaming nights: FNM Standard, FNM Draft, and Wednesday Modern.  All participants are automatically entered and the single player in each with the most Match Wins is the Champion!  The Champions are given a unique BKG Championship playmat, and are awarded permanent ‘Bounty Status’ throughout the next season!  You can follow all the details on the Seasonal Championship HERE.

#6 Updated Stronghold Membership Program

We have made a major update to the Stronghold Members program.  All the stuff you knew and loved remain, and now you get a snazzy card with even more savings on it!  Additionally the way cards are tracked, and expire has changed making it easier for us to track and administer rewards properly.  You can always look at the full details about our Stronghold Membership HERE.

#5 Hero’s Reward Program Expands Beyond MTG

We have expanded our incredibly popular Hero’s Reward program beyond just Magic.  Now, players from all game systems can collect and redeem Hero’s Rewards for participating in events, winning prizes, or as purchasing incentives.  Hero’s Rewards are custom BKG cards that participants collect, and redeem in various amounts for a variety of prizes!  You can always find out more about the Hero’s Reward Program HERE.

#4 10 Flash Sales for 10 Years

You can’t have a big celebration without sales!  We have had ten different ‘Flash Sales’ for all kind of product lines.  Each Flash Sale was announced the morning of, and gave anyone purchasing items in that product range a 10% Discount that day!

#3 Black Knight Games Will Now Sell [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] Games!

That’s right, we are finally diving in and will begin to sell [REDACTED] this summer!  So get your [REDACED] ready, because this is a whole new [REDACTED] we’re opening up!  (Announcement Coming)

#2 New Method of Selling MTG Singles

Black Knight Games is overhauling the way we deal with and sell MTG singles.  Gone are those always half-empty, always falling-apart binders!  We will now be going to a ‘Pick List’ system, where customers submit a list of cards they need, and we pick them all from a well-organized alphabetic series of drawers.  You will even have the ability to submit your list from home before you show up!  This should make the process much easier to find the cards you need, and to get them from us.

Unfortunately this does come with a bit of a transition period – so for the time being we are not able to fulfill all requests to buy singles while we sort – we are sorry for the inconvenience.

#1 New Store Layout & Front Window Graphics

Black Knight Games closed down for a day and a half to do some major re-arranging of our gaming area.  We added a great new RPG/Board Game table, and re-configured our shopping space to allow for even more shelves to display things even better.  Regulars at the store will likely notice a huge change, and we hope you enjoy getting to know the new BKG layout.  We also added some great graphic images outside that you will immediately notice when you get here – we hope these will catch the eyes of even more passers-by and help us bring in more players to grow our BKG communities!

So there you have it – so much is going on, no wonder we all feel exhausted!  We hope you see all of our changes as positive steps forward, and as an indication that we aren’t done trying to improve for you.  Black Knight Games has been around for ten years, and it’s all thanks to our amazing customers.  We pledge to never take our position as your gaming destination of choice lightly, and we will always be on the look out for more ways to improve your gaming and buying experience!  We can’t wait to share the next ten years with you, and see what they bring!

BKG Will Be Closed on June 19 & 20

We are going to be going through a bunch of changes and minor renovations in anticipation of our 10th Anniversary on the 24th.  To help facilitate this we will be doing something we almost never do: we are going to close the shop for a couple days!

On Monday, June 19th and Tuesday, Jun 20th Black Knight Games will be closed.

Unfortunately that means that those two game nights won’t be able to happen, and we do apologize for the inconvenience.  If this causes you any specific difficulties please message us and we will see if we can work out something for you.  There is a small chance that we may end up opening mid-day on Tuesday, if we are able to get everything done.

We are very excited to show of the changes we have planned, and hope you love BKG even more thanks to them as we prepare to enter our second decade serving the gaming community of Hamilton!

BKG 10 News: Stronghold Membership Changes

Black Knight Games, as part of our 10th Anniversary celebration, are excited to announce a set of changes to our Stronghold Membership!  Customers can expect to see all the things they loved about the old memberships, streamlined, with some fun new perks.

What Are Stronghold Memberships?

Stronghold Membership FrontStronghold Memberships have been a part of the BKG loyalty program since we opened the store ten years ago.  Memberships are not required to play in our space, but they do entitle their owner to a bunch of great loyalty rewards.  Members get more Stronghold Points for the money they spend, they get discounts on snacks and drinks, perks for signing up for events (like discounts and Hero’s Rewards), as well as some additional benefits. Customers may buy a membership each year, gaining them access to all the benefits!

What is Different?

This will be the second major adjustment to how Stronghold Memberships work, and with each one we get closer to the type of system that works perfectly for everyone!  Last time, four years ago, we updated the program and added Stronghold Points, one of our best loyalty programs.  This time we are making several small changes that we believe will improve the program even more!  Let’s go through the changes:

 

Stronghold Points: Stronghold Members still earn 5 points instead of 2, just like always.  Additionally these points may now be used to discount MTG Singles, Star Wars: Destiny Singles, Snacks & Drinks, and Events!  On top of that, when you buy MTG Singles or SWD Singles you will now collect Stronghold Points!

Why?: We had good reasons originally to not allow discounts on some items, and to not allow points to be collected on others (mostly administration reasons).  We have since then found a way around those issues, and are happy to now allow more flexibility on the collection and redemption of points!

Set Annual Expiration: Going forward memberships will not expire one year from the date you buy them, but will all expire on the same day: July 1st (right around our Anniversary).  But, don’t worry, if you buy a membership part-way through the year you will be compensated additional Stronghold Points to make up for the portion of the year you missed!

So, for example, if you bought a membership on January 1st (half-way through the Stronghold Year) you would be given half the value of the membership in bonus points.

Why?: We are making this change for a few reasons: The first is that it will be much easier for us to track expiration dates when everyone expires at the same time.  Secondly, it will allow us to have a Membership drive leading in to the new year, and offer bonuses to those who register at that time.  It will also allows us to do some other fun things for members, since we will have less of a rotating membership.

How will the Transition Work?: If you already have a Stronghold Membership, nothing changes!  Your membership will continue to be valid until we said it would.  When you re-new your new membership will be the new style.  We will be giving an additional bonus to anyone that renews to the new system this month (June), so if you want to immediately switch to the new style you can!

So for example, if your current membership lasts until the end of September, you are still a members until then.  In September when your membership expires, you can renew for the current 2017-2018 membership and get bonus Stronghold Points to make up for the part of the year you missed.

Stronghold Membership Back 2Stronghold Membership Cards: We will have a unique card made up for each year to give to our Stronghold Members.  In addition to being proof of membership, and providing details to you, there are five one-time perks that can be redeemed.  These can be redeemed whenever the condition is met (if there is any), and the perk will be stamped to signify that it has been used.  These five perks are:

  • Happy Birthday!  Get $5.00 Off one purchase during your birthday month!
  • Gain an additional Hero’s Reward when you play in one event!
  • Get 10% off any one purchase, or order!
  • Get a free snack or drink!
  • Get a Hero’s Reward if your renew your membership for next year before this year expires.

Why?: We have always wanted to have some additional fun perks to membership, but it’s always been a pain to track.  We even tried doing the birthday bonus, but eventually it faded away.  This new system puts those bonuses right on your card – making tracking redemption easy!

The Price: We will be raising the price from $25/year to $30/year.

Why?: The amount of rewards that we will give out in the next year is more than in the past, to help compensate for that we decided to raise the price slightly.

Snacks & Drinks: No change here, Stronghold Members will continue to get a discount on snacks & drinks!

Stronghold Members Facebook Group: We will be adding a members-only Facebook group that only our Stronghold Members can join.  In the group we will post early-bird offers, special sales, and offer you a chance to give us feedback on ways to make the store better!

Why?: This will give us a direct way to give our members some extra fun offers, and deals, and to address just them.

NEW MEMBERSHIP DRIVE!

Anyone that renews their Stronghold Membership in the month of June will get a free Hero’s Reward!  This applies to new members, as well as existing ones who want to update to the new program!

We are very happy to be bringing this cleaner and more streamlined Stronghold Member program to our customers, and we hope you are happy with the changes.  If you have any questions or concerns please let us know!

For the full details of the Stronghold Program, check out blackknightgames.ca/strong

 

BKG 10 News: Anniversary Details

We have been unveiling all kinds of changes, and new products that we are bringing in as part of our 10th Anniversary Celebration – but this is the announcement most people have been waiting to see: Our Anniversary Party and Auction!  But more than that specific day, we have a couple other fun announcements here too!

ANNIVERSARY & AUCTION PARTY

Party: Saturday, June 24, 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Auction: Silent Auction Begins at 1:00pm // Live Auction Begins at 2:30pm

Party Details: During the party we will have cake, players can grab a table and play games, and you can explore our newly changed store (more on that later).  It’ll be a day to hang out with friends, and make some new ones, and just celebrate the community we have built together here at BKG!

Auction Details: Every year during our anniversary party we host an auction.  The auction provides both our customers (you) and the shop the opportunity to do some spring cleaning.  Anyone can submit items to the auction (pending BKG approval), and they get reimbursed based on how much the item sells for!  This makes for a great event where people can get something for items they don’t want, and where you can get things for a screaming good deal!

The auction is divided in to two halves: the Silent Auction, and the Live Auction.  During the Silent Auction participants can walk around, and examine the items.  They can bid on each item as well.  Any items that have at least two bids on them will be added and finished to the Live Auction at 2:30pm, where bidding will continue until we have a winner.  Any items that have only one bid on them will be sold in the Silent Auction, and will not progress to the Live Auction.  Any items with zero bids on them will either remain unsold, or will be adjusted and re-submitted during the Live Auction.

If you want to sell any items in our Auction you can!  Bring them in to BKG between now and June 22nd.  Items should be gaming-related, and fit with the types of things we sell in the store.  You will be able to set a starting bid number, so that it doesn’t sell for too little.  If you item sells you will be rewarded with 90% of the sale price in BKG Credit after the event (please allow a couple of days to process this), the other 10% will be used to cover administration expenses for the event.

So help us celebrate our 10th Anniversary and turn some stuff you don’t need anymore in to BKG Credit to get stuff you DO want!

TEN DRAWS FOR TEN YEARS!

Usually at our Anniversary Party we give away four special prizes through our Draws.  This year we are doing ten prizes (for 10 years) and letting everyone get a jump start on them by beginning them immediately!

You will get a Ballot for each $50.00 you spend at Black Knight Games between now and the draw at 5:00pm on June 22nd!  Additionally you will get a Ballot for attending the Anniversary Party & Auction!

All ten prizes will be drawn from the same pool, and the prizes will include: Dark Imperium (the new 40K Starter Set, Value: $189.99), 1x Space Hulk (Value: $149.99), 1x Age of Sigmar Starter Set (Value $149.99), Warhammer Quest: Shadows Over Hammerhall (Value: $179.99), a Flames of War army set of your choice (Value: $124.99), a Konflikt ’47 army set of your choice (Value: $154.99), Blood Bowl Core Game (Value: $119.99), a Pokemon EX , GX, or Mega box of your choice (Value: up to $59.99), a Magic: the Gathering From the Vault Lore (Value $49.99), and a $50.00 Black Knight Games gift card!  That’s over $1200 of giveaways!

TEN FLASH SALES FOR TEN YEARS!

In addition to ALL OF THAT, we will be hosting ten flash sales on specific days between now and the Anniversary Party & Auction!

The ten flash sales will be announced at close the day beforehand on our website and Facebook.  The flash sale will be for a specific game or category in the store.  Every item in that category will be 10% OFF for the entire day!

So keep your eyes on our pages, and you will get the chance to get an even better deal on your favorite games, miniatures, and accessories!

Kickstart Zombicide: Green Horde Through BKG!

CMON continues with their retailer partnership when it comes to Kickstarters, and we are very pleased to once again partner with CMON to bring you Zombicide: Green Horde!

Why Would I Do That?

Zombicide: Green Horde continues on Zombicide: Black Plague, and is a stand-alone set that can also be mixed with other Black Plague releases.  If you are interested in this exciting release, you can Kickstart it now.  However, by pledging through Black Knight Games instead you get several benefits:

  1. You don’t need to pay shipping!  Normally you would need to pay a separate shipping fee when the item ships, this can often be as much as $50+ Canadian!  Pledging through us means you don’t pay that, nor do you need to remember to check your email to make the payment – or risk missing out!
  2. Support your FLGS!  One hang up for many people when using Kickstarter is that you are bypassing your Friendly Local Game Store.  By cutting out the FLGSs you aren’t doing anything to keep their doors open to you and the other members of the local gaming community.  But, through this Kickstarter you DO support your FLGS – AND – you support the game you are excited about!
  3. Get the game early, just like if you had Kickstarted it on your own!
  4. Get any of the add-ons you want, just like if you had Kickstarted it on your own!
  5. Gain the flexibility of making a pledge, changes to a pledge, or additions up to a month after the Kickstarter!  As a partner store we are able to modify our order as long as their pledge manager remains open, so pledging with us allows you all kinds of flexibility – even the ability to pledge late!
  6. Do it all for no added cost!  Our agreement with CMON requires us to sell you all pledges and add-ons at exactly the same price as the Kickstarter.  So, you will pay $120 USD (based on that days exchange rate) for any ‘Horde Pledge’, and the equivalent for any add-ons!

How Do I Pledge?

Simply come in to BKG, or give us a call, and we will sell you the pledge just like any customer order!

But, I Already Pledged Online – I Didn’t Know This Was An Option!

Kickstarter allows you to cancel Pledges before the cut off date, and CMON is really good about that kind of thing too.  Simply cancel and re-pledge with us!  Either way they’re getting the sale, and this way you gain all the above benefits!  If it’s after the cut off you can message them, explain you want to pledge with a participating partner retailer, and they shouldn’t have an issue with cancelling the pledge.

So get this amazing game, and help out your FLGS in the process!

Check Out the Rising Sun Kickstarter HERE

BKG 10 News: Hero’s Reward Program Expands

Black Knight Games, as part of our slew of 10th Anniversary Improvement announcements, is very excited to announce that we will be expanding the very popular ‘Hero’s Reward‘ program beyond just Magic: the Gathering.  Now, nearly every single game system we support with events, will be supported with our Hero’s Reward program!

Hero's Reward Stack 40kWhat are Hero’s Rewards?

For those that haven’t played in our Magic: the Gathering events over the past several years, Hero’s Rewards may be an entirely foreign concept – so what are they?  Hero’s Rewards are promotional cards that we pass out at events as prizes, participation incentives, random giveaways, etc.  Participants can then exchange a number of Hero’s Rewards for the reward of their choice!  Among the rewards are things as simple as a free booster pack, or free entry to an event, all the way up to an entire Booster Box!

For all the specific details on this program, and the available prizes, check out our recently updated BlackKnightGames.ca/Hero page.

How will this be implemented in to other games?

You will see a few immediate differences in how our events are priced, and how prizes are awarded.  First of all all events with an entry fee will also have a Hero’s Reward price (meaning you can redeem a certain number of Hero’s Rewards to join in for FREE).  Additionally, each event will usually include a method or two to earn Hero’s Rewards: sometimes it will be a participation bonus, sometimes it will be part of the prizes, and sometimes it will be a random give-away.

Some events will no longer have a discounted price for Stronghold Members, and instead members will get a Hero’s Reward.

The rewards list on the Hero’s Reward page has also been amended to include prizes for people that play games like Warhammer, Warmachine, Star Wars Destiny, and Pokémon.  There should be several prizes that each person might get excited about.

Hero's Reward Hand Amonkhet2Why Do This?

Hero’s Rewards has been, by far, our most popular and long-lasting game promotion.  Over the several years that we have run the program for our Magic players there has been an inherent value ascribed to the Hero’s Reward cards.  They’re fun, we get to change how they look, they can be traded in for so many different things, and if you don’t want the reward you can always trade it or give it to a friend!

Basically Hero’s Rewards are one of our favorite BKG promotions, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy it.

I’m a Magic player, how does this affect me?

It doesn’t really.  You will still collect them the same way, and with the exception of a couple minor modifications, all your prize options are absolutely intact.  Additionally you can now explore other gaming options as avenues to spend your Hero’s Rewards – so you have more options than ever!

We at Black Knight Games are very excited to be expanding this program, and we very much hope you enjoy it too.  If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask the staff.

PREORDER WARHAMMER 40,000 NEW EDITION NOW!

40K New Edition Flyer

BKG IS NOW TAKING PRE-ORDERS FOR THE 40K NEW EDITION!

The new edition of Warhammer 40,000 is imminent, and this looks to be an incredibly exciting release! Black Knight Games is now taking preorders for everything that will be coming on relese day – and there is a lot!

We will also be having some bundles! Here are all the details:

Dark Imperium Starter Set: $189.99
40K Hardcover Rulebook: $69.99
Five Different Index Books: $29.99 each
Objective Markers: $39.99
Wound Marker Dice: $15.99

BUNDLE #1:
Get Dark Imperium, and any Index Book of your choice for $199.99 (SAVE $20.00!)

BUNDLE #2:
Get the Hardcover 40K Rulebook and any Index Book of your choice for $89.99 (SAVE $10.00!)

ANYONE THAT PRE-ORDERS BY JUNE 10th WILL ALSO GET A HERO’S REWARD!

————————————-MEANWHILE AT BKG HEADQUARTERS————————————-

–Mike: “Wait…a Hero’s Reward?…We haven’t made that announcement yet…”

–Tim: “Yeah, as far as they know that’s just a Magic: the Gathering thing…”

–Jay: “…Well…uh…YOLO!”

BKG Featured on Geek & Sundry!

BKGfront

Black Knight Games has been featured on Geek & Sundry, a well known online gaming website, that features the well known show TableTop with Wil Wheaton, as well as loads of other great stuff!

It’s an honour to have them to a story on us, especially the day before International TableTop Day – their Gamer Holiday!

You can check out the full article by Teri HERE!