Tuesday, February 26, 2019

2019 Survey Results - Part 1

We wanted to thank everyone (all 278 of you) who participated in our 2019 Tell Us What You Want, What You Really, Really Want Survey. We have been going through the mountains of data that resulted from this survey, and we've been trying to distill it into something that we could share with you. This has proved more difficult than we estimated. It has been taking more time that we have to try to put it into some kind of presentable format. So, we decided that we would do a few blog posts covering different sections of the survey.

The most important thing with regard to this survey is that we really appreciate your opinions, and we love hearing your feedback. In yesterday's staff meeting, we went over the results of the survey in detail, and we are already starting to put some new plans into action to respond to your suggestions. The staff even suggested that we have an ongoing survey so that you can always submit recommendations and anonymously give us feedback. They loved hearing from you THAT MUCH. Keep an eye out. We'll have a Feedback Link on our website within the next few weeks.

Here's a general overview of the results. In the next blog post, I'll try to go into more of the specifics.

Here are the results of Question #1. Overall, it seems that respondents are pretty satisfied with us. We really appreciate all the love that this survey provided. It makes us feel great! BUT, the most important parts are how we can continue to improve and serve you even better, so that is what we've been focusing on.

Question #2 was about how often the respondents shop with us. The majority of respondents shop with us pretty frequently (THANK YOU!! We can't stay open without you!), but this was to be expected considering we promoted the survey on Facebook, Twitter, and at store events. The data is obviously skewed towards regular customers, and we realize that the results may not be completely representative of our entire customer population, but we still think that the data provides an excellent place to start thinking about future goals.

Question #3 asked about what respondents buy when they do shop with us. This again was pretty expected as these results follow our sales data pretty closely, with one major exception. We had a bunch of respondents say they buy role-playing games, and that is one of our lowest departments for actual sales. Very interesting. Based on gross sales data, role-playing games and Lego should be swapped. The main thing that I want our staff to remember is that all of our departments are important to the overall success of the store.

Question #4 was one of the most interesting to me. In it, we asked about 4 product lines that we brought in after our expansion in 2016. In later questions, respondents begged us not to get rid of MTG singles or Lego, but it's very interesting to us that the majority of people don't care if we keep any of them.

Partially based on this information, we have decided to try to more intensely focus on MTG singles and construction/engineering sets, and we will be carrying fewer science kits. This is mainly a space issue. We'd like to be able to display the Magna Tiles, Tegu Blocks and Keva planks better. With regard to MTG singles, we know that we can do better with regard to the product area, and we've had several meetings lately to discuss improving our services and product offerings. We've increased our buy list prices, and we've begun to more aggressively sell cards on TCG player online so that we can turn cards that don't sell in the store into money that can be used to buy more cards. Next month we are meeting with several software providers to see how we can improve the functionality of the in-store kiosk as well.

And, finally Question #5 asked what you'd want us to carry that we don't already have. Here a some specific responses to your feedback.

Puppies - No!

Keyforge - We carry it when we can get it. We currently have stock, and we are planning a sealed tournament on March 31. Register now. We are also accepting pre-orders for the next set.

More RPGs - We are working on this. We've already brought in some new inventory, and our RPG staff is meeting next week to discuss event planning and product management.

Bring Back Dex! - Done. I ordered a bunch of new deck boxes and binders this week. They should arrive today.

More Jigsaw Puzzle Brands - We are working on this, and we are ALWAYS getting new puzzles. We recently received a huge delivery from Galison, some of my favorite new puzzles. But we will keep trying to get even more.

Go Boards and Go Stones - We have these. If you want something else, please let us know.

Diet Soda - Probably not going to happen. If we add food or drink, it exponentially increases the regulatory requirements with which we must comply, including the bag tax. Plus, there is a 7 Eleven a couple doors down, and we really couldn't compete. And, space.

Labyrinth-themed accessories - New shirts are on their way!

Warhammer - We discussed this yesterday in the staff meeting. We may try to get in some of the self-contained games, but due to space restrictions and limited ability to hold events, we will not be going deep into Warhammer in the near future. Whenever we've tried to carry it in the past, it simply hasn't sold well for us, and we feel that if we don't have the space to dedicate to supporting events, we can't really be successful with this line.

Additional Pokémon inventory - We are constantly bringing in new Pokémon products, and Arsenio (aka Professor Spruce) has tons of plans to increase both product and events. Stay turned.

There were many other recommendations, and there's a lot more data to get through. We are considering everything! We'll try to post more next week. Again, thanks for your feedback, and please always feel free to tell us how you feel or how we can do better.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

What's New at Labyrinth 2/15/19

What's New at Labyrinth: 2/15/19
Welcome back, everyone. We've got a whole new lineup of stuff to show you, so here goes:

Troika & Zogen
We've gotten in two new games from Oink Games, makers of standout hits Startups and A Fake Artist Goes to New York. Troika is a game of space and strategy. Gems of incomparable value have been discovered on a distant world, and you've rushed over to grab your share. Unfortunately, you used all your fuel; fortunately, these gems can be turned into starship fuel! Balance your greed with need, or else you'll end up the richest corpse in the galaxy. Zogen, in contrast, focuses on a world in minature: the microscopic world of microorganisms. Players race to play out their hands, and only the swiftest evolution will see you to victory. 

Megaland is a push-your-luck game set in a retro-inspired videogame world. Players dive into levels together, splitting loot and bowing out when the risk grows too great. If you escape, you can spend your spoils on upgrades, but if you push yourself too far you'll die and lose everything! Chose wisely and live on the edge with Megaland.

In 1570s China, at the height of the Ming Dynasty, the Longqing Emperor ascends to a throne in turmoil. Seeing the corruption of the court, he embarks upon a campaign of eradication, harshly outlawing bribery. But the canny bureaucrats who ran the empire soon found a way around the restrictions: The unequal exchange of "gifts", a practice known as Gugong. In the game, players take the role of officials seeking to climb the bureaucratic career ladder. Travel the land collecting taxes, maintain the Great Wall, and trade "gifts" to get things done. Climb high enough and you may claim the greatest possible honor: a personal audience with the Emperor himself!

Reyholt is the latest worker placement game from the absurdly prolific Uwe Rosenberg. Set on the frigid isle of Iceland, Reykholt has the players take advantage of the island's geothermal energy to grow fruits and vegetables wildly out of sync with the northern climate. Develop your greenhouse and grow the right crops to win!

Hokkaido, sequel to Honshu, is a map-building game set in the beautiful northern island of the same name, the northernmost island of Japan. Players carefully construct their territories out of interlocking and overlapping terrain cards. Secure yourself the most valuable plot of land in Hokkaido to win! 

Bumuntu is a game of careful strategy and wisdom, based on the folktales of the Bakongo, the largest tribal group in Central Africa. The spirits of the animals are wise teachers, and if you follow their advice by mimicking their movements they'll grant you the knowledge to either improve your movements or hinder your opponent's. Whomever can prove themselves the wisest human, by gaining favor and collecting sacred statues, wins!

Legend of the Five Rings: Children of the Empire
Children of the Empire is the newest premium expansion for the Legend of the Five Rings LCG. It is a time of great turmoil in the Emerald Empire. The traditional balance between the great clans is breaking down, and dark forces long dormant have begun to stir. Into this chaos, the Emperor himself releases a monumental edict, one that will fundamentally change Rokugan forever. Children of the Empire shakes up the meta game with a whole new set of cards and mechanics, including the new Composure keyword. Master crisis to find victory with this stunning new expansion.

The Great City of Rome 
The Great City of Rome is a game of reconstruction and glory. After a grand fire destroyed most of Rome, the Emperor has summoned the greatest minds from around the Empire to assist in the reconstruction. Compete with your colleagues for building permits and the Emperor's favor. Only the greatest builder of the Great City can clam the laurels of victory.

Layers is a fun and detailed pattern-crafting game where speed and a sharp eye are needed to succeed. Players race to fulfill challenge cards by layering special cards with cutouts in the center, overlaying different apertures to match the pattern on the card. Fun for all ages.

Republished after a long run is the classic game Downforce, set in the high-stakes world of experimental race cards and the wealthy patrons who wager on them. If you're looking for a streamlined game of hand management, auctioneering and high-stakes betting, you can do no better than Downforce. We also have the Danger Circut Expansion!

And that's all for this week. Check back in next week for more What's New at Labyrinth!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Guild of Heroes Report for 2/9/19

Guild of Heroes Adventures
February 2019

... these are the latest adventures of Niln's greatest heroes!

The Opalescent Sands of Time with Camilla

In the woods north of the village of Mandril, five adventurers from the Guild of Heroes came across a cave of strange phenomena. The flailsnails reversed the flow of time after being defeated at the hands of the party, presaging the strange timeline to come. Deeper within they found a temple of time, where rockfalls went back and forth, the dead returned to life and more, all at the whim of a gargantuan hourglass filled with opalescent sand.

The clerics of the temple had been taken captive by Zpreznar, a heavily muscled tiefling gang leader. After dispatching some of his half-orc swordsmen, halfling backstabbers, and dwarven stonethrowers, they pushed further. A gargantuan bird-headed statue forced them into infancy or geriatracy with its amethyst gaze until its eyes were shattered by the arcane bolts of Sauron and Leonard.

The final chamber held the boss himself, as well as the shimmering shell of Ulok Helxiadar, god of time. The first time they fought, handfuls of the party died by their blades, but with the power of the hourglass, they were able to persevere until their victory was complete. Zpreznar’s catastrophic plot to reverse time for the sake of his dead family was averted, preventing history itself from unwinding completely, and the day was saved.

A Matter of Mimics with Joe

The Guild of Heroes recently bought a warehouse that used to belong to a dragon. Venturing inside to see what kind of treasure it contained, the heroes found it to be infested with mimics, shapeshifters that imitate treasure to lure adventurers to their doom. The heroes fought mimics and a group of wererat burglars before the whole building was revealed to be a giant mimic, which swallowed them into its acid-filled stomach. Between the battles and being swallowed, Theirastria and Oloric both came close to death, and were only saved by Aerith and Portia’s quick thinking, along with some healing potions found in the warehouse.

Inside the giant mimic’s stomach, the party had to battle a swarm of its smaller cousins, while avoiding the stomach acid on the floor. After escaping the creature’s mouth, they fought it in the streets until an unexpected ally arrived. A many-eyed beholder showed up out of nowhere and disintegrated the entire building before disappearing as mysteriously as it arrived.

Elementary Investigations with Ben

Our band of a adventurers was meeting for a night of festivities with the chief recruiter for the guild, Ander Kingsley, when they were approached by a mysterious stranger who introduced himself as an emissary for the great Vert Von Palor, king of the spice islands. They agreed to travel to meet with the King in an effort to secure an alliance against a mysterious enemy know only as the abominations.

The party was waylaid at the port of Nilneer, where the Guild’s recent actions had made them unpopular. Eireine was able to talk the group out of trouble and avoid bloodshed. The rest of the journey was uneventful, except for the emissary asking them to declare who amongst them was the bravest, the wisest, the cleverest, and the most stalwart.

Von Palor’s test was revealed to be a complex challenge of skill and coordination. James Hunter, Anclagon, and Silas faced down four elementals, foes well beyond their ability. They were also under constant threat of immobilization from an endless wave of automatons, with only Flint standing guard. Draw fired potion to aid his allies and obstruct their enemies while Eireine controlled the booby traps the lined the arena. Together they struggled mightily, but fatigue began to take them and several were knocked out of the fight.

Then, without warning, the challenge ended. The elementals disappeared and the party was left alone in an abandoned fortress. Why they had been brought, what purpose their suffering could have served, no one was sure. As they sailed back to Niln, only the sharp eyes of James Hunter could make out the sinister silhouette standing on the battlements: a giant, a lord of the Empire that served so often as the Guild’s adversary, watching them disappear across the horizon.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Guild of Heroes Report for 1/26-1/27/19

Guild of Heroes Adventures
January 2019

The holidays have passed and the Guild is back to business as usual... these are the latest adventures of Niln's greatest heroes!

1/26 - Tremors with Dungeon Master Ben

Art from D&D 5e Monster Manual
The Guild’s supply of iron ore had dried up; something was wrong at the mining town of Perfection. Answering the call, our party arrived to find the town nearly abandoned. What villagers remained informed the party of their recent troubles: dozens of disappearances, strange earthquakes, and missing livestock. The party began their investigation at the mine. They had barely crossed the threshold when they were attacked by a burrowing monster know as a bulette. A difficult fight ensued. The monster attacked from below and retreated into the dirt whenever confronted, but clever tactics and a heroic effort finally slayed the beast. The party returned to the town victorious, but the danger had not passed: their revels attracted three more bulettes. Outmatched on the battlefield, our heroes did their best to aid the evacuation. It took all their strength and cunning, but eventually the heroes prevailed, distracting the bulettes with a stampede of goats. The party returned to Ft. Stonespur with the surviving villagers in tow. Their town was in shambles, but they were alive thanks to the brave sacrifice of the Guild of Heroes.

1/26 - The Bank Heist with Dungeon Master Joe

The heroes were summoned to help the Iron Bank investigate a theft from one of their vaults. Someone had burrowed into the vault from below and stolen several dangerous magic items that were being stored there for a wizard. To avoid angering the wizard, the bank asked the heroes to recover the items before anyone knew they were stolen. The tunnel into the vault turned out to be made by a giant Grick, which the heroes fought upon entering its lair. From there, they traveled deep into the sewers beneath the bank, discovering and shutting down the mysterious Elemental Tetrahedrons that were filling the sewer with tiny, angry elemental Mephits. At one point the portals even brought forth a more powerful Firenewt, but Happy reminded the creature of a time he had helped a large group of Firenewts in the past, and convinced it to return home peacefully. After fighting through another room containing a magical, darkness-producing lantern and a one-eyed Nothic that hunted them through the darkness, the heroes stumbled on their final challenge. The final corridor underground was guarded by smaller Beholder known as a Spectator. After failing to trick the Spectator into letting them pass, the party briefly stunned it and ran headlong down the passageway, dodging the Spectator’s deadly gaze as they ran. Tragically, when they arrived at the end of the hall, they found themselves short one member, as Paelias had been slain by the monster. The disheartened group recovered the last few missing items, and returned to the bank without their departed friend. After hearing about his noble sacrifice, the Iron Bank named a section of the building “The Paelias Memorial Wing” in his honor.

1/27 - Salt and Slime with Dungeon Master Nick

Art by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
On a windy night beneath a full moon, the intrepid explorers of the Guild descended below the salty shore to find fungal nightmare. The Shatterrock Lighthouse has lain dilapidated and dark the past 60 years, and when the locals decided to put it back into commission, the construction crew vanished overnight. Venturing inside, they discovered a survivor with a horrific tale: oozing death from below! The players pursued the slimes below, and were nearly devoured themselves when they encountered two gelatinous cubes in an old subterranean labyrinth. Pushing on through a tangle of caverns, overgrown by fungi, they encountered a vast fungal cathedral, where a group of slime-worshiping mushroom men were poised to sacrifice the captive workers to their slimy gods. Through bravery and quick action, the heroes dispatched the rubbery foes and saved the day.

1/27 - The Niln that Could Have Been with Dungeon Master Matt

Today's session found the guild's finest heroes - Orryn, Berrian, Drawfinistination, Happy, and Blackhorn O'Slay - returning from a successful capture mission with a dreaded warlord in tow. As a blizzard began, however, the party found themselves trapped outside overnight. Upon waking in the morning, the world had changed, with ruined statues rebuilt and the remnants of a battle appearing overnight. On further exploration, they found giants working with elves and humans to fight off an inhuman tide of abominable ooze. Stunned by the anachronistic dress and the strange language of the villagers, the party investigated further - only to be pursued and besieged by the waves of evil muck.

Driven back to the village, our heroes were tragically defeated, with multiple of them falling to corruption - only to awake, and discover that their experience had been a vision sent by a high elven wizard named Zadelrazz. He fears for the future of Niln, and wishes the Guild to investigate the abominations, but it remains to be seen if his worries will come to pass...

Join the guild as they venture in further danger, and vanquish foes yet unknown to this realm! February's events are already full, but the Guild's adventures with pick up in March with our morning and afternoon sessions on March 23rd, as well as our August summer camp beginning August 5th, 2019!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

What's New at Labyrinth: 2/3/18

What's New at Labyrinth: 2/3/18
Welcome back! We're continuing our rollout of tons of new stuff for the new year. We've also got some cool stuff returning after some time away! Check it out:

Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right

Root is one of our most popular new games. This isn't technically its first appearance, but when it showed up a few months ago, it sold out before we had the chance to blog about it! This game of asymmetric strategy is a treat treat. With gorgeous art, set in a cute and colorful woodland world, the game beneath is one of ruthless competition. Players control one of four unique factions fighting for control of the forest: the industrial Marquis du Cat, the aristocratic Eyrie, the downtrodden Woodland Alliance or the roving Vagabond. Each plays differently, and player interaction is constant and relentless. Can you master the twisting paths of the woodlands and find your way to dominion?

Blackout: Hong Kong
The modern megalopolis Hong Kong has suffered a catastrophic, citywide blackout. Chaos threatens to engulf the frightened populace. Enterprising individuals must seize the moment to maintain order
and secure their own power. Organize convoys, secure zones, and gain influence in the darkened city to claim victory. 

Fury of Dracula
Returning after some time away, Fury of Dracula is a game of cat-and-mouse across a Europe draped in Gothic Horror. One player dons the cape of the immortal Count Dracula, spreading his influence across Europe, while the rest heft stakes as vampire hunters. Dracula will lay traps and spin plots, growing his influence over the continent, while the hunters must turn all their efforts toward tracking down and ending the vampire. Only one can prevail in this deadly game, and Europe itself hangs in the balance!

Machi Koro : 5th Anniversary Edition
A perennial favorite has returned! Machi Koro, the game of town building, has been reprinted in this 5th Anniversary Edition! Assemble your township out of a wide variety of building cards, each with unique effects. You can even specialize your town—will you be a prosperous town of producers, or a glitzy entertainment district draining your opponents of their hard-earned cash? Only the most successful mayor can claim victory!

On the highest peaks in the world, far above the gentle climates humans were designed to live in, the line between survival and death is razor-thin. In K2, that's the line you must walk. K2 is a game of hand management and survival on one of the world's most difficult peaks to climb. Manage your supplies and your deteriorating physical condition as you race to the peak. Beware, for storms are frequent and deadly in this region. Will you return in triumph, or remain forever on the mountain?

The apocalypse has come and gone, and left all of us in its wake. Wildlands is a game of strategy and dominion set in a fantasy wasteland. Deploy your minis, craft your orders, and make use of a huge diversity of powers and strategies to make sure no two sessions feel alike. Wildlands is a must-try for any strategy fan.

Fireball Island: Wreck of the Crimson Cutlass

A new expansion to the revived 80's classic, Fireball Island: Wreck of the Crimson Cutlass adds a new area: A half-sunken pirate ship! There's gold a-plenty available for the daring, but watch out for cannonballs!

Sports Trivia Challenge
Often, we at Labyrinth are asked to give recommendations for what game to get for a sports fan. Well, now we have an easy answer: Sports Trivia Challenge. For a casual game night or a dedicated fan, this is an excellent gift for any sports-minded gamer.

Concordia: Venus
Concordia: Venus is an expansion for Concordia, adding in new maps, new cards, and even a team mode! This expansion is an excellent way to get your copy of Concordia feeling fresh and new. 

Escape Tales: The Awakening
Escape Tales: The Awakening is a story-driven puzzle game in the vein of the newly-minted escape room genre. Players take on the role of a father, desperate to save his daughter from a coma no one can cure. To help her, he must dive deep into the realm of subconsciousness, facing bizarre dangers and puzzles along the way. With an engaging storyline and excellent puzzles, Escape Tales: The Awakening is a perfect game for any puzzle-minded player. 


Ravine is a cooperative game of survival in a bad situation. You, the players, have survived a plane crash, but you're trapped in a wilderness ravine and may not survive the night. Work together to gather resources, craft shelter, and more, but beware: The strain of survival wears hard on a modern psyche. Lose too many Heart cards and you'll go mad! Ravine has been especially popular at our Thursday Night Board Game Nights. Check it out!

Tokyo Highway
Tokyo Highway is dexterity game done in elegant minimalism. Comprised of thin gray roads, pillars, and tiny colored cars, the object is to construct a tangled nest of under and overpasses. Each road placed scores points, and you gain bonus points if it passes over or under an opponent's road. With a keen eye and steady hand, you'll find yourself Tokyo's master road builder. 

Arkham Horror: The Circle Undone
Darkness returns to the city of Arkham in The Circle Undone, the first expansion in Arkham Horror's new cycle. The Silver Twilight Lodge is conducting grim business beneath the cover of night, and people are starting to disappear. Return to Arkham and brave the darkness brewing above the city.

New Puzzles!
After weeks of dilapidation, we've finally restored our puzzle section to its full glory! Come see!