Tag Archive | gaming

Your Friendly Local Game Shop: The Rusty Scabbard

I believe there is a strong community of folks in the gaming and comic book world that needs to be cultivated. Your Friendly Local Game Shop (or Your Friendly Local Comic Shop) will provide a way for me to highlight such places and give an in-depth review of the store based on the following criteria:

  • Initial Impressions
  • Customer Service
  • Atmosphere
  • Selection
  • Value
  • Online Experience
  • Overall Score

Join me as I venture to these meccas of geekdom.

820 Lane Allen Rd (Garden Springs Shopping Center)
Lexington KY 40504
859-278-6634

Hours: M – Sat 11 am – 9 pm
Sun 1 pm – 6pm
Website
Facebook | Twitter

I have been a customer of The Rusty Scabbard for four years. My first set of dice came from there – a Christmas present from my best friend to get me into the spirit of gaming – and I have had many enjoyable experiences shopping there. I have spent countless occasions looking for the perfect set of dice or the miniature that so closely resembles what I envision a character to look like. It, for many years, has been the preeminent gaming store in Lexington. I ask that you let my review speak for not only my experience, but that of others as well.

Initial Impressions: 2/5

The store’s décor reminds you of a role-player’s basement from the 80s. It’s dark, dingy, musty and not very inviting. We were greeted rather suspiciously by a female employee and the staff member agreed (very relucantly) to let us look around. The Scabbard has been in business since 1982 and have spent the last fifteen years at their current location. The posters and advertisements for games such as Warhammer are faded from exposure to sunlight and quite dated.

Atmosphere: 1/5

The lighting is dim and doesn’t highlight the products very well, creating a dark mood. There were a few people at table in the front of the store and they seemed deep in game. A few more were in a large room to the back. It was nice to actually see people there, many time I have entered what seemed like a ghost town. The staff member I talked to said that the store was founded for gamers, by gamers with a mission “to make them [gamers] happy.” She said that they want people to enjoy themselves, bring their friends and have a good time. I didn’t get a sense of that, however, when I was at the store. Frankly, the mood was fairly depressing.

Customer Service: 1/5

While there are several people I have encountered recently in visting the Scabbard, only one has seemed genuine in asking me if there is anything I need. Others have seemed like assisting you is a chore. Maybe it’s just helping you in person, because when I called and spoke with the same female employee for a price check a day after visiting, she was reasonably friendly. She wasn’t able to immediately discern my needs, but once she understood what product I was looking for, she was nice enough.

However, the biggest issue that I have with their customer service at this point is their special order policy. While the staff member that I spoke with upon my last visit assured me that they place special orders, their biggest problem is actually contacting the customers to let them know that their dice have arrived. Two close friends have placed special orders within the last year, of the two, we are only aware of one set of dice that arrived at the store, and that is because we saw them for sale as general merchandise. I am appalled at the fact that they have completely dropped the ball in the customer service arena.

Selection: 4/5

If there is one thing that can be said about the Rusty Scabbard is that it is a tried and true gaming store. They an extensive selection of RPGS, board games, card games, war games and gaming supplies in stock. They carry titles such as Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Warhammer 40,000, Munchkin, Call of Cthulhu, Dominion and Game of Thrones. There is a large supply of miniatures which is quite impressive and  hobby items are for sale as well. There aren’t many opportunities to take a game out of a box and try it, however. The open games that they have actually belong to a weekly board-gaming group and you have to ask for permission. It would be nice if they had more open board-gaming.

Value: 5/5

Their prices are fair. It is a small, independently owned store and their prices are comparable to other stores as well as MSRP.

Online Experience: 3/5

Their website has said “Rusty Scabbard Coming Soon” for as long as I can remember. They do all of their marketing through Facebook and route their feed through Twitter. I would suggest opening up their website or putting more inventory details on their Facebook page.

Overall Score 2.6/5

As I said before, I have been a customer of the Rusty Scabbard for four years. It was a happening place, then, people gamed there all the time and it was the gaming store in Lexington. I am not the only person who has taken issue with the downgrade in the quality of service and lack of vibrancy in the store. The store could feel so much better if they changed the décor or ripped up the dusty, grimy carpets.  One would think that like a fine wine, the store would have gotten better with age, but it is sadly no longer the “Friendly Local Game Shop” it once was.

 As a long time customer, I am disappointed in the lack of professionalism the Rusty Scabbard has been showing lately. I recently placed a special order and never received any follow up or notice that the item was in. This has happened to others I know so when I went in to the store, the item I ordered was available in the general merchandise. Even more than a customer let down is the negative atmosphere; the female employee will not allow you to browse on your own without her watchful eye; and it isn’t a helpful hovering. It’s sad to see the state of the business decline but they are bringing on the negativity through their own service or rather…the lack thereof. ~ Leila M, Lexington

Have you been to The Rusty Scabbard?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

View my other images of the store on Flickr.

Check out my last installment of Your Friendly Local Game Shop here.

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Stuff That Doesn’t Suck (3)

Stuff that doesn’t suck is a meme hosted by Pam at Bookalicious where we graciously share with you the things that we come across in a week that don’t suck. This includes a variety of things from books to music to youtube and even more. Feel free to join in on the comments or on your own blog.

Blog That Doesn’t Suck

Chronic Geek is a blog written by 8-Bit Emma. She is a college student studying Information Systems Technology. Her blog features her loves of comic books, zombies, gaming, music, and Doctor Who. Not only does her blog feature things about herself and her life, but it also spotlights some of her favorite geek finds. She is an insightful writer and I like that way she incorporates her own photography in her blog. She participates in blog memes such as Fishnet Friday and recounts some pretty epic events like her trip to Brewfest 2010 and refurbishing an arcade game cabinet. I think Emma is awesome and I look forward to her blog posts and tweets.

Movie Trailer That Doesn’t Suck

Okay, so if you’re like me, most or all of your adolescent life was spent in the company of Harry Potter and the students of Hogwarts. I’m sad to see this epic series come to an end, but I’ll tell you, this trailer does it justice. It looks absolutely amazing and I cannot wait to see this movie.

TV Theme Song Cover That Doesn’t Suck

Just go with me on this one. I’m a fan of theme music. If I had my own personal theme, it would be a bouncy, light-hearted ditty and there’d probably be some ukulele in it. Anyhoo, the folks at Nerdbastards posted this on their site and it was too epic not to share. I’m not watching Game of Thrones until I’ve read its literary namesake, but I will attest that the opening theme is awesome. This guy created a heavy metal version of it and uploaded it to youtube on Friday. Bask in the awesomeness.

Adorable Puppy Dog That Doesn’t Suck

Just because I felt like we needed another video from youtube, here’s a video that a friend posted on our gaming group’s message board. Actually, this isn’t the version he posted, it’s actually a better version. I could not help but smile when I saw this adorable pug.

What hasn’t sucked for you this week?

Stuff That Doesn’t Suck (2)

Stuff That Doesn't Suck at Kentucky Geek Girl

Stuff that doesn’t suck is a meme hosted by Pam at Bookalicious where we graciously share with you the things that we come across in a week that don’t suck. This includes a variety of things from books to music to youtube and even more. Feel free to join in on the comments or on your own blog.

Song That Doesn’t Suck


Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man

It was a tough pick for this week. There are a lot of songs that I’m all about right now, but Little Lion Man is just one of those songs that you hear and instantly want to listen to again. I think it has a lot of heart, but there are some sarcastic elements to it as well. Just listen to the lyrics. I interpret it as a guy talking to himself about the love that he had, but totally f&%$ed up. It’s like you have this love to give and it’s in your heart, but everytime you get close to expressing it, the worst happens. Just my interpretation. Regardless, it’s an amazing song. I can’t wait to check out more from Mumford and Sons.

Cupcakery That Doesn’t Suck

BabyCakes Cupcakes opened its doors in Lexington, KY in April 2009. They only use all-natural, organic ingredients for their cupcake creations and offer gluten free options. Their cupcakes are absolutely divine and have so much flavor. BabyCakes offers over fifty flavors and even have Cocktail cupcakes with a hint of your favorite alcohol. Best of all, BabyCakes is totally committed to the community. They offer donations for local events (such as my museum’s Scary Night at the Museum Halloween event) and do donation days where their day’s sales go toward causes such as flood and earthquake relief. The owners, Trish and Keith are a delight and it was really nice to see Trish today when she came to my work to deliver a cupcake display for a wedding!

BabyCakes Cupcakes
153 Patchen Drive, Suite 57B
Lexington, KY

Photo That Doesn’t Suck

Yes, that’s a funnel cloud…

So, we’ve been having some pretty severe weather here in Central KY for the last week or so. Last night, things really ramped up and when they said that a system that had a history of tornadoes was passing into my city, I got a bit freaked out. I love storms, but it was still pretty nerve-wracking. Thankfully, a friend let me come over and hang out with him while the storm passed. While it didn’t actually touch down here in Lexington, we did get to see a funnel cloud. This picture was taken by a friend. You can follow his weather tweets at @WatcherWolf_KY.

Gaming Shop That Doesn’t Suck

I am working on a series of posts called “Your Friendly Neighborhood Game Shop.” I wanted to give a a shout out to my new favorite store in Lexington. Amazing Wonders Gaming & Hobby Center is a new store in Lex, but has already made a great name for itself. The folks there are friendly, they have a large event center and the store is clean. I was able to find a pretty set of d10s for our Vampire game. They take special orders and have a huge selection of Role-playing games, Card games and other hobby items. Look for my post about them soon! Meanwhile, check out their Facebook!

Coming Soon: Your Friendly Neighborhood Game Shop

I love visiting game stores. When I went to Louisville last year, my friends and I checked out a shop there and it was really cool. My best friend Leila and I happened to visit two of our local game stores on Friday afternoon and ran into a distinct contrast. While visiting the second, I had an epiphany. My site is Kentucky Geek Girl and yet I haven’t really talked about Kentucky at all. Why don’t I start reviewing game stores here?!  Leila agreed that it was a brilliant idea and thus “Your Friendly Neighborhood Game Shop” was born.

Image courtesy of Google Image Search.

I plan to visit each of the game stores (and comic book stores) of Lexington and talk about their pros and cons, discuss special features, and include pictures. I’m very excited to undertake this project! I’m currently putting together a list of all of the stores in Lexington (and even those in surrounding cities) so I can visit and review them. Any suggestions on what I should discuss in the review?

Basic outline:

Name of Store
Address
Phone Number
Website/Social Media

Brief Description
Pros
Cons

Should I include a rating? Let me know what you think!

So what type of geek are you, anyway?

I’ve written a bit about Dungeons and Dragons as well as video gaming, but there are many more sides to this geek girl. I’m somewhat of a comic book geek, though I must admit that I do not currently collect any. I love X-Men and have fond memories reading Spiderman at the soda fountain counter of a drug store in my hometown. I am a history major and am a total museum geek. I love Renaissance Fairs and historical reenactments. I’m a music and movie geek as well. TV has always been a part of my personal geekdom with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Star Trek: The Next Generation being among my favorite shows. I’ve just rediscovered my love for Broadway musicals and have been listening to them non-stop. Oh, I love languages and other cultures, too! I could go on and on, but why don’t you just take a look at this diagram and decide what kind of geek you are. Leave a note in the comments section and tell me what you love!

Gods & Heroes — Beta Testing Initial Thoughts

I’ve been playing the in the Beta for Heatwave Interactive’s new game Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising for a week or so now. As the title suggests, it is set in the world of Ancient Rome and incorporates not only historically accurate enemies such as Etruscans, but also enemies from legend such as Minotaurs and Gorgon. The game is classified currently as an MMORPG, but I have yet to see a system of naming conventions or the like for true Role Playing. I haven’t seen many PCs in game, but the ones that I have seen have been very generic and akin to names that one would see in World of Warcraft today, e.g. Zombieassassin.

Character Creation

When you sit down to make your own hero, as is the case in many games, you first have to pick your class. There are four options available on the Beta: Mystic, Priest, Gladiator, and Soldier. It looks like two classes will be available when the game hits shelves, Nomad and Scout. Upon picking your class, you are then presented with two options, which will serve as factions in G&H. You are to decide which god or goddess from Roman mythology you will serve. For example, Gladiators serve either Fortuna or Jupiter. The choice of god or goddess helps to determine what some of your abilities will be. Mars grants a “purifying flame” and the ability to summon a fiery bird of some sort (assuming it’s a Phoenix type creature.) I’ve only experienced Jupiter’s “Wrath” ability so far. It’s pretty cool.

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius...

 

The third part of the character creation process is appearance customization. Your options here are fairly broad. There are several base faces per gender that you can choose from. Within that, you’re able to completely customize each face. You can create any human race of your choosing. My first Beta character was a female gladiator named Katryona. I’m a big stickler for hairstyles but didn’t see many that I actually liked. For Kat, I ended up with a low bun. It didn’t really scream “gladiator,” but it worked. What impressed me most was the facial features. The faces were pretty realistic, even if the hair left a bit to be desired.

Game Play

As previously stated, the game centers around the comings and goings of wartime Rome. You begin on the shore and you find out that your villa (Latin for village house) has been attacked by the enemy. Through a quest chain, you bring some of these foes to justice and find out about those who can aid you to face them. One part of this game that I find really interesting is the Minion system. The minion can function almost as a combat pet, essentially. There are apparently up to one hundred minions you can use to help defend yourself, as well as go on the offensive. It’s definitely a unique system and you can earn minions through loot or quest rewards.

It’s beta, so things were kind of slow, but I was fairly impressed with the quests that I’ve done so far. There was a great story and what drew me in was my love for Roman history. To see elements of Roman life in this game was pretty awesome. I’m not going to reveal any spoilers about the game, but I have been giving favorable reviews for the quests I’ve been completing based on the story aspect. Aside from the standard “Go see this person.” “Go kill X number of bad guys.” “Okay, now go collect X number of things.” quests, it’s been steady and has flowed well. Throughout the early questline, you make your way from one side of the island to the other.

Parting thoughts

I assume that this game will have a subscription upon release. Granted, I haven’t played the entire game, but if I were right now to compare it to World of Warcraft, I would say that I would not pay for a subscription versus the fifteen dollars monthly for WoW. This game has its nice qualities, but it is not at this time, anywhere near comparable to games such as WoW, Rift or even Everquest. I would love to play it again on a free trial when the game is completed. I’m sure things will run more smoothly and there will be even more awesome things added in.  Please let me know your thoughts on the game!

Gods and Heroes Beta Testing This Week

I am going to participate in the closed beta for the new Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising, a new MMO being developed by Heatwave Interactive. I created my first character last night and was kind of impressed with the character creation process. It was very detailed oriented and you could customize facial features really well. I will keep everyone updated on the beta testing and give other thoughts about questing and gameplay. I need to see if it’s okay to post screen shots of the game, so as soon as I find out I will post the screen shot of my character.

I’m entering month two without World of Warcraft, but it’s nice to pick up a new MMO and help the developers come up with a great game. Will Gods and Heroes be another “WoW killer?” No, I don’t think so. The concept, however, is neat for me because I absolutely love Roman mythology and have studied classics for several years now.

 

I will say one thing though. The UI is very familiar. Even the keybindings. I was able to instantly get acclimated to that aspect of the game.

I’ll play a bit more tonight and write an update!