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  • Review: Splendor

    November 17, 2014


    The goal of Splendor is to become the most successful gem merchant in Renaissance Europe using a very simple mechanism of card-acquisition which represents mines, transportation methods, and artisans. It takes about five minutes to learn and a full game can be played in about 40 minutes to an hour. Overall, Splendor has a strong production value and its components are absolutely lovely – the gems themselves are represented by heavy chips that are amazingly satisfying to play with.

    To set up a game of Splendor, the development cards are separated into three respective decks. Four cards from each deck are placed face-up in a row, making a grid of twelve cards. This represents the different kinds of developments that each player must purchase in order to score prestige points and win the game. Each development shows its cost in some combination of colored gems. Each card also has the type of gems that it will produce once a player has purchased it. Finally, some cards will have a prestige point value in the upper left corner. The first person to acquire fifteen prestige points is the winner and the most successful gem merchant in Europe!

    Read more about Splendor!

    Flames of War Firestorm: D-Day

    November 17, 2014

    On June 6th, 1944 the Allied Armies of World War II stormed the beaches of Normandy and started the battle in Western Europe that could spell the beginning of the end for the Third Reich of Hitler’s Germany. However, that end was not assured as the German forces arrayed along the Normandy Coast still had a chance to repel the Allied invasion forces with a strength of men and materiel equal to the task. Could they mobilize in time to strike the decisive blow and throw the Allies back into the sea? Or would the combined might of the Allied Powers form the bridgehead to defeat Nazi Germany?

    On Saturday, November 22nd the NorCal Flames of War Tournament Circuit will be bringing the battles of the Normandy interior to Gamescape North in the final organized tournament event of the 2014 NorCal FoW Tournament Series. This D-Day Firestorm Tournament, produced and run by one of the original NorCal Generals, Richard Barnes, will feature only those companies and forces that played a part in the historical Normandy campaign and each battle will be fought by Allied and Axis forces on terrain themed to particular battlefields of those fateful days. Commanding the American, British, Canadian, Polish, French and German forces will be twenty four of the NorCal FoW Circuit’s best Generals as they vie for prizes that will take the form of Flames of War models and units painted by the expert artist Richard Barnes, himself. As the finale to the 5th year of the NorCal Flames of War Circuit, this should be one of the best displays of tactics, miniatures modeling and camaraderie that you will find in the Northern Bay Area!

    NorCal Flames of War Firestorm: D-Day Tournament
    Saturday, November 22nd 10:00am – 8:00pm
    The Day of Days comes to Gamescape North!

    Review: Machi Koro

    November 11, 2014

    We’ve been looking forward to the release of Machi Koro since March, and we’re really happy to finally see it on our shelves. It blends elements from several of our favorite games to create a new experience that is thoroughly enjoyable. Machi Koro is about building a thriving community with the use of cards that get added to each player’s tableau. Like Dominion, each card in turn gives specific functionality to a player which allows them to acquire more income in order to buy more cards. All of this hinges on the roll of the dice each turn, which determine what card types will produce on any given turn, much like Settlers of Catan.

    Read more about Machi Koro!

    Bargain Basement Bazaar

    November 4, 2014

    Thanks to our annual Bargain Basement Bash sale events, there’s a lot more room in the Gamescape Dungeon for…other things. This year, the thought occurred to us that it might be fun to morph BBB into something a bit more inclusive. So on Saturday, November 15th 12-5pm, we’ll be holding the first customer-focused flea market the store has ever hosted. We’re calling it Bargain Basement Bazaar, and it’s a great chance for you to offload some of your own tarnished treasures to an eager community of intrepid game-hoarders. Here’s how it’s going to work:

    If you have a closet full of old loot that you’d like to transmogrify into new gaming product, you can rent a table at this year’s Bazaar. The cost is $10 per 5’x2′ table, and you can grab more than one. You’re welcome to sell pretty much any analog gaming product that you want (within reason – no offloading a stack of shrink-wrapped Kickstarter games or inventory from your failed online enterprise!). By participating in the Bazaar, you tacitly agree to use our system for transactions: we’ll give you Bazaar Tickets for the event on which to record your sales, and these will be transferable at the counter as credit for any new product in the store at full value. We ask that sellers refrain from trading between themselves, and that no cash transactions are made in the store. The idea here is that you get a place to hold a flea market with a ready-made clientele drooling over your discarded treasure!

    This year’s special feature is a great, explosive purge of Gamescape’s old gaming terrain! We’ll also be setting up a table with lots of stuff that we no longer use, and it’s fair game for anyone looking to beef up their own battlefields with crumbly buildings, rustic farmsteads, cratered streets, and arcane forests. Prices will be set low so many bountiful battle boards can be built on a budget. Bitchin!

    Contact us ASAP if you’d like to rent a table or three, and we’ll make sure to slot you in and reserve your selling space. Tables will undoubtedly go fast, so jump on it early!


    GSN First Annual Bargain Basement Bazaar
    Saturday, November 15th  12-5pm
    How bizarre is your Bazaar?

    Gamescape Comes of Age!

    October 28, 2014

    GSN20 Logo
    Can you believe it? This coming weekend, we’ll be celebrating our 20th birthday! That’s TWO DECADES of fun on Fourth Street in San Rafael: twenty fun years of hosting games and events, twenty thankful years of serving the North Bay gaming community, and twenty super-proud years of being your FLGS. We think that’s quite a mark, and it puts us in a partying kind of mood – so that’s just what we’re going to do!

    On Saturday, November 1st 1994, Gamescape opened its doors here in San Rafael. We were the third of three Bay Area game stores owned by our grand-daddy, Bob Hamilton, who really is a local treasure of the industry. Bob set up the very first FLGS in San Francisco back in the 70s, and GSN is a direct descendant of that store. We’ve been independently-owned since 2006 with staff who are incredibly passionate about what we do, and like you, gaming is in our blood.

    To properly celebrate such a momentous milestone, we’ve got a great line-up of happenings and goings-on through the big anniversary weekend!

    Friday, October 31st

    • Halloween Gaming Party – 6pm ’til late

    We’re keeping the store open late on Halloween night for games of all kinds, and we hope you’ll come dressed in your favorite Halloween regalia and enjoy an evening of fun with us! We’ll provide the requisite sugar rush and we welcome you to bring any other snacks or drinks that you would love to share with the other creepy Gamescape gamers through the evening. Between ghouls and goblins, witches and warlocks, and those pesky, rotting zombies, we hope you’ll help us spirit away the night and enjoy a frightful celebration to usher in the holiday season!

    Saturday, November 1st

    • MTG Grand Prix Trial Tournament – 12-6pm

    We’ll be kicking off the day’s festivities with a Modern Constructed Tournament as the Trial for January’s Omaha Grand Prix! The competition will be tough and the rewards will be grand, because the winner of our event gets a two-round bye at the Omaha Grand Prix on January 10-11, 2015. So dig out your best deck and get ready to play against the top players in the area!

    • Anniversary Board Game & Karaoke Party – 6pm ’til late

    This is the Big Kahuna of board game bashes! We’re going long into the night on every table we can muster – a perfect way to celebrate twenty years of gaming with the best community we could hope for. Dig through our library of demos or bring a stack of your own and teach a session or two. Bring along some food or raid our snack case to keep the blood flowing as you roll, draw, and strategize the night away with us. Step away from the table and get your song on with our karaoke machine, or just sit there and listen to Andre rock some Chris Isaak. There’s no ending time posted because at twenty years old, WE DON’T NEED TO SLEEP.

    • Grand Birthday Raffle – 9pm

    For added smiles, we’re going to be holding a raffle in the middle of our party. Why? Because raffles are totally fun and we’ve got a box of great stuff to hand off to some lucky winners. Make sure you stop by and grab some tickets.

    Sunday, November 2nd

    • Malifaux Spooky Campaign Day – 2-6pm

    Halloween doesn’t end until we say it does! Come test your strength against The Pumpkin King in a scary Malifaux scenario called The Night of the Carver. We’ll have three boards set up with special miniatures and scenarios for folks to play with, featuring the Evil Lord of Halloween, himself. This is also a great chance to learn the game for the very first time if you’ve not had a chance to try it out. Special kudos to people who show up in formal attire from ANY time period.

    • Open Gaming Party – 2-8pm

    There’s no way you’re worn out already, so you might as well make a weekend out of it. Just to make sure everyone got as much gaming in as they can handle (and had a chance to stop by and blow out a candle or twenty), we’ll be spinning down our weekend with MOAR GAMES through the day and into the evening. Doesn’t matter what it is – miniatures, board games, RPGs, cards, JUST BRING IT.

    Titanic Birthday Blowout Sale

    As if all these great activities weren’t enough! We’re going to do something particularly crazy for this very special occasion. While the doors are open on Saturday and Sunday, we’re offering all of our customers 20% off just about everything in the store. That’s 1% for every year we’ve been alive. You already know we rarely have sales, but this is an extra-huge way for us all to celebrate and come away from the weekend with lots of smiles – and maybe some new loot!

    Gamescape North’s 20th Anniversary Party Weekend
    Friday, Oct 31st thru Sunday, Nov 2nd
    Funny, we don’t feel a day under 20…

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