I took a few days off and made a vacation of it....and have more or less triumphantly returned; we did a bit of "off roading" --kinda sorta unintentionally-- and my car may have suffered a bit for it. Will be having a mechanic check it out soon.
While road-tripping across the southwest I returned to an old haunt: Tucson, AZ. My wife and I decided to check out the game shop spectrum in Tucson to see how it compared to Albuquerque. Albuquerque has one real game shop, one comic shop that also stocks games and provides some table space, and a third shop that is a bit hard to quantify....I'd describe it as a "relic store" of old games and old comics that doesn't seem to offer much in the way of contemporary offerings.
Anyway, Tucson showed three game shops in town according to Google, one of which we'd visited on our last trip down. As we set about visiting the other two (both on Broadway) we discovered THREE MORE game stores, two of them also on Broadway and another on Speedway. We hit four of them in a row. Talk about a shocker!
Most of the game shops were what I'd describe as fairly standard affairs: lots of Magic, Warhammer, Hordes/Iron Kingdoms minis, the obligatory Pathfinder and D&D selection. Each one had some eccentricities however. I was surprised to find a lot of Palladium and Dungeon Crawl Classics stocked on game shelves, for example. One of them had a Nobilis book I didn't know existed. FFG's titles were well represented in general as well, although nothing unusual there. All of the shops had a bustling crowd of gamers and table space. I think Magic might have had Friday tournaments going. Each one of these stores was about equivalent to the best store in Albuquerque in terms of stock available.
And then there was Isle of Games. This store had stuff I didn't know was in print. It had Kickstarter games I didn't know had been released. It had Everything. EVERYTHING. If you're having trouble finding things like Feng Shui 2, Shadows of Esteren, the latest Savage Worlds books, Reaper Bones minis (actually half the stores in Tucson stocked this). and more...so much more....Isle of Games has it. I snagged the latest Dungeon Crawl Classics book (Against the Atomic Overlord) and boxed set (Peril on the Purple Planet) there as well as Feng Shui 2, but I was really tempted to get Shadows of Esteren and Legends of the Wulin, as well as a dozen other books I can't even remember the names of now and had never seen before or knew existed in print form. I mean: they had OSR books on the shelf. OSR!!!!
The fellow behind the counter says they will do mail order, so if you've got something obscure you can't find anywhere else, check them out.