Community Newsletter April 2021

What’s happening in the Gamers@Hart community at the end of March, and what do we have to look forward to in April?

Here’s a glimpse!

Plans to Reopen

At the end of January we explained our plans to reopen in summer, with the ending of social distancing restrictions.

So far we’re amazed at the support we’ve had, and we’re well on target for raising the capital we need.

Our initial plan was aiming to sell 600 items by the end of March – and we smashed that by selling 702 games, boosters, paints, and books!

We also announced, with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, if the social distancing rules end before we have a new shop we’ll begin games nights in community venues.

Lockdown Family Support

We’ve been giving away literacy bundles with four games, some resources, and an online event for families to learn how to play! People’s Meeples have been very successful in raising money for this endeavour – so far we’ve given away 70 boxes. 30 came from People’s Meeples directly, 10 came from generous donations by customers, and another 30 were funded by the Tees Valley Community Foundation. We’re aiming to get another 30 into local primary schools before summer!

But we’ve also been busy working with Hartlepool Borough Council to provide a virtual holiday club focussing on games that support numeracy. We’re also providing food – ingredients ready prepared with easy-to-follow instructions. Thanks to funding from the council, we’ve been able to offer this to 50 children and their families.

We hope this is just the beginning, and look forward to running a similar face-to-face club in summer!

Top Selling Items of March

So what’s been selling well for us this month?

Our top 5 look like this:

  1. Marvel Champions: Galaxy’s Most Wanted – A living card game allows a continually expanding game to develop with regular updates, but without the cost of randomised collectable games (like Pokemon) – everything you need is in one pack. This month saw the introduction of a huge new expansion to Marvel Champions, and we not only sold more of this than anything else in March, we sold more than any other LCG upgrade, ever!
  2. The Quacks of Quedlinberg: Alchemists – An expansion for our best selling game of 2020. It introduces nightmares, obsession, and hysteria to The Quacks of Quedlinburg base game, with players working in new laboratories to distil essences that can free the citizens of Quedlinburg from these afflictions.
  3. Spirit Island – a fantastic cooperative game where you play spirits, defending your Island from colonialists coming to strip it of its resources. This is also our most successful bundle, with more people buying this with the expansion than the base game alone.
  4. Arkham Horror: A Light in the Fog – Another LCG, this time set in the Cthulhu Mythos. With all of the early decks recently reprinted, this is a great time to start it up!
  5. Qwirkle – Sometimes an old game suddenly becomes popular – we’re not sure why, but we had a run on this classic tile-laying game! It’s well deserved though.

What have we been playing in March?

What’s hit the Hart family table this month?

Those that have been the biggest hit include:

SHASN – a game of political meandering and decision making. A series of thought provoking questions define our political leanings – will we put up border walls, or welcome immigrants? Are we going to be idealists even if it costs us the election, or engage in some easy populist votes by denying rights to minorities?

Overboss – a tile laying game with a retro gaming theme, where we design a dungeon to thwart the hero. Similar to Carcassonne, placing tiles to gain points, with a subtle competitive angle as we manipulate each others boards to maximise our own points. We got our copy via Kickstarter, but it’ll be coming into our shop soon!

Lost Ruins of Arnak – this game came out in 2020 but we only just got round to playing it – one of the most hyped games of the year, this deck building worker placement strategy game is a deep thematic experience. Indiana Jones in all but name, you lead an expedition or archaeologists trying to find (you guessed it) the lost ruins of Arnak by searching for item, amassing resources, and researching about the long-dead culture.

What have we been backing on Kickstarter?

We regularly look for the next big thing on Kickstarter.

Here’s a selection of games we’ve backed in March, which will come to you later in 2021:

So, You’ve Been EatenThe One Ring RPGBlock and KeyCult of the Deep