Achievement Unlocked : Host 2nd Annual Table Top Day!

achievementHey everyone! April 5th, 2014 is the official date of the second annual Table Top Day – made famous by Wil Wheaton and a cadre of gamer nerd phenoms. Like last year, Fair Game will have a dozen or so achievements to make the laborious task of playing games all day a bit… tolerable, because – you know – playing games is SO much work.

Come on in on Saturday, April 5th.

Play games.

Earn achievements.


Who can refuse?


TableTop Day : April 5th!



International TableTop Day is a celebration for all the fans of tabletop gaming. A single day where the whole world is brought together in a common purpose of spending time together and having fun.

Fair Game would like to be part of your Table Top Day experience.  Stop on by for a few minutes, or stay all day. We will be gaming pretty much non-stop from 10am until 9pm!


Too cold for games? Fair Game closed Jan 27th

Well, not really. Hopefully all of you have a nice selection of games in your nice warm homes to keep you company for the next few days. Fair Game will be CLOSED on Monday, January 27th due to the extreme weather.

Stay warm, and game hearty!



New Twitter feed for MtG News

Attention Magic The Gathering Players!

Are you:

  • A last minute planner?
  • A Mom or Dad  who enjoy an hour or two of peace and quiet while your sons and daughters play in our Beginner Friday-Night-Magic Tournaments?
  • Someone looking to Draft after FNM?
  • A MtG aficionado who wants to keep up with Fair Game’s MtG scheduling because, ya just gotta be in the know?

If you answered “Yes” or “Kinda” to any of the above, why not follow the new Fair Game MtG Twitter feed?  @fairgamemtg

You can even set up your twitter account to forward tweets from that account (or any other) directly to your cell phone via text message!

We promise to use this to forward important and timely information regarding MtG related news as it applies to Fair Game. For example, this Friday (Jan 10th) we are unable to run our Beginner’s FnM tournament; we will send a tweet in the regard to notify all players and parents.

The status of drafts after regular FnM are another semi-regular event which may be of interest to many of our players.

Note: we will NOT use this account for marketing or product announcements; just tournament and event info as it applies to MtG at Fair Game.

A year behind, a year ahead

IMG_4471Happy 2014 everyone!

2013 has left the building, please move along.

Fair Game has chalked up another year on the books – graduating from the terrible twos, to the challenging threes. We are growing up!

Part of growing is looking forward to changes – but as a toddler we still need help from those around us. We are considering a few changes at the store and some new additions to our product lines. We are also starting to outgrow our current point-of-sale system and inventory control, so may take the leap at an infra-structure change this year (that will likely come with a few blog posts of it’s own if it happens). Any advice from retail owners out there would be eagerly devoured!

In terms of some expected changes, here is a quick list:

  • We are adding more board game tournaments this year – for example, Ticket to Ride (1/11), Game of Thrones (1/18), and 7 Wonders (1/25) will be featured this month.
  • Sometime in February we will be hosting a game auction. The comedic drama which unfolds when Eric, Amy or I take on the role as auctioneer should be priceless.
  • Role playing games continue to be an enigma for the business. Despite the fact that we all LOVE RPGs, they just do not generate the same type of business that the other gaming genres do. We have no solution to this yet – but it will likely involve more diverse content and possibly some organized play.
  • Miniatures have been a standout hit for us – Warmachine / Hordes specifically. We are strongly considering adding another line – and looking carefully at small scale (squad level) systems. Let us know if you have a favorite!
  • We will have some fixture changes coming – we have already switched all of our lighting to LEDs. Look forward to some ceiling fans and some more lighting in certain darker places.

Finally, it is with a heavy heart that I learned of the closing of our neighborhood toy store, “My Favorite Toy Store”. This is a huge blow to our town and also to Fair Game. Our two stores complimented each other quite well – there was rarely a day we didn’t meet a new customer who was referred to us by them, and similarly we frequently would send people over their way in order to find a toy or puzzle. Our two stores were symbiotic, and like the hydra who loses a head, Fair Game will be weaker without them around.

Mike – I wish you all the best in the future!


Three year anniversary sale!


Quick Update: Fair Game will open at 9am on Friday, November 29th (otherwise known as Black Friday Our Third Anniversary)


As many of you know, Fair Game was opened on a Black Friday – almost three years ago! Blowing past our terrible twos, we are looking forward many more years of bringing great games and family fun to the Western suburbs.

In celebration, we are having a sale on November 29th featuring the following items:
Laser Maze – 20%
Wangle – 20%
Hello Sunshine – 20%
Orchard – 20%
Rise of Augustus – 20%
Pathfinder Minis – 20%
Selected Heroclix – 30%
All Playing Cards – 10%
Field Notes – 10%
All RPG Books and supplements – 10%
Select reaper bones – 30%
All FFG LCG – 20%
Plus, below is a coupon good for 30% any full-price item in the store.
Click, print and bring it in!

(note: this sale, and the coupon, are good for November 29th only)


Holiday news – new store hours and gift suggestions

3cupcakeI can’t believe that it is time again to plan for holiday madness.

This season will mark our third anniversary(!) of doing business in Downers Grove – how cool! Three years of fun and games in the greatest town east of the Mississippi. Past our terrible twos, we are looking forward to many more years in this wonderful business.

In holiday news, we have updated our gift guide to take into account some new titles and favorites – we have also decided that Mondays aren’t that bad at all, so are opening the store on Mondays from 11am to 7pm. Amy’s in charge so watch out! 

As always, Fair Game has hundreds of games which make great gifts for anyone. Our gift guide goes over a small portion of them – we have many, MANY more in the store and would love the opportunity to discuss that special person in your life who you just can’t figure out what to buy for. Check out our guides for families, parties, travel, and kids games. For the couples, we have some ideas for 2-player games as well. Don’t forget the more “serious” games including science fiction, horror, role-playing, and head-scratching strategy. Finally, a simple game-themed stocking-stuffer may be just the thing for that gamer in your life who already seems to have everything.

We will be doing some holiday craziness over the next month or so too, so make sure to stop in and check out what’s up!



Second annual 24 hours of gaming at Fair Game!


This weekend (November 2 & 3) Fair Game is hosting a 24 (well, technically 25) hour marathon gaming session to support the Children’s Miracle Network via the Extra Life foundation.

Every year Extra Life hosts a 24 hour event to increase awareness of their cause and encourage gamers and their friends to donate to a great cause.

On an Autumn Saturday each year since 2008, tens of thousands of gamers have joined together to save the lives of local kids in a celebration of gaming culture that we call Extra Life.  From console games to tabletop RPG’s to even lawn sports, Extra Life gives people that love to play a chance to do what they love to save lives and make a difference.

Again this year, a local group of gamer-friends formed their own team, and asked us if we would host the event. Establishing a tradition only takes commitment so we agreed immediately – and now the time is upon us.

If you would like to participate, come in and play any time between 10am Saturday November 2 until 10am Sunday, November 3. We will close the store at 10am Sunday, but will be open again at noon as usual. We are encouraging (but not forcing!) gamers to donate during the 24 hour marathon – we can take donations through the register. As an added bonus, numerous Downers Grove merchants have generously donated prizes to be raffled away during the event. Thanks to Emmet’s, The Spice Merchants and Another Round!

UPDATED: More donations are coming in for the raffle! Thanks to Ballydoyle, and Edward Health & Fitness for generous donations of gift certificates. Also, one of the Naperville group has graciously donated Gloom and all expansions including exclusive promos from Table Top! Finally, game author WJ MacGuffin has offered some of his role-playing titles on PDF including Triune, Outlive Undead and the quirky variant of a classic: Personality Chess. Of course, we (Fair Game) will also be adding a few gift certificates of our own to the mix!

If you can’t make it out and still would like to contribute, why not go right to our part of the team page and give a little by pressing that big orange “Support Me!” button. Every bit counts!

Eric, Richard and I look forward to seeing the hilarity ensue as die-hard gamers and over-tired shopkeepers try to keep their sanity.

Play Games, Heal Kids


Shields Up – Nostalgia incoming!

Federation_Commander_-_Klingon_Border_coverNOSTALGIA ALERT: I’m waxing on again about “those days” in this post – but WAIT! I actually have ‘real’ content hidden within (a demo being run of the great game Federation Commander). Click here to skip straight to the bizness.

Back in the day, when a gamer had to seek out like-minded individuals to drum up a game or two I stumbled upon the game Star Fleet Battles – a hyper-detailed simulation/game set in the Star Trek universe. SFB introduced quasi-simultaneous movement and a very innovative turn progression. Players track the status of their ships with record sheets showing systems (shields, weapons, sensors, etc.) represented with check-boxes.

My gamer-friends and I played this game at least TWICE. I loved it – some of my co-conspirators were a bit…underwhelmed. The problem was it was a bit too…complicated.

Now if you’ve been following my (sporadic) posts here at Fair Game, you probably already know that I’m a bit of a rules fanatic. I love rules; owning them, reading them, sometimes even following them. The ‘heavier’ the rule-set, the more likely I am to enjoy the game. My favorite two-player game is Advanced Squad Leader for crying out loud. Get it? I’m a kook.

So SFB not only appealed to my love of the Star Trek universe, but also my obsession with complicated, “simulate-everything-down-to-the-clogged-garbage-disposal” mentality.

Unfortunately, the game – while generally understood to be good, did not do that well in the ‘market’ so fell to the wayside.

Luckily, Amarillo Design Bureau had the great idea to simplify the rule-set (just a bit now!) to appeal to more gamers, yet keep the core ‘simultaneous movement’ system intact.

Welcome to Federation Commander. I game set in the same universe as Starfleet Battles, but with rules which have been rewritten and streamlined to make the game play faster.

Side bar (gadzooks, just get to the point!) – gamers are a wonderful lot; and every single one of them has a favorite game they want to play. One of our regular customers (and a colleague of mine) offered to run a demo of Federation Commander at Fair Game this month, simply because he loves the game.


Not only that, he wrote me some copy – which (because I’m a spotlight hog) – is shown below. Short version: come on out to Fair Game to demo Federation Commander on October 26th, starting at 1pm.

Without further ado – here is his copy:

Federation Commander

In an effort to declare peace, the United Federation of planets have declared where their border exists with the Klingon Empire. This border would represent the extent of the Federation’s exploratory and expansion efforts. Beyond the Neutral Zone the Klingon Empire would be free to rule as they see fit. However, the Klingons argue that this border declaration established the border well within their territory. Unwilling to accept defeat, the Klingon starships dash across the Neutral Zone attacking convoys, patrols and colonies. Join the struggle between the Klingon Empire and Federation by learning to fly one of several starships included in Federation Commander: Klingon Border.

A demonstration of this game from Amarillo Design Bureau will be held on October 26 at 1:00 pm at Fair Game where you will learn to fly the heavy cruisers of the Federation, the battlecruisers of the Klingon Empire, the drone launching Kzinti warships, and the Tholian patrol ships. On the fly energy allocation and a simple damage allocation system make this game easy to learn and fast to play. Introductory scenarios to playing the game as well as a full scale fleet battle scenario (with miniatures) will be run by Ken Krajniak until 5pm or all starship Captains have retired for the evening.

If you want to secure a spot for this event, drop us a line at:

Thanks Ken!


GenCon 2013 – A New Hope

genconWhew! It’s been over two weeks since GenCon 2013 called it a wrap. A lot has transpired since then – Fair Game is back to normal operation, the kids are back in school and the summer heat has finally decided to descend on the Chicagoland area.

This year was a first for me at Gen Con – I had the distinct pleasure of bringing my family. It is always refreshing to bring someone new to the convention. After so many years of attending, I tend to almost get in a rut and not see what is transpiring as a whole. Bringing my wife and boys grounded my perspective a bit (which is a good thing!) and forced me to “take it all in” from a fresh point of view. Pretty neat.

Amy brought everyone down Thursday afternoon after I had attended the Wednesday Trade-Day panels and took advantage of the early entrance to the vendor hall on Thursday (decidedly not nearly as cool as it sounds). Sam and Wil (who are ten) wanted to experience two days of the convention, while Amy and Max (who is thirteen) where a little hesitant, so decided to just check out the happenings on Thursday. Needless to say, everyone has decided that next year we would all attend for the duration of the convention and take Gen Con by storm!

I shot some photos (as I always do) and, in a fit of laziness (or to spare you from slogging through my prose), decided I would just post a bunch up here with a quick caption or two. A familial retrospective on GenCon 2013.


Jon Speed Painting

Jon Speed Painting

Spectating at Super RoboRally

Spectating at Super RoboRally

The boys become enamored with the Lego Robo Rally game

The boys become enamored with the Lego Robo Rally game

Android Robo Rally Competitor

Android Robo Rally Competitor

Sam and Wil about to be pummeled by a Warjack.

Sam and Wil about to be pummeled by a Warjack.

Super Dungeon Explore - Painted Miniature contest entrant

Super Dungeon Explore – Painted Miniature contest entrant

My beast barfs in Rainbow!

My beast barfs in Rainbow!

Cardhall - day 2

Cardhall – day 2

Sam adopting some Evil babies.

Sam adopting some Evil babies.

Oh - that grabby baby is going to be trouble!

Oh – that grabby baby is going to be trouble!

The might of Menoth is evident

The might of Menoth is evident

The boys and I attend the D6 Generation Play-By-Mob event

The boys and I attend the D6 Generation Play-By-Mob event

Wil rescuing his brother Sam from the evil passenger car which materialized in the Crowne Plaza hotel.

Wil rescuing his brother Sam from the evil passenger car which materialized in the Crowne Plaza hotel.

I needed something for lunch other than "Gourmet Mac-n-Cheese"

I needed something for lunch other than “Gourmet Mac-n-Cheese”

Lego Superman. Enough said.

Lego Superman. Enough said.



Dad on Pins and Needles taking this photo....

Dad on Pins and Needles taking this photo….

The twins seem enamored with the Imperial Forces

The twins seem enamored with the Imperial Forces

Sam and Wil decide The Doctor needs two sidekicks!

Sam and Wil decide The Doctor needs two sidekicks!



Roll For It! - a nice push-your-luck dice game that plays fast!

Roll For It! – a nice push-your-luck dice game that plays fast!

David Malki! doing a Roll-A-Sketch for us. A Cactus-Tank-Rhino-Boba Fett.

David Malki! doing a Roll-A-Sketch for us. A Cactus-Tank-Rhino-Boba Fett.

A Bill Bricker designed miniature showed up in the competition

A Bill Bricker designed miniature showed up in the competition