Monday, September 26, 2016



A huge thanks to all of the retailers who participated in the 2016 Alliance Best of the Game Trade Awards!

We are so happy with quantity and quality of submissions this year. We look forward to seeing additional submissions next year. If you have any ideas for the next set of "Best of the Game Trade" award categories, please send your suggestion(s) in an email to Marketing Manager, Emily Eickhoff, eme (at) alliance-games.com. All category ideas are welcome!

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As the front line of the gaming industry, local gaming stores have a valuable perspective as to what makes our industry grow and the Best of the Game Trade Awards exist to recognize exceptional performance and practices essential to operating a successful friendly local game store (FLGS) in today’s challenging retail landscape.

In addition to the appreciation and acclaim, the Best of the Game Trade Awards endeavor to further strengthen the sense of community between retailers and Alliance Game Distributors; we could not do what we do without all of the incredible things you do, and the Best of the Game Trade Awards is our way of acknowledging and encouraging your hard work, innovation, and perseverance.

The 2016 nominations were broken into categories and voted by peer retailer store owners online on the Retailer Services website. The five categories represented this year were: Best New Store Opening, Best In-Store Demo Program, Best Marketing and Merchandising Practices, Best Community Engagement, and Best Preorder Program. 



Winner:
The Round Table - Guelph, Ontario, Canada


The Round Table is a new gaming experience focused on changing the way people play games by providing an enhanced atmosphere and themed snacks and drinks. Our interior is decorated like a medieval castle complete with a mounted dragon head and swords hung on the walls next to our many built in book shelves storing our library of over 300 demo games.  Any game available to play at the Round Table is also available for sale. This is a gaming café where you can eat fresh cooked lembas bread while our knowledgeable staff teaches you how to play any of the games in our library. Not only are we Guelph’s first board game café, we’re also fully licensed by the AGCO to serve specialty cocktails and spirits. Whether you’re hosting a private event or just dropping in, you’ll definitely be blown away by your gaming experience at The Round Table.


Winner:
Little Shop of Magic - Las Vegas, NV


Organize play is the heart of our store. It is central to everything we do. Literally taking up the middle of our store as our sales track wraps around it.  With events scheduled nearly every day of the year, we have offerings for all types of tabletop games and every aspects of the hobby. We host Build and Paint Days, Learn to Play Sessions, Demos, League Play, Competitive Tournaments, Casual Tournaments, Meetups, Play Testing, Open Play, Thematic Nights, even

Holiday Celebrations, and Charity Events. We have something for everyone. Plus, there is usually space for a pickup game or two. Our open door policy, means we can work with our players to build the events they want. A wide variety of events keep things fresh and exciting. It is a regular flurry of cards, dice, meeples, and fun.


Winner:
Rainy Day Games - Aloha, OR


Our Marketing and Merchandising Practices are driven by the most common questions we hear.

“What’s New?”
The first thing customers see when they enter the store is our New Releases Table. This ever-changing display showcases the newest arrivals and serves as a launching point for the shopping experience.

“What’s Coming?”
We make copies of Game Trade Magazine available to customers free of charge and encourage customers to pre-order product. This allows us to convert a customer’s excitement about an upcoming release into a sale.

The backlit signs from Alliance help answer the questions by drawing customer’s attention to upcoming releases, staff picks, as well as old favorites. We also utilize social media to answer these questions by posting photos of new releases and by promoting upcoming releases and events. We often hear, “I saw your post on Facebook and I had to come in and check it out.”


Winner:
Rainy Day Games - Aloha, OR 


Without our local community we would not exist and like to thank the community in a variety of ways. We run fundraiser nights for school groups and local non-profits. At these events we donate a percentage sales to the organization and all the group needs to do is come in and play games. We also provide a meeting space for a variety of home-school and other local groups to meet and play games. For these events we provide the games and staffing to teach the games so all the clients have to do is have fun.

In order to support our local gaming community, we launched a twice monthly “Fresh Games” group for designers to get feedback on their latest prototypes. This group has had several games published and that led to our “Designer Series.” Customers love meeting and playing with the designers and getting their games autographed.


Winner:
Little Shop of Magic - Las Vegas, NV


The elegance of our preorder programs is in just how simple it is. You tell us what you want; we take it from there. No hoops to jump through, no forms to fill out, and no checking back in for your items. You can talk to us in store, call us, email us, use our online chat, highlight a GTM or other periodical, Facebook us, Tweet us, write a post-it, text us, run into us at the grocery store, psychic mind link . . .  whatever works best for you. Plus, if you subscribe to our weekly newsletter, follow our social media, or check out instore notices; we do the work of letting you know what’s coming.

Only going to be in town a couple of days? No worries, we take requests from players the world over. Just let us know what you want and when you’ll be here. It's just that easy.



Have ideas for the next set of "Best of the Game Trade" award categories?
Please send your suggestion(s) to Marketing Manager, Emily Eickhoff, eme (at) alliance-games.com. All category ideas are welcome!






Thursday, August 4, 2016

August Releases from Publishing Services Inc.

Below is a list of amazing new games coming to you this August from Publisher Services Inc.! Contact your Alliance Account Rep to order any of the items below.


Royals

SKU: PSI AWGDTE04RO
MSRP: $49.99
Players: 2-5
Age: 10+
Playtime: 60 minutes

In Royals, a strategy game of intrigue and power, players take on the roles of great noble houses of the 17th Century, fighting for supremacy in Europe.

Mare Nostrum: Empires

SKU: PSI AYG5420
MSRP: $75.00
Est. Release: 8/3/16
Players: 3-5
Age: 12+
Playtime: 90 minutes

In Mare Nostrum - Empires, play as one of five leaders of the Ancient World: Caesar of Rome, Hammurabi of Babylon, Cleopatra of Egypt, Perecles of Greece, and Hannibal of Carthage as you strive for Cultural, Military, or Commercial dominance of the Ancient World. Recruit Heroes and create Wonders, expand trade caravans, build cities to collect taxes, construct temples, and build the Pyramids to display your stature in this world - and the next!



Tides of Madness

SKU: PSI PLG0170
MSRP: $12.00
Est. Release: 8/3/16
Players: 2
Age: 10+
Playtime: 20 minutes

A sequel to the award-winning Tides of Time, Tides of Madness introduces a new twist: Madness. Some cards, while powerful, will harm your psyche. You must keep an eye on your Madness or risk losing the game early as your mind is lost to the power of the ancients.

Islebound

SKU: PSI RVM012
MSRP: $49.99
Est. Release: 8/17/16
Players: 2-4
Age: 13+
Playtime: 90 minutes

Set sail in a mystical archipelago filled with bustling towns, sea monsters, pirates, and gold in Islebound! Compete to build the best sea-faring nation by collecting treasure, hiring crew, and befriending (or conquering) island towns.





The Dragon and Flagon

SKU: PSI SG-2013
MSRP: $59.95
Players: 2-8
Age: 10+
Playtime: 60 minutes

The Dragon & Flagon: a tavern world-renowned for its most magical drink, The Dragon! Legend has it that one sip of The Dragon can give a hero wondrous abilities beyond their wildest dreams - but with a tavern full of thirsty adventurers and only one flagon left, things are bound to heat up. Prepare your magic and grab your weapon because there`s only one true objective in this brawl - and it`s not just a sip of The Dragon! Only one can win and emerge with the reputation as the greatest fighter ever seen within the walls of The Dragon & Flagon!

Ars Alchimia

SKU: PSI TTT2011
MSRP: $39.95
Players: 3-4
Age: 14+
Playtime: 45-60 minutes

Alchimia - a land where the works of a single, grand alchemist has caused alchemy to develop more quickly than other technology. The everyday lives of the people rely on the alchemy factories that this first pioneer built. In Ars Alchimia, you work at one of these factories. As an overseer belonging to the Academy, you take orders from the people, gather resources, and transmute them - but you need to be more efficient than your competition!









Rick and Morty: Mr. Meeseeks’ Box O’ Fun

SKU: CZE 02178
MSRP: $40.00
Est. Release: 8/3/16
Players: 2-6
Age: 18+
Playtime: 20-30 minutes

Do you have a problem that needs fixing and you just don`t know where to start? Perhaps there`s some task that`s beneath you. Then, why not hit the button on your Meeseeks` Box, summon up a Meeseeks (or three or eight), and let them help you out? That`s their purpose! They want you to succeed - and only get slightly angry if you don`t! In this Rick and Morty Dice & Dares Game, players draw Request cards (`Make Me a Sandwich` or `I Want to be a More Complete Woman`), then roll dice and see if they complete the Request. If not, press the button and summon Mr. Meeseeks to help you out. He wants to help. He hates his existence. As soon as your Request is completed, he can cease to exist and everything will be just grand. But, don`t disappoint Mr. Meeseeks. He will make you do all sorts of embarrassing and foolish things. That is, if he doesn`t simply kill you off!

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Boardgame

SKU: SJG 1383
MSRP: $24.95
Est. Release: 8/17/16
Players: 2-4
Age: 10+
Playtime: 30 minutes

Strange things are afoot in Bill & Ted`s Excellent Boardgame! Collect personages of historical significance in order to pass your oral history report. But, beware! Every time you bag someone, the phone booth breaks most-heinously, and your adventure through time will take a most serious turn! Be excellent to each other...and Party On, Dudes!









Thursday, July 21, 2016

Just Released From Mayfair Games - Costa Rica!




Costa Rica

SKU: MFG 4140
MSRP: $35.00
Players: 2-5
Age: 8+
Playtime: 30-45 minutes

Welcome to Costa Rica! This land is renowned for its rich diversity of insects and animals, and you are part of several teams that will explore and record the wildlife on this rainforest paradise. Each turn, you and your fellow explorers will reveal what is hiding. Will you take your data back, or keep pushing on, even though another explorer might take credit for your hard work? The game is a tense race to catalog as many of the rainforest animals as they can while also trying to view each of the animals being researched. Avoid mosquitoes, discover animals and prove that you are the best explorer in Costa Rica!





Thursday, July 7, 2016

Coming Soon from Renegade Games - Brick Party!


Are you better at building with plastic bricks...or explaining how to do it? What if you have to build with your eyes closed or using only one hand? Or if you must explain it without speaking? Can you still be faster than your opponents?




Brick Party is a funny and frenzied game of crazy building! Reveal the special rule for the round, choose your teammate, and get ready. Then grab the blocks and build the shape you choose faster than the others! And in the next round? A new special rule, new partners, and new shapes...for a game that's never boring!







Brick Party

SKU: RGS 00539
MSRP: $25.00
Age: 5+
Players: 2-9
Playtime: 15-30 minutes




Thursday, June 30, 2016

Star Trek Themed Games!

Journey with your favorite space crew through the final frontier, space, in these Star Trek themed games! Travel at warp speed and contact your Alliance Account Rep to order any of the games below. Live long and prosper!









Star Trek Catan

SKU: CSI CN3003
MSRP: $55.00
Age: 10+
Playtime: 75 minutes
Players: 3-4

Space... The Final Frontier! Build, trade, and settle where no one has gone before as Star Trek: Catan challenges Captains and their crew to boldly settle a world that has never been settled before. On behalf of the Federation, you`ve been commissioned to explore strange, new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to build outposts and starbases near valuable planets, and extract precious resources such as the coveted dilithium. But the Federation has also sent out other expeditions. Therefore, you have to be wary of competitors - and the looming threat of the Klingons. Live long and prosper! Designed by legendary Catan creator Klaus Teuber, Star Trek: Catan transports the timeless game play of The Settlers of Catan to the final frontier of the Star Trek universe.
Star Trek: Five Year Mission

SKU: MFG 4139
MSRP: $35.00
Age: 10+
Playtime: 30-45 minutes
Players: 3-7

Warp Speed - or Bust! You are about to begin your 5-year mission aboard the USS Enterprise. But which one? You can crew the classic Enterprise NCC-1701 or the next generation NCC 1701-D. ALERT! You and your fellow crewmates must cooperate to resolve dangerous situations that threaten to destroy your ship - and failure is not an option! Each crewmate has a unique ability which can aid the team in solving alerts. Use your skills wisely to give your crew the best chance at success. Make it so!








Star Trek Panic

SKU: USO PN066201
MSRP: $23.80
Age: 13+
Playtime: 90-120 minutes
Players: 1-6

Space IS the final frontier! As part of the original crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, your Five-Year Mission is to explore strange new worlds, encounter alien civilizations, and defend the ship. In Star Trek Panic, players work together to carry out missions while keeping the U.S.S. Enterprise safe from enemy attacks. Complete five missions with the U.S.S. Enterprise intact and win the game! Star Trek Panic is a cooperative, light, strategy tower defense game based on the popular Castle Panic game.
Star Trek 50th Anniversary Risk

SKU: USO RI066201
MSRP: $35.00
Age: 10+
Players: 2-5

Space, the Final Frontier! Q has brought together Captains Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway and Archer to see which of them would be the best commander in Starfleet. Join the adventure as you take on the role of a captain, assemble your away team, command your ships, and complete quests in an epic journey across the Galaxy.






Star Trek 50th Anniversary Trivial Pursuit

SKU: USO TP066201
MSRP: $21.00
Age: 12+
Players: 2

Boldly celebrate 50 years of Star Trek when you answer 1,200 questions from all 5 Star Trek television shows and the first 10 Star Trek movies. Categories include: Crew Members, Locations, Starfleet, Aliens, Ships and Science & Technology. The cards and die store inside a collectible Shuttlecraft case.
Star Trek Attach Wing: Borg Cube with Sphere Port Premium Figure

SKU: WZK 72006
MSRP: $99.99
Age: 14+
Playtime: 60 minutes
Players: 1-5

The Borg come to Star Trek: Attack Wing in a BIG way! The Borg Cube with Sphere Port Premium Figure will menace all opposing ships on the tabletop as the Borg attempt to assimilate everything in its path! This Oversized Borg Cube Expansion Pack contains ship cards and tokens for Cube 384 and the accompanying Sphere 936, and includes cards and rules for a never-before-seen cooperative scenario where up to 15 players can battle against Cube 384, whose actions and attacks are completely automated and random!












Star Trek: Frontiers Board Game

SKU: WZK 72050
MSRP: $79.99
Ages: 14+
Playtime: 60-120 minutes
Players: 1-4

A contested region of space accessible through a known wormhole has drawn the attention of powerful forces throughout the galaxy. Having recently built outposts in the sector, grave troubles brewing have prompted both the Federation and the Klingon Empire to investigate immediately. Build your fleet, interact with friendly (and hostile) ships, and defeat enemies from the Star Trek Universe in Star Trek: Frontiers! Featuring competitive, cooperate, and solo play, and utilizing randomly built space maps using the Venture Tile System first introduced in the award-winning Mage Knight Board Game, players in Star Trek: Frontiers command their Federation and Klingon ships as they encounter Romulan Warbirds, transport carefully chosen Away Teams down to unknown planets, and challenge the might of the Borg! Play your cards right to complete scenarios, earn tokens, gain experience points, and earn victory!

COMING SOON!

Star Trek Ascendancy

SKU: GF9 ST001
MSRP: $99.99
Releases: July 15, 2016
Ages: 14+
Playtime: 90-180 minutes
Players: 3

The fate of the galaxy is in your hands in Star Trek: Ascendancy, a strategy board game of exploration, expansion, and conflict in the Star Trek Universe. Drawing on 50 years of Star Trek history, Ascendancy allows you to control the great civilizations of the galaxy - United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Star Empire - striking out from your home worlds to expand your influence and grow your civilization. Will you journey for peace and exploration - or travel the path of conquest and exploitation? You can command starships, establish space lanes, construct starbases, discover interstellar phenomena, gather resources, and establish dominance in various star systems though diplomacy - or war. Star Trek: Ascendancy features more than 200 plastic miniatures and 30 space systems representing some of the Star Trek galaxy`s most notable planets and locations.














Thursday, June 16, 2016

June is Adopt a Cat Month

June is Adopt A Cat Month. Many shelters have reduced or waved adoption fees for cats and kittens. To celebrate (and to help encourage some cat adoptions) here is a list of cat related games from Alliance. Contact your Alliance Account Rep to order any of these games and your local shelter to adopt your purrfect companion!




Tem-Purr-A

SKU: IEL 51283
MSRP: $14.99

Players: 3-10
Age: 8+
Playtime: 15 minutes


It`s More Than a Meow-thful! Tem-purr-a is a push-your-luck game where you stuff your whiskers and show your opponents who`s the fattest cat around!



Schrodinger’s Cats

SKU: IMP 9LG2300
MSRP: $20.00

Players: 2-6
Age: 8+

Uncertainty didn`t kill the cat, but that doesn`t mean it`s not dead! Cats are a curious lot...Cat Physicists doubly so! Their desire to discover the secrets of the universe overwhelms their already shaky, catnip-influenced ethics. In Schrodinger`s Cats, a pseudo-scientific card game of bluffing, deduction, and strategic uncertainty, players take on the role of a Cat Physicist such as Albert Felinestein or Sir Isaac Mewton, running experiments, forming hypotheses, and trying to one-up each other`s research.




Here Kitty, Kitty!

SKU: PSI FSD2002
MSRP: $24.95

Players: 3-6
Age: 10+
Playtime: 30 minutes

Your neighborhood has a cat problem! The problem is that all those cats don`t belong to YOU! Everyone in the neighborhood wants to claim those adorable kitties for themselves. Outwit your fellow feline friends as you lure cats onto your property, move cats into your house, and steal cats from your neighbors. All`s fair in love and cat collecting in Here, Kitty, Kitty!



More Kittens in a Blender

SKU: PSI RDS1002
MSRP: $7.99

Players: 2-6
Age: 10+
Playtime: 30 minutes

This expansion for Kittens in a Blender adds 32 unique kittens to the game in two new groups, allowing for play with up to six players (or teams). It also has color-reminder cards, and `Flavors` that add a new dimension to the strategic play. If you are having trouble rescuing your kittens, and you really, really can`t keep them out of the blender, throw some vanilla extract or strawberries into the mix and make a smoothie!




Simon’s Cat

SKU: SJG 1539
MSRP: $6.95

Players: 3-6
Age: 6+
Playtime: 10-25 minutes

Get Fed! Not Blamed! Featuring adorable art taken directly from animator and illustrator Simon Tofield`s insanely viral YouTube animated series, Simon`s Cat, players in this frantic feline fandango go around the table playing cards to escape Simon`s attention. Get caught and you get Blame! Get too much Blame and you get fed last, and no one wants that!





Munchkin Kittens

SKU: SJG 4215
MSRP: $9.95

Players: 3-6
Age: 10+
Playtime: 1-2 hours

It`s a Cat-astrophe! Munchkin Kittens brings you 30 more cards for your Munchkin game, each one of them adorable and feline, and featuring fantastically cute art by Katie Cook (Munchkin Love Shark Baby)!