Category Archives: Blog


I was worried. I admit it.

Every time we come up with an idea for an event, there is a part of me that is skeptical. Sure I personally would love to see this event happen or that event happen, and I know people who would be happy to see most any gaming event, but real life gets in the way, right? Schedule conflicts, kids, job… you know, that responsibility thing. So when Johannes Bowers of d20Radio said he would be happy to run his full scale BattleTech demo at Petrie’s—the one he normally runs at GenCon and the other large conventions—I of course screamed “Yes!” Giant robots beating up on other giant robots using a system widely known as one of the longest running and strongest systems created… and all of this on a board big enough to fill the entire back room? What else could any self-serving 80’s child want?

But as the advertising went up and word was spread, I began to think it might be a bad idea. Here we have Johannes coming to the store to set up a large game of which we had only one person sign up right away. No one seemed interested in RSVP and the general reaction was “That’s really cool!” followed quickly with “I might show up.”

This morning I was once again surprised and humbled by the power of ‘geek’. One by one, they started showing up. Since opening the store I have repetitively had those “build it and they will come” moments. “Do not underestimate the power of nostalgia,” I have to remind myself. And that is precisely what happened here.

I find that some people are a bit tentative when it comes to trying new things if they aren’t sure anybody else is doing it. Human nature. I have to admit I’m the same way. But as soon as there’s a trickle it quickly turns into a flow. As these grown men, most of which had played Classic Battletech in high school or college, began to gather and assign their ‘Mechs’, I’m pretty sure I heard a few of them giggling. Like I said… the power of nostalgia. Before long, these six men—of which only two had previously met each other—were standing together laughing, joking and virtually blowing things up. As I walked back to adjust the air conditioning, one of them turned to me and sarcastically commented “I think we’re having fun.”

What was I worried about?

UPDATE: 4:00pm – The game is still going. While a few of them look a little drained, the laughter is still erupting at random times. So far, one Mech has been obliterated from trying to do a jump. Yes, a jump. Using his jump-jets, he went over a mountain not aware that an enemy Mech was on the other side. He landed on the shoulder, fell over and damaged his internal systems. Oops. But no worries… almost all the rest are still being held together by string and wires. I’ll post the winning team here later tonight.

UPDATE: 7:00pm – Yup… they’re still there. We’re down to 4 players of which only 3 have Mechs left. This is epic. And the funny part is that they’re still only half way to their objective. Today has been a sort of social experiment. In their efforts to be the first one to the end goal, they spent too much time beating on each other, and now no one will be able to get there (or so I predict). Human nature won out and now they’re barely limping along.

Game Night Report – July 8, 2010

The night started off with Arkham Horror and Leaping Lemmings. Regulars Luke and Liz, made use of one of our large tables to play a semi-basic version of Arkham while the rest of us “leaped” on Lemmings (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Turns out that GMT’s first venue into the family game market is pretty fun. I’d recommend it to any family especially with kids around 8 or 9 and up. It’s very ‘cat and mouse’ with a lot of good random fun.

Then while waiting for another member to show up we ran into the awkward ‘what to do with six people’ conundrum and decided to break out Cartagena. The night’s not a proper game night without a little pirate theme thrown in.

While Arkham was still going (remember this is the base game version) we split into two more games of Vegas Showdown and Roborally. The Robo crowd only played two flags so it ended quick. While waiting for Vegas to end, they threw in a quick game of Can’t Stop. Jake ended up pulling out a masterful victory in Vegas due to building all the fancy lounges in existence (or so it seemed).

Part of this night was the fact that it was Andrew’s last night. We wanted to make sure he had a chance to play the titles he hadn’t had a chance yet and his final choice was Dungeon Lords. The groups re-sorted and we ended up with D.L. at one table and Arcana at another. Arcana is a simpler version of the deck-building games that have been all the rage lately. It went very quickly but obviously didn’t last nearly as long as the infamously longer D.L. which had two new players involved. In the end, the Dungeon Lord victory went to Larry.

Who or What is Petrie’s?

Do you remember the classic song from Sesame Street? Bob would sing about people in a urban community—a police officer, a postal worker, or maybe a teacher. Do you remember the time he sang about your local game store owner? Yeah, I missed that one too. But that’s exactly what our mission is all about—we want you to think of Petrie’s as a vital part of your neighborhood.

Petrie’s not just a store; it’s a community center. This is the place you go to play games and catch up with old and new friends alike. People do it in coffee shops all the time, and now they can do it here. Our staff believes strongly that merchants can play just as vital a role in your community as any church, school or neighbor.

Growing up, I became enamored with the Dick Van Dyke show. A common theme of the program was the house party. Rob and Laura Petrie’s fictional house in New Rochelle saw numerous people come in and play games, listen to music, and socialize with new and old friends regularly. When I think of hospitality, I think of that living room. It is the inspiration behind the store and we want it to be your symbol of comfort and hospitality.

In the coming years we hope to offer you not only the best in gaming products, but also a place that you will come to embrace as your alternate living room. Right now you may consider yourself a Petrie’s fan, or a Petrie’s customer, or a Petrie’s neighbor. But in time, we hope you’ll think of us first and foremost as your friend.

Cameron, for Petrie’s Family Games

Chess Day

Lee giving a joint lesson

One of my favorite catch-phrases left over from the 80’s is thanks to Field of Dreams: Build it and they will come. When we started our chess day, it was in the hopes to offer a safe place to play, test your skills and practice one of the most popular games of all time. At that time it was difficult to find such a venue for chess lovers in this city, especially for the younger age groups. Most of the games were downtown, late at night, and didn’t have a high population of youth.

Burton and Matthew's 5 round tournament

Since that time chess clubs have come out of the wood works in Colorado Springs. Discussing things with Paul Anderson, writer of the CS Chess News, I discovered that there are more than 10 different opportunities now, give or take a few, within any given week. Maybe part of that is the warm weather getting folks out of their homes, but the actual cause we can only guess.

So each month we offer the 2nd Sunday as our chess day. At first we had more leaders than players. Lee came to us pretty early on with the ability to coach younger players; I knew Zach as a personal friend and he had experience with the high school age; Paul was the most experienced player individually and he had been showing up at the public games which were mainly the older age set. So we covered all the possibilities for education right away. But what about the players? Several people have expressed joy and interest but for some reason or another couldn’t make the dates that we offered our games. Each month one or two people would show, play a few games with up to three coaches watching over them, have a great time, and leave.

But I’m here to testify that perseverance pays! This last Sunday, despite having another event planned at the same time, we not only had the average two people show up, but actually had enough people to justify three games at one time! A father son game broke out first and this was followed by one table going into a best out of five mini-tournament (congratulations Matthew). There were also a couple of classes and two other games peppered throughout. Lee was able to teach twice and walked a brother team through one game that brought on-lookers to watch with fascination.

Our intrepid host and coach, Lee

So it’s official, we finally have an operating chess day and I couldn’t be more proud. And starting soon, Lee will be offering a course in computer chess programming and Paul will be doing a series of classes on chess basics. All of these to be posted in detail in our event calendars and newsletters.

1 22 23 24