Paypal Express Checkout

In our quest to make it easier to buy from the website we’ve started adding ‘Paypal Checkout’ express buttons to some product pages. It’s a free power up courtesy of our sister store (www.murdermysterystore.co.uk) and means you can now order single items directly from a product page. It’s the fastest way to checkout if you’ve got a paypal account.

There are some caveats though… it’s for UK orders only and existing customers will not be able to use their rewards (to do that, you’ll still need to checkout using the shopping basket). Orders placed via paypal express checkout will appear in your order history IF your paypal email address is the same as your account email address.

And yes, I have been on a rather long holiday … ;-)

They eat games don’t they?

Sometimes, on a Tuesday, we’ll accidentally schnuffle away a new release for a ‘playtest’. Such copies later become available at a discount, others remain company ‘assets’ for continuous RnD purposes (we do design games here too you know!)

Recently Dungeon Fighter became the latest victim of schnuffling, mostly because I’d told our youngest playtester (of 3.5 years) that she could play it. That’s what our supplier blurb said anyway, but it turns out that ’3 years up’ in the supplier blurb actually translates to 14+ on the box packaging. Oops. However, the rules are relatively simple, for adults, and there is a cardboard tower to build (hooray!) And I can now confirm that the game can be played properly with the younger generation…

The overall goal in Dungeon Fighter is to escape a 3 level dungeon, that is randomly drawn from 7 or 8 tiles. Each tile contains a few rooms and features which you must traverse through to make it to the next tile. You earn gold for defeating monsters (who appear at the rate of one per room) which you can then spend in shop rooms on the first three cards drawn from the equipment deck.

The thing you’ll be doing most is fighting monsters (co-operatively) and this is done by throwing a single dice onto the gameboard, which looks a bit like an archery circle. Just throwing, however, would be too easy, so the dice must bounce onto the board from the table first. Still sound easy? Good, because certain equipment, monsters and rooms have additional throw requirements. So you may be in a room that requires you to roll with your eyes closed, against a monster that requires you to flick the dice off your hand, with a piece of equipment that requires you to bounce the dice twice off the board before landing on it. Make sure your play area is good for dice containment or you’ll continually be looking for errant dice under the sofa.

All in all this makes for an entertaining, if not strategy-lite, dungeon romp that lasts around 30-60 minutes and is almost guaranteed to get you off your seat for more than just snacks during a game. Sounds exhausting? Buckle up and open Arkham Horror for a good 2-3 hour Cthulhu fest instead…

Shipping Delay – The Living Card Game

Firstly an apology to customers waiting for Fantasy Flight Games products. Yes, the U.S. most definitely already has them and no, we probably won’t be getting them in the UK for ages. Don’t take it personally – it’s more likely they hate their sole UK distributor (Esdevium) than us, as they continue to ship late and delay games that have already enjoyed launches long ago stateside. There is no cure, but sometimes the UK distributor throws mercy on us and airlifts in stock before the slow boat from China arrives. However, they only tend to order in what retailers have pre-ordered (due to the shipping cost) so like Android : Netrunner last week there was a small batch that arrived in the UK, but to fulfil pre-orders only. Since we arrived at the party late, and only just started taking pre-orders, we didn’t get any :-( However, the slow boat was supposed to be due in next week… but did I mention it was slow? We’ve been told that next week has actually become the week after and we can only hope that it really does arrive then. Star Wars X-Wing? It’s on the same boat. There were no airlifts. We’re all waiting. Have a pre-order with us? We’ve got you covered. But until this stuff arrives, I’ve been working on cards for “Shipping Delay” so I can pitch it to Fantasy Flight. Stuff like “Perks – Your import has been impounded for customs to play with.” and “Bummer – The ship took 4 weeks to come across but they forgot your stuff.” and my personal favourite “Reprinty – The manufacturer sold so many units to retail customers it forgot to leave any for traders.” :-)

Magic : The Gathering doom…

According to Tim, one of the reasons the 13th Floor started all those years ago was his fascination with Magic the Gathering. Not only could he support his cardboard cocaine habit for less money, he would launch a store that sold all his favourite things from childhood onwards. Little did he know that he would be joining the evil empire of online stores, hellbent on the destruction of *insert thing you love here*. Times have changed and now Darth Amazon, Lord of the Sith and Emperor eBay are sweeping the galaxy crushing any that oppose them. But there is a rebellion going on too… Wizards of the Coast have issued, through their UK distributor, strict trading terms forbidding the online sale of MTG cards until the day of release. What does this mean? Technically, if a release date is on Friday and you pre-order online, your order must be sent out on Friday (no Thursday shipping to reach you in time for release). There is an explicit (and crazy) loophole which states that online retailers may ship same day (presumably by motorbike courier ;-) but not before. Bricks and mortar are also forbidden from selling before the release day, be it online or in their stores. So what does this achieve? We think it is supposed to encourage people to buy from their FLGS, but given the current times, if online is so much cheaper people will possibly wait until Saturday (and hardcore players would have got all they need from the pre-releases a week earlier). Tim, as per normal, has taken it all a bit personally and it looks like we won’t be stocking MTG for much longer. However, Wizards are only right to protect their IP (did we mention all the cards are available at pre-releases) and it’s good they’re trying to clip those online sales back. Afterall, it’s not like Wizards are owned by the uber evil Hasbro or anything ;-)

Dungeon Command yuk, DnD minis yum!

So Dungeon Command hasn’t been going as well as we thought it would. It’s a skirmish game that comes with pre-painted D&D miniatures, and also cards for the D&D Adventure system. We’d hoped that this would see a revival for the Wizards D&D prepaints but alas, it’s not looking great. So in the meantime, if you’re not enthralled by learning a new skirmish game but still want to have a look at the minis, we’ve ripped boxes and listed singles for your viewing pleasure. Check it out here.

TerraClips builds worlds…

Just recently, whilst investigating whether to stock Malifaux or not, we stumbled upon TerraClips.

These brilliant self contained packages have oodles of stuff for you to construct your own miniature environments from. Streets? Check. Buildings? Check. Sewers? Check. And what’s better is that they’re about to release 3 massive dungeon add-ons.

For 25mm to 32mm miniatures gaming, you’ll need whatever set you fancy plus some of those TerraClip connectors for pinning stuff together. Head over to the store here to see what I’m talking about, and the forum here to see lots of lovely sample layout pictures from the new sets.

Yes, they still make Star Wars figures

We’ve recently made the decision to start stocking Star Wars action figures again, mainly because we’re bored that Wizards stopped making the skirmish game.

Yes, they’re giant sized, no, there’s no skirmish game. But if you know someone who’s not yet a teenager, or an over-sized teenager ;-) , then consider introducing them (or reintroducing them!) to a hobby I hassled my nan about some 27 years ago.

Every birthday she’d take me to Zodiac’s in Aylesbury and offer to buy 5 Star Wars figures. That was probably a weeks pension back then, judging by the current prices, and I’d normally try to pick five Stormtroopers. Occasionally, and disappointedly, I’d have to pick an Ewok or Lando (because they’d sold out of Storms) but I’d normally end up playing with all of them.

Using a water pistol to squirt them off the bath ledge was always fun, and sometimes I’d re-enact some Hill Street Blues episode I’d seen my parents watching on TV. Ah, fun times. Pay it forward ;-)

Large items escape surcharge

Those of you trying to checkout with a chapter pack (or similar) and a miniature will have noticed you’ve incurred the wrath of the minis surcharge gods and been stuck with an extra £1.99 postage (whereas removing the mini ships free)

This isn’t as intended and we’ve now updated the website so you should be able to add minis without getting a surcharge, whilst spending under £20 as long as there is another large item in your order (and by large we mean anything over about 25mm thick) If you think you’re being unfairly charged please let us know so we can fix things. We’ve had to mark every product in the database with a guesstimate as to it’s postal size so there are bound to be a few problems here and there.

In the meantime I’ll be trying to shave the bases off miniatures so we can ship them for free…

Down but not out

News of our demise was vastly exaggerated yesterday during our server migration. By the time a fourth customer phoned to ask where our website had gone we realised several things.

  1. People care – yay!
  2. Something had gone wrong during our server switch.
  3. It was definitely 1and1′s fault.

Tim phoned 1and1 and a guilty verdict was quickly reached. 1and1 were found guilty of having a shonky control panel that lied about the whereabouts of our mail server, and Tim was found guilty of activating their firewall and closing out all internet traffic completely (whoops)

Everything should be fine(ish) now, but if you can reach this blog, but not our website, please give us a heads up… slaps for Tim this time :-)

Passing Quality Checks

Tim’s Backslasher film has just passed technical quality checks at Fotokem in the U.S. – which means it’s now on its way to the distributor. Not to be outdone, it reminded me we have our own stringent quality checks here at the 13th Floor!

Those of you who collect and / or play with Heroclix miniatures know what to expect when ordering a new booster. For others, I’m warning you now… Heroclix has always had bendy miniatures, and probably always will. They don’t break into pieces that much, but they do bend, quite a bit.

When we started the 13th Floor in 2004 one of our first ranges was Indy Heroclix. We were horrified at how damaged the pieces were when we started opening boosters for singles. Soon, we had a shelf full of minis that didn’t pass our ‘quality check’. But as time went on, we realized that we’d set our bar too high, and 45 degree bends had to become acceptable to list more than half of what we were opening.

Our freebies get checked too, but sometimes you may receive a freebie that’s, well, a bit bent. But you’ll rarely be sent a freebie like the ones below… I present… ant-man from the latest Chaos Wars release :-)