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A Meeple Design Guide to Friendly Local Gaming Stores aka FLGS

by Tony Webb on June 17, 2022

What is a FLGS?

If you have never heard of the term FLGS before then you are in the right place. FLGS stands for “Friendly Local Gaming Store” which is a physical location dedicated to selling everything related to Tabletop Gaming. They tend to be run by fellow Board Game Geeks, often giving you the chance to play a game before making a purchase and have a loyal customer base who can be just as friendly & helpful as the staff that work there. If you are lucky your local store may also run open gaming nights, events, leagues, tournaments and more.

Where is your closest FLGS?

It’s not always easy to find your closest FLGS so below we have rounded up the various ways the team at Meeple Design often use to find an FLGS.
  • Instagram - Follow board gamers as they often post about the stores that they visit or just search the hashtag #FLGS to find information about FLGS's. Also to narrow down the search, if you add your town or city to the hashtag #FLGS then you may find that other people have used the hashtag to post about a store local to you.
  • Facebook - It's another form of social media that you can use in a similar fashion to Instagram, however Facebook also has groups. It can be as easy as joining a board game group and posting in the group asking for advice regarding the best or closest stores to you. For instance we joined the Board Game Trading and Chat UK which has over 20,000 members who are always happy to help.
  • Google Maps - It’s as simple as searching "board game shop" with the name of your search area and the search results should be local stores usually with reviews from people who use the store.
  • Board Game Geek - Anyone who has been in the hobby for a long period of time has probably heard of Board Game Geek, which is one of the biggest online resources for Board Games. On BGG use the forum to search for posts about FLGS's local to you and if there is an existing forum post then create a new one.
  • Word of Mouth - If you are part of a Board Game Group then sometimes asking your Tabletop Gaming friends is the easiest and best way to find out about the best FLGS near you.


How to Utilise your FLGS

Now you know where your closest FLGS, the obvious thing to do is check out the store but what do you do once your there? If it is your first time in an FLGS, here are our top tips for making the most out of your visit:

  • Play Games - A lot of stores have an area to play board games, either by bringing your own game or making use of the stores board game library. There can be a cost to using the space but the spaces are usually perfect for an afternoon spent relaxing playing board games and, if the store has their own library, it's often a great way to try before you buy.
  • Events - Try to make use of any events that your store organises which often relate to Trading Card Games or miniature games. You can go to the events to meet like minded people and, depending on the event, there might even be a prize for the winners.
  • Open gaming Nights - Stores often host game nights which are open for any to bring their own game to bring, teach and play. These are another great way to meet new people with the same interests. If you feel confident enough to host an open gaming night, they can also be a great way to give something back to your FLGS.
  • Buy games - I know games can sometimes be slightly more expensive than buying from an online only store but if you are getting value from your FLGS please buy games from them.
  • Get to know the staff - The benefit of a retail store is that you can speak to the owners and the staff in the store. They obviously have similar hobbies to you and have often been involved in the hobby for a long time. Get to know them and I am sure they will be able to give you a lot of tips and advice.
  • Give them feedback - Once you have built up a relationship with the people in your FLGS, feel free to give the staff feedback if you think there is something new they could offer to their customers, whether that be a gaming night or improvement to the store.
  • Help newcomers - Board gaming can be quite a difficult hobby to understand and it can be expensive. For people new to the hobby it can be off putting if you put your hard earned money into a game that you think sounds great but maybe isn’t the best for a first timer, for example buying a game like Twilight Struggle as your first game. If you do become a regular customer at your FLGS, and especially if you start to attend the events & open gaming nights, then be a friendly gamer. When you see new people at an event or looking to buy their first game then make yourself available to questions. Help build an inclusive environment within your store.


Things Not To Do

We’ve been over how to make use of your FLGS so if you are a regular frequenter then here are a few tips on what not to do at your FLGS:

  • If you make use of their services and free events then don’t use them as a price comparison service.
  • Be respectful to others in the store and help create a positive gaming environment; don’t rage quit in the middle of a game or complain when you are doing badly.
  • Not everyone’s taste in games is the same so sometimes you might end up playing something that you wouldn’t normally consider. Enter into it open minded and you never know you might just discover your new favourite game.


Friendly Local Gaming Stores in Brighton, United Kingdom

If you didn’t already know, Meeple Design is based in the south coast seaside city of Brighton, United Kingdom. We are fortunate to have several different board game store options in the city and below are our picks:

  • Dice Saloon - The biggest of the 4 shops located just outside the centre of Brighton on London Road. At the front of the store is a space where they sell a variety of tabletop gaming products and at the back of the store is their gaming space with game’s library. They host regular events and also serve tasty pizzas and reasonably priced cocktails.
  • Dave’s Comics - There are 2 stores both located on Sydney Street, one that sells graphic novels, comics & manga but the one we are interested in is the store that sells Board Games. It has a relatively small collection but they stock a lot of new releases with a good mixture of large and small box games.
  • Loading - Technically Loading is actually a bar but they also have a good sized board game library so you can have a drink, some food and play a game. It can be a bit tricky to find as it is hidden next to Brighton pier on the lower promenade which is below Madeira Drive just off of the beach. If you enjoy video games then it is also a good place to visit as they have a mixture of retro and modern games which you can play for free. The food menu is also gaming related with burgers such as Devil May Fry and Sonic the Vedgehog.

  • Daydream Nation Card Games - They specialise in collectable card games offering a good selection of different TCG's and accessories, hosting weekly events and tournaments. It is another shop that is tricky to find, located on Kensington Gardens, look for the hat shop with a Tattooist above it. Daydream Nation is located at the back of the hat shop on the ground floor.


Conclusion

It's great to be close to a FLGS but even if it is a little bit of a journey they are usually worth the trip. FLGS’s can offer a different experience for  everyone from people at the start of their tabletop gaming journey to seasoned BGG veterans. Follow our guide and tips whether you want to buy a game, show off your gaming skills, make new friends or contribute to the environment in your store and you will get the best possible experience. You never know, we might even see you at Dice Saloon one day.

Check out our store for products that complement your favourite FLGS bought game like our minimalist board game posters or new equipment upgrades for your next adventure like our stunning gemstone dice.

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