Update: MilSims have apparently closed down and owe a lost of customers money. Best to steer clear for a while.
Here’s the problem. You read my board game reviews and think to yourself: “This Adam guy sure knows his board games. I want to be more like him, but how!? When I go to the games section of KMart or Big W all I see is Pictionary, Simpsons Monopoly and Guess Who! Whatever shall I do?”
Listen, you are smarter that your average Kmart shopper. You have moved on and put Cluedo behind you. KMart doesn’t want you to change, though. They want you to remain comfortable in your little world, bringing out copies of Taboo when you notice that your Alf-themed party is starting to suck.
If you want real games you will probably have to venture out a little further. You have to be careful, however. I have seen many a potential board gamer be turned away from the hobby (lifestyle?) by walking into the wrong shop.
Try to avoid places like Mind Games, Games World and The Games Shop. They are usually the first contact point for new games because they usually operate out of shopping centres. They are chain stores and can afford the higher rent. Their stock is pretty decent and the sale people are usually great but their prices are ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not bad shops. I had a great chat with the people in Mind Games Albury a little while ago. The problem is that you can get games for significantly less elsewhere.
A good online retailer is Games Paradise. Their stock is great and their prices aren’t too bad. They offer free shipping for orders of $125 of more and a flat rate of $8.75 if under. They generally ship fairly promptly, however their claims of express shipping don’t really hold water when I’ve had orders take a week to ship, despite being in stock.
All About Games is another good place to check out. Good prices and shipping rates determined by the size of the order. I haven’t used these guys before but I have heard good things from others.
I’ve saved the best for last. This shop is so good that I’m really only including the others out of politeness. MilSims Games have the best stock and the best prices I’ve seen. Their website is very easy to use, shows stock availability and has the option for users to leave reviews and ratings of the games. They have a flat shipping rate of $5.50 to anywhere in the country and a sale almost every second game. Seriously, I cannot recommend these guys enough.
Here’s a quick price comparison of one of my favourite games, Agricola:
- Mind Games: $128
- The Games Shop: $125
- Games World: $110
- Games Paradise: $100
- All About Games: $82.50
- MilSims: $82.50
Seriously, that’s a spread of almost $50 over a single game! I still rate MilSims as the best, although it looks like All About Games is worth a look as well. I think MilSims just edges it out due to their shipping rates.
You have no excuse not to own good games now. Stay tuned as I review more games for you to add to your collection. Remember, if I tell you to buy a game, you buy it. Otherwise little monkeys will peck out your eyes.
But monkeys don’t have beaks.
Games Paradise have a good selection of boardgames, but I found that it was cheaper for me to buy my boardgames through Amazon. I bought Chaos in the Old World for $43.70, whereas Games Paradise charge $89.95 and Milsoms $71.25. Even with shipping it was easily cheaper for me to go through Amazon.
Really? I’ve tried buying games through Amazon before and they’ve said they won’t ship outside of the US.
Truly. I had heard that not shipping to the US was their policy a while back, but they most definitely shipped my Chaos in the Old World and Blood Bowl Team Manager games from the USA to Sydney.
That’s great, will check it out.
Excellent game choices, btw.
Just tried ordering a few games, not all of them will ship to Australia. I compared my order to MilSims prices and Amazon came out at 6 cents more expensive 🙂
Looks like it depends on what games you want.
I buy through Milsims or GamesEmpire or JoeDodgy.
HOWEVER, Amazon regularly have days with large % off a good selection of popular Euro Styled. Just this August they had 40% of Amazon’s RRP. Internationally tracked postage becomes very cheap when you buy 5 or 6 games.
Just this August, I bought $235 AUD including postage worth of games from Amazon. Put Milsims, Joe Dodgy and GamesEmpire best prices together and it would cost me $292 without postage (add $30). Or $301 from GamesEmpire without postage (add $11).
24% off Australia’s best prices.
Have a look at gamesempire.com.au as well, their pricing is quite good and shipping is reasonable, I got ticket to ride through them and am looking to get agricola through them or mil sims next.
Whatever about recommending that people buy online rather than go to large chain stores, I think this post is really lacking for the mention of the idea of the friendly local games store, or FLGS. An FLGS isn’t just a games store, but a central hub for gaming. They usually provide a space for people to play games and run tournaments and sometimes run tournaments themselves. You will obviously pay more for a game in one of these places than you will online, but the extra you party is to support the gaming community in your area and definitely seems worth it to me.
In short, before you buy online, try to find out if there’s a small, independent games store in their area. Search for a ‘games store’ rather than a boardgames store, as they usually sell CCGs, role playing stuff and war games as well.
With the exception of All About Games, every shop I mentioned is a FLGS.
I know that Games Empire have this set up of a gaming venue in the store. So did seropeco before they shut down due to non-gaming issues.
I’ll have you know that my Alf-themed party was a roaring success!
Only after I turned up and ate a cat.
http://www.ozgameshop.com has a decent selection of board games. Amazing prices and free shipping. Agricola is $62.99. @ozgameshop