Sunday, July 28, 2013

Store Report: Game Vault

Game Vault
6328 Five Mile Centre Park
Suite 412-414
Fredericksburg, VA  22407

   Everywhere I travel, I usually try to find time to look into the local game store, if there happens to be one. My trip to Fredericksburg, Virginia, for Historicon is no exception to that general rule. In Fredericksburg, the Game Vault is your FLGS. At least, it would be mine if I lived there.

   The only drawback to this place is that it is a little hard to find. Really, that's it. There is ample gaming space, and an active weekly tournament schedule. They support Magic and other CCGs, roleplaying, and miniatures wargaming in the store, which is about half dedicated gaming space. One last word about layout, and this is something I have mentioned before is a big plus in my book: they have open windows so that you can see inside. I really hate the cave-like atmosphere of some games shops where the windows are plastered with posters and such to the degree that you get no light in from outdoors, and it makes the whole thing seem somewhat seedy and disreputable, like a 24-Hour video rental place, the kind with preview booths, if you catch my drift.

  On the retail side, they have a wide variety of games. Mostly, I am interested in miniatures, and they have a good selection of different lines, including Flames of War, Dystopian Wars, Reaper, Warmachine, JR Miniatures terrain, and more. They also have a good variety of boardgames and roleplaying games. The ubiquitous CCGs are also available.

  Service-wise, the Game Vault is very fine. They are open most of the times you would expect a game store to be open (see website for exact hours, naturally). The staff is very friendly and helpful. Cathy, who owns the store with her husband, was there on both our visits and was very accommodating to us, and offered the Historicon discount of 10% even though we couldn't find the coupons that were supposed to be available at the convention. Our badges (and out-of-town accents, I am sure) were plenty. While friendly, Cathy also did point out that she wasn't so nice to those gamers who need to make a closer acquaintance with soap and hot water. The upshot of that is that the store had no atmosphere of 'gamer funk.' The tile floor helps, too.

  Overall, I would give Game Vault a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It has everything you would expect in a store, and with a better atmosphere than most. I only withhold that last half star because of the new Dragon's Lair in Austin, Texas, which is the greatest games store I have ever seen. If you are ever in that part of Virginia, or even as far off as Washington, DC, I recommend a visit. I doubt you will be sorry.

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