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How we do a Review

We think it’s only fair to explain what qualities we’re looking for when we visit a shop for the first time, and what elements matter to us so people reading our reviews can get a good idea about what matters to us so that you can make a decision about whether or not you think our opinions will be useful to you.

General points

We will try to think about the following areas when we visit a store:

General impressions - This would normally be a description of the store itself, this could be cramped or open, lively, or laid back and anything else in-between. This has the potential to be the most subjective part of a review and should be treated as such. it’s important to know that we love an open and deliberate well stocked gaming space as much as we love digging though deals in an old school hobby shop.

Stock - What kind of lines and ranges does the store stock? We’ll be looking at different manufacturers of miniatures as well as the amount of lines they might carry - so you can make a judgement about whether you might find what you’re looking for. We will also note whether the shop has second hand or discounted miniatures.

We’ll also look at the associated hobby supplies, things like paint lines, basing materials, tools and consumables.

Another thing we will be looking for are things like board games and card games.

Gaming Space - What kind of gaming space does a store have? We will look at the amount of tables, sizes and terrain quality. Are there tables for other types of games, such as board or card games. Should you book ahead for these?Is there a charge for tables?

Food and Drink - If the store has a gaming space it might be somewhere you will spend a lot of time, so we will also look at the range of snacks and food. If the store has a food hygiene rating displayed, we will record this too.

Toilets and Cleanliness - Availability and quality of the toilets, whether they are gender segregated or gender neutral. We will also look at the cleanliness of the shop - note, this is not the same as the TIDYNESS of a shop.

Location and Parking - How accessible was the location? We’re talking transport links, access from the closest motor ways, local bus and train services and bike access (if this is something we feel we can assess). We will also look at car parking, Is it Free, is it good, is there a lot or not a lot, again we will also look at this for Bikes too(if this is something we feel we can assess)

Accessibility - Is the store naturally accessible for people with reduced mobility? Is it accessible on request ? All of our party are fully mobile so this is not something we can assess as well as someone with mobility issues, however we will do our best to make sure we look at this. One of our party does have experience in assessing accessibility of spaces and so can at least make some technical judgements.

Anything Special - In this section we will highlight anything we think was unusual or special, this could be big bitz boxes, giant themed apocalypse tables.

Individual comments - At the end of each review we will include any meaningful comments from the group.

Other considerations

Other things to keep in mind when reading one of our reviews. 

When we visit a store for the first time we won't mention that we're there to do a review, visiting new places is genuinely something we do for fun, we're looking for good deals and unusual items and just having a day out with friends. Any information we find will be done by exploring the store ourselves and discussing what we found after. 

When we visit we usually won't take photographs, this is for 2 major reasons. Firstly, it can make the whole visit seem clinical and it's all we'd concentrate on and obviously then mean the primary reason for visiting is a review. Secondly, we would not feel comfortable taking photographs of people without Individually asking their permission to post it online. We will update articles with photos if stores send us them separately. If we're invited to do so by the owners, they provide us with one or events where there is an expectation for photographs to be taken.

When we visit a store our group will usually consist of 3 male and 1 female visitor, all of which are gamers. so any views of the facilities and atmosphere can be balanced. We know that some game stores can feel a little unwelcoming for females so it's important to us to consider this aspect.

Usually, we won't be going to places to play a game, just to shop and chat, this does mean that we don't get to spend all day there. if we really want to return to a place, we may take our little misters to game with

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