FNGS: Gamers World Fox Valley Illinois
Welcome one and all to the inaugural edition of "Friendly Neighborhood Geek Shop." In this series, we hope to reach out to your local Heroclix venues and give you a better picture of how they operate. The hope is to give others ideas of how to run a successful venue as well as highlight quality venues that traveling Clix players can seek out. And we have other plans for creating a database of active Heroclix venues.
Enough of that. This week, Mr. Rob Peterson told us a little bit more about:
GAMERS WORLD FOX VALLEY ILLINOIS
195 Fox Valley Circle Drive
Aurora, IL 60504
How long has the store been open?
Our location (We're a chain) has been open since November of 2012
How long has the store been hosting Heroclix?
We've been a WizKids approved play store since day one!
Who is the judge?
That would be yours truly. Rob Peterson. One half of the world
renowned "Peterson Brothers"
Though Jeremiah is more known these days because of his endless list of customers that purchase his HeroClix paraphernalia, I was the first of us that played this game and was one of the people responsible for getting him into the game. I also haven't written articles for HCRealms in about a year and a half now, but I wrote the Deep Dish Themes articles for that site. I have two back up judges in the form of my best friend Eric Griffin and another good friend, David Castellanos. My Wife Jonna has even been known to help judge a time or two! Though I'm just the manager of the store and not the store owner, I have been with this company for going on 10 years and have a lot of sway with it. It's particularly nice to be able to handle Clix stuff from cradle to grave...it's something that really helps to set us apart from most other venues. I handle everything along every step of the process, and at this point, if I tell the owner to make money available to me for something Clix related, he doesn't even ask questions as I have a very proven track record with the brand.
What kind of store is it? (ie, primarily comic, primarily game, something else)
We are primarily a board game and collectible game store, though
we offer a few toys, puzzles, and some sports memorabilia
When is Heroclix night?
We run HeroClix every Sunday at 12:30pm and every other Monday at 6pm. I run the Main events on Sunday and Dave runs the Monday night games. When we have WKO tournaments or other special events, we generally run them on Saturdays for variable amounts of time depending on the event.
We also do a semi-regular HeroClix "Fantasy League" where players draft 20 characters and can only use those 20 characters to build with for the duration of the league. Only one player can draft any one piece, so if somebody drafts something particularly good, it's off the table for all other players. Players are allowed to drop and pick up one piece a week and play each other until one player reaches 42 points (The amount of spaces around the old Supremacy League boards). The extensive rules document I wrote for this is available on our Facebook page as well.
What other games (if any) does the store support organized play of?
We run the following events at the following days/times of the week EVERY week. Other special events can be found on our Facebook page Gamers World Fox Valley (Group) when/if we have them:
-2pm & 6pm Yugioh (Standard format)
-7pm Magic the Gathering (Modern format) and prereleases when applicable
-11am Pokemon TCG (Standard format) and prereleases when applicable
-2pm Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition)
Do you support higher level play (ie, WKOs, ROC states, Majestix)?
We have been a WKO store now for several years. Our largest attendance to date was 35 players for the main event and 8 players doing battle royal play. For a very long time we were the only place in Illinois that was doing WKOs. We have players that travel from states all around to come play in our bigger events. We don't do Majestix or ROC States, but my plan is to very soon get on board with ROC Win a Map tournaments if we can ever get on the other side of this pandemic where I don't have to worry about crowd capacity more than on a "how many people can I physically fit in my store" basis.
What is your player base like?
We have an amazing player base here at Gamers World. It might be cliche to say that we're more like family, but I'm saying it anyway. We help each other move...drive and pick each other up from the airport, go to Dave's Band's shows, go to movies and to dinner together....hell...I was just the best man in Eric's wedding. What's most important about our player base is that though we are an incredibly tight knit group, but we are also extremely welcoming to anybody that's looking to play with us. We help you if you're new and we really help to grow the game and the community. Eric runs "Kids only events" and has run a HeroClix Club at his school where he teaches kindergarten. HeroClix actually follows all of the principles of STEM learning and he gets the school to fund it as an after school event where he teaches the kids to play. Many of them continue to play to this day. (We call it our little "Farm System"). Unfortunately the club and kids only events haven't been able to happen lately because of Covid.
As far as play style goes, we tend to be a lot more casual than a
lot of places. We can skew towards competitive from time to time, but
it's more like what we call "Local Competitive" where we're
not usually using the top tier meta pieces that often or in the
numbers that you'll see them in at Nationals or Worlds, but we play
things that will wreck a lot of things for local events. We usually
have a lot of theme playing, and want to focus on EVERYBODY having a
good time instead of the same one or two people that win every week.
We care a lot about the experience of all players and it's important
to us that people want to come back and play with us again. Most who
play here do become regulars because we quite frankly have one of the
best play groups that I've ever been a part of in the 20 years that
I've been playing the game.
Do you play Modern, Golden, Silver, Scenario Games or a mixture thereof?
We play a lot of scenario games including allowing players to
create a scenario on the week of their birthdays. It gets players
involved and engaged, and it really is something that they look
forward to doing. You'll often hear them saying "Oh, I know
EXACTLY what I'm doing for my birthday game this year!" (Even
when it's eight months away!) I often get told that the scenarios
that I come up with are the best scenario games that these players
have ever gotten to play. In the interest of doing something that
EVERYBODY enjoys, though, I try to sprinkle in some fellowship
focused events as well as a highly competitive event or two
occasionally as well as varying point costs to let players challenge
themselves to build small teams or to stretch their legs to use those
big-pointed figures that they've been itching to use. Because we
still want to play the game at its core, we also have weeks where we
just play regular games of clix, because if you don't do that from
time to time, you're not really playing clix after a while...you're
playing a game that you created that uses Clix as a framework. We are
also almost exclusively Golden Age play. I have a firm belief that if
you own a piece, you should be allowed to play it and get your
If you'd like to see your venue on FNGS, have the owner/tournament organizer/judge send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org