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Shipments will be slower from 25th September to 2nd October due to our warehouse team taking a well-earned break.
Shipments will be slower from 25th September to 2nd October due to our warehouse team taking a well-earned break.
Recent Survey - Part 1

Recent Survey - Part 1

Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer our recent customer survey. It was great to see such a wide range of ideas across a lot of different areas of the store and you can expect to see some changes soon (in fact, a couple like the new Vallejo stand have already happened). If you missed out on the survey this time don’t worry as there will be further chances to give your feedback in the future.

Due to the varieties of fields covered and the range of requests, we have decided to split our responses to some of the items across three different blog posts, one will focus on products , one will focus on events and this one will focus on the building.

The Building

Several responses discussed improvements customers would like to see made to the building so this seemed a good time to discuss some of the reasoning behind its development. Before we opened the store we did some research in the UK and also a limited amount in Europe (albeit from a Magic the Gathering related viewpoint). The stores we visited had very limited or sometimes non-existent play space so if they wanted to hold any tournaments they often had to use the back rooms of pubs. On one occasion the room in question had black painted walls the windows were obscured with paint and the limited number of wall lights didn’t provide sufficient light to be able to read one’s opponent’s cards. The other problem that we encountered almost universally was the poor provision of toilet facilities, most shops did not have a customer toilet and so if lucky one was able to use a staff toilet which was normally a single cubicle unisex toilet, which were sometimes filthy. One ProTour Qualifier we attended had about 300 entrants in an event over probably 8-10 hours and it had two to three cubicles which involved wading within a couple of hours of the event starting. The shop or venues also normally didn’t have any drinks or snacks, or when the event was in a pub there were drinks and food but sometimes expensive.

So, when we started at Bank Street the venue had two separate toilets and what we thought was a reasonable amount of playspace for a shop compared with what we’d seen on our travels. This is the counter area in the very early days.

Bank Street Counter

It soon became apparent that we had underestimated space needed for tournaments. So, started the search for somewhere bigger and St Gregory’s Alley seem to fit the bill. The architect who drew up plans for the building and was able to see its initial state said that we should consider the building ‘a 15-year project’, which is probably not too far off what is realistically required. Our initial drive has been to get the inside of the building to function as well as possible for tournaments and retail space whilst trying to make the fabric of the building secure and watertight. Obviously, there is a certain amount of juggling involved in a project of this size particularly as retail has been going through a very tough time recently. It would be wonderful to have unlimited budgets to spend on decor and new washrooms, but that is not the reality. We have managed to replace one large area of flat roof and the pitched roofs at the front of the building so far. Our next major project will be the pitched roof over the tournament floors. It is certainly not worth undertaking any major improvement projects within the building until we can be sure that the fabric of the building is waterproof.

Roof repairs Athena Games

For anyone who didn’t know what the inside of the building looked like before we started this is a photo of the downstairs, the photo makes it look lighter than it seemed.

original inside athena games

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★ Reviews

Let customers speak for us

1017 reviews
Pokemon Fridays
James Woodhouse
Pokémon Fridays

Excellent little set up post lockdown, Athena does a great job, clean and safe, also friendly bunch of Pokémon players that will make you feel welcome.

Glued my fingers together

Strong stuff, got some on my hands, great for getting off that extra layer of skin.

Pokemon Fridays
Sophie Williamson
Friday Funday!

Always a good environment, staff lovely as always - Welcoming and inclusive for everyone!

Daniel Moore
Worker placement grows up

The worker placement genre is a crowded one, and many of us were introduced to the resource gather - spend resource - get worker cycle through the classic Agricola. Many (MANY) worker placement games later, you see the creaky folds and paths to victory through the classic game, and rarely do you have a desire to return to it.

Enter Caverna.

Caverna is classic pub grub but served by a Michelin star chef. The game has much more depth, more options to victory, more opportunities to allow for additional workers (my analogy is falling apart) and it removes any random elements caused by the random job card system.

With job removal, the game introduces a more substantial caving mechanic, where the player is tasked with first digging out the necessary paths and rooms then furnishing those rooms-often generating the same job mechanics as were available in Agricola.

Also introduced is a expedition action, which allows for more ways to generate resources using an ever growing axe; but with it comes an ordering complication as those equipped must be played last in the round.

So, if you have warm fuzzy feelings of those early days of worker placement but feel like you have grown up since those days, Caverna is an absolute must.

Great for the budding indis and laras

A good fun game though be warned you need a decent sized table to play this on especially with more than 2 players.
With a couple of ways to approach the game it gives some variety and options if things just don't seem to be going your way. The components are stunning and it's a definite solid 5 star game and shows why its won so many awards.