Monday, January 7, 2013

Killing time in Portland: Guardian Games

My wife is a teacher, which means she frequently has to take classes and tests to get new certifications/qualifications. Recently she's been trying to become certified as a bi-lingual elementary teacher, and the test is ridiculously hard . Native Spanish speakers fail this thing. It takes 3 hours, and is a bear to study for.

I drove her to Portland so she could study on the way up, the downside is that A.) I'm stuck in Portland for the duration & B.) I have to drive in Portland. I hate driving in Portland.

Anyways. The testing center is downtown, so I did a quick search for gaming stores where I could vegetate for a while. Lo and behold, Guardian Games was about a half mile away. I'd dropped in before to window shop, but hadn't spend a long time.

The store is nice, spacious, and has a lot to offer.  The staff members I interacted with were relaxed, and fine with me hanging out. It probably didn't hurt that I was making sure to buy stuff so didn't feel like I was taking advantage of their hospitality. The store itself is located in what appears to be a warehouse district near the river. The first time I visited the shop it felt a little sketchy walking past lifeless gray concrete buildings to get to a beacon of geeky warmth.

The front third of the store is where most of the merchandise is found. Wargaming toward the front, boardgames & RPGs a little further on. The middle third is where you find the bulk of the card tables where people set up to play. There's also few places to lounge, a TV and some gaming systems.

I set up shop in the back of the store. They serve booze there. It's also where the Warhammer happens. Coincidence? Probably not.

Fortunately for me it was also Warhammer 40k league night. Unfortunately I hadn't thought to bring any armies.  So I grabbed a bottle of Angry Orchard and watched some matches.
Once they got going there were over 20 players. I saw a fair spread of armies, even met two other Daemon players. Most surprising were the number of folks who used Space Wolves (I think there were 5 total, several of them were used as allies though). Most of the armies were cut & dry with tabletop quality paintjobs, so the conversions I saw stood out. My favorite conversion was a gentleman who swapped the weapons of his Dark Vengeance Libby & Commander with High Elf axes.

According to the player, you can tell it's a librarian because there's a big freaking book on his head.

This axe is actually from the High Elf Lord on Dragon. The streamer adds a nice touch.

I wasn't familiar with the group & didn't have anyone to vouch for me, so I mostly stood on the sidelines and interjected myself into the occasional conversation. Nice folks overall.

The next time My wife needs to take a test in Portland I'll be sure to take an army with me.



  1. Store that serves beer and such? I am in love! That is my dream gaming store to have it attached next door to a bar with a 21+ drinking area to game in.

  2. ...and call Kyle!! Sheesh man, we could play a game, you know!! :P