One of my hobbies is tabletop miniature wargaming. It’s a little bit like chess, or historical wargaming, except that it uses little pewter miniatures to represent fantasy warriors like knights, fierce beasts like giant werewolves, and giant, steam-powered, magic-controlled robots. The miniatures come unpainted and unassembled, and putting them together and painting them has always been one of the highlights of the hobby for me. While some may see it as an expensive hobby, it can be cheaper to pick up a new miniature than to spend a night out drinking with friends. Budgeting helps, as well.
When I moved to Atlanta, one of the first things I looked for was a friendly local game store(FLGS) to play at. The game I play is Warmachine, by Privateer Press, and my search online quickly led me to Giga-Bites Cafe in Marietta, just to the northwest of Atlanta. I stopped in with my fiancee several weeks after arriving in Atlanta to take a look around and see what the store has to offer, and was very impressed.
The store is a long rectangle, leading back from the front door. To your right as you enter is the cafe section – yes, the cafe. Owner David Finn had a brilliant idea, and the store serves food and drinks as well as being able to sell you the latest miniature. The cafe features a variety of coffee drinks and smoothies, as well as sandwiches and paninis, and David knows his way around the espresso machines. On the left are racks upon racks of miniatures mounted on the wall – everything from Warhammer 40,000 to Warmachine to Firestorm Armada and Flames of War. The center of the space has large tables meant for playing those miniature games on, and on any given night you can find a number of gamers rolling dice and moving their miniature soldiers around.
At Giga-Bites, certain days of the week are reserved for certain games – that is to say, there are many varieties of tabletop wargame, and on certain days, preference for table space is given to players of those games. Thursday night, for example, is Warmachine and Hordes night. That doesn’t mean that players of other games will get kicked out; the store is incredibly fun to hang out at, and everyone I have met so far has been super friendly. On my first day there I was quickly welcomed, and had a chance to play several games over the course of the night.
The store is a friendly and welcoming place to play, and the hours of operation reflect the hobby – the store is often open until 11pm, and tournaments on the weekends can run all day. If you need a miniature that isn’t on the shelves, the salesperson will be happy to order it for you, and orders generally arrive within a week. The store also has a “Rolling Bones” club – members pay $15/year and receive a 10% discount on all purchases – worth it if you plan to spend a good amount on your hobby.
I’ve found through over a decade of being in this hobby – miniature tabletop games – that most gamers are friendly and welcoming people, and it’s wonderful knowing that there is a safe place to play games to your heart’s content and indulge in your hobby with likeminded people. Giga-Bites is certainly a shining example of the FLGS, and I’m glad to call it the place where I play.