Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blog Posts Have Moved to Main Site!

As an aside if you're hunting around here and wondering why the blog posts about Minotaur have dried up it's because our main website got a decently large overhaul and blog posts are now continuing there directly! Come check out all the fun stuff happening at Minotaur Games and Gifts or in Downtown Kingston at

As always this has been the Labyrinth! See you on the other side.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Labyrinth: The April of Fools

Hey all!
Just doing a blog post to see how everyone's beginning of april went.
Were there plenty of crafty cunning or crude capers pulled on your friends and family?
Things blanaced atop open doorways? Whoopey cushions place on chairseats?
Faked deaths/proposals/breakups/quittings/storming outs etc.

Mine was quite bland did little to no tricking but thankfully didn't get suckered into being fooled either. =3
A wash as they say.

Things have been progressing along steadily at the store as Princess street and bagot got a quick makeover.
The construction has done little to deter the flow of people coming out to events though and so we have more on the way!

Travel Game Sale!!

We are offering 20% off all travel games until the end of April!
So if there's a title you've had your eye on for a while best come in and take advantage of the deal!

5th Group art Show

The'Play' art show is winding down now and next month the next one is scheduled to go up. The theme for the new one is "Labyrinth" which of course I think rocks since the blog shares its name with the theme <{^_^}>
Submissions should be in by the 22nd and the opening soiree is going to be on the 26th here at the store at 6pm. Here's hoping we continue to see a similar amount of awesome art making its way into the store. Get creative people! It can be anything subject matter that fits the theme, it can be any medium, it can be any siiiiiize! (as long as it still fits through the front door)

Cribbage Tourney!

On to the game front and away from the arts.
The last cribbage tournament was a heated as ever but ultimately only one could come out on top!
Below is last tournaments winner and 1st runner up posing for our paparattzi with their well earned gift certificates!

The next cribbage playoff is coming also in May! A busy month to be sure.
For those of you that have been coming to each one you'll know what to expect.
For those that haven't here's the rundown.

-It will be here at the store starting at 7pm.
-It will be a best of 7 games of one on one play in a round robin style format.
-It costs 10 dollars per person to play.
-Depending on the # of people playing there will be a 1st and 2nd place gift certificates whose combined total will equal the amount of money collected.

and last but not least for ANOTHER event happening here in the store in May!

National Youth Arts Week Alternative Art Spaces Workshop

Friday May 4 7:00pm Minotaur Games & Gifts

Back by popular demand, Broken City Lab's Justin Langlois will lead an empowering discussion on how local artists can make more use of non-traditional spaces in Kingston to present and participate in the arts.

here are links to both his site

and to Broken City Labs!

That's all for now folks!

This has been the Labyrinth and I'm Henry McCulloch. Game on!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Labyrinth: We are the Champions!

So the games have come and gone...
Tis sad but true.
But the events themselves brought smiles to the faces of all involved!
Well at least I was smiling because it turned out to be an action packed day of 'work'.

The board game blitz was four rounds of intense game play.
Players warmed up with a brusque 5k run around the Kingston city limits and a quick swim to race the Kingston ferry across to Wolf Island. Once we had dried off we para glided from 10,000 feet down to city hall where the 2012 ceremonial torch was set ablaze. Streaking through the streets (some minus a few articles of clothing) we fought off scores of dozens of thousands of dangerous ninja in order to at last enter the store's battle arena. Once safely there the gamers changed into their tournament uniforms. The super heroes of the gaming community all gathered in one location...the stage was set for a clash between titans.

We had visitors from both Toronto and Ottawa as well as many of the most famous Kingston locals.
The fighting was fierce, taunts and gaming insults were hurled about and then in short order the games began. Two Minotaur staff slipped in to trade punches with the other gamers, Gaming Guru Michael White and yours truly. After a few savage exchanges from round one and two the lunch break settled upon the eye of a hurricane.

The gamers stalked off to hunt their hamburgers and sandwiches before returning revitalized to do battle once more!

There was no flashy score board to let players know what had transpired in the first half but the reality was that after the first two round there were still many people vying for the leadership position. BUT! There was already a pair of leaders to catch up to.

The scores after the break stood with Esther Guttman at 14 Points tied with...well me. =D
Next came Jeffrey right on our heels at 13 with Shawn and Patrick tailing close behind at 12.
Marc was behind the pair at 11 squeaking ahead of the tie between Calvin and Adam B who sat comfortably at 10.
Randy was at 9, Robert at 8 with our 2nd place sitter Michael tied at 7 with Katrina.
Dallas held onto a one point advantage at 5 over the 3way tie at the rear of the pack Awesome Abi, David, and Stephen all sitting at 4 points.

Everyone knew that it was still any ones match despite the 10 point spread from 1st to last. The final 2hour game was worth 10 points and would be a crucial moment to decide the ultimate champion.

Round 3 started with a vengeance and as the dust settled I found myself sitting facing Esther across a board of Ticket to Ride Europe. The two leaders locked in an epic stare-off! We both knew what it meant... (Subconsciously anyways)
Only one of us would be the victor in this round and the other would slip back amongst the pack to jostle for position.
I watched her like a hawk... carefully analyzing her seasoned calls of 'I'll take those two cards' or 'I'll claim this route.' It became obvious that she was one serious TtoR player!!
Helen Baumander, who had not entered the blitz but observed the round, commented from ringside that "Esther never loses at Ticket to Ride...not ever." It proved to hold true as she just crushed the table. Dismayed by the defeat I did not even manage to secure 2nd place.

Going into the final round it was a spread out pack now.

Esther sat at 19 points.
Shawn 17 Patrick 17
Jeffrey 16 Henry 16
Calvin 13 Marc 13
Randy 11 Michael 11 Katrina 11
Robert 9 David 9 Stephen 9
Dallas 6
Abi 5

For those sitting at 13 they would have to win their match and Esther would need to place last in whatever table she played at. Esther settled in for a game of Peurto Rico and Patrick chose to confront her head to head. Shawn and Jeffrey, both within striking distance of 1st place chose their battle arena of Power Grid and I opted for Princes of Florence.

Hopes remained high that someone, or preferably a couple of people, might place ahead of Esther to give that chance for a tournament win but the game was over 1st out of the 4 games with Esther quickly having secured first place. Since her final score was a 29 it was announced then and there that the winner and ultimate champion of the Blitz was incontestable. Everyone now was simply playing for runner up positions.

Overall Esther placed 1st in 3 of her matches and the round she didn't win she placed second.
A mere one point shy of a perfect score of 30!!
Well done Esther, you deserve a round of applause for your cunning wins and with the support of your friends you have secured a spot to Fan Expo in Toronto!
Here's hoping you have similar results against another crowd of gamers in the big T-dot.

Included here are two photos, one of the majority of the players involved (some had to leave early) and the final 4 winners holding their gift certificates or showcasing their championship crown.

Here are the final scores.
(PS. I've probably misspelt a ton of your last names. Which I'll say in my defense is due to everyone's scribbly handwriting on their player sheets. But secretly it's so you'll post all outraged to the blog which will make me feel like folks are reading this =P )

Esther Guttman: 29 (winner)
Patrick McInalle: 25 (1st runner up)
Jeffrey McCarthy: 24 (2nd runner up)
Calvin Chan: 23 (3rd runner up)
Marc Lanctot: 21
Henry McCulloch: 20
David Edwards: 19
Shawn Keown: 19
Adam B. : 19
Stephen Hamel: 19
Randy Scott: 15
Michael White: 15
Katrina Sauve: 13
Robert Armstrong: 11
Abi The Awesome “A”: 9
Dallas Dyck: 8

But enough of the blitz!
On to cribbage!!

We had a great turnout again for our February cribbage tournament and I never posted the pics of the winners as promised.
I case my wily readers thought I'd forgotten.
Really though my reader base consists of a large number of cats checking to see if their lawl pictures made it to the blog -_-

The winner was Kyle and the 1st runner up was Tim seen below holding their winnings!

With continued turnouts of a dozen or more players you will need to get signed up fast if you intend to play. I know the sign up sheet last time was completely full and we have about a dozen spots left for the next coming cribbage tournament at the end of this month on March 31st.

As always it will be 10 dollars to enter and you will gather at the store at 7pm!
7 matches will determine the winner and the money entered by the players will be pooled towards gift certificates for the top players.

Here's hoping to see you out here on the 31st and as always I'll keep everyone updated on new and exciting things to come at the store. That's all for now play safe everyone and as always...

I'm Henry McCulloch and this has been the Labyrinth. Game On!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Labyrinth: The Blitz Extended + The Game Exchange

So you're hunting high and low for clues to the blitz...
It's been months since it was announced in store...
A whole DAY (two now) since a blog post was made about it...
And you still need to know more about every possible aspect of the tournament!
The phones have been ringing off the hook and our crack crew of Blitz experts cant keep up with the flow of questions coming in.

The blitz outline is as follows.

16 Games have been selected and are going to be in pools or rounds. During the first round players will be randomly assigned to one of 6games.Those 6 initial games are:

Dominion Intrigue
Race for the Galaxy
San Juan
Seven Wonders

These games are slated to run for an hour and based off player's results will determine who gets to pick what for the subsequent round. Round 2 is a 2hour slot and the first place finishers will all roll off to see who gets first pick.
In order they will assign themselves to a game one by one and once all of them has picked the process will be repeated with all the 2nd place finishers from round one.
In this way players will be more likely to get a chance to pick a game they are familiar with.

Round 2 will feature:

Cities and Knights
Pillars of Earth
Small World Underground

There will then be a one hour break for lunch before the 3rd round starts up.
The games featured in this round are 1 hour games and are:

Through the Desert
Ticket to Ride Europe
Saint Petersburg
Kingdom Builder

The 4th and final round will contain the most challenging games all of which are slated for 2hours long. Once all the 4th round matches are done the total combined scores from each game will determine who the winner of the blitz is!

4th Round games are:

Power Grid
Puerto Rico
Princes of Florence
Factory Manager

Game Exchange

In addition to the blitz we will also have a game table for selling and buying games that will run from Friday, March 23rd to Sunday, March 25th.Bring in and sell off your used games. Buy games brought in by others. Three days only!Consignment terms will apply but you will set your own price. Minotaur will take 10% commission, you get the other 90%. Please bring in a price list with any games that submitted.People can start bringing in games anytime between now and the end of the event, but will not be put out for sale until March 23rd. Any and all games and game accessories are welcome!

This has been the Labyrinth and I`m Henry McCulloch. Game on!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Labyrinth: Holy Badass Blitz Batman!

So February kinda just flew by like a 747!
*makes vwooshing sounds as he runs around the store pretending to be a big jumbo jet*

And now March is well underway!
There's a lot happening over the next few weeks so lets try to cover it all asap to make up for lost time!
First of all the biggest breaking news at the store is the upcoming Board Game Blitz!!
In the past the blitz has taken place at King Con but this year it will be happening right at Minotaur on Saturday the 24th of March. We have a sign-up sheet at the store as well as a list of the games that will featured in the different rounds.

Now if you've competed in some of the previous blitz's then you're a hardened gaming vet and you know what to expect but some of you newcomers must be thinking...
"Wait what exactly is this blitz you speak of and why do I want to play in it??"

Here's the breakdown for you!
I'm no math wiz by any means... but if e=mc² then the blitz is proven, through raw science, to be ridiculously fun on a rising scale of infinite awesomeness.
Picture the store as a gladiatorial arena if you will....Where gladiators (IE: you the players) are pitted against all sorts of diabolical challenges (aka: different types of games) In order to play everyone must put in a share of pure gold coins to enter themselves as an official challenger! (lets call that 10 bucks in current day cash) It pays for your exciting chance to dual to the death* all day long.

*please note we most likely WILL NOT force customers to actually play until they die from mental or physical exhaustion but we also cannot 100% rule it out as a possible outcome. After all shit sometimes gets pretty real at the blitz!

So really what's on the line, more than anything else... is gamer pride.
The winner of this tournament gets to unequivocally claim the title of 'The bestest gamer of alllll time in Kingston for the year 2012'.
In addition to being able to brag and boast their impressive title to all fellow gamers it means they will receive a shiny crown to mark their status as an elite tournament champion.
We encourage that this deluxe plastic crown should be worn at all times until the next blitz the following year to alert viewers of your immense gaming prowess.
The winner will also receive a free ticket and a fully expense paid trip to FanExpo in Toronto to play in the Championship Tournament of the Great Canadian Board Game Blitz.

I feel that this main prize for the tournament winner, while impressive, pales before the social status as a gaming guru that the individual will hold.

The Where: At the store! 165 Princess St.
The When: Saturday March 24th
The Cost: 10$ per person!
The Time: 10am-6pm

The ROUNDS: In total there will be four rounds making up the blitz.

1st round 1hour:
Games - Condottiere, Dominion Intrigue, Quarriors, Race for The Galaxy, San Juan, Seven Wonders.

2nd round 2hours:
Games- Cities and Knights, Endeavor, Tikal, Pillars of the Earth, Small World Underground, Tempus

1hour Lunch Break

3rd round 1hour:
Games- Kingdom Builder, Saint Petersburg, Samurai, Through the Desert, Thurn & Taxis, Ticket to Ride Europe.

4th round 2hours:
Games- Agricola, Caylus, Factory Manager, Power Grid, Princes of Florence, Puerto Rico

For more details on the tournament breakdown, rules, payment, proper attire, training regimes, arrival plans, and power point scenarios hunt for the elusive Justine Scala. =P

Well in other news...Did i have anything major other than the blitz to report?
Umm Cribbage tourney!!
It'll be on the 31st of March.
Same format as the last three still 10$ entry fee 7games long from 7pm till late.
Sign-up sheet for that will also be at the store.
Ummm anything else?
Think that's all folks!
As always,

This has been the Labyrinth and I'm Henry McCulloch. Game on!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Labyrinth: Ye Olde quiet January

So, is January the month that all of YOU get to clearing out old things?
Seeing what is buried beneath the everyday piles of debris =O
I know that I have personally been on an epic quest...
Doing battle with the dustbunny monsters in my room and finding ancient relics from the past!
But the quest is long and tedious so I figure a break from cleaning to blog about it is only natural.

But new things are on the rise!
That is what January is allllll about!
Besides it's the last year on earth, after all, being the year 2012.
Things are meant to come to a crashing end very soon...*nods sagely*
Though I wont be terribly surprised if 2013 sneaks up on us silently and swiftly minus any global tidal waves, fiery chasms, or alien invasions.

Wait personal ramblings?
Right, the store!
What's new at the store?!

Well, the cribbage tournament in January did very well indeed with over 18 attendees. Below I figured we could showcase the two winners Derek and Tony along with Pete who is organizing the events at the store! Is it just me or does the red eye in this picture make the trio of them look all sinister? o.O
*cowers in the face of their cribbagey might*

If you missed out on this last tourney or just want to play again the sign up sheet for the next one February is here at the store if you want to get registered early. Spots went fast last go and it would be a shame to miss out! Other than that, congrats to both winners and a hearty cheer for all those that came out and gave it their all!

Future Myyystery Tournament!:

What with the board game blitz coming up, regular group art shows, cribbage tourneys, and D&D encounters every Thursday there is a lot going on. But why not have more? :O
I figured a poll might be in order to see what tournaments YOU the customers and readers want to have at Minotaur in the near future.
It would be a tournament that I'd run myself ASAP but now all that's holding me back is what something would be to pique everyone's interests. Now this hasn't worked in the past... but mayyyybe just maybe folks might weigh in for a change and hollah back about what they think I should run as an event. If not on the blog then at least on the Minotaur Games and Gifts facebook group so that we can decide what cool stuff to organize.

Munchkin? Settlers? A Card Game? a COLLECTABLE card game? Maybe something GMT/Military strat related or a good old fashion hasbro round robin monopoly editions tourney? *snickers*

You call the shots Kingston!
Lets get some feedback about what gaming arena you want to clash in next and I will make it so!
Also we need a new window display... *muses*
Something valentinish I'm guessin will appear sooner or later...but I'm rather clueless when it comes to windows that don't involve dragons and spells XD

Creative Corner:

Alright back to me!
Story writing?
I did nanowrimo back in November but never ended up pulling it together and proofreading it in December for obvious reasons like...oh how crazy busy we are with Christmas.
I kind of feel like i should be editing my piles of loose pages and pulling together a story from it to make a quasi finished work.
But I keep finding myself addicted to starting something's those first few thousand words XD
Knowing that it's a new path that has yet to fully flush itself out that could develop into anything is a very exciting feeling when writing!
Well either I'll finally put the nail in the coffin and polish up that story or instead I'll finish the work I had already started back in the summer that still beckons to me...
We shall see...maybe another chapter or so will pop its way up onto the blog as personal encouragement.

But that's all for now folks.

This has been the Labyrinth and I'm Henry McCulloch. Game on!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Labyrinth: 2012! So it has begun...

So the new year has come and gone.
Drifting by like a fluffy drifty thing... that swiftly and silently slips past us...
= /
Look it's the time of year where we ALL reflect on a year gone by, things we accomplished, things we never got a chance to do, and most important of all new years resolutions!
Whether its a promise to ourselves to shave a few pounds, read a few new books, or do something nice for someone else every day it's important to do!
Reflection is an important part of life and it's all too easy to lose ourselves in the day to day without focusing on the year as a whole.
Annual scrapbooks anyone? :D

Cribbage Tournaments!

But with the start of the year already a week old it's time to start telling everybody about what is coming up in the near future at the store!

Cribbage tourneys are being run in store by Peter DuChemin and have been happening on an almost monthly basis. The one for January is already completely full but if you are a cribbage fan it's worth keeping an eye out for the next one on Saturday February the 18th!
Sign up sheets will be available at the front cash.
For tournaments with 12-24 participants prizes are being awarded to the winner and runner up in the form of gift certificates! Under 12 players and the winner takes all.
It's 10$ per player to enter and game play is solo pairings in a round robin format with winners advancing to face other winners and losers well... you get the idea.
Each player will play 7 matches in total, so win or lose everybody gets a lotta crib in!
The tournaments are typically in the evenings around 7pm.

2012 Kingston Board Game BlitZZZzzzz!!

That's right folks.
The silly crown of hardcore gaming is once again up for grabs and with it ultimate bragging rights and the title of the best Euro-gamer in Kingston for 2012!
It's a title that has been fought over by dozens of gaming pros in the Kingston circle of gaming from year to year but no matter the level of intensity, dedication, and pure LEET gaming skillz there can be only one...
Highlander style.
Players will face rounds of play in which different predetermined Euro games are handed out to different groups based off a list of potential picks.
This will ensure a wide variety of styles amongst the games to test competitor's skill levels with a wide host of popular titles.
Many shall come but only one shall stand at the end!

The King or Queen of the blitz shall win a free trip to Fan Expo to play in the Championship Tournament of the Great Canadian Board Game Blitz.

The WHAT: Mixed Eurogame Tournament
The WHERE: At the Minotaur's Den! (aka the store)
The COST: 10$ Per person.
The WHEN: Saturday March 24th 2012 10am-7pm
The WHY: Because it's going to be bad ass?

Marc Lanctot should be in attendance at the Blitz and is the man responsible for making this style of Euro-gaming tournament into a Canada wide series of events.

But of equal importance, to those entering the tourney, is another man's potential attendance...
Hailing from the wild western land of Toronto...
An absolute gaming TITAN, who's name is whispered in shady underground gaming groups worldwide...
Game master Patrick McInally may also be coming for a shot at the title!
In the mystical east of Quebec another gaming BEHEMOTH stirs!!
Surely the infamous Dr. J. Dupont craves the title for himself.
There shall surely be a clash unlike any other should these two terrors arrive.
You have been...OFFICIALLY warned.

There is no games list as of yet but one will be announced as soon as the final games are determined.

(The games will definitely be some of the ones in this picture XD)

Settlers of Catan Tournament!

Though we probably wont be hosting the Eastern Canadian Championships this year we will still most likely be hosting a feeder tourney of some sort sometime in April.
Michael White will have more details on when and how much the event will cost as we finalize what this is all actually about XD
Catan shrouded in mystery!
Just know that it is out there and 'looming'
*inserts spooky music*

Paizo Minis!

That's right the new Pathfinder Battles minis from the Heroes and Monsters set are pretty much out.
Jan 10th is the official release date and so you can expect to see these gorgeous new sculpts hit the floor first thing that Wednesday!
I have a few case boxes set aside for myself and the set looks promising indeed.
There are 40 minis in total to collect in both small and large sculpts that are aimed at giving new Dungeon Masters an awesome selection of iconic and everyday baddies.

Here are a few examples of the new sculpts!

Play! Art Show

The flight art show has lingered a little bit longer than originally planned just because many of our local Kingston artists were too busy during December to work on any new projects and let us know that they might miss the deadline.
But the date is now fixed in stone and with an extra month for preparing we are eager to see what the new theme shall bring.

The submission deadline for the new show will be Monday Feb. 20th and the opening night soiree will be two days later on Wed. February 22nd. from 6pm-9pm.
The theme, like the last one, is open to interpretation and anything that is deemed suitable with the word 'play' is welcome in the exhibition!
Artists may chose to sell or to simply display their work.

Book Launch!

While we are on the topic of art I think it's worth mentioning that Nick Csernak is having a book launch for his new work: Essential Dream Jobs For Girls Who Can!
Let's hope to see everyone from the art show and more out at his event a few days later!
The show will be hosted here at Minotaur Games and Gifts on February 25th from 2-4pm.
It shall not only be a great chance to showcase the new coloring book but there will also be plenty of crayons standing by for kids to come out and have a coloring session!

As always...

This has been the Labyrinth, and I'm Henry McCulloch. Game on!