воскресенье, 17 июля 2016 г.

The shop you would never drag me out of fifteen years ago (Helsinki, 9.07.16)

Certainly, I wasn't searching for animals on street signs for the entire day in Helsinki. I had several more plans for those ten hours. To be precise, I had specific plans for shiny and rainy weather. Saturday morning was sunny. Around noon the weather became sweltering, so I decided to
to hide from that scorching sun for a while resorting to a "rainy-weather" plan.

Luckily, I went beyond writing down the address of a shop I was heading to. I made some valuable notes, and learned how the entrance looks like thanks to a photo found on the Internet. Fantasiapelit is not only hidden inside a city block, it is located in the same building as a Subway restaurant. In order to find the shop entrance, you have to go through that fast food restaurant. Finally, you open the door and... well, I was stupefied by the scale and the assortment.

Fantasiapelit is mainly about fantasy related board games. What do you imagine when you hear the words "a board game"? There are at least three options:

  • a card game (such as "Magic: The Gathering" in case of fantasy settings),
  • an average board game with a map, counters and dice,
  • and finally, more of a floor game rather than a board one, with models of soldiers, fortresses and sometimes even with artillery shooting with plastic missiles (such as a board game version of Warhammer).
I used to be a huge fan of the last type of games. I still have a huge collection of models for Russian "Бронепехота" and "Битвы Fantasy" game systems. At the time, when they were bought, i.e. in the early '00s, you could come across a set or two in many toy shops in Saint Petersburg but I have never seen such long shelves packed with that kind of goods. In Fantasiapelit you can find models of any possible type for various game systems. Wanna play right now? There are tons of boxes with the models which are ready for fight. Do you enjoy the process of designing the view of your troops? There is plenty of sets where all models are waiting to be colored. Maybe, you like constructing the models by yourself from small details? You can find many of them in Fantasiapelit, too. This astonishing shop has no fewer games of the first two types, as well as books and comicses about fantasy universes of every sort and kind, but who will look at them after all that wealth?


They sell not only sets of models, but also tools for coloring and even... terrain! Should your today's battlefield be covered with snow? Has the skirmish occurred in the desert? Is the theater of war covered with green grass? Now you don't even need to imagine that because you can buy everything, including terrain. Actually, such "terrain" pack is just a bag with colored powder or fluff. Surely, you can prepare it on your own (especially if you are patient enough to construct and to color the models) but nowadays, when supermarkets sell grated cheese (as if you can't rasp it), why not to sell pouches with white fluff calling it "snow"?

I ceased to be interested in board (or floor?) battle games around 2005, giving preference to PC RPGs and strategies which had pretty good graphics by that time. However, certain things remain unchanged. For example, I would still like to learn how to draw. Of course, I talk about sketching simple objects, even they can be a problem for me now. I don't really like most drawing books because I have no desire to make a picture of what they suggest. Immediately after entering that awesome Finnish shop, I noticed a book which explains how to draw exactly what I want! I nearly bought it. At the last minute, I remembered that, as I read before, prices in Fantasiapelit are too high compared with other places. Indeed, the same book is about two times cheaper on Amazon, let alone the Kindle version (around three times less expensive). Therefore, I postponed the purchase. Hope that in a couple of months I'll share some of my drawings with you ;)

I didn't buy anything but that tour around the shop was incredible!

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