Grovetown Game Shop to Close at the End of the Year
The luck of the draw hasn’t been favorable lately for game shop Roll for Damage.
The store that sells board games, trading card games, miniature games and role playing games, will close on Dec. 30, according to the store’s owner, John Lente.
Lente said a “downward spiral of decreasing sales” had been happening for months and that in the end, “my debt was able to overcome me.”
Lente attributes his significant loss of sales in recent months to a lack of initial funding for the business when he opened it, reliance “on employees who didn’t live up to expectations,” and losing a reliable, primary supplier.
Lente is also constantly competing with online retailers, who can afford to sell a game for $35 while Lente tries to sell it for $50.
But Lente, an NSA retiree who spent 20 years working in the Air Force intelligence field, has every intention of pursuing a local job now. If he stays in the area, he says he “has every expectation to open back up by summer.”
Lente opened Roll for Damage in September of 2016 in an effort to give Grovetown residents an outlet for “good, clean fun.” Since then, Roll for Damage has become a hang-out for game-lovers. For a $10 membership, visitors can come play board games on the “Play for Free” shelf at any time and can roll dice for discounts (“rolling for damage”) when they buy games from the store.
“It’s always been a great place to meet new people,” said Zach Smith, who frequently goes to Roll for Damage to play games like Dominion, a strategic, deck-building card game. “It’s something that the community needs.”
Behind the retail portion of the store, gamers–mostly young adults–gather six days a week to face off in matches of Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer 40,000, Magic the Gathering and dozens of other board games and card games. Roll for Damage also hosts tournaments organized by the International Tournament Circuit (ITC), which runs tabletop game competitions around the United States.
“This is nerd crack,” Lente said. “Players walk in with $3,000-$4,000 cards…playing cards you’d have to sell your car to get.”
Mason Walsh, another frequent Roll for Damage patron, says he finds more enjoyment in games that aren’t “pay-to-play.” His specialty is Dungeons and Dragons; four years ago he became a dungeon master, the role of the person in charge of organizing each game and creating the specifications of a particular game’s adventure, which requires advanced knowledge of the game.
But Walsh mainly comes to Roll for Damage to play with the people’s he’s met there. You’ll find him at Roll for Damage from 6 p.m. to midnight every Saturday.
“It’s the best thing for people like us in Augusta,” Walsh said. “I’m just hoping for the store to re-open in the summer.”
Roll for Damage is located at 110-D Harlem Grovetown Rd.