Jaime Lawrence

by Jaime Lawrence

Running a game store is a pretty big job; figuring out what to stock, doing customer service, running events, balancing books, paying staff and especially, building community. No matter how much your local Good Games store manager/owner loves gaming, there just isn’t enough time in the world to do it all. That’s why we’re so grateful that Champion players step up to help us co-ordinate events and bring communities together for game nights. This week, I took some time to interview Champion Player Stephen Lake and see what keeps him coming back for more.

What first brought you into a Good Games store?

mechMy first trip to a Good Games store was Burwood, before it became a Good Games store. Just over 18 years ago, WizKids had just made the MechWarrior clickie game and my love of BattleTech was given some assistance and I was able to host the Friday Night MechWarrior game until my wife returned to work after the birth of my son George. A few years later both my Son and Daughter would go to Japanese School in Ultimo, I would walk up to Central and harass the staff in Central Good Games and buy some World of Warcraft cards and once or twice allow the folks at the Burwood store to show me how to play the game.

I was also quite a fond attendee of CanCon and the Good Games stores there would always have something new. I also remember them being very nice to my kids and selling the all sorts of crazy stuff. My son still has a Pixelated Minecraft Sword. Also, one year they both managed to score a blow up sword each. So in some small way I think Good Games had an impact on their lives too as they have now both taken up Fencing.

So here’s the thing, you may just walk into a Good Games store, perhaps because they have a game you are interested in or something catches your eye. But you end up going back because of the friends you make and the communities that build around a game you enjoy.

What do you love about Destiny and Legion in particular?

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Star Wars gaming has seen some great games in the past few years. So for me the idea of gaming in the Star Wars universe just fuels two passions.

I played Armada for a few years, and as soon as Destiny came out I found a very easy game to learn to play that had a depth of interaction between the players. I was playing Thursdays at Epping and with friends at home, with games taking anything from 15-45 minutes we could play multiple games in the same time as we could single Armada game and with a variety of decks. I have always enjoyed deck building games, there is a degree of creativity in building a deck, testing and changing it until it gets as good as you can make it. Destiny adds the dice to the whole process and that can be both fun and frustrating at times. I like dice because things can go wrong or right in unexpected ways, and that makes playing a game far more enjoyable as the players are making choices that have random outcomes.


Legion came out all of two months ago, and many of the friends I have made playing Destiny are also interested. We have been playing Alternate fortnights at Epping and Top Ryde and for me at home on my Saturdays. This has kept me busy painting and making terrain, the games I have played so far have been great fun and quite close. I am looking forwards to what new units FFG bring us over the next few months. Overall the game is fairly simple to learn but has a few very nice mechanics that make it a challenge to play. The players take turns to activate their units so you don’t have a long wait until you do something, and even when your opponent is taking his turn you are still interested in what he is doing as it will affect what you do. You also only get two actions (sometimes less) when you activate a unit so there is a very interesting challenge in that as you won’t be able to do everything you want, rather try and figure out what works best.

What’s your local tournament scene like?

tournament IMG 4359Destiny has just finished its yearly cycle of tournaments so right at this time our Group at Epping have been enjoying drafting and just playing socially. Our weekly tournaments have been very relaxed and easy going, I would expect that now we have a draft kit for the game as future sets come out there will be a lot of drafting happening.

Legion is a new game and is for the most part finding it’s legs I think. Our Monday night games haven’t really been competitive, rather just a great excuse to play another game and meet up with people also interested. Many of us have two armies and could easily help a new player.

So if you are interested in either game drop in some time and learn to play.

Stephen Lake

If new players want to give in-store play a go, what advice would you give them?

Like the Nike add says “just do it!”

I have found that the Good Games stores are a great place to meet up and play games. I think the communities we play in have a good sense as to why they play games, even in the competitive sense the store events are fun and the people are nice. Even if you aren’t playing Destiny or Legion, if your game of choice is run in a store from time to time, head on in and play. If the game you enjoy isn’t run in store from time to time, go have a chat to the store manager, who knows he may be able to help set you up.