That supposed to be three weeks break from work, family, all the responsibilities and even my hobby. No miniatures, no painting and even no posting on this blog. The plan was to visit Czech Republic, Germany and Netherlands. Maybe France and Belgium also… After all, the best plan when there’s no strict plan.
Unfortunately after 4 days we were forced to go back. My wife got unexpected job offer – the offer which you shouldn’t and can’t refuse. So… nice weekend in Prague, Czech Republic, and bam! Back to Warsaw.
I was little disappointed at first – I was looking forward to have nice road trip in many places I’ve never been before, but then I realized – I have so much fun things to do at home. And when I write fun – I mean…painting of course! (I know what you think, I know – what a nerd! ;). My plans instead of vacations:
- finish some few more Skaven
- paint small detachment of Blood Angels
- …and finally start paint and learn Infinity!
So, I might have nice time after all:)
…but to be honest – I had splendid time in Prague. Last time I’ve been there, it was about 10 years ago, and still after all this time – it is one of my favourite places on Earth. We had plenty of beer and rum. We met some long time no see friends and we ate just most delicious vegan/raw food ever!
And of course, as Game of Travel in action, I grabbed the opportunity and after some research and recommendations – I visited one wargaming store in Prague. The name:
Ogří Doupě (which means – Ogre’s Lair)
There are several stores with games and miniatures in Prague, but Ogří Doupě was recommended to me by few people somewhere out there online, so I chose this one. Again, I wish I had the time to visit other stores and say – I have been and seen all in Prague, but you know…very little time is always obstacle you can’t avoid. And you know what – I really love that Ogre’s Lair is open Sundays as well – for weekend trip to Prague – it was just perfect. We were walking around the Prague’s centre on the sunny day – and I ordered the break – for visiting Ogří Doupě.
The store is located on Moravska street No. 5. Easy to find, right in centre district of Prague. This is quite new location – the store itself was founded around 15 years ago, but it’s here at Moravska St. for two years. It’s downstairs in large cellar divided into two smaller areas. First – the shop itself, and second – gaming and painting area. Small concern about the light – no windows, so no daylight obviously…but the crew from Ogre’s Lair thought about that – they installed full spectrum light bulbs imitating daylight. So, if you are stuck for all the day playing your favourite game – you won’t feel like an ogre in his lair:).
Wow, how I miss stores like these in my hometown. Lots of space, and the offer so diversified you want to take home literally everything. Obviously in Ogří Doupě, there is lots of Games Workshop stuff – Warhammer Fantasy, 40k, and plenty of accessories and Citadel paints. No surprise in that – Games Workshop and their games are present everywhere:). What always interest me the most – what other systems are on sale. And here were a lot!
First of all – Infinity! That will be my next game probably.
I love miniatures, fluff is great, the one thing I’m not familiar are the rules:) Worry not- the day will come:) But right now in Prague I’ve bought my so far third Infinity miniature – Cassandra Kusanagi. The offer is satisfied – you probably will get whatever you might need to Infinity, along with the rules and campaign books – and scenery designed for Infinity.
Next – Malifaux. Another game I’m planning expand into. I haven’t bought anything here, but there was plenty to choose from. All case offer – every faction, dozens of miniatures.
…and many, many more – Dystopian Wars, Warzone, Firestorm Armada, Warmachine/Hordes, board games, cards, accessories, paints. Awesome.
How I wish I had the store like that in Warsaw – all I need is scattered across the city – several stores in different areas. In Prague you have all in one place (at least for me). They even have bases and miniatures from Micro Art Studio – my favourite Polish manufacturer:). Too bad I haven’t enough money with me (or maybe it’s more like – better for me:), so I could buy some more minis. Supporting local stores is better than buying everything online.
In shopping area – also few show cases – including the one with Dwarf Dragon Slayer painted by Tomáš Pekař, who won Golden Demon award for this miniature. This mini was presented in White Dwarf magazine. Awesome.
Hobby Time in Ogří Doupě
Hobby Area is spacious indeed. 10 tables with terrain pieces for any game you might wish to play – SF, Fantasy, your choice. There’s a place for painting miniatures – and also a fridge full of soda and water, just in case.
I had a nice chat with Alois about wargaming community not only in Ogří Doupě, but also in Prague, and in Czech Republic generally. Prague as a capital is natural centre of all hobby life. Tournaments, campaigns and stores are located here – so if you looking for gaming experience in Czech – head for Prague – you will find everything here.
Ogří Doupě organize lots of tournaments, campaigns and demo games for newcomers. Although there is lot of space at the venue – many tournaments are organized in different places. Sometimes popularity is too high for capacity of Ogří Doupě cellar:). Alois told me there are between 1000-2000 gamers and collectors in all Czech Republic – and they are divided in three major groups:
- power gamers – playing tournaments and casual games across the country
- home players – playing only in small groups of friends
- and painters – who are collecting minis mostly for painting and conversions.
All groups are about few hundreds strong each, and all have the same importance, but special emphasis in Ogří Doupě is put on new gamers, who are about to start the hobby. No matter the group they could be categorized – Ogre’s Lair is a perfect place to begin your wargaming experience.
There are organized demo games and painting workshops for all newcomers. Soon also there will be new message board hung at the wall – for all gamers, with calls for battles. No matter what system you are into – you can come and hang your message – what you play, where you live and when you are available to play. This method, rather unique in XXI century, when everything is online, in my opinion might work. Another channel to connect gamers in the area.
Most popular system in Prague is Warhammer Fantasy, just little bit ahead of Warhammer 40000 and other systems like Firestorm Armada, Dystopian Wars, Infinity and Warmachine. The reason why WHFB is so popular here, is because the rules and few army books were translated to Czech, so the accessibility to all non-English speaking gamers is bigger than the other systems. Of course, there are bootlegged translations of other game systems, but nothing official.
Alois was very helpful and patiently answered all my questions. He also invited me next time with my miniatures, offering to organize special event – something like presentation battle. Wow, that could be fun… I started to regret I haven’t brought my freshly painted Skaven with me. It could be fun…but, well, maybe next time…
As always, I could spend hours talking about games, and I could left a fortune at Ogří Doupě, buying dozens of miniatures (lucky for me I was clever and I left my better – full of money – credit card at home…clever me:), but I had to go. Someday though, I’ll be back with my precious army and play some nice battle. After all Prague is not so far from Warsaw. Definitely, need to do that.
That was nice weekend in Prague. Weather was nice, pivo was cold and absolutely the best, and my visit in Ogre’s Lair was just the frosting on the cake.
If you are around, go to Moravska Street No 5 and visit Ogre’s Lair.It’s worth it. And do not forget to visit their page: http://www.ogridoupe.cz/. There’s also online store there! All in Czech, but hey…maybe some of you will wander to Prague and stay there for a while. Who knows – maybe you’ll need it:)
I was planning to visit some more wargames shops in Germany and Amsterdam during my three weeks road trip. Instead I’m back home in Warsaw, and the only ride I’m planning is quick visit in Wrocław, south of Poland. I have already contacted some guys from one store. Report is about to be written from there:).
My plans: finish few reaming Skaven minis to play the game of Oldhammer, and start Blood Angels, and finally play the Warhammer 40k, god damn it! It was way to long!
…and hey… next week I have an appointment to watch training session of Infinity. I’ll be learning from the best! Can’t wait!
Until next time!