Les Headley and Travis Satinsky are getting an early start on the business life. At 22 and 20, respectively, they already own and operate Good vs. Evil Games & Comics in the Seaville section of Upper Township.
Headley, who not long ago was co-captain of the football team at Lower Cape May Regional High School, moved to Cape May Court House and worked under the carpenters union for a while.
In his spare time, he got into playing intricate specialty games, and when the opportunity arose this year to buy a gaming store, he jumped.
Headley’s already learned the most important basics of small business, such as customer appreciation and the need for positive cash flow.
“This is all I do now. I work here a lot of hours a week. Until recently, 70 hours a week,” he said. “I don’t realize how much time I spend here because I enjoy it so much.”
Good vs. Evil Games & Comics moved to a prominent location in the Seaville Plaza near Routes 9 and 50 in the spring, after two years in Marmora.
On the comics side, it carries the major brands of Marvel and DC, as well as alternatives such as Dark Horse and Image, Headley said.
Most of the store’s business, though, is specialty gaming:
n hobby games such as “Warhammer 40K” and “Warhammer Fantasy”;
n card-based games such as “Magic the Gathering,” “Yugioh” and “Pokemon”;
n role-playing games such as “Dungeons & Dragons” and “World of Darkness”;
n and multiplayer board games such as “Settlers of Catan” and “Arkham Horror.”
In that variety of games, there is action for young children to people in their 30s, he said.
Good vs. Evil sells the games and accessories, and also hosts games and tournaments.
“We’re a fun place to hang out and meet a lot of like-minded people,” Headley said. “We provide the space for people to play and escape the mundane, day-to-day of life.”
Weekly tournaments — scheduled on www.gvegames.com — give players a nearly cost-free way to compete and possibly win prizes of merchandise related to the games. The entry fee, typically $10, is given back in store credit.
While all of the games hinge on the strategies of players, some such as “Warhammer” have a model building element that appeals to those who enjoyed playing with cars and boats when young, he said.
That’s played on a 6-by-4-foot table, furnished with trees, buildings, and terrain, not unlike a model train layout. “Warhammer” playing pieces are composed of 14 races — including elves, dwarfs, humans, the undead, and vampires — and players field armies of tiny figures they’ve equipped and painted themselves.
Battles are determined by strategic attacks and defenses, influenced by dice rolls and carried out with a measuring tape under intricate rules.
“That makes it variable, so it’s not like chess. You may or may not hit someone if you attack them,” Headley said. “I like to compare it to the board game Risk, because you have to outthink your opponent. If you’re a better player, you’ll win most of the time regardless of the dice rolls.”
Good vs. Evil can accommodate 16 players for eight “Warhammer” games, and seat about 25 for the card-based games, he said.
While the store doesn’t sell video games, its specialty games attract the same type of players, he said.
One market Headley and Satinsky are tapping is students at Atlantic Cape Community College and Richard Stockton College. “We’re also trying to get hold of the Rowan University gaming club,” Headley said.
The pair are also going to start helping with weekend tournaments at the county library in Cape May Court House, he said.
“We’re a small store, but we’re doing very well,” he said. “We want to give it a chance to take off.”
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