Friendly Local Gaming Store – Wargamer Wilcza, Warsaw

It’s been a while since my last post – visiting season is in full swing and that coupled with the fact that there are 2 major upcoming events in the country – The NATO Summit in July and World Youth Days in August, means I have very little time to spend on toy soldiers.  That doesn’t mean, however, that Infinity is completely on hold. Travelling around the world – maybe. Playing – still on.

Despite the adventurous name, the Roaming Warcor has an established base of operations – Warsaw, Poland. Warsaw is a 2 million strong capital of  the country, with a very vibrant miniature gaming community. The country, formerly part of the Russian sphere of influence has been embracing market economy since the fall of communism in 1989. What that means for war-gaming is that despite being non-existant in this particular area before the regime change, Poland is now one of the strongest European wargaming countries. Many factors contribute to that – a  big internal market being one of them, but I believe that the most important of them is the fact that the Polish people in general felt deprived of what they assumed was their joint share of the Western legacy and are now trying to make up the time lost. Since the very beginning of the Polish state, the country belonged geographically to the East but mentally to the West. It was the last Catholic country surrounded by Eastern Orthodoxy or Islam, it maintained strong ties with other powers of that time, among them Germany, Austria and France. Poles always felt a part of the occidental world, and rightfully so.

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There’s several stores carrying Infinity in Warsaw, but the oldest and most known of them is Wargamer, located at Wilcza 62 street. Being in the city center, but in a smaller street, it doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, but is easy to get to from either Metro Centrum, or Metro Politechnika. The city of Warsaw is different from what you might expect from a European capital – you will not find too much old architecture here due to the fact that it was destroyed completely at the end of the second World War. Because of that. it has lost a big part of its appeal and many people wanting to experience “the real deal” go to Cracow, instead. That doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to see or nothing happening in the city – far from it, in fact, as Warsaw is the political and business centre of the country. But where Warsaw is the head, Cracow is the heart.

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Apart from being the main distributor of Infinity in Poland, Wargamer carries a lot of other miniature and board games – starting with Catan, through Frostgrave and Battlestar:Galactica, to X-Wing; there’s something for each and every gamer type out there. The amount of Infinity on sale is impressive, and Wilcza is definitely among the best-stocked Infinity stores I have ever visited.
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Back during my visit, there was only one full-time employee and it was hard to get a random game in with him as he was usually busy. As of the time of writing this post, however, the staff has been increased to 2 people, so a walk-in game should be in the realm of possibility now. It’s always good to try and schedule a game beforehand, though – if the shopkeeper or his assistant won’t be able to play themselves, they can reach out to someone who can. Very often, yours truly, the Roaming Warcor.

The store can set up up to four tables worth of Infinity terrain, but it makes the place rather crampy. Lack of space is the only serious complaint I could have. With help from local players, the store started organising small Infinity tournaments, for up to 8 players. A positively dapper initiative, let’s hope it keeps up!

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If you’re ever in Warsaw for a couple of days and, apart from visiting the interesting sites that the city has to offer, such as the UNESCO-recognized reconstructed Old Town, The Museum of History of Polish Jews  or the Warsaw Uprising Museum, feel like you need to see what’s going on in the wargaming scene of the city, Wilcza 62 should be your first place to go. A friendly warning, though – they don’t carry any Warhammer!

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