Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University.  This week, Thorne makes a correction to one of his previous columns, and then discusses this weekend's prerelease events.

First of all, a correction to last week’s column (see "Well, That Was Quick and 4 Picks for RPG Week").  I recommended Lamentations of the Flame Princess but commented it was only available directly.  The publisher, James Raggi, reached out to me to let me know the game is available through distribution via Impressions and is carried by several distributors, just not by the ones with which we deal, and he regularly sells the rule book and supplements through them each month.

Konami’s Photon Hypernova Premiere Event for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG took place this past weekend and we had the best turnout for a Premiere Event in months (see "'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG: Photon Hypernova'").  We usually do not run tournaments on Premiere weekends because, unlike Magic sets, Yu-Gi-Oh! sets are not well designed for drafting and most players would want to play in a tournament with the new cards.  For the past several sets, we have gone through about two-thirds of a case of twelve booster boxes over the course of the weekend as most Yu-Gi-Oh! players buy them online or just buy the single cards they want.  This weekend, we had Yu-Gi-Oh! players coming in from opening time until we ran out about 1 p.m.  When we queried players as to why, they said this was, in their opinion, the best set Konami has released for Yu-Gi-Oh! in over a year.  We'll see if they come back for more when the set releases to OTS stores this Wednesday.

Meanwhile this past weekend’s Magic The Gathering’s prerelease for Phyrexia:  All Will Be One (see "New Deets on Phyrexia: All Will Be One") proved a curious combination.  The initial buzz for the set has been good locally, and I did not realize how much Jace was disliked by some local Magic players until I heard how pleased they were he had been "compleated" in the storyline with no way to ever come back (riiiight, they need to look at Marvel and DC superhero comic books sometime).

Attendance at prereleases was down from our The Brother’s War attendance, with only nine players showing up for our Friday prerelease and six for our Saturday.  From what I have heard, other local stores had similar attendance, and in my opinion, it reflects the number of sets Wizards of the Coast has released.  However, sales of the set have been brisk, with a larger than normal number of set and draft booster boxes selling.

WotC is still the most generous of the trading card game companies when providing prize support for a prerelease.  Lord knows, I can't complain about getting free boxes of Set Boosters to use for prizing, although The Pokemon Company comes close.  I just wish WotC would get consistent in their use of box toppers in booster boxes.  If you are going to use them, use them for every set.  If you are not, then do not include them, but the never being certain is annoying.

Despite the hassle of dealing with two major events that draw different target markets, this weekend’s sales were our best since Christmas and I cannot complain about that.

How was your pre-release for either or both games?  Email

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of