Some bad news for Northwest Indiana folk. Critical Effect Games has closed its doors. I can't quite express the depth of my disappointment that the place that I consider "my" home base is now gone. It's surprisingly disconcerting.
Of course, I have an emotional investment in this FLGS; when I decided to give 40k a try again after a 20 year hiatus, I had to find a GW dealer in my area. I used to travel 5 days a week for work, so I was completely unaware of any hobby stores in NW Indiana (I didn't grow up here). Eric, who owned the store at the time, took a serious amount of time talking to me about the state of the meta.
It was not a gigantic shop, but there were people there just about every evening playing RPGs, Warmahordes, CCGs, and the occasional game of 40k. I never played there, but that was not the point. It was really the only place I could go within a 30 mile radius where I could feel comfortable buying some paint and talking about the hobby. There was never any pressure or weirdness, and even the denizens were friendly and engaging. Best of all, they were very nice to my daughters...they even toned down the F-bombs.
I have no specific knowledge of why it closed, but I'm sure the economy didn't help. This leads me to question the viability of LGSes in general. When GW's pricing structure allows for 30% discounts online - a discount that would sink a brick and mortar store - there are bound to be tons more closings.
I will sincerely miss the owner, MiLinda, and Stephanie (and her fabulous dog, Roxy). Thanks, ladies, you made my transition back to 40k comfortable and seamless. Best of luck wherever your paths lead.