Finding a specialized tabletop game store in Yolo County that features role-playing games such as Warhammer 40,000 or Dungeons & Dragons is challenging.
While a sprawling metropolis like Sacramento has its fair share of places, it can sometimes be a bit of a drag to make the trip, play a game or check out a store and then trek your way back.
Luckily for Yolo County residents, and more specifically West Sacramento residents, Hobby Badger Games, located at 1600 Sacramento Ave. #3 —which opened up in March of 2021 — is here for all their unique needs.
“We essentially sell all of the tabletop-type games,” said the shop’s owner Anthony Villa. “Primarily Warhammer 40,000, Age of Sigma and a lot of Dungeons & Dragons stuff. We also carry a wide variety of hobby supplies due to having to build and paint many models for the games. Pretty much the whole gamut. We also have a lot of other little board games and all that fun stuff.”
After serving in the military, Villa, who moved to West Sacramento in 2012, opened the shop amid the pandemic after a life realization.
Before opening the store, Villa worked as an EMS, hoping to pursue a nursing degree or get into firefighting. However, after finishing his training in March of 2020, Villa decided that those routes weren’t for him.
“That whole time made me think about things differently,” Villa said. “I think COVID changed a lot about the way people were thinking of directions they wanted to go in their careers. I had always been into tabletop games and hobbies, so I thought I’m just going to open up a store.”
Villa filled an LLC on Oct. 6, 2020, which just so happened to be National Badger Day. Inspired, Villa made that the name of his store. He found something that fit his price range and went for it.
“I don’t know if there is another sole tabletop store in Yolo County,” Villa said. “I would normally have to travel 20 to 40 minutes depending on traffic to the nearest place. Now there is a place here nestled on Sacramento Avenue.”
To supplement his revenues, Villa also has a commission painting studio and paints customers’ models in a room toward the back of his store. In the back outdoor area, Villa mentions he can hold up to six tables of people.
“It’s been great out here,” Villa said. “I have found a lot of gamers in West Sac, and I have a pool of very committed customers that live right here. Some live in West Sac and can’t believe we are here. It feels great to be one of the only ones in the area.”
As for the future, Villa hopes to one day expand the store to a bigger location to serve the gaming community a little better. After not having a safety just upon opening the store, Villa feels he’s learned a lot to continue to grow his business.
“I had no prior business experience,” Villa admitted. “I just had experience building models and playing a handful of different gaming systems. Opening during COVID has been pretty good, which is quite surprising, and I wish I had done it sooner. I’m not sure if that speaks to anyone, but sometimes you just have to take a risk.”