Somewhere Uncommon, a Lab, and a Den – We Visit Them All in New York

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Last week saw a fair amount of city driving with several visits in and around New York City, and then a jog a up the Hudson Valley. In the past we’ve visited Lairs, Havens, and Taverns. The Village Crone has now taken us to us Cafes, a Lab, and a Den. Check them out!

Tea, games and coffee? We must be in the right place!
First up we had one more trip into Manhattan to The UnCommons NYC, a popular game café with a very extensive game library. There is a cover charge to get in, but you can play as many games as you want from their massive collection and stay as long as you like. Looking in their windows you can see a lot of fun games in their window displays.

Something_Wicked_UnCommons_WindowsWe unloaded our witchy goodness and got ready to cast some spells. Anne-Marie got the first group started and played with several groups of would-be witches throughout the evening. A lucky gamer got to go head-to-head with Anne-Marie in a 2-player game. It’s pretty cool to learn from the designer!

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It was a late night, but a fun one. If you find yourself in Manhattan with a jonesing for a cuppa and a board game, this your place.

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We also got to spent two pretty amazing afternoons at the Brooklyn Game Lab. It’s an after school program where kids can not only play great games but study them, and even make their own games.

The whole thing is run by a great team and Bob and his crew really do an amazing job of keeping 40+ kids focused every day. Some days it’s RPG’s, other days it’s board games and for Thursday and Friday the kids had a really special treat of getting to meet Justin and Anne-Marie while they learned Castle Panic and The Village Crone.

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The older kids were started on The Village Crone while the younger players went into the outdoor garden area and learned how to play Castle Panic. A few kids even dared to go up against the bigger foes in The Wizard’s Tower.

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After we played for a while, the kids all got to make their notes on winning strategies for the game, expansion ideas and even new components. It’s all an organized part of how the game lab staff gets the kids to really focus on the games they are playing and think about them.

After that we had a brief Q&A session where the kids got to ask Justin and Anne-Marie all about their inspirations, and what it takes to make a game go from an idea to a finished product. It’s a really unique program and we were very excited to have been a part of it.

While we had fun in the Big Apple, we were glad to leave the bustling city traffic behind.

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It was a cold and rainy afternoon as we made our way to The Dragon’s Den in Poughkeepsie but we were warmly welcomed by David and Sean as soon as we walked in. They had gone out of their way to make our event special with fancy Halloween themed tablecloths, signs, and even tasty snacks.

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No sooner had we setup than the first group of players wanted to know all about our latest release. We had two games going almost nonstop for the entire event with many new fans being made this day. One player even declared The Village Crone to be “The best game ever!” after thoroughly crushing their opponents.

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We spent a few minutes talking with the owner David about business and what it takes to run a store like this. The amount of fun stuff here is pretty amazing. Retro video games in the back, comics on the sides, board, card and minis games in between, and tons of table space. It’s a great store and the gamers in the area are lucky to have such a cool place to hangout.

We played more games than we could count and even sold out all the inventory of The Village Crone the store had before we called it a night. Our thanks to the staff at the Dragon’s Den for a great time!

What’s Next?

This week we’ve got a quick stop in Connecticut at Gamer’s Gambit and then we’re heading North to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine! To see our remaining schedule, check out our Something Wicked Tour blog!

An NYC Legend, the Bermuda Triangle, and a Portal

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The Something Wicked Tour rolled along over the weekend with three more stores in two states and some crazy traffic!

sarges-logoOur visit to Sarge’s Comics and More in New London, CT was short and sweet. While setting up for the event I noticed they had this copy of the old Bermuda Triangle game. I haven’t seen that since I was a kid!

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We gave overviews of The Village Crone to several customers and made many people happy with a free piece of Silver, which came in handy as an actual coaster as well.

StratLogo2On Saturday we braved Manhattan traffic to visit legendary NYC store of The Compleat Strategist.

For years we have heard about this amazing store deep in the heart of the Big Apple. It’s known around the world as “the” place to come see if you are a gamer in New York. It lives up to its reputation.

Not only is the store absolutely packed with games of every type, style and size, the owners Mike and Danny do a great job of matching customers to the perfect game they are looking for.

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We were warmly welcomed and quickly setup right at the front of the store to show off The Village Crone. Within minutes we had people asking how to turn Villagers into Frogs, or what the binding rings did. In between giving overviews, we talked all kinds of business with Mike and Danny and learned a lot about what it takes to have run a game store since 1975!

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Before we knew it we were signing copies of games and wrapping up the night. It was a great event for us and a very cool opportunity to see one of the most unique game stores in the U.S.

portal-logoA sunny, fall Sunday in Manchester, Connecticut saw the Fireside Games minivan pull into The Portal’s parking lot and unload all our goodies. We made our way inside and grabbed a long table in the board game area to setup The Village Crone.

Sunday’s are board game day and before long it was standing room only in there and we had our first game up and running. 5 witches battled it out and we saw one of the best uses of scattering happen, sending almost every Familiar back to the Village Green! In the end it came down to just a few point spread, but we had our winner at 13 points.

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In between games we took a few minutes to explore the store. In addition to a great selection of games and a ton of play space, The Portal has a massive demo game library! Hundreds of games stacked into bookcases mean that you can come here and play anything from an old classic to a brand new release. The hardest decision will be picking which game to try!

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Our next game started up and was a quick 2-player battle that resulted in one of the most crowded Forges we’ve seen and to top it off, it gets Bound so no one can leave! The best part was that while 4 Villagers were in the Forge the other 2 had been turned into frogs, so that was all there was!

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We had a great time and met a lot of great gamers there. If you’re anywhere near the Manchester area and are craving a game, The Portal is definitely the place to go!

We’re only halfway through the Something Wicked tour, so stayed tuned for many more store visits in another 3 states!