Tabletop Gaming Expo brings board game tournaments and more to the birthplace of aviation

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Take a break from tech and unplug at the Long Island Tabletop Gaming Expo, where attendees will role-play, compete in board games, challenge with cards and more on April 9 at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City more.

“Tabletop gaming is much more of a social experience than playing video games because interaction is direct between players,” said co-event coordinator Jesse Harchack. Adds co-event coordinator Courtney Tricarichi, “You have to use your words wisely. It’s all about vocalization and collaboration, which strengthens your communication skills.”

The fair will be divided into different areas where guests can log in to play different styles of play together. Beginners have no fear as instructions and guidance are provided by game masters.

“Each section has an information desk with a schedule and you can sign up for anything you want,” says Tricarichi. “You don’t have to know anything. We have staff who can teach you the games and we provide the accessories to play.”

Portrait of Courtney Tricarichi, owner of Legendary Realms game store in Lindenhurst, with some of her tabletop games on the afternoon of March 16, 2022. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A Ferrara

ROLE PLAY

Sharpen your acting skills for role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Warhammer or Masks: A New Generation. Game masters guide the players through an adventure that can have different themes such as fantasy, science fiction or superheroes. There will even be games for children like Hero Kids or Pretty Pretty Princess.

“Players act out what their characters would do and say,” says Harchack. “It’s all very complicated and quite a unique experience.”

Games can last from two to four hours, so the day offers morning (10:30-13:30), afternoon (14-17) and evening (17:30-21:30) sessions. Each game holds 2-6 players. Registration for games opens online prior to the event for early registration.

BOARD GAMES

A hotspot at the show is the board games area, where action is guaranteed with a library of games such as Wingspan, Splendor, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Codenames, Blood on the Clocktower and Ticket to Ride. Tournaments are also held for classic games such as Uno, Battleship, Clue and Catan.

“Board games have totally exploded in the last 10 years as people have reevaluated their entertainment choices,” says game director Dave VanderWerf. “Everyone used to play parcheesi, checkers and mahjong. Now we have all these cool new games to choose from.”

In fact, Bethpage’s Joseph R. Giordano will be showcasing his own original board game for people to check out at the show called Warstriders, which is currently unreleased.

“Warstriders plays similarly to other tabletop wargames on the surface, with miniatures, dice and gauges,” says Giordano, 31. “However, players are given a much freer method of movement and tactics, allowing for more player control rather than any small one to judge movement.” The game begins with each player building an army based on a scoring system. The aim of the game is to destroy the enemy warstrider (the general) to win. Players must do this within seven allotted rounds.

MINIATURE GAMES

Players enjoy collecting miniature figures that they hand paint and then use to play games like Battletech or the ever-popular Monsterpocalypse, which will have its own “Crush Hour” tournament at the fair.

“Monsterpocalypse is a big monster fighting game,” says Harchack. “Each player has two large monsters and they play through an entire city destroying buildings and throwing each other around.”

There will also be a Miniature Painting Contest where participants can paint their own miniature and have it judged ($10 additional fee includes brush and miniature to take home).

OTHER ATTRACTIONS

The card games focus on Magic the Gathering, Flesh and Blood, Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! An interactive exhibit on the history of board games is also on the second floor. Try your hand at an escape room adventure in the shift of a vampire or step into the life-size immersive role-playing experience traveling through Necromancer’s live dungeon, both in Hangar 3.

An expo marketplace is planned in the museum lobby with 50 local vendors including Lindenhurst’s Legendary Realms Games, Selden’s Brothers Grim Games and Collectibles, Baldwin’s Cosmic Comics and Games and Deer Park’s Rip N Ship Gaming. A number of food trucks such as Teriyaki Plus and Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda Pop will be available for guests, and the museum’s cafeteria will also be open.

LONG ISLAND TABLETOP GAMING EXPO

WHEN | WHERE 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., April 9, The Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City

THE INFORMATION litabletop.com (Pre-registration for games or tournaments)

ENTRY $25 adults ($20 in advance), $15 children aged 5-12 ($10 in advance), $50 Family Four Pack: 2 adults + 2 children (only in advance), VIP packages with swag Range $38-58

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