Take a break from tech and unplug at the Long Island Tabletop Gaming Expo, where participants can role play, go to battle over board games, challenge each other with cards and more at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City on April 9.
“Tabletop gaming is much more of a social experience than playing video games because the interaction is directly between the players,” says co-event coordinator Jesse Harchack. Co-event coordinator Courtney Tricarichi adds, “You have to skillfully use your words. It’s all vocalization and cooperation therefore strengthening your communication skills.”
The expo will be broken down into various areas where guests can sign up to play different styles of games together. Beginners fear not as instruction and guidance will be provided by game masters.
“Every section has an info desk with a schedule and you can sign up for anything you want to be in,” says Tricarichi. “You don’t need to know how to do anything. We have a staff that can teach you the games and we provide the supplies in order to play.”
Sharpen up your acting skills for role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Warhammer or Masks: A New Generation. Game masters lead 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.
“The players act out what their characters would do and say,” says Harchack. “It’s all very intricate and quite a unique experience.”
Games can run two to four hours, therefore the day will offer morning (10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.), afternoon (2-5 p.m.) and evening (5:30-9:30 p.m.) sessions. Each game holds 2-6 players. Registration for games opens online ahead of the event for early sign-ups.
One hot spot at the expo is the board gaming section where action will ensue with a library of games such as Wingspan, Splendor, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Codenames, Blood on the Clocktower and Ticket to Ride. There will also be tournaments held for classic games like Uno, Battleship, Clue and Catan.
“Board games have completely exploded in the last 10 years as people have reevaluated their entertainment choices,” says game master Dave VanderWerf. “Back in the day, everyone played Parcheesi, checkers and Mahjong. Now, we have all these cool new games to choose from.”
In fact, Joseph R. Giordano of Bethpage, will debut his own original board game for people to test out at the expo called Warstriders, which is currently unpublished.
“Warstriders plays similarly to other tabletop wargames on the surface, using miniatures, dice, and measuring instruments,” says Giordano, 31. “However, players are given a much more free-form method of movements and tactics, allowing for more player control rather than judging every little motion.” The game begins with each player creating an army based on a point system. The goal of the game is to destroy the enemy Warstrider (the general) to win. Players must do so within an allotted seven turns.
Gamers enjoy collecting miniature figurines which 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 expo.
“Monsterpocalypse is a big monster battling game,” says Harchack. “Each player has two big monsters and they play throughout a cityscape by destroying buildings and tossing each other around.”
There will also be a miniatures painting contest where attendees can paint their own miniature and have it judged (additional $10 fee includes brush and miniature to take home).
Card games will take place centered on Magic the Gathering, Flesh and Blood, Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! An interactive history of board games exhibit can also be observed on the second floor. Try your hand at an escape room adventure inside the layer of a vampire or enter the life-size immersive role playing experience traveling through Necromancer’s live dungeon, both in Hangar 3.
In the museum lobby, an expo marketplace is planned with 50 local vendors including Legendary Realms Games of Lindenhurst, the Brothers Grim Games and Collectibles of Selden, Cosmic Comics and Games of Baldwin and Rip N Ship Gaming of Deer Park. A series of food trucks like Teriyaki Plus and Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda Pop will be on hand for guests to utilize and the museum cafeteria will be open as well.
LONG ISLAND TABLETOP GAMING EXPO
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., April 9, The Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City
INFO litabletop.com (preregister for games or tournaments)
ADMISSION $25 adult ($20 in advance), $15 children age 5-12 ($10 in advance), $50 Family Four Pack: 2 adults + 2 kids (in advance only), VIP packages with swag range $38-$58