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Subject: boardgaming groups and best brick and mortar store in Ithaca rss

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leftfield
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I've got a buddy who moved to Ithaca a few years ago, and who I think is a prime candidate for assimilation into the hobby.

I've found a couple of groups, mostly affiliated with Cornell, but they seem to be focused more on RPG/LARP/CCG and generally thickly-themed fantasy-based stuff. I also located Odyssey Games and Hobbies in Ithaca.

Are there any groups/clubs focusing on more german/euro/designer boardgames that anyone knows of? Are the Cornell affiliates open to "townees" playing at their game nights?

Also, how good is the selection of games at Oddysey, and is there a better store in the surrounding area?

Thanks for helping me push my habit on others!


 
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Re: boardgaming groups and best brick and mortar store in It
I used to play at the Cornell game club all the time a few years ago, and there were tons of non-Cornell students playing there, they even have a convention (or used to) called Pentacon. I believe they are very open to anyone coming to play pick-up games. As for Odyssey games, I played a couple of Anachronism tournaments there, and there were always a few people playing pick up games of Power Grid and other Euros along with ccg's. I'd recommend hanging out there on the weekend, getting lunch in that little restaurant above the bookstore, and trying to find some players. As for other stores, there was Mythica games which recently closed down. Other than there is a store called Comics for Collectors on the commons, which has some random board games and ccg's, comics, and various other things. But selection for pure gaming stuff is better at Odyssey.
 
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T. Rosen
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Re: boardgaming groups and best brick and mortar store in It
Hey Geoff,

I lived in Ithaca from 1982 until 2000, and must say there's not a lot of eurogaming there, as far as I know. There was a club at Cornell that met every Friday evening, but was primarily devoted to Magic: The Gathering. Although that is where I learned Settlers, and played some Diplomacy. I didn't attend Cornell, and there were plenty of other people at the club who weren't students. I think it was called the Cornell Strategic Simulation Society, but the name of the building where it met is escaping me. There's also a store on the commons called Comics for Collectors that has Settlers of Catan, and a few other eurogames, but the selection is very small, and the prices are high. They mainly specialize in comics and CGGs if I remember correctly. Anyway, other than that there's not much in the area that I know, except for an active club in Syracuse run by Scott Nicholson (snicholson), see http://www.syracuseboardgamers.com. I go back to Ithaca couple times a year to visit family, and would be happy to play a game then. But I live now in New York City, so if you're ever down this way you should come by one of the two clubs I attend (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/csss/ and http://boardgames.meetup.com/23/).

-Tom
 
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Bill Barksdale
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Re: boardgaming groups and best brick and mortar store in It
In case anyone (here, or in search results) still cares:

The Cornell Games Club (formerly Cornell Strategic Simulation Society) meets each Friday at 7PM in Goldwin Smith Hall on Cornell's campus. Not many of our members are actually students, but quite a few people have some current or former affiliation with Cornell. See http://rso.cornell.edu/gamesclub/ for more information. I look forward to meeting anyone who wants to show up!

Odyssey Games and Hobbies is a small game store, about 4 years old, located on the second floor of Autumn Leaves, a used book store on the Ithaca Commons. They have a pretty decent selection of board games; things like Settlers, Puerto Rico, Carcassonne, and Ticket to Ride are pretty much always in stock, and there is a good chance other reasonably popular games will be there as well. They also have what to me seems like a sizeable collection of RPG and miniatures stuff. It's likely your best bet unless you wanted to go as far as Syracuse or Rochester.

Comics for Collectors is still around, but most likely has less than a dozen dust-collecting board games in stock. They have some RPG and CCG stuff but mostly comics.
 
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T. Rosen
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Re: boardgaming groups and best brick and mortar store in It
Hi Bill,

That's funny that the Cornell club has changed it's name, now no one will understand the homage that is the Columbia Strategic Simulation Society, which I founded a few years ago. Thanks for posting the website link, I hadn't seen that, although it's sad to see that the games closet was destroyed by a flood! I hoped Colonial Diplomacy made it out because I seem to remember the club having that, and it's a rarity these days. Anyway, thanks also for posting about Odyssey, I used to live downtown near the Commons and definitely never knew about that store. Knew all about Autumn Laves, but had never been upstairs, any idea how long Odyssey has been there? Sounds like they have much a better selection than Comics for Collectors. What about space to play at the store? Alrighty, enjoy Ithaca, I miss it from time to time.
 
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Bill Barksdale
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I am told the CSSS name came from a time in the 80s when the university did not want to be seen as sponsoring role playing games (Devil's work and all that). I like the homage though. Not sure what became of the Colonial Diplomacy set, though I think most people like the original better.

I'm not sure exactly how old Odyssey is; it was co-founded by Jevon Garrett and Jason Dettman while I was an undergrad in probably either the fall of '02 or '03. The cafe in Autumn Leaves is worth checking out too; they have vegetarian sandwiches, including a Reuben that isn't bad. There's usually room for about eight people to play in the store area itself, though tables in the cafe are generally open too. For organized events like Magic drafts the store reserves another room which can accommodate more people.
 
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Bill Barksdale
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Re: boardgaming groups and best brick and mortar store in It
I wanted to note for the sake of completeness that we are now meeting in Rockefeller Hall, rooms 183-189, for at least the remainder of the semester.

P.S. buy my Ithaca microbadge! http://boardgamegeek.com/browse/microbadge/2429
Also Cornell: http://boardgamegeek.com/browse/microbadge/1919
 
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Dennis Ugolini
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When I lived in Ithaca from 1997-1999, I used to drive almost an hour to Binghamton for a game store there. It was Games Workshop-centric (and ran a great Blood Bowl league), but had a good selection of Euros as well. Alas, I forget the name.
 
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Scott Nicholson
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Re: boardgaming groups and best brick and mortar store in It
If he's willing to drive an hour north to Syracuse, we have a weekly boardgame night on Tuesdays starting at 5pm at "Play the Game, Read the Story" now located in Carousel Center mall.

 
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Mike Barno
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Re: boardgaming groups and best brick and mortar store in It
I've worked in Ithaca for nine years, and heard nothing about gaming such as ads for Odyssey, promos for the Cornell group, or convention announcements. Six of us at Claritas (in the tech park up by the airport) play games, usually Euros, at lunch a couple of times a week; but most of us come from Cortland or further (I'm from Spencer) so we don't get together just for games. I can recommend the Syracuse gamestore mentioned in this thread and their local group. Down in the Binghamton area, there's Fat Cat Books on Main Street in Johnson City; but they're oriented more toward comics and their game stuff is mostly fantasy role-playing and collectible card games. Really, if you're looking to buy games, you're better off with the online suppliers like Funagain Games or ThoughtHammer.
 
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Bill Barksdale
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Mike_Barno wrote:
I've worked in Ithaca for nine years, and heard nothing about gaming such as ads for Odyssey, promos for the Cornell group, or convention announcements.

Clearly we need to improve our publicity Of course, you are welcome to come by this week or any other week. There is usually a decent collection of Euro games being played. Diplomacy is even possible arrrh but would probably be best to arrange in advance.

Out of curiosity, where would you expect to see promotional materials for a gaming group?
 
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Bill Barksdale
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Re: boardgaming groups and best brick and mortar store in It
The last few weeks have been a time of change. Odyssey Games is now co-located with Providence Hobbies at 113 W. State St. There is unfortunately no table space inside the new location, but Jevon says they are looking into options for a larger and more permanent location. Events like the Sunday Magic tournaments will continue to be hosted in the space above Autumn Leaves.
 
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Doug Faust
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Just to add my two cents to the mix, I did my undergrad at Cornell about 5 years ago. CSSS (now Games Club, I guess) is a great group, they pretty much introduced me to the boardgaming hobby. When I was there, I'd say that most of the members there on Friday nights were "townees". In any case, it's a great group of guys, I'd highly recommend them to anyone in Ithaca.

Oh, how I miss the days of starting games of Titan at midnight...
 
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Bill Barksdale
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I remember during finals week the third Titan game of the night ending at about 11AM.
 
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Phrim wrote:
I'd say that most of the members there on Friday nights were "townees". In any case, it's a great group of guys, I'd highly recommend them to anyone in Ithaca.
This past summer I started driving about 45 minutes to go to these on Fridays.

Everyone that I've met has been friendly, most of us are townies or grad students, and there are a respectable number of women among the regulars.

Lots of different games are played. Last night the group I was with played Gnostica, Zendo, and The Settlers of Catan: The Fishermen of Catan. Others were playing Stone Age, Race for the Galaxy, and Manila - and those are only the games I was aware of, while sitting in one room. There were three groups of people just in that room.

This semester we're in Goldwin Smith Hall, rooms GSH144, GSH158, GSH160, GSH162, GSH164,and GSH181.

Edits: Fixing the &%$#@ game links.
 
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Zach Kessler
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I'd like to tell/remind people about the Providence Hobbies weekly
Board Game Nights that I'm setting up.

We are starting this on Wed. October 1st at about 6 till 9(ish)


For our first event, we will be holding a Munchkin Marathon.
At 5$ cost of entry, your paying for room rental/filling the prize pool.

This weeks prize is the Super Munchkin Shirt + Store Credit if enough
people show


Providence Hobbies is located at 308 E. Seneca
It's the BRIGHT blue building next to No Radio Records


We are open to community input for future events (i.e. if you we have
a bunch of people requesting Carcosonne or Settlers, we'll do that)


If you have any info, you can call them or email me at
LckyDice777@hotmail.com
 
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Peter Bogdasarian
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I think I used to play with some of you guys (at Cornell) back in the late nineties...

The Binghamton Warhammer-centric hobby store someone was trying to remember was likely Armada. I'm told there's a new boardgame store by the SUNY campus these days...
 
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