A visit to the Compleat Strategist

Business took me to NYC this past weekend.  I had not been in NYC since January of 2008.  But whenever I do find myself there, if I can find a bit of time I always enjoy visiting Manhattan’s wonderful game shop, The Compleat Strategist.  They are down on E 33rd, just off Fifth Ave., so they are easy to find and typically a modest hike from where I am staying.

It was a very cold and windy day in Manhattan, and it was so windy I began regretting wearing my brimmed hat.  But albeit a bit chilled, I and my hat did arrive safely at the store.  The Compleat Strategist is a typical NYC retail space, narrow but deep.  You climb a few steps once inside, and you are quickly made aware how densely packed the store is with inventory.  Stacks and stacks of games, an entire wall of collectible card games, and all sorts of miniatures.  Lots of RPG books, some Manga (sp?) and all those great guides to military history.  There are two aisles through the store, and I did a slow u-turn through their store, enjoying the heat and all the visual input.

I dawdled by the wall of wargames, (a whole lot of GMT games), but as I am not playing 2p games much anymore they were not a serious contender.  At the end of the aisle I found their clearance games.  I noted that Beowulf was 50% off, and recalled when I was last in the store in 2008, that was the title I purchased.  A nice display case at the end showed all sorts of cool miniatures.  If I’d seen some irresistable Doctor Who stuff, I might have gone for it.  But it was mostly StarWars stuff – which is fun to behold, but nothing I want to collect.

Coming down the second aisle I found their extensive array of eurogames.  If they have a filing system, I wasn’t able to discern it.  But this just makes the browsing even more fun.  I knew I wanted to come home with some treasure, so I dawdled a fair amount of time, reading the blurbs on games I had only heard of, or never heard of.  One joy of browsing a big selection like theirs, is the hope of finding some obscure game you know isn’t generally available elsewhere.


Neolithibum is a game I have only seen played – once – long ago.  But I recalled it was received well by Peggy, and I figured it may be the only new sealed copy of the game I was ever likely to see in this lifetime.  So I grabbed it with some pleasure.  I also decided to purchase the travel edition of Ingenious.

With that, and a brief chat with the sales clerk, I held on to my hat and wandered back uptown in Manhattan.  Another successful pilgrimage to The Complete Strategist!


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