Vermont Tabletop Gaming Round-up

A Game of Thrones board game. Photo by François Philipp.

A Game of Thrones board game. Photo by François Philipp.

There must be something in the weather, because new opportunities to get out, meet new people and play tabletop games are springing up all over the state. Let’s take a look at the state of play in open gaming events as it currently stands, divided up by regions of the state.

Central Vermont

Northeast Kingdom

  • Border Board Games meets monthly at the Derby Line village hall for an evening of friendly gaming, usually on the third Saturday.
  • Parker Pie in West Glover hosts a Tuesday night game gathering, according to a recent Facebook update from Green Mountain Gamers.

Northwestern Vermont

  • Bakuretsucon, Vermont’s anime convention, includes an open gaming space as part of the festivities.
  • Fall-loha is a Burlington area game day hosted by Green Mountain Gamers at some point in the fall.
  • Quarterstaff Games hosts themed game nights all week long in downtown Burlington. Area of focus include board games, Magic: The Gathering, Legend of the 5 Rings, other card games, Warhammer, Warmachine, Dungeons & Dragons and the Pathfinder Society living role-playing campaign.
  • Vermont Gaming Community is a new Facebook community based out of Winooski. They regularly host Magic and board game nights at the moment, with occasional LAN parties.
  • Westford Strategy Board Gaming meets periodically in the Westford area.

Southwestern Vermont

  • Gamers Grotto in Bennington has a full calendar of daily gaming activities. They cover tabletop and video games, with the analog focusing on MagicNaruto and Warhammer.


  • 802 MTG is a Facebook group serving as an access point for Magic players all around Vermont.
  • Green Mountain Gamers is an independent social network for Vermont gamers to meet each other and share news of what’s going on. They also host a series of game days around the state.
  • Tru Gaming VT connects players via events and Facebook.

Upper Valley

  • Carnage is an annual weekend convention of gaming, convening in Killington, Vermont in early November.
  • The Colatina Exit in Bradford sees the playing of board games every third Monday. The organizer advertises them via Facebook.
  • Fairlee Public Library‘s after school programming includes gaming on Thursdays. Tonight, May 24th, they’re experimenting with a evening board game night, too.
  • MEGA Spring Meltdown recently became the Green Mountain Gamers’ longest event, held at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee.[1]
  • Triple Play, a hop over the Connecticut River in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, offers in-store gaming most nights of the week, offering board games, miniatures, card games and more.

Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments.

[1] Green Mountain Gamers also host two game days that float around Vermont. Visit their website for details.

Carnage Noir Opens for Preregistration

Carnage Noir has opened for preregistration. Convention-goers can download the program book, choose what they’d like to play that weekend and vie to reserve seats ahead of time.

Carnage runs November 2nd through the 4th at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. The convention hosts all kinds of tabletop games, from the latest and greatest in the trendy Eurogames taking American game-players by storm to old school war games, historical miniatures battles and role-playing adventure.

It was a hoot yesterday, watching my social networks light up with reports of convention books appearing in mailboxes across the northeast. The day the Carnage book hits is a bit like Christmas morning: all sorts of amazing goodies are spread across its pages. By the looks of the book, Carnage is gonna be fun this year!

Companions of the Firmament’s Final Stretch Goals

Companions of the Firmament art. Used with permission.

Companions of the Firmament art. Used with permission.

With Geek Industrial Complex’s Companions of the Firmament in its final hours of fundraising, designer Neil Carr has created some interesting new stretch goals to round out the month-long campaign.

In particular, if the Kickstarter reaches 110 backers — it’s currently up to 96 at the time of writing — Geek Industrial Complex will make “an adventure that would use many different elements of CotF to help illustrate their use in play and inject players into a decidedly aerial environment” available to backers of the Wingmate level and higher, essentially everyone who receives a PDF or more as a reward. This goal comes from Neil’s analysis of previous kickstarted RPGs, where the median number of backers on a successful campaign is 110.

Companions of the Firmament is also very close to unlocking still more sheets for flying monsters, allowing GMs to more easily incorporate existing Pathfinder creatures into the supplement’s ruleset expansion.

Finally, Neil promises, “I’ll put out one last update at that final hour of the campaign (10:30 EDT) so keep a lookout for it. I want to add some drama to the last few moments of the campaign :)” Can’t wait to see what he’s got cooked up!

Carnage Noir Update from Carnagecast

This week on Carnagecast, the crew has the latest word on what’s in the works for Carnage, the annual gaming convention held in the Vermont side of the Upper Valley at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee.

Topics of note include the looming deadline for people wishing to get their scheduled games listed in the convention book, what’s already on deck for board games, collectible card games, miniatures and role-playing games, and some discussion of this year’s noir theme and how GMs might take advantage of it.

Carnage Noir happens November 2nd through the 4th in Fairlee, Vermont. Carnagecast releases new episodes alternating Mondays.

Carnage Game Convention Seeks Submissions

Illustration by John Tenniel.

Carnage, Vermont’s very own game convention, seeks the brave and the bold in the New England tabletop game community to run events at their upcoming November convention, themed after Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Hosting events from all across the spectrum of hobby games — board games, card games (collectible and otherwise), miniatures, role-playing and even LARP — Carnage is a great chance to sample whatever grabs one’s fancy. As for game moderators, or GMs, it allows them to show off games they want to teach to others. There’s no feeling quite like demonstrating a game to a newcomer, only to watch them immediately rush off to the dealer’s room afterward to purchase a copy of their own.

Submissions received by the end of July get in the convention book, which is mailed out to previous attendees and circulated among regional game stores. If you’re interested in sharing your favorite game or exercising your adventure-running muscles, this is your moment to do so and meet fellow hobbyists from all over New England.

P.S. As a Carnage staffer I’ll be there all weekend. Would any Geek Mountain State readers be interested in a meet-up?

Reminder: Summer Game ‘n Grill

This weekend is the big summer game day in Norwich. Just down the road from the Montshire Museum of Science, in the local grange hall, Green Mountain Gamers hosts their second annual summer event, bringing ” two great things — meat and games — together in a fiery conflagration.”

It promises to be a good time. I’ll be there, role-playing it up with InSpectres at least, and probably some other fun games, of which there are bound to be a plethora. And that’s in addition to the Race for the Galaxy tournament, game garage sale, raffle to benefit the Hartwell family, game swap and more.

The fun goes down on June 18th at the grange hall in Norwich, Vermont, from 10am to 10pm. Read more about the Game ‘n Grill over on the Green Mountain Gamers website.

Green Mountain Gamers Present the 2011 Summer Game ‘n Grill

After a few months off, the Green Mountain Gamers return to host their summer event, the Game ‘n Grill, in Norwich, Vermont. This is the fifth in their ongoing series of quarterly game days.

Game days provide an opportunity for casual geeks to learn more about the tabletop game hobby from some of its ardent enthusiasts, as well as game-players from different communities come together and establish face-to-face relationships.

In addition to open play of all sorts of games and a Race for the Galaxy tournament with prize sponsorship from Triple Play, Green Mountain Gamers will host a raffle to benefit an area gamer’s family beset with medical expenses. That’s a prime example of geeks reaching out to help their own.

The Game ‘n Grill runs from 10am to 10pm on June 18th at the grange hall in Norwich. Directions and programming information can be found at their website. And yes, there will be a grill on site.

Carnage the 13th in Review

This past weekend was the thirteenth annual Carnage, a convention dedicated to the playing of tabletop games: miniatures war games, board games and every other kind of game that doesn’t require a computer or console to play.

The thing about hobby games like Magic: The Gathering or Warhammer 40,000 is that it can often be difficult to find fellow players, if one’s community lacks a natural hub such as the friendly local game store. In a rural state with low population density like Vermont, the chance to play one’s favorite game becomes even rarer. So a weekend when the gamer per square foot ratio skyrockets is a natural chance not only to trot out one’s army, deck, adventure or beloved board game, but also to make connections. There’s nothing like discovering that someone in the next town over from you is a huge Advanced Squad Leader fan, too.

A convention like Carnage has two aspects: playing games and socializing. The two often blend in unexpected ways, too. Yes, people chat in the bar during the Diplomacy tournament. But that’s not all. This year, a game of Munchkin culminated in a marriage proposal. Rumors the ceremony will be at Carnage 2011 are debatable.

All in all, it was a tremendous weekend for tabletop gamers in Vermont, as well as those who came from wider New England. Lots of games were played, monsters slain and new friendships made.

Carnage by the Lake

Carnage is an annual tabletop game convention that takes place the first weekend of November. For three days, gamers gather to play their favorites and try the newest titles in the hobby. All types of tabletop games are played: miniature war games, European-style board games, collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering and pencil and paper role-playing games.

A convention is a great way to try out new games, or sample the hobby as whole if you’ve never had the chance to explore tabletop games beyond the toy aisle of the local department store. Games are run by volunteers GMs, or game master or moderator, so they’re motivated to teach a game to newcomers, as the more people who know how to play it, the more they get to play it.

Carnage the 13th runs from November 5th through the 7th at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. Tickets are available at the door for the day or whole weekend.