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Subject: Compleat Strategist in Manhattan rss

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Want to send a shout out to this wonderful store, located in midtown Manhattan. They have gone the extra mile for me, tracking down a copy of a game that I casually asked about when making another purchase (but never even asked them to try to locate). They didn't force me to buy it either--just let me know they had found it. It was OP but they just charged me the retail. Very cool.

With so much of this great city becoming mall-i-fied, it is great to see a small storefront sticking it out just a few feet from the Empire State Building and major tourist area.
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Dave Why
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Wow ... I haven't thought about that place in years. Glad to hear they're still around. I used to shop there back in the late 70s and 80s when I spent time in the NYC area. I remember picking up Cosmic Encounter (the Eon version) and some Avalon Hill war games there. They always had a fantastic selection.
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d Michel
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Wow, I remember going there back in the mid 70's to pick up original white box D&D. Glad to hear that they are still in business.
 
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dearolddad wrote:
Glad to hear that they are still in business.
Honestly, every time I go there as I turn the corner off of 5th I fear that they won't be there anymore! But yep, they're still there and ...

davey314 wrote:
They always had a fantastic selection



...they still do!
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Philip Mazzone
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Used to go there nonstop in the early-mid 90s for d&d stuff as well as MtG cards. Only half hr away, I might revisit this soon, havent thought about it in years.
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Joe Wyka
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It's a "must stop" every time I go to NY.
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Marty Sample
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The Strat was a "brand" back in the 80s/90s when they used to be a prominent advertiser in wargame magazines - pre Internet, that's how I discovered them. I've always thought it was a missed opportunity for them to parlay that into a formidable web presence, kind of like an early version of CSI/MM. They were certainly one of the few nationally known retailers back then.
 
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Joey Nazzari
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Stopped there for the first time on Saturday. Huge selection, but they really need to do some form of modern inventory system. No order for the most part and all the new releases were on the floor in front of other shelves. Time to clear out old inventory with a sale of some kind as it's not a good look.
 
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Phil Thron
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captds9e wrote:
Stopped there for the first time on Saturday. Huge selection, but they really need to do some form of modern inventory system. No order for the most part and all the new releases were on the floor in front of other shelves. Time to clear out old inventory with a sale of some kind as it's not a good look.


Normally I'd agree with your assessment regarding ease of access and locating desired items, etc. However, with this particular store I find it's all part of the charm and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's like treasure hunting in a cavern quite full of various treasures. I love strolling through the...admittedly VERY narrow...aisles, craning my neck to see if I can make out the lettering on that box that seems like it's surely 7 stories above me, but has gotten my attention because it's a different design than the others around it and it surely MUST be something worth checking out.

Some things shouldn't change...
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Joey Nazzari
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Yeah that's great if there is more aisle room trying to find a specific title when there is no order is not fun, but I guess works for them.
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'Arctica' Gary
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adm1 wrote:
Want to send a shout out to this wonderful store, located in midtown Manhattan. (Compleat Strategist)


Just so you are aware, there is a microbadge:  Compleat Strategist fan
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Jason B
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There is (was?) one in Boston as well. When I lived there I went regularly, but it's been about 4 years since my last visit. Always had a great experience.
 
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To me the aisles and seeming disarray is just part of the charm. I feel if I look long enough I will find a shrinkwrapped copy of Ambush! just lying around.
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Steve Zaccardi
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There was a CS store down here in South Florida in the late '70s and into the '80s. It was my first real gaming hobby shop. A lot of fond memories. One of the original fellows who set up the store still lives and plays down here.

A couple months ago one of my buddies had a trip up to NYC and dropped in that store for nostalgia. Good times.
 
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Ron Lacer
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Jasonbartfast wrote:
There is (was?) one in Boston as well. When I lived there I went regularly, but it's been about 4 years since my last visit. Always had a great experience.


Still there, kind of tucked away in the back of a building, down a hallway. Not a good location for casual walk in sales, but it appears to work for them as their core customers knows where to find them.
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Marty Sample
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The Boston store used to be on Mass Ave near Berkley school of music, very convenient location, but I suspect the rent became too expensive. I think they moved about 10 years ago. At least its easier ( relatively ) to find parking near the new location. But it is all but invisible to street traffic.
 
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Eric Matthews
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Marty S wrote:
The Boston store used to be on Mass Ave near Berkley school of music, very convenient location, but I suspect the rent became too expensive. I think they moved about 10 years ago. At least its easier ( relatively ) to find parking near the new location. But it is all but invisible to street traffic.


Also cramped, dark, dirty, and with an almost total lack of customer service at least for those of us who give it a try every year or so. I imagine regulars just have to be treated better. That criteria was never awesome in the Mass Ave location where I used to go monthly, but in the "newer" space it's like they just gave up even trying to win over customers or compete with web sales by adding anything to the experience of going in person.

Just saying the one in Boston has never been friendly, but now it's downright embarrassing. They are great at Pax and conventions for some reason, but I've never been greeted oreven acknowledged by anyone in the store whenever I've visited. Asking a simple question about stock got me a grunt of disapproval the last time I was there like I was interrupting something despite the fact that I was the only customer in the store. Admittedly it's been 2 years now since I tried it, but I just don't miss the experience (or the prices).

Pandemonium in Cambridge is not awesome either, but at least they seem to dust thier shelves and even acknowledge that I'm an actual customer.
 
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Aaron Silverman
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zaccardi wrote:
There was a CS store down here in South Florida in the late '70s and into the '80s. It was my first real gaming hobby shop. A lot of fond memories. One of the original fellows who set up the store still lives and plays down here.


Really? I knew they had several locations, but didn't realize there was one down here.

zaccardi wrote:
A couple months ago one of my buddies had a trip up to NYC and dropped in that store for nostalgia. Good times.


Me too! Sadly, they were not open, but I pointed out a lot of fun stuff to my son through the window.

Back around 1998, I was working in midtown and stopped in the store just for nostalgia's sake. I had never been there, but remembered their ads from old gaming magazines. I hadn't gamed in years, but somehow was inspired to start a group and get back into the hobby, with the store's support. I made a lot of good friends through that group, and, well, you've seen my game room.
 
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Marty Sample
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Actually at one time the Strat had THREE Manhattan locations. The current one, one on West 57th, and can't remember where the third one was .
 
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paul lieberman
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I first went to the Manhatten store in the mid seventies. I think it was open for about one week.Bought hundreds of games there for almost 40 years! Very friendly with Danny who is one of the owners along with his brother. I retired from my job in Manhatten in 2013. One of the great stories was when I was a very lucky client to get a copy of War Of The Ring Collector's Edition. He had about 6 copies.I had them remove the game from the box and they wrapped it up special for me for transport on a bus to my home in New Jersey. Danny gave me a great price because I was one of his premier customers.
Some of the early hall of fame games purchased there was the original Empire of the Petal Throne,Tractics,DNO (the first east front monster game from GDW),Empire 2nd Edition and may others.
It should be noted that they only sold war games and military books when they first opened.
 
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d Michel
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Paul - Do you still have your copy of Petal Throne?
 
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paul lieberman
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dearolddad wrote:
Paul - Do you still have your copy of Petal Throne?


Sorry I sold it on ebay a few years back for a great price. It was in mint condition. I remember that one of the Maps was creased and TSR sent a quick replacement.
 
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David Mader
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PThron wrote:
captds9e wrote:
Stopped there for the first time on Saturday. Huge selection, but they really need to do some form of modern inventory system. No order for the most part and all the new releases were on the floor in front of other shelves. Time to clear out old inventory with a sale of some kind as it's not a good look.


Normally I'd agree with your assessment regarding ease of access and locating desired items, etc. However, with this particular store I find it's all part of the charm and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's like treasure hunting in a cavern quite full of various treasures. I love strolling through the...admittedly VERY narrow...aisles, craning my neck to see if I can make out the lettering on that box that seems like it's surely 7 stories above me, but has gotten my attention because it's a different design than the others around it and it surely MUST be something worth checking out.

Some things shouldn't change...


Agree with this - it's the Ollivander's of board game stores.
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David Levin
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joewyka wrote:
It's a "must stop" every time I go to NY.


Me too! There are very few stores like this anymore, so to have one that is so stocked and current with so many games (board, card, rpg, etc), rather than overrun with CCGs and Pop Vinyl figures, is awesome.
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Went to the Manhattan store today to buy something and their shopping bag shows existing stores in Boston, Falls Church, VA, King of Prussia, PA as well as the Manhattan location so I guess they are still going (at least pretty) strong.
 
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