Ed Larson says Rutland’s got enough game to go around.

Larson is poised to open Two Ravens Games next week on Hillside Road, just off Woodstock Avenue. With a focus on board games, miniature wargames and tabletop roleplaying, he said he will have some overlap with Draw Go Games but he is not trying to compete with the downtown store.

“I hold no ill will with them,” he said. “I still shop there. I don’t want them to go away. ... I’m trying to reach out and play well with others, not fight over the 10 gamers that are here, but make sure there are 20 gamers.”

If anything, Larson said, more choices increases Rutland’s chances of becoming a destination for hobbyists, and he said the town’s game and comic shops could wind up coordinating on events in the near future.

A longtime gamer and no relation to the former city alderman of the same name — “I always get asked that,” he said — Larson, 45, said he has dreamed of opening a game shop for 30 years and plans to convert his day job as a fire system inspector into a side gig. The shop’s name is a reference to Odin’s ravens in Norse mythology.

“I’m a Viking re-enactor,” he said. “How can you not?”

Larson said he has a number of ambitions for the store, starting with offering the largest selection of Dungeons & Dragons miniatures in Vermont.

“They make about 400 different miniatures, and I’ve got 390 on the shelf,” he said. “I’m carrying miniatures from 15 different companies — historical miniatures, Judge Dredd, sci-fi and fantasy. ... I am doing my damnedest to have more board games than anywhere in New England. I have at this point, 155, 165 titles I have in stock. ... I’ve got a lot of out-of-print and kind of defunct game systems in a section of the store.”

He also said he doesn’t want the experience there to begin and end with the stock.

“I’m trying to make sure this store has a soul,” he said. “I’ve got mural painters coming in to do the entire place. There will not be a plain wall in it. ... We’re trying to make it the kind of store you want to walk around in a full time before you even look at the merchandise.”

An organizer of the “Viking Invasion” events at the Sherburne Memorial Library and gaming programs at other local libraries, Larson said he is working on an in-store event schedule that will range from child and beginner clinics on painting miniatures to 18-and-over game nights.

Two Ravens Games opens its doors Oct. 6.

gordon.dritschilo

@rutlandherald.com

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City Reporter

Gordon has been a reporter for the Rutland Herald for nearly 20 years. A Castleton State College graduate, he's covered beats from the West county to the city, cops and courts and everything in between.

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