The 2013 edition of Strat-O-Matic has its opening day Friday, and long lines are expected despite the snowy forecast, according to Hal Richman, founder of the 52-year-old sports simulation board game.
Richman said between 150 and 200 people are expected based on the current number of pre-orders. He remembered a blizzard that hit on opening day in the mid-1990's, but fans weren't deterred. For many followers of the game, opening day is a must.
"People come from the Midwest, the South, California and Canada. We always have one from Canada," Richman said.
Cards will begin to be issued at 1 p.m., he said, but that may happen earlier if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Richman said the line should begin to form at 10 a.m., also depending on the weather.
Fans at last year's opening day began arriving at 42 Railroad Ave. in Glen Head as early as 8 a.m.
This year's edition features 189 additional cards. It includes a brand new 1938 season and a rerelease of the 1961 season, as well as the 2012 season.
The game, which is also online, enjoys a passionately loyal following. The company attributes that to the game's connection to real players and their on-field performance, according to its website: "Strat-O-Matic produces sports-simulation games that rate real players and teams accurately for professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey, and college football. Strat-O-Matic has the best-selling board games and computer text sims in our field, because we combine statistical realism with life-like strategy decisions in games that can be completed in a small fraction of the time it takes to watch a real game."
Richman said he and his staff are looking forward to seeing the turnout Friday.
"It's a very exciting day for us," he said. "I really enjoy meeting the people who play our games."