Getting Together For Games | The Source Weekly

WWhether it’s Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer, or Magic, the strategy game community in central Oregon is alive and well. Peter Askew, owner of Modern Games in Bend, is familiar with the games and playgroups in central Oregon and has suggestions for getting started.

What separates strategy games from board games is complexity, Askew told Source Weekly.

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Dungeons & Dragons, also known as D&D, is a role-playing, storytelling, and strategy game that can go in many directions depending on group play. Each person takes on the role of a character and the party explores fantasy worlds through quests.

Bend has his own D&D Facebook group, Bend DnD, and has 343 followers. The community is “open and inclusive, encouraging fun and positive interaction across all ages, genders and abilities,” according to the flyer promoting the group. The group also has an active Discord server with 298 members and a less active Reddit community listed on the flyer where players can get in touch. For Central Oregonians who want to talk games, find a gaming group, share new miniatures, ask questions, or get into the strategy games hobby, the Discord group has a discussion forum for that. Modern Games also recently started hosting D&D meet-ups every other Sunday afternoon. People can go to Modern Games to learn more and get involved.

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Warhammer is a miniature wargame played on a large surface and involving heavy strategy. Played on a table, Warhammer is on the nerdy side of games. If you’ve ever entered Modern Games, seen the wall covered in little figures and wondered what they were used for, then you’ve come to the right place. A battlefield is set up with resin and plastic miniature figures and gameplay combat begins. There are many variations of the game including 40K, AOS, Killteam and Warcry. Modern Games hosts Warhammer Wednesdays weekly to invite the wargaming community into the store to spread out on the tables, set up miniatures and play missions.

Friday nights and Sunday mornings are set aside for Magic and Magic only at Modern Games. Magic is a strategic trading card game and can be played in many ways. Players are invited to a draft format of the game, where players open a fresh deck, build their deck, and play.

The complexity of these strategy games can sometimes put people off, but Askew suggests people look to YouTube how-to videos to get a feel for new games. Askew’s two favorite channels for learning new games are Watch It Played and Shut Up & Sit Down.

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Modern Games Facebook

Modern Games is the only game store in Bend and offers many game nights (and days) for community members.

“If you’re looking for a particularly complex game, spend a few hours looking at (YouTube) reviews of that game,” Askew said. “See if you still think it’s for you after watching it for a few hours. Because all the complex games, whether you’re talking about a complex board game or Dragons or Warhammer or Magic, it’s going to take you a few hours to play a round of this board game.”

For those who want to step up to these complex strategy games but want to start a little more easily, Askew suggests five “Welcome Games” including Catan, Pandemic, Azul, Century Spice Road, and Ticket to Ride. From party games to “welcome games” to strategy games, people can keep increasing the levels of complexity to reach the ultimate “nerd” status.

On Thursdays, the store hosts the Board Game Social Club, a get-together-style event. Players are invited to show up alone or with a group of friends to meet up and play. The store has a board game library with over 300 games to choose from. Participants can grab a library game or bring their own from home.

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“[Board Game Social Club] is great for people who are new in town and new to gaming,” Askew told Source.

On Saturday, the store hosts Board Game Day, where people can have a beer, cider, soda, coffee, or tea while playing. For $5 per person, players can play any game in the library for as long as they like. The mood is much more relaxed on Saturdays, Askew said.

“I think there’s value in turning off the world we live in and doing an analog activity,” Askew told the source.