Getting Together For Games | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Getting Together For Games

Strategy games seem intimidating, but they don't have to be. Here are some rundowns, tips, meetups and ideas for getting started.

Whether 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, knows the ins and outs of the games and the gaming groups in Central Oregon, and has suggestions for how people should get started.

The thing that sets strategy gaming apart from board games is the complexity, Askew told the Source Weekly.

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Dungeons & Dragons, a.k.a. D&D, is a role playing, storytelling, strategy game that can be taken in many directions depending on the group playing. Each person assumes the role of a character and the group explores fantasy worlds through quests.

Bend has its own D&D Facebook group, Bend DnD, and has 343 followers. The community is "open and inclusive, promoting 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 gamers can get in touch. For Central Oregonians looking to talk about games, find a game group, share new miniatures, ask questions or get into the hobby of strategy games, the discord group has a discussion board for it. Modern Games also recently started hosting D&D meetups every other Sunday afternoon. People can head into Modern Games to learn more about it and get involved.

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Warhammer Community

Warhammer is a miniature wargame played over a large surface, and it involves heavy strategy. Played on a tabletop, Warhammer is on the nerdier side of games. If you've ever walked into Modern Games, seen the wall covered in little figurines and wondered what they were used for, this is it. A battlefield is set up using resin and plastic miniature figures, and the gameplay fight begins. There are many variations of the game, including 40K, AOS, Killteam and Warcry. Modern Games hosts weekly Warhammer Wednesdays to invite the wargaming community into the store to spread out on the tables, set up miniatures and play out missions.

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

The complexity of these strategy games can sometimes steer people away, but Askew suggests people search for YouTube instruction videos to get a feel for new games. Askew's two favorite channels to learn 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 it has many meetup game nights (and days) open to community members.

"If you're looking for a particular complex game, spend a couple hours watching (YouTube) reviews on that game," Askew said. "See if you still think it's for you after watching for a couple 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 couple hours to play one round of that board game."

For those wanting to step up to these complex strategy games but want to start a little simpler, Askew suggests five "welcoming games," including Catan, Pandemic, Azul, Century Spice Road and Ticket to Ride. From party games to "welcoming games" to strategy games, people can keep jumping up the complexity levels to reach ultimate "nerd" status.

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

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Modern Games Facebook

"[Board Game Social Club] is great for people that are new to town and new to gaming," Askew told the Source.

On Saturday, the store hosts Board Game Day, where people can grab a beer, cider, soda, coffee or tea while playing. For $5 per person, gamers can play any game from the library for any amount of time. The vibe is much more chill on Saturdays, Askew said.

"I think there's value in unplugging the world we live in and doing an analog activity," Askew told the Source.

About The Author

Allie Noland

Allie graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in journalism and public relations. She loves writing articles that have anything to do with arts and entertainment. When she’s not writing, you can find her skiing, playing volleyball, backpacking, gardening and checking out local restaurants.
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