Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Turning the Tables

by Ben Haugmo | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Culture | April 5th, 2017

Photos courtesy of Steve Maul of Little Big Wars

Across Fargo-Moorhead, an invisible conflict plays out. Wars between great armies, both familiar and fantastic, are waged across well-worn battlefields. Noble knights and cunning mages plunder the depths of the world’s hidden places for untold treasures. Strategists and conjurers pit their monstrous servants against one another in a bid for supremacy.

These fearsome clashes between warlords and adventurers take place, not where bystanders are put at risk, but in the vistas of the mind. The battlefield is not strewn with the bones of the fallen, but with dice, and soaked, not with blood, but with maybe a spilled soda or beer.

Tabletop gaming, be it a roleplaying game ala Dungeons and Dragons, or a tile-based board game like Settlers of Catan, allows players to experience the sense of escape that video games provide while allowing for greater chances to interact with other people. Gone are the days when groups would have to congregate in isolated pockets at their respective kitchen tables. The gaming venues in Fargo-Moorhead provide spaces for gamers to gather while nurturing a sense of community.

Growing a community was exactly what Steve Maul had in mind when he took his store, Little Big Wars, off of the web and into a physical storefront in North Fargo. From the beginning, Maul’s mission has been to not only sell games, but also to give players the room they need to participate in the games they enjoy.

“Back when I was a kid, or even a young adult, there really was no place to game. My goal in opening the store was to dedicate half of the space to game tables, and not just be another retail store, but to be more of a community for gamers to come together.”

Little Big Wars’ focus is largely on miniature war games, which involve painted figurine armies controlled by players.

“We primarily have a pretty active group in miniature gaming,” said Maul. “There’s lots of genres to choose from: You can be the general of a fantasy army, a Star Wars army in science fiction -- or a historical army, if you want to run Romans, Civil War, or tanks. We offer all that stuff in miniature.”

It’s not just about the fighting, however. Maul says that some of his patrons like miniatures for the artistic aspect.

“There’s people that don’t really play a lot but they love painting the models and building and collecting the art. I’ve got one guy who comes in all the time, he’s a great painter, and he hardly ever puts his figures on the table.”

Little Big Wars features card games as well, including popular titles like Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh. New games are being demoed and previewed all the time, too. For example, Maul recently got a chance to learn the Lord of the Rings card game.

Little Big Wars also has a Dungeons and Dragons night every Wednesday, which offers a casual, accessible environment for those who want to get a couple hours of adventuring in.

Maul has also begun an initiative called Little Big Wars Gamers Connect, which allows gamers to discuss the tabletop games they’re playing and more easily find groups in the area. The group can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/735331559973173/

Another choice for gamers is Paradox Comics-N-Cards in downtown Fargo. Richard Early began by selling comics at conventions, but leapt at the opportunity to establish a store of his own. The summer that Paradox opened, Magic: The Gathering was released, and it’s been a key feature of the store ever since. Paradox also features demos and events for different games every day of the week.

Anyone new to a game who stops by Paradox will find that the community is willing to help them learn.

“At monthly tabletop night,” said Early, “we demo 3 games as part of the action. For something like Magic or Pokemon, players are usually expected to arrive with a working knowledge of the games. We are always happy to teach and inform and usually a Youtube search will find demos by the games manufacturers.

“Our community here locally is actually quite special. It's filled with leaders and great people.” Paradox’s community also gives back to the wider community by raising money for Sanford Children’s Hospital during their gaming marathon, Extra Life.

“We game for 24 hours,” said Early, “livestream, giveaway games, provide food, and generally make this event the center of the gaming world for one great day. That's the ultimate place for people to experience what tabletop gaming is and give to a great cause.”

Anyone looking for a more casual experience can find it at Front Street Taproom. Not only do they offer thirty locally brewed beers, but they also provide games for patrons to enjoy. Aaron Templin has been gaming for much of his life, and considered it important to incorporate that in the Front Street Taproom.

“We have had a couple of board game tournaments, and they’ve been somewhat successful, some more than others. Those happen kind of sporadically as time goes on. We’ve done a Carcassonne tournament, and Settlers of Catan. We also did a Scrabble tournament. Things like that, games that people are familiar with. Nothing too intense.”

Front Street Taproom also offers a card game meet-up, where players can enjoy traditional playing-card games like hearts, pinochle, spades, whist, and poker.

Whatever your play style, whether you prefer to arm yourself with sword and sorcery, or to have an army at your beck and call, the Fargo-Moorhead area has ample accommodations for tabletop gamers of all types.

Recently in:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Policy, not law, has torn more than 2,300 children from their parents along the U.S.-Mexico border. Although immigration reform has been a heated topic for decades, the policy of zero tolerance began with a…

Culture

​Dream factory

by HPR Contributor

By Oscar de Leonoscarldeleonjr@gmail.comTucked away near the rolling hills of West Hollywood, Chris Haskell, a former student at MSUM, makes his usual trek into his office where he edits footage to craft trailers to some of the…

Monday, June 25, 7 p.m.Sanctuary Events Center, 670 4th Ave N, Fargo It’s no surprise that Q magazine dubbed The Flaming Lips one of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die," with their elaborate stage shows and multi-layered…

Just last week Raul and I were driving a rental car on the backroads of Mallorca, a small Mediterranean Island off the coast of Spain. Not gonna lie, my nose may or may not have been pressed hard against the window admiring the…

Ireland Has Sent Pope Francis and The Vatican A Dear John Letter: “It’s Over!”The Irish people and the Vatican have been developing a huge cultural grand canyon for decades over the issues of gender identities,…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

Every year the Fargo Moorhead area celebrates its love of food with Restaurant week. Each restaurant involved prepares a special menu to showcase the best of what they have to offer. This year there are seventeen restaurants…

Front Street Taproom has struck up a relation with local record shop, Vinyl Giant. There are two events where turntables are set up and people can play their records. Every Wednesday they host Vinyl Night from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.…

Scaring up early buzz as a premiere in the Midnight section of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” is the horror film of the year. Anchored by the vital performance of Toni Collette as grieving,…

By Tayler Klimektklimek@cord.eduCome one, come all to the 59th anniversary of the Midwestern Invitational Art Exhibition! This tradition celebrates each year with a preview and awards selection the first night of its showing, with…

Projects have a tendency to take on a life of their own once they’ve reached a certain point. When the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre was established in 1946 to offer other local opportunities for artistic expression outside…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

By Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comHow lucky we are in the FM area that we have so many craft breweries, but did you know that we also have two cider houses? Cottonwood Cider House is one of those cider houses and is just a short…

Best Local CelebrityCarson WentzBest Stylist / BarberJed Felix, Everett’s BarbershopBest Salon / Barber ShopEverett’s BarbershopBest Tattoo Parlor46 & 2 TattooBest Tattoo ArtistMeg Felix, No Coast TattooBest Gift ShopZandbroz…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

Last Word

​Keeping FM C.L.E.A.N

by HPR Contributor

By Paul JensenFargo, as the most populous city in the state with 120,000 inhabitants, added nearly 6,000 20-to-34-year-olds in 2015, just over five percent of the total population. Fargo is attracting well-educated young…