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Hi-Line Living: Step inside the Wizard's Alcove

Card and board game enthusiasts have a place to call home in Havre


November 8, 2013

Lindsay Brown

Christian Sorenson plays a Wednesday night game of Magic: The Gathering at the Wizard's Alcove Oct. 30.

Wizard's Alcove, on the west end of 1st Street in Havre, offers role-playing and card-playing gamers a place to pit their skills and decks against other enthusiasts.

Jamie Bassett owns Wizard's Alcove and the car audio shop connected to it. He said that there is usually a game going at the Alcove every night.

Monday is the biggest night for Dungeons & Dragons players.

D&D is a popular role-playing game created in 1974. In the almost 40 years of its existence, the game has been through many changes and revamps, but the basic idea is still the same: players create a character to navigate through a dungeon on a board to complete quests and campaigns. A "dungeon master" controls the map the other players navigate through and rolls dice - which is how an attack's effectiveness is determined - for the monsters and other enemies the players may encounter.

Several versions of D&D are played at Wizard's Alcove, including D&D 2.0, 3.5 and 3.5 Mechno, offering unique twists on the game. Mechno is D&D in a futuristic setting.

Another popular game played at the Wizard's Alcove is Magic: the Gathering. The biggest night for Magic players is Wednesday.

Sean Gleason, a Magic: the Gathering enthusiast, has been playing the game as far back as 10 years ago.

Magic is a fantasy collectible card game - think of baseball trading cards, but each card represents a magical creature or powerful spell instead of an athlete, and each card is a different game piece in a complex game of luck and strategy.

A player pits his deck of cards against his opponent's. Each deck is created by the player and made of a variety of types of cards that serve different purposes - more than 10,000 different cards have been printed in the 20 years that Magic has been around.

"I just play it because it's fun," Gleason said.

Gleason said the main objective of the game is to get the other player's "life" down to zero points but, he added, there are a lot of other ways to lose the game.

Christian Sorenson just started playing the game two weeks ago.

"I've just been into card games for a while and (Magic) looks interesting," Sorenson said.

Calvin Loskin, another Magic veteran, said 15 to 20 people usually come to Wizard's Alcove every Wednesday to play Magic.

Friday nights are board game nights, when people can play games like Talisman and Warhammer, Bassett said.

"Board game night is whatever we decide on," Bassett said.

Lindsay Brown

Sean Gleason, Sorenson's opponent for the evening, has been playing Magic for more than 10 years.

Anyone can play these games at the Wizard's Alcove, which opens at 6 p.m. every day and closes when the games are over or when Bassett decides to close shop.

People can post on a message board in the shop when they want to play a game of their choice. For example, if someone wanted to play Settlers of Catan at 6 p.m. Tuesday, he or she could write it on this board to see if anyone has any interest in playing that game at the time.

"A guy came in here, left a rule book and got eight people to play with him," Bassett said.

Bassett sells starter sets for Magic: the Gathering, as well as card packs to supplement an existing deck. He also sells D&D merchandise and other board and card games.

The Wizard's Alcove can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wizards.alcove.


Reader Comments

DanMarino writes:

Ooof. I'm going to be honest. Little bit of misinformation here. I'm one of the 'Mechno' players. I have no idea where you got that name from, not from us. Without going on a giant boring tangent that no-one cares about, the games are less 'navigate a dungeon or board' and more like a choose your own adventure book where the players are the characters and can interact with both each other and the author.


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