Get your game on at these Ames stores and communities


Mikayla Alt

Main Street Magic, Miniatures & More contains more than 1 million Magic the Gathering Cards, according to its owner, Brian Dane.

Ames has two main stores that tabletop gamers frequent.

Main Street Magic, Miniatures & More and Mayhem Comics both offer rooms for players to sit down and play their favorite games with friends, family or strangers.

Main Street Magic, Miniatures & More, better known as Main Street Magic, and Mayhem Comics always have open tables for those who want to play. Both of their game rooms are filled with board games for anyone to use.

Main Street Magic has a unique filing system for Magic the Gathering cards, and the owner, Brian Dane, guesses he owns over 1 million cards.

Dane has two cats running around his store. Two sisters, Samantha and Mary, will greet customers and stride around the shop.

Mayhem Comics hosts events every day of the week for different crowds. Events hosted include Magic the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Pokémon and Warhammer 40,000.

Find Mayhem Comics at 2532 Lincoln Way or Main Street Magic at 330 Main St. in Ames, Iowa.

Magic the Gathering

Magic the Gathering, created by Wizards of the Coast, is a game system with over 20 official game formats for players to choose from. Popular formats include commander, draft and standard.

At Mayhem and Main Street Magic, different formats of Magic are offered on a weekly basis.

Friday nights at Main Street Magic are dedicated Magic nights that offer booster drafts and commander games starting at 6:30 p.m.

Mayhem has open tables all days of the week but dedicates three nights to Magic each week.

“The community here is really friendly,” Cole Johnson, assistant manager at Mayhem Collectibles, said. “You can come with absolutely nothing and one of the guys will be like ‘here play this deck’ and you may not know how to play.”

Monday nights Mayhem offers drafts, Thursdays are commander nights and Fridays are labeled Magic nights.

The commander format is used the most among friends playing a competition. The commander format allows players to have 100 singleton cards in a deck.

Every card must be different, outside of repeated common lands, to promote exciting and unique games. Commanders are heroes in the lore of magic and help players create a deck based on their combat abilities and tools.

The drafting format requires a draft pack, which includes 36 booster packs of 16 cards.

Drafting is where players go through the deck-building process on the spot as booster packs are being opened. Players will take one card from the booster pack and pass the rest along until all the packs are empty.

The Standard Format is a competitive format where players have a minimum of 60 cards in a deck but are allowed to have repeat cards. It is used in professional competitions and fun competitions around Ames.

Jarred Hansen, an avid player of Magic, encourages anyone who wants to learn to show up to any of the hosted Magic events.

“I sat down next to [a player named Dan], and I go ‘hey, teach me how to play,’ and he just leaned over for the rest of the game and taught me how to play magic,” Hansen said.

Dungeons & Dragons

Mayhem Collectibles hosts Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) Adventurer’s League every Wednesday for anyone interested in beginning a journey into the vast world of fantasy.

Another way to join the world of D&D is to visit the Roll20 website, which is dedicated to helping new and old players.

D&D is a role-playing game where multiple people play a long-term game run by a dungeon master.

The dungeon master will create the story. They are the storyteller and the world itself. Players create their own characters with various combinations of races, classes and subtypes to choose from.

These characters can have complex backgrounds, chaotic or devout personalities or anything a player may want.

D&D allows players to become anyone they want to be.

“The best explanation I’ve seen described for it is it’s accidental therapy while talking as a goblin and going through the weird parts of your friend’s personalities,” David Gerhard-Ewing, a long-term player, said.

D&D offers a complex world in which players can immerse themselves to escape the realities of the real world for a time.

The game started in 1974 and was created by Gary Gygax and Arneson. The original box set was released as three volumes in a wooden box and is known as the core game.

The wooden box was retired and dubbed the ‘Original Collector’s Edition’ after 1976. Gygax and Arneson continued to create new versions of the game, building upon the core concept of D&D.

In 1997, Wizards of the Coast purchased the game. They have been regularly releasing new editions since.


Mayhem Comics hosts Pokémon League every Wednesday starting at 5:30 p.m.

“We try to make it [the events at Mayhem] as inclusive because the game is designed, that you can play it from any age to any age,” Sean Gardner, a TCG Judge and the Pokémon event organizer, said.

Every Wednesday, around 20 people show up to play the Pokémon Trading Card Game, from young kids to adults; anyone is welcome.

The Pokémon Trading Card Game is a collectible card game developed by Creatures Inc. based on the Pokémon franchise. It was first published in October 1996 by Media Factory in Japan.

In the U.S., it was first published by Wizards of the Coast. Nintendo transferred the publishing rights from Wizards of the Coast to The Pokémon Company in June 2003.

As of March 2022, the Pokémon Trading Card Game has sold more than 43.2 billion trading cards.

The core base cards of the game revolve around the Pokémon, trainers, energy and stadium cards.

The players must use energy cards to charge the Pokémon to power up and attack their opponent. Each Pokémon is worth prizes, or victory points, and the goal of the game is to take all of your prizes before your opponent does.

Warhammer 40,000

Warhammer 40,000 (Warhammer 40k) is a large tabletop wargame. To gain knowledge on the basics of the game, Chance Vu, a worker at Mayhem, encourages new players to visit the Warhammer 40k website, Goonhammer, or Mayhem Comics to get started.

Mayhem Comics runs a Warhammer Night at 6 p.m. every Wednesday and a Miniature Games Day every Sunday at noon.

The game is set in the future, where civilization is threatened by aliens and supernatural beings. The game pieces are of humans, aliens and supernatural monsters who wield futuristic weaponry and supernatural powers.

Players’ turns will consist of battles using game pieces, known as miniature models, to move their pieces around the game board to fight opponent warriors. The fighting is resolved with dice and math.

Each enemy is unique and interesting to play against.

“They’re mechanized orcs that are so stupid, they’re smart,” Vu said. “They have this psychic ability known as the ‘wha’ and they are so incredibly stupid that if they believe something, it happens. So, their vehicles are literally duct tape and cardboard, but if they believe it will keep them safe, it will.”

Warhammer 40k is produced by Games Workshop. The first edition of the rulebook was published in September 1987.