Simple communications through a terminal for character communications would be fine.
Some pointers on how to get started would be appreciated. On the host side I've learned that a JTAG server is installed with Quartus, but I don't know how to associate that with a COM port, so that I'll be able to use a terminal program like putty or teraterm. On the target side I'm not sure where to get started.
Yes, the JTAG server will be installed during Quartus installation. To communicate with any system using Putty and etc, you will need to initiate an IP in Quartus called "JTAG to Avalon Master Bridge".