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Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 2:38:28 PM   
bspeer

 

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I have been working with 20 or so students playing manual wargames. Next year, I was thinking of doing War in the Pacific. The Decision Game's manual WitP will not hack it I don't think. We have 6 hours a day for 5 days.

Does anyone think it is possible to take THIS WitP and have groups of students responsible for various aspects of their sides and play this successfully? If so, how would you do it. The kids this year were enthusiastic, energetic, and bright. I assume, the same will apply next year.




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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 2:42:03 PM   
Lokasenna


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Your bottleneck point is going to be only having one computer running with the save file at a time.

Probably best to break them into multiple small groups each playing their own game (teams of 2 or 3, maybe). Besides, that way they can compare experiences between groups!

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 2:58:54 PM   
Xargun

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

Your bottleneck point is going to be only having one computer running with the save file at a time.

Probably best to break them into multiple small groups each playing their own game (teams of 2 or 3, maybe). Besides, that way they can compare experiences between groups!


Can possibly do multiple games of 3 v 2 with people filling the roles of: US, UK, ANZAC. v IJA and IJN. Could possibly add a 4th allied player for China. If you want to make it more realistic, assign the IJA and IJN player to people who don't like each other or are very competitive with each other to simulate the love/hate relationship they had.


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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 3:11:23 PM   
spence

 

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For a game of this magnitude reaching any sort of decision point of historical significance will be a challenge. Even the fall of Singapore lies 70 days into the game. Achieving some sort of generally significant historical lesson objective is presumably the point of the plan. That learning objective must be outlined/explained to the principal/school board in such a way that they think that this idea is not a waste of time. I think the general idea has merit but feel that a more strategically oriented game wherein each "turn" represents a longer passage of time would serve the needs of education better but remain interesting/fun for the students.

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 3:37:43 PM   
dr.hal


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Spence is undoubtedly right in many respects. You could use one of the shorter scenarios and test them on that, such as Guadalcanal. However most scenarios really are a naval air show and those students playing land forces wouldn't have much to do. Even if you do three moves per turn (I think that's possible) and three moves per meeting that's a month and a half of game time that would be covered... Not a lot. Remember this is a strategy game but the strategy only really develops over time. I too toyed with the idea of using this game for my students (I'm at a military style university) but OUTSIDE of a class. Here too time was a factor but I was thinking in terms of a whole semester and still decided it was too short. But I still think this would be a grand idea if you could get the students to commit over a longer period of time.

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 3:46:15 PM   
kbfchicago


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+1 spence. For the context, audience, and time constraints your likely looking to address, old standbys like axis and allies or diplomacy are likely better fits.

If you really want a more modern presentation (i.e. computer based) hearts of iron may be worth a look. Unfortunately like with WITP it to has a pretty steep learning curse (curve! Darn auto correct ...) for optimal play driving the lessons you're targeting.
Very much applaud the innovation you are driving in your classroom. In 1976 I had a civics teacher do the same with a home grown version of the old diplomacy game focused on international geopolitic circa 1914. A fond memory to this day.



< Message edited by kbfchicago -- 3/14/2014 4:50:52 PM >

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 3:53:32 PM   
Numdydar

 

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Empire in Arms would be great for this type of even rather than AE. Seven people can play at once and each turn is a month. Plus the diplomancy alone makes this such an amazing game

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 4:49:57 PM   
bspeer

 

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I am not the teacher but rather WAS the teacher's teacher. I didn't think this game was a viable choice for him but wanted to throw out the idea to see if there was some solution. Empires in Arms sound like a possibility. I'll look into that.

Thanks!

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 7:30:55 PM   
geofflambert


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If you could find out who the students are that will be assigned to the class you could contact them and advise them it would be helpful if they could study the game during the break. Give them each a list of the other students so they could form groups to work together on it. If the school can provide the game, only one person in each group would need to have it. They could easily find experienced players in this forum to help them get on top of it. You could even start a thread here just for this purpose.

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 8:21:19 PM   
Symon


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bspeer
I have been working with 20 or so students playing manual wargames. Next year, I was thinking of doing War in the Pacific. The Decision Game's manual WitP will not hack it I don't think. We have 6 hours a day for 5 days.

Does anyone think it is possible to take THIS WitP and have groups of students responsible for various aspects of their sides and play this successfully? If so, how would you do it. The kids this year were enthusiastic, energetic, and bright. I assume, the same will apply next year.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, that's exactly what the Babes is all about. We are a collective of military professionals that use this title as a basis for operational studies. I don't think a Grand Campaign will work in your paradigm, but we have several smaller map and smaller time frame scenarios that might just fit your bill.

I don't know where you wish to go with this, but we have been there, with a vengence. If your imperitive is to teach your youngsters about the Pacific War, I am with you. If you really wnat your students to know who did what, to whom, and when, and why, and what it meant, in the context of the time, send me a PM. JWE

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 9:05:57 PM   
bspeer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

If you could find out who the students are that will be assigned to the class you could contact them and advise them it would be helpful if they could study the game during the break. Give them each a list of the other students so they could form groups to work together on it. If the school can provide the game, only one person in each group would need to have it. They could easily find experienced players in this forum to help them get on top of it. You could even start a thread here just for this purpose.


The students came from all over the school this year, they sign up if they are interested.

< Message edited by bspeer -- 3/14/2014 10:06:13 PM >


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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 9:11:37 PM   
bspeer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Symon

At the risk of sounding arrogant, that's exactly what the Babes is all about. We are a collective of military professionals that use this title as a basis for operational studies. I don't think a Grand Campaign will work in your paradigm, but we have several smaller map and smaller time frame scenarios that might just fit your bill.

I don't know where you wish to go with this, but we have been there, with a vengence. If your imperitive is to teach your youngsters about the Pacific War, I am with you. If you really wnat your students to know who did what, to whom, and when, and why, and what it meant, in the context of the time, send me a PM. JWE


I am just exploring options atm. This will take place next March. The school purchased 0ver $400 in the three games we played this year as well as boards and all other materials, including flying me down there to assist the teacher for 2 of the 5 days. It is not part of a specific class but rather enrichment activities, some kids travel the world, other visit colleges, other still learn how to build a resume or make a good first impression. You name it, they offer it. It is a wonderful program that lasts for two weeks. Here is a link to the program, some past photos and this year's tweets, if you scroll this year, you will see some of the shots of the kids playing.

SBS Interim Program

Thanks for all your suggestion. I am a military historian by trade and a gamer since the 60s so this stuff is right up my alley. I want to provide an alternative to the mind-numbing fisrt person shooters they so often play.

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 9:28:59 PM   
dr.hal


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I was nice to see a young lady in your crowd! This is way too often a male thing....

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 9:32:39 PM   
HansBolter


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Is that a Europa Game Series map on that table?

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 10:03:38 PM   
Terminus


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Could be an interesting exercise, but definitely don't go into the Grand Campaign. 30 hours will get you TWO turns (three if you're lucky). Also, as others note, try to break it down into smaller groups, with 2-4 players each.

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/14/2014 10:04:03 PM   
Yaab


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I dread to think how many of these bright students will become WITP:AE addicts during this project. Poor little souls, lost at such young an age! It breaks my heart.

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/15/2014 2:32:13 AM   
geofflambert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Yaab

I dread to think how many of these bright students will become WITP:AE addicts during this project. Poor little souls, lost at such young an age! It breaks my heart.



You are aware, aren't you, that WitP-AE is now legal in Colorado?

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/15/2014 6:22:39 AM   
KenchiSulla


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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert


quote:

ORIGINAL: Yaab

I dread to think how many of these bright students will become WITP:AE addicts during this project. Poor little souls, lost at such young an age! It breaks my heart.



You are aware, aren't you, that WitP-AE is now legal in Colorado?


The fact that it is legal, does not make it right...

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/15/2014 8:36:25 AM   
LoBaron


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Because of simple time constraints and complexity, a full campaign is probably no option.

But as JWE already mentioned, there are a couple of small scenarios worth looking at. DaBabes Guadalcanal scenario comes to mind.

Instead of beaking up into smaller groups, if you use very specific assignments for the individual participants this could be fun and teach a lot, albeit it would be slow. Coordination between all players on a strategic as well as tactical level would become extremely important, it might be feasible to implement a kind of command structure.

Please keep us updated on this project, sounds very interesting!

< Message edited by LoBaron -- 3/15/2014 9:37:55 AM >


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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/15/2014 8:47:24 AM   
wdolson

 

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To keep things moving, you could also add a time constraint that everyone has to be done with inputting their turn info in a certain time limit. With something somewhat reasonable it could also teach something about the time constraints of managing a campaign.

You would have to have some intro time so people could just get some feeling for the game system. Throwing this on people with no warning would be overwhelming.

US military command schools actually use these sorts of games to teach command and organization.

Bill

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/15/2014 12:01:29 PM   
Feltan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson

... US military command schools actually use these sorts of games to teach command and organization.

Bill


Yes they do. Several moons ago I was the director of software engineering for a firm that created and maintained the simulations for U.S. Army's Command and General Staff school.

What you are missing in WITP-AE is the ability to have several people input orders simultaneously. Additionally, many of the military staff functions are handled (mostly very well) by the game automatically. For example, there is no work required in game for the G-1 (personnel) staff, units receive replacements without intervention; the G-4 (logistics) is abstracted and automated so the heavy burden of planning the disposition of beans & bullets is a concern, but the details are kept to an absolute minimum.

The game has been optimized so a single player can mostly focus on G-3 (operations) planning and orders. Even then it is heavily automated so the player doesn't actually have to issue orders and be concerned that they were received and understood.

Wonderful game for a single player per side. It wasn't designed for actual staff exercises, and I think most military professionals would balk at the heavy automation if it were to be used in a training role. And for the OP, I just don't think it is the correct vehicle to impart historical knowledge in the timeframe allocated -- the details of the game would swamp them long before they would gain an appreciation of the history and geography that a long-time player can learn.

Regards,
Feltan

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/15/2014 1:08:11 PM   
mike scholl 1

 

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Just a thought. Play TWO games of WITP. Start with the Campaign game for a 2-3 day period..., then re-start with the late war Mariana's scenario. Then they would get to see WHY Japan thought they had a chance when they started the war---and just how delusional those thoughts were when the American industrial giant swung into gear. As you won't have time for more than a few turns overall, this might give them the best "feel" for the "truth" of the Pacific War.

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/16/2014 2:07:14 AM   
topeverest


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That's a tough one. I think the concept of doing a battle or mini campaign is an excellent one that could fit into your paradigm, but the learning of the mechanics is a long investment.

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/16/2014 4:09:31 AM   
jmalter

 

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hi bspeer,
I think 's cool that you're working w/ the young'uns, but IMO teaching conflict-resolution (alliance vs. agression) is better accomplished w/ simpler board-games such as Risk, Diplomacy or Civilization.
WitP:AE is way complicated, w/ a lengthy & steep learning-curve that won't advantage these students (tho' 1 or 2 grognards-in-training might likely become fascinated by this game).
This game can teach a lot (training, logistics, tactical risk-assessment & strategic planning), but requires detailed full-time attention. I don't think it's appropriate for high-school students that must also give attention to an English-class paper, math homework, or a social-studies exam.

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/16/2014 11:59:47 AM   
oldman45


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One of my fonder memories of high school was a political studies teacher that had a multi-class game. There was one continent for each of his classes with that divided into states more like Europe than the US. The classes were broken up into groups to manage their states. The goal was for each class to to get their "state" into the best position they could. My class had a lot of the "nerd history" types and several of us liked the Roman period. It didn't take long before our class was a unified state and we were by arm twisting (not literally ) and treaties slowly unifying the world (the other classes)It was a great lesson in global politics and economics. Of course there sometimes was the use of arms (Risk type game mechanics). Not as fancy as a computer game but its something that stuck with me for over 30 years.



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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/17/2014 3:00:14 PM   
dr.hal


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mike scholl 1

Just a thought. Play TWO games of WITP.

Mike this is a really good idea! I think a very important historical lesson is why the Japanese thought it was a solution to their problems to begin with and how very much off the mark they were when the solution was put to the test. This may not be possible in the time frame that the starter of this thread has, but it sure is a good idea!

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/17/2014 6:22:19 PM   
Jones944

 

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In my opinion this game is too complicated to pick up and learn in a class setting in such a short period of time. You will lose most of the class to confusion and boredom before anyone has any fun with it.

This is one of the very best games going, but it is at a minimum a semester long project, not a week long project.

Just my opinion.

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/17/2014 9:10:59 PM   
btd64


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Hmmmm. Semester long. I've been playing since WITPAE came out and still learning. It is hard to master but with time and patience you could teach a small group how to run a game. Maybe not even get close to mastering it, but enough to under stand a little about strategy and game mechanics.
Cheers
MY recommendation, Small Babes scenario.

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RE: Here is an interesting question for the experts here. - 3/18/2014 4:10:32 AM   
sanch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jones944

In my opinion this game is too complicated to pick up and learn in a class setting in such a short period of time. You will lose most of the class to confusion and boredom before anyone has any fun with it.

This is one of the very best games going, but it is at a minimum a semester long project, not a week long project.

Just my opinion.

+1

It could take most of the 30 hours just to learn the mechanics (i.e. how to get the units to do what you want them to do - at least sometimes).

I have a zillion hours in, and am still learning how to do things. For example, I just figured out how hexside control works, and this after 6 months into a PBEM.

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