We pulled out the Breakthrough map for our session on April 7, 2009 and students had the chance to try this new battle format for the first time. They loved it.
The Breakthrough map, for those of you who don't know, is basically two normal maps placed top to bottom and creating an extra deep map. The kids weren't sure how to change their tactics for this new format and the Axis players never really tried to break through to the Allied baseline. Instead they got bogged down fighting the Allied defensive positions and often suffered because of a lack of cover. When we try this format again, I think they will improve their strategy and enjoy more success.
We were also visited by Carrie Carpenter (right, talking to students about the game) from Teach American History (TAH), the organization that provided the funds for this whole club to happen. She said that she was very impressed with the level of critical thinking going on and the amount of excitement from the students. I don't always realize how much is going on every Tuesday and Thursday because I see it every day, but in retrospect I would have to admit that I don't usually see the same level of engagement every day in class.
There's something genuinely fun about playing this board game with friends twice a week that the kids apparently look forward to (although the boys in the picture to the left look pretty intense). When I see my club members in the halls during school, almost without fail they say something like, "I'll see you at the club" or, "See you this afternoon for Memoir '44".
I'm glad they're having fun!