Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Introducing the Air Pack - Mightier Yet!

Today we played with the Air Pack for the first time and the kids loved it! I heard at least half the group vow that they were buying it as soon as they could, which might be a while given that they also want to buy the Terrain Pack, the Pacific Theater, and the Campaign Bag.

We played a battle of my own creation called Orel. It actually takes place on the Eastern Front around the same time as Kursk (the largest tank battle ever). I chose it because it is a well balanced scenario that allows for the use of lots of planes. I took the opportunity to quickly explain how the Russians were connected with the Western Allies we've been learning about before we launched into the battle.

It took a while for the students to learn the Air Rules and I actually simplified them for this first scenario. We limited the planes to only Strafing enemy units in stead of allowing Ground Interdiction because that might have been too much. As it was, I was still busy the whole time fielding questions and clarifying the rules. By the end of the day though, most of the students understood how the planes worked and at least one team used their Messerschmitt with devastating efficiency. They managed to take out three full armor units before succumbing to an Air Check roll (being shot down).

As our club winds down this year (we have three more sessions), my students are already talking about plans and hopes for next year. Kids were asking if we'll be able to play with the Air Pack again next year or if we can use some of the other planes in battles next year. It's encouraging to hear them talk about the club like that because it confirms that the Memoir '44 Club is something they want to do. Spending an extra hour and a half at school every Tuesday and Thursday is a big time commitment and it would seem my students are prepared to make the same commitment next year.

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