Friday, December 18, 2015

Gaming in Toronto

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D

In Toronto, there is a great place where you can mix lattes and playing tabletop games.  While traveling through the city recently, I was able to stop in at the local gaming café, Snakes and Lattes. I have always been a gamer and even helped launch a local game club in our community at a neighborhood hamburger joint.  So, I am happy to find a place devoted to food and gaming.


Snakes and Lattes is a board game cafe and currently has two locations in Toronto.  We visited the main café on Bloor Street.  It is a very inviting place and the staff is quick to answer any questions.  When we sat down, our server gave a rundown of the rules of the café.  For example, everyone pays a cover charge of $5 to stay and play board games for as long as they like.  The café has a huge collection of board games.  Really, just about any game you could think of was on the shelves. We managed to play two different games, a quick couple of rounds of Loonacy before dinner. Then we played Tokkaido while waiting for our food to arrive and as we ate. 


Looking around the café, it was clear that everyone in Snakes and Lattes is all about playing games and socializing with friends.  Although the name implies coffee, it does serve a variety of café food and beverage items.  The place we got to visit is a larger version of what opened in 2010 by owners Aurélia Peynet and Ben Castanie. We had put it on our Toronto to-do list after seeing Steve Tassie’s videos on the DiceTower YouTube channel.  Considering we have seen all of Steve’s videos about games and Snakes and Lattes, we were excited to actually meet him in person and talk about our love of gaming with him. 






So, the next time you are in Toronto, make sure to stop by for a latte and a game. It will make for a gaming good time!

  
 
 

Friday, December 4, 2015

November 2015 Games of the Week

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

The Histocrats support the idea of incorporating board-games into your personal life as well as in the classroom.  As such, we support and participate in a local board-gaming group.  Any and all board-game enthusiasts are welcome to join the Game Nights that are held every first and third Friday night of the month.  As part of our gaming group initiative, we also recommend history centric games that are fun to play each week to all of our followers.  The selected games receive our “Game of the Week” distinction.  Recommended games are a mix of cooperative, card games, as well Euro style games.

1775 – Rebellion, Academy Games
The year is 1775. The American colonies have begun to stockpile arms and organize militia in outrage over new taxes imposed upon them by Great Britain. On April 18th, militia members ambush a column of 700 British Redcoats ordered to seize stockpiled arms. 273 British soldiers are killed or wounded before they reach safety in Boston. The American Revolution has begun! Players take the roles of the American Continental Army and Patriots against the British Army and the Loyalists. Each side tries to control the colonies, provinces and territories. They call on the aid of Native Americans, as well as the German Hessians and French Army in order to successfully birth a revolution or quell the rebellion. When the game ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the side with the most flag markers is the winner.


Axis & allies 1942, Wizards of the Coast
It’s spring 1942, and the world is at war. Five major powers struggle for supremacy: Germany and Japan are aligned against the great alliance of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Controlling one of the Axis or Allied powers, players will command both their country’s military forces and its war-time economy, with the chance to plan attacks, marshal forces into embattled territories, and resolve conflicts. Victory will go to the side that conquers its opponents on the field of battle and liberates or occupies the greatest cities of the world. Change the course of history in a few short hours!



Defense of Lwow
It's the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 and you must block the Bolsheviks at Bug River. The object of the game is different for each player. The Bolshevik player’s goal is to conquer Lwów (which was a Polish city up to 1945, and is now Lviv, Ukraine). To achieve this, one of their cavalry units must occupy the space with Lwów. The Polish goal is to use airplanes to keep the cavalry out of Lwów for 8 days (game turns). The game ends when the Soviets are out of time or they managed to capture Lwow.








Bottom of The 9th Card Game, Dice Hate Me Games
It's the bottom of the ninth inning. The game is tied. It's down to the home team to score one run to win it all. Unfortunately, the home team is staring down the league's best closer. With variable player strengths, bluffing/deduction and die-rolling, only the pitcher knows what's coming and the batter needs to keep his eyes peeled. Bottom of the 9th is played over the course of three outs, or four hits (for one run scored) - whichever occurs first.

*All product descriptions are from the manufacturer

 





Sunday, November 22, 2015

History Fun for your Holiday Traditions

By Nina Kendall

Holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends. Annual celebrations in my family include enjoying food and fun times together.  We watch football, take in the parade, and play games. I have enjoyed many a happy hour playing games with relatives and family friends over Thanksgiving.

If you play games at the holidays and are looking for a few history games to add to the line-up we have a few suggestions for you. These games are easy to carry in your luggage and easy to play.

Guillotine is a French Revolution themed card game. This is a hand management game for 2-5 players.  Players compete with each other for position during each round of play. With each turn, the player makes decisions about what will contribute to your status (points). After several rounds of interaction, the player with the best played hand wins.

Archaeology: The Card Game is a set collecting game for 2-4 players. With simple rules, this game is easy for players of all ages. Different types of artifacts carry different point values. Challenge your friends and family to find out who can gather the best collection of artifacts. Beware of the sandstorm!

Saboteur is a game based on building network building. Players act as miners on the hunt for gold. Players collaborate with each other to create a tunnel to the gold.  Trouble hits when the Saboteur strikes! See if you can find the Saboteur and reach the gold to win.

Timeline: Events is a card game played by 2-8 players using cards that depict history events. The challenge is demonstrate your knowledge of history. Each turn the player places a card from their hand in the timeline. Correct placement of each event card move the player closer to success. The first player to place all of his or her cards correctly in the timeline wins.

Want a game for everyone? Try Retro Loonacy. This speed matching game is played with 2 or more players and can be enjoyed by anyone. This special deck contains images that will spark conversations between generations about “retro” stuff. Have your own blast to the past!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October 2015 Games of the Week

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

The Histocrats support the idea of incorporating board-games into your personal life as well as in the classroom.  As such, we support and participate in a local board-gaming group.  Any and all board-game enthusiasts are welcome to join the Game Nights that are held every first and third Friday night of the month.  As part of our gaming group initiative, we also recommend history centric games that are fun to play each week to all of our followers.  The selected games receive our “Game of the Week” distinction.  Recommended games are a mix of cooperative, card games, as well Euro style games.


Map It USA Geography Game, FoxMind Games
Challenge your family with knowledge about cities and landmarks in the US edition of Map It! Players take turns placing randomly drawn location cards in the correct position around a given starting point. Is New York north or south of Seattle? What about Miami? Is it to the east or the west of New York? If you're not sure, make your best guess! You'll also score points by catching errors made by confused opponents. What's more, with two levels of play, young minds and seasoned globetrotters alike can lose themselves in the fun of this great game of directions!








Moonshot The Game, Limited Edition
This board game is part of a Limited First Edition series, dedicated to the crews of Apollo I and the Challenger Space Shuttle, with a gold-colored sticker on the front of the box signed by game designer Van Overbay. "Moonshot The Game" puts you in command as you develop rockets, launch spacecraft, avoid hazards and earn mission patches in a thrilling race to be the first player to land on the Moon.  The game combines the strategy of a classic board game with the tactics of a collectible card game. 








Swing State: Presidential Election Game
Swing State is designed to be a great and realistic game of political strategy -- something interesting for older kids but a truly competitive game for adults. It centers on the Electoral College - the heart of presidential elections in the United States - and the strategies involved in winning 12 swing states. The game, like a real election, involves two players or two teams with one candidate and one campaign manager on each.








Risk - Dalek Invasion of Earth, Hasbro
EX-TER-MIN-ATE The Earth as multiple Dalek descend from the skies, seeking to destroy one another and conquer the world! Choose your side, deploy your armies and go into battle! In the Doctor Who Risk game, you can play as one of five different armies, either classic or New Dalek Paradigm as you invade Earth seeking supremacy. Only once all opposition has been wiped out can you begin the search - will you be the last Dalek army left? The Doctor will do his best to stop you, bringing peace to a different territory each turn, and if your army is not victorious by his eleventh regeneration, then the battle is over and all Daleks must retreat as the Oncoming Storm saves the Earth. With special power cards to boost your forces or destroy your plans, and special missions to defeat other invading forces, this game of Risk is an epic battle for control of the Earth...and the universe.

*All product descriptions are from the manufacturer




Friday, October 30, 2015

Exploring Japanese Culture through Board Games

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

There are a variety of ways to introduce students to Japanese culture through board games.  Games can range from easy to hard, simple to complex, and can cover any time period or cultural aspect.  All you have to do to engage students in all things Japanese, is introduce them to a game that matches their interest.  The following are just a few games you can use to create a hook into exploring Japanese culture. 

Discovering Japan’s Feudal Era
There are a number of games that cover Japan’s feudal era.  Three quick games are Love Letter (Alderac Entertainment Group), Samurai Sword (DaVinci), and Age Of War (Fantasy Flight Games). Two are quick card games that offer an introduction to the time period and Shogun culture. Love Letter is a game that has a lot of different incarnations.  To explore Japanese culture, try the Kanai Factory edition. In Samurai Sword, players get a quick introduction to the Samurai, Shogun and Ronin. In Age Of War, students can be introduced to feudal Japan not by using cards but rather dice.  In this fast paced game students assume the roles of daimyos competing to unite the warring clans of feudal Japan and assume control of the nation. All three of these games are not overtly historical, rather they are quick and easy games that can be used to introduce students to the time period. 

If you rather go in depth into the time period, you can introduce more complex games like Yedo: Rule From the Shadows (Pandasaurus Games) and Edo (Queen Games). In Yedo, students learn about Japan in 1605. In the game, Hidetada Tokugawa has succeeded his father as the new Shogun, ruling from the great city of Edo (modern Tokyo). Players assume the roles of Clan Elders in the city of Edo during the early years of the Tokugawa Shogunate.  In Edo, players are daimyos developing the region of Edo (Tokyo) by building houses and trading goods. The goal is to increase their influence in the Tokugawa Empire. Both games are similar in play and complexity.

Learning about Japan in contrast to China
Many times while covering Asia, teachers will spend a great deal more time covering China than Japan.  However, there are games that teachers can use to highlight Japanese culture as an extension to what is covered when discussing China.  Certainly, Tokaido (Passport Game Studios), and Takenoko (Asmodee) hit both ideas.  In Tokaido, players travel the "East sea road", one of the most magnificent roads of Japan. While traveling, players will meet people, eat, collect items, discover panoramas, and visit temples. Teachers can use Tokaido as a contrast to China’s Silk Road. In Takenoko, the Chinese Emperor offered a giant panda bear as a symbol of peace to the Japanese Emperor. Since then, the Japanese Emperor has entrusted his court members with the difficult task of caring for the animal by tending to his bamboo garden. In Takenoko, students learn about the importance of the giant panda bear, different types of bamboo and the care which must be used in growing it. 

Learning about Japanese Food, Art and Architecture
There are a lot of games that cover Japanese cuisine and art.  The following are easy to learn and play.  They are Sushi Go!, (Gamewright), Niya, (Blue Orange), and Machi Koro, (IDW Games). In Sushi Go!, students can learn about Japanese cuisine in a fast paced card game.  The goal is to grab the best combination of sushi dishes and players score points for making the most maki rolls or for collecting a full set of sashimi. This game actually taught my daughters more about sushi than I did.  After paying the game, they were quick to order new sushi combos when we went out to eat!  In Niya, players play one of two influential clans in Japan's Imperial Garden. The tiles in the game are based on the Hanafuda (flower cards) that date back to the 9th century.  Playing Niya will allow students to be introduced to the Genji and Heike clans as well as the Hanafuda cards.  In Machi Koro, players get to discover the wonder of being a mayor of a Japanese town.  In this game, student can learn how hard it is to actually build a town from a wheat field to the largest city in the region. 

There are lots of board games that highlight Japanese culture and history.  These are just a few samples.  No matter your gaming IQ, you will be sure to find a game that you and your students can play to learn about Japanese culture and history. 
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

September 2015 Games of the Week

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

The Histocrats support the idea of incorporating board-games into your personal life as well as in the classroom.  As such, we support and participate in a local board-gaming group.  Any and all board-game enthusiasts are welcome to join the Game Nights that are held every first and third Friday night of the month.  As part of our gaming group initiative, we also recommend history centric games that are fun to play each week to all of our followers.  The selected games receive our “Game of the Week” distinction.  Recommended games are a mix of cooperative, card games, as well Euro style games.


Lanterns, Renegade Game Studios
The harvest is in, and now it's time to celebrate! Lanterns: The Harvest Festival is a tile-- placement game set in imperial China. Place tiles, adorn the palace lake, and dedicate lanterns in this fast paced board game. Players act as artisans decorating the palace lake with floating lanterns. The artisan who earns the most honor before the festival arrives wins the game.









Dungeon Deep
Work with and against other players as you battle through the dungeon in this intriguing card game. Choose your Hero Deck and Henchmen Deck and shuffle them together to form your adventuring party. Use bluffing and strategy to outsmart other players and to collect the most fame, items, and treasure! Enemies you defeat drop loot that you can use to advance in power!











BrewCrafters Cardgame, Dice Hate Me Games
In Brew Crafters: The Travel Card Game, you have opened your own brewery and are competing with other brewers in town to be named the Brew Crafter of your city. You will build your brewery by installing equipment and hiring workers, and then get to work brewing your beer! The player that earns the most reputation as the city's best brewer will win! Brew Crafters: The Travel Card Game is based on the Dice Hate Me Games release Brew Crafters.








Retro Loonacy, Looney Labs
Retro Loonacy is a neato, rapid-fire game where players race to be the first to empty their hand by matching one of two images with the images on the open piles in front of them. Retro Loonacy has an out-of-sight design, featuring nostalgic images of times gone by. It's easy enough to teach in a single sentence, and so addictive you can't play just one game. Speed of the hand and luck of the draw determine the winner in this frenzied free-for-all! It's a gas!

*All product descriptions are from the manufacturer



Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Playing Misson US; Mission 3: A Cheyenne Odyssey


Guest Blogger: Kerum Kendall

(Kerum Kendall is a freshman at Clayton State University majoring in Information Sciences. He loves history and has spent year trying to get his history teachers to use video games in class. His ultimate goal is to design education games for use in Social Studies classrooms. He shares reviews with the Histocrats and on his own site.)

Title: Mission Three: A Cheyenne Odyssey

Platform: Online, Apple iPad, Android

Role: The player plays as Little Fox, a 14-year old Northern Cheyenne in what is modern day Montana in the year 1866.

Time Period: 19th century
 
Context of the Game: American Civil War is at an end and attentions formally given to the war are now looking to the west. A huge influx of settlers is heading west to start a new life, following the new railroads that are starting to cut across the content. New dreams, hopes, and ambitions are on everyone’s minds all except the Native Americans. The tribes of the Great Plains; the Cheyenne, the Lakota, the Crow, and many other tribes are worried about this influx of foreigners on their homelands. Some want to fight them, others want to seek peace but they all are worried about their future as the buffalo herds start to disappear and more settlers settle on their lands.
 
Goal of the Game: The goal of the game is to try and survive in the American West as a Cheyenne boy. There are many endings and multiple choices relating to family, the tribe, and everyday life that you have to make. Once you make a choice it is permanent and it will affect the rest of the game.
 
Neat Features of Game: The game is an interactive story that will have you on your toes all the time.
 
The game is separated into parts, each one different from the last. In part one you spend a day as a child in a Cheyenne village, getting an introduction into the world of the Plains Indians. In part two, you are sent to trade at a nearby fort and learn about the complicated relationship between the Native Americans and the white settlers and so on. Each part immerses the player in events, issues, and the growing conflict in the west between these two very different groups. One part of the game even sets you as a leader of a band of Cheyenne and you have to try to provide for your tribe for two years awhile dealing with nature, other tribes, and the “white man”. There is also a badge system where you increase your skills in a certain area through your actions in the game making continued gameplay fun and interesting. With the multiple choices that can be made, the badges that can be earned, and the multiple endings make playing the game always unique and interesting.
 
What You Learn: You learn about many components of Cheyenne life and culture such as counting coo, life around hunting buffalo, and the importance of tribe and family. You also learn about how the west is changing because of the mass movement of settlers and how the Native Americans had to adapt to this changing world. Players also learn about important events such as the singing the Treaty of Fort Laramie, the Battle of the Greasy Grass (Little Bighorn), and the Cheyenne exodus from reservations in Oklahoma. Players also learn about important people of the time including Chief Dull Knife and Chief Little Wolf.
 
How You Know Students Have Played: The game comes with a learning plan for teachers or for parents at home. The plan has it of where the students must have played the game to be able to do the activity. The plan is separated into parts, just like the game, and each lesson is associated with one of the parts from the game. The lessons are designed for game play and less in class. Students play the game in class and then take part in a lesson and discussion afterwards along with primary resources. The plans are on the same website that the game is on and is accompanied by instructions to help teachers plan out their lessons in relation to the game.*
 
Overall: The game is well-developed and provides players with a fun and educational interaction that immerses the player into the time period and is a very helpful tool that can be used to full effect in the classroom.
 
Sponsors: Mission Four: A Cheyenne Odyssey is a Mission US game and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the National Endowment for the Humanities and is sponsored by National Council for the Social Studies, the American Library Association, and the American Association of School Librarians. A Cheyenne Odyssey is specifically sponsored by Chief Dull Knife College, a community based, land grant, and tribally controlled community college on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana. The college provides culturally influenced education through quality life-long learning opportunities for local Northern Cheyenne.
 
 
*You must register to MissionUS before you can play the game. It is free.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

August 2015 Games of the Week

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

The Histocrats support the idea of incorporating board-games into your personal life as well as in the classroom.  As such, we support and participate in a local board-gaming group.  Any and all board-game enthusiasts are welcome to join the Game Nights that are held every first and third Friday night of the month.  As part of our gaming group initiative, we also recommend history centric games that are fun to play each week to all of our followers.  The selected games receive our “Game of the Week” distinction.  Recommended games are a mix of cooperative, card games, as well Euro style games.

Lady Alice, Hurrican / Asmodee
Lady Alice is a game of intrigue, flair, bluffing, and mischief.  The players are the Baker Street Kids, children under the tutelage of Sherlock Holmes who must deduce the culprit behind the kidnapping of Henry Morton Stanley as well as the time and place the kidnapping occurred and which object was stolen at the same time.











Love Letter, Alderac Entertainment Group
All of the eligible young men (and many of the not-so-young) seek to woo the princess of Tempest. Unfortunately, she has locked herself in the palace, and you must rely on others to bring your romantic letters to her. Will yours reach her first? Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette's hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors.










Linkage: A DNA Card Game, Genius Games
Linkage is a fast-paced, competitive genetics themed card game based on the process of DNA Transcription (Creating an RNA copy of a DNA template).  Each player links RNA cards side-by-side to build their own RNA strand, attempting to copy a shared DNA Template.  Players decide whether to build on their own RNA strand, repair their RNA strand, mutate an opposing strand, or mutate the DNA template itself. Players earn points based upon how accurately their RNA strands match the DNA Template, and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins!





Viceroy, Mayday Games
Viceroy is a board game of bidding and resource management set in the fantasy universe of the famous Russian CCG Berserk. As the players struggle for control over the world of Laar, they recruit a variety of allies and enact various laws. These cards allow players to develop their state's military and magical might, increase their authority, and get precious gems they need to continue expanding their nation.

As the game progresses, each player builds his own power pyramid using character and law cards. Each card has its own effect that depends on the level of the pyramid where the card is played. These effects may give more resources, more cards, or victory points. The player who has the most power points at the end of the game becomes the ruler of all of Laar and the winner!

*All product descriptions are from the manufacturer



Sunday, August 9, 2015

July 2015 Games of the Week

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

The Histocrats support the idea of incorporating board-games into your personal life as well as in the classroom.  As such, we support and participate in a local board-gaming group.  Any and all board-game enthusiasts are welcome to join the Game Nights that are held every first and third Friday night of the month.  As part of our gaming group initiative, we also recommend history centric games that are fun to play each week to all of our followers.  The selected games receive our “Game of the Week” distinction.  Recommended games are a mix of cooperative, card games, as well Euro style games.


Fortress America, Fantasy Flight Games
Fortress America, imagines a not-too-distant future in which war has once again encircled the globe. Players are thrust into a frightening geopolitical scenario. In Fortress America, the United States must defend itself from three deadly invading armies: the Asian people’s alliance from the west, the Central American Federation from the south, and the Euro-Socialist pact from the east. Players take on either the role of the United States, struggling to protect itself from foreign threats, or the role of one or more of the invading armies, fighting battle after battle to acquire important territories.




Star Fluxx, Looney Labs
Explore the vastness of space-themed humor with your valiant Captain, Engineer, and, of course, your Expendable Crewman. Go check out that Small Moon or is it really a Space Station? You may be swayed by Unseen Forces, held hostage by Evil Computers, or find your ship infested with Cute Fuzzy Aliens. Beware the unexpected as Star Fluxx takes you straight into a Wormhole of hilarity. You will find yourself wanting to play again and again watch out. It is A Trap.




Nuns on the Run, Mayfair Games
The novices are on the loose. Temptation has lured them out of their cells, and they hope not to be caught by the abbess and the prioress. But the guards are swift and their hearing is excellent, so it will take craftiness and a bit of luck in order to make it back to their beds without being caught. Players explore the exciting nocturnal world of a grand abbey filled with intrigue and deception. As the old abbess, the noble prioress, or a simple novice you become hunter or prey. Everyone gets a special “blessing,” but only the novices try to fulfill a “secret wish.” They must sneak through the dimly lit halls, corridors, and gardens, seeking keys and treasures unique to their goal. Meanwhile, the vigilant abbess and prioress patrol their routes, ever watchful of young novices who should be fast asleep in their austere cells. Are you wily enough, or sneaky enough to fulfill your quest and win the night?

* All product descriptions are from the manufacturer

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Few Geography Games to Enjoy in the Classroom

Looking for an different way to engage your students? Try computer games.

These games are free to play on a computer and offer students a another way to interact with content. The games below are geography themed that let students explore land use, disasters, and life in less developed countries(LDC). In a  two hour block near the end of the school year, my students* tried them out. Here are some of the things they had to say.



Electrocity
http://www.electrocity.co.nz/

"Fun game! I really liked it a lot and have fun playing" - Sasha

Lizard Point Quizzes
Geography and Humanities
http://lizardpoint.com

Stop Disaster
http://www.stopdisastersgame.org/en/home.html

"The game was very fun and interesting but it also brought along with it many challenges and difficulties. I enjoyed the game even though I did not succeed in my goal of building a natural disaster proof city." -Will

Ayiti
https://ayiti.globalkids.org/game/
 
"This game made me sad whenever I made people work through sickness or struggle in debt, but I understand that it is a real life issue." -Sara

 "The game is based on the leadership of a nation during times of crisis and the tactics used by nations to resolve global issues." -Dan


*Student names changed.

 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

June 2015 Games of the Week

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

The Histocrats support the idea of incorporating board-games into your personal life as well as in the classroom.  As such, we support and participate in a local board-gaming group.  Any and all board-game enthusiasts are welcome to join the Game Nights that are held every first and third Friday night of the month.  As part of our gaming group initiative, we also recommend history centric games that are fun to play each week to all of our followers.  The selected games receive our “Game of the Week” distinction.  Recommended games are a mix of cooperative, card games, as well Euro style games.


The People's Choice: A Presidential Card Game
This Game features personalities, interests, management style, defining moments, and legacy. Learn unusual and interesting facts about the leaders of our country while enjoying the dynamic of putting "your" president up for election to see if he wins.









Lords of Scotland Card Game, Z-Man Games
Do you have the audacity and cunningness it takes to be crowned king?  Recruit new soldiers and build your army in order to face your rivals, only then will you be strong enough to try and fight! Prove your worth in merciless skirmishes and your opponents will have no other choice then to bow down to you as their leader. Do you have what it takes?










Vikings Board Game, Z-Man Games
You are the leader of a clan of Vikings. You are tasked with the scouting and settling of undiscovered islands off the coast of the mainland. To expand your territories and clan, you will need to master the game's clever rotating wheel. The price for islands and Vikings will change as players acquire more of them. The game will be tense until the end and you will need to protect your islands against the ships that sail on the horizon. Are you the leader whose clan will rise above the others?






London, Mayfair Games
London lies devastated after the Great Fire of 1666. This is your opportunity to build a new city on the ashes of the old. It is up to you how you employ the talents of the people of London to this end. Will you favor the business classes, who will earn you money? Or would you prefer to spend more money than you can rightly afford on grand monuments and sumptuous palaces? You must also deal with the problem of rising poverty and the how to employ the many paupers of the city. Throughout the game you will be forced to make tough decisions. To achieve one aim you must sacrifice another, which may open an opportunity for a competitor.

 *All product descriptions are from the manufacturer

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

May 2015 Games of the Week

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

The Histocrats support the idea of incorporating board-games into your personal life as well as in the classroom.  As such, we support and participate in a local board-gaming group.  Any and all board-game enthusiasts are welcome to join the Game Nights that are held every first and third Friday night of the month.  As part of our gaming group initiative, we also recommend history centric games that are fun to play each week to all of our followers.  The selected games receive our “Game of the Week” distinction.  Recommended games are a mix of cooperative, card games, as well Euro style games.

Saboteur, Z-Man Games
You and your Dwarven brethren dig for gold in the depths of a mine. Suddenly, a pick-axe breaks and the light from the lantern goes out. The saboteur has struck again - but which of your fellow players is a saboteur? Discover the traitor in your midst while questing for gold in this path-laying card game for 3-10 suspicious dwarves.










Age Of War, Fantasy Flight Games
Can you unite the clans amidst the tumult of war? Age of War is a fast-paced dice game for two to six players by world renowned game designer Reiner Knizia. You and your fellow players assume the roles of daimyos competing to unite the warring clans of feudal Japan and assume control of the nation. The daimyo with the most support at the game's end is the victor!











Metro, Rio Grande Games
The eve of the 1900 World’s Fair is approaching, and excavations are taking place across the city. Bizarre-looking scaffolds arise everywhere. Tunnels are built in the streets to later be covered with earth. Take part in the construction of the Paris Metro. Each player works to complete a set of lines across Paris and scores points based on the length of the lines, after all, we want to show the tourists as much of our fine city as possible. When you complete your lines, you tally your points and the player with the most points when the fair opens, is the winner.








Professor Pugnacious Portfolio of Perils, Pugilism, & Perfidy, Sixpence Games
You are one of Professor Pugnacious' prize pupils, a precocious prodigy of a Victorian adventurer. You must train yourself and acquire incredible Steampunk gadgetry to defeat the hordes of Gothic horrors that infest the Earth, and to foil your rivals in the process! Each player has access to only a portion of the pool of cards that can be purchased, which changes each turn and can be affected by played cards. Players attempt to gain enough Fight to defeat Enemies, as well as Failure to cause their rival players to lose their combats, and Skill to acquire more cards and disable traps. The game ends with the defeat of the Finale, a difficult and rewarding opponent.






*All product descriptions are from the manufacturer



Friday, June 12, 2015

A Few History Games to Enjoy in Class

Looking for a different way to engage your students? Try computer games.

These games are free to play on a computer and offer students a another way to interact with content.  In a recent two hour block my students* tried them out.   Here are some of the things they had to say.

Lewis and Clark Game
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/west/
"You get to see how Lewis and Clark traveled across America and the decisions they had to make." -Alvin

Win the White House
https://www.icivics.org/games/win-white-house
 https://www.icivics.org/games

"In this game, you get to manage your very own presidential campaign by strategically raising funds, polling voters, launching media campaigns, and making personal appearances."  -Beth

"The game was fun but frustrating when you got a question wrong and you had to start over to fling the teacher." -Kelly
"The game is based on the leadership of a nation during times of crisis and the tactics used by nations to resolve global issues."-Dan

"I liked the game because it simulate real life examples of people fighting for their rights and you get to play to have a team with diversity in their skill set." -Mary 






*Student names changed.