Monday, July 13, 2015

The Return of Summer Games Camp

More evidence that I have the best life ever:

Today kicked off the first day of my annual Summer Adventure Games Enrichment Camp.
It's basically an eight-day-long mini games Con for middle school students.

There were 18 participants in all today for our first six hour session, including rising 6th-8th graders, high school volunteers earning community service hours, and even a couple alumni who have been with me since they were middle schoolers themselves.

Once more I divided the minions into four teams, one for each of four fictional nations populating our oversize, custom Risk board:

Walvia: chivalrous and tradition-bound
Bhatvia: ruthless and scheming
Pluke: inventive and fractious
The Marklands: stalwart and tenacious

A number of games are offered around the room ... maybe Smallworld at one table, Cleopatra and the Society of Architects at another, and Catan at a third, and an RPG at a fourth.

The winner of each game earns a certain amount of points ("gold") that can then be used to purchase additional armies for their nation on the main nation board.  In addition to gold, the prizes at some tables are action cards that provide one-time exceptions to the normal game rules (re-rolls, free armies, etc.).

This meta-game extends each team's strategy ... sometimes a team will choose to "stack the table"at an event to ensure a win, other times they'll recognize that a certain teammate has a knack for a particular game and so they'll jump at the chance to compete if it is offered.

My favorite part is probably all the vigorous alliance making and deal-brokering that takes place away from the main table.  It can get quite cut-throat, albeit in good fun.

Oh, two more things that make the whole thing especially cool ...

First: I'll use the results of our multi-day meta-game to initiate setting changes in my six-year Olde School Wizardry homegrown role-playing campaign ... that's right, I let the kids and their outcomes decide the fate of nations for my adult players!

Second: My oldest daughter is now in middle school and is joining us this year, mixing it up at the game table and scheming away with the rest of my minions.  A proud dad moment indeed!

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