Thursday, April 18, 2013

Military History Class Wargaming...

One of the great pleasures of being the instructor of my Military History elective course at the high school where I teach is that I get to bring my wargaming hobby into the classroom.  Once to twice every unit my students assume the role of "general" as they replay key battles in history...
Persians(Red) and Greeks(Blue) square off at Marathon...
It is fun to run five to six simulations of the battle at the same time and to see how the different groups of students choose to play the scenarios uniquely.  I use my homebrewed rules system called "BattleSim"(Battle Simulation) which is fairly accomodating of variety of unit types and eras.
French(Blue) square off against Russians(Green) and AustriansWhite) at Austerlitz. 

Today, for example, as we are in our Napoleonic Wars unit, my students simulated The Battle of Austerlitz(my favorite battle in history!).  We had six groups recreating the battle with four victories for the Coalition and two for the French.  I like testing the students' knowledge of the battle by throwing historical elements into the scenario. For example, in the Austerlitz BattleSim(shown above), the French players receive Davout's reinforcements from the southeast later into the game. 

These weekly wargames compliment the regular class instruction and serve to aslo act as a "gateway" for my students into wargaming.  Many students from class join my Military History Club where every year we have a campaign based on some era where students custom build their armies...it is a lot of fun.  we have done campaigns for Ancient Europe, the Napoleonic Wars, the American Revolution(this year's campaign) and Modern Warfare(2042). 

Here are the battles we simulate during the class:
-Marathon
-Cannae
-Hastings
-Austerlitz
-Waterloo
-Antietam
-Gettysburg
-Battle of Britain
-Gazala
-Kursk
-Operation Cobra

Anwyays, back to painting minis because my students need to be able to see that ther's more to wargaming than just cardboard counters and maps(although I like oldschool wargaming too, mind you!).

Thanks for viewing,
Gareson


6 comments:

  1. Fantastic! You are a lucky man, to be able to teach history like this and run the military history club. You must be in a great school district to offer a course like this!

    I'd have loved to take a class like this in HS or join a club like this. Keep up the good work!

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  2. What a great job to have!
    It is good to see peoples differing ways of handling tactical situations as wargamers that is how we learn and try to obtain victories

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  3. It's great that you are keeping the hobby alive by introducing it to the younger generation. Let's not let it go the way of model railroading!

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  4. Model railroading...you are so right. My dad was a big model railroader, as is my brother-in-law, but I see no kids going down that road today. I hope it doesn't happen to miniature wargaming but maybe digital printing(especially if you can print a "painted" mini) can keep things kicking down the line for the next gen(who I think won't have the patience for painting by and large).

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