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Subject: Agincourt - In Which I School a Sixth-Grader, If Only Just rss

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Chris Tannhauser
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As if I didn't already have enough to do, I also homeschool my 11-year-old son, Austin. Most days this works out great—I instruct what needs instructin' and when it's time for him to work I do the things that keep a mortgage over our heads...

But on this day, fate conspired against us both. I was sick, struck down by some random ague, and BattleLore had just arrived on the doorstep.

If I can't call a substitute teacher, I would be the substitute teacher. But which one? The goofball who does card tricks? The retired military guy, ramrod straight like an ingot of steel with precision-machined flat-top? Or maybe the slacker who makes the kids watch movies all day?

Nope. I was gonna be the bestest substitute of all—Sick Dad With a Game Under His Arm.

I set up scenario one, Agincourt, and introduced Austin to the layout. We briefly discussed the circumstance which brought these two peoples together. We then turned to the troop compositions and positions.

"Who do you think is going to win?" I asked.

"The French," he replied with a no duh tone.

I pressed him. "Why?"

"Because of all the cavalry."

I told him we'd play the game, see how it went and then discuss how it really worked out historically.

"Which side do you want to be?" I asked.

His answer was instantaneous. "The French."

We began.

He drove his cavalry forward, charging again and again, and each time I managed to rain enough arrows down on their heads to turn them back. I wasn't causing any casualties, being somehow unable to roll a single red against them, but the black flags more than made up for it.

This exasperated him. "Why do I have to retreat? You didn’t kill anybody."

I gave him graphic descriptions of the hail of arrows raining down upon his men, the staccato clatter of wooden shafts on armor, the panicked horses and screams of the wounded.

"I guess," he shrugged.

This pattern repeated itself, much to my pleasure (both as a teacher and a gamer). Finally, he tired of it and ordered his footmen into the fray. They smashed into my lines and began to make short work of the hapless archers.

To make matters worse, he managed to wheel a heavy cavalry unit into my exposed flank and began driving them down the line. Very quickly he was only one flag short of the win, and several of my remaining units were withered to a single figure. Victory would be his at any moment, and he knew it, he could taste it, feel it as the earth beneath his feet vibrated with the thunder of hooves.

Crap, I thought, If he wins this he's never going to buy the historical version. I'll have a lot of 'splainin' to do.

At this darkest of moments, with my men screaming and scattering before the onslaught of the flower of French chivalry, I drew my salvation: Darken the Skies.

I gave the order and with a sound like a rising storm the archers let loose their volleys, and for a moment 'twas as if the entire field stood quiet 'neath the dappled boughs of a forest entire—

And then the screaming began.

"WHAT?!" Austin cried, incredulous.

"I win."

The screaming continued. "No way! How?!"

I shrugged. "You tell me."

The field fell silent.

"The archers."

I nodded. "How do you think it worked out in real life?"

He sat back in his chair, eyeing the board, resigned. "The English won, didn't they."

As we were discussing the historical version, my eldest son arrived home from school, dropped his backpack and wandered over to the table.

"So," he asked, "Who had the giant spider?"
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Eric Hautemont
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Thank you for a GREAT read! It made me smile and chuckle.
Eric @ DoW
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Hector Lopez
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Thanks. That was a good read.
 
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Ben Cole
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Brough a smile to my face, despite being stuck at work.
 
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Stephen Hill
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You get the thumbsup from me!
 
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Bill Allen
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thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup

Now I only have to wait til BattleLore reaches Australia and my 6 year old reaches 6th grade and I start home-schooling ...
 
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Ken Rumsey
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Re: Agincourt - In Which I School a Sixth-Grader, If Only Ju
Kids are great "who had the giant spider?".

So who'd you tell him had it?
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Chris Tannhauser
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Austin let him know pretty quick that no one had the giant spider 'cause it was historical.

The conversation quickly devolved into the ridiculous along the lines of "Well if it was hysterical, then how come the wizards weren't shooting lighting bolts?"

Which leads me to suspect that sometime in the future, while taking a test on medieval Europe he'll write LIGHTING BOLT!!! LIGHTNING BOLT!!! under Agincourt. Lord knows we've gotten plenty of those calls from teachers in the past...
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László K.
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HiveGod wrote:
LIGHTING BOLT!!! LIGHTNING BOLT!!!


For those of you who do not yet understand, I shall educate thee:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ufaBKdY60w
 
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
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Re: Agincourt - In Which I School a Sixth-Grader, If Only Ju
There go my savings for a geekbadge...

Hoping to hear again from you and your sons' adventures in battlelore soon.



(edit: typo)
 
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mike hibbert
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Can you be my Dad too?

Brilliant!
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Alan Paull
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Re: Agincourt - In Which I School a Sixth-Grader, If Only Ju
Great example of teaching with games!
Permission to re-use please (suitably referenced and anonymised).

BenthamFish
 
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Denise Patterson-Monroe
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Wow! I played Agincourt with my six year old, who I also homeschool. I think what she got out of it was 'horses are pretty'.
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Mark crane
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Re: Agincourt - In Which I School a Sixth-Grader, If Only Ju
HiveGod wrote:
Austin let him know pretty quick that no one had the giant spider 'cause it was historical.

The conversation quickly devolved into the ridiculous along the lines of "Well if it was hysterical, then how come the wizards weren't shooting lighting bolts?"

Which leads me to suspect that sometime in the future, while taking a test on medieval Europe he'll write LIGHTING BOLT!!! LIGHTNING BOLT!!! under Agincourt. Lord knows we've gotten plenty of those calls from teachers in the past...


Ok, I'm off to read everything else you've written on BGG
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John Tesoriero
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Re: Agincourt - In Which I School a Sixth-Grader, If Only Ju
That's an amazing session report. Stories like this make me wish I had kids. My copy of Battle Lore has only had two plays so far, and it's sitting on a table at home just dying to be used. I'm even contemplating painting minis for the first time in my life, because they are so awesome and I don't have enough opportunities to actually use them.
 
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Chris Tannhauser
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mikehibbert wrote:
Can you be my Dad too?


Only if you're a 17-year-old Korean girl. Sorry, but some standards must be upheld.

Alan Paull wrote:
Great example of teaching with games!
Permission to re-use please (suitably referenced and anonymised).


Permission granted! Thanks for the interest--and there's no need to anonymise, unless you think it works better that way.

Denise wrote:
Wow! I played Agincourt with my six year old, who I also homeschool. I think what she got out of it was 'horses are pretty'.


To her credit, there's a world of difference between six and 11, as I'm sure you know. On a side note I have to say that you were the first person I thought of when I found out I was going to be homeschooling Austin...

craniac wrote:
Ok, I'm off to read everything else you've written on BGG


Uh oh.
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Chris Tannhauser
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jtesorie wrote:
Stories like this make me wish I had kids.


And every parent here has stories that work brilliantly as birth control

Best of luck to you getting the game to the table, and enjoy every second of it--it's my favorite game right now (read: obsession) and I predict it's destined for a high seat in my All Time Greatest pantheon.

Chris

PS. I'm tempted to paint those minis, too...
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Denise Patterson-Monroe
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HiveGod wrote:
Denise wrote:
Wow! I played Agincourt with my six year old, who I also homeschool. I think what she got out of it was 'horses are pretty'.


To her credit, there's a world of difference between six and 11, as I'm sure you know. On a side note I have to say that you were the first person I thought of when I found out I was going to be homeschooling Austin...


Oh definitely! We play for fun now - but the older kids in the homeschool group have been known to play Memoir at least as part of unit studies on WWII - I'm sure the historical scenarios of Battlelore will be the same way! I know as she gets older she'll get more and more out of our games - right now I just want her to have fun and work on those critical thinking skills!!

And aw shucks, you make me blush blush
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Rob Olsson
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Re: Agincourt - In Which I School a Sixth-Grader, If Only Ju
A very well done session!

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Matthew M Monin
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Re: Agincourt - In Which I School a Sixth-Grader, If Only Ju
Great session. What is true in roleplaying is can also be true in boardgames - sometimes the dice (and, in this case, also the cards) know what the correct results should be.

-MMM
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Erik Ny
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A great read, and about the best promotion of the game I could imagine.
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Dwight Mendenhall
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My guess would be that your son wanted to play again as the English, and the french kicked his trash

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