So what do you think?

If you're looking for a quick or introductory game of Axis & Allies this is the one. It also has a very special collection of never before seen plastic units.
Just to mention a few: German Tiger tank, Russian IS2 tank, US P40 Warhawk, German FW-190 Folkwolf, Japanese Kongo class battleship and the HMS Hood, and oh yeah... the German He-111 Heinkel bomber.
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Re: So what do you think?

Post by STUrzKAmpfbomber » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:36 am

This is a honorable intention of you. But i´m sure, there are some of beginning players, who doesn´t have a mentor like you and which are not much interested in an accuarate historic game of WWII yet. They maybe just want to play a "cool" WWII board game like "Risk" is - inaccurate, but includes a much of fun while playing it.

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Re: So what do you think?

Post by WILD BILL » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:03 pm

My take is that this game was dubbed "41" to differentiate it from the new re-print of 42 so ppl don't get get them confused. I would say the starting point is Nov/Dec 41, but not all historical actions are taken into account. I'm sure the designer notes will clear some things up.


With Barbarossa well under way the axis have cut deeply into Russian territory having taken all of Poland, Ukraine etc (with the Kremlin in their sights). The game starts on Russia's turn so there should be some see/saw action on the eastern front. Axis also controlled much of North Africa and were on the door step of Egypt. They didn't have total domination of the region, but the territory of North Africa is awarded to the axis simply because they had majority control. This mainly due to the vast size of North Africa being a single territory (done intentionally to speed up game time)

Similar liberties were taken in Asia with the single territory of South East Asia. If you look at AA50 you will see that Malaya is also included in the territory of FIC/Thailand and the map has a 1941 start time. This new version doesn't include a separate territory of Burma either (like AA50 did). The Japs start with majority control of this region as they bullied both FIC & Thailand to gain territorial access. Many individual territories you see in other editions of AA are lumped together in this simplistic map/version. It was done mainly to cut down game time. Frankly "history" has taken a back seat to "game play" in this version because of the intended lack of individual territories to speed up game play.


Keep in mind this is a game loosely based on history, not a history lessen. If/when you are using it as a tool in a classroom setting I would think it is up to you to point that out. I know from your other posts that you often blend several AA type games in to your own incarnation to gain what in your eyes is a more accurate account of history. I have also caught post when you toss history out the window and include fictional characters just for a fun factor. I applaud your attempt to reach the youth in a different setting that is more fun. I can see how these tools can help reach them.

Don't knock this game for doing essentially the same thing. As this game draws more people into the WWII era, these same people will start goggling stuff, and asking questions. Many AA gamers will sit down with their youngsters to play this simplistic version and it may even fit into their attention span. These kids have watched their parents and/or family members play, but are often told your to young. Now they may get a chance to participate. If all they pick up on is the name of the major powers on both sides then hey that's something. This introduction can lead to more knowledge.

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Re: So what do you think?

Post by Imperious leader » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:22 pm

This introduction can lead to more knowledge.
Yea but not as much as a proper curriculum that has the teacher lecturing and students reading books and doing tests/reports and NOT playing games. Games are better for preschool kids who need stimuli, while teens need the most stringent educational methods. If they are gifted they should be in college preparatory courses and those don't include...Axis and Allies of all things...

geez.
We really need an Axis and Allies World War one game so i can play that on August 1st, 2014.

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Re: So what do you think?

Post by timerover51 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:45 am

Imperious leader wrote:
This introduction can lead to more knowledge.
Yea but not as much as a proper curriculum that has the teacher lecturing and students reading books and doing tests/reports and NOT playing games. Games are better for preschool kids who need stimuli, while teens need the most stringent educational methods. If they are gifted they should be in college preparatory courses and those don't include...Axis and Allies of all things...

geez.
Presently, our students have been roleplaying the more important world leaders in 1938 through 1941, in the events leading up the the Munich Conference and the considerable amount of political events in Europe and the Far East prior to September 3, 1939. We have finished the Munich Conference and presently are covering the German final takeover of Czechoslovakia, with the Poles and the Hungarians grabbing bits of Polish territory as well. In the next couple of class days we will be covering the Nomanhan Incident between the USSR and Mongolia on one hand and the Japan and the Manchukuo on the other, where forces under the command of Zhukov destroyed the Japanese 23rd Infantry Division, and convinced the Japanese Army that they had no desire whatsoever to attack the USSR, even after the German invasion in 1941.

We are working with the 4 foot by 8 foot map from Historical Board Gaming depicting the World as of September 1939, with miniature units showing the military forces of all of the countries involved in World War 2, including Brazil. As the Spanish Civil War has not yet ended, there are still Italian and German forces in Spain. The USSR has not yet taken over Bessarabia from Rumania or the smaller Baltic States, but that is coming, and we also will be teaching the students about the Winter War in 1939-1940 between Finland and the USSR. Then they will be role-playing the major Japanese Imperial Conferences and policy conferences where Japan's decision for war was made. As we progress in the war's chronology, the students representing the major powers will be moving their units on the map in accordance with the military situation and have the various strategic decisions discussed with them. My co-teacher, who teaches math at the University of Chicago Lab School from junior high to high school, views it as a crash college-level class in WW2.

By the way, about a quarter of our students are from the University of Chicago Lab School, where Obama's daughters attended prior to his election. (When they return for a visit, the school experiences a major disruption for the day.) About all the rest of the high school students are taking college preparatory classes and Advanced Placement classes. In them, they are lucky if they receive 2 class periods, of about 45 minutes or so, on WW2. Exceptionally, they might get 3, but nothing beyond US involvement. When I asked my daughter's high school history teacher her senior year if he was covering the Munich Conference in 1938, he got this glazed look on his face and actually asked "what that was." She was in the high school Advanced Placement class. With respect to our junior high students, for most this is their first real exposure to WW2. It is a bit hard to write intelligent papers on WW2 when you have virtually no knowledge of it, and even worse, when your instructor has essentially no knowledge of it either. We have had a couple of students tossed out of class for showing that what the instructor was teaching was flat-out wrong or false. The disturbing thing was that the instructor did not know it was wrong, and even more, refused to admit that what he or she was teaching was wrong. Such is the state of the US educational system.

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Re: So what do you think?

Post by Imperious leader » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:59 am

But the kids are not learning anything from the game except a marginal aspect of how the campaigns were decided upon and basic balance of forces.

AA and a few house rules will not overcome that and provide insight beyond that.

All the political items of who, what, where, when, and how should be featured in essay form along with daily quiz of what was lectured the day before. Since all that is being done is rolling dice and playing games, the shortfall of time investment becomes acute. Also, students don't need 3 classes on WW2 History. What is more important is how/why the war began and ended...the ebb and flow of campaigns becomes less important.
We really need an Axis and Allies World War one game so i can play that on August 1st, 2014.

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Re: So what do you think?

Post by timerover51 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:51 am

We have yet to role a single dice, and will not until the third week of class. We are covering the decisions which led up to the war, and by having the students role-play the decisions, they are retaining far more than they would in comparison to rote learning a mass of facts and then regurgitating them back to us on a test or quiz. The University of Chicago has stopped recognizing the Advance Placement test for history, as the students have virtually ZERO retention of what they have been taught in order to do well on the exam.

We spent an hour and fifteen minutes on the first day going over the objectives and desires of the various nations who were involved in WW2, We went over why Hitler wanted what it did, why the Japanese military wanted what it did, why Mussolini wanted what he did, what were the aims of the British, the French, the US, and the smaller powers, and showed them on the map where everything and everyone was located. They are already using that information in the class, telling us what should have been done verses what was actually done.

When the student who is acting as Mussolini read that Mussolini's assessment of Chamberlain was that he was"the tired sons of a long line of rich men", every student understood that was a terrible indictment of the actions of the British leader and a frightening view for a major World leader to have of another World leader.

When we covered the Japanese takeover of Manchuria in 1931, which was planned by a Japanese captain in their equivalent of the OSS, and a major and lieutenant colonel on the staff of the Kwangtung Army, they understand exactly how out of any effective civilian control the Japanese military was, and how out of control the the lower echelons of the Army were from the Army leaders.

We have students working on their Master's Degree in Gifted Education visiting the class on a regular basis to see what we are doing, while my co-teacher is giving seminars on what we are doing at gifted education conferences. That is occurring because what we are doing is working, the students are remembering and building on what we are teaching, while the lecture/quiz, lecture/quiz approach you are arguing for has NOT. Its main achievement has been to totally turn students off permanently to history as a rote collection of obsolete facts, not something that has relevance to today's world. Our students are bringing in the history books that they have asked their parents to buy to show to us. The parents come in on the final night's Open House, telling us of their child's interest in history, what books they have been reading, and oh, by the way, could we please do something like this for them as well.

We are still working on that.

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Re: So what do you think?

Post by WILD BILL » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:33 am

I understood that it wasn't just play a game and that was it. I suspected there was a lot of prep time from lecture and reference material before hand (traditional learning if you will). Then having the students role play the parts so they get a better understanding of what it was all about (so the info sinks in better). The game itself is more of a reward system that the kids look forward to.

I also suspect often times much of the game playing is done as an extra curricular activity (like a chess club after school). The participants would be kids that have an interest in history, or higher learning. It is much better IMO to have these students playing a game in a controlled setting FTF then out somewhere doing things they shouldn't unsupervised or just sitting in front of their X-box.

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Re: So what do you think?

Post by timerover51 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:39 pm

WILD BILL wrote:I understood that it wasn't just play a game and that was it. I suspected there was a lot of prep time from lecture and reference material before hand (traditional learning if you will). Then having the students role play the parts so they get a better understanding of what it was all about (so the info sinks in better). The game itself is more of a reward system that the kids look forward to.

I also suspect often times much of the game playing is done as an extra curricular activity (like a chess club after school). The participants would be kids that have an interest in history, or higher learning. It is much better IMO to have these students playing a game in a controlled setting FTF then out somewhere doing things they shouldn't unsupervised or just sitting in front of their X-box.
There is two weeks of classwork around the large map of the opening phase of WW2, starting from the Munich Conference in September of 1938. We have also covered the Japanese takeover of Manchuria, the Italian takeover of Ethiopia, and the Stalinist purges of the military and the Ukraine. None of that is mentioned in the students' high school or junior high classes. The military units on the map are moved in accordance with the World events of the day, and the student in charge of that country does the moving. The reaction to seeing this large map and all of the units on it, which the student's themselves set out, has focused the attention like nothing we have ever tried before. We are encouraging the students to read Churchill's History of WW2, if only the 1st volume, and also the Ciano Diaries. On the last day, they will get a recommended reading list.

In the third week, they will be playing the game and making their own decisions, while having to work with all of their allies, in the case of the allied players, while the Axis try to grab as much as possible before the US really gets its production going. They are very much looking forward to that, and to learning as much as possible before then.

I will try to post some photos of the board in another thread.

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