First day of class!

This week was the first day of class! The day Bethany and I worked so hard to accomplish was finally here! So of course, I decided to just cancel class!

Of course…that is far from what I did!

What Dane and I did was talk about the first class a few times over the course of the week. The only thing left was to teach the class.

This week was really an introduction to the class and how it will work. We spent some serious time on how the quests (assignments) will work and answered all questions. We then passed out our pre-tests and weekly note cards. The question for this week’s note cards (where we ask a brief reflection question) was what worried them the most about the class. The two biggest responses is people worrying about fitting in, language barrier (for several international students), the complexity of the games and about the freedom of dates and assignments. That gives Dane and I good feedback for what to work on and look at.

After that, it was time for one of the key parts of our class: Tabletop Games!

This week the class was playing Avalon. Avalon is a hidden role game designed by Don Eskridge and published by Indie Boards and Cards for 5-10 players. With class we have three groups of eight players, so we had Merlin, Percival, Morgana, the Assassin and Mordred as special roles. This was the one game we taught in class; future games everyone has to come to class with an idea of how to play. We are offering three opportunities for them to learn them; we have uploaded the rules, we have shared rules videos from YouTube or they can attend the Strategy Gaming Club on Tuesday in the same room and time from the class where we will teach the game from that week’s class.

After the first game of Avalon, we discussed just in general what the experience of the class was while playing the game. The students did an excellent job of discussing the various things they noticed. Topics included the difficulties of being Merlin when the first three people randomly were evil, the role trust and distrust plays and more. After that, we reset and played one more game.


Each of the three groups playing Avalon

Over the two games each group had similar things happen that are common to games of Avalon, especially with new players. Two evil people failing the same mission. Evil people being too cautious and despite having two on the mission not failing. A good person who is learning the game accidentally failing, which corrupts the game. However, after their reflections on ways they saw leadership in the game was also excellent.

After the discussion we wrapped up with sharing the article The Types of Board Games Everyone Should Know About to help people understand initial basics of tabletop games to help build their gaming knowledge.

Overall, it was a wonderful first week of this new and exciting class!