The spring Overday this year was pretty subdued as not too many students could make it. We had a great time of course.
In thinking about this Overday I thought that it might be nice to do some special events to encourage engagement in varied activities. So, we added a Skill Challenge and a Creativity Challenge.
The Skill Challenge was a target and a Nerf dart gun. Each color area on the target scored different points. The gun wasn’t very accurate. Josh enjoyed the challenge the most.
The Creativity Challenge involved Story Cubes™, which are basically dice that have actions or objects on them that can help you craft stories. We’ve used them in past Overdays for a verbal “story time” and kids have enjoyed them. This time, I encouraged them, as the challenge, to roll four action and four object dice and write a story or draw a comic based upon the results. The winner would get a prize based upon what Ben and I judged to be the funniest and most creative story. Teens don’t like to be put on the spot but some at least attempted to start it. And, of course, none of them like to be “assigned homework” outside of school, so this challenge wasn’t very popular. Lily wrote a story but she wasn’t happy with it and wouldn’t submit it. Ali started a story but with so much tactical gaming going on (her favorite!) she wasn’t able to finish. I think it was a good idea though, and I’ll keep encouraging students to participate.
I wrote a story, because I enjoy writing. Here is my attempt. My apologies for the handwriting.
Students enjoyed hearing me read the story to them.
Battletech was the first game that I ran. In reflecting on Overdays of the past, I knew it best to get right into the action with this one and I always want to foster a team environment. So, I picked a high BV Clan Madcat Timber Wolf with nasty weapons and let my students pick from weaker Mechs. The goal was for them to gang up on me and eliminate me before I could kill them. Ryan, Michael and Ali joined me. I managed to head shot Michael after five rounds with my Large Pulse Laser and damaged Ryan heavily before they managed to take me down.
I took a LOT of damage and lost quite a few sections of armor before Ali scored the third engine hit and took me down!
The second game that I ran was two sets of X-wing Miniatures Intro games to some first time and new players. I don’t have any pictures of this, but it was a blast. My approach to this one was to load up Scum Boba Fett with upgrades and play him versus students with four ships without upgrades. You may be thinking: “That’s unfair, they’ll get demolished!” I disagree and all evidence to the contrary. The fact of the matter is that no matter how many upgrades you have, if your opponent has a preponderance of red dice, you are at the disadvantage. Upgrades are not as big of an edge as people think they are, unless really optimized and backed up by enough red dice. Looking back at the Regional and my total time playing the game, an experienced player that flys well and has a swarm of un-upgraded or loosely upgraded ships can wreck their opponent.
The students had an X-wing, a Y-wing, a TIE Fighter, and a TIE Interceptor. We talked about movement and how important it is to maintain firing arcs. We talked geometry and the difference between how banks and turns change exactly how much a ship turns its facing. We talked about how the game forces you to imagine the geometry because you aren’t allowed to pre-measure your moves. We talked about the probability of the dice themselves and how to use actions to modify them. X-wing is just such a great game for learning spatial geometry and probability! And they didn’t even realize they were learning math! Ha!
The rest of the Overday had Betrayal at House on the Hill, sandwiches for lunch, pizza and a lot of fellowship! Here is a roundup of the video game pictures!
Liam, Heaven and Michael received prizes for being extra great clean up helpers.
It was a great Overday and we can’t wait to see what improvements we can make to student experiences next year!