Maps are very important. Not only can epic stories can be told by pointing to a map, but sometimes data can be conveyed better through a map than through many, many explanatory paragraphs in a research paper. Maps show us national and civilizational boundaries, where natural resources are can be found, and the location of opposing forces seeking control of those resources.
So getting a group of men together to look at a map and reenact historical events is an excellent tool for learning, thinking, and training.
And at Lee's Summit High School in Lee's Summit, Missouri, Midwesterners gather every six months for a tabletop wargaming convention called Recruits. The proceeds of the convention go to the high school's Organization for Strategic Gaming, an extracurricular club in which students can letter for wargaming history. In addition to funding the OSG, Recruits also helps introduce wargaming to those curious about tabletop wargaming.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to present the game Tide of Iron, a combat simulation of tactical fighting during World War II. Below are some pictures from the event:
|In this Tide of Iron scenario, the Germans are trying their best to overrun the Allied defenses and secure their objectives.|
|World War II is not the only World War to replay. In this image, players better understand the difficulties of assaulting the trenches of World War I.|
|Some games required a much larger table space. This recreation of Napoleonic battles required a table at least eight feet long and five feet wide.|
|Of course, wars are going on even today. This recreation introduces players to the much more recent Battle of Fallujah which took place in Iraq.|