Port Macquarie High School Games Club
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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When I'm not on the high seas a pyratin' I have an alter-ego that sees me assume the mantle of a mild-mannered High School Librarian.

One of the big positives of the job is being able to introduce students (aged 12-18) to the joys of boardgames.

The library is open from 8:30 in the morning and sees students playing games from that time until the start of school, recess and at lunchtime. We have space to save one larger game (sometimes two) so that a particular game may run for several days until it is completed.

Boardgames can serve a wide variety of educational roles, improving students numeracy and literacy skills, general knowledge, knowledge of history and geography, problem solving skills as well as developing interpersonal skills as the students learn to play nicely with the other students and become good losers - we can't all win.

The following is a list of the games that are most popular with the students.

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1. Board Game: Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:748]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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The students have a desire to play violent games - Axis & Allies is easily the most popular and I have to limit the number of times it is played to ensure that students are exposed to a variety of games.

Watching the group dynamics is interesting.

In one game, towards the end, Germany needed help from Italy.

Italy's response was, "You haven't helped me when I needed it - you're on your own!"

I could say that the Pact of Iron between Germany and Italy became a Pact of Rubber - but that would be stretching it.
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2. Board Game: Ave Caesar [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1084]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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I think that this is a brilliant game.

During 2009 I have had a larger number of low-ability students come to join in the games. This one is great for them and improves their number skills.

The students are now working out their own variant rules for the game.
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3. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:281] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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This game is good for developing interpersonal skills and negotiation skills due to the high level of interaction between players.
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4. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:421] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
 
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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For some reason I don't really understand this one is a perennial favourite. Possibly because of its short playing time it allows students not involved in a bigger game to fill in their time pleasantly.
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5. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:524]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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This is another game where students really seem to enjoy coming up with their own variations to the rules.
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6. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:126] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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With a full five players this takes just a fraction too long for a 50 minute lunch session. We get around that by dealing players 8 cards at the start of the game just to speed things up.
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7. Board Game: Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1052]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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I was going to start off by saying that this game is under-rated, but looking at its rating probably not.

This is a really interesting maths-type game and the more you play it the better it becomes.

I don't think they supplied enough gold coins with the game - every now and then all plays toss 50 gold into the bank to keep things running smoothly.
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8. Board Game: Risk: The Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:3594]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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This is another game that the students frequently ask for.
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9. Board Game: Formula D [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:429]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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for some reason I don't understand, some of the children actually get pleasure out of deliberately going through corners too fast and destroying their cars.
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10. Board Game: Eketorp [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2323]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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This is a wonderful game with lots of options regarding how to allocate your vikings and how to best score your points.
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11. Board Game: Naval War [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:3558]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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We actually wore out a copy of Naval War - it was played to death.
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12. Board Game: Caribbean [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:2553]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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13. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.39 Overall Rank:15441]
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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I don't understand why kids would want to play this - but that shows how little I know.
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