This time last year I was working on a board game to help my students understand ancient civilizations. This year, my students had a firm grasp on the ancient civilizations but needed a little bit of help on globalization and economics in general. Enter the game Economica.
I knew I wanted my students to build their nations to world powers and experience the nation’s growing pains along the way. The students needed to feel the competitiveness of globalization while collecting the resources they need to be successful.
Each student began with a playing mat or board and a starter deck of random game cards.
The focus of my content is the Eastern Hemisphere. While all countries of the world are represented in the deck, I asked the students to only pick a country that can be found in the Eastern Hemisphere. Once they have acquired their country of choice, it is placed in the center of the board. From this point, players begin collecting the cards needed to fill their board with the accurate information about their country. Play begins with players taking a few minutes to trade with other players. Trading is fast in fierce and deals are made quickly. After trade stops, play continues as follows:
- All cards are placed in a deck and shuffled.
- Seven cards are drawn. This is the players hand. The rest is the draw/discard pile.
- An event card in your hand must be played first.
- Trade occurs once again.
- Players return to the board and either discard to seven or draw to make seven.
- Cards are placed on the board (the first to fill their entire board wins).
- Cards placed on the board are retired from the discard deck and the player again draws to make 7.
- Players can form alliances and enemies.
- Players can declare war, changing a country’s government and religion, delaying a player form finishing their board.
- Players can buy “booster packs” of cards with our class money system.
Now that we have played for a few days, the students have a good idea of the rules and have quickly moved into the roles of their country. Students are looking for information about their country, including current news items. Their conversations are incredible pieces of formative assessments.
Worried about keeping the game pieces together, I turned to Amazon. These amazing red plastic bags are simple and hold each player’s entire game. Keeping the bags in a box, by the door, allows students to grab their games as they come in and begin playing. This has turned out to be a great way to start class and students are super excited to get the game started!
As the game grows, I will check back with pictures and student reviews!