Levée en Masse: The Wars of the French Revolution, 1789-1802
Levee is the project's first complete game release and covers the events and conflicts of the French Revolution through a simple and engaging system of play. Designed by John Welch and originally published by Victory Point Games in 2010, Levee is now being made available as a free computerized game thanks to Mr. Welch's gracious permission.
The game can be used in a variety of ways in any history class dealing with the Enlightenment and the Age of Revolution in Europe such as a "World History Since 1789" or "Western Civilization Since 1500" from 8th grade to undergraduate. As Mr. Welch highlights, "Levée en Masse is a game that simulates the struggles that gripped France beginning with the Storming of the Bastille in 1789 to Napoleon’s seizure of power in 1802. The game was designed to be played solo but can easily be adapted for use in a single classroom or with smaller groups of students using multiple copies of the game." To facilitate its use in the classroom, Mr. Welch created several tools that cn be used used in conjunction with the game.
- Levee en Masse Introduction/Tutorial (YouTube)
- Levee en Masse Instructions for the Web-based Game
- Educational Materials for Integrating the Game into the Classroom
- Game files in Zip format for installation on computers without Internet connection (right-click and "Save as...")
"Can you suppress the forces of Monarchy and Despotism to maintain the Republican spirit in France? Can you export the revolution by liberating neighboring states and granting them their liberty? Will you be able to keep order in Paris as it suffers from riot after riot? Enlist today, grab your musket and a banner, and join the Levée en Masse!"
Educational Materials to Integrate Levee into the Classroom
All education materials here courtesy of John Welch.
How to Have Students Play as a Group Online
One of the advantages of playing a boardgame in a classroom, even a solitaire game like Levee, is that students can collaborate in pairs or even small groups. This has the advantages of ensuring that even students who are unclear about the activity or the game rules can be guided by the other students, and the students can discuss and debate both the moves to make and the events of the game. The online environment makes this more difficult, but it is certainly not impossible. We'll use Zoom an example.
Imagine you are using Zoom to teach a class of a couple dozen students synchronously. You've been discussing the French Revolution and introduced students to the game, but you want them to work together on the game in pairs or groups of 3 or 4. You can break students into groups on Zoom as you would normally, but before you do, identify those students who are going to be the Game Master (or GM, or Host). The Host student opens the game in their computer's browser and then shares their screen with the group. Everyone will be able to see the Host's screen with the game. (Don't forget to play fullscreen -- the "F11" key.) Students can then discuss moves and events with the Host taking the actions the group desires.