Group 'War'

Type of Activity: Energizer

Group Size: Best played with 10 or more participants.

Setting Up: Divide the group into even teams.  Lay a piece of rope or webbing on the ground.  Have one group stand on one side of the line, the other group on the other side of the line.

Process: This game is a variation from the common game Giants, Wizards, and Elves and a twist on the traditional card game War.  In the traditional game of War, participants sit around a table and the entire deck of cards is dealt out to two people.  Participants do not look at their cards, which are placed face down in a pack in front of them.  Both participants simultaneously turn over the top card in their respective piles and place it face up in the middle of the table.  The highest-rank card wins the hand and collects the cards, placing them face down at the bottom of his or her pack.  Aces are high and suits are ignored.  If the two cards played are of equal value, the two participants must now go to War.  They both now place the top cards of their packs face down in the middle of the table.  These cards are not revealed; instead, the participants return to their packs and take the new top card, turning it over and placing it face up on the table.  Whoever plays the highest card wins the hand and collects all six cards from the middle of the table, which are placed face down at the bottom of his or her pack.  The winner of this game is the person who collects all 52 cards, leaving their opponent with nothing.

So for the group version of War, divide the group into even teams.  Lay a piece of rope or webbing on the ground.  Have one group stand on one side of the line, the other group on the other side of the line.  Give each participant a card and ask them not to look at it.  Participants from each team approach the line and face off against one participant from the other team.  If there are uneven teams, those without a person to face off against must wait until the next round to play.  On the count of three each pair will reveal their card simultaneously to their partner.  Whoever has the higher card wins their opponent to their side.  If participants reveal the same card they declare a tie and both members remain on their own side.  Then participants exchange cards with at least three people on their side so they do not know what card they have.  Then play resumes as stated above.  Participants from each team approach the line and face off against one participant from the other team.  Play continues as long as participants are still having fun!

Debriefing Topics:

  • Did you have a strategy for this activity?
  • How did it feel to lose a card?
  • How did you/could you have impacted the game?

For original write up purchase the book, "The Book of Raccoon Circles.” 

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