Strategic, like Stratego. ("Jojo needs to sit up close to see the board better, but he's really tall and his head blocks others from seeing.....hmmmm")
Little bombs hide right under your nose, like Battleship. ("I didn't know they went out last year!")
Some classes are easy--you can let the computer randomize the kids for you, or if you want, seat kids so their names amuse you. You can have a Wild West corner and put Colton M., B. Weston, A. Silverthorn, and Wayne H. all in one corner, and you can have the Alex corner and stick all the Alexandras, Alexes, Alexises, Allies, Lexys all together, maybe center them around an Obiyashi for some fun cognitive dissonance. Lately I've wondered about a row of Leys--Ryley, Kyley, Lee, Bailey, Hadley, Kayley, and of course the perennial Ashley.
|So. Many. Moves. Some fatal!|
My class is in a double horseshoe in order to facilitate students addressing each other and so everyone can see the Almighty Promethean board. But that also means it's easy for Queens to make eye contact with each other, or even with the unpredictable Knight.
The moment of truth comes, of course, during the game itself. Sometimes kids have friendships with pieces I didn't suspect would block progress, and sometimes the seating is genius. Sometimes my game is limited by Individual Education Plans that say "Preferential Seating," and that leaves some pieces anchored all year.
Anyway, I just finished the chessboard for this tricksy class. Truth will tell. I just wish I were a better chess player.