a year from the drop-down list for a low-down on the history
of Avaloncon and WBC.
See the champions for each year. Or choose to view the Laurels or Medals totals.
In addition to the all-too-common economic storm clouds, WBC
2012 was hampered by unfavorable weather as the Host became the
focal point of a tropical deluge of epic proportions. This, combined
with a failure of the air conditioning in Lampeter, made for a
challenging playing environment. Despite these setbacks, we again
posted a small attendance increase, besting our one-year-old record
by 2%. In all, nearly every state plus 17 nations sent participants
in 2012 - led by no less than five Finns who threatened to run
away with the Team Tournament in the early going. The record crowd
was reflected in tournament participation with a matching 2% increase
and no less than 22 events drawing triple-digit participation
despite the toll taken by the faulty air conditioning which dropped
Lampeter event participation by 11%. Those who braved the horrific
conditions there to continue in those events were truly dedicated.
The average attendance for the 150 events rose 1.0 to 56 players
per event, buoyed by 200+ player fields for Liar's Dice, Lost Cities, Slapshot and Ticket to Ride.
Open Gaming, which had reached new heights of popularity in 2011,
drew harsher reviews this time as the AC failures sent refugees
into the Showroom causing a shortage of tables at peak times.
Twelve WBC champions successfully defended their titles, but
Bruce Beard was not among them. Bruce lost his perch atop the
longest winning streak list when his seven-year reign in 18XX was ended by Spencer Hamblen. Spencer took just one day and a
single qualifying preliminary heat to win the Pre-Con, arriving
and departing on the Sunday before WBC began. Also missing his
chance at longest streak immortality was next-in-line Jason Levine
whose four-year reign with Formula De also came to an end.
But Jason would find ample comfort in other events. Instead, top
laurelist James Pei returned to King of the Hill status with his
fourth straight For the People title and 11th in 12 years!
Not even the return of the mighty Finn, Riku Riekkinen (the holder
of the lone blemish on Pei's 12-year record) could prevent the
ex-Caesar from reclaiming the longevity title. Alas, Riku was
too busy winning Twilight Struggle for the anticipated
rematch to occur.
Elsewhere, the fair sex lost market share again this year with
just five ladies claiming titles in 2012 - down from six in 2011
and eight in 2010. Donna Balkan (RBN), Stephanie Kilroy
(RDG), Mary Ellen Powers (LLM), Carolyn Strock (TAM)
and Sarah Vasilakos (FMR) lorded it over the guys in their
respective events. Multiple winners were scarce with only eight
finding the winner's circle more than once compared to 20 in 2011.
The aforementioned grieving Jason Levine led them with a homerun
anology (LWL, POF, SJN, WPS) while defending Caesar Randy
Buehler (SPB, AGE, T&T) and Nicholas Henning (AUT,
MMA, P1S) both tripled for the second straight year. Buehler
repeated as Caesar but he had a harder time of it, besting 2004
Caesar James Pei by a mere 10 laurels. And he was unable to deny
Nicholas Henning a year as Consul with Nick's WBC wins total of
133 laurels topping Randy's 116. The two had finished 1-2 in 2011's
Consul race also, but this year Nick prevented Randy's sweep of
Buehler also prevailed in the Team Tournament where he contributed
10 of his teams 23 points by winning Saint Petersburg as
his Magic Men consortium bested EPGS' Four to Beam Up by three points. Cynical Stoics took third with 19 points
while the Finnish Ski Patrol faded to 18 points and a fourth
place finish in the field of 86 teams. It proved hard to predict
as the usual prohibitive favorites finished well down the list.
Andy Latto proved the best prognisticator by correctly identifying
five of the Top Ten in our annual bracket busting contest.
At the other end of the title spectrum, 42 players won their
first WBC championship (down from 46 in 2011 but still a major
increase over the 31 in 2010) and 88 earned their first laurels.
Brad Johnson and Peter Eldridge won free rooms as their reward
for Best GM of the Year (Dune) and Sportsmanship (Battle
Cry) in the other two annual awards of note.
In the continuing circle of life struggle of WBC winners and
losers, the events themselves again competed for the player lifeblood
needed for another year of WBC existence. This constant churn
yielded 11 new occupants of the Century club which appers to be
the average turnover. Losers outnumbered gainers 22:18 although
the gains tended to be higher than the losses. Among events with
at least a three-year track record, 18 raised their attendance
bar by posting their own personal best entrant numbers for the
past ten years. The other end of that spectrum saw 22 tournaments
drop to new attendance lows for the past decade.
Zenith: Those setting new highwater marks for the last
ten years were: +36 Ra; The Dice Game; +26 Lost Cities;
+19 Ingenious; +18 Stone Age; +16 Through the
Ages; +15 Thurn & Taxis; +14 Here I Stand;
+13 Pirate's Cove; +9 Elchfest; +7 Liar's Dice;
+6 Facts in Five; +5 Formula Motor Racing and 18XX; +4 Dune; +3 Ivanhoe, Lord of the Rings; The Confrontation,
and Wellington; +2 Trans America.
Nadir: Those sinking to new lows for the past decade
were: -11 Caylus; -7 Great Campaigns of ACW and Paths of Glory; -4 Battleline, Russia Besieged, Victory in the Pacific and War of the Ring; -3 Age
of Steam, Auction and Manoevvre; -2 The
Adventurers, Crusader Rex,, Galaxy, Medici and Titan
Two; -1 Britannia, Euphrat & Tigris, Football
Strategy, Hammer of the Scots, Squad Leader, Titan, Twilight Imperium and Wilderness War.