Convention AARs and Centurions
Event Reports

2010 Centurions  

Attendance grew again in 2010 despite record unemployment and continued doom and gloom on the economic front plus a schedule conflict with Gen Con. The record crowd was reflected in tournament participation as well with 16 events drawing triple-digit participation. Although the century mark busters actually declined by one from 2009, there were no less than six events hovering near that mark with attendance in the 90's. The average attendance for the 152 events again rose 2.3 to 51.7, buoyed by 216 players for Liar's Dice and 206 for Ticket to Ride.

Despite all that wood gathering, Open Gaming did a banner business—filling the 13,000 sq ft showroom to overflowing - and keeping the ever-enlarging BPA game library humming with happy borrowers. A constantly updated schedule with a minute-by-minute countdown to the start of the next event was projected on the stage to remind everyone of upcoming event opportunities elsewhere in the hotel.

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The Showroom had become the new focal point of the convention aided by a $13,000 BPA investment in new tables and storage facilities to house the growing Game library. So succesful was this transformation that the Showroom will be pressed into service two days earlier in 2011 for a full week of Open Gaming access as the Auction, still going strong, moves to Lampeter Hall in 2011.

Bruce Beard retained his title as the longest continuous reigning master at WBC by holding serve to win his sixth straight 18XX title, one of just 24 prior champions to successfully defend their title, but 2010 will likely be remembered as the "Year of the Family". In all, five different nuclear families combined to win 20 championship plaques (not Junior wood). Congratulations to the Beyma, Emery, Field, Henning and Reiff clans. The fair sex continued to elbow their way past the gents to reach the winners circle with eight ladies claiming titles in 2010. In all, players from 43 states and three Canadian provinces plus 12 nations won laurels in WBC tournaments this year.

At the other end of the title spectrum, 31 players won their first WBC championship and 85 earned their first laurels. 16 won multiple titles, led by Bruce Reiff who "homered" with three shields in Football Strategy, March Madness and Union Pacific while adding a fourth Trial title in his "lock" event, Battleline, to continue his streak of winning wood every year. He narrowly missed the never achieved WBC Grand Slam of four Century events by finishing second in San Juan and fourth in Auction and Battle Cry. It's not much satisfaction, but it's all I've got. Sigh ... Continuing the baseball analogy, this year looked like a Fenway slugfest with no less than 11 doubles and four triples by the usual heavy hitters: Richard Beyma (A&A, GBG, WAT), Alex Bove (AMR, GOA, RA), Arthur Field (DOM, MFD, STP), and Stefan MeCay (960, POG, TWS) scored large as the race for Caesar/Consul heated up.

The Team Tournament retrenched from its record year in 2009 with "only" 96 teams answering the bugle call in 2010, down seven from the record 2009 field. The fifth-ranked "I Beat Bill Crenshaw" squad squeaked out a 1-point victory (no thanks to its namesake—apparently everyone beat Bill Crenshaw) over The Defectors and perennial favorites Nest of Spies. That suited Ben Knight just fine though as he won our Second Bracket Busting contest and a free 2011 membership by correctly guessing the top four teams and winning a tie-breaker based on selecting the highest team outside the Top Ten.

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. Among events with at least a three-year track record, 15 raised their attendance bar by posting their own personal best entrant numbers for the past ten years. The other end of that spectrum saw an equal number of tournaments drop to new attendance lows for the past ten years.

Zenith: Those setting new highwater marks were: +29 Pirate's Cove; +23 Alhambra; +19 B-17; +12 Gangster; +12 A House Divided; +6 Command & Colors Ancients; +4 Ivanhoe; +4 We the People (Washington's War); +4 Liar's Dice; +3 March Madness; +3 Formula Motor Racing; +1 Elchfest; +1 Britannia; +1 Ace of Aces.

Nadir: Those sinking to new lows were: -26 Saint Petersburg; -10 Princes of Floence; -9 Memoir '44; -9 1960; Making of the President; -8 Combat Commander; -8 Manifst Destiny; -6 Caylus; -6 Mystery of the Abbey; -4 Breakout: Normandy; -4 Race For the Galaxy; -4 Yspahan; -3 Air Baron; -1 Amun Re; -1 Afrika Korps, -1 Rail Baron.