Thanks for choosing to vacation with us. Our pre-registrants come to us from nearly all of the 50 states and no less than 12 foreign countries including no less than five Finns. We work year 'round to make this a memorable week and we appreciate your making it even better by enjoying it with us. WBC is unique and it means nothing without the role you play in our annual reunion. To that end, here are some helpful hints and late breaking news to guide you through the upcoming week.
PACE YOURSELF: WBC is a week long—actually, nine days for those taking in the pre-cons as well. As such, it is very much a marathon—not a sprint. Resist the temptation to treat it as a theme park and run from one event to the next. That is exhausting. You'll enjoy yourself more and do better if you take the time to eat and sleep normally and take an occasional break.
TOURNAMENTS: If visiting us for the first time, you may wonder what's the big deal about tournaments? Well, WBC tournaments tend to be a far cry from what you find elsewhere masquerading as "events". Not all our tournaments are equal of course and GMs vary widely in experience and passion. You may be someone just looking for fun with pre-conceived notions of Fischer-Spasky chess matches who has always claimed that tournaments are not for you, but you'll be shortchanging yourself if you don't avail yourself of the opportunity to try a few. You might be surprised at just how much "fun" they are.
WHY SO SERIOUS? On the other hand, WBC is not for everybody. Someone usually reaffirms that and does me the dubious honor of rubbing my nose in their blog discourse announcing what a miserable time they had. And of course they are right. Only you can be the judge of what is "fun" for you. Some folks are just intimidated by competition—just as liberals and conservatives will never see eye to eye as each spouts their own half-truth talking points while ignoring valid opposing points of view. Leaving aside for the moment how some people can enjoy a competitive atmosphere while others abhor it, I am always struck by the last straw indignity of these poor bloggers being shunned in Open Gaming! Now I can understand how the introverted can blame the ills of the world on competition, but try as I might, I fail to see any connection to Open Gaming and how those who populate WBC are any less friendly than one encounters in Open Gaming situations elsewhere. My experience has been quite the opposite.
However, in an attempt to make the world a better place, we've added ice-breaker Open Gaming kiosks to the inventory of the Game Library. So now, in addition to borrowing games to play, you can get a highly visible display that announces your invitation to join your table and thereby escape the pain of being turned away. The kiosks are color-coded like their larger, tournament brethren: red seeks experienced players; yellow will teach you to play; and green seeks someone to teach them or are willing to learn together. Once your table is filled with all the players you need, please return the kiosk for others to use in finding partners.
TEAM TOURNAMENT: And they're off! The odds are posted for the 22nd run for the slivers. See http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/teamtour.htm to check the hilarious assemblage of 86 team logos and accompanying commentary by Stuart "Happy Handicapper" Tucker for the tote board at Lancaster Downs. All wagers are purely hypothetical of course but great fun, nonetheless and it will help you with ...
BRACKET BUSTIN' WBC STYLE: Got March Madness withdrawal? Can't wait for the NFL season? Make your brackets for the WBC Team Tournament. Send your Top Ten picks for the WBC Team Tournament listed in order from 1st to 10th to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 28th for a chance to win free admission to WBC 2012. One entry per person. The Happy Handicapper is daring you. And if you are one of our hundreds of jockeys, remember to post your score on the self-scoring Team Tournament display in the Ballroom Foyer.
PRE-CONS: Tribune level members may freely attend any and all Pre-Cons. All others must pay a separate pre-reg admission of $10 plus $10 per day. While Pre-Con walk-ons are allowed, doing so will cost more since Pre-Reg discounts do not apply at the door. If you've decided at the last moment to come early for a Pre-Con, save yourself both time and money by getting the pre-reg rate AND a correct badge. If you'd like to partake of any Pre-Con and have neglected to purchase all-inclusive Tribune memberships or separate Pre-Con admissions, don't wait till you arrive to do so since the reprinting of badges will slow your registration process and the cost will be higher. Just email your intent to us at email@example.com by July 26th for payment on arrival and we will have the appropriate badge waiting for you to speed you on your way at a reduced cost.
NOTE: There is No Open Gaming during Pre-Con weekend. No space has been allocated for it. You may indeed find a table to suit your needs someplace, but you are very much on your own. We recommend significant others arriving early explore other pursuits during the opening weekend.
WBC AUCTION: Sitting in on the game auction is always a fun and nostalgic way to spend the day. The Auction begins at 10 AM Tuesday and will conclude prior to the regular tournament fare at 6 PM, thus allowing us to keep our competitive focus. Check out the updated list of over 600 lots being auctioned at http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/auctionlots.htm. Print the list to help you track the bidding. And remember, the Auction Store opens at 9:30; a half hour before the Auction begins.
AUCTION STORE: Pre-registration for the Auction Store ended July 21st. Do not bring unregistered items for sale. They will not be accepted. See http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/auctionstore.htm for details. Auction and Auction Store sales are strictly cash-only affairs so bring your wallet. While there are ATMs on the premises outside Lampeter Hall, they can be empty during sold out conventions so we suggest bringing the cash you'll need.
Registered lots for the Auction Store must be turned in at Lampeter Hall on Monday between 6 and 10 PM.
UNABLE TO ATTEND? We'll miss you, but if you have a friend who is going, ask them to pick up your shirt, yearbook, etc for you and send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm who your representative is.
REGISTRATION DESK: Convention registration is on the lower level in the New Holland room. The desk will be open from 8 AM to 9 PM daily save for meal breaks until closing on Sunday at approximately 2 PM. Be sure to stop by before departing to pick up any prizes won. Whether pre-registered or not—report to New Holland to pick up your badge and program. And again, we do not take credit cards - so bring your checkbook if contemplating a purchase.
PROCRASTINATOR SPECIAL: OK, you've waited till the very last minute before you decided to come and now it's too late to avoid the at-the-door walk up prices because Pre-Reg is closed. But we'll take pity on you anyway and at least save you the wait while we print out a badge. Just email email@example.com of your intentions to attend WBC and what days you'll be staying and we will pre-print your badge for COD payment. We'll still berate you for being late but at least you won't have to endure it as long while we print out your badge. Heck, you might even make it to your first event on time.
PICTURES: Newcomers will have their photos taken, so comb your hair, ladies. We use these photos on our website, event kiosks, and Yearbook to honor winners and laurelists in the various events. You may think you'll never win anything, but please humor us and oblige us with a photo. The photo is not required and you may decline, but we'd appreciate your providing us with the opportunity. You can also request that we do not use the photo on the internet, and restrict its use to kiosk/yearbook. Gents, we'd appreciate it if you'd remove the hats and sunglasses, so that many years from now when we remember ol' Buckwheat, we can recall what you actually looked like. We'll also stop asking you for a new photo if you give us one where we can actually see your eyes. The kids photos get retaken frequently since they are anxious to grow up. Adults, not so much, since most of us would rather remember what we used to look like. However, if you think you've grown more lovely or handsome as the case may be with the advancing years, feel free to ask for a newer photo.
MAILING LIST: At registration, walk-ins will be required to complete an address form for both postal and email addresses so that we can contact you in the future. Rest assured that BPA does not sell or share its Membership List. If pre-registered, and you have changed either postal or email addresses recently, please share that information with us by completing a Change of Address Registration form. However, to actually get our free Monthly newsletter emailed to you, visit: http://lists.boardgamers.org/mailman/options/bpamail/cd%40boardgamers.org
O, Canada!: To avoid currency exchange problems, many of our Canadian and overseas members before leaving ask us if they can pre-pay their next year membership fees while in Lancaster. We now accept Paypal payments throughout the year so this is less of a problem. However, those reluctant to deal with Paypal may merely complete a Registration form in New Holland for a Sustaining ($70) or Tribune ($100) membership, and write "2013 pre-payment" at the top and indicate their shirt size or hat preference for a free souvenir. You will have the honor of becoming our first 2013 members. Don't forget to participate in the end of Year votes by email anyway.
BADGEHOLDERS: WBC uses a deluxe badge holder which comfortably loops around your neck and has pockets for extras like keys, cash or pen. They ain't cheap tho and we can't give them away any more, so please bring your badge holder back from previous years AND HAVE IT WITH YOU at Registration, or be prepared to cough up a token $2 fee for a replacement. When going home, remember to tuck that badge holder inside your favorite game to ensure a return trip to WBC next year and save $2. You must wear your badge in order to play—including Demonstrations and Open Gaming—and it must be in a WBC badge holder.
PROGRAM: The 2012 program is a streamlined, black & white version available at registration. Those who have grown accustomed to the comforts of a full color presentation or who cannot wait to get their hands on a printout may download it now in full color at http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/schedule.htm in one of three formats: booklet, spread format or one page per sheet.
NEW VENDORS: Shoppers are reminded that our Vendors Room is only open Friday thru Sunday. We are pleased to have many of your favorite publishers back while welcoming Gamewick Games, Game Company 3, Ye Old Soldier Shop and Visible Hand Games to their first WBC. To accommodate them, the vendors area has been expanded to include tables in the Ballroom Foyer adjacent to Cafe Jay. Please respect their space and refrain from playing on their reserved tables since you will have to move immediately when they want to setup. Prior to Friday, game sales will be limited to our exclusive vendor; Decision Games.
A FULL WEEK: Sustaining level members now have seven days of WBC as Ballrooms A & B and the Wheatland room have been added to Monday's menu. Open Gaming and an expanded Sampler Showcase are on tap Tuesday with early tournament fare offered in a number of games on Monday. See http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/sampler.htm for details on all 8 games offered in the Samper Showcase.
OPEN GAMING: Open Gaming requires a WBC badge which should be worn at all times. Open Gaming is limited to the Showroom Monday thru Sunday. Games may be left setup overnight for continuation the next morning at the owner's risk. However, any game abandoned for more than an hour during prime game time runs the risk of being removed to Lost & Found. "Saving" of tables is not allowed. Sales solicitations are likewise limited to authorized vendors in designated areas. A Message Board will be available for those listing Open Gaming desires. Before the con, use our Pre-Reg page at http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/prereg.htm to make Open Gaming appointments.
Using the preliminary round of WBC events as a form of scheduled Open Gaming is common practice. If you win and have no desire to continue in the event, just inform the GM. Above all, do not abandon a game in progress while playing in a tournament.
GAME LIBRARY: Thanks to the generous support of Alliance Distributors, and a number of contributing publishers, our Open Gaming room will have a supply of games for free use throughout the convention. Please borrow only one at a time, do not take them from the Open Gaming room, return them to the same alphabetical section of the library in the same condition you received them, and remember to sign them both in and out on the same line using the same alphabetical-coded clipboard for the game you borrowed. Use the bags provided to sort and store pieces for the next user. Your co-operation is needed so we can continue to offer this valuable resource. The current library inventory is listed at http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/library.htm.
LIBRARY FUND RAISER: Storing, transporting, and caring for the Library and overseeing the Open Gaming theatre is an expensive process. This year you can help in that regard by having a great meal at the Texas Roadhouse across the street. Simply give the ad found on page 32 of your program to your server anytime between 3 and 10:30 PM on Tuesday, and 10% of your check will be donated to maintenance of the library. Check out the menu at http://ww7.texasroadhouse.com/NMotion/Menus/Menu%20(DM%201107%20-%20A2C-BF-1B).pdf.
SOUVENIRS: WBC hats, yearbooks and T-shirts must be pre-ordered—and unlike prior years—are not automatic freebies unless you joined at the start of the year. Tribunes after April 30th and Sustaining members after January 1st will NOT be getting these items unless they paid for them separately. If you want one, email firstname.lastname@example.org asap and we will order yours and collect payment when you check in at registration. Otherwise, there will be very few available for sale on site, first come, first served.
JUNIORS: The Juniors program has expanded to Tuesday and moved from the Heritage room to Vistas CD opposite the front desk in the hotel lobby. Before you unleash the kids, be advised that those 12 and under who wish to play in the Juniors events or use the Juniors room must be accompanied by a member parent or guardian to sign a consent form before being allowed to use the room. Be advised that the Juniors Room is NOT a Day Care service, however, and that we take no responsibility for keeping tabs on children who are free to come and go as they please. There is no substitute for parental supervision. We welcome all parental assistance in teaching games or just plain keeping order.
And don't forget the children's movies each night at poolside.
EXHIBITS: These are not to be confused with Vendors & Sales, but are tables reserved for publishers to demonstrate their products, both old and new, and distribute their literature. They may playtest upcoming games or just invite you to Open Game with their products. These tables will be marked as reserved for the various companies and cannot be used for Open Gaming or events without the permission of that exhibitor. Exhibit tables occupy the Ballroom Foyer and the first row of Lampeter Hall as well as a few indicated tables in the Showroom.
HOTEL RESERVATIONS: The Lancaster Host is soldout. Fortunately, there are many nearby hotels. If you have not booked a room, call the Lancaster reservation center toll free at 1-866-729-5132. We recommend the nearby Continental Inn across the street. The Continental offers bargain rates and free hot breakfasts when you ask for the World Boardgaming Championships group rate. Get the details at http://www.boardgamers.org/hotellan.htm
FOREIGN CURRENCY: Exchange of foreign currency is not available locally. Be sure to visit the Foreign Exchange Office at your airport. While the hotel accepts major credit cards, BPA does not, so convention registration and auction purchases must be paid for in American currency. There is a $25 charge for any returned check.
Lancaster is hot and humid in the summer. Dress accordingly and don't forget your swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the Host's outstanding pool or jacuzzi. But even during the current heat wave, you'll be well advised to pack a sweater and pants to deal with the air conditioning in Lampeter Hall.
FROGGER/PARKING: While nearby lodging opportunities abound, many of them require crossing the busy Route 30 highway which has been likened to playing Frogger—especially when carrying a stack of games. Fortunately, the parking for hotels such as the Continental interconnects with access to the traffic light at Dutch Wonderland. We suggest driving to that intersection to gain access to Route 30, entering the turn lane and pulling into the Host parking lot rather than doing the pedestrian crossing. You can then use the trunk of your car as a rally point for your game stash and revisit as needed to change games during the day.
REGISTERED? NEED A RIDE/ROOMMATE? OPEN GAMING PARTNER? SPOUSAL DIVERSIONS: Check out the pre-reg list at http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/prereg.htm. Car pooling to/from airports is an easy way to save money.
TRANSPORTATION: Amtrak is the best option for those unable to drive. Those staying at the Host are reminded that they need to make their pickup requests for the Host courtesy van at least 24 hours (but not more than one week) in advance. See the details on our site at http://www.boardgamers.org/hotellan.htm
SHOW YOUR COLORS: Saturday, August 4th is the official Game Club T-Shirt Day. Promote your local gaming group and camaraderie by showing everyone your gaming affiliation. Friday, the 3rd, is Team Shirt day. Show the creativity of those clever team logos. Thursday is Centurion Shirt day when past winners can strut their stuff in unison. And for the elite veterans amongst us, Wednesday is Legion Day when those proud few stalwarts laying claim to having attended every WBC can proudly proclaim their veteran status. So empty your closets and pack accordingly. We'll show those Greenville Mafia guys they're not the only ones who can dress uniformly!
- The BPA's Annual Meeting will be held before the Collectibles auction on Tuesday, August 2nd at 3 PM in Lampeter Hall of Lancaster Host in Lancaster, PA where we will present the Hobby Service Award and the newly elected 2012 version of the Board of Directors for your questions.
- 8 AM on Sunday morning, August 5 will find us in the Showroom as the site of our Annual Armistice Meeting with the presentation of Awards and comments from the members. All are encouraged to attend.
POSTERS NA: Attendees are reminded that absolutely NO flyers, posters, or charts of any kind are to be taped, glued, stapled, or adhered in any fashion to any surface at Lancaster Host. Any such materials will be immediately removed. You are welcome to hand out flyers for gaming activities but absolutely no signage of any kind is to be adhered to a wall, furniture or other surface. Those who ignore this rule will be liable for damage claims.
FLEA MARKETS NA: Attendees are reminded that all tables at WBC are reserved for the PLAY of games by those with a current WBC badge. No unauthorized selling, trading, or solicitation is allowed on the premises. Items stacked on tables and games left unattended will be removed.
WEAPONS & UNIFORMS NA: Weapons and items that appear to be weapons are not allowed at WBC. For more details, see http://www.boardgamers.org/policies01.htm.
LATE EVENT CHANGES:
• CRAIG TAYLOR MEMORIAL SERVICE: The friends and co-workers of the game designer will honor his memory and share their memories of the recently departed with a gathering of past co-workersin the Hopewell room at 9 AM Sunday morning. Those on hand will include: Don Greenwood, Robert Waters, Pat McGuire, Ben Knight, Rex Martin, Phyllis Opolko, Bruce Milligan, Bob Coggins, Joe Balkowski and Don & Maria Hawthorne. If you enjoyed any of Craig's many designs, we welcome your inclusion.
• CIVILIZATION EXPANSION: The 18-player Civ Expansion Project game has been added to the schedule for Tuesday at 9 AM in Laurel Grove. Nathan Barhorst will be presiding over this unique multi-player experience.
• INNOVATION: Additional prizes have been announced. The winner will get a copy of Figures in the Sand, the second expansion. The runner-up will receive a copy of FlowerFall.
• GREAT CAMPAIGNS: Due to play balance issues with the Cross Keys and Port Republic scenario, we'll allow players to substitute Warwick Line (from On to Richmond) during that Round. Keep that in mind when packing your Great Campaigns games.
• SUPERSTAR BASEBALL: Harry Flawd, Bill Beckman, and Terry Coleman will be replacing Robert Rund as the GM. "Only" World Series teams from 1921 to 2011 will be available.
• MEMOIR '44: The GM will have pre-release copies of Overlord scenarios from the upcoming Equipment Pack expansion. Brand new scenarios will be substituted into the Overlord games scheduled for Fr23 and Sa14 in the Terrace demonstration area (not the tournament).
• WOODEN SHIPS & IRON MEN: 7e. (2) of the Preview is altered to read: "A player receives 10 points for each of the victor's ships he defeated in a 3-ship squadron loss."
• SAINT PETERSBURG: Amy Rule, Tom Demarco and Max Jamelli will be replacing Norman Rule as GM. The prize schedule has been increased to provide wood to the top six places.
SMOKING NA: There is no smoking in public areas throughout WBC. If you need to smoke, please step outside. Do NOT open windows. Attendees are reminded NOT to bring outside food and drink onto the premises. Lancaster Host does not allow it.
DRINK RESPONSIBLY: While we do not wish to restrict any one's civil liberties, we must protect the majority (especially the children present) from the irresponsible behavior of a few who imbibe too much. Please restrict your social drinking to acceptable levels, and if you have had problems of this sort in the past, we urge you to abstain altogether. Please report any unacceptable behavior to the front desk. Unruly attendees will be removed from the premises and banned from future attendance.
PRIZES: Players are reminded to check the event kiosks in Paradise Terrace to see advancement priority for later rounds. It is not uncommon in multi-player games for non-winners to advance, so if you want to play, always check to see if there are openings in the later rounds. It is not the GM's responsibility to find you. You must check the kiosk to determine your standing or appear at the next round to check for vacancies. If you do win a prize, remember to collect it at New Holland before leaving. Although we hold prizes for pickup next year, we must charge a shipping and handling fee if you want them delivered in the interim. Also, remember to check the back of any Plaques you win in GMT events for merchandise credits.
KIOSKS: Check the Kiosks display in Paradise Terrace. Each is adorned with a pictorial history of the event that furthers the traditions of WBC. Do NOT sign the entrant lists on the Kiosks—those are strictly for the use of GMs. There is no event registration at WBC. Later, when you want to see if you've done well enough to advance to a subsequent round after a preliminary heat, check out the Alternate & Qualifying lists on these kiosks which should be returned to Paradise Terrace when not in use. Do NOT write on these kiosks! By vandalizing them with your messages you make it that much harder for us to keep prices low and appearances up. Use the paper that is taped to them, not the boards themselves.
The Event pictorial history sheet on each kiosk contains a place above the 2011 Laurelists for the GM to provide a Cell Phone # should you need to contact the GM at WBC. This is voluntary and up to each GM as to whether they wish to provide it or not—but there is a uniform place to look for this information. Give your GM a break and do not abuse their sacrifice of personal time by making unnecessary calls.
EXPERIENCE LEVELS: Please honor the experience requirements of events. Class A (red) events are for experienced players only. Class B (yellow) events allow beginners only if you have read the rules or attended the mandatory demonstration in Paradise Assembly. Do NOT expect to be taught the game during the event. Class C (green) events have GMs who have agreed to coach players during play.
PLAYING TIMES: Be considerate and play promptly, keeping within the duration of the event's listed playing time. Failure to do so not only causes problems when the space you occupy is needed for another event, it can distress those you play with by making them miss the start of their next event. And it slows down the entire tournament while others wait for you to finish before they can start another round. Failure to adhere to the scheduled playing times force GMs to make adjudications which neither they nor you will enjoy—especially since we advise heavy bias against those who play slowly. Most event playing times are already estimated on the long side but if you cannot keep up with even that pace, restrict your play to Open Gaming.
BEHAVIOR: Treating others with the same respect you would like to receive in return is the golden rule. Most at WBC are well behaved. We'd like your help in weeding out the occasional bad apple. If you encounter someone having a bad day, don't suffer in silence. Report it to your GM promptly so that the problem can be addressed. And if you are one of those people who demands absolute silence while taking your turn or who has to blame others for their failures, don't bother coming. For more on this subject, see www.boardgamers.org/shark.htm. Gaming is about having fun and those around you are going to have theirs whether you are in a Final or not, so lighten up and go with the flow.
Despite our themed background of championships, laurels and wood, WBC is about having fun. No game is worth winning, if in the process you antagonize your opponent(s) and cannot walk away with the respect of those you've just played. PLEASE, if ever you find yourself about to chastise someone, I urge you to reconsider. Taking a loss out on someone with a verbal tongue lashing will not change the outcome, but it will brand you a "jerk". Dealing with subpar play in multi-player games is part of the landscape you've chosen to cultivate. It comes with the territory. Live with it—don't ruin someone's day. Above all, WBC admires sportsmanship. Be someone we want to welcome back—not someone we ask to stay away.
And remember where you are. In my gameroom among friends, I've been known to trade expletives that would make a sailor blush, but in mixed company with kids around, we need to keep it clean.
If you are a late night Werewolf—pleeease return the rooms to the same state you found them. Every year we consider banning late night play because of the mess they leave behind. If you like your all night gaming, don't abuse it. You'll have only yourselves to blame if the meeting rooms are locked at midnight next year.
GAMES: Lastly, remember to bring the games you want to play! Especially those of the two-player variety. Those using public transport must understandably pack lighter, but if you're driving, toss every game you want to play in the trunk. Every year people get turned away for lack of games.
......... See ya soon. Drive safely.
WBC Convention Director
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