WBC 2015 EVENT PREVIEWS: Ah ... spring. It's that time of year again when the birds sing, the flowers bloom and tournaments are previewed as only WBC does them in our Event Previews. Check out the formats for your favorite events and get an early look at the WBC schedule before we unveil the full slate of both our usual and new scheduling aides coming in May.
PRE-CON ATTRACTIONS: The complete list of events available during the 2015 Pre-Con weekend is available. Please note that unlike last year, due to the presence of another group at the Host that weekend, we will NOT have extra space for Open Gaming until Monday so do not expect to Open Game until then. To avoid extra cost for At the Door admission be sure to update any Sustaining membership to Tribune status before July if you wish to attend Pre-Con.
LAST CHANCE FOR FREEBIES: Only days remain to get a free Yearbook and souvenir T-shirt or hat for an early Tribune membership commitment. The free premiums end on April 30. Thereafter, such items will only be available for separate purchase. Tribune membership entitles you to free admission to all of WBC week plus the Pre-Cons—nine days in all. Submit your membership now.
WBC EVENT GM ASSIGNMENTS: The membership is to be congratulated for again stepping forward (even if somewhat belatedly) to save all eligible qualifying events from the Orphans List and in so doing setting a record for number of tournaments at WBC with 165 (109 Century/Legacy, 25 Continuing Trials, 31 Sponsored Trials) plus 20 Juniors events. Unfortunately, in so doing, many GMs are again doing double and triple duty so more volunteers are needed. If you don't see yourself as a GM type, at least give some consideration to helping out next time by volunteering to assist a GM as a demonstrator or clerical assistant. The slate of 20 free Juniors events plus the usual array of Scheduling devices and Pre-Registration information will be announced in our May newsletter.
SCHEDULED OPEN GAMING RETURNS: A successful if somewhat limited response to this feature introduced last year has earned another shot with emphasis on individual demos and scheduled Open Gaming opportunities all week long. If you've ever bemoaned the difficulty of finding like-minded gamers to play what YOU want to play in Open Gaming, this is your chance. Merely commit to providing the game in question and playing at a specified time in the designated Demo area in Paradise assembly and we will reserve your table plus advertise your game on the printed, web, android and rotating schedules for all to see and even provide signage for your "game event". The catch? You must commit to it in a timely fashion; i.e., now.
- Must be a Sustaining or Tribune member by June 1.
- Must submit details to email@example.com by June 1 to include:
- Name of published game (limit one game); non-published games must be handled as Commercial Demos.
- Start Time and length of game (even hours only; no half-hour starts; i.e., 7 PM, not 7:15 or 7:30).
- Type of table; 8' rectangular or 6' round (or if either is acceptable, indicate so).
- Game rating - A (expert), B (played previously or read rules) or C (will coach) insofar as experience level of players sought.
- The table must be surrendered promptly to the next user before the next reserved timeslot.
- Multi-player games only (must accommodate a minimum of three players).
- One reservation slot per person. Second requests will be honored on a space available basis only after all other primary requests have been fulfilled.
- All requests are based on availability. First come, first served.
- Submit multiple start times in case your first choice is unavailable.
- A willingness to use either round or rectangular tables will increase your chances of getting a slot.
- The longer your requested time slot, the less your chances of getting a reservation.
- Avoid high usage time slots. Slots on Tuesday evening have little chance of acceptance.
ELECTION TIME: It is once again time to elect three members to three-year terms on the BPA Board of Directors. This year's election features three incumbents and as many challengers vying for three seats. Get all the information on the ballot. As usual, voting is effortless and takes only a moment thanks to the electronic ballot. Voting will remain open until July 15. All members (any paid attendee of WBC for more than one day is considered a member) are urged to vote since validation requires sufficient membership participation.
PUBLISHER/DESIGNER RENDEZVOUS: WBC always attracts a number of aspiring game designers of varying levels of experience and genre interests. Whether they come to playtest new designs or show them to interested parties to widen their kickstarter/P500 appeal, the opportunity to make connections with publishers is not to be missed. Eight such publishers who will be in attendance this year (GMT, ATO, PKG, Academy Games, Stronghold Games, MMP, Funto11 and Decision Games) have agreed to review a list of those attending for this purpose. They will peruse what you have to offer—and should it fall within the realm of their publishing interests, will arrange to meet with you to discuss the possibilities. To be added to this list, submit a Commercial Demo.
COMMERCIAL DEMOS: In an effort to alleviate crowding in the Open Gaming theatre, exhibit tables will NOT be allowed in the Showroom. Monitors will be tasked with stricter policing of commercial efforts including prospective game designers who set up displays to troll for P500 backing. While you are free to Open Game anything you like, you will NOT be allowed to monopolize tables with displays that are not being actively played. Instead, designers/publishers are urged to register for FREE scheduled demos in the Paradise Assembly demonstration area. To be included in the schedule, you must be a current Sustaining level or higher member and register your demo no later than June 1. Demonstrations are limited to one-hour duration unless longer periods are requested in advance. Multiple or longer demonstrations are allowed on a space available basis. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. Include alternate times and type of table desired (either 6' rounds or 8' x 30" rectangulars) as well as boxart files containing the title of the game for display signage. Reservations will be made on a first come, first served basis. Submit requests via the Demo Form.
MURRAY COWLES: We sadly report the passing of longtime friend and member, Murray Cowles, one of our original British guests. Murray died on his 83rd birthday on March 21 from a fall in his nursing home. He had been a regular at Avaloncon, last attending WBC in 2008 when advancement of his Parkinson's Disease brought an end to his extensive travels. While most of his gaming exploits predated laurels, he nevertheless managed to laurel in Tigers in the Mist on three different occasions. Murray lived a remarkable life filled with both accomplishment and adventure. He was a merchant seaman in his youth; going to sea in the old sailing vessels when he was 14 and passed his mate's ticket at 17, joining the Elder Dempster Line. He rose to First Mate and Navigating Officer in the Merchant Marine, retiring at 30. He remained in the Royal Naval Reserve until 42 when he retired as a Lieutenant Commander.
He then trained for business and passed exams in Insurance and Accountancy and formed Murray Cowles Associates and The Fleet Friendly Society. He retired at 60 and became a New Business Adviser, helping many start their businesses and providing expert financial advice while continuing with voluntary work in the local community. An ardent wargamer and train gamer, Murray also enjoyed rock climbing until a bad fall encouraged less arduous pursuits. He visited gaming cons in both America and Italy. It was his everlasting regret that his illness stopped those visits. During one of his visits I had the pleasure of his company for a five-hour game of Breakout Normandy that remains one of my fondest memories; he was easily the most entertaining and gracious opponent with whom I've ever shared a board. Murray was a fixture at the UK cons organized by AHIKS and more recently by The Weekend Gaming Group. He had many friends both in Britain and among the American gaming community and will be sorely missed. Rememberances of Murray and other recently departed members can be found on the Memorial page.
WBC VENDOR/EXHIBITOR LINKS: BPA welcomes Funto11, Mayfair Games, Northstar Games, and Wargame Zone as our newest vendors to join our returning favorites with a presence at WBC 2015. You can find prominent links to them on our homepage.
CURRENT MEMBERSHIP STATUS: Those wishing to check their current membership levels may do so on the Preregistration page. Note that only Sustaining level members and above are listed until General memberships become available with the appearance of the Pre-Reg form in May.
2016 RESERVATIONS: Several early birds have already attempted to make reservations for 2016 at Seven Springs. Please be advised that the resort is not accepting reservations more than a year in advance for WBC 2016 and that such attempts will not be eligible for the much reduced group rate in any case. We anticipate no problems in securing reservations once reservations are opened in August and will advise everyone in plenty of time to secure lodging. The greater capacity at Seven Springs was a major reason for our selecting that site, so we urge you to wait for the official announcement of the opening of reservations.
APP PREPARATIONS: Kevin Broh-Kahn's WBC APP for the android platform was a big hit last year. This year Michael Kiefte is doing the iOS version. They will be coordinating to share similar features and interfaces, but be tailored to each platform. Those interested in testing, making comments about last year's version or requesting new features should contact email@example.com.
DIPLOMACY: Christopher Lee dominated the 2015 PBeM Diplomacy field of 35 players with two 2-way wins (France and Germany) and a Solo (England) for first place at 35 points. Steven Le Winter had a Solo, a two-way win, and a three-way win at 31 points to take second place overall. Jesus Zamora had two Solo wins as France and Russia for 30 points. Kevin Youells came in fourth with a Solo and two-way win for 28 points. David Sherwood took fifth with 2 two-way wins and a three-way for 26 points. Rich Prast, the top ranked AREA player, came in sixth with a Solo and a two-way win for 26 points. Rich, David, and Kevin also placed in the top six players in the 2014 PBeM Tournament. Half of the games were Solo victories, a third were two-way wins, and the rest were three-way wins. The best countries in order of victory points were France, England, Turkey, Russia, Germany, Italy, and Austria. Updated laurel totals are posted on the Event Report page.
MARCH MADNESS: We have reached the point where all the spots in our 2015 Sweet 16 have been filled. Four of our Elite Eight have been determined, including both #1 seeds, Marvin Birnbaum with Houston 1968 and Oliver Searles with Kansas 1957, as well as Jeremy Billones’ 20 seeded Kansas 2008 and Aran Warszawski’s 34 seeded Arizona 1997. Eight other teams are alive and vying for the remaining four spots in the Elite Eight. Of note is that Oliver Searles also has his second team still alive for one of these spots, while Debbie Gutermuth is still competing to reach the Elite Eight in both halves of the bracket. Track the progress of the event at http://www.nktelco.net/bdmonnin/mm-brack-2015.htm.
PRO GOLF: The best score in the clubhouse is a smoking round of 7 under par by Jessica Finkeldey using John Daly. It is a good thing for the rest of us that she bogeyed the last hole. The cut line is currently at 2 strokes over par, with your beloved GM carding a round of 3 over par with just two holes remaining. C’mon Sergio Garcia, get hot on those final two holes! Like myself, many players have been finding the water on the two par fives on the back nine as the eighteenth hole has been causing a lot of damage. 31 golfers have already completed their round, 13 others are currently on the course, and eight players are still taking practice swings on the driving range. To track the progress, go to http://www.nktelco.net/bdmonnin/PBeM_Scoresheet.htm.
GREAT CAMPAIGNS: The preliminary rounds of the GCACW PBeM tournament are now complete and we are ready to begin the playoffs. 28 participants played 51 games through the first four rounds, and after the smoke cleared, Mark Booth, Scott Spurgeon, John Cissel, Rob Doane, Mike Metcalf, Jay Meyers, Bruno Passacantando, and Patrick Pence earned the top eight spots to advance to the playoffs. Special congratulations goes to Mark Booth for going 4-0 and earning the top seed by taking on and defeating a murderer's row of top rated opponents! His victims included Mike Pacheco, Bruno Passacantando, Ed Beach, and Jay Meyers.
TZOLKIN: The semifinal rounds have begun after the field was narrowed to eight players. Eric Freeman posted the highest performance from the preliminary rounds, with five wins and a second place finish. Joining him are Andrew Emerick, Jon Senn, Keith Dent, Cary Morris, Sceadeau D'Tela, Robb Effinger, and Jeff Meyer, who edged out his dad for the eighth spot. Results from the preliminary rounds can be viewed at https://epworthian.wordpress.com/current-standings/
BITTER WOODS: For the third time, Bill Morse and Bruno Sinigaglio will square off in a BPA Bitterwoods tournament Final as the 8th PBeM tournament draws to a close. Both players are riding streaks with Bruno trying to take his fourth straight BPA PBeM title while Bill has won his last three live play tournaments in the game. Bill and Bruno have an interesting rivalry. Bruno taught his Grognard intern Bill how to play Bitterwoods by killing his units and then explaining the unsuspected rules to him after the units were dead. Bill reciprocated by suckering Bruno into giving up Noville in the six turn scenario the first year it was played at Doncon. Bill has certainly progressed from intern status, displaying a great deal of wargame prowess. In fact, Bill now has his own Grognard intern in the person of Alex Gregorio.
Bill advanced to the final by outflanking Marty Musella’s Americans in the six-turn scenario. The game went to the wire, as most do, when matched opponents play DBW. Marty could have won at the end, but Bill made sure Marty’s counteroffensive would be a Hail Mary! In the other semifinal, Steve Lapierre demonstrated that he is a force to be reckoned with. Steve killed 20+ US units, lost only one mech, and captured Bastogne - a rare feat against Bruno. The game was wide open early, but a few unfortunate late die rolls thwarted Steve’s effort to defeat the highest rated player. It was touch and go for Bruno - the game ended with Steve adjacent to Neufchateau, Parker’s Crossroad, Trois Ponts, the Franc Dump, Spa and Eupen. In addition, Steve was adjacent to all three bridgeheads on the Ourthe, which even included units on the west bank.
BATTLES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: The sixth and last open round of the tournament featured play of Newtown, which is an exceptional excursion into conventional pre-Napoleonic warfare laced with the asymmetric warfare practiced by American Indians. The winners of the eight games played were: Andy Maly, Marginal Victory as the Indians; Jeff Lange, Decisive Victory as the USMC; Rod Coffey, Substantial Victory as the Indians; Rob Doane, Marginal Victory as Cornplanter; Jim Tracy ii, Marginal Victory as the Indians; Chris Easter, Marginal Victory as Handsome Luke; Mark Miklos, Marginal Victory as Joseph Brant and Bruno Sinigaglio, Decisive Victory vs the Cattle Herd. Based on performance during the six open rounds, 12 players (miklos, Doane, Stiffler, Sinigaglio, Coffey, Vinal, Lange, Deverell, Tracy. Easter, Maly and Miller) from the field of 31 advanced to the playoffs. The first playoff is 3-player Savannah. Eight will advance into the next round. Follow the progress at http://www.ohiovalleygamers.org/boarpbem.html.
Remember…all of the above PBeM fun is free to current BPA members. Others may qualify with a $10 Email membership in the year the event starts. All multi-day paid attendees to WBC are current BPA members for the balance of that calendar year. You need not keep your membership current in order to finish a PBeM event. Players may join the BPA throughout the year. See the BPA Terms page for details.
BPA members who would like to see an email tournament for their favorite game are encouraged to step forward as the GM of such an event. BPA does not run tournaments. Rather, we are an organization of gamers lending support to one another so such events can happen. No one cares as much about your hobby as you do. Get involved. See the requirements to host a BPA email tournament at http://www.abovethefields.com/top_pbem/
Visit the BPA website at http://www.boardgamers.org
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SOCIAL NETWORKING: Keep up with WBC electronically by joining the World Boardgaming Championships (WBC) Facebook group and the BPA_WBC Twitter Page. You can also easily find us in the Boardgame Geek Forums under Gaming Related, Conventions, WBC.
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