One Last Time in Lancaster …
Thanks for choosing to vacation with us in this, our tenth (and perhaps last) year in Lancaster. Our record number of pre-registrants come to us from nearly all of the 50 states and 20 foreign countries. We work year 'round to make this a memorable week and appreciate you joining us. WBC is unique but 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 coming week. To those who have heard this all before, please bear with me through at least the opening paragraphs.
TEAM TOURNAMENT: And they're off! The odds are posted for the 25th run for the slivers. See the Team page to check the hilarious assemblage of 78 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 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 email@example.com by July 31 for a chance to win free Sustaining admission to WBC 2016. One entry per person. And if you are one of our 312 jockeys, remember to post your score on the self-scoring Team Tournament display in the Ballroom Foyer.
BADGE HOLDERS: This year you need not worry about leaving your “official” WBC pouch badge holder at home. We’ve bagged the treehugger and the US balance of payments concerns and said whatta heck—one less rule. You can use the badge holder appliance of your choice as long as you wear one. If you need one, we have four styles available ranging in price from the free pin style to the $2 pouch variety of yesteryear and the fancy fabric-saving magnetic variety. Be forewarned however that the magnetic version does not fare well with backpack, seat belts, hotel keys, credit cards, and pacemaker interactions. There will be a $5 charge for lost and replaced badges.
LIBRARY FUND RAISER: You can get a free appetizer at Texas Roadhouse by buying a $1 bag of peanuts in the New Holland registration room with a coupon for the best eating in Lancaster. Yeehaw! Storing, transporting, and caring for the Library and overseeing the Open Gaming theatre is an expensive process. You can help with that by having a great meal at the Texas Roadhouse across the street. Simply give the ad found on page 40 of your program to your server anytime between 3 and 10:30 PM on Tuesday, and 10% of your check will be donated to library maintenance.
WBC AUCTION: Sitting in on the game auction is always a nostalgic way to spend the day. It 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 newly updated list of over 600 lots being auctioned. Print the list to help you track the bidding. And remember, the Auction Store opens at 9, an hour before the Auction begins.
AUCTION STORE: Pre-registration for the Auction Store has ended. Do not bring unregistered items for sale. They will not be accepted at the Auction or the Store. Auction and Auction Store sales are strictly cash-only affairs so bring your wallet. While there are ATMs outside Lampeter Hall, they can be emptied during sold out conventions so we suggest bringing the cash you'll need. WBC still does NOT take credit cards. Registered lots for the Auction Store must be checked in at Lampeter Hall on Monday between 6 and 10 PM.
LATE SCHEDULE CHANGES:
- SANDMAN PARADE/MEMORIAL TRIBUTE: This year’s annual Sandman Salute in the Good Spirits Bar at 11 PM Thursday was omitted from the schedule when Grand Marshall Dockter let employment and the annual swoon of his beloved Twins deter him from his more pressing duties. Rest assured that the parade will go on under the aegis of our 2015 Sportsmanship winner Tom Gregorio who obviously has better priorities. Before then, however, join the Sandmen in raising one last glass to those we lost this year: Andrew Cummins, Paul Van Bloem, and Murray Cowles.
- RAIL BARON: A Demo has been scheduled for Terrace 5 on Wednesday at 6 PM.
- MAGE WARS: Arcane Wonders has donated additional prizes including promo cards for all entrants, Door Prizes for Round 1 Heats (Forged in Fire Spelltome Expansion / Straywood Arena Play mat), and extra prizes for advancing players including New Official Spell book 4. The Tournament Champion will also receive a copy of the new Mage Wars Arena Core Set AND the new Battlegrounds: Domination expansion while the Runner Up receives the new Mage Wars Arena Core Set.
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 as well as on membership badges. You may protest you'll never win anything, but please humor us and oblige us with a photo. You can request that we not use the photo on the internet. 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.
PROGRAM: The 2015 program available at registration is a streamlined, black & white version. 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://boardgamers.org/wbc15/schedule.htm in several formats.
PERSONAL SCHEDULER REVISED: Some initial coding errors occurred for ALH, CAR, CCA, CMS, HWD, MGW, PRC, POF, SCT, SPD, TWI and VGQ and have since been corrected so you may want to recheck those events. View the details of your favorites and then plan your schedule using Steve Okonski's Personal Scheduler at http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc15/sviewer/. Check the Schedule page for all of the updated scheduling tools, including the iPad and android apps and a new Kindle version at http://boardgamers.org/wbc15/schedule.htm.
PACE YOURSELF: WBC is a week long—actually, nine days for those attending the pre-cons. As such, it is very much a marathon—not a sprint. Resist the urge to treat it as a theme park and run from one event to the next. You'll enjoy yourself more 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? 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-Spassky 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. Even confessed Open Gaming junkies admit that WBC's scheduled events provide the best organized Open Gaming ever—no more arguing about what to play next or endless teaching sessions. Just show up and play someone who actually knows how to play at the appointed time and place. What could be easier? So, keep an eye on that rotating projected schedule in the Showroom and pick a convenient time to get your feet wet. If you don't like it, you can always go back to Open Gaming—but at least you'll have tried.
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 souls 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 elsewhere. My experience has been quite the opposite.
However, in an attempt to make the world a better place, we have ice-breaker Open Gaming kiosks for loan in the Game Library. So, 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.
UNABLE TO ATTEND? We'll miss you, but if you have a friend who is going, ask them to pick up any souvenirs 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 by other than cash.
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 neatly printing 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 pre-pay their next year membership fees. We now accept Paypal payments throughout the year so this is less of a problem. However, those reluctant to deal with Paypal ma complete a Registration form in New Holland for a Sustaining or Tribune membership, and write "2016 pre-payment" at the top—indicating their preference for a free souvenir in the case of Tribune members. You will have the honor of becoming our first 2016 members. Don't forget to participate in the end-of-Year Trial votes by email anyway. BUT NOTE: Prices will change in 2016. See Page 38 of this year’s program for pricing of 2016 WBC Admission.
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 Fun 2 to 11, Wargame Zone, Collins Epic Wargames and Mayfair to 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 setup. Prior to Friday, game sales will again be limited to our exclusive vendor; Decision Games.
A FULL WEEK: Sustaining level members now have seven days of WBC. Open Gaming has expanded to the Ballrooms for Tuesday only (until 5:30 PM). You'll also find a number of new game demos scheduled in the Paradise Assembly Demo Area under the listing of "Previews" as WBC welcomes a crop of budding designers anxious to show their Kick Starter projects and new game designs.
OPEN GAMING: Open Gaming requires a WBC badge which should be worn at all times. Aside from an exception on Tuesday in the Ballrooms (9AM - 5 PM), Open Gaming is limited to the Showroom Monday thru Sunday and the Expo Center Wednesday thru Saturday. 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 and solicitation is NOT ALLOWED. A Message Board will be available for those listing Open Gaming desires. More details are available at http://boardgamers.org/wbc15/opengaming.htm. An Open Gaming list is now up on Boardgamegeek at https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/192629/2015-wbc-open-gaming-geeklist. Check the World Boardgaming Championships Group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2381468400/), WBC BoardgameGeek Forum (http://boardgamegeek.com/forum/970241/boardgamegeek/wbc), BPA_WBC Twitter Feed (https://twitter.com/BPA_WBC), and WBC forum on ConSimWorld (http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX/.1dd15816/) for all the latest discussions about WBC, including open gaming match-ups.
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 Marbles, the Brain Store, and a number of contributing publishers, the Showroom 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 Showroom, 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://boardgamers.org/wbc15/library.htm.
JUNIORS: The Juniors program has moved 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 and keeping order. And don't forget the children's movies each night at poolside and cupcake decorating contests in the Host lobby.
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. No Exhibits are allowed in the Showroom.
ABOUT THE 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 as the most convenient and best buy. 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 US 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 which can make some of the rooms very cold at times.
FROGGER/PARKING: While nearby lodging opportunities abound, some require crossing the busy Route 30 highway which has been likened to playing Frogger - especially when carrying a stack of games. Fortunately, the parking lot for the Continental has a new traffic light directly opposite the Host entrance. We suggest using 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 or our various social media pages. 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
UBER: For first time users of UBER, you may get a free ride to this year’s WBC. Signup with Code WBC2015 for $20 off your first ride. See details in a following email.
SHOW YOUR COLORS: Saturday, August 8th is the official Game Club T-Shirt Day. Promote your local gaming group and camaraderie by showing everyone your gaming affiliation. Friday, the 7th, 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, Tuesday is Legion Day when those proud few stalwarts laying claim to having attended every WBC can proudly proclaim their veteran status by wearing their Legion shirts. So empty your closets and pack accordingly. We'll show those Greenville Mafia guys they're not the only ones who can dress well!
- The BPA's Annual Meeting will be held before the Collectibles auction on Tuesday, August 4th at 3 PM in Lampeter Hall of Lancaster Host in Lancaster, PA where we will present the Hobby Service Award and the newly elected 2015 version of the Board of Directors for your questions.
- 8 AM on Sunday morning, August 9th will find us again 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 sent to Lost & Found in Registration.
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.
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 for 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 pre-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 2014 Laurelists for the GM to provide a Cell Phone # should you need to contact the GM. 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 at least 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 your opponents 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 forces 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 on our "banned" list.
And remember where you are. In my game room 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 Were Wolf - 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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