JUSTIN RICE IS 2015 SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR: The BPA membership has elected Justin Rice as its 2015 Sportsmanship winner in the heaviest voting yet as 381 members cast votes for 15 candidates. Justin collected no less than 21% of those votes for being nominated in the Here I Stand event. As the first alternate for the Final, he was offered a seat by first-time qualifiers Ed and Matt Beach. At least one of the father and son duo was needed to GM their Junior event that conflicted with the Final. Justin, however, insisted that they BOTH play and instead volunteered to run the Junior event himself to enable them to do so. Both events went off without a hitch and with a record number of junior participants putting Justin to the test as he earned his free lodging prize at the next WBC.
Other nominees drawing lots of support included Andy Lewis, Gordon Stewart, Gregory Schmittgens, Peter Staab, Gregory Smith, Fred Bauer and Mark Love. As always, it was a classy group and we salute all our nominees for being the real attraction in our annual reunion. For more details see BPA's 2015 Sportsmanship Award page.
WBC 2016 TRIAL EVENTS NAMED: Our Annual December Membership Drive ended as the most successful to date, having broken out previous early enrollment record by a hefty 9%. Those members have spoken, returning 24 old favorites to another slot in our Tournament offerings for 2016 while admitting only one new event for its WBC debut: 7 Wonders Duel. More details including the complete voting breakdown are provided on the 2016 Annual Membership Vote Selection page.
2016 EVENT LINEUP: The initial lineup of eligible events for the 2016 Century and 25 Continuing Trial events has been updated on the Preliminary Events/Orphans page. However, event forms for additional events seeking Alternate status to fill any vacancies and/or troll for Sponsor support will still be accepted until March 15. Those will be important given an expected greater GM shortage than in past years. The current lineup is expected to be expanded in the remaining two months by Vendor/Sponsor entries. Note that Alternates used to fill vacancies will be selected by the CD from those Alternate candidates with GM commitments on file in the form of completed event forms. The number of votes received in the Trial vote will be a factor in deciding which ones are elevated to fill vacancies but will NOT be the sole determining factor. Any event, including those not on the December ballot, can be selected by the CD as he attempts to present the best combination of subject, format and genre events to complement the WBC schedule.
HOTEL RESERVATIONS UPDATE: On Feb. 1, we enter the second phase of our reservation policy in which stays of four or more days will be accepted. The hotel is virtually sold out although cancellations occur as earlier reservations are converted to condominiums and chalets. We urge those who have booked extra rooms on speculation to cancel those rooms as early as possible so as not to deprive others of lodging opportunities. We are strongly contemplating a future no-cancellation policy in an attempt to end such speculative holds in the future. Call 1-866-437-1300 to ask to be put on a callback list or discuss a condo/chalet rental. The latter offer the advantages of full kitchens, living areas and complimentary 24-hour shuttle service to the Convention Center and are recommended for groups of four or more.
We are pleased to announce that both hotel and condo reservations in the neighboring property of Hidden Valley will be offered at a special discounted rate as overflow housing through the same 7 Springs reservation system. Since these are outside shuttle service range, they are not recommended for those without car access.
CHILDCARE/CAMPS UPDATE: Due to insufficient expression of interest by the membership to date we will not be offering special access to 7 Springs Summer day camps for children or daycare services. Please direct your inquiries to the 7 Springs website once they post their summer schedule to determine if these services will be offered by the hotel on an individual basis. We will revisit the subject once 7 Springs develops a group history of the demand for these services.
OPEN GAMING MONITORS: Those interested in scoring free lodging at 7 Springs in exchange for working as monitors should inquire at email@example.com for details.
GM COMMITMENTS: GMs are reminded to make their memberships current AND submit an event form by March 15. At that time, qualifying events without a satisfactory GM claim will be replaced by those events from the Alternate list for which we have a satisfactory event form on file with a current GM commitment. You can now claim any qualifying OPEN event by completing the required event form after reading the GM Guidelines linked from the start of that event form. Nothing happens at WBC without a willing GM behind it.
And yes, I'm a stickler for following rules. Over the years I've found it challenging to get universal compliance with the convention's policies without reminding GMs of their responsibilities. Just assuming GMs will follow through each year as they did previously without reminding them of what is expected leads to mistaken assumptions that can be difficult—if not impossible—to rectify at the last minute. So, bear with me please…
Submitting an event form annually is necessary because:
- It relieves me of the burden of assuming—often incorrectly—that nothing has changed.
- It reminds GMs of their obligations and hopefully gets them to think about their event in the offseason before it happens—hopefully causing an improvement or two in the process.
- It firms up deadlines—which makes the considerable effort we undertake to support our events a LOT more efficient.
- And to cynics like myself—yes, it constitutes a hoop for GMs to jump through to demonstrate their continued sincerity. It's not much of a qualification, but like the requirement to pay one's membership fee in advance, over the years it has demonstrably generated a significantly more reliable core of GM support. If taking the time to complete a form is too much to ask, then perhaps you're not the best GM choice. WBC prides itself on its volunteer's performance. We DO require more from GMs than is the norm elsewhere—and we believe there is a cause and effect relationship as a consequence. We draw gamers from across the nation and the world for our unique brand of tournament emphasis. That comes with a certain responsibility to do our best not to disappoint them. So, thanks again for putting up with my efforts at quality control.
Please, for a whole host of other reasons, it is better for all concerned to make your GM commitment sooner rather than later.
EVENT CO-ORDINATION: Eric Freeman is again volunteering to co-ordinate 2016 Euro events in an attempt to minimize schedule conflicts. If you'd like to be part of this effort, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
GM SUPPORT: If you'd like to help out but don't feel confident enough to run an event on your own or don't want to make too long a commitment, you could still be of great assistance. Perhaps you are good at teaching games and would be willing to run a demonstration for a GM who lacks the time or skills to teach. If so, contact email@example.com with a list of games you'd be willing to teach and we will pass along the offer to a grateful GM. Conversely, if you are a GM who uses a laptop at WBC to run their event, you should contact Andy Latto at firstname.lastname@example.org. Andy has developed a spreadsheet that speeds sign-in, does automatic badge-checking for pre-registrants. calculates the qualifying/seeding order for semifinalists, including verifying whether a win is in the first heat entered, and does most of the preparation of the event report form.
BoD NOMINATIONS: All BPA members are hereby notified of their right to nominate members for the three Board seats whose terms expire at the next WBC. To appear on the ballot, a member must be nominated in writing by at least three members; one of which must be himself/herself. Nominations must be signed and received at BPA, 7766 Valley View Court, Hickory, NC 28602 no later than Feb. 28 to be eligible for election in that year. NOTE: Email nominations are NOT acceptable, nor can a member nominate more than one member for the Board. When contemplating nominations, members should consider that the BPA conducts most of its business by email and needs Board members who are able and willing to offer their time and skills to the organization in a timely manner. Board members should be considered more for their ability to contribute to the running of a successful company than for their attachment to any particular game or genre. Besides forwarding a signed nomination, each nominee should submit by March 1 a statement not to exceed 100 words summarizing what they can contribute in service to the Board of Directors of the BPA. The nomination form is on line athttp://www.boardgamers.org/bpanom.htm.
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.
ANDRIAKOS WINS BREAKOUT NORMANDY #9: Stephen Andriakos has won the 9th rendition of the Breakout: Normandy PBeM Tournament. He showed that he could win from both sides of the table: three victories as the Germans and two as the Allies. In the Final Stephen’s Germans secured the so-called "Magic Bridge” to St Mere Eglise after the runner-up, Dan Leader, opened with a four-bridge opening with his paratroopers on D-Day. Another turning point was reached on June 9, when the Germans counterattacked into Caen and threw the Allies out with a +1 die roll. From there it was all downhill for the Germans and Steve’s first BKN title. Revised laurel totals are now posted at http://boardgamers.org/yearbook15/bknpge.htm#pbem.
The next BKN tournament will begin shortly using the L2 rules exclusively, in conformity with the WBC tournament. For a more comprehensive summary of the game, a list of the first six places, and the tournament rules, see https://sites.google.com/site/breakoutnormandytournament/home-page.
WAR AT SEA #11: The 11th BPA War At Sea PBeM tournament begins on Feb. 1 with entries due by Jan. 28. Details for the Single Elimination event can be found at http://jaketke.wix.com/bpawaratsea. Enter by contacting Bob Jamelli at email@example.com.
TWILIGHT STRUGGLE BEGINS: The second BPA PBeM tournament commenced on Dec. 15. The format is SwissElim with the number of rounds dependent on the number of entries. Late entries are still being accepted until Jan. 15 but due to your late start you will be expected to play fast to end the first round on time. Enter by posting a comment with your ACTS ID at https://twilightstruggletourney.wordpress.com/201516tournament.
VICTORY IN THE PACIFIC PROGRESS: The first round featured only two upsets—making Wayne Bonnett and Michael Sosa the Dark Horse candidates for this tournament. The Japanese Navy went 12-5 against the Allied Fleets at the same time. Both upsets featured USN wins. So the highest seed bid for and took the IJN 14 out of 17 matches with bids ranging from 2.5-7.5. The highest seeds who won with the USN, Ted Drozd (#2), Vince Meconi (#5), and Tim Tow (#11) took bids of 5-6 from their opponents. Among those using options considered to balance (or nearly balance) the game (the Menzel, Normal Turn One, and Open Turn Two scenarios) saw the IJN prevail only 2-1 Two of those had zero bids. Perhaps we'll see more such scenarios as higher and higher seeds find themselves taking the USN? See all the action and details as the new round gets underway at http://www.gameaholics.com/vitp_tournament.htm!
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 abovethefields.com/top_pbem/
Visit the BPA website at boardgamers.org
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