empire builder  

Updated Nov. 12, 2014

2014 WBC Report   

 2015 Status: pending 2015 GM commitment

Dave Steiner, IN

2014 Champion

Event History
1999    Steve Okonski    64
2000    Bill Navolis    61
2001    Jim Yerkey    44
2002    Jim Yerkey    43
2003    Donna Balkan    57
2004    Tom Dunning    64
2005    Tom Dunning    49
2006    Rich Meyer    52
2007    Eric Brosius    62
2008     Harald Henning    66
2009     Mark Kennel    56
2010    Tedd Mullally    58
2011     Rich Meyer    70
2012    Bart Pisarik    59
2013    Ken Gutermuth    63
2014    Dave Steiner    62


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Richard Meyer      MA    13    218
  2.  Dave Steiner       DE    14    151
  3.  Eric Brosius       MA    12    125
  4.  Harald Henning     CT    12    115
  5.  Jim Yerkey         MD    03    110
  6.  Tom Dunning        NY    08     97
  7.  Ken Gutermuth      NC    14     89
  8.  Debbie Gutermuth   TX    13     84
  9.  Mark Kennel        DE    13     84
 10.  Tedd Mullally      NJ    10     79
 11.  Donna Balkan       on    04     61
 12.  Steve Okonski      MD    02     60
 13.  Paul Van Bloem     MD    11     52
 14.  Bart Pisarik       IA    12     50
 15.  Bill Navolis       PA    00     50
 16.  Eyal Mozes         NY    09     46
 17.  Norm Newton        on    14     41
 18.  Kyle Greenwood     HI    10     40
 19.  Mike Zorrer        DE    10     40
 20.  Trella Bromley     FL    14     36
 21.  Chuck Foster       TX    06     34
 22.  Greg Mayer         MO    00     30
 23.  Bob Stribula       PA    14     24
 24.  Jennifer Thomas    NY    11     24
 25.  John Haas          DE    04     24
 26.  Olin Hentz         CT    03     22
 27.  Cliff Ackman       PA    07     21
 28.  Mark Giddings      NY    12     20
 29.  Tom Wade           IN    08     20
 30.  Bill Duke          MD    07     20
 31.  Mark Franceschini  MD    00     20
 32.  Mike Holmquist     PA    14     18
 33.  Mike Backstrom     MN    05     16
 34.  Rich Shipley       MD    03     16
 35.  John Clarke        FL    06     15
 36.  Chris Gnech        PA    13     12
 37.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    07     10
 38.  Winton Lemoine     CA    06     10
 39.  Ken Good           OH    05      9
 40.  Brian Smith        NY    02      6
 41.  Debbie Otto        MO    99      3

2014 Laurelists
Repeating Laurelists: 

Norm Newton, on

Bob Stribula, PA

Mike Holmquist, PA

Trella Bromley, FL

Ken Gutermuth, NC

Past Winners

Steve Okonski, MD

Bill Navolis, PA

Jim Yerkey, MD

Donna Balkan, on

Tom Dunning, NY

Rich Meyer, MA
2006, 2011

Eric Brosius, MA

Harald Henning, CT

Mark Kennel, DE

Tedd Mullally, NJ

Bart Pisarik, IA

Ken Gutermuth, NC

Dave Steiner, IN

A selfie by our favorite photographer and Erica Kirchner

Mark Kennel, Helen Powell and Trella Bromley

Ken Gutermuth, the latest winner of sand, WBC rookie and new Canuck recruit Sara Vanderwal, Jenn Thomas and Andrew Drummond - another Canadian newcomer.

GM Bob Stribula awarding the Tom Dunning Memorial Medal and the Best Möbius Rails Medal to Jeff Jackson as Rich Shipley observes.

Do the Loco Motion ...

Once again, we gathered at the Lancaster Host to determine the greatest Empire Builder player in the world! Hyperbole aside, this was the beginning of our week of schedule coordination, camaraderie, and competition. On Tuesday evening Bill Peeck commenced the event by ably teaching a half dozen prospective gamers the rules to our favorite boardgame. It never ceases to amaze and gladden the GM that this 32-year old game still attracts new players. From a quick survey of Bill's students, it was obvious that some of them weren't even born when Bill taught the GM this game.

Preliminary Round

The Empire Builder event is unusual in how it handles the preliminary rounds. There are 14 published titles/geographic maps in the series. They include: Agent of Change (AoC), Australian Rails (AR), British Rails (BR), China Rails (CR), Empire Builder [without Mexico] (EPBno), Empire Builder [with Mexico] (EPB), Eurorails (ER), India Rails (IR), Iron Dragon (ID), Lunar Rails (LR), Martian Rails (MR), Nippon Rails (NR), North American Rails (NAR), and Russian Rails (RR). In addition, GM Bob Stribula brought a late stage playtest copy of Möbius Rails (MöR). Agent of Change, also known as West Virginia Rails, is disallowed in tournaments because of its nonstandard nature. Empire Express, the lighter, faster variant is also disallowed for this tournament. Players are welcome to place any of the other titles on a table and solicit opponents. As long as four gamers are willing to play a title, the game may start. With odd numbers of players remaining, 3-player games are allowed. Furthermore, players are allowed to select which game and influence which opponents they face. There is an element of meta-gaming during the preliminary rounds.

After the tournament rules were explained, ten tables saw action during the first heat. The first table to finish was a 3-player game won by Trella Bromley (BR), one of last year's finalists. Over an hour later Patty Davis - who we haven't seen since the pla test days of Lunar Rails - won ER when her closest opponent flooded the Rhein River and disconnected his track network. Duncan McGregor next held off Pam Gutermuth in a close 3-player Iron Dragon. Sam Packwood learned the hard way to most carefully count the cost of his initial track build. He was forced to take a very long sea voyage when he ran short of money. Other first heat winners were Jeff Jackson (CR), Mark Kennel (MR), Mike Holmquist (EPB), Debbie Gutermuth (EPB), Bob Stribula (MöR), Donna Balkan (ER), and Dave Steiner (ER).

Debbie Gutermuth's EPB win was helped when Sue Lanham, finishing second in the closest Heat 1 game, was severely shaken by the Mexico City earthquake. Sue lost two turns and all onboard loads. Near the start of his MöR game and with no cash, Bob Stribula made his first two deliveries to Vega for exactly 50M. He then drew the tax card and immediately lost 10M to taxes! In an ER game, Donna Balkan helped herself by delivering speculation loads of oranges and cork for 70M.

Heat 2 began at 9:00 A.M. Wednesday morning. Seven tables were filled with four players each and three tables seated three players. The second heat had what must be the closest game possible. Mark McCandless (IR) reached 251M while, on the same turn, Jeff Jackson reached 250M. So, both declared but Mark won. Meanwhile, Eric Brosius would have had 268M in one more turn. He came in third. In another game, Richard Curtin (EPB) declared first with 258. That was barely enough to hold off Ken Gutermuth with 254. In a third notable Heat 2 MöR game, Trella Bromley experienced the Spindizzy Field. This event, occurring just as the game was ending, caused the Sol III city to depart the map. Besides the gap disrupting her track network, she was en route to Sol III with a big delivery. This sparked a rules discussion on the differences in crayon rails at WBC and with the Train Gamers Association (see below). Other Heat 2 winners included: Tony Newton (BR), Mark Kennel (LR), Rich Meyer (EPB), Alexandra Henning (MR), Catherine Raymond (ER), Bob Stribula (MöR), Erica Kirchner (EPB), and Norm Newton (EPB).

Heats 2 and 3 are scheduled back-to-back. It gets challenging to wrap up the slower games and get players ready for the new contests. Fortunately, the slowest Heat 2 game ended with 15 minutes to spare and another ten game got underway. Only one of them was a 3-player game. 16 truly dedicated crayon railers lined up to enjoy their third game. Others hoped for their first victory to qualify for the semifinals. Due to previous scheduling conflicts, 15 players signed in for their first try. Those participants playing for the Tom Dunning Memorial Award (see below) wanted to play a different title than they previously played. Others held out for their favorite game or the one they thought would give them the best chance to advance.

Winners in Heat 3 were Ken Gutermuth (BR), Richard Irving (MR), Chris Gnech (EPB), Mike Zorrer (EPB), Helen Powell (IR), Paul Van Bloem (EPB), Len Scensny (EPB), Bob Stribula (MöR), and Bonnie Bogovich (LR). Once again, Richard Curtin (EPB) won by a very narrow margin, 258, against an also declared Eyal Mozes, at 256. Yet again, Eric Brosius was close behind at 244. Helen Powell won playing IR for the first time. To further embellish her win, her opponents were all finalists in previous years: Mark Kennel, Trella Bromley, and Debbie Gutermuth.

In the 30 preliminary games, there were three games with two declared players at the end. Richard Curtin won two of them with a combined margin of 6. Mark McCandless won the other by 1. Mark's was the closest win of the tournament. In the preliminary round, there were seven 3-player games and 23 4-player games. Going first, second, third, or fourth mattered little this year. Statistically, there was little correlation in starting order and finishing position.

Of the 14 allowed Empire Builder titles, nine were played. Empire Builder [with Mexico] was the most popular map with 11 plays. Following in popularity, with the number of plays in parentheses, were: Eurorails (4), British Rails (3), Martian Rails (3), Möbius Rails (3), India Rails (2), Lunar Rails (2), China Rails (1), and Iron Dragon (1).

From the results of the Preliminary Heat games, the following players deserve special recognition. Each had the highest winning cash total in the named titles:

 Title: # Played



High Score

Empire Builder: 11


Mike Zorrer *


Euro Rails: 4


Patty Davis


 British Rails: 3


Pam Gutermuth


Mobius Rails: 3


Bob Stribula


Martian Rails: 3


Mark Kennel


 India Rails: 2


Helen Powell


Lunar Rails: 2


Mark Kennel


Iron Dragon: 1


Duncan McGregor


China Rails: 1


Jeff Jackson


* During a semifinal game, Mike Holmquist bettered this Empire Builder finish with a score of 270.

Tom Dunning Memorial Award

The Empire Builder players continued to remember our friend, fierce competitor, and previous GM Tom Dunning. The Memorial rewards expertise across the entire spectrum of "crayon rails." Players total their ending cash from three different games. Given that the semifinal was to be Empire Builder with Mexico, and that the Final was Eurorails, contestants were required to avoid those titles. 16 players played in all three preliminary rounds. Five of them met the stated requirements. Jeff Jackson's score of 756 was the highest combined score. Close behind were 2012's and 2013's Dunning medalist, Mark Kennel (719) and 2011's medalist Jen Thomas (675). Trella Bromley and Sam Packwood were runners-up. Jeff became the fifth recipient of the Tom Dunning Award. His scores of CR (270), IR (250), and MöR (236), are more impressive when you realize that he had never seen Möbius Rails before and, as a TGA officer, he is familiar with slightly different rules than we use at WBC. Jeff was presented the medal before the semifinal games began.

Best Möbius Rails Medal

New this year was a medal for the player with the Highest Cash during any preliminary heat Möbius Rails game. (The game's designer was disqualified from winning this medal.) Ten player positions were filled in three Möbius Rails games. Seven individuals participated. One was the designer, two were playtesters, and two had played the game at previous WBCs. Trella Bromley and Jeff Jackson bravely volunteered to play the map without ever having seen it before. Jeff Jackson came very close to beating the designer in Heat 3 when his 236 nearly caught the winner's 259. Jeff was also awarded the Möbius Medal before the semifinals began. The pewter miniature locomotives were awarded to the first-place EPB winner, Dave Steiner.

Semifinal Round

The qualifiers and highest seeded hopefuls gathered for the semifinal round at 9:00 A.M. Thursday. Of the 30 preliminary games, there were 26 unique winners. Bob Stribula won three games. Mark Kennel and Richard Curtin won twice. Of those 26 winners, five played and won their only preliminary game. Given the number of participants in the event, the convention's rules allowed 25 players to advance to the semifinals. If all the winners were able to make the semifinals, winning one game would not have been sufficient to guarantee advancement. However, Patty Davis and Richard Irving had previously told the GM that they would not be able to attend the semifinals. With only 24 winners present, one three-time runner-up alternate - Sue Lanham - was able to advance. The five top seeded players were rewarded for their efforts by being placed at different tables. The next five seeds were seated in reverse order. The remaining15 seeds randomly filled the five tables. Teammates, family members, and the GM/AGMs were placed at different tables. The previously declared map for the semifinal game was Empire Builder with Mexico.

A 5-player semifinal usually takes longer than a 4-player preliminary game. The additional player and the extra deliberation by most players cause the game to proceed slower. Therefore before the round started, the GM reminded everyone that the eliminationrounds were each allotted four and one-half hours. Nevertheless, four semifinals finished within four hours. Norm Newton (258) posted the first win. He bested Ken Gutermuth (222) and Rich Meyer (207) with Mark Kennel and Alexandra Henning following. The next to finish was Trella Bromley (251). She bested Donna Balkan (161) and Chris Gnech (158). Assistant GM Paul Van Bloem and Duncan McGregor. Next to finish was Michael Holmquist whose 270 easily beat Mike Zorrer (173), Bonnie Bogovich (166), Richard Curtin, and Mark McCandless. Dave Steiner was the last to finish in the allotted time with 250 to best Pam Gutermuth (179), Catherine Raymond (161), Jeff Jackson (161), and Sue Lanham (157). As usual, the last semifinal to finish was the GM's. This table required all the extra time previously announced and still needed to be adjudicated by Assistant GM - Paul Van Bloem. Partly this was due to interruptions for the GM's responsibilities. However, Helen Powell had terrible cards and subsequently pitched numerous times. This, of course, increased the number of disasters for everyone and slowed their strategies. Bob Stribula and Debbie Gutermuth seesawed for the lead throughout much of the game. However between the time that Paul gave the 10-minute warning and the time limit, Bob delivered two commodities to Los Angeles and Debbie delivered one to the Seattle area. That and a number of disasters near the end were the difference. Bob finished with 233, Debbie with 217. Rounding out the table were Len Scensny, Erica Kirchner, and Helen. After delivering in LA, Bob drew a demand for sugar (from San Francisco) to Mexico City which would have given him the required 250 within a few more turns.

The results were in. Ken Gutermuth's 222 was the best runner-up finish across all five tables. He was awarded sixth place to take his second sand plaque for Empire Builder! The irony is that Debbie Gutermuth's adjudicated game left her only 5 short of Ken's score. If her game had finished with everyone remaining in the same relative order, Debbie most likely would have won the coveted sand plaque. Even more ironic is that Debbie had finished in 6th during the 2011 event, but there was no 6th place wood that year. Life just isn't fair!


After a necessarily very short break, the finalists gathered for the ultimate challenge. Dave Steiner and Trella Bromley had been to the big game previously: Trella last year in her first WBC , Dave in 2007­08 and 2010­11. Although Norm Newton finished sixth in 2010, Norm, Mike Holmquist, and Bob Stribula were the "newbies" to the rarified air of an EPB Final. Since the GM was playing, he reminded the others of the EPB rules beforehand and then turned the game over to the Assistant GM, Paul Van Bloem. Paul directed the table in the dual role as acting GM and gme recorder. Part ay through, Steve Cameron volunteered to record the action long enough to give Paul a lunch break. After the pressure of getting there, the Final was going to be fun.

Dave had the highest single demand on any of his four cards so he became the first player to build. With the switchback start, he was the last to build in Turn 2. Dave built from Paris southwest to Bilbao. Norm also built from Paris southwest through Toulouse to Valencia. Mike connected Birmingham, Cardiff, London, the Portsmouth ferry, Paris and south to Lyon and Marseille. Bob initially built track from London to the Ramsgate ferry and towards the Ruhr. Separately, he also built from the Ruhr southeast to Frankfurt and München. Trella built from Madrid to Lisboa and Toulouse.

Dave started his train in Bilbao and ran sheep to Paris. Later, he would extend his track to the Ruhr, east to Berlin, and southeast to Wien and Sarajevo. He built a spur to Milano from Lyon. He continued to have high value sheep and fish runs to the east and wood, tourists, or flowers to Iberia. He connected to all the Iberian cities except Valencia.

Norm started with two orange demands but did not see the number of high value deliveries that Dave did. Norm's track ran from Valencia to Paris, east to the Ruhr and Berlin with a ferry from Holland to London. Norm also had track to Warszawa, all four cities in the southeast corner, and a route to Milano from Zagreb.

Mike loaded steel on his train in Birmingham, picked up hops in Cardiff and headed south. He had good deliveries but he could not get the great combinations. Mike had by far the most track. He spanned from Porto in the west to Marseille, then north to Paris, London, and Glasgow. He had a spur to Zürich and another to the Ruhr and Holland. His mainline ran through Frankfurt and then split northeast to Berlin, Hamburg, and Lodz. Southeast from the split, his track ran to Wien, Zagreb and Beograd. He also built the Chunnel which speeded his travels between the United Kingdom and the continent. It earned him track rental fees as others used the Chunnel to speed their own trains under the English Channel.

Bob started his train on Mike's track in Cardiff, He picked up hops and reached his own ferry on the first movement turn. Because of the number of major cities on his initial route, it took a few turns to connect all parts of his mainline. Later, he extended track to Aberdeen in the north and to Milano, Roma, and Napoli in the south. His longest spurs were to Marseille from Milano and from the Ruhr to Bremen, Hamburg, and Berlin. Bob mostly dealt in Europe's unhealthy commodities - hops, beer, wine, tobacco, and chocolate. Bob met the most demands, built the least track, but paid the most to rent other player's track.

Trella had the most ambitious start. She began in Toulouse and delivered wheat to Porto. Her next builds were to connect Bruxelles to the Ruhr, Berlin, and Szczecin. She was delivering cork to Szczecin despite the gap in her tracks between Toulouse and Bruxelles. Fortunately, Norm had already built exactly this track. Trella had $8M left over from track building and she used it all for track rental fees! Coming back was a similar story only this time Mike's track to Lyon bridged the gap. Later, Trella closed the hole in her network with track from Toulouse to Lyon and to the Ruhr. A spur connected from Bruxelles to Paris with another to Holland. Other track linked Bern to Zürich, Milano, and continued to an interchange near Sarajevo. From the Ruhr - Berlin line, she linked Leipzig, Praha, and Wien. Trella seemed to use a high risk/high reward strategy. She stretched her cash to the limit in the early game and she pitched multiple times in hopes of really good cards. Unfortunately, the demands she wanted were not forthcoming.

The Tax Card cometh early. Players knew that Dave was having a good game. Most of the action proceeded like the simultaneous solitaire game we all know and love. Deliveries were made; track networks were expanded; cash was accumulated. One player interaction was when Dave tried to pick up a speculation load of cork only to find all cork chips were already on board. Disasters occurred, usually when someone pitched cards. As intended, they disrupted plans. When Dave finally hit for $52M on a cork spec load to Leipzig, it was over. There was a flurry of riding others' track to make one last delivery. On Dave's fifth trip to the big game, he had finally earned the largest plaque. Readers can see the ending order and some interesting statistics in the Final Round Details below. Coincidence or not, the end results were quite similar to this game's starting order.

The ending track and positions for the EPB Final. The different colors correspond to the players as follows:
Dave Steiner (Green), Norm Newton (Purple), Bob Stribula (Blue), Mike Holmquist (Red), Trella Bromley (Black).

Thanks and Next Year

The GM would like to thank all the participants. Without you, all this would be moot. The GM continues to document the rules for the 14 titles and up to seven editions of some titles. All these notes are documented in The Definitive Crayon Rails Book. It and the latest EPB Tournament Rules are available at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/railgamefan/files. You must have a log-in ID and approval from the moderator to join this group. The information is available in the files section. The latest version of this book and the rules are also available by request from the GM.

A thank you is also in order to Bill Peeck for volunteering to run the demo for new players. A special thank you is extended to Claire Brosius, Trella Bromley, and Paul Van Bloem for volunteering to be the Assistant GMs. Claire and (just-in-time volunteer) Trella, with their excellent penmanship, signed in the participants and helped organize the games. Paul and Steve Cameron recorded the Final. Each helped in countless other ways. Thank you also to Steve Okonski, Steve Cameron, my initial Assistants (Claire and Paul), and the previous GMs (Rich Shipley, Chuck Foster, and Debbie Gutermuth), who answered numerous "what if" questions and gave opinions on scenarios while developing the event's rules.

At this time, the GM hopes to continue running EPB another year. No major changes are anticipated. However, additional coordination with the Train Gamers Association is in order. Trella Bromley and Jeff Jackson are Senior Tournament Directors for the TGA. Together they handle their tournament operations, systems, and rules for all railroad games in their Puffing Billy Tournaments. Admittedly, their tournament encompasses more games than the crayon rails games. However, we could try to make more of our rules identical. For example, as the final action in a TGA crayon rails game, players are allowed one final build-only round. EPB at WBC allows an end-of-game rebuild-only round if a game is adjudicated. EPB suspends new events after a player declares since unresolved disasters complicate cash total comparisons between games. At one time, the TGA handbook stated that disasters still take affect after a player declares. Steve Okonski's EPB Pronto has explicitly coded rules. Anyone that plays against his AIs knows that his rules also are slightly different. Finding a consistent set of rules would make playing and running a tournament easier. If any readers would like to help in this process, they are encouraged to do so. An e-mail dialog with this author is the way to start. Metagaming also remains an issue. With numerous titles and players allowed to choose which one they want to play, getting a heat started can be a frustrating process. Sometimes multiple boards will be vying for the few uncommitted players. Other times, a player will decline a spot at an open table because an already seated opponent is "too good". How can we continue the flexibility of multiple titles yet seat players fairly for the preliminary heats? Much thought and discussion has gone into finding a solution for the dilemma of metagaming. Of course, if anyone has comments or suggestions, the GM is interested in their ideas.

Meanwhile, happy gaming to all and save the blue locomotive for me. See you next year!

Final Round Details

The following After Action Detail is recreated from Paul's and Steve's notes. However, any inaccuracies or errors remain the fault of this author. Note: Cash figures are shown as $##M even though this game's currency is millions of Euros. Although the GM's Macintosh will properly display the Euro currency symbol (¤), it often gets lost in translation to the web page.

Build Turn 1: (1:45 P.M.)
Dave built southwest from Paris towards Bilbao.
Norm built southwest from Paris past Toulouse.
Mike built northwest from London to Cardiff and Birmingham and southeast from Paris towards Lyon.
Bob built London to the Ramsgate -- Oostende ferry, towards the Ruhr and southeast from the Ruhr towards Frankfurt.
Trella built west from Madrid to Lisboa and east from Madrid.

Switchback Build Turn 2:
Trella continued building to Toulouse.
Bob built out of Holland towards the Ruhr and extended his Ruhr track through Frankfurt to München.
Mike connected London and Paris via the Portsmouth - Le Havre ferry and extended through Lyon towards Marseille.
Norm extended his track southwest through the Pyrenees to Valencia.
Dave connected to Bilbao and built from Paris to Bruxelles and Antwerpen.

The Regular Move and Build Turns:
Dave started his train in Bilbao with 2 sheep.
Norm started in Valencia with 2 oranges. He built from Paris to the Ruhr.
Mike started in Birmingham with steel and quickly picked up hops in Cardiff.
Bob started in Cardiff with hops and rode Mike's track to his own ferry. He completed the track to Ruhr and continued his track southwest from München into the Brenner Pass. [Mike earned $4M when Bob rode his track from Cardiff to London.]
Trella started in Toulouse with 2 wheat and moved southwest.
Dave delivered sheep to Paris for $19M. He built from Bilbao to Porto.
Bob picked up steel in the Ruhr and finished the Holland to Ruhr track.
Dave picked up imports in Antwerpen and built a spur to Nantes.
Norm delivered oranges to the Ruhr for $33M. He then started building his track from the Ruhr towards Berlin and built from Berlin south to Praha.
Bob delivered hops to München for $29M and picked up beer. He finished the route to Milano, built from Milano to Torino, and started building track from the Ruhr towards Berlin.
Trella delivered wheat to Lisbon for $26M and picked up cork. She built one spur track to Valencia and one milepost northeast from Toulouse to improve her interchange with Norm. She also built from Berlin to Szczecin.
Norm built from Praha to Wien and finished his Ruhr to Berlin track.
Mike completed the track to Marseille and built toward Barcelona.

Rounds Continued (2:30 P.M.)
Bob delivered steel to Milano for $13M. He built from Milano through Firenze to Roma.
Trella connected Berlin and the Ruhr.
Dave picked up cattle in Nantes.
Mike delivered hops in Marseille for $29M, picked up bauxite and built to Madrid.
Bob delivered beer to Torino for $12M and started back north for wine.
Trella picked up oranges in Valencia.
Norm delivered oranges to Wien for $42M and built to Budapest and Beograd.
Mike continued building toward Lisboa.
Bob upgraded his starting Freight train to a Fast Freight.
Trella connected Berlin and the Ruhr.
Norm delivered steel to Praha for $12M. He built toward Sarajevo then finished this track when the following event expired.

Event: Gales - Mediterranean Sea & Adriatic Sea

Mike rode on Trella's track for $4M into Valencia to deliver steel for $31M. He picked up oranges and built to Lisboa. [Trella earned $4M when Mike rode her tracks to Valencia.]
Trella built from the Ruhr to near Bruxelles.
Norm upgraded his starting Freight train.
Bob delivered wine to Roma for $22M. He connected Roma to Napoli and added track Ruhr towards Berlin.
Trella rode Norm's tracks from Toulouse northeastward. [Norm earned $4M when Trella rode his tracks northeast from Toulouse.]
Dave delivered imports to Porto for $36M. He then built to Seville.
Norm delivered beer to Beograd for $17M.

Event: Derailments - no effects
Event: Tax Card

Cash on Hand was now public knowledge.
Dave: $ 21M
Norm: $ 34M
Mike: $ 4M
Bob: $ 13M
Trella: $ 4M

Bob delivered wine to Napoli for $25M. He built to Marseille.
Trella rode Norm's tracks to near Bruxelles. [Norm earned $4M when Trella rode his tracks to the Bruxelles connection.]

Rounds Continue (3:00 P.M.)
Norm picked up wood in Sarajevo and then upgraded to a Super Freight.
Mike delivered bauxite in Lisboa for $29M. He then upgraded his starting Freight train to a Fast Freight.
Dave delivered cattle to Seville for $32M and picked up 2 oranges since no cork was available. Dave then upgraded his starting Freight train to a Fast Freight.
Norm built to Bremen and Holland.
Bob delivered tobacco to Marseille for $21M.
Norm delivered wood to Praha for $18M. He picked up beer and then built to Wroclaw.
Bob built from London to Birmingham and Manchester and to Bruxelles.
Trella delivered oranges to Szczecin for $44M. She then connected her track to Paris.
Dave picked up 2 sheep in Bilbao and built from Antwerpen to Berlin bypassing the Ruhr.
Norm picked up potatoes and bauxite in Wroclaw.
Mike built from a milepost 5 southeast of Paris to Frankfurt.
Bob built to Bremen and continued track toward Berlin.
Trella pitched her cards.

Event: Derailments - no effects
Event: Gales - North Sea, Irish Sea & English Channel

Norm delivered bauxite to Bremen for $22M.
Mike delivered cork to Frankfurt for $46M and picked up beer. Then he built to Wien.
Trella pitched her cards.
Norm delivered potatoes to the Ruhr for $11M and he picked up tourists.
Mike picked up beer en route to Wien.
Bob paid Dave $4M to save a turn getting to his ferry. He picked up chocolate in Bruxelles. [Dave earned $4M when Bob rode his track to Bruxelles.]
Norm picked up flowers and two cheeses in Holland. He then built to Zagreb. Later, he finished the route to Venezia and Milano.
Bob delivered chocolate to London for $10M. He built from Manchester to Newcastle.
Trella connected to Leipzig and Praha to pick up china and beer.
Dave rode on Norm's track to deliver sheep to Wroclaw for $33M. He then built from Wien tying into Norm's track where his train ended and he built to Berlin. [Norm earned $4M when Dave rode his tracks to Wroclaw.]
Bob delivered machinery to Manchester for $18M and continued north to get oil in Newcastle.
Dave built from Wien to Sarajevo.
Bob upgraded his Fast Freight to a Super Freight.
Norm delivered cheese to Budapest for $21M.
Mike upgraded his Fast Freight to a Super Freight.
Bob paid Mike $4M to get hops in Cardiff. Bob built a connection from his own ferry to Paris. [Mike earned $4M when Bob rode his track to Cardiff.]
Trella upgraded her starting Freight train to a Fast Freight.
Dave traded sheep for wood and $44M in Sarajevo. He then upgraded his Fast Freight to a Super Freight.
Norm delivered cheese to Zagreb for $19M.
Mike extended his track to Zagreb where he picked up labor.
Trella rode on Mike's tracks to Lyon to deliver china for $23M. She then connected from just southwest of Lyon to her track near Toulouse. [Mike earned $4M when Trella rode her tracks to Lyon.]
Norm built to Warsaw and shortly afterward picked up ham.
Mike built to Zürich to pick up chocolate.
Bob delivered coal to Paris for $13M.
Dave connected Ruhr and Holland to expand his network.
Bob picked up chocolate in Bruxelles.
Trella delivered beer to Valencia for $35M.
Bob delivered hops to Frankfurt for $21M and got beer. He completed his track to Berlin.
Mike delivered labor and chocolate to Manchester for $36M and $16M, respectively. Then he built to Glasgow to pick up sheep.
Bob delivered oil and chocolate to Berlin for $23M and $13M, respectively.
Trella pitched her cards.

Event: Derailment in Berlin - hit Bob.
Event: Fog near Frankfurt
Event: Tooling (Machinery) needed

Mike built the approaches to the Chunnel and the next turn he built the Chunnel.
Trella upgraded her Fast Freight to a Super Freight.
Norm rode on Dave's track to Bruxelles to get chocolate and built the Harwich - Ijmuiden ferry to London, Birmingham, and a connection to Mike's track northeast of Birmingham. [Dave earned $4M when Norm rode on his tracks to Bruxelles.]
Trella built from Milano to Zürich to work on her new cards.
Mike began a long journey to pick up cork in Lisboa and cheese in Bern en route to Hamburg. He built from his track southeast of Leipzig to Berlin.
Bob built from Newcastle to Aberdeen.
Trella linked her mainline near Lyon to Zürich.
Mike connected the Ruhr into his network.
Bob paid Norm to get to the Harwich - Ijmuiden ferry, saving a turn, and then built the ferry himself. [Norm earned $4M when Bob rode on his tracks to the Ijmuiden ferry.]
Trella rode on Mike's track to Marseille to deliver oranges for $18M. [Mike earned $4M when Trella rode on his tracks to Marseille.]

Event: Heavy Snow around Krakow

Dave delivered tourists for $48M and flowers for $46M to Sevilla. Dave took his payout in green $50M bills! Dave then added Madrid to his network.
Mike connected the Ruhr and Holland and thereby was the first to complete his network.
Trella delivered oranges to Zürich for $31M.

Event: Wildcat Strike - on Trella's railroad.

Norm rode on Mike's track to Glasgow to deliver ham and chocolate for $43M and $25M, respectively. Norm then picked up sheep and rode Mike's track south. [Mike earned $4M when Norm rode on his tracks to Glasgow]
Mike built from Berlin to Hamburg.
Dave picked up fish in Porto. [Mike earned $4M when Norm rode on his tracks from Glasgow.]
Bob picked up fish in Aberdeen.
Trella picked up chocolate in Zürich and she built from Milano towards ex-Yugoslavia.
Dave delivered wood to Bilbao for $44M. This one trip to Iberia earned Dave $138M! Dave built to Lyon.
Mike delivered cork to Hamburg for $51M. Then he built from Berlin to Lodz. Bob paid Mike $4M to use the Chunnel.
Trella continued to build to an interchange near Sarajevo.
Dave moved to Lyon to get wheat and considered building to Zürich. He decided not to build further.
Mike delivered sheep and cheese to Lodz for $36M and $20M, respectively. He then built from south of Wien to Beograd.
Bob picked up chocolate in Bruxelles and later rode on Trella's track for potatoes in Szczecin. [Trella earned $4M when Bob rode her tracks to Szczecin]
Trella rode Dave's track to Sarajevo to deliver oranges for $46M. She then built to Wien. [Dave earned $4M when Trella rode his track to Sarajevo.]
Dave rode on Mike's track to Zürich to deliver fish for $38M. He built into Milano from Lyon. Dave was the second player to link the required number of cities.
[Mike earned $4M when Dave rode his tracks to Zürich.]
Norm delivered sheep to Wien for $38M. [Mike earned $4M when Dave rode his tracks from Zürich.]

Rounds Continued (4:40 P.M.)
Mike delivered imports to Zagreb for $23M.
Bob delivered fish to Milano for $37M and chocolate to Torino for $8M. He linked München to Wien completing his network requirements.
Trella linked to the Ruhr, completing her city requirements.
Dave delivered wheat to Berlin for $21M. He picked up steel while in the Ruhr.
Bob delivered potatoes to Rome for $32M.
Trella delivered wood to Barcelona for $37M.

Cash Count:
Dave: $194M
Norm: $116M
Mike: $116M
Bob: $ 95M
Trella: $ 89M

Bob pitched cards.
Trella pitched cards

Event: Heavy Snow around Praha
Event: Donau River Flood
Event: Teamsters' Strike

Dave rode Trella's tracks to Szczecin to pickup potatoes. [Trella earned $4M when Dave rode her tracks to Szczecin.]
Norm delivered copper to Birmingham for $29M. He picked up iron and then rode through Mike's Chunnel back to the continent. [Mike earned $4M when Norm rode on his track through the Chunnel.]
Bob picked up Tobacco in Napoli and 2 marble in Firenze.
Dave delivered potatoes to Wien for $9M. He drew the cork to Leipzig card as his replacement. Since players' cash was public knowledge, he advised the table that he had the winning load on board.
Norm rebuilt his Donau River bridge for $4M.
Bob rebuilt his Donau River bridge for $3M and built to Hamburg.
Dave rode on Norm's track to delivere steel to Budapest for $22M. [Norm earned $4M when Dave rode his tracks to Budapest.]
Norm rode on Bob's track to pick up wine in Frankfurt and to deliver iron in München for $26M. [Bob earned $4M when Norm rode his tracks to Frankfurt and Munich.]
Trella rode Norm's track from Toulouse to Paris. Then she built track to Antwerpen. [Norm earned $4M when Trella rode his tracks from Toulouse to Paris.]
Dave rode Norm's and Trella's track to deliver cork to Leipzig for $52M. [Norm earned $4M when Dave rode his tracks from Budapest to Praha.]

Dave declared meeting victory conditions. [Trella earned $4M when Dave rode her tracks from Praha to Leipzig.]
Norm rode Bob's track to Milano and then Trella's track to Zürich to deliver wine for $10M. [Bob earned $4M when Norm rode his track from München to Milano.] [Trella earned $4M when Norm rode her track from Milano to Zürich.]
Bob delivered marble to Hamburg for $27M.
Trella delivered workers to Antwerpen for $26M.

The game was over!

Final Statistics


Final Cash

Approximate Track

# of Deliveries

 # of Pitches

 1. Dave





2. Norm





3. Bob





4. Mike





5. Trella






The 2014 Empire Builder finalists: Trella Bromley, champion Dave Steiner, GM Bob Stribula,
Norm Newton and Michael Holmquist.
 GM     Bob Stribula  [5th Year]  22 Zinnia Way, Langhorne, PA 19047  
   stribula@ptd.net   NA

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