18XX [Updated October 2003]

2003 WBC Report  

 2004 Status: pending 2004 GM commitment

Paul Hakken NJ

2003 Champion

2nd: Bruce Beard, MD

3rd: Paul Johnson, MD

4th: Dave Metheny, PA

5th: Chuck Krueger, MA

6th: Barrington Beavis, UK

Event History
1991    Mark Giddings      34
1992    Dave Harshbarger      46
1993    Robin Barbehenn      84
1994    Todd Vander Pluym      84
1995    Mark Giddings      51
1996    Christian Goetz      45
1997    Dan Vice      50
1998    Jon Kwiatkowski      45
1999    Barrington Beavis     32
2000    Barrington Beavis     28
2001    David Fritsch     33
2002    Jon Kwiatkowski     36
2003    Paul Hakken     32

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings


Rank Name


 1. Barrington Beavis


 2. Jon Kwiatkowski


 3. Paul Hakken


 4. David Fritsch


 5. Jim McDanold


 6. Bruce Beard


 7. Brian Mountford


 8. Pierre LeBoeuf


 9. Paul Johnson


10. John Chung


11. Robin Barbehen


12. Richard Martin


13. Jason Levine


14. Dave Metheny


15. Johnny Hasay


16. Craig Reese


17. Harald Henning


18. Chuck Krueger


19. Anthony Daw


20. Mark Frueh


21. Ben Foy


22. Joe Rushanan


23. Gerald Dudley



Past Winners

Mark Giddings - NY
1991, 1995

1992: David Harshbarger - NC
1993: Robin Barbehenn - MD

Todd Vander Pluym - CA

Christian Goetze - CA

Dan Vice - VA

Jon Kwiatkowski - NC
1998, 2002

Barrington Beavis - UK
1999, 2000

David Fritsch - VA

Event Inflation ... 1830 ... 1856 .... 1870

32 railroad managers turned out for this year's 18xx tournament . While there were four fewer players than last year, more people played multiple rounds, so overall participation was up. 21 of 36 players from last year returned, joined by eleven newcomers (or returnees from past years). The new players had an enormous impact on the outcome, as only half of the six finalists had also played last year. The tourney featured the games 1830, 1856, and 1870, with all the preliminary round winners (and enough second place finishers to complete the field) advancing to a 16-player semi-final. 1830 remained the most popular preliminary round game (36 player-games), with 16 choosing 1856, and ten playing 1870 at some point.

The first preliminary heat Wednesday morning was designated as the 1830 round. It featured two four-player 1856 games, along with two five-player and one four-player 1830 game. A player bankruptcy ended only one of the 1856 games. In that game, both Elliott Segal and Chip Eastman had companies with a single 4 train after formation of the Canadian Government Railroad, but Elliott managed to sell his 4 over to another of his companies for enough money to stay in the game. Unfortunately, Chip could not and went bankrupt. Winners of 1856 in the first round were last year's champ (and Assistant GM) Jon Kwiatkowski and newcomer Charlie Hickok. In the 1830 games, returnees Mark Neale and Lane Newbury joined past participant Paul Hakken in the winner's circle. Both five-player 1830 games were quite competitive, with Paul and Lane besting their fifth place finishers by only 1008 and 1359, respectively.

The second preliminary round on Wednesday night was designated for 1856, with eight players playing in two four-person 1856 games. In addition, nine players split up into a four-player and a five-player 1830 game. Finally, a bonus four-player 1870 game was allowed under a strict six-hour time limit, which the players met easily. Veteran John Weber and returnee David Fritsch posted comfortable victories in the 1856 games, while Paul Hakken and Chuck Krueger won in 1830. Paul's win in the five-player game occurred when Ben Foy was unable to buy permanent trains for either of his two railroads, resulting in the only bankruptcy of the evening. Chuck Krueger edged Jim McDanold by only $88 (out of $11000) to win the other 1830 game. Newcomer Bruce Beard claimed a close ($722 out of $8105) and quick victory in the 1870 game.

The last preliminary round on Thursday evening was designated for 1870, with a longer period (nine hours) allotted to complete the longest of these three 18xx games. None of the games required significant extra time beyond the normal six-hour slot. Bruce Beard added another easy 1870 victory to the one earned the previous evening. Both Pierre LeBoeuf and Paul Koenig needed at least a second place finish in that game to qualify, but Pierre edged Paul by $416 to have a chance to make it to the semis. David Fritsch also won again, in a narrow decision ($289 and $525 out of $9000+) over Dave Metheny and Paul Johnson in the other 1870 game. Three other tables played 1830, with returnees Barrington Beavis, Jim McDanold, and Chuck Krueger winning their games. Barrington's victory was only $40 over Richard Martin, with John Chung ($195 behind) and Johnny Hasay ($337 behind) in it until the end. The closeness of the game enabled both Barrington and Richard to move on to the semifinals. Jim McDanold's table definitely had the most fun, often leaving the rest of us wondering what the five of them were up to.

The 15 preliminary round games (up from 14 last year) produced four double winners (Chuck Krueger, Bruce Beard, Paul Hakken, and David Fritsch), and when two single game winners didn't show up for the semi-final round, the top seven second-place finishers also qualified. The players were seeded into the semi based on the results of preliminary round play, with the double winners seeded first, followed by those who won one game. All winning players were ranked according to the percentage of the second place player's score to their own in their preliminary round. All other players received percentages based on the ratio of their best score with the winning score in that game, with all runner-ups placed ahead of third place scores, etc.

Placement in the semi-final round used the formula 1st - 8th- 9th - 16th seeds in game 1, 2nd -7th - 10th - 15th in game 2, 3rd - 6th - 11th - 14th in game 3, and 4th - 5th - 12th - 13th in game 4. Seven alternates moved up, yielding four four-player 1830 games. Two of them proved close, decided by margins of $58 and $429. On the first board, Barrington took the B & M from Lane and ran it into the brown to generate money for trains. His strategy bested the high stock value strategy of Chuck and Pierre, allied throughout the game as operators of the B & O/Erie and Penn/C & O combinations. The alliance benefited Chuck $111 more than Pierre, earning him a seat at the final. The only bankruptcy occurred in the second game, when Anthony Daw was unable to afford a diesel. Rich offered him a 4 train for $1, but Anthony counter-offered $150 for a 5 instead. When no agreement could be reached, the game ended. Paul Hakken rode the B & M and Penn to the semis on board 3, winning easily. In the fourth game, Dave Metheny squeaked by Paul Johnson, ensuring a place for each in the finals and eliminating defending champ Jon Kwiatkowski and 2001 champ David Fritsch.

The final was a six-player 1830, featuring (listed in turn order) Bruce Beard, Paul Johnson, Chuck Krueger, Paul Hakken, Dave Metheny, and Barrington Beavis. None of last year's finalists made it back, guaranteeing a new champion. Chuck, Bruce, and Paul Hakken had all won two preliminaries, with Bruce and Paul also having won their semi. Barrington had won one prelim and his semi, while Dave had won only his semi. Paul Johnson proved the ultimate survivor with no wins to this point.

The initial private company bidding had Bruce getting the Champlain at $45 and the Schulkyll at cost, Paul Johnson taking the Mohawk & Hudson at auction for $135, Chuck bidding up the Delaware & Hudson to $105, Paul Hakken taking the Camden & Amboy for only $165, Dave bidding on the Mohawk, but ending up only with the B & O private company (after three players in front of him passed on it), and Barrington competing on the Delaware, but coming away with nothing. With the option to buy the first public company, Barrington chose the NYNH at $82. Bruce next priced the C & O to sell at $67, and surprisingly, only those two stocks were sold in the first round. Both Barrington and Bruce saw their companies sell out on the first round, and both bought a pair of 2 trains when they operated. The NYNH and C & O had the board to themselves for three operating rounds, but in the fourth stock round, Paul Johnson dumped two NYNH shares and one C & O to open the B & M at $76. Chuck did the same to get the Penn started at $67. The new railroads finally got the three trains started, with Paul Johnson's B & M buying two 2s and a 3, and Chuck putting two 3s in the Penn. The game continued picking up speed in the fifth stock round when Paul Hakken dropped four shares of the NYNH and one C & O to start the Erie at $90. Dave and Paul Hakken worked out an arrangement to finish floating the B & O, so it also finally started. The new railroads led to the first train retirements, as the Erie bought a 3, the B & O got the first 4, and the NYNH and C & O also got 4 trains. Stock round 6 saw more shares dumped and the final railroads started. Bruce sold two C & O, one Penn, and one B & M to start the NYC at $100. Paul Johnson sold four B & M shares (dumping the company on Barrington, who had acknowledged the risk during the previous stock round), and started the Can Pac at $100. Paul Hakken bought four shares of the Can Pac, then sold them all to rearrange the company order on the stock market. In the first of two operating round 6es, the B & O had the first crack at the "poison" 4, but passed, withholding his $120 run. The NYC bought the 4 and the first 5 (which Bruce then passed over to his C & O), and the Erie and Can Pac quickly took the last 5 trains. On the second operating round, Dave's B & O bought the first 6 train, killing the 3 trains. The B & M was the first railroad left trainless, but Barrington was able to dump enough stock to stay in the game. The stock dumped was the NYNH, which had a 4 train (but not for much longer), transferring ownership to Chuck. Chuck's other railroad, the Penn, had been train-bound and unable to buy a 5, then it lost the two 3's it had. Because of the 18 shares already in the bank pool, Chuck's selling options were limited, and he was forced into bankruptcy. Surprisingly, Chuck's inability to sell most of his stock kept his valuation higher than Barrington's, and out of last place. Paul Hakken had a relatively comfortable victory. Another fast final was the result, taking only two hours, fifteen minutes to finish.

Thanks again to all of the participants for an entertaining tournament. I was disappointed to see fewer players, but was happy with the level of competition. I hope we can increase our numbers next year.

 GM      Pierre LeBoeuf  [4th Year]   3043 Telegraph Rd, Elkton, MD 21921-2333
    PierreMLeBoeuf@excite.com   (410) 392-3094

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