santa fe rails [Updated October 2004]  

2004 WBC Report     

 2005 Status: pending December Membership Century Vote

Tom Stokes, NJ

2004 Champion

2nd: Tom DeMarco, NJ

3rd: Doug Smith, PA

4th: Tom Saal, MI

5th: Rob Kircher, RI

6th: Donna Balkan, ONT

Event History
2003    Andy Lewis     28
2004    Tom Stokes     22

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings


Rank Name


 1.  Tom Stokes


 2. Andy Lewis


 3. Tom DeMarco


 4. Jeff Bakalchuk


 5. Rob Kircher


 6. Doug Smith


 7. Tom Saal


 8. Karl Musser


 9. Donna Balkan


10. Lee Presser



Past Winners

Andy Lewis - DE

San Francisco or Bust ...

In the second year of this event, 22 engineers set off to see who best manages the western trains. We split up into six tables with the winners and top two second place finishers (percentage of the table winners score) advancing to the next round.

The first round produced three very close games. One ended in a tie and the other two were decided by a mere three points. The defending champion Andy Lewis, was barely edged by Tom DeMarco on percentages to advance to the semi-finals. Winning scores ranged from 174 to 217 points.

In the semi-finals, there were two games of four with the top two from each game advancing to the finals. This round produced two very different games with very close races for second place. The first game ended early with Doug Smith sensing he had the lead took the 4 in 1 train to dead-end the last train before any of the short trains had entered the game. The turn before, Tom Stokes used the 4 in 1 train to connect Spokane, Seattle and Portland to collect $14 in a bold move taking second from yours truly by two points to advance. In the second semi-final, the game went the maximum. The city deck was exhausted and the game went for another two turns with no one able to end the game. This extra card phase allowed Tom DeMarco to play a 6 point city card while rivals Stuart Tucker and Donna Balkan were both out of city cards. Tom Saal won and Tom DeMarco took second, four points ahead of Donna.

Semi 1: 130, 117, 115, 79

Semi 2: 161, 149, 145, 143

The final produced a very exciting game to watch and wasní' decided until the final turn. The jockeying for train position began right away as the trains raced west. Very few city cards were played early as two trains were fully exhausted by the 5th turn. The game could have ended on turn 6 with Doug's move, but wisely sensed he wasn't in the lead. Different strategies were used throughout the game. Doug played a money game by taking the 2X train six of the first seven turns, collecting $46. On the other hand, Tom Stokes played city cards seven of the first ten turns. Tom Saal and Tom DeMarco played a balanced game between playing cards and running trains. The key move occurred on turn 14. Tom Stokes used the 2X train to connect Las Vegas for which he held both cards and pitched three cards. On the draw, he drew Los Angeles which was connected with three trains for 21 points. This final play pushed him over the top to win. Tom DeMarco finished a close second only six points behind.


Tom Stokes 158

Tom MeMarco 152

Doug Smith 134

Tom Saal 131

I would like to thank everyone for playing this year; especially the finalists for staying up to play the final game that night rather than trying to reschedule. Next year I will look for an earlier start time and add a second round to avoid conflicts with other train games and hold each round to a strict 90 minute time limit.

 GM      Rob Kircher  [1st Year]   3595 Post rd, Apt 02207, Warwick, RI 02886   NA

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