18XX [Updated October 2006]

2006 WBC Report  

 2007 Status: pending 2007 GM commitment

Bruce Beard, MD

2005-06 Champion

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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
2004    Richard Fox     37
2005     Bruce Beard     29
2006    Bruce Beard     37


Rank Name                 From  Last Total
  1. Bruce Beard           MD    06   140
  2. Jon Kwiatkowski       NC    04   104
  3. Barrington Beavis     UK    06    90
  4. Paul Hakken           NJ    04    83
  5. Jim McDanold          TN    06    80
  6. Richard Fox           IL    04    50
  7. Pierre LeBoeuf        MD    06    50
  8. David Fritsch         VA    01    40
  9. Mark Neale            RI    06    30
 10. Dave Metheny          PA    05    25
 11. Brian Mountford       NY    99    24
 12. Mike Brophy           NC    05    20
 13. Paul Johnson          MD    03    20
 14. John Chung            CA    02    20
 15. Robin Barbehen        MD    00    18
 16. Richard Martin        MD    99    16
 17. Jason Levine          NY    01    16
 18. Herbert Gratz      Austria  06    15
 19. Lane Newbury          TX    05    15
 20. Johnny Hasay          PA    02    13
 21. Craig Reese           FL    01    12
 22. Harald Henning        CT    00    12
 23. Chuck Krueger         MA    03    12
 24. Anthony Daw           UT    02    10
 25. Mark Frueh            IL    00     9
 26. Ben Foy               MD    99     8
 27. Joe Ryshanan          MA    01     4
 28. Gerald Dudley         WI    00     3

2006 Laurelists

Marl Neale, RI

Jim McDanald, TN

Herbert Gratz, Austria

Pierre LeBoeuf, MD

Barrington Beavis, UK

Past Winners

Mark Giddings, NY
1991, 1995

'92: D. Harshbarger, NC
'93: R. 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

Paul Hakken, NJ

Richard Fox, IL

Bruce Beard. MD

 Herbert Gratz (right) ponders a move in 1870 while taking a break from his recent WBC World At War battles.  Nick Anner, Barrington Beavis, and Pierre LeBoeuf (upper left to right) played in 11 of a possible 12 heat games.  Finalists (left to right) Bruce Beard, Herbert Gratz, Jim McDanald and Mark Neale vie for the wood.

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

A record-tying (at least, during the LeBoeuf GM era) 37 aspiring railroad tycoons turned out for this year's tournament, matching the high-water mark of my era reached two years ago. Nine players were brand new to the event, joining 28 returnees from past years. Only one of the new players made the semi-finals, however, and he did not progress further. For the first time, a fourth preliminary round, featuring three "kit" games (chosen by respondents to an on-line poll), was added. Problems that developed last year with filling out the semi-final round led to a reduction of the qualifiers to twelve (at least, at first), and new rules to resolve ties for seeding were among other format changes. The tourney featured the established games 1830, 1856, and 1870, along with the newer 18EU, 1826, and 1846. 1830 remained the most popular preliminary round game (28 players), with twelve choosing 1856, and 21 playing 1870 at some point (numbers reflect that most players participated in multiple games). Among the kit games, there were four each for 18EU and 1826, and three for 1846.

The first preliminary heat Wednesday morning was designated as the 1830 round, but there was a four-player 1870 and 1856 game each to go with three four-player 1830 games. Only one player bankruptcy ended a first round 1830 game, with all the other games continuing until the bank was exhausted. All five games were won by returning players, with the GM and assistant GM Bruce Beard qualifying with wins, as did Rick Dutton, Craig Reece, and Mark Neale. GM Pierre LeBoeuf eked out a 10% win over the other assistant GM, Barrington Beavis, in a 4-player 1856. Craig Reece posted a huge (210%) win in 1830 over Jim McCarthy and newcomer Neal Ekengren, when Lane Newbury voluntarily went bankrupt. Neal was heard saying, "This game is vicious", but he did come back and play two more times! Rick Dutton won easily (124%) at 1830 over 2005 finalist Jim McDanold and newcomers Wayne Schmittberger and Bruce Hodgins, in a game of furious stock trading that got the New York Central down to a $10 share value, and with the Canadian Pacific never opening. The third 1830 game sent Mark Neale on to the semi-finals, with a 114% win over 2005 finalist, Mike Brophy. Bruce Beard posted his first 1870 win over returnees Herbert Gratz, John Haas, and David Metheny, but it was a close (110%) game. The results from Heat 1 are shown below.

Heat 1 1830 Games
1st Rick Dutton (6568)
2nd Wayne Schmittberger (5282)
3rd Jim McDanold (5147)
4th Bruce Hodgins (4899)

1st Craig Reece (1780) 
2nd Jim McCarthy (847)
3rd Neal Ekengren (470)
4th Lane Newbury (344)

1st Mark Neale (8450)
2nd Mike Brophy (7430)
3rd Chuck Ellworth (7293)
4th Henry Richardson (4009)

1856 Game
1st Pierre LeBoeuf (10056)
2nd Barrington Beavis (9107)
3rd Dave Fritsch (7700)
4th Nick Anner (6295)

1870 Game 
1st Bruce Beard (11610)
2nd Herbert Gratz (10740)
3rd John Haas (8882)
4th Dave Metheny (8872)

The second preliminary round on Wednesday night was designated for 1856, and the 24 attendees split evenly into two four-player games each of 1830, 1856, and 1870. Both Bruce Beard and Pierre had repeat wins in their games of choice, 1870 and 1856 respectively. Bruce's win was very close, only 5% over Nick Anner. In Pierre's 1856 game, Dan Farrow, faced with a difficult game position, tried to go bankrupt after formation of the government railroad, but had $99 more than he needed to buy a train, so he was forced to stay in the game in a very weakened state. To add insult to injury, his cash and stock position caused him to lose both his railroads, and he finished the game with only four shares of stock. Bolstered by one of Dan's former railroads, Pierre won a close 4% victory over Joe Gunderson. Dave Metheny had an even closer 2% win over newcomer Kyle Moore in the other 1856 game, while Herbert won the other 1870 game more easily, by 7% over Chris Robbins. Former winner Rick Fox qualified with a narrow 2% 1830 win over newcomer Dan Mathias in one game, while the other all-newcomer 1830 game ended in a comfortable bankruptcy win for Murray Cowles.

Heat 2 1830 Games
1st Murray Cowles (490)
2nd Chris Dole (412)
3rd Bruce Hodgins (300)
4th Neal Ekengren (0)

1st Rick Fox (10635)
2nd Dan Mathias (10440)
3rd Mike Brophy (10302)
4th Henry Richardson (5506)

1856 Games
1st David Metheny (9800)
2nd Kyle Moore (9610)
3rd Barrington Beavis (9531)
4th Rich Atwater (8967)

1st Pierre LeBoeuf (11608)
2nd Joe Gunderson (11191)
3rd Jim McDanold (8637)
4th Dan Farrow (1742)

1870 Games 
1st Bruce Beard (8604)
2nd Nick Anner (8208)
3rd Jeff Bowers (7993)
4th Rick Dutton (6403)

1st Herbert Gratz (10387)
2nd Chris Robbins (9667)
3rd John Haas (8160)
4th Shantanu Saha (5097)

The third preliminary heat on Thursday morning was preceded by a second demonstration session to introduce the three new kit games voted in for play, 1826, 1846, and 18EU. Two of the new games attracted a single four-player table, while 1846 had a three-player game, and there was an additional 1830 game played as well. Bruce Beard posted a convincing 123% win over Herbert and Chris Hancock in his kit game of choice, 1846. Chris Robbins had a very narrow 18EU win, by only 1% over Barrington. Lane Newbury was the best railroad owner in France, after posting a close 4% win over David Fritsch. Johnny Hasay won the 1830 table, playing in his first game of the tournament, besting Jim McDanold by 5%.

Heat 3 1830 Game
1st Johnny Hasay (9628)
2nd Jim McDanold (9161)
3rd Neal Ekengren (9020)
4th Jim McCarthy (5687)

1826 Game
1st Lane Newbury (9417)
2nd David Fritsch (9051)
3rd John Weber (7891)
4th David Metheny (5854)

1846 Game
1st Bruce Beard (8967)
2nd Chris Hancock (7311) 
3rd Herbert Gratz (6826)

18EU Game
1st Chris Robbins (8316)
2nd Barrington Beavis (8199)
3rd Pierre LeBoeuf (7144)
4th Frank Haskell (5971)

The last preliminary round on Thursday evening, designated for 1870, represented a last opportunity to win a slot in the twelve-person semi-final. Given the large number of games already played and the fact that twelve people had already won at least once, it appeared likely that there would be more qualifiers than the twelve semi-final slots. This final chance had a 4-player 1830 game, as well as a 4-player and a 5-player 1870 game. Pierre faced three players needing a win on the 1830 board, and finished well back of all three. In the end, David Fritsch edged Jim McDanold by $13 out of over $9000 to get the win, with Barrington finishing within 4% as well. Rick Dutton got a comfortable 14% repeat win over fellow prelim winners Dave Metheny and Mark Neale in the 5-player 1870 game. Nick Anner finally brought down Bruce Beard, by only 2%, with his first win in the 4-player 1870 game. Fourth Heat wins by David Fritsch and Nick Anner qualified them for semi-final slots on their last opportunity.

Heat 4 1830 Game
1st David Fritsch (9229)
2nd Jim McDanold (9216)
3rd Barrington Beavis (8904)
Pierre LeBoeuf (7633)

1870 Games
1st Rick Dutton (9035)
2nd David Metheny (7918) 
3rd Mark Neale (7881)
4th Paul Koenig (7440)
5th Ted Mullally (6558)

1st Nick Anner (9345)
2nd Bruce Beard (9123) 
3rd Herbert Gratz (8517)
4th Chris Dole (6955)

The 18 preliminary round games (up from 13 last year) produced a triple winner (Bruce Beard), two double winners (Rick Dutton and Pierre LeBoeuf) and eleven single winners, who all showed up for the semi-final round. This left us with fourteen winners for twelve slots, so the request was made to expand the semi-final to accommodate all the winners. Permission was granted, as long as it was acceptable to all who qualified without the expansion. A vote was taken, and the four-game 4-player semi-final was restored. This left two other places for the semi-finals, but though second-place finishers were listed as alternates on the kiosk, only two appeared. Those two represented a great deal of firepower as alternates, Barrington, twice a tourney winner, and Jim McDanold who made the 2005 Final.

The players were seeded into the semi-finals based on the results of preliminary round play and the new multiple entry-single elimination tie-breaking criteria established by the WBC this year. Where players remained tied, they were placed according to their best percentage of the winning score or margin of victory. Best margin of victory percentage seeded spots 4 through 7, but the real problem came with those whose best finish was a second place. It was decided to weight the second place finishes the same way as the wins, ordering the players as shown below (no-shows are indicated by dashes in the last column). Barrington was the only one in this group to place second twice, getting him the 15th seed. The next five players all placed second in their only game, so they were ranked by their percentage of the winning score. None of them appeared, so the next three players became eligible. All of them had played more than once and finished second in their first try, so their average finish, followed by their percentage, was used to rank them. Again, none of them appeared, leaving us our last runner-up, Jim McDanold, who finished second in his third try, good enough on this ocasion to grab the last slot.

Ranking & Player      Preliminary Round Score   Semi-Final Seeding:
 1. Bruce Beard       Won 1st, 3 games              1
 2. Pierre LeBoeuf    Won 1st, 2 games              2
 3. Rick Dutton       Won 1st & 3rd games           3
 4. Craig Reece       Won only game by 210%         4
 5. Murray Cowles     Won only game by 122%         5
 6. Johnny Hasay      Won only game by 105%         6
 7. Rick Fox          Won only game by 102%         7
 8. Mark Neale        Won 1st game, avg 2.0         8
 9. Chris Robbins     Won 2nd game, ave 1.5         9
10. Herbert Gratz     Won 2nd game, avg 2.25       10
11. Lane Newbury      Won 2nd game, avg 2.5        11
12. Dave Metheny      Won 2nd game, avg 2.75       12
13. David Fritsch     Won 3rd game, avg 2.0        13
14. Nick Anner        Won 3rd game, avg 2.33       14
15. Barrington Beavis 2nd in 1st & 3rd game        15
16. Dan Mathias       2nd in only game, 98.2%       -
17. Kyle Moore        2nd in only game, 98.1%       -
18. Joe Gunderson     2nd in only game, 96.4%       -
19. Chris Hancock     2nd in only game, 81.5%       -
20. W. Schmittberger  2nd in only game, 80.4%       -
21. Mike Brophy       2nd in 1st game, avg 2.5      -
22. Chris Dole        2nd in 1st game, avg 3, 82.2% -
23. Jim McCarthy      2nd in 1st game, avg 3, 59.1% -
24. Jim McDanold      2nd in 3rd game              16

Once again, players were allowed to pick which game they'd like to play in the semi-final. This year, a second choice was allowed, and players were shuffled around until semi-finals in 1856 and 1870 were generated. As a result, only the eight players in the two 1830 games required seeding, and they were placed as 2nd- 5th - 6th - 16th in game 2 and 3rd - 4th- 8th - 11th in game 3.

Both 1830 semi-final games ended in bankruptcies, with only the 1856 and 1870 games going until the bank broke. On the first board, Bruce reverted to form with a 7% win in 1870 over Nick Anner, Rick Fox, and Chris Robbins, though the three of them all went over $10000 net worth as well, and were separated by only $252. Bruce won with a quantity over quality strategy, owning four of the ten railroads, having a four-share advantage over his nearest opponent, and without owning either stock that reached the maximum $400 share price. On the second board, Jim, the last qualifier, earned a $20 victory over Pierre in an 1830 game. Jim got the two largest private companies for less than $300 in the initial auction, sold off his early investments to start the Penn at $100, got the full double sale value for his privates, then opened the Erie at $100 as well. Jim was able to buy two of the three 5 trains with his railroad cash and looked to be well on his way to a win, even though neither of his companies had very good track. Pierre tried a desperation move of buying a 3 train out of the pool with the C & O, using all its money and train-locking it, then dumping it on Jim. This left Jim with three railroads, but only two permanent trains and (at least initially) no flexibility to move trains, but both Johnny and Murray had no permanent train at all. Johnny was able to buy a 6 train, but Murray went bankrupt trying to buy a diesel. In the other 1830 game, Craig Reece forced his own bankruptcy, giving Mark a comfortable $189 win over Rick Dutton in another low scoring game. In the 1856 semi, assistant GM Barrington lost by less than $300 (3%) to Herbert, in another game where all four players did very well. Both Dave Fritsch and Dave Metheny also had 90% or more of the winning score.

1830 Semi-final Games
1st Jim McDanold (1339) 
2nd Pierre LeBoeuf (1319)
3rd Johnny Hasay (815)
4th Murray Cowles (210)

1st Mark Neale (1342)
2nd Rick Dutton (1153)
3rd Lane Newbury (891) 
4th Craig Reese (60)

1870 Semifinal Game
1st Bruce Beard (11400)
2nd Nick Anner (10637)
3rd Rick Fox (10499)
4th Chris Robbins (10385)

1856 Semifinal Game
1st Herbert Gratz (9015)
2nd Barrington Beavis (8725)
3rd Dave Metheny (8555)
4th David Fritsch (8117)

The four semi-final winners advanced to the 1830 Final on Saturday night. It matched (listed in turn order) defending champion and assistant GM Bruce Beard, Herbert Gratz (in his first 1830 Final), returning Laurelist Jim McDanold, and Mark Neale (also in his first Final). Bruce had gone 3-1 in the preliminary round, with Mark, Herbert, and Jim posting records of 1-1, 1-3, and 0-4 in the prelims.

The brief private company auction had Bruce getting the Camden & Amboy at $210 and the Schuykill at cost, Herbert getting the Champlain & St. Lawrence and the Delaware & Hudson at cost, Mark getting the Mohawk & Hudson at $115. and Jim getting the Baltimore & Ohio private at cost, setting the share price at $100. With the option to buy the first public company, Mark chose the New York-New Haven at $76. Bruce opened the Penn next at $72, followed by Herbert opening the Chesapeake & Ohio at $76. Jim had insufficient funds to open the B&O, so he invested instead in three NYNH and one C&O share. Each railroad initially bought a single 2 train and ran a few turns for minimal money, until Mark sold his NYNH stock and bought enough shares of B&O to take it away from Jim and open it. Jim then sold his B&O shares to start the Boston & Maine at $100. Bruce took over the abandoned NYNH and sold his C&A private for $320 to it. The 3 trains were split 2-2-1 among the B&O, C&O, and Penn, with the Penn buying the first 4 train. Bruce sent the NYNH to its fourth owner, dumping it on Herbert with no train, to start the Erie. For his second railroad, Mark opened the Canadian Pacific at $100, and was able to put a 4 and a 5 train on the B&O and a 5 on the CanPac. Jim opened the last railroad, the New York Central at $100, but it was sold down to $67 and never ran. Herbert's need to buy a 6 and a diesel for his two railroads proved to be his undoing, and his bankruptcy by $88 ended the game. Bruce's vastly superior stock holding in the top two railroads was the difference in his big 60% win over Mark.

Thanks again to all of the participants for an entertaining tournament. I hope we can increase our numbers again next year. I would like to vote again on the kit games to include next year, and I'm also considering opening up play in the kit games to more heats. We will keep the 4-player Final and 16-player semi-final next year, if participation allows. If you would like to participate in the discussion on ways to improve the 18xx tournament in 2007, drop me an email.

1830 Final
1st Bruce Beard (2195)
2nd Mark Neale (1370)
Jim McDanold (877)
Herbert Gratz (420)
 GM      Pierre LeBoeuf  [6th Year]   3043 Telegraph Rd, Elkton, MD 21921-2333
    PierreMLeBoeuf@excite.com   NA

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