empire builder [Updated October 2007]  

2007 WBC Report   

 2008 Status: pending 2008 GM commitment

Eric Brosius, MA

2007 Champion

Offsite links:

  Rio Grande Games

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


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Jim Yerkey         MD    03    110
  2.  Tom Dunning        NY    05     92
  3.  Richard Meyer      MA    06     82
  4.  Steve Okonski      MD    02     70
  5.  Donna Balkan       ON    04     61
  6.  Eric Brosius       MA    07     50
  7.  Harald Henning     CT    06     50
  8.  Bill Navolis       PA    00     50
  9.  Debbie Gutermuth   TX    07     45
 10.  Paul Van Bloem     MD    03     40
 11.  Eyal Mozes         NY    02     36
 12.  Chuck Foster       TX    06     34
 13.  Dave Steiner       DE    07     30
 14.  Greg Mayer         MO    00     30
 15.  Mark Kennel        DE    05     28
 16.  Ted Mullally       NJ    05     24
 17.  John Haas          DE    04     24
 18.  Olin Hentz         CT    03     22
 19.  Cliff Ackman       PA    07     21
 20.  Bill Duke          MD    07     20
 21.  Mark Franceschini  MD    00     20
 22.  Mike Backstrom     MN    05     16
 23.  Rich Shipley       MD    03     16
 24.  John Clarke        FL    06     15
 25.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    07     10
 26.  Winton Lemoine     CA    06     10
 27.  Ken Good           OH    05      9
 28.  Brian Smith        NY    02      6
 29.  Debbie Otto        MO    99      3

2007 Laurelists

Dave Steiner, DE

Bill Duke, MD

Cliff Ackman, PA

Bryan Eshleman, NC

Debbie Gutermuth, TX

Past Winners

Steve Okonski, MD

Bill Navolis, PA

Jim Yerkey, MD

Donna Balkan, ON

Tom Dunning, NY

Rich Meyer, MA

Inger Henning and Claire Brosius were just two of the doezen ladies to play.

Dave Steiner moves in the Final as Cliff Ackman observes,

Do the Loco Motion

This year's tournament bettered overall WBC attendance enjoying a 19% increase. While attendance was up, diversity of game boards was down. Only Empire Builder with Mexico, Eurorails, Lunar Rails, Iron Dragon, Empire Builder without Mexico and Assistant GM Bob Stribula's development copy of Martian Rails were played. This year we stressed table size equality and were able to have all 4- or 5-player games during the Heats. 4-player tables were the standard with 19 such games and five 5-player contests during the three heats.

We had three multiple Heat winners. Mark Kennel earned the top seed in the Semi-finals by winning all three of his heats. Tom Dunning earned the second seed by winning both of the heats he entered. Inger Henning also won two heats and claimed the third seed.

The multiple Heat winners left us with 20 individual winners, but Mike Backstrom declined to claim his seat in deference to a prior appointment with a B-17. That left the remaining 19 winners and six alternates to fill the Semi-finals. In a stroke of extremely good fortune we had exactly six alternates appear. Remember; if you're a high ranked alternate, always show up for the elimination rounds if you care to advance!

The 5-player Semis were hard fought with many of the regular suspects getting their come uppance from newcomers. Dave Steiner bested defending champ Rich Meyer at Table 1. Bryan Eshleman beat former Finalist Eyal Mozes at Table 2. Bill Duke defeated former Finalist Harald Henning at Table 3. Eric Brosius bested Norm Newton at Table 4. And in the closest game Cliff Ackman squeeked by former Finalist Debbie Gutermuth 268 to 267. For the second year in a row, Debbie finished her Semi with more than the required 250 winning condition without getting the win. While Debbie was the Bridesmaid to the Final yet again, her close finish earned her 6th place laurels and made her the only repeat Laurelist in this year's tournament. Only Cliff Ackman with six Laurels from 1999, the inaugural Empire Builder tournament, had been to the Final before.

The Final was reminiscent of the 2005 championship with the first player into Spain taking a commanding early lead and never looking back. Eric had good cards almost the entire game. While delivering a Tourist to Valencia, he brought along a speculation Tourist. Eric then drew a Tourist to Valencia demand card that was easily satisfied. Eric got a bit of bad Karma when Tax Card caught him at 216. But a demand for Cork to Ruhr helped pay his tax loss and put him over at 260. The closest competitor finished a distant 105.

With two of the last three Eurorails Finals resulting in lopsided wins by the first player into Spain, I will probably change next year's Final to Empire Builder without Mexico. The Semi-final will remain Empire Builder with Mexico. If enough of you email me with objections, I'll reconsider.

 GM      Tom Dunning  [2nd Year]  207 Hazeltine Ave, Kenmore, NY 14217 
    traingamertom@gmail.com   NA

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