rail baron [Updated October 2007]  

2007 WBC Report  

 2008 Status: pending 2008 GM commitment

Tom Dunning, NY

2007 Champion

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Event History
1991    Chuck Foster        28
1992    Kevin Quirk        29
1993    Kevin Quirk        38
1994    Bill Fellin        37
1995    Heikki Thoen        63
1996    Heikki Thoen        46
1997    Kim Lemmons        94
1998    Eyal Mozes      100
1999    Heikki Thoen       58
2000    Steve Okonski       69
2001    Steve Okonski       56
2002    Ed Wrobel       75
2003    Mike Zorrer       59
2004     Doug Galullo       66
2005     William Duke       53
2006    Inger Henning       46
2007    Tom Dunning       40


Rank  Name               From  Last  Total
  1.  Steve Okonski       MD    01    120
  2.  Ron Secunda         MD    07     81
  3.  Doug Galullo        FL    05     80
  4.  Brian Conlon        OK    04     74
  5.  Mark McCandless     CA    01     72
  6.  Ed Wrobel           VA    02     60
  7.  Stan Buck           MD    02     60
  8.  Heikki Thoen        QC    99     60
  9.  Inger Henning       CT    06     56
 10.  William Duke        MD    07     55
 11.  Charles Davis       WV    02     54
 12.  Tom Dunning         NY    07     50
 13.  Mike Zorrer         DE    03     50
 14.  Mark Kennel         DE    07     40
 15.  Bill Crenshaw       VA    03     30
 16.  Chuck Foster        TX    01     30
 17.  Donna Balkan        ON    06     29
 18.  Larry Kratz         ID    04     24
 19.  David Weinstein     NY    02     24
 20.  Ed Rothenheber      MD    00     24
 21.  Norm Newton         ON    07     20
 22.  TJ Halberstadt      IN    06     20
 23.  Phil White          MD    04     18
 24.  James Wicht         NC    00     18
 25.  Chester Lanham      MD    07     15
 26.  Harald Henning      CT    06     15
 27.  Mike Mullins        MD    05     15
 28.  Mike Brophy         NC    04     12
 29.  Mark Oldfield       CA    02     12
 30.  Paul van Bloem      MD    02     12
 31.  Eyal Mozes          NY    01     12
 32.  Dee Gehring         IN    99     12
 33.  Dave Steiner        DE    06     10
 34.  Stephane Dorais     QC    05     10
 35.  Carl Walling Jr     PA    03     10
 36.  Malcolm Robinson    NY    00      6
 37.  Roderick Lee        CA    05      5
 38.  Charles Ellsworth   NY    03      5

2007 Laurelists

Ron Secunda, MD

Norm Newton, ON

Chester Lanham, MD

Mark Kennel, DE

Bill Duke, MD

Past Winners

Chuck Foster, TX

Kevin Quirk, PA

Bill Fellin, CT

Heiki Thoen, QC
1995-1996, 1999

Kimberly Lemmons, TX

Eyal Mozes, NY

Steve Okonski, MD

Ed Wrobel, VA

Mike Zorrer, DE

Doug Galullo, FL

William Duke, MD

Inger Henning, CT

Defending champ Inger Henning was unable to repeat her winning performance this year.

This year's Final ushered in three new Laurelists.

An Alternate Prevails ...

Congratulations to Tom Dunning, this year's Rail Baron champion. No stranger to railroad boardgames, this railroad owner/engineer out-steamed, out-bought, and out-rolled his rivals in a game that ended in a slightly calmer finish, compared to many earlier tournaments. Finishing second was yours truly, your GM, Ron Secunda. Coming in third was Norm Newton, and fourth, Chester Lanham. Chester made it to the Final by winning a Semi-Final game that he was seated at as an alternate. Finishing 5fifh and last was Mark Kennel, who appeared to be having lots of fun and really enjoying the game in spite of struggling. Speaking of struggling, as usual, I suffered from really pitiful dice rolls, at least during the first 3/4 of the game. It was so painful, Norm gave me his dice to use and Mark even rolled one region and city destination for me. Of course, I didn't own a Northeast railroad, so naturally, he rolled Portland, Maine as a destination for me (Thanks for trying, Mark). As you can see, it was a very friendly game. Rail Baron Tom Dunning owned the following RR's: PA, UP, SOU, MP, and RF&P. I owned: ATSF, SLSF, ACL, GM&O, C&NW, and NP. I also had the N&W, which I had to auction off. Norm held the NYC, CMST&P, SP, IC, and my N&W. Chester held the B&O, CRI&P, D&RGW, GN, L&N, NYNH&H. Mark had the C&O, SAL, CB&Q, T&P, WP, and B&M.

This year, only 40 players hit the rails, and no one player won all three first-round-heats. Only one player, Paul Bean, won two of them, so everyone who made it into the Semi-final (with two exceptions) did so by winning only one first-round-heat. The two exceptions were Chester Lanham, who was seated as an alternate, and Alexandria Henning (the defending champion's daughter), who graciously sat in as an emergency alternate when another player gave up their seat at the semi-final.

Summary of Final game:

The 2007 Final was an interesting 5-player game that produced a clear winner despite four players having networks serving between 50 and 60% of the cities in the game. The city of Portland, ME was surprisingly important.  It was Ron's home city, and Mark's second destination.  Fortunately for Mark, he had just purchased the B&M, so his trip was fee-free. (And he felt even more fortunate when his fifth destination was Portland ME, also. The city came up twice more late in the game.)

The first two unfriendly destinations rolled were Boston by Chester at the end of Round 9, and Albany by Tom in Round 10.  Since Norm had bought the NYC in Round 7, the table consensus was that Norm was doing well.  This thinking was reinforced when Mark again rolled Portland, ME in Round 15; he owned the B&M, but had to take Norm's NYC to get from the C&O to the B&M.  Tom rolled Detroit in Round 21, but was careful to take Mark's C&O rather than Norm's NYC.

When the last railroad was sold, railroad ownership stood as follows:
Norm Newton: SP, NYC, CMStP&P, IC, N&W (reaches 53% of the cities)
Tom Dunning: UP, PA, MP, SOU, RF&P (58%)
Mark Kennel: C&O, CBQ, SAL, T&P, WP, B&M (39%, leaving out unconnected B&M and WP)
Ron Secunda: ATSF, SLSF, CNW, NP, AC, GM&O (51%)
Chester Lanham: CRIP, B&O, L&N, GN, DRGW, NYNH (50%)

Mark was clearly trailing, and true to form ended in fifth place, but the others seemed to be pretty close.  However, the power of the Pennsy became evident as the game continued.  Mark paid the PA to get in to Pittsburgh in Round 29, and again to get out in Round 30.  Chester paid in Round 38 on his way to Portland ME; his good rolling let him get away with paying Mark's B&M only once, and he paid the NYC on his way out.  Meanwhile, Tom managed to avoid rolling many unfriendly cities; he had three in the first half of the game, but his next unfriendly destination was his home city of Albany when he went home and won.

Tom announced going over $150k in Round 48.  Since no other player was much over $100k, this led to immediate jockeying for second place.  Surprisingly, players paid to ride Tom's UP and PA to avoid paying another player, with the result that Tom arrived in New York in Round 57 with $237k.  Ron arrived in St. Louis and announced he had broken $150k, but Tom had no trouble rolling a 2 to reach his home city of Albany on the next turn.

The final order of finish, with dollar and RR value totals, was:
Tom Dunning: $227 + $115 in RRs = $342 net worth
Ron Secunda: $154.5 + 111 = 265.5
Norm Newton: $140.5 + 114 = 254.5
Chester Lanham: $130.5 + 98 = 228.5
Mark Kennel: $71 + 76 = 147.
Thanks again to Paul for the Final report. Additional details of the Final game will hopefully be available at the Rail Baron Fanatics website.

Thanks again to my assistant GM's, Paul Van Bloem and Chester Lanham, to my wife and Chester's wife for their assistance, and to all the players who make this such a fun event! For pictures and year-round Rail Baron news see http://www.insystem.com/rbp/wbcrbn.htm

 GM      Ron Secunda  [5th Year]   NA
    secundstar@erols.com   NA

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