Updated Nov. 23, 2012

 2012 WBC Report  

 2013 Status: pending 2013 GM commitment

Ben Gardner, VA

2012 Champion

Event History
1992    Debbie Otto      28
1993    John Kilbride      24
1994    Kevin LeRow        8
1995    John Pack      22
1996    Jason Wagner      16
1997    Jason Wagner      49
1998    Stephanie Mayes      40
1999    Pitt Crandlemire     51
2000    Pitt Crandlemire     63
2001    Mark Love     49
2002    John Pack     72
2003    Pitt Crandlemire     68
2004    Nick Henning     76
2005    Nick Henning     69
2006     Thomas Richardson     69
2007     Jeffrey Hacker     72
2008    Bob Hamel     71
2009     John Elliott     64
2010     Nick Smith     88
2011    Nick Henning     63
2012    Ben Gardner     64

PBeM Event History
1999    Michael Anchors      25
2001    John Pack      16


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Nick Henning       CT    12    206
  2.  Pitt Crandlemire   MA    03    132
  3.  Nick Smith         uk    10    130
  4.  John Pack          CO    12    114
  5.  Andy Gardner       VA    12     77
  6.  Bob Hamel          CT    11     75
  7.  Ben Gardner        VA    12     68
  8.  Thomas Richardson  VA    09     64
  9.  Jim Castonguay     PA    05     54
 10.  Mark Love          MD    01     53
 11.  John Elliott       MD    09     52
 12.  Jeffrey Hacker     PA    07     40
 13.  Victor Hogen       CA    07     34
 14.  Robert Buccheri    MD    05     32
 15.  Kevin Brownell     FL    04     25
 16.  Doug Galullo       MD    11     24
 17.  Alex Price         NJ    03     24
 18.  Kevin Wojtaszczyk  NY    02     24
 19.  Kaarin Engelmann   VA    02     21
 20.  Roger Taylor       VA    00     18
 21.  Stephanie Mayes    IN    99     18
 22.  Brooks Beyma       MD    10     16
 23.  Pat Richardson     VA    07     16
 24.  Michael Wojke      NJ    03     16
 25.  Paul Bolduc        FL    01     15
 26.  Rolinda Collinson  MD    12     12
 27.  Phil Entwistle     MD    11     12
 28.  Ruth Evinger       PA    09     12
 29.  Steve Cameron      PA    06     12
 30.  Rob Kilroy         PA    99     12
 31.  Michael Anchors    MD    01     11
 32.  Al Wong            IL    00     11
 33.  Andy Joy           MD    05      9
 34.  Jim Rochford       IL    99      9
 35.  Blair Morgen       NJ    12      8
 36.  Anthony Musella    VA    09      8
 37.  Ashley Collinson   MD    06      8
 38.  Gordon Rodgers     PA    05      8
 39.  Peter Martin       MD    03      8
 40.  Derek Landel       NJ    10      4
 41.  John Kilbride      PA    07      4
 42.  Jeff Ribeiro       NH    02      4
 43.  Sharee Pack        CO    01      3
 44.  Gary Presser       NY    00      3
 45.  Dan Schulman       MD    99      3

2012 Laurelists                                          Repeating Laurelists: 

John Pack, CO

Andy Gardner, VA

Rolinda Collinson, MD

Blair Morgen, NJ

Nick Henning, DC

Past Winners

Debbie Otto, MO

John Kilbride, PA

Kevin Lerow, PA

John Pack, CO
1995, 2002

Jason Wagner, NJ

Stephanie Mayes, IN

Pitt Crandelmire, MA
1999, 2000, 2003

Mark Love, MD

Nick Henning, CT
2004-2005, 2011

Thomas Richardson, VA

Jeffrey Hacker, PA

Bob Hamel, CT

John Elliott, MD

Nick Smith, uk

Ben Gardner, VA

The Titan guru, Bruno Wolff, breaks away for some gangsta change of pace with Mark Kennel and Craig Reece.

Alyssa Gumkowski and Alan Arvold seem happy to be playing on John's big demo board.

 Franklin Rinko gets the facts of life speech from Anthony Musella ... or "Big Tuna" as he is known in the Gangsters universe.

A couple of the usual thugs ... Craig Reece takes his medicine from Brian Conlon.

It's Good to be a Cop ...

... but not a Vamp.

Here, in move order, are the five finalists, their starting positions, and their status at the end of the game:

Rolinda "Ma" Collinson, 2009 & 2011 GM: Start: 5/1/2; $300; Brizelli's Riverside, Hotel Belgrave [Vamp], SMC Cartage Co. [Racketeer/Thug] Finish: 6/1/1, 6 Hits, 2 Seductions; $2,900, 7 joints (3 of 7 Green) - 4th Place

Blair "The Plug" Morgen, Former Semi-Finalist & Legend in the Fun Crowd: Start: 5/1/2; $0; Brzkowski's Imports, Channel View, Greenwood Park [Racketeer/Vamp/Thug] Finish: 5/1/1, 8 Hits, 1 Seduction; $5,600; 2 joints (1 of 6 Blue) - 5th Place

Ben "The Roach" Gardner, Former Finalist: Start: 5/1/2; $300; Ambassadors' Club [Vamp], Franklin Hostel [Racketeer], Wylie's Storage [Thug] Finish: 3/1/2, 1 Hit, 4 Seductions; $3,300, 10 joints (3 of 8 Yellow) - Wins!

Andy "Scarface" Gardner, Finalist four years running: Start: 5/1/2; $400; Downtown Bus Station [Racketeer], Taylor's Machine Shop [Vamp/Thug], Palace Chophouse Finish: 5/1/1, 6 Hits, 1 Seduction; $500; 8 joints (2 of 7 Green) - 3rd Place

John "The Viper" Pack, 1995 & 2002 Godfather, GM: Start: 5/1/1; $200; Pussycat Club [Vamp], Jack's Auto Body [Racketeer/Thug], Frankie's House of Cards Finish: 4/1/0, 2 Hits, 5 Seductions; $1,700; 5 joints (4 of 5 Purple) - 2nd Place

While I took notes, I tried to cover just the unusual aspects of each turn and only recorded unusually high or low cash collections (to preserve cash secrecy). I used my notes and the player record chits to compile what I think is a very accurate record when all was said and done. But let's take a look at the setups before going into the turn by turn report.

Setup: Ma's preemptive purchase of Brizelli's Riverside (without the Racketeer for an immediate upgrade) looks mostly designed to prevent a Downtown Bus Station juggernaut. She looks poised for a ten joint, block strategy from the get go with a cash strategy fallback. The Plug buys two one-jump joints and looks to be trying a sneak-up-the-cash strategy; his last purchase, the low flexibility Channel View, seems mostly to prevent The Viper from achieving a Purple monopoly. The Roach starts ready to upgrade a yellow one-jump joint. The strategy implied seems similar to The Plug's. Scarface is ready to upgrade the Downtown Bus Station and has his Vamp and Thug positioned well to begin extorting in low mobility joints immediately; he will likely score cash the earliest and fastest. The Viper starts with a mix of cash and monopoly Purple joints and positions his Racketeer to buy the Cavalry Club in the early going. He should buy a joint every turn but emphasize the Purple joints whenever possible. He should have known better than to play a Purple Strategy with Ma in the game (since her daughter, Angel, is the Purple Pro).

Turn 1: Ma vamps the Viper as her initial move. The Plug moves Public x2 into Brzkowski's Imports to collect $1,100. The Roach collects nothing. Scarface vamps the Plug. This moves his Racketeer up to 7 until an audit by the Roach reveals that the initial purchase was impossible (giving Scarface an additional $100 but reducing his Racketeer to 6). Scarface's correct starting gang and cash are shown above. The Viper also collects nothing but does move his Racketeer to the Cavalry Club.

Turn 2: Ma vamps the Viper down to three (one move). The Plug hits Roach's Vamp before realizing that she's in Ma's level two SMC Cartage Co. The Plug is unhappy with this situation but unable to redo his move at this point. The Plug misses.

This situation uses the new clarification for a second time this year --it had never come up in my previous 17 years as Gangsters GM or as Avalon Hill's official Question & Answer person! This is that a Racketeer or Thug who moves into an enemy joint but chooses to attack a third gang does not trigger a response from the joint guards ­ but the joint guards will attack on the following turn. The last time the official questions and clarifications were updated was in 2007!

Joint markers are frequently underneath gang members, so a useful tip for budding criminal masterminds is to be wary of hitting a non-criminal Vamp -- usually such Vamps are in other gang's joints to seduce rivals. Criminal Vamps, on the other hand, are typically in unowned joints to score Extortion payoffs. The Roach gets Public x1 into the Ambassadors' Club. The Plug kills one level of Ma's joint but loses three Racketeers in the continuing shootout. Scarface brings John McClane (Cop #8) to kill Ma's Thug. In another new twist, after Ma's joint kills the Plug's final Racketeer (making itself immune to his retaliation), the Plug uses his final shot to kill the Roach's Vamp (the original target of his move).

The Viper brings on T.J. Hooker (Cop #7) to raid the Downtown Bus Station and reduce it to Level 1.

Turn 3: The Plug buys two Racketeers for $1,500. Scarface buys his fifth joint (the Belmar Theatre). The Viper gets snake eyes on the Red and Black dice for the second time. Robocop (Cop #10) kills the Plug's Vamp.

Turn 4: The Plug takes Cop #7 (T.J. Hooker) and kills Scarface's Vamp. Scarface recruits two Thugs (for a total of four). However, then the Viper uses Dudley Do-Right (Cop #4) to kill those same two recruits. The Viper also vamps the Roach.

Turn 5: Ma gets Public x1 into Brizelli's Riverside and collects $800 (which is big money in this game). The Plug negotiates to leave the Public there for a measly $100 of the $300 payoff. T.J. Hooker reappears and hits Ma's Vamp. She collects on Brizelli's a third time. The Viper recruits as much as he possibly can -- a single Thug for $300. Money strategies have been a bust so far, particularly with all of the recruiting needs. As a result, players are focused on joints (and inflicting harm on other gangs to slow them down).

Turn 6: Ma recruits a new Vamp for $300. The Plug rolls another Red 6. The Roach moves Public x2 into his level two Franklin Hostel and collects $900. Scarface buys his seventh joint while the Roach picks up another $800 from the Public. The Viper moves Public x2 into the Cavalry Club and collects $1,700 total, the first really big payoff in the game.

Turn 7: Ma steers the Public x2 into her Purple District along Broadway but collects only $100. The Plug finally recruits a new Vamp for $300. The Roach recruits a new Vamp too, but he pays $1,500. Scarface buys his eighth joint and moves into the ninth. Starsky and Hutch (Cop #5) kill the Viper's Vamp. Everyone has now had their Vamp removed at least once. The Viper recruits his Vamp for $600 and shoots up the Channel View with his 4 Racketeers without taking a loss. He's now in his fourth Purple Joint.

Turn 8: Ma negotiates to coordinate Cop action against the Viper's criminal Racketeer. Innocent bystander Rudy asks, "Does it feel like it's four against one?" In unison, all players respond, "yes." Ma vamps the Roach's Thug down to one while her own goes to two. The Plug vamps the Roach. The Roach takes it in stride and buys his ninth joint. His buying has mostly gone unnoticed until now. The Infidel (another not-so-innocent bystander) asks, "Can I get anyone anything?" The Viper requests an invisibility cloak for his Vamp. The Roach vamps the Viper. Being accused of being the only rich player in the game, the Roach shows his cash pile -- the expensive Vamp purchase and joint buying spree have left him with less than 1 G. The Viper picks up $1,000 and moves his Racketeer onto the street outside Brandon's Bikeshop (when I should have aimed for a joint with multiple entrances in range of CK's Tobacco). Rosco P. Coltrane (Cop #3) kills the Plug's Thug. The Cops have been exceptionally effective in this game.

Turn 9: Ma uses Starsky and Hutch (Cop #5) to kill both of Scarface's remaining Thugs. Dirty Harry (Cop #9) responds by killing both of Ma's Thugs. The Plug vamps the Viper to get two moves and recruits a Thug for $400. The Roach vamps Viper's lone Thug off the map. Scarface, with just $500 to his name, gets the roll he needs ­ a Black 1, a Red 1, and a Blue 1. He bribes a cop and then recruits a new Vamp and a new Thug, all for just $500. There are ZERO crimes on the board. The Mayor and Police Commissioner are running ads like it was an election year! The Viper recruits a new Thug for $400 and vamps the Roach.
The situation is nearly ideal for a ten-joint player -- and even better for the Roach who is delighted to see the carnage among his opponents, destroying the very pieces that could oppose him.

Turn 10: Ma scores $600 with a Public x1. The Plug vamps Ma's Racketeer. Ma collects another $300. The Roach moves into his 10th joint. Ma collects another $300. Scarface collects $500; Ma, another $300. The Viper moves Public x1 from Ma's establishment to Roach's Brandon's Bikeshop to set up a potential raid (the cops can hit it on a roll of 4 or 6). Both Ma and Viper's Racketeers are on the street where the only joint owned by the Roach they can hit is the Bikeshop.

Turn 11: Ma recruits a Thug for $600 and moves into her 8th joint. She brings a new Cop to bear on the Bikeshop (on a roll of 3). The cops have a 50% chance of hitting the Bikeshop. The Plug's roll misses that chance. His Racketeer also can't hit Brandon's. The Viper pays $500 to show how Plug's lone Thug can make a suicide attack on the Bikeshop. Everyone forgets that the Plug's Racketeer (unlike Ma's and the Viper's) has a bazillion other yellow joints (OK, OK, so it's only eight) he can attack and easily reach with his roll of 6... D'oh! The Plug collects more than $1,500. However, that sets up the Roach to buy his 10th joint and use the Public to collect another $1,000 to end the game with victory. For good measure, the Plug also uses Kojak (Cop #6) to kill the Viper's Vamp -- a fittin' end to this lady killin' Final.

Interestingly, in this game of killer cops, the Roach was never bothered by the boyz in blue. I sense a payoff. The Roach's lone casualty came in the Plug's ill-fated suicide attack on Turn 2. While the ladies flocked to the Roach's gang at the end, it wasn't enough to stop the real estate magnate from completing his domination of the streets of Chicago. 67% of his final cash was earned after the Roach's penultimate move. Congratulations to Ben Gardner for his establishment of the Roach motel chain, staying above the fray, and taking fewer losses than his rivals. Rumor has it he might try to acquire the Lancaster Host next ...

The Viper comments on Purple strategies: My Racketeer sat like a bump on a log for the last three turns waiting for that one-in-six chance of moving to the last purple joint, CK's Tobacco. This joint has lousy mobility (ranked 48 out of 59) and, due to the bridge in the area, is even harder to get to than that implies. It strikes me that a Purple Monopoly strategy requires one to own Frankie's House of Cards and CK's Tobacco right from the get go -- so that one's Racketeer never needs to visit either one, starting in a cheap Brown joint (preferably Jack's Auto Body near the Cavalry Club). This makes an early purchase of the Cavalry Club likely followed by an exit toward Subway #4 (with hopes to land in Channel View followed by the easiest destination of all, the Pussycat Club). A Purple Cash strategy on the other hand opens with the Pussycat Club and the Cavalry Club with the Racketeer in one of them to make a quick upgrade (the former, the Purple One-Jump Strategy, normally unless one is moving right after the Bus Station player using the "Bus Station Antidote Strategy"). In this game, I mixed the two strategies and never really had much of a chance at either victory condition. I wuz lucky to come in second; probably wouldn't have if the game had gone another 2-3 turns.

The prize table is open for business.

GM John Pack oversees his inner circle ... that's finalists to you.

 GM      John Pack  [15th Year]  11213 Keota Drive, Parker, CO 80134   (720) 851-2095

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