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Automobile (AUT) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Nov. 25, 2016 Icon Key
43 Players Nick Henning, DC 2016 Status 2017 Status History/Laurels
2016 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

Getting the Inventory Right

Automobile attendance rebounded slightly despite WBC’s overall attendance downturn. Clearly due to the new GM change (:). 43 manufacturers, salesman and entrepreneurs pushed their skills to the limit in two preliminary heats. Space was a little tight in the first heat, forcing seven tables of five. The second heat was far more spacious allowing six more natural 4-player games. The 13 tables yielded 12 unique winners (Jack Jung won twice). One victor dropped out, allowing five runners-up a seat at the semifinals.

Stat junkies (and aren’t we all stat junkies) should take note of role choices. Howard, with his car selling ability is the clear favorite, selected almost every time (97%). Ford, Kettering, Durant and Chrysler were selected relatively evenly in the 74-78% range. Poor Sloan was the odd man out - only selected about half the time (51%).

The semifinals generated great tension. Only one game had a decisive winner (won predictably by two-time champ Nick Henning). Two were very close wins (Jack Jung and David Metzger, by 80 and 140 points, respectively). Mike Kaltman took the last game dramatically by tiebreakers. Each of the finalists had been victorious in the heats and were also four of the five highest scorers therein. The Final would be well contested.

If you are just learning a game, or don’t quite feel ready for primetime, I recommend observing a Final to improve your skill. You may get a better understanding of the rules, or a deeper examination of the strategies, but will also witness quality play and learn subtle tactics and techniques. Don’t be afraid to talk to the competitors afterwards. Most are approachable and willing to discuss key decision points. Many actually enjoy such post-game analysis.

I’ve played Automobile since it was released, consider myself a competent player, but these guys are just awesome. The Final was utterly fascinating, with several unusual events. Frankly, there were moments where my head was spinning. By Turn 3 there were only 16 vendors, and only 19 on Turn 4. This lower than usual selling capacity was strange, especially as Turn 3 saw production of the Lincoln, and Turn 4 began production of the Ford Model A. As the last turn unfolded, I was at a loss to name a leader. I would learn later that the finalists were equally puzzled. There is frequent recounting of cars produced vs likely demand in any game. The last turn had more, and much deeper, analysis. There were several just incredible moments, where I could see the ‘question’ on the board, but the ‘answer’ eluded me. One such moment stood out to me, as Nick struggled visibly with the exact number of cars to build. Ultimately, it proved the game winning decision. It was illuminating to review that decision with him after he had won his third AUT title.

The final tally was Nick 4290, Jack 4110, Mike 3940 and David 3880.


2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 3
Jack Jung, on Mike Kaltman, PA Dave Metzger, VA John Corrado, VA Matt Calkins, VA
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Hey, I got to play a game with John Corrado—
the star of Facts in Five!
The second heat had space to burn
as the Ballroom echoed to car production.
GM  Michael Gentile  [2nd Year]  NA