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Automobile (AUT) WBC 2017 Report
Updated February 15, 2018 Icon Key
37 Players Nick Henning 2017 Status 2018 Status History/Laurels
2016-17 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

Automoble Mogul Repeats as Champ

Running Automobile feels like working the floor as a plant manager in Detroit. Most things go as you would expect, but there’s always a surprise or two, or three, to keep you on your toes.

As is tradition with the Automobile report, we’ll first cover the stats. Again, for a game that seems deterministic, the variations from year to year prove fascinating.

  • The largest winning value in any game - $5200, by Francois de Bellefeuille.
  • The smallest winning value in any game - $4010, by Matt Calkins
  • The average winning value over all games played - $4730.
  • Closest margin of victory - $10, with another $30 separating 2nd and 3rd place in that same game, which was won by Kira Buehler.
  • The most popular “end point” of production was the Hupmobile space, which is an economy car. (As players scratch their head trying to find that space)
  • Role choices were – Ford – 64%, Kettering – 56%, Sloan – 38%, Howard – 95%, Durant – 75%, and Chrysler – 72%. Sloan took an even bigger tumble from last year’s meager 51%, meaning players have either gotten better at managing losses, or have adopted a more go for broke strategy.

There were no duplicate winners, but Jack Jung managed to turn his 2nd place in Heat 1 into a victory in Heat 2. Devin Smith and David Metzger each managed to grab 2nd place in both heats, putting them into the semi-finals.

The most interesting vignette of the tournament occurred during Heat 1. The excellent GM John Corrado had arrived and was teaching the game to a new player. This is nothing new for John, it’s in his blood. And John is a very good teacher. For the third consecutive year, he got matched up against the student, and the student wins the game. Despite the setback, he’s absolutely happy with the outcome and ready to roll the assembly line come Heat 2. For going above and beyond, he is the event’s Sportsmanship nominee.

The semi-finals also had their interesting moments, including trying to find a fourth copy of the game as well as a former champion, who we will not identify as Rob Seulowitz, who thought that because the GM was from Texas, that the schedule was printed for the Central Time Zone. When the assembly lines had gone silent, four had advanced to the finals: Nick Henning, Jack Jung, Francois de Bellefeuille, and Matt Calkins.

Nick was kind enough to take notes during the game, so the recap of the finals is from the player’s perspective.

The first turn played pretty standard. Nick took Durant to get into both the midsize and economy markets. Matt slashed prices on his six midsize cars, but Jack gets a nice full market of cars sold. The position estimate after turn 1 was Francois > Jack > Nick > Matt.

The second turn featured a game of chicken with players delaying on establishing new factories. Nick didn’t establish a new one, but used Ford’s special ability to expand his economy car empire. Francois bought two luxury factories, having Howard as his power, declaring he “needs to push it.” The end turn saw the establishment of the Crane-Simplex (Luxury), Dodge Four (Economy). The Packard Twin Six (Luxury) was Nick’s third action, meaning he didn’t produce that lucrative market this turn. Players produced 23 midsize cars in total, and all sold.

In Turn 3, Nick lead with a pick of Chrysler, opting to react to his opponents’ moves. Francois took Howard for the third time. Matt decided to take Durant to deny Francois entry into the economy market, and then built a 3rd economy factory. Jack built the Chevrolet Imperial, and after Turn 3, Nick noted, “It’s a close game!”

Turn 4 featured Jack opting for Kettering to gain valuable research cubes for the final turn. The usual end turn production and closing of factories to reduce loss cubes occurred. After three players double produced, there were 34 economy, 18 midsize, and 11 luxury cars on the market, with Matt fully debating the wisdom of his second production action. After Howard and Distributors, there were still 23 economy cars to be sold. Most players will play aggressively in the economy market on the last turn, but this was not a wise choice. Demand turned out to be below average with four cars, all belonging to Matt suffering the fate of the scrap heap. This was enough to allow Nick to once again claim the title of King of Detroit.


2017 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 3
Matt Calkins Jack Jung Francois de Bellefeuille Andrew Williams Devin Smith
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Matt Calkins eyes his competitionon his
way to the final
Jack Jung advances to final
Andrew Williams contemplates next move Automobile Finalists
GM Andy Maly [1st Year]  NA
andrewmaly@gmail.com  NA