WBC attracts many Canadians each year and they return north with their fair share of wooden souvenirs as proof of their gaming prowess. But 2015 proved to be the first year one showed us how to run an event so well that he carried our GM of the Year award north of the border—and in his rookie year to boot. Duncan McGregor is a recent convert to our annual madness and enjoyed it so much, he decided to roll up his sleeves and get involved by running an event.
It was his new event submission for Splendor which got it on the ballot—resulting in its inclusion as the seventh highest polling Trial event in the 2015 Membership Drive survey. Although prepared with a method to randomize tables, not even Duncan was prepared for the popularity of his new event—which drew an amazing 272 entrants over the course of three heats and generated 165 games. Fortunately, Duncan was admirably supported by his northern AGM cohorts as fellow Canadians Andrew Drummond and Sara VanderWal pitched in to help forge order out of chaos. Overflow space was found and Quarterfinals were added—by first properly consulting the CD for guidance and permission—without interfering with other scheduled events.
BPA is proud to present its 24th GM of the Year Award to Duncan McGregor—the first ever rookie GM to be so honored. He won the Award by a wide margin in amassing a near record 87 points—just two shy of Claire Brosius' alltime high of 89 points set in 2011. Although he attracted only one of eight first place votes, he ranked no lower than third on any ballot with five seconds and two thirds completing his score.
Placing second and earning his second Top Six notice with 77 points was Bill Morse whose nine years as the power behind the throne that keeps the eight Grognard events going garnered half of the eight first place votes. In all, the grognard free format events logged 323 wargames played, and Bill entered them all in his computer to print out twice daily standings.
Close behind in third with 75 points and his second straight Top Six performance was John Corrado whose humorously delivered Power Point presentation and well prepared trivia puzzles created another Facts in Five attendance record as the event broke into triple digits with 107 entrants while escaping notice from the Fire Marshal. The larger media rooms of Seven Springs may mean that he is not done breaking attendance records. Like many of our unsung heroes, John also performed double duty by running yet another triple-digit attendance event as Castles of Mad King Ludwig drew 109 players in its WBC debut. The success of this debut as a last minute Alternate addition is worthy of notice in its own right.
Michael Garton and John McLaughlin teamed up to earn 59 points and take fourth place with their always visually spectacular Stockcar Championship Racing to the delight of 50 drivers. Their 14th appearance netted one first place vote and earned their third Top Six nomination. Every year they bring enough copies to accommodate every entrant plus gorgeous 1:24 scale diecast NASCAR cars and tracks sufficient to build a gigantic oval for the 24-car final. They add to this with a projector to illustrate each turn for all to see and if you're lucky they may bring along their own version of the Goodyear blimp to fly overhead. All this happens with a hands-on approach that keeps the race moving despite the large number of finalists.
Earning his first Top Six nomination was George Young with 55 points as Twilight Struggle rebounded nicely from a down year with 68 players for the six-round swiss event that logged 85 games. Meanwhile Ed Beach improved his bridesmaid status by tying the record for Top Six nominations at seven with 51 points for the third year of Virgin Queen.