2006 BPA Winter Activation Meeting (WAM)

January 27th - 29th, 2006 with optional opening evening of January 26th

Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD

          

                    

Overview
On Thursday, January 26th through Sunday, January 29th, 2006 in Hunt Valley, MD, BPA will be hosting 2006 Winter Activation Meeting (WAM IV). The focus of this four-day event is to provide a gaming convention for the two-player historical "card-driven" boardgaming community: players and designers. We offer the following titles as BPA tournament events: Paths of Glory (combined event with optional Barbarrossa to Berlin rounds), For the People, Hannibal, Wilderness War and We The People. The campaign games will be played for most, to allow players to play their favorites intensively. An Open Play and "swiss open" format will allow gamers a chance to play a favorite all weekend, or to enter a number of events, even returning to later rounds of events after failed attempts to win the championship in others. The Open Play match-up system features GMs matching players of like records as soon as they have an open time slot to play the game (thus allowing players to fit short games in between rounds of longer games).

Each participant is asked to pre-register, stating their gaming preferences, in order to assist us in better planning this event. The event is designed for experienced players of these games, but all are welcome.

Location: Near Baltimore, at the Hunt Valley Marriott
Schedule: January 27th (Friday 8AM) - January 29th (6:30PM), with a Thursday night open gaming session in the meeting space (which opens at 6PM)--and an invitation to kick off the weekend with some early contests counting towards tournament play commencing on Friday morning. We also anticipate that participants will get a few sneak peaks at a number of new card driven boardgames ... more on that later.
GMs: David Dockter, Mark Herman, Stuart Tucker, and Keith Wixson
Hosts: David Dockter and Stuart Tucker
WEB SITES: BPA (www.boardgamers.org) and WAM ( www.wamconvention.com )

Who is the target audience for the convention?
Experienced, competitive, fun, two-player, historical card-based strategic boardgamers. Who else would commit to playing a game for 16 hours per day, for five rounds, over three days? Not many. On the other hand, gamers that appreciate the diversity of the titles and periods covered, will have a chance to play many different titles in three and a half days.

Of course, we encourage any interested boardgamers to attend the convention and give the games a shot. However, it is expected that players will have a thorough understanding of the rules for each game that they choose to play. Initial rounds will match players of similar skills. In each case, the GM is likely to be playing in their own event.We often also have a few odd multiplayer late night pick up games.

Why These Games?
These games were selected due to interest expressed in the general gaming community and those that we enjoy hosting and playing. Five events is a stretch in a three-day conference. However, our experience shows that, via a sort of controlled chaos we call Open Play, the GMs can keep people playing with very little downtime. The shorter games (HRC, WTP, and WNW) allow players to play their early round games at anytime during the meeting prior to the start of round 3 for their event. Obviously, participants, as always, will need to make choices. After losing a game, some players will choose to move to a new event, while others will continue to play for the experience. Of course, winning an event championship is likely to require wins in every round.

Games of Barbarossa to Berlin can be substituted for rounds of Paths of Glory but ONLY if BOTH players agree. Paths of Glory will always be the default version should both players be unable to agree on the game to be played.

Why This Time?
Face it, we are experiencing symptoms of withdrawal from our wonderful experience at WBC in August. We realize that there are many events in the winter and spring. We have no desire to detract from those tournaments. However, we wanted to run something over the winter close to Baltimore's major airport (for ease of travel for both drivers and fliers) that would appeal to the WBC "card-shark" gang without the distraction of competing events. Late January seems to fit the bill.

Pre-Registration STRONGLY Encouraged
All participants are encouraged to pre-register ($30 for BPA 2005/2006 members, $40 for non-members, received by January 15th); those not pre-registering will pay $40 at the door regardless of BPA affiliation. The price jump reflects our desire to strongly encourage pre-registration. We will ask pre-registrants to state their game tourney priorities in order to help us handle any severe conflicts that we have not anticipated in the schedule below. Attach a list of your game priorities (rank the games you want to play) when sending a pre-registration check, payable to BPA, 1541 Redfield Rd, Bel Air, MD 21015. We will post the names of pre-registrants on the WAM web site.

Refunds: The WAM pre-registration fee is a discounted rate extended in exchange for a guarantee to attend. As such, no refunds are allowed.


LODGING: BPA has obtained a very favorable group room rate of $99 per night plus applicable state and local taxes (currently 13%). To obtain this rate you must identify your affiliation with the BPA's WAM gaming conference and make your reservation before December 287th, 2005 (or when our roomblock sells out, whichever occurs first) at 410-785-7000 weekdays between 8 AM and 7 PM EST. After December 27th, reservations will be accepted on a space or rate available basis. Alternately, you may contact Hunt Valley Inn, 245 Shawan Rd, Hunt Valley, MD 21031-1099. Be sure to identify your affiliation with our group - both to get the best rate for yourself and to credit our group with your stay. For maps and other travel information see our hotel page at http://www.boardgamers.org/hotel.htm.

Reservations should include:

* Arrival & Departure dates

* Estimated Time of Arrival

* Room preference (single or double, smoking or non-smoking)

* Credit card type to be used for payment including number and expiration date


SCHEDULE

Time

POG

For The People

We The People

Wilderness War

Hannibal
 Thursday 9 PM

Open Gaming

Open Gaming

Open Play

Open Gaming

Open Gaming
Friday 8 AM

Round 1

Round 1

Open Play

Open Play

Open Play
Friday 3 PM

Round 2

Round 2

Open Play

Open Play

Open Play
Saturday 8 AM

Round 3

Round 3

Open Play

Open Play

Open Play
Saturday 3 PM

Round 4

Round 4

Open Play

Open Play

Open Play
Saturday 7 PM    

Open Play

Round 3+

Open Play
Sunday 8 AM

Round 5

Open Play

Round 4+

Round 3+
Sunday 1 PM    

Open Play

Round 5

Round 4
Sunday 3 PM    

Final
   

Open Game = Room available for pickup games of any sort; at other times on a space-available basis.
Open Play = See GM for early round game pairings any time; play at least two rounds by Round 3 start time.
Round # = Formal scheduled start time for event's round. In case of Open Play events, you may get in the game early and skip to the next round start time.
All events are swiss events, allowing play in each round if you are present at the round start time.
The plaque for We The People (WtP) will be awarded to the last remaining undefeated player.

General Tournament Formats

Swiss Open/Four or Five Rounds: Each event will run for four or five rounds (allowing drop-ins for any round). If you want a top finish, you must participate in all rounds of an event. We The People will award the top prize to the last remaining undefeated player.

First Round Seeding: Events will be seeded for the first round (matching players of similar skills when possible). GMs will use a combination of previous WBC tournament finishes and AREA ratings for establishing these first-round matchups (though the Open Play events will be a bit more free-form). Newcomers to an event usually will not be matched against experienced tournament players for the first round. After the first round, players with similar records continue to match off (much like a single elimination tournament as long as you win).

Open Play: For HRC, WTP and WNW, players may play their early round games at any time prior to a formal round start time on the schedule. All early matchups must be approved onsite by the GM in advance, and game record sheets must be submitted with the results. Find Tucker and/or Wixson to request an early matchup.

What happens in case of a BIG turnout? We will be contracting for a fixed amount of table space. Consequently, we are emphasizing pre-registration in order to be able to provide enough table space.

What about uneven game preferences? We will NOT turn players away from the game they want to play. Tie-breaker systems will be implemented to handle popular events while still completing each tourney during the weekend.

Prizes: The top finisher in each event will receive an official BPA plaque. Additionally, the top six places in each event count toward the BPA's annual Caesar Award.

Rules and Regulations, etc.: All of the rules and regulations for attending the annual WBC convention will also be in effect at WAM.


Specific Game Formats
We're using the same formats as used at WBC. All descriptions can be accessed through the BPA website (www.boardgamers.org). In each case just click on the link for Event Previews .

Barbarossa to Berlin/Paths of Glory (GM D Dockter): We anticipate significant overlap in the group of players among the two games. And, we want to have both events at WAM. Therefore, we plan to use the following format:

At the beginning of each round, each player will state a preference to play either BtB or PoG. We will match players with similar records and preference to play their chosen game. In cases, when players with similar records must meet in a particular round but disagree on which game to be played, PoG will be the default game if the players can not agree after being browbeaten by the GM ­ BUT we only anticipate this happening in the championship round.

PoG will use the same format and rules used at the August WBC tourney (see event preview for 2003). Players of PoG will notice only two differences from the WBC 2003 tourney: a tie is an allied victory and there will be no peace terms. Players will bid VPs for side and should take into account these changes.

BtB will use the campaign game, with the newest version of the rules, with one optional rule:
Players will bid for sides. Roll a die. High die states side and bid VPs (0,1, etc). Other player may accept bid (in which case they play the other side), or up the bid by 1 VP. Bidding continues until a player accepts bid. Bid is added (allied) or subtracted (axis) from the total required for an auto-victory AND the Total Krieg card. For example, Joe wins bid to play axis with a bid of 2: Auto-victory will require 22 points and the Total Krieg card will generate 18 VPs for the Axis. The current version of the rules is accessible thru the GMT Games Website: www.gmtgames.com.

For The People (GM/Designer M Herman): We are using rule version 2.6. (see event preview). FtP will utilize the campaign game. Players will be assigned random sides. If there is any change in format, Mark will notify players well in advance.

Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage (GM S Tucker): See "Open Play" above. Hannibal will use the same format and rules utilized at the August WBC tourney (see event preview). Players may use either version of the rules if they can agree (the default will be the clarified first edition rules--those published in the game, plus clarifications--see link at HRC event preview page at www.boardgamers.org). The web-published second edition has the advantage of incorporating those clarifications (but adds about a dozen real changes) and can be obtained at: http://pages.infinit.net/mykeul/hannibal_rules.htm.

Wilderness Wars (GM K Wixson): See "Open Play" above. Wilderness Wars will use the same format and rules used at the August WBC tourney (see event preview for 2003). Wilderness Wars will utilize Annus Mirabilis tournament scenario. Players will bid VPs for sides.

We The People (GM S Tucker): See "Open Play" above. This event has no specific rounds (except the Final slot), as we expect people will be seeking matchups between their "quick" rounds of play at other events. We will follow closely the rules that have been in use in recent WBC tourneys for this game. Games lasting longer than 2.5 hours and in danger of making a player miss a round of another event will be adjudicated. A comprehensive Q&A and Errata is found at http://www.geocities.com/dropded/WeThePeople.html

Resources
GMT Games: publishes all titles except Hannibal: www.gmtgames.com
BPA: The Boardgame Players Association, which is sponsoring the event: www.boardgamers.org
Consimworld: The website that hosts the primary discussion boards for these games: www.consimworld.com
ACTS: The site where 500 of these card games are currently being played: http://acts.warhorsesim.com/

For the most recent updated info on WAM, see www.wamconvention.com.