WBC Primer
July 27, 2010

locationThanks for choosing to spend part of your summer with us. We work year 'round to make this a memorable week and we appreciate your making it even better with your attendance as signified by your inclusion in our largest number of pre-registrants ever. WBC is unique and it means nothing without the role you play in our annual reunion. We hope you'll come to treasure the experience as much as we do. To that end, here are some helpful hints to guide you through the upcoming week.

PACE YOURSELF: WBC is now a full week long - actually, nine days for those coming to the various pre-cons. As such, it is very much a marathon - and not a sprint. There is a temptation to treat it as a theme park and run from one event to the next. That is exhausting. You'll enjoy yourself more and do better at the tables if you take the time to eat and sleep normally and take an occasional break. 

TOURNAMENTS: Those of you visiting us for the first time may wonder what's the big deal about tournaments? Well, WBC tournaments tend to be a far cry from what you find elsewhere masquerading as "events" that are often no more than someone bringing a game who is looking for players. Not all our tournaments are equal of course and GMs vary widely in experience and passion, but check http://www.gameaholics.com/gangsters_tournament.htm for an example of the type of pre-planning that some of our better GMs do to make their events special. You may be someone just looking for fun with pre-conceived notions of Fischer-Spasky chess matches who has always claimed that tournaments are not for you, but you'll be shortchanging yourself if you don't avail yourself of the opportunity to try a few of them out. You might be surprised at just how much "fun" they are. 

TEAM TOURNAMENT: And they're off! The odds are now posted for the 20th run for the slivers for a full field of 96 teams. See http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/teamtour.htm to check out the hilarious assemblage of team logos by Dave Dockter and Kaarin Engelmann and accompanying commentary by Stuart "Happy Handicapper" Tucker for the tote board at Lancaster Downs. All wagers are purely hypothetical of course but great fun, nonetheless and it will help you with ...

BRACKET BUSTIN' WBC STYLE: Got March Madness withdrawal? Can't wait for the NFL season? Make your brackets for the WBC Team Tournament. Send your Top Ten picks for the WBC Team Tournament listed in order from 1st to 10th to CD@boardgamers.org by July 31st for a chance to win free admission to WBC 2011. One entry per person. Mark Love won his way to WBC last year by picking only six of the Top Ten... you gonna let him get away with that again? Surely, you can do better than that? The Happy Handicapper is daring you. And if you are one of our hundreds of jockeys, remember to post your own score on the self-scoring Team Tournament display in the Ballroom Foyer.

PRE-CONS: Axis & Allies, 1830 and Age of Renaissance have been added to the Pre-Con offerings this year. Tribune level members may freely attend any and all Pre-Cons. All others must pay a separate $30 Pre-Con admission. While Pre-Con walk-ons are allowed, doing so will cost more since Pre-Reg discounts do not apply at the door. If you've decided to come early for a pre-con, save yourself both time and money by getting the pre-reg rate AND a correct badge. If you'd like to partake of any Pre-Con and have neglected to purchase all-inclusive Tribune memberships or separate Pre-Con admissions, don't wait till you arrive to do so since the reprinting of badges will slow your registration process and the cost will be higher. Just email your intent to us at CD@boardgamers.org by July 28th for payment on arrival and we will have the appropriate badge waiting for you to speed you on your way at a reduced cost.

NOTE: There is No Open Gaming during Pre-Con weekend. No space has been allocated for it. You may indeed find a friendly table to suit your needs, but you are very definitely on your own. We recommend significant others arriving early explore other pursuits during the opening weekend. 

BLASTS FROM THE PAST: WBC is becoming a mecca for the names of my youth. Among the hobby stalwarts making their first appearances at this year's con are Joe Angiolillo, one of the original developers of Axis & Allies who will try his hand during the Pre-Con while showing some of the original artifacts from the game's storied history. Joining him on Friday and Saturday in the Tsunami Press booth will be Phil Pritchard - designer of Lensman - one of the very first science fiction games of the hobby. Also making his first appearance early in the week will be Jerrold Thomas, one of the original editors of The General - predating even my involvement - who is returning to the hobby after a long absence. 

WBC AUCTION: Sitting in on the entertaining game auction is always a fun and nostalgic way to spend the day. The Auction begins at 10 AM Tuesday and will conclude prior to the regular tournament fare at 6 PM, thus allowing us to keep our competitive focus. Check out the updated list of over 600 lots being auctioned at http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/auctionlots.htm. Print the list to help you track the bidding. And remember, the Auction Store opens at 9:30; a half hour before the Auction begins.

AUCTION STORE: Pre-registration for the Auction Store ends July 26th. Do not bring unregistered items for sale. They will not be accepted. See http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/auctionstore.htm for details. Auction and Auction Store sales are strictly cash-only affairs so bring your wallet. While there is an ATM on the premises outside the Wheatland room, it is often empty during sold out conventions so we suggest bringing the cash you'll need.

Registered lots for the Auction Store must be turned in at the Lancaster Showroom on Monday between 6 and 10 PM.

REGISTRATION DESK: Convention registration is on the lower level in the New Holland room. The desk will be open from 8 AM to 9 PM daily save for meal breaks until closing on Sunday at approximately 2 PM. Be sure to stop by before departing to pick up any prizes won. Whether pre-registered or not - report to New Holland to pick up your badge and program. And again, we do not take credit cards - so bring your checkbook if contemplating a purchase.

PROCRASTINATOR SPECIAL: OK, you've waited till the very last minute before you decided to come and now it's too late to avoid the at-the-door walk up prices because Pre-Reg is closed. But we'll take pity on you anyway and at least save you the wait while we print out a badge. Just email CD@boardgamers.org of your intentions to attend WBC and what days you'll be staying and we will pre-print your badge for COD payment. We'll still berate you for being late but at least you won't have to endure it as long while we print out your badge. Heck, you might even make it to your first event on time. 

PICTURES: Newcomers, as part of registration, will have their photos taken, so comb your hair ladies. We use these photos on our website, event kiosks, and Yearbook to honor winners and laurelists in the various events. You may think you'll never win anything, but please humor us and oblige us with a photo. We've had people who never entered a tournament before show up on our winner's lists or volunteer to run an event, and we lacked the necessary photo because they thought it would never be needed. The photo is not required and you may decline, but we'd appreciate your providing us with the opportunity. You can also request that we do not use the photo on the internet, and restrict its use to kiosk/yearbook. Gents, we'd appreciate it if you'd remove the hats and sunglasses, so that many years from now when we remember ol' Buckwheat, we can recall what you actually looked like. We'll also stop asking you for a new photo if you give us one where we can actually see your eyes. The kids photos get retaken frequently since they are anxious to grow up. Adults, not so much, since most of us would rather remember what we used to look like. 

MAILING LIST: At registration, walk-ins will be required to complete an address form for both postal and email addresses so that we can contact you in the future. Rest assured that BPA does not sell or share its Membership List. If pre-registered, and you have changed either postal or email addresses recently, please share that information with us by completing a Change of Address Registration form. However, to actually get our free Monthly newsletter emailed to you, visit: http://lists.boardgamers.org/mailman/options/bpamail/cd%40boardgamers.org

O, Canada!: To avoid currency exchange problems, many of our Canadian and overseas members often ask us if they can pre-pay their next year membership fees while in Lancaster so we've added that possibility this year. Merely complete a Registration form in New Holland for a Sustaining ($70) or Tribune ($100) membership, and write "2011 pre-payment" at the top. You will be given a receipt and become our first 2011 members. You may then participate in the end of Year votes by email without any further payment.

BADGEHOLDERS: WBC uses a deluxe badge holder which comfortably loops around your neck and has pockets for extras like keys, cash or pen. They ain't cheap tho and we can't give them away every year, so please either bring your badge holder back from previous years AND HAVE IT WITH YOU at Registration, or be prepared to cough up a token $2 fee for a replacement - even if you've never been to WBC before. When going home, remember to tuck that badge holder inside your favorite game to ensure a return trip to WBC next year and save $2. You must wear your badge in order to play - including Demonstrations and Open Gaming - and it must be in a WBC badge holder. 

PROGRAM: The 2010 program is a streamlined, black & white version available at registration. Those who have grown accustomed to the comforts of a full color presentation or who cannot wait to get their hands on a printout may download it now in full color at http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/schedule.htm in one of three formats: booklet, spread format or one page per sheet. 

NEW VENDORS: Shoppers are reminded that our Vendors Room is only open Friday thru Sunday. We are pleased to have many of your favorite publishers back while welcoming APBA, Foam Brain Games, Queen Games, Tablestar Games and Tsunami Press to their first WBC. Remember to save time for a visit to their displays in Ballroom A between 10 AM and 6 PM. Prior to Friday, game sales will be limited to our exclusive vendor; Decision Games. 

A FULL WEEK: Sustaining level members now have seven days of WBC as Ballrooms A & B have been added to Monday's menu. Open Gaming and an expanded Sampler Showcase are on tap Monday with early tournament fare offered in San Juan, Maneuveur, Union Pacific Warriors of God, Wellington and Gangsters.  See http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/sampler.htm for details on all 12 games offered in the Samper Showcase. 

NEW MEETING ROOMS:

  • Vistas C&D is located next to Vistas Restaurant. Please respect the restaurant's patrons by keeping the noise to a minimum and entering and leaving only by the front entrance.
  • Laurel Grove is a small room located to the right of the front desk on the floor below the lobby. It is to be used for "monster" open gaming - multi-map games that need to be left setup overnight and the Great Campaigns elimination rounds. 
  • Host A & Host B are meeting rooms on the lower level in the corridor leading to the guest rooms. They will be used for multi-player events only on Friday and Saturday. Go to the Kinderhook-Hopewell intersection and follow the signs.
  • Wheatland (first room on the right as you enter the hotel) is back in service for all but Friday and Saturday when it returns to use as a Weekend Comedy club. 
OPEN GAMING: Open Gaming requires a WBC badge at all times. It is available in Ballroom B on Monday and Ballroom A on Tuesday. Thereafter, Open Gaming will be limited to the Lancaster Showroom. We will NOT be using the poolside pavilion. Games may be left setup overnight for continuation the next morning at the owner's risk. However, any game abandoned for more than an hour during prime game time runs the risk of being removed to Lost & Found. "Saving" of tables is not allowed. Sales solicitations are likewise limited to authorized vendors in designated areas. A Message Board will be available for those listing Open Gaming desires. Before the con, use our Pre-Reg page at http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/prereg.htm to make Open Gaming appointments.

Using the preliminary round of WBC events as a form of scheduled Open Gaming is a common practice. If you win your game and have no desire to continue in the event, just inform the GM. Above all, do not abandon a game in progress while playing in a tournament.

GAME LIBRARY: Our Open Gaming room will have a supply of games for free use throughout the convention. Please borrow only one at a time, do not take them from the Open Gaming room, return them in the same condition you received them, and remember to sign them both in and out using the same clipboard designated for your badge number range. Co-operate with the Librarian - who incidentally is the world's meanest school teacher - and use the bags provided to sort and store pieces for the next user. Your co-operation is needed in order to continue to offer this valuable resource. And remember to thank our benefactors for their support of the Game Library

JUNIORS: Before you unleash the kids, be advised that those 12 and under who wish to play in the Juniors events or use the Juniors room must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to sign a consent form before being allowed to use the room. The Juniors program benefits from the recent opening of a children's playground nearby in the Lancaster Room complete with toddler toys, computers, and a widescreen television... so bring the kids. And don't forget the children's movies each night at poolside. Be advised that the Juniors Room is NOT a Day Care service, however, and that we take no responsibility for keeping tabs on your children who are free to come and go as they please. There is no substitute for parental supervision. And we welcome all parental assistance in teaching games or just plain keeping order.  

EXHIBITS: These are not to be confused with Vendors & Sales, but are tables reserved for publishers to demonstrate their products, both old and new, and distribute their literature. They may playtest upcoming games or just invite you to Open Game with their products. These tables will be marked as reserved for the various companies and cannot be used for Open Gaming or events without the permission of that exhibitor. Exhibit tables occupy the Ballroom Foyer and the first row of Lampeter Hall. 

ABOUT THE HOTEL:

HOTEL RESERVATIONS: The Lancaster Host is soldout. Fortunately, there are many nearby hotels. If you have not booked a room, call the Lancaster reservation center toll free at 1-866-729-5132. We recommend the nearby Continental Inn across the street. The Continental offers bargain rates and free hot breakfasts when you ask for the World Boardgaming Championships group rate. Get the details at http://www.boardgamers.org/hotellan.htm

FOREIGN CURRENCY: Exchange of foreign currency is not available locally. Be sure to visit the Foreign Exchange Office at your airport. While the hotel accepts major credit cards, BPA does not, so convention registration and auction purchases must be paid for in American currency. There is a $25 charge for any returned check.

Lancaster is hot and humid in the summer. Dress accordingly and don't forget your swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the Host's outstanding pool or jacuzzi. But even during the current heat wave, you'll be well advised to pack a sweater and pants to deal with the air conditioning in Lampeter Hall.

FROGGER/PARKING: While nearby lodging opportunities abound, many of them require crossing the busy Route 30 highway which has been likened to playing Frogger - especially when carrying a stack of games. Fortunately, the parking for hotels such as the Continental interconnects with a back access road to the traffic light at the corner. We suggest driving to that intersection to gain access to Route 30, entering the turn lane and pulling into the Host parking lot rather than doing the pedestrian crossing. You can then use the trunk of your car as a rally point for your game stash and revisit as needed to change games during the day. 

REGISTERED? NEED A RIDE/ROOMMATE? OPEN GAMING PARTNER? SPOUSAL DIVERSIONS: Check out the pre-reg list at http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/prereg.htm. Car pooling to/from airports is an easy way to save money. Non-gaming spouses: check out the Sit and Knit seminars for alternatives.

TRANSPORTATION: Amtrak is the best option for those unable to drive. Those staying at the Host are reminded that they need to make their pickup requests for the Host courtesy van at least 24 hours (but not more than one week) in advance. See the details on our site at http://www.boardgamers.org/hotellan.htm

MEETINGS:

  • The BPA's Annual Meeting will be held before the Collectibles auction on Tuesday, August 3rd at 3 PM in the Lancaster Showroom of Lancaster Host in Lancaster, PA where we will present the Hobby Service Award and the newly elected 2010 version of the Board of Directors for your questions.
  • 8 AM on Sunday morning, August 8 the same location will be the site of our Annual Armistice Meeting with the presentation of Awards and comments from the members. All are encouraged to attend.
SHOW YOUR COLORS: Saturday, August 7th is the official Game Club T-Shirt Day. Promote your local gaming group and camaraderie by showing everyone your gaming affiliation. You just might gain a few members. Help grow the hobby by wearing your colors. Friday, the 6th, is Team Shirt day. Show the creativity of those clever team logos.

POSTERS NA: Attendees are reminded that absolutely NO flyers, posters, or charts of any kind are to be taped, glued, stapled, or adhered in any fashion to any surface at Lancaster Host. Any such materials will be immediately removed. You are welcome to hand out flyers for gaming activities but absolutely no signage of any kind is to be adhered to a wall, furniture or other surface. Those who ignore this rule will be liable for damage claims.

FLEA MARKETS NA: Attendees are reminded that all tables at WBC are reserved for the PLAY of games by those with a current WBC badge. No unauthorized selling, trading, or solicitation is allowed on the premises. Items stacked on tables and games left unattended will be removed.

LATE EVENT CHANGES:

• RACE FOR THE GALAXY will NOT be using Expansion #3: The Brink of War.  

• CHICAGO EXPRESS will provide every entrant with a free copy of Spielbox magazine, while they last. All semi-finalists will receive a Chicago Express tote bag and the winner will receive copies of the new Queen Games releases Fresco and Samarkand courtesy of Queen Games. 

• SUPERSTAR BASEBALL will provide a list of the teams available to be drafted if you email lemur@libogroup.com. The Team charts will be available for viewing in the Hopewell room on Tuesday at 5:30 - 30 minutes before the draft.

• EMPIRE BUILDER has added the Tom Dunning Memorial Award; an engraved medal to be given to the player with the highest cash total over the three preliminary heats and semi-final round. Also, Intersystem Concepts, Inc has contributed a complete EB Pronto package for the WBC champ to include the Empire Builder game program and 21 maps for Microsoft Windows. The event will be using a 4-Card Start rule: Each player is dealt one extra demand card and must immediately discard one of the four cards. The player with the single highest payout from his four cards may discard one card and then begin building track as soon as he is ready. This modification speeds the start and reduces the advantage of going first. 

SEMINARS: Our List of speakers was augmented at the last minute by Gary Dodson, a senior recruiter in the CIA's Analytical Hiring Division. We also had interesting but too late offers from Joe Angiolillo and Jerry Thomas, a couple of hobby pioneers willing to talk about the birth of the hobby. Let's hope we can get them scheduled next year. But this year, if GMing is in your future or your present, plan to drop in Tuesday at 1 PM on the panel discussion of past GMs of the Year for beneficial information on improving the craft of WBC's best. 

SMOKING NA: There is no smoking in public areas throughout WBC. If you need to smoke, please step outside. Do NOT open windows ... it only aggravates the air conditioning situation. Attendees are reminded NOT to bring outside food and drink onto the premises. Lancaster Host does not allow it.

DRINK RESPONSIBLY: While we do not wish to restrict any one's civil liberties, we must protect the majority (especially the children present) from the irresponsible behavior of a few who imbibe too much. Please restrict your social drinking to acceptable levels, and if you have had problems of this sort in the past, we urge you to abstain altogether. Please report any unacceptable behavior to the front desk. Unruly attendees will be removed from the premises and banned from future attendance.

PRIZES: Players are reminded to check the event kiosks in Paradise Terrace to see advancement priority for later rounds. It is not uncommon in multi-player games for non-winners to advance, so if you want to play, always check to see if there are openings in the later rounds. It is not the GM's responsibility to find you. You must check the kiosk to determine your standing or appear at the next round to check for vacancies. If you do win a prize, remember to come to New Holland to get it before leaving. Although we hold prizes for pickup next year, we must charge a shipping and handling fee if you want them delivered in the interim. Also, remember to check the back of any Plaques you win in GMT events for merchandise credits.

KIOSKS: When you first arrive, check the Kiosks display in Paradise Terrace. Each is adorned with a pictorial history of the event that furthers the traditions of WBC. Do NOT sign the entrant lists on the Kiosks - those are strictly for the use of GMs. There is no event registration at WBC. Later, when you want to see if you've done well enough to advance to a subsequent round after a preliminary heat, check out the Alternate & Qualifying lists on these kiosks which should be returned to Paradise Terrace when not in use. Do NOT write on these kiosks! By vandalizing them with your messages you make it that much harder for us to keep prices low and appearances up. Use the paper that is taped to them, not the boards themselves.

NEW THIS YEAR: The Event pictorial history sheet on each kiosk contains a place above the 2009 Laurelists for the GM to provide a Cell Phone # should you need to contact the GM at WBC. This is strictly voluntary and up to each individual GM as to whether they wish to provide it or not - but now there is a uniform place to look for this information. Give your GM a break and do not abuse their sacrifice of personal time by making unnecessary calls.

EXPERIENCE LEVELS: Please honor the experience requirements of all events. Class A (red) events are for experienced players only. Class B (yellow) events allow beginners only if you have read the rules or attended the mandatory demonstration in Paradise Assembly. Do NOT expect to be taught the game during the event. Class C (green) events have GMs who have agreed to coach players during play. Please respect these requirements for everyone's enjoyment. 

PLAYING TIMES: Be considerate of others and play promptly, keeping within the duration of the event's listed playing time. Failure to do so not only causes problems when the space you occupy is needed for a later scheduled event, it can distress those you play with by making them miss the start of their next event. And it slows down the entire tournament while others wait for you to finish before they can start another round. Failure to adhere to the scheduled playing times force GMs to make adjudications which neither they nor you will enjoy - especially since we advise heavy bias against those who play slowly. Most event playing times are already estimated on the long side but if you cannot keep up with even that pace, you should restrict your activities to Open Gaming.

BEHAVIOR: We expect everyone to treat others with the same respect they would like to receive in return. Most at WBC are exceedingly well behaved. We'd like your help in weeding out the inevitable bad apples. If you encounter someone who is having a bad day or just being an overall jerk, don't suffer in silence. Report it to your GM promptly so that he can correct the problem. And if you are one of those people who demands absolute silence while you take your turn or who has to blame others for their failures, don't bother coming. For more on this subject, see www.boardgamers.org/shark.htm. Gaming is about having fun and those around you are going to have theirs whether you are in a Final or not, so lighten up and go with the flow.

Despite our themed background of championships, laurels and wood, WBC is all about having fun. No game is worth winning, if in the process you antagonize your opponent(s) and cannot walk away from the table with the respect of those you've just played. PLEASE, if ever you find yourself about to chastise someone, I urge you to reconsider. Taking a loss out on an opponent with a verbal tongue lashing will not change the outcome, but it will brand you a "jerk". Dealing with subpar play in multi-player games is part of the landscape you've chosen to cultivate. It comes with the territory. Live with it - don't ruin someone's day. Above all, WBC admires sportsmanship. Be someone we want to welcome back - not someone we hope will stay away. 

And remember where you are. In my gameroom among friends, I've been known to trade expletives that would make a sailor blush, but in mixed company with kids around, we need to keep it clean. 

If you are a late night Were Wolf - pleeease return the rooms to the same state you found them. Every year we consider banning late night play because of the mess they leave behind. If you like your all night gaming, don't abuse it. You'll have only yourselves to blame if the meeting rooms are locked at midnight next year.

GAMES: Lastly, remember to bring the games you want to play! Especially those of the two-player variety. Those using public transport must understandably pack lighter, but if you're driving, toss every game you want to play in the trunk. Every year people get turned away for lack of games. 

AMISH CUISINE: One can't visit Lancaster County without sampling the local fare. The Amish are world famous for their hearty meals. Make plans to take a break sometime during the week and venture down Rt 30 a mile to the famous Miller's Smorgasboard at 2811 Lincoln Highway East. Check out the offerings at www.Millers1929.com or call 717-687-6621 for reservations. Money saving coupons will be dispensed from Registration in the New Holland room.

......... And we're done ... now you're ready to have fun at WBC. See ya soon. Drive safely. 

Don Greenwood
WBC Convention Director

 
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