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The Highland Handicap Last updated 6/10/19.

By Stuart “The Happy Handicapper” Tucker


2019 Part 1 — June 10, 2019

The deadlines for the Team Tournament at the World Boardgame Championships are a little earlier this year, so it is time to get a move on forming teams and assessing the field for the Bracket Busting competition. You have three weeks to enter your teams. As usual, I expect a highly competitive field to emerge. Before launching into this year’s predictions, let us take a look at last year’s effort.

I may have fallen short in bracket busting the competition with my Pick Ten last year, but it was gratifying to see so many contestants using many of my favorites in their lists. While my Pick Ten choices only yielded four correct choices in the actual top ten, all ten of my choices landed in the top 24. The team champions, The Western PA Social Club, were among my choices. The winner of the Bracket Busting utilized a heavy dose of favorites, plus he banked on his own team to pull him above the rest. Bravo!!!

Tucker’s 2018 Pick Ten & Result:

  1. Nest of Spies (21-1) - 9th
  2. The Western PA Social Club (26-1) 1st
  3. The Siegelmen (28-1) - 6th
  4. Band of Fools (30-1) - 19th
  5. Wabbit’s Wevenge (33-1) - 20th
  6. Robbing Peter to Pay Paul (40-1) - 13th
  7. MIT SGS (41-1) - 24th
  8. Gang Greene (43-1) - 18th
  9. The Flying Circus (58-1) - 11th
  10. Canucks: Alphas (60-1) - 3rd

Only three teams with odds longer than average finished in the top ten last year. The favorites this year again will be those teams with no significant weak links among their four members. Unless there is a significant scattering of personnel, this handicapper will be making these five teams the favorites (all of which finished in the top ten last year):

  • Nest of Spies
  • The Harry B’s
  • The Western PA Social Club
  • The Siegelmen
  • Hold on to yer butts (in whatever new name they choose)

This year I’m modifying my Baton Ratings formula and the resulting odds for teams will reflect this change, I hope for the better. Recognizing that some players are beginning to dabble in new events to pick up the bonus point, I’ve introduced a fifth ranking to the formula—Range. This adds points to a Baton Rating for the breadth of events that player has mastered to the point of scoring laurels. This may have the effect of slightly boosting Eurogamers in the rankings, and dampening the relative value of one-horse wagons, if you will. The actual impact on team odds may be minimal, but I though I should mention this as the Power Rating numbers for teams are visibly higher.

Let the scramble for teammates begin!!!