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Air Baron (ABN) Links Email GM Updated May 25, 2023
Class B: Beginning Players Welcome You may play if you have read the rules, played previously, or participated in a scheduled demo. Be on time for the scheduled demonstration. The GM will remain for only 15 minutes if no one is present.
Schedule GM: Max Jamelli (7th Year)
Round Day Start Time Duration Location
Demo 1/1FSu171Exhibit Hall Annex Table #3
Heat 1/4FSu193Grand Ballroom
Heat 2/4Mo93Grand Ballroom
Heat 3/4Tu183Grand Ballroom
Heat 4/4Th113Grand Ballroom
SemifinalFr123Grand Ballroom
FinalFr153Grand Ballroom
2023 Tournament Format  Heats Most Wins - Points

The Wargame for Capitalists & Travelers

Air Baron is the dice rolling, airport control game where anyone can claim to be the greatest success the skies have known. Airlines vie for control of the American skies in this hybrid business/war game. Each turn, the active player decides whether to make an investment or, to forego income for a round and enter Fare Wars. In Fare Wars, players pay for attacks to take over individual spokes to control major-city hubs. Income is generated by randomly drawing purchased spokes and controlled hubs. When a player, on their turn with no outstanding loans, has a mix of market share and cash on hand that equals or exceeds the required level (which varies based on the number of players), that player wins. Come join us and see how your approach to dominating the airline industry compares.

Rule #1: The main goal of this tournament is to have fun!

If there is any dispute, problem, or argument, please refer to Rule #1.

Common Tactics Options:

  • Buy a single spoke in many hubs, providing a solid base of income. This improves your ability to keep cash on hand for further purchases while reducing the threat to your opposition.
  • Focus your efforts on two or three key hubs and gain total domination in these markets. This creates multiple bases for you to launch your carefully timed strategy and take over the weaker surrounding hubs.
  • There is always the appeal of a hostile takeover approach. Gain some quick cash and enter Fare Wars using your funding to literally roll over the competition. This forces your opponent out of territories, and you gain control and the potential revenue the spokes once provided to them.
  • Patience is a virtue, and perhaps the harmonious path to victory. Build your bankroll and store the Jumbos in your hanger. Having them ready to fly at a moment's notice can greatly impact the game. Jumbos may enter a game and new flights will begin!
  • Keep the engines warmed and dispatch them at the right moment to take control of your competitors' hubs and claim your victory, right out of the blue.
  • Do not neglect the very prosperous foreign travel market. Set course with your sole SST or take a $20 million loan to tap into the wealth that overseas travelers bring. In either case, the funding potential foreign markets bring is unparalleled and should not be ignored.

Air Baron How to Play Video

A full play through demo of Air Baron can be found at this website - - this demo uses rules from WBC to help players get used to the small rules modifications with calamities that we use.

Air Baron FAQ:

Order of operations MATTER: Upon drawing 2 chits, if you say X before Y - you resolve them in that order. It may not matter - especially early in the game - but be mindful of giving your opponents a payout before bidding for a contract or resolving a calamity. (Example: I draw New York, and Chicago - since both of those are profit markers, I can lay them both down and the order does not really matter. On my next turn, I draw Miami and Govt. Contract. If I say Miami first, anyone who has a marker in Miami - could be me or my opponents - will get paid before we do the auction for the Govt. Contract)

Taking loans: Often asked during heat play - You can take a loan BEFORE drawing your chits. You can take a loan after RESOLVING your chits. No other exceptions. You may NOT take a loan out if you are on Strike. You must be debt-free, which includes paying the strike cost. (However, if you are on strike, you do not pay the fuel hike... so that is nice)

I drew 3 chits ... oops? It happens. No big deal. If you looked at them - no worries. Throw them ALL back in the cup and draw 2 again.

More FAQ answered:

Air Baron Tournament Format:

Four (4) qualifying heats, Semifinal and Final (all 3-hour limit)..

There is no Air Baron session for juniors at WBC this year, but it is a family game that children 10 and over can play competitively. Everyone with a current WBC badge is invited to join in this great family-style game of airport acquisition and intrigue to determine the next WBC supreme Air Baron! In this game, anyone can fly!

The first calamity marker placed in the cup will be drawn from the Crash, Local Competitor, Strike and Recession chits. The Fuel Hike marker is then mixed with the remaining calamities, and they are randomly distributed to the market share chart normally ensuring that the Fuel Hike will not be the first Calamity in the cup and giving players longer to become established.

Remove the Fuel Hike chit from play whenever it is drawn after the two-hour mark. These two changes should lessen the impact of the Fuel Hike Calamity and the resulting probability of games running past the time limit.

5-player games will be the norm although other versions will be played in the Heats as necessitated by the size of the field and number of games available.

If needed, based on player counts, I will default to playing 6 player games vs. 4 player games. Neither player count is ideal, but I prefer the entire board be in play so 6 will trump 4. These games will be determined randomly (unless there is a preference by a table to include a 6th player)


Please be on time for heats. I hate to turn people away - but it can be deemed unfair to certain players who have been seated to have a 6th player thrust upon them at the last minute.

Elimination rounds will advance a multiple of five. 25 players will advance to the semifinal round for five games with five winners advancing to the Final. These 25 players will be made up of heat winners and lower-seeded players based on place finish. (We've had 3rd and 4th place finishers advance in the past - it is quite rare, but it can happen)

Should less than 25 opt to advance, sufficient 4-player games will be played to accommodate the field. Those playing in 4-player games (as opposed to 5-player games) will be selected at random.

Should less than 20 players appear, only the top multiple of five will advance (e.g., 15 of 19 will generate three semifinal games with the last four players cut).

If less than five games are played in the semifinals, sufficient runners-up (based on percent of the winner's score) will advance to fill a 5-player Final.

If only one semifinal game is played, it will become the de facto Final.


In Multiple Entry, Single Elimination events for multi-player games, players possibly qualify for Single Elimination play in the second round by winning any of up to four preliminary Heats.

Occasionally, players may advance without winning a heat. Players can enter one or more Heats without limit or penalty. All events for most multi-player games consist of three rounds: an opening Round consisting of two to four Preliminary Heats, a Semifinal and a Final. The semifinal round will advance a predetermined optimum number of players to fill the second round, i.e., 25 players for a 5-player game, 16 players for a 4-player game, etc. but in all cases will advance no more than half of all players which participated in the Preliminaries. If insufficient players advance to warrant a semifinal round, the scheduled semifinal will instead become the Final.

Air Baron will use the new Heats Most Wins – Points Tiebreakers (HMW-P) for advancement.

"Win and you're in" is no longer a given although it is a very strong possibility. This system of tiebreakers encourages repeat play in Heats without requiring it. A single win (especially in the first Heat entered) will probably advance that winner but is not guaranteed to do so.

Conversely, players who continue to play additional heats after winning a Preliminary game only enhance their chances of advancement without damaging their prospects, but a player who wins their only Preliminary game may advance without investing further time in Preliminary play.

Meanwhile, non-winners who continue in Preliminary Heats will have additional chances to qualify in search of that elusive first win since in most events, a single win will still advance you to a semifinal round since alternates are often required to fill the field.

Adjudication Rules:

At the 2-hour 40-minute mark of a game, players will be notified that they have one final "full" round. Meaning that if you are in the middle of a round, you will draw for turn orders one more time and if the game does not end on its own, the game will end and Market Share + cash - loans will determine the heat winner.


  1. Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered)
  2. Total Points – Players earn the following pints in each heat they entered:
    • 1st Place - 1,000 points
    • 2nd Place - 100 points
    • 3rd Place - 10 points
    • 4th Place - 1 points
    • All other places - 0 points
    • e.g. player has a 1st, 2nd, and 4th in three heats: total points would be 1,101
  3. GM Specific Tie-breaker - None Specified
  4. High dice roll.