what do we do for an encore? ...
The mighty Eighth U.S. Army Air Force will again take to the
skies over German-occupied Europe for three more historical-based
missions, to battle the Luftwaffe and attack key wartime industries
in1943. And if last year was any indication, the Germans are
in for a tough time because the raids are getting bigger. Our
squadron flew in record numbers again last year.
The B-17 event is noted as being one of the strangest
events at WBC for several reasons.
FIRST, the atmosphere is one of camaraderie and friendship,
as opposed to being downright cut throat. One main reason for
that is that each player is up against the game system instead
of being up against each other. This creates a spirit of survival
of the missions, somewhat similar to what happened in real life.
Fliers play the game in pairs, with the flier across from you
rolling the German attack dice (fighter attacks and flak). Sometimes
the person across from you can become rather enthusiastic about
damaging your plane and shooting you down, so the game does have
quite a bit of competitiveness, especially if you have shot your
comrade down first. But overall, B-17 fosters a spirit
of brotherhood of fun.
SECOND, the missions are tied to actual historical missions
complete with mission scenario handouts. 2011 will be our 20th
year of tournament competition, with 56 WW2 missions behind us.
Three more will be simulated this year, and we are now into
October 1943. Thursday 2011 will be Black Thursday, and if you
know your WW2 history, I should not have to say anything more
than that to let you know one place we will be bombing this year.
THIRD, we have had a trend of rising attendance over the years,
which is strange for a game that has been out of print for well
over a dozen years. After years of having a steady 30 to 35
players, we are now consistently hitting the high 40s and 50s,
and exploded with an all time high of 66 participants in 2010.
We must be doing something right, or at least, doing something
interesting and entertaining. [I should add that the GM, assistant
GMs, with the exception of Keith, and players are known to provide
off color humor that would make the Amish blush or maybe poke
us with a pitchfork.]
FOURTH, players who participate in all three missions will
be eligible for many consolation prizes, booby prizes and (thanks
to assistant GM Mike Lam) medals for various achievements or
misfortunes, like, number of POWs, best gunners and bombardiers,
and other things like crashing while saving most of your crew.
FIFTH, our notorious Friday night after action meeting at
the Officer's Club features an optional prize table conducted
by the participants. Bring a book, game or other WWII related
item to donate, and get one back at the B-17 After Action Briefing's
Prize Table on Friday night. This has become very popular. The
after action meeting features a review of what happened on Thursday,
acknowledgment of returning veterans and new players, a bit of
history and the prize table, where no one goes away empty-handed.
The evening concludes for the night owls with a movie or show
related to B-17. The GM has a complete collection of the Twelve
O'clock High TV episodes, and sometimes we show one of those,
or a historical film or documentary.
In all cases, the WBC B-17 tournament is all about having
FUN. It is a unique event, while stressing the history behind
the game system to keep things in proper perspective. Along
the way, the players have a great time and keep coming back for
more, year after year. If you have never experienced our event,
we welcome you to join. Newcomers are always welcome. We have
about a dozen new players each year. Try to find a copy of the
game if you can (on Ebay, at the WBC auction or elsewhere), but
we do have a few extra games to loan out on Tournament Day if
you can't get a copy before August.
No matter what games you choose to play at WBC: 1) have FUN,
2) be civil and sportsmanlike, 3) take home great memories, and
4) come back again next year. And, of course, try to bring a
few more friends with you to keep WBC going strong for years
prize table conducted by the participants. Bring a book, game
or other WWII related item to donate, get one back at the After
Action Briefing / Prize Table on Friday night.