Go West for Fame & Fortune
Chris LeFevre & Roderick Lee both
eye a Hawaian vacation during a period of bargain fares.
Firmly entrenched in the western hubs,
Joanna Melton dares Pat Mirk to go imto fare wars.
Air Baron continues as a popular WBC event, with various
viable strategies to win, but always subject to the whims of
fate in the form of turn order, chit draws and dice rolls. The
2014 event included 22 5- and 6-player games with 116 player
starts. As far as events go, 2014 was the year of the Strike.
Labor strife was drawn 37 times, appearing five times in one
game (Heat 2, Table 2) and four times in two other games. The
devestating Fuel Hike reared its ugly head 24 times, five times
in one game (again, Heat 2, Table 2). A Crash occurred 34 times,
with a max of 4 times in one game (you guessed it, Heat 2, Table
2). Recession appeared 30 times, seven times in one game (Heat
2, Table 4), and Local Competitor cancelled profits 9 times,
five in one game (Heat 1, Table 5).
the Final, Ed O'Connor started in Birmingham. Brad Sherwood followed
in West Palm Beach. Bruce Bernard began in Albuquerque while
defending champ Stephane Dorais took Memphis, and Tom Bissa started
With the initial spokes set, all waited to see which airline
Lady Luck would choose to fly. Turns 2 and 3 gave us an early
glimpse of things to come, with Bruce expanding into LAX and
pulling in an impressive $28 and buying a Jumbo. Brad expanded
into the JFK and DCA markets while Tom moved into ORD and DCA.
Ed moved into JFK and HOU, while Stephane moved west to PHX.
In Turns 4-8, Bruce, with a Market Share of 100, consolidated
his gains in the west, buying three more jumbos to fortify LAX
and his lone PHX outpost in ABQ. The strategy paid big dividends,
yielding an incredible $55 of income on Turn 8 alone. The rest
of the field was struggling for cash, with Stephane, at a Market
Share of 140, expanding west into DIA and PHX and locking down
DFW to challenge the Bernard juggernaut. Brad, at a Market Share
of 60, slowly consolidated MIA and looked north, while Ed, at
a Market Share of 40, took control of HOU and focused on ATL.
Tom, at a Market Share of 160, controlled ORD and DTW and was
On Turn 9, Brad bought ORF to move to a Market Share of 90.
Bruce purchased Singapore. Stephane was hit by a $15 strike and
limped into ANC, while Ed bought BNA to improve his Market Share
to 90. Tom had his most successful Fare Wars of the game, taking
BUF, SJU, PVD and SYR to sky rocket his Market Share to 220.
A few good pulls and he could win it all.
But on Turn 10, Brad counterattacks, retaking PVD and taking
BWI as well to advance his Market Share to 120, while trimming
Tom's back to 160. Meanwhile, out west, Stephane buys SEA and
Bruce buys a SST in HKG, setting the stafe for a battle for SFO.
Turn 11 proves decisive, with Bruce getting $50 in income
before going into Fare Wars and knocking off SMF, SEA, RNO and
PDX, failing at ANC. He is stopped with a Market Share of 140
but is sitting on a pile of cash. Ed pulls a Strike, moving the
settlement level to $20 and takes no actions. Tom buys Tokyo
(NRT), desperately hoping for cash, and Stephane, with no cash
drawn, goes into Fare Wars and fails on his first roll against
Turn 12 finds Brad and Stephane with $30 loans, Ed on strike,
and Tom hanging on with a mere $10 loan. But again, Lady Luck
is with Bruce, who pulls $14 income to Tom's $2. Stephane stays
in Fare Wars and again fails to take AUS. Brad rolls a $12 crash
and buys Paris (ORY). Ed takes out a $30 loan and pays $15 of
it to settle his strike, then buys Rio De Janeiro (GIG).
For Turn 13, the turn order was as follows: Ed, Brad, Bruce,
Tom and Stephane. Ed takes no action and pays Bruce $7 for SFO,
then Brad pulls Jumbo Profits to pay Bruce $20 more and buys
his first Jumbo for BOS. But it is too late. Bruce pays $2 for
an even shot at ANC and wins the roll, moving his Market Share
to 180. He then counts out $141 cash for a score of $321 and
Congratulations to Bruce for a great win, and thanks to everyone
else for playing and making this such a fun event year after
GM dad, Craig Melton, pressed into
service for the stranded Virginia, with her finalists.