Last Chance at Glory ...
TransAmerica’s short game length and one start status likely prevents it from ever reaching “Century” status, but its popularity as a Sunday “getaway” event enhances its chance of being voted back in as a Trial each year. Indeed, for many this event is the last chance for WBC glory. The event does draw a bit of a crowd—53 entries was 11 more than in 2014, perhaps bolstered by an influx of losers from the 9 am Splendor semifinals. And as usual, there were some who had competed in the TransAmerica Junior tournament earlier in the week and looking to move up to the big leagues.
The GM had expended much effort in the weeks leading up to WBC imploring friends and acquaintances to lend or show up with copies of the game. And so, unlike previous years, there were actually enough copies to seat everyone comfortably at 13 tables for the first round. Nobody was forced to use the dreaded TransEuropa set. And after some typical Sunday-morning exhausted-brain confusion, the first round got going in good time.
One winner decided to depart after the first round, and so it became an easy decision to promote all 25 remaining winner and runners-up to the semifinal round. Round 2 was briskly played, and produced a nice mix of finalists from previous years and new faces, including at least one graduate from the Junior’s tourney. All five semifinal winners advanced to the Final. Lauren Bohaczuk, who lost her game on a tie-breaker, was awarded sixth place. She was disappointed to miss the Final, but was happy to earn her first-ever laurels and rid herself of that annoying “0” on her badge.
The five survivors were Chris Gnech, Nick Smith, Matt Calkins, Chris Moffa, and Bradley Raszewski, fine players all, although none had reached the Final in the past four years and the last two had yet to earn TAM laurels of any kind. Also different was the general strategy for choosing starting locations. In 2014 it was noted that players were tending to stay in the central area of the map to start, to avoid the possibility of being left unconnected from the other players. But this year, player start areas tended to be spread over the map more. It is still unclear if this is due to personal preference or an evolution of strategy, but this year the central area was rarely used as a start location.
The game was close through the first two rounds, but after the fourth round, Bradley held a clear lead, with only Chris within striking distance. And after a surprising start in Atlanta, Bradley won the last round easily, to take the game and score his first TAM laurels in style. The final score was Bradley Raszewski 2, Chris Gnech 6, Chris Moffa 14, Nick Smith and Matt Calkins 16 each.
Hopefully the event will be voted in as a trial once again, and Bradley will come to defend his crown at Seven Springs in 2016.
Chalk up a fouth one for Andrew.
The simplest of the train games
makes a good juniors entry point.
Trans America Junior
As if doing penance in the Junior's room wasn't enough to
earn favor with St Peter, Daniel Broh-Kahn goes back again for
more punishment. Following his duties running Blokus, the GM
pulls a double header by hosting 31 little train engineers for
another bout of brownie points with the man upstairs. There were
31 little train travellers on Tuesday morning this year for the
little engine that could Junior tournament. 8-year-old proved
the best of hem while earning his fourth Juniors win of the week.
Other accomplished train riders were:
2nd: John Wobbeking, age 11
3rd: Zachary Morris, age 10
4th: Chloe Smith, age 9—repeating her 2014 performance
5th: Aidan McNay, age 12
6th: Julia Carrigan, age 12