77 would-be railroad tycoons showed up to take part in the
second Union Pacific WBC tournament; up ten from the first
year. The event was run as a SE in one evening. The first round
mainly consisted of 4-player games although we had to have five
5-player games due to people straggling in as I was making table
assignments. If they had come in more as a group I could have
made an additional table of four except again we were short of
games; we had exactly 18 using my copy although I didn't play.
Please don't assume just because it's a multi-player game, that
there will be plenty of copies. Since I had more than 16 boards,
I decided that 20 players would advance to a semi-final round
of 5-player tables. This meant two runnerups would advance. Both
of these players eventually lost their respective games by only
one dollar. I will have to work up a better system next year
either to eliminate the need for runner-ups to advance or to
make the system of selection cleaner and clearer.
The average winning score in the first round was 124.2 for
the 4-player games and 106.8 for the 5-player games. The average
margin of victory was 11.9 and 12.2, respectively. The lowest
and highest winning scores and margins were 111 to 139 and 1
to 22 for the 4-player games and 88 to 130 and 1 to 41 for the
5-player games. All games finished in the allotted 1.5 hours.
The table assignments for the semi-finals was random. Surprisingly,
play was even faster in the semis; all four games finished within
an hour. The average winning score in the second round was 99.3
and the average margin 10. The lowest and highest winning scores
and margins were 94 to 110 and 2 to 19.
The Final was another tight match. The final scores were 117,
113, 107, 103. Scott Pfeiffer had a one-point lead after the
first golden train. Jamie Tang took a three-point lead at the
second golden train. She maintained the same lead after the third
golden train before picking up an additional point in the final
scoring. Jamie took a guaranteed first place in UP before the
second golden train appeared. She then played for control of
some of the smaller lines, scoring1st place points in Kansas
City Central (8 pts in final scoring), Wyoming & Western
(6 pts in final scoring), and Denver Midland (8 pts in final
scoring) for the 2nd, 3rd, and final golden trains. The other
railroads had the following1st place points in the final scoring:
El Paso & Rio Grande (8), Billings Northern Light (13), Miami
Southern (6), Sioux Falls Royal Blue (9), United Mexican (8),
Empire State (6), Marquette Rocky Road (7), so it was a very
balanced game for each railroad.
The final was played in
45 minutes. A comment was made that play was faster because of
the scoresheets I provided so that money didn't have to be passed
out. This scoresheet will be available on the tournament page
in the near future along with a diagram showing exactly how the
stock card draw pile is supposed to be made. This set-up is the
most confusing part of the entire tournament.
I see a lot discussion of how important UP stock is. In the
first round, six of the twelve 4-player and three of the five
5-player games had the player with the most UP stock win, although
in three the player was tied for first in UP. In the semi-finals,
three of the four winners were tied for the most UP stock. And
of course Jamie Tang won with the most UP. So it does appear
that going big in UP is important and gives you the flexibility
to go for smaller railroads.