Raidin' da Joint ...
Information, Timetable, Format, History, Hall of Fame & Statistics
I'm pleased to report that Gangsters players were the
wettest of all the gamers at the WBC. Gangsters remains
#1 in the all-important boardgames-with-squirt-guns category
(and, therefore, the most fun category as well). Not only that,
but we continue our record, unbroken string as the gamers with
the coolest names.
Carnage and mayhem, along with dripping gangsters, were at
their highest level ever. However, total losses were way down
as vamps spent their time earning cash instead of batting their
eyelashes in enemy joints!
We set a lot of other records and firsts this year too including
Fewest Wins by Monopoly: 6%
Most successful rate of 4/3/1 gang use: 29%
Most successful rate of 6/2/1 gang use: 100%
Lowest per Player Average Vamp Losses: 1.30 *
Lowest per Game Average Vamp Losses: 5.30 *
Lowest per Player Average Total Losses: 3.35 *
Lowest per Game Average Total Losses: 13.67 *
Lowest per Game Median Vamp Losses: 4 *
Highest per Game Median Shootout Losses: 8
* High was set just last year!
Use of a 3/5/1 gang (unsuccessfully)
Winner started with Britt's Sandwich Shop
Winner started with Caravan Club
Winner started with Midland House
Winner started with Sadler's Stichery
This year's attendance came very close to last year's record.
Despite the slight decrease, an equal number of games were played!
You can see all the stats, winners, hall of fame, strategy articles,
etc. on the website (http://www.gameaholics.com/gangsters_tournament.htm).
Pitt "Sluggo" Crandlemire's return (after a one-year
hiatus) marked his return to Godfatherhood and the first time
any gangster has won the title three times. Sluggo also has the
distinction of being the only player to have reached the finals
in every tournament he has ever entered (six times)!
the top sixteen finishers:
1. Pitt "Sluggo" Crandlemire
2. Alex "Band-Aid" Price
3. Michael "The Infidel" Wojke
4. Andy "Scarface" Gardner
5. Peter "The Wolf" Martin
6. Bob "Strings" Hamel
7. Kaarin "The Enforcer" Engelmann
8. Paul "Da Spider" Bolduc
9. Angela "Red Rose" Collinson
10. Nick "Slumlord" Smith
11. Blair "The Plug" Morgen
12. Chris "Half-Full" Hensley
13. Jeffrey "The Head" Hacker
14. Ken "Roulette" Rothstein
15. Mark "Ladykiller" Love
16. Ashley "Angel" Collinson
As for the GM and last year's winner, Sluggo's handiwork in
our semi-final knocked me out of the top sixteen for the first
3. Special Awards
Cement Overshoes Sportsmanship Award - Chaka "Patch-Eye"
Benson probably feels like he's wearing the cement overshoes
at the bottom of Lake Michigan! Chaka won his heat and came to
the semi-finals to play. Due to a misunderstanding, however,
Chaka didn't turn in a blue card and was over-looked as pairings
were made and alternates called. Alternates, of course, are guaranteed
their spots at the moment their name is called. Chaka took the
bad news like a good sport and went and enjoyed another game.
This contrasted so starkly with last year's alternate who wasn't
present at the designated time when his name was called (or even
when the games started) and flew into a rage that ultimately
involved Don"The Don" Greenwood and other GMs that
Chaka's sportsmanship was clearly this year's Cement Overshoes
winner. Thanks, Chaka!
Rolinda "Ma" Collinson, Josh "Music Man"
Adelson, and Anthony "Trigger" Daw were also nominated
for the first time. Nick "Slumlord"Smith received a
second nomination. Many players noted on their cards that all
of their opponents were really fun players who made the game
great. Thanks to all of you - you make us look forward to a fun
game with you next year!
Junior Godfather Award - Andy "Scarface" Gardner
learned how to play at the 2002 tournament and returned for a
second game this year. He made it all the way to the finals and
finished fourth. I hope Andy's skill inspires many of our first-time
players from this year to try again next year!
Honorable Mention - Instead of picking one player this year,
I selected a game with many unusual characteristics! Kaarin "The
Enforcer" Engelmann, Rob "Moneybags" Kilroy, Steve
"The Knob" Zeinski, and Ashley"Angel" Collinson
were the mobsters. The game saw a 4 Thug eliminate a level 3
joint (a mere 7% chance), the most bloodshed of any game (with
20 gangsters going down as a result of enemy & police violence),
the annihilation of Moneybags' entire gang (though he still ended
with $8,600), a near purple monopoly (with the Racketeer in the
final joint when the game ended), and Robocop (#10) mowing down
the thugs left and right. Whew!
I used my War at Sea Anti-Submarine Warfare table to
calculate the odds of that Thug attack! Look for Gangsters
on the deck of the Bismarck and Rodney next year!
I also considered Peter "The Wolf" Martin and Mark
"Ladykiller" Love for honorable mention since they
were the only players to win with a monopoly this year (both
red monopolies)! At this rate, will a sole monopolist get the
honors next year?
Rebecca Hebner was also considered for managing to pull Cop
#4 from the cup seven times in a row despite vigorous mixing!
Roadkill Award - The game with the most bloodshed (20 losses)
also produced this year's roadkill, Rob "Moneybags"
Kilroy, who was left holding the bag (with $8,600 in it) as his
entire gang was wiped out (12 violence-related losses altogether).
"I Think She Likes Me" Award - Despite the record
low number of seductions this year, two players tied the record
of last year's "winner" with six vamp-caused losses.
After adding up all vampings, both were still tied. Ultimately,
however, since the GM doesn't make the awards in order to give
them to himself, he elected to break the tie in favor of Tim
"Bite the Bullet" Evinger. Interestingly, Tim and John
were each vamped six times in the same game - also the game with
the most seductions over-all (17). Tim Evinger is the tournament
expert on losing gang members - with a four year streak, winning
the Roadkill award in 2000 and 2001 and the "I Think She
Likes Me" award in 2002 and 2003. If you want a game where
the squirt sub-machine gun gets used early and often, sit at
4. Favorite Joints
The Downtown Bus Station continued its dominance among winner's
joints - and even improved its percentage! Almost 30% of all
winner's selected it as one of their starting establishments!
||Downtown Bus Station
||Way, Way Up
||Way, Way Way Up
Taylor's Machine Shop is the big loser this year - tying for
23rd despite its overall 9th place ranking and last year's number
On the other hand, Huck's Marine and Cavalry Club were both
frequently selected this year - and rarely selected in previous
years by game winners! The purple strategies (Pussycat Club and
Cavalry Club) are enjoying a resurgence. The Palace Chophouse
continues to climb the charts as the favorite add-on joint!
5. Quotable Gangsters
"I know exactly how much cash I have" (Half-Full)
"I got no respect - pulls a drive-by on me" (Moneybags)
"I spent all my money upgrading four joints"(Half-Full)
"Maybe you smoked four joints, but.. " (The Plug)
"All they find is a dead body clutching a brown paper
bag with $8,600 in it." (Moneybags)
"Huff's Cafe is "protected" by the same "forgot
to duck" joint guards that "defended" Brzkowskis."
6. Final Report
The starting positions and finish of the 2003 final were as
Pitt "Sluggo" Crandlemire: 5/2/1, Downtown Bus Station,
Westgate Hotel, Lou's Diner, $400 [$10,000; 0 losses]
Alex "Band-Aid" Price: 5/2/1, Ambassadors' Club,
Brizell's Riverside, Sonny's Place, $100 [$5,100; 5 of 6 Blue]
Michael "the Infidel" Wojke: 5/2/1, Martin &
Son Carriage Repair, Palace Chophouse, Greenwood Park, $200 [$5,900]
Andy "Scarface" Gardner: 5/2/1, Brzkowski's Imports,
Franklin Hostel, Wylie's Storage, $300 [$4,500; 5 joints]
Sluggo played a traditional Bus Station strategy, which none
of the other players had seen executed so efficiently. Both Vamp
and Thug were able to extort continuously from the first turn
onward. The Bus Station, on the other hand, took a while to payoff,
but eventually both x1 public markers and the x2 headed that
way - taking several bus rides including a $1,200 payoff on the
final move that put Sluggo at exactly $10 G's. Sluggo's gang
successfully hid out throughout the game - avoiding cops and
rival gang members.
The Infidel made a mad rush for joints with several $100 cheapies
at the start and looked like a real threat for a 10 joint victory.
However, the dice gods abandoned his Racketeer in the vicinity
of Joe' Lanes - where his threat sputtered out.
Scarface also piled up a number of small joints in the early
going - cornering the market in the southeast corner of the board
(including the Ham & Egg Kitchen which the others mistakenly
allowed him to buy - still mentally in the five-player mode from
the semi-finals). However, Scarface's Racketeer liked Ham &
Eggs so much that he refused to leave - stopping Andy's real
estate boom in its tracks.
Band-Aid got hit by the boys in blue early - losing his Thug
to a Cop shootout and Brizelli's Riverside to a raid. When the
other players overlooked him for the next few turns, he quickly
piled up three more blue joints - masterfully shooting up Brzkowsk's
Imports and stealing it from Scarface in the process. On the
next move, his Racketeer went to Taylor's Machine Shop - poised
for a quick move to the last blue joint, Huff's Cafe (also owned
by Scarface and, no doubt, protected by the same "forgot
to duck" joint guards that had "defended" Brzkowski's).
Only the public visiting the Downtown Bus Station kept Band-Aid
from getting a shot at monopoly.
Ultimately, while other players were busy replacing Vamps
and Thugs as well as losing key joints to raids, Sluggo's immunity
to the Cops proved the key to speeding his cash collection to
victory ahead of those buying joints. Sluggo's win gives him
an unprecedented third championship and a big boost to his team's
chances in the team tournament!
7. Changes for 2004
Everything ran so smoothly that there are only two changes
1) The addition of special instructions for heat winners and
top alternates to the back of the announcement sheet (which,
among other things, will help ensure that there are no misunderstandings
at the semi-finals).
2) At the fifteen minute warning, players will continue play
until every player has had at least one additional turn AND all
players have had the same number of turns. For this purpose a
turn will be considered to have begun if the dice have been rolled.
To accommodate the extra playing time after the fifteen minute
warning, the fifteen minute warning will be given at 2:30 (just
as it was in 2002 - but five minutes earlier than 2003). Ultimately,
this should mean a fairer game and also give players a bit more
Many thanks to my team of assistants for this end-of-round
8. New Rules Clarifications
I've added the following statement to the first step of the
shootout clarification: "Cops are controlled by the active
player and act as a piece of his/her color [11.5, 12.4]"
The following new clarification was added:
9.4/9.7/11.5 What happens to a Cop which entered a building
containing a criminal if the last criminal is seduced before
a shootout can occur?
A. The cop is returned to the cup (12.3).
For all of the clarifications, see the website at http://www.gameaholics.com/gangsters_tournament.htm!
9. Email Competition
PBeM competition heats up the streets of Chicago starting
on October 1st. We'll be testing the new Wargame Processor module
for Gangsters! (The module is free - as are the dozens
of other game modules! The Wargame Processor allows 25 free trial
saves - enough for a complete game - and then costs only $25
if you like it.
Sign up today! See the website for details on how to play
by email! A new BPA tournament will begin shortly after the new
year (watch The Don's WBC newsletters for details)!
10. Copies of the Game
It has been almost four years since I have seen a copy of
Gangsters in a store. Fortunately, however, my operatives
were able to locate a few new copies this past year. I have new,
shrink-wrapped copies available for $45 (plus $7 shipping).
Naturally, I prefer these copies to go to players without
a game or those whose games are so worn that another is a necessity.
However, I'm willing to put others on a waiting list.
If you do find a copy somewhere that you don't buy for yourself,
please let me know - I buy them to keep the tournament well-stocked!
If you find one on E-Bay, let me know so that we don't bid against
I set my prices to earn a $5 profit per game - which I use
on the special awards, name tags, timers, and other goodies for
11. Hasta la vista!
I hope to have some bonus items at next year's tournament
that will add to the fun and excitement. I won't say what I have
in mind (just in case I go to Plan B) - you'll just have to show
up and find out! See youse criminal masterminds on the streets
of Baltimore next year!
Select all answers that apply.
1. The announcement sheet was
(a) too short
(b) just right
(c) too long
(d) too redundant (I already knew all that stuff)
(e) what announcement sheet?
2. The format and tie-breakers were
(b) needed more explanation
3. I prefer the semi-finals
(a) right after the 4th heat (per 2003 schedule)
(b) separate - at 11 pm (per 2002 schedule)
(c) other: _________________________
4. If I could have a heat any time I wanted, I'd have it at
_______ on _______.
5. I'd like to try the advanced rules in a heat
6. The player chit was
(b) Didn't use all of it
(c) Needs instructions
(e) Not helpful
The complete and current errata/FAQ for Gangsters is at http://www.gameaholics.com/gsr_clarifications.htm.