Fare Wars ... a wargame for capitalists
The 2005 battle for airport dominance has come to a close.
The move to Lancaster seemed to have little effect on attendance
for this event despite the absence of a nearby major airport.
Over the course of four heats, a total of 75 different players
tried their hand at the airline industry - a number only down
five despite the loss of BWI.
Let's get on to the financial number crunching. Overall the
scores covered a large range, from a high score of 374 achieved
by Scott Fenn, to an impressive low of -21, yes that's negative
21, by your own GM. It just proves that you don't need to be
an expert to be a GM. Or maybe I was just trying to lend an air
of realism in these days of bankrupt airlines.
The average winning score of the five-player games for all
heats and the semi-finals was 353. Only four five-player games
were adjudicated, with an average winning score of 220. Two
six-player games yielded an average score of 280, with one requiring
adjudication. The airline that proved to be the most successful
was World Domain. The ultra powerful "Big Blue" World
Domain airline won 37.04% of the games. Taking a co-pilot seat
to them was Jet Stream (purple), racking up 18.52% of the victories.
Riding in the coach section was Trans Toucan (red) with 14.81%,
Olympic (yellow) and Sky High (orange) both with 11.11%, and
in the cargo hold riding with the pets was Aero Flamingo (green)
with only 7.41%.
Now that you know which airline to choose next year you need
to know where to start your enterprise. What good is a new shiny
blue airplane if you don't know where the most profits are to
be made? The break-down of the first hub controlled by the winning
player was as follows.
Welcome to Miami (MIA), the city of choice with 33.33% of
the victors selecting it as their first hub. Whether it was
golf, beaches or the nightlife you were looking for, Miami was
the place to be in 2005. Swimmin' pools and movie stars drew
the airline industry out west. This year saw 22.22% of the victors
choosing to start their business in Los Angeles (LAX). The "Motor
City" Detroit (DTW) claimed third with 11.11% of the victories.
The remaining city hubs producing winners were ORD, JFK, SFO,
DIA, PHX, and HOU, all producing one each for a 3.70% shot at
The final five were a veteran crew - including two former
champs. I took advantage of their experience to excuse myself
to make a 3 PM start in another event - leaving instructions
to contact me if needed. The Final proved to be what one might
call a series of unfortunate events unless your name was Robert
Sohn. The bank roll was a 5. To open, Robert purchased Minn
- St. Paul. This spoke was drawn twice before his next turn
giving him an additional $16 to invest. So why not buy the $9
St. Louis? Minn-St Paul and St. Louis are promptly drawn again.
Sohn rolls his good fortune into the first Jumbo. By Turn 5
he has accumulated over $50 cash on hand, and this seems like
quite a War Chest. so no one is too surprised when he declares
He then steam rolls the rest of Chicago (ORD / 20 market),
Detroit (DTW /40 market), Dallas (DFW /80 market), and takes
over half of Atlanta (ATL / 50 minor share). This conquest of
the southeast gives him 290 market share and $35 cash on hand,
for a winning total of 325. Since the finals started at 3pm
and Sohn won the game in less than 15 minutes, the players had
time to eat a late lunch and play in a 4pm game. And this tournament
had three games requiring adjudication at the three-hour mark!
But the best was yet to come. Feeling frisky, our finalists decided
to have a little fun with their absent GM. Answering a summons
for help, the GM found himself the suddenly harangued arbitrator
of a donnybrook between five very upset finalists with visions
of physical mayhem ... until they all broke out laughing. "Gotcha"
Moral of the story - keep these guys busy trying to beat each
other so they don't have time to harass overworked GMs!