age of steam [Updated October 2005]  

2005 WBC Report  

2006 Status: pending December Membership Century Vote

Pierre Paquet, QC

2005 Champion

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Event History
2004    Richard Irving     34
2005    Pierre Paquet     40


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Pierre Paquet      QC    05     30
  2.  Richard Irving     CA    04     30
  3.  Michael Holmquist  WI    05     24
  4.  Peter Staab        PA    04     18
  5.  Mario Veillette    QC    05     12
  6.  Keith Altizer      FL    04     12
  7.  Martin Sasseville  QC    05      9
  8.  Ilan Woll          CT    04      9
  9.  Franklin Haskell   NH    05      6
 10.  Andy Joy           MD    05      3
 11.  Doug Smith         PA    04      3


2005 Laurelists

Michael Holmquist, WI

Mario Veillette, QC

Martin Sasseville, QC

Franklin Haskell, NH

Andy Joy, MD

Past Winners

Richard Irving, CA

Northern Invasion

Age of Steam gained more steam this year with a better turnout and more games played with only two heats than it had the year before with three thanks to a strong influx of new players from north of the border. The GM again allowed alternate maps to be used in both heats and semifinal games. Last year, no one took advantage of that and all games were played on the Eastern United States map that came with the game. In 2005, however, alternate maps did see some use.

The first heat occurred on Tuesday evening with 22 players spread amongst five boards. The four games played on the Eastern U.S. maps were won by defending champion Richard Irving, Andy Joy, Charles Hickok and Philip White. The fifth game was played by four brave souls on the Ireland map and was won by Brian Schott with a tiebreaker over Barb Flaxington.

The second heat on Friday evening had 25 players split amonst six boards. Once again, four players tried one of the alternate maps, this time Korea, with Franklin Haskell winning that game. The other five once again conested the Eastern United States map with Michael Holmquist, Chris Byrd, Mario Villette, Pierre Paquet and Chris Terrell emerging victorious.

Only six of the 11 heat winners appeared for the semifinal on Saturday, so the top two alternates were admitted to make two 4-plater games for the semifinal round with the top two from each board advancing to the Final. The semifinalists opted by majority vote to use an alternate map Germany was chosen. Alternate Martin Sasseville won one game with Franklin Haskell finishing in second while Pierre Paquet won with Andy Joy second in the other semifinal to advance.

The Final took place on Sunday morning but both runner-ups in the semifinal opted out due to schedule conflicts and were replaced by the semifinal 3rd place finishers Mario Villette and Michael Holmquist. The Final was played using the Eastern United States map The random starting setup did not have any starting spot that was much better than anywhere else so the first three players started on the Eastern side of the board, which is much easier to build and connect. This left Pierre Paquet to make a network on the western side of the board, although his initial start was in Chicago and then he proceeded west. Even though the western side of the map yields a slower start, Pierre, free of competition for deliveries and track building, steadily pulled away, with Michael Holmquist finishing second, Mario Villette third and Martin Sasseville fourth.

I had received a message from Pierre last April asking me about the tournament because he and his Canadian friends really enjoyed the game. So I told him about the World Boardgaming Championships and the tournament format. Four members of his group crossed the border mainly for the Age of Steam tournament on Friday with three of them (Pierre, Mario and Martin) eventually making the Final. They all told me that they had a good time, enjoyed the tournament and played a couple of other events as well as a bit of open gaming. They hope that the game makes the Century next year and if not at least will be a Trial event again. If Age of Steam makes the cut next year, we may see these four again, possibly with even more of their group as well. Who knows, maybe next year's Final will be all Canadian.

Despite qualifying as a Century event in 2006 by virtue of attendance, this event has been penalized one level to Continuing Trial status for failure to submit its event report on time. It will be eligible to be run in 2006 only as a Trial event and only if it receives sufficient votes in the Annual membership survey to return as one of the 25 Continuing Trials.

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