An Alternate Prevails ...
Clockwise from left: Stan Buck,
GM Ron Secunda, Harald Henning, and Paul O'Neil swap train stories
from years gone by.
The traditional Rail Baron
Finalists portrait with their wood in order of finish: Inger
Henning, Mark Kennel, TJ Halberstadt, Harald Henning, and Dave
Once again, a terrific bunch of railroad enthusiasts took
to the rails. What fun!
Congratulations to this year's Final champion, Inger Henning,
who entered the Semi-Final as an alternate. Her win there got
her into the Final, where one of her opponents was her husband,
Harald. Inger's first championship allows her to join the family
club since all five Hennings have now won WBC events. Regarding
Inger's prize: The player who accidentally had taken it realized
it upon arriving home, and it was forwarded to Inger. The prize
was a package of RB Player and EB player computer versions donated
by Intersystem Concepts.
Thanks to Assistant GM's Paul Van Bloem and Chester Lanham, and
Chester's wife and my wife for helping out. Paul once again did
an outstanding job recording the Final . An account and
analysis of the Final will be available at the Rail Baron Fanatics
website. A condensed version will be provided here.
But first, some stats: 33 players started with the first heat,
and another 13 joined during the two following heats. Eleven
players played in all three heats, but only one, Paul Van Bloem,
won all three games. Way to go, Paul! Three other players won
two of their heats: Chuck Foster, yours truly, and my wife Eve.
Speaking of the latter, in the two games Eve won, one was
a 5-person game, and the other was a 4-person game that
had, as opponents, defending champion, Bill Duke, this year's
eventual champion, Inger, and this year's 6th place laurelist,
Donna Balkan. What a win! In the one heat Eve lost, it was
to Donna. Chester Lanham also won a 5-person heat, and in one
of the heats that Paul won, the opponents included Inger and
TJ (Jeff) Halberstadt, who finished third in the Final.
The 2006 Final game:
In turn order, the players were Jeff Halberstadt, Inger Henning,
Mark Kennel, Harald Henning, and Dave Steiner. Also in turn order,
Home cities and first destinations were: New York/Seattle, Columbus/Phoenix,
New Orleans/Indianapolis, Chicago/Atlanta, Kansas City/Chicago.
Dave finished his
first trip in one round, and bought an Express. Mark arrived
in the second round, and also bought an express. The first
actual RR purchase was by Harald, who arrived in the second round
and bought the SAL. Harald also bought the second RR (NYNH)
on his next trip, which only took him one turn.
The fourth and fifth rounds: Inger bought the PA, and Jeff
the NYC. Dave bought the B&O. Mark arrived in Seattle
at the end of his second trip in Round 6, and bought a Superchief. That
left the C&O for Harald to buy in Round 7. Inger bought the
ATSF in Round 13; Jeff bought a Superchief in Round 13,
and the SP in Round 22. In the meantime, Harald bought
the UP in Round 17. Mark was making shorter trips and buying
smaller railroads: T&P in Round 12, then ACL, RF&P, CMStP&P,
and lastly, in Round 21, the L&N. Dave managed to only
buy the MP and the SOU.
Also in Round 21, Harald bought the GM&O to connect to
his UP and SAL, but this purchase left him short of cash, and
in Round 22, he auctioned off the NYNH. The railroad went to
Inger for $10. Mark next bought the IC, and then the N&W.
In round 26, Harald arrived in Norfolk, and bought the CRIP.
Jeff then bought the last railroad, the GN.
A look at each player's network at the Break:
Jeff: NYC, SP, GN, and WP.
Inger: PA, CBQ, ATSF, NP, SLSF, B&M, NYNH.
Mark: ACL, L&N, RF&P, IC, N&W, T&P, CMStP&P.
Harald: C&O, SAL, GM&O, CRIP, UP.
Dave: B&O, SOU, CNW, MP, DRGW (also WP, shortly).
After the break, in Round 29, Jeff had to auction his
WP (to Dave for $19k). Inger bought a Superchief in Round 31,
but had been managing earlier by rolling boxcars (she and Harald
never bought Expresses). Harald bought a Superchief in Round
29, and Dave in Round 44.
Inger announced $150k in Round 50. Mark was the next to announce,
in Round 52.
In Round 57, Inger arrived in Baltimore, with around $190k.
Mark arrived in Jacksonville, with $198.5k. Inger lucked
out with her next (short) trip to Omaha that paid $13k. Mark's
trip was shorter, but to unfriendly Kansas City.
In Round 58, Jeff announced that he was over $150k. However,
Inger arrived without a bounce in Omaha, and was only 10
dots from her home city, Columbus, on her own tracks (CBQ to
PA), with $203k. The other players maneuvered to catch her if
she declared and rolled too low. Mark would just barely
have $200k with his Kansas City trip, but he'd have to bounce
back to his own RRs, and then be very vulnerable to a rover play. But,
if Inger rolled low, he had a chance.
In Round 59, Inger declared, and rolled Fort Worth as her
alternate destination. She then rolled a 14, easily reaching
her home city.
The final cash and rail value totals were (in finish order):
1. Inger: $203k cash plus $141k rail value equals $344k net
2. Mark: 198.5 + 88 = 286.5
3. Jeff: 188.5 + 87 = 275.5
4. Harald: 148 + 115 = 263
5. Dave: 21 + 93 = 114
Thanks again to Paul for his excellent report on the Final
and to all the players who make this a fun event.
FOR LANCASTER 2007: The changes for seating for the Semi-Final
(last year and this year) and for the Final (this year) will
be continued in 2007.
For pictures and year-round Rail Baron news see http://www.insystem.com/rbp/wbcrbn.htm