Do the Loco Motion
Inger Henning and Claire Brosius were
just two of the doezen ladies to play.
Dave Steiner moves in the Final as
Cliff Ackman observes,
This year's tournament bettered overall WBC attendance enjoying
a 19% increase. While attendance was up, diversity of game boards
was down. Only Empire Builder with Mexico, Eurorails,
Lunar Rails, Iron Dragon, Empire Builder without Mexico and
Assistant GM Bob Stribula's development copy of Martian Rails
were played. This year we stressed table size equality and were
able to have all 4- or 5-player games during the Heats. 4-player
tables were the standard with 19 such games and five 5-player
contests during the three heats.
We had three multiple Heat winners. Mark Kennel earned the
top seed in the Semi-finals by winning all three of his heats.
Tom Dunning earned the second seed by winning both of the heats
he entered. Inger Henning also won two heats and claimed the
The multiple Heat winners left us with 20 individual winners,
but Mike Backstrom declined to claim his seat in deference to
a prior appointment with a B-17. That left the remaining 19 winners
and six alternates to fill the Semi-finals. In a stroke of extremely
good fortune we had exactly six alternates appear. Remember;
if you're a high ranked alternate, always show up for the elimination
rounds if you care to advance!
The 5-player Semis were hard fought with many of the regular
suspects getting their come uppance from newcomers. Dave Steiner
bested defending champ Rich Meyer at Table 1. Bryan Eshleman
beat former Finalist Eyal Mozes at Table 2. Bill Duke defeated
former Finalist Harald Henning at Table 3. Eric Brosius bested
Norm Newton at Table 4. And in the closest game Cliff Ackman
squeeked by former Finalist Debbie Gutermuth 268 to 267. For
the second year in a row, Debbie finished her Semi with more
than the required 250 winning condition without getting the win.
While Debbie was the Bridesmaid to the Final yet again, her
close finish earned her 6th place laurels and made her the only
repeat Laurelist in this year's tournament. Only Cliff Ackman
with six Laurels from 1999, the inaugural Empire Builder tournament,
had been to the Final before.
The Final was reminiscent of the 2005 championship with the
first player into Spain taking a commanding early lead and never
looking back. Eric had good cards almost the entire game. While
delivering a Tourist to Valencia, he brought along a speculation
Tourist. Eric then drew a Tourist to Valencia demand card that
was easily satisfied. Eric got a bit of bad Karma when Tax Card
caught him at 216. But a demand for Cork to Ruhr helped pay
his tax loss and put him over at 260. The closest competitor
finished a distant 105.
With two of the last three Eurorails Finals resulting in lopsided
wins by the first player into Spain, I will probably change next
year's Final to Empire Builder without Mexico. The Semi-final
will remain Empire Builder with Mexico. If enough of
you email me with objections, I'll reconsider.