I thought you wuz counting 'em
GM John Pack is the king of WBC promoters
... providing his players with a wide variety of themed extras.
Note the clever Table ID marker with Cop theme.
Kevin Wojtaszczyk shows his new "Cop"
shirt for the WBC "Year of the Cop" theme.
That's Asst CD Kaarin Engelmann
making the move as GM Pack watches. Note the yellow fedorah gangster
hat - one of John's past premium giveaways.
This year's finalists got to play
on a giant board John had made for the occasion. That's
him recording moves as Victor Hogen points.
Jeffrey Hacker moved to "The Head" of the class
by collecting ten joints around Chicago almost before anyone
else noticed. He also put an end to the record number of championships
won with cash. Here, in movement order, are the four finalists,
their starting positions, and their status at the end of the
Pat "El Jefe" Richardson
Start: 5/1/2; $100; Brzkowski's Imports, Midland House, Brandon's
Finish: 4/1/2, 4 Hits, 3 Seductions; $3,800; 4 joints (3 of 6
Jeffrey "The Head" Hacker
Start: 4/1/3; $400; Ambassadors' Club, Palace Chophouse, Huff's
Finish: 4/1/1, 5 Hits, 3 Seductions; $2,500; 10 joints (3 of
Victor "The Waiter" Hogen
Start: 5/1/2; $300; Brizelli's Riverside, Greenwood Park, Taylor's
Finish: 2/1/0, 2 Hits, 4 Seductions; $9,100; 5 joints (3 of 7
John "The Viper" Pack
Start: 6/1/1; $0; Downtown Bus Station, SMC Cartage Co., Lou's
Finish: 7/1/2, 3 Hits, 1 Seduction; $4,600, 7 joints (2 of 4
Here's a turn-by-turn report that'll give you a feel for the
action on the streets. As a player in the game, I didn't note
any cash payments unless they were unusual, so that I wouldn't
have any information not available to the other players. However,
as a player I can also add a few notes that give my own thoughts
and reasoning on some of the turns.
Setup The first two joint purchases split the Blue one-jump
joints. The next two split the Green one-jump joints. No one
in this game was going to get an easy win we were all going
to see to that! The Viper quickly decided that he'd need a large
gang to give him flexibility and allow him to stop early leaders
in the later stages of the game.
Turn 1 In an indication of what was coming, El Jefe
immediately seduces a Racketeer from the Waiter. "Victor,
Buddy!" The Viper quips, "The noy-vah of some people."
Robocop (Cop #10) begins to patrol the streets. The Head vamps
El Jefe. The Waiter vamps The Viper. The Viper seduces one of
El Jefe's men. It's the Gangsters version of the Circle of Life!
(Queue Disney music) Robocop mows down El Jefe's pair of Thugs.
(That sure put an end to the Disney soundtrack awfully fast,
didn't it?) The Head and the Waiter upgrade their key one-jump
Turn 2 El Jefe flashes the cash and hires a Thug for
$600. The Head scores a bribe and begins extorting with his Thug.
The Waiter heads for more green joints. The Viper sends T.J.
Hooker (Cop #7) to the Pussycat Club where he kills one of The
Head's muscle-bound clowns. The Viper, this year's winner of
the "I think She Likes Me!" Award for being seduced
the most often, sends his gang's Vamp to seduce another of El
Jefe's Racketeers. "Please, sir, may I have some more?"
Turn 3 El Jefe seduces a Racketeer from The Head. Every
player has now lost at least one gang member to enemy women.
The Head sends his Vamp to collect cash in the Palace Chophouse
while his remaining Thugs collect money across the street in
the Pussycat Club. Very dangerous! The Waiter hauls in the game's
first big payout by getting Public x3 into a level x2 Brizelli's
Riverside for a net of $2,100 over-all. Dirty Harry (Cop #9)
riddles The Head's Vamp with bullet holes. The
Viper buys the Hawthorne Hotel and then sends Kojak (Cop #6)
to the Pussycat Club where another of The Head's strongmen is
mowed down. That's three shootouts by Cops against The Head so
far each for exactly one loss! 20/20 Hindsight: The survival
of The Head's Thug despite attacks from T.J. Hooker (Cop #7)
and Kojak (Cop #6) allows The Head to collect the small change
he needs to purchase cheap gin joints. Next time we'll have T.J.
Hooker order the Enterprise to use her photon
Turn 4 El Jefe vamps a Racketeer from The Waiter. The
gets his Vamp earning some cash.
Turn 5 El Jefe vamps The Waiter for a third time at
the Westgate Hotel! "Victor, Buddy!" Robocop circles
the Downtown Bus Station. El Jefe tells The Waiter, "I'm
hoping you could get a bribe" (since a "1" on
the blue die will also allow an attack on El Jefe). The Waiter
collects a second big payoff - netting $1,800 in the level x2
Brizelli's. The Viper counters with a massive payoff of $300
in the Downtown Bus Station. Bus tickets are cheap in this town!
The Viper's Racketeer heads into the Astoria House. Three Public
markers hang out on the Loop.
Turn 6 El Jefe sends the public to Midland House. Robocop
follows. Public x2 pays $400 to The Head in Hotel Belgrave
twice! The Head uses a bribe to stop John McClane (Cop #8) from
breaking up his sweet arrangement. The Viper forgets to buy Astoria
House. 20/20 Hindsight: The double public payoff to The Head
critically boosts his hurting financial situation.
Turn 7 El Jefe moves three public markers but gets no
payoff. The Head avoids oncoming cops. No payoff for him either!
"Five is an amazing Cop roll," notes El Jefe. The Waiter
picks up another $600 payoff in Brizelli's. We're starting to
think he's got a counterfeiting operation printing up dough in
there. The Viper forgets to buy Astoria House again. Public x3
buys an expensive Bus ticket for $900 (it comes with a free drink).
20/20 Hindsight: The Viper lost all chance in the game when he
forgot to buy the Astoria House twice in a row. As it was, The
Viper finished with seven joints. Could it have been 9?
Turn 8 El Jefe bribes. The Head collects zip again
but now owns 8 joints and is positioned in a 9th! Whoa
did you catch that? All of the rest of the players are caught
just as off-guard by this imminent threat! The Waiter sends Rosco
P. Coltrane (Cop #3) to annihilate The Viper's lone Thug. The
Viper's Racketeer shoots up the Caravan Club (one of The Head's
eight joints) to send all the Public scurrying to escape the
Mob War. The Viper loses one man doing the job. The Viper also
sends Barney Fife (Cop #2) after The Waiter's Thug (where, surprisingly,
he actually hits one).
Turn 9 El Jefe lines a Cop up on The Waiter. "Sorry,
Buddy!" El Jefe empties the public cup to prevent large
one-jump payoffs. We're all worried about that big pile of "tips"
The Waiter has accumulated. The Head buys his eighth joint again.
The Public x3 visits the Ambassadors' Club and puts $2,700 in
The Head's pocket. The Waiter continues above average collections
with his Thug and Vamp. The Viper pockets $900 when the Public
x3 moves over to the Bus Station. Offering free drinks with bus
tickets really seems to bring 'em in! 20/20 Hindsight: Despite
not having a Vamp, one big payoff means the Head's financial
situation is now secure.
Turn 10 El Jefe sends Robocop to hit The Waiter's lady.
She's Dead Meat. The Waiter asks, "Can I win without all
of my pieces?" The Head upgrades his joint and heads to
his potential ninth joint. The Public x3 pays $600 to The Head.
The Waiter picks up another big payoff -- $2,300 using Public
x3 in Brizelli's Counterfeiters. The Viper sends Robocop to slay
The Head's remaining Thug. Robocop does not disappoint. The Viper
buys his seventh joint, moves into an eighth joint, and seduces
The Waiter's Racketeer. 20/20 Hindsight: My Racketeer move took
me away from the Subway in order to get into a new, unowned joint.
Given my 7 strength and the need for my Racketeer to stop The
Head, this was a crucial error. 20/20 Hindsight: The Waiter's
innocent comment focused El Jefe's and The Viper's countermeasures
on stopping his cash victory. However, that focus also let The
Head pick up another joint without the opposition he typically
would have faced.
Turn 11 El Jefe seduces the Waiter's lone remaining
Thug. The Waiter has a lot of cash, but his cash flow has been
neutralized and expenditures are coming up (no Thug or Vamp at
this point). On the downside, the Waiter cannot help stop The
Head. El Jefe sends his Racketeer to shoot up The Viper's Astoria
House. It's a dangerous move, but is aiming at stopping the Red
Monopoly threat (as Viper now owns three of the four red joints).
He needs to roll sixes. "Think LBA!" (El Jefe and the
Viper also play Victory in the Pacific where Land-based
Air [LBA] also require sixes to be hit.) El Jefe whiffs. He loses
one Racketeer in the tommy gun exchange. The Head buys his ninth
and heads into his tenth joint. El Jefe loses another Racketeer
but manages to take down the Astoria House. The Viper's brief
threat is eliminated. The Waiter pays $1,200 for a new lady.
The Viper buys his seventh joint again. The Viper vamps The Head's
new 2-strength Thug since his lousy
green "1" roll won't get him to one of The Head's joints
(or anywhere else for that matter).
Turn 12 El Jefe decriminalizes his Racketeer to prevent
Cop-induced casualties. With no other options (not even from
opponents who'd have been glad to spend the $500 kibitzing fee),
he also vamps the Head's last Thug off the board. The Head then
buys his tenth and final joint and recruits the missing Thug
with $2,500 in cash to spare. He keeps his head and wins! 20/20
Hindsight: Removing gangster pieces is almost always a futile
way to stop a joint-player from winning. Also worth noting is
that The Waiter would have had the cash to win on Turn 11 if
his Thug and Vamp hadn't been removed. Removing gangster pieces
is a great way to stop a cash-player from winning (albeit temporarily).
While defending champion Thomas "The Mumbler" Richardson
couldn't attend this year as a result of basic training, his
brother, Pat "El Jefe" Richardson, carried the family
torch all the way through the Final.
Congratulations to Jeffrey "The Head" Hacker on
ending the domination of cash magnates and pulling off a ten-joint
championship! Godfather Hacker promises to lead us into the modern
mobster era using computers to acquire real estate cheaply.
"I bought ten joints fer just a few Gs. Youse can do it
tooz! Ordah muh do-it-yerself kit fer only $19.95. Does it in
the next half-hourz, and youse'll get this tommy gun free. But
is that all? No, if youse ordah today youse get one no,
wait, two Valentine's Day cahdz! Call now at 1-800-HIT-MEN!
The extras don't stop there.
John's players all get personalized gangster namebadges with
their monikers forevermore. If you've played in his tournament,
you're in his directory of mobsters.
This year's goodies included
a variant counter sheet and rules, handcuffs, and the usual framed
awards for achievements and misdeeds during the tournament.