empire builder 

Updated 11/30/2008

2008 WBC Report   

 2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Harald Henning, CT

2008 Champion

Offsite Links

  Rio Grande Games

Event History
1999     Steve Okonski     64
2000     Bill Navolis      61
2001     Jim Yerkey      44
2002     Jim Yerkey      43
2003     Donna Balkan      57
2004     Tom Dunning      64
2005     Tom Dunning      49
2006     Rich Meyer      52
2007     Eric Brosius      62
2008      Harald Henning      66

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Jim Yerkey         MD    03    110
  2.  Harald Henning     CT    08    100
  3.  Tom Dunning        NY    08     97
  4.  Richard Meyer      MA    06     82
  5.  Eric Brosius       MA    08     80
  6.  Steve Okonski      MD    02     70
  7.  Donna Balkan       ON    04     61
  8.  Debbie Gutermuth   TX    08     60
  9.  Bill Navolis       PA    00     50
 10.  Paul Van Bloem     MD    03     40
 11.  Eyal Mozes         NY    02     36
 12.  Chuck Foster       TX    06     34
 13.  Dave Steiner       DE    08     40
 14.  Greg Mayer         MO    00     30
 15.  Mark Kennel        DE    05     28
 16.  Ted Mullally       NJ    05     24
 17.  John Haas          DE    04     24
 18.  Olin Hentz         CT    03     22
 19.  Cliff Ackman       PA    07     21
 20.  Tom Wade           IN    08     20
 21.  Bill Duke          MD    07     20
 22.  Mark Franceschini  MD    00     20
 23.  Mike Backstrom     MN    05     16
 24.  Rich Shipley       MD    03     16
 25.  John Clarke        FL    06     15
 26.  Bryan Eshleman     NC    07     10
 27.  Winton Lemoine     CA    06     10
 28.  Ken Good           OH    05      9
 29.  Brian Smith        NY    02      6
 30.  Debbie Otto        MO    99      3

2008 Laurelists                                           Repeating Laurelists 

Eric Brosius, MA

Tom Wade, IN

Debbie Gutermuth, TX

Dave Steiner, DE

Tom Dunning, NY

Past Winners

Steve Okonski, MD

Bill Navolis, PA

Jim Yerkey, MD

Donna Balkan, ON

Tom Dunning, NY

Rich Meyer, MA

Eric Brosius, MA

Harald Henning, CT

2006 champ Rich Meyer (left) fell to eventual winner Harald henning in the semis.

The Finalists included three making a return trip to the last round from 2007.

Do the Loco Motion

For the second year running we scheduled the tournament early in the week to good effect as attendance rose again and we set the event attendance record in its tenth year at WBC! It looks like Empire Builder early in the WBC week is here to stay.

Nine different variants hit the tables in the event this year. Empire Builder with Mexico was the most popular title in the heats with seven plays followed by India Rails with four plays; original Empire Builder without Mexico and Eurorails each had three plays; Iron Dragon, Lunar Rails and Martian Rails each had two plays while China Rails and British Rails brought up the rear with one game apiece.

While last year's Final saw a lot of new faces, this year it was back to the familiar suspects. After taking sixth place laurels and just missing the Final the past two years, Debbie Gutermuth won semi Table 1, besting Mike Zorrer who finished with $226. Semi Table 2 provided a runaway win for defending champion Eric Brosius over ormer champion Donna Balkan who finished second with $170. Semi Table 3 saw former finalist Harald Henning take a decisive win over former champion Rich Meyer. Semi Table 4 saw Tom Wade rack up the high score of the tournament with $295; Inger Henning finished second with $188. Table 5 provided the closest contest in the semis as Dave Steiner returned to the Final with a close win over two-time champion Tom Dunning, who finished with $236 to claim 6th place laurels.

This year's Final changed from Eurorails to Empire Builder without Mexico due to some runaway wins by the first player into Spain in recent WBC Empire Builder Finals. The change had the desired effect as all players finished above $190. Unless I receive a barrage of email opposition, we'll use Empire Builder without Mexico for next year's Final as well.

Defending champion Eric Brosius put in a valiant effort trying to defend his Empire Builder crown, but never did get the cards he felt he needed and finished second. However, his fourth trip to the Final round proved the charm for Harald Henning who finally got the Plaque he sought. Even after a rough start that saw him lose one and a half turns to disaster cards, Harald was able to overcome his rivals by building a leaner, more efficient network.

I'd like the thank all of the players from this past year's tournament. Sometimes I think you people work harder than I do to make sure the games are run properly, get done on time and most importantly, that everyone has a great time.

 GM      Tom Dunning  [3rd Year]  NA 
    traingamertom@gmail.com   NA

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