Do the Loco Motion
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.
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
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
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
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.