Chickens Beware ...
Dave Steiner, Paul Van Bloem, Chuck
Foster and Ron Secunda ride the rails.
Frank Sinigaglio escapes the Grognard
room long enough to buy railroads with Eve Secunda.
Attendance continued to decline for this long out-of-print
classic with the smallest field since 1992. This year we had
two players who won two first-round heats. The first was John
Henry, our eventual champion. The second was Sue Lanham, who
also showed her stuff. She not only won two first-round heats,
but her semi-final game as well, and was pleased as anything
to just be included in a Final.
It's always interesting to look at the statistics of all game
winners' RR holdings at the end of the tournament. Last year,
in the NE, the B&O did just as well as the PA, followed closely
by the NYC and C&O. This year, out of 20 games, the PA was
the big winner, held by eight players, followed by the C&O
with six, the NYC three, and the B&O two. Another major difference
this year was that in the SW, the SP was the clear winner, with
11 wins, followed by six for the AT&SF and only two for the
UP. Last year, most winners held the AT&SF, followed closely
by the UP, and relatively fewer winners held the SP. Go figure!
In the SE, the four major RRs did practically equally well. In
the NW, the NP was the leader. The only other RRs worth mentioning
is the high number of winners holding the SLSF, the low number
holding the WP, and, at the bottom of the list, the T&P and
Two players had first-round or semi-final heats in which they
had only one (yes, one) hostile destination, John Henry and myself.
For the most hostile destinations, sympathy must go to John Ford,
who suffered 11 (55%) hostile destinations. And then there is
the case of Harald Henning. That tale of woe deserves its own
Now, I only heard this second-hand, but supposedly, Harald
Henning's first game which was in heat 2, began as a disaster
that had him totally disgusted, and he swore he would never play
RBN again. He had traveled to nine hostile destinations out of
a total of 15 (56.25% hostile)! He returned from the game mid-point
break and announced that he "had a beer and sacrificed a
chicken, and swore he wasn't going to ride anyone else's RRs,
and that everyone was going to ride him!"
Well, the sacrifice seems to have worked. Eve Secunda paid
Harald $30K to go in and out of Charleston. Norm Newton paid
Harald $30K to go in and out of Phoenix. Then Norm paid him $30K
to go in and out of Miami. Then Chuck Foster paid him $10K in
and out of San Diego. Then, Harald won the game with only the
AT&SF, C&O, SAL, ACL, and the IC.
There was also some speculation that the chicken sacrificed
was two-headed, because Harald's wife also won her Round 2 first-round
heat. Later, to do penance for his swearing to "never play
again," he showed up for his semi-final game wearing a homemade,
red paper fez . When Dave Steiner entered the Marietta game room
to see how things were going, he saw Harald and exclaimed, "I
don't know who you are, but the fez is familiar." Yes, it
was that kind of a tournament! And, yes, Harald won his semi-final
game, and if you look at the photos of him at the Final, you
will see the red fez.
Statistics from the Final: John Henry's RR holdings were:
PA, SP, SLSF, L&N, NYNH&H, RF&P, and CMSTP&P.
As is normal in a 5-player game, there were several auctions:
Donna auctioned off her RF&P to John and the D&RGW to
Harald, and Inger auctioned off her WP and GN to Harald. For
more details on the tournament, see railgamefans.com/rbp/
My congratulations go out to John Henry on his big win and
all the other finalists. Thanks to my assistant GMs Paul Van
Bloem and Chester Lanham and to my wife Eve for her assistance.
See you all next year!
Mike Zorrer, Kyle Greenwood and Ron
admire Harald's homemade fez.
The finalists gather for the last
ride of the 2010 WBC season
with three ladies at the table.