This year marked the 28th consecutive running of the WBC 18xx Tournament, which is one of the 21 original 44 tournaments played at the first Avaloncon (WBC predecessor) in Camp Hill, PA. We had our third highest total attendance ever (61 different players which matched our highest total at the Lancaster Host) with our usual international diversity including players from Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom, USA (looking for South American players to get us to 6 continents next year). We were also pleased and really appreciated the increased female participation this year.
The format was like previous years with 2 rounds played each day on Saturday and Sunday leading to Semifinal and Final/Consolation games on Monday. The eligible games for this year were 1822 (4 plays), 1830 (7), 1846 (12), 1856 (2), 1861 (3), 1862 (2), 1880 (2), 18EU (2), and 18NY (2). The final round on Sunday any 18xx that had at least four players interested could be played. Interestingly there was only one ‘wild card’ game played of 18CZ. 1846 was far and away the most popular title which was reflected later in the week when GMT sold out of their 1846 stock in the vendor store. I suspect 1862 will see a similar uptick when it gets republished by GMT in the next few months.
Out of the field of 61, there were 22 different people who won games during the heats, with 6 multi-heat winners. The Robber Baron Award for largest margin of victory went to Antero Kuusi at 30.30% in his game of 1822. The “Bank Error in your Favor” award for smallest margin of victory went to Walt Collins (7364) who beat Kelly Krieble (7354) for a winning margin of 0.14% in their game of 18EU! Special mention also goes to Kelly who went a perfect 4-0 in the heats as the second-place finisher.
At the start of the semi-finals, exactly 16 heat winners were present, so no alternates were needed (sorry Kelly) or heat winners turned away. The four semifinal games played were 1822, 1830, 1846, and 1856. Emerging victorious from the semis were Bruce Beard (1856), Anthony Lainesse (1846), Bill Peeck (1830), and Antero Kuusi (1822). The four met to decide on the game to be played for the event final and for the first time since the event format expanded beyond just 1830, the four finalists agreed to play a game other then 1830!
Here is the summary of the 1846 final game:Bill: Chicago and Western Indiana, Big 4 by auction for 90; $250 left
Anthony: Michigan Southern; $260 left
Bruce: Steamboat Company, Ohio & Indiana, Tunnel Blasting; $260 left
Antero: Mail Contract, Lake Shore Line; $280 left
Initial Player order: Antero (Priority), Bruce, Anthony, Bill
Privates Selection:(Michigan Central and Meat Packing Company removed)
Stock Round 1:Antero: 4 NYC @ $70; $0 Remaining
Bruce: 3 B&O @ $80; $20 Remaining
Anthony: 3 IC @ $80; $20 Remaining
Bill: 3 GT @ $80; $40 Remaining
Operating Round 1:NYC: Buys 2x 2
B&O: Buys 3x 2
IC: Buys 2, 3/5
GT: Buys 2x 3/5
Stock Round 2: Bruce ends with 6 shares, Antero & Anthony 5 and Bill 4
Operating Roud 2: Big 4 and Michigan Southern bought in. Bill's GT built from Chicago to Indy (IC track) & IC built from Detroit to Chicago (GT track) which was an unusual occurrence. Antero decided he was losing the stall and bought the last 3/5NYC: 2, 2, 3/5, 3/5
B&O: 2, 2, 2
IC: 2, 2, 3/5
GT: 3/5, 3/5
Stock Round 3: Bruce still 1 share up
Operating Round 3.x:IC (sold out): paid and bought 4/6
B&O paid and bought 2 x 4/6
NYC half paid and bought 4/6
GT bought in shares and paid with 2 x 3/5; Eventually, GT sold out and bought a 6T
Bruce brought on the PRR @ 150 and bought a 6.
End Game:Bruce had 14 shares and most cash ($2514).
Anthony had 13 shares and $2054
Antero had 12 shares and $2145
Bill had 11 shares and $1765
1 - Bruce 7262
2 - Anthony 6573
3 - Antero 6319
4 - Bill 5494
In the consolation game, an 1830 game was played to round out the top 6 laurelists.Tom McCorry finished 5th and Francois de Bellefeuille finished 6th
Special mention goes to Mark Geary who displayed incredible sportsmanship when a communication mix-up caused him to miss the consolation game. To avoid problems in the future I will plan to have the final start an hour later so there is plenty of time between the Semifinals and the Final/Consolation game for people to get something to eat and relax before the big finish.
Congratulations to Bruce Beard for going undefeated this year playing four different titles (1856x2, 1861, 1846x2, 18CZ) against 13 different opponents. This marks his 13th win in the last 14 years. Grant LaDue gets the “I’m not afraid to learn from the Master” award for playing Bruce three times in the heats, finishing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. The one game he did not play Bruce, he garnered a win which eventually led him to the Consolation Game and 7th place overall.
Thanks to all the participants and we look forward to an even bigger turnout next year!