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Air Baron (ABN) WBC 2018 Event Report
Updated October 8, 2018
56 Players Jessica Finkeldey 2018 Status 2019 Status History/Laurels
  2018 Champion   Click box for details. Click box for details.

New Blood triumphs in the Skies

Air Baron, the old favorite that brings back so many regulars continued to see a slight decline in overall attendance in 2018. This year it dipped to 56 unique entrants, down from 60 in 2017 and 63 in 2016. The schedule remained the same and will likely remain the same going forward, unless the GM hears pleas from the players.

The demo was well attended for a 1996 release with 6 people learning the ins and outs of profit draws and hostile takeovers. All of the demo attendees played at least one heat with John Henry winning his first heat over Air Baron heavyweights Stephane Dorais, Marc Beauregard, and Brad Sherwood. Dorais, Beauregard, and Sherwood would later join Henry in the semifinals as well. Buckeye Mike Stanley won a brutal and painful first heat that saw 13 total calamities drawn, including 4 fuel hikes! In a tournament where the fuel can is never the first calamity in the cup, and there is a two hour time limit on the oil can as well, this was an impressive feat of frustration. WBC Air Baron newcomer Shantanu Saha won an impressive heat by simply owning the three spokes in Miami and its foreign supporters for most of the game. Later, with partial control of the ATL hub and $241 in cash, Saha punched a ticket to the semifinals. Tournament regular Lou Traini picked up an impressive win in heat two besting his second place competitor by a single dollar at the end of the time limit!

The semifinals and finals were held back to back on Friday and the semifinals featured 20 players (16 winners and 4 non-winning alternates). The GM elected to seat all 20 and take 4 winners and the highest rated second place finisher on percentage points. In a tournament where fewer games were adjudicated than last year, only one semifinal game went to the time limit. Erica Kirchner, Stephan Dorais, Steve Scott, and Don Greenwood punched their tickets to the final with a win. Jeff Finkeldey held a slight lead for the last spot with a .846 second place score. He was in until Jessica Finkeldey's table finished and Jessica's .893 score bested him.

The finalists sat down and the mind games began early. Steve Scott made sure to take the green color, much to the chagrin of our long time leader Greenwood. A $2 banker roll lead to moderate buys in the first round, but Kirchner was able to buy San Diego and put the first high value spoke in the cup. Not to be outdone, Greenwood went heavy in Florida with a $6 purchase of Tampa. He would later come to lament his initial purchases as, in his words, he only seems to pull tokens from out west. Kirchner was the first player with market share as she scooped up Las Vegas to pick up 50 points, but it would be a few turns until the second calamity was throw into the cup as Jess Finkeldey secured 120 market share in Chicago.

Round seven was a turning point in the game as the oil can fuel hike became the first calamity drawn. The 10% all but crushed Kirchner out west as she was forced to sell multiple spokes, and eliminated her dominance in PHX. Greenwood survived by selling West Palm and Norfolk. Finkeldey, Dorais and Scott were able to pay with cash and were able to keep all of their property on the map.

On the next turn, Greenwood decided to take a loan to prepare for a fare wars run, but he also pulled a crash token. His $9 crash roll was stronger than he would've liked, but he went on a four spoke run that brought him back to the middle of the pack market share wise. Weary of the fuel hike, he stopped his fare wars run voluntarily. He must've had some idea because on the very next turn the fuel hike hit again. This time Scott sold El Paso. He was the only player to lose property for the hike. Round 9 also saw an incredible payout to Finkeldey of $40 for her Frankfurt spoke. She parlayed that into a strong Fare Wars run where she won five spokes before being stopped. With a market share of 250 (owning Chicago, Dallas, and partial market share in Atlanta) Finkeldey scored another $40 draw of Frankfurt in the 11th and final round giving her $82 and a total score of 332 to secure her first Air Baron championship!

For the tournament, there were 129 total calamities drawn. The leader was the Local Competitor which was drawn 39 times. Just behind was the strike 38 times. Three of those were drawn in the same game by yours truly Max Jamelli. The oil can was drawn 24 times, recession 23 times, and crash 20 times. I hope that all players enjoyed themselves and I hope to see you all back in action in 2019!

2018 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 1

Steve Scott Stephane Dorais Don Greenwood Erica Kirchner Jeff Finkeldey
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
GM Max Jamelli enjoying his game of Air Baron. Some serious airline executives.
Finalists with GM Max Jamelli. Champion Jessica Finkeldey with GM.
GM     Max Jamelli [4th Year]   NA
    MaxJamelli1@Yahoo.com    NA