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Brass (BRS) WBC 2018 Report
Updated October 17, 2018
38 Players Allan Jiang 2018 Status 2019 Status History/Laurels
2018 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

Five Newcomers Despite Decline In Attendance

Attendance dropped at this year’s Brass tournament, which had thirty-eight players including five newcomers competing as entrepreneurs in Lancashire during the industrial revolution. I hope to reverse this drop in attendance by the introduction of a new Brass game. Brass: Birmingham will be included at next year’s WBC as part of the Brass tournament. Using the same format as the 18xx tournament, either game (i.e., standard Brass: Lancashire or Brass: Birmingham) can be played in the heats with the agreement of all the players at the table. The semifinal and final will still use Brass: Lancashire.

In one of the three heats, Brass history was almost made. In the rail era, Rob Murray built a shipyard in Liverpool. Richard Shay knew he could only get one of the two remaining shipyards and that Rob would get the other one. Richard built rail into Birkenhead and Barrow-in-Furness for the victory points and to give him the option of building a shipyard in either location. Players knowledgeable in arcane Brass rules will know that this set-up allowed Rob to build a shipyard in Birkenhead using the virtual connection from Liverpool with a shipyard card, a situation that almost never occurs in a Brass game. The new edition of the Brass rules makes the virtual connection from Liverpool optional, since the rule is confusing to beginner and even intermediate Brass players. When Richard built the rail, Rob saw that he could utilize the virtual connection, something he said he has not seen in over 500 Brass games, GM Bruce Hodgins and GM Emeritus William Kendrick were summoned from their games to witness the board in Richard and Rob’s game. Rob delayed building his second shipyard in the hope that one of the new cards dealt to him after each hand would yield a shipyard card. Alas, it was not to be, Rob did not get a shipyard card and the virtual link was not used. He built his shipyard in Birkenhead using the named card. The delaying tactic did not affect Rob's game as he still went on to win the heat.

In the other 16 preliminary games there were four double winners, but only one, Paul Sampson, survived the semifinals to advance to the final game. A total of 16 qualifiers played in the semifinals to thin the herd. When the survivors emerged from the four semifinal matches, Ben Scholl, a finalist from last year’s tournament advanced again to the final table along with Paul Sampson, a former Brass champion. Also advancing to the finals was Nick Henning and Allan Jiang.

In the final game, Allan started the Canal period with a coal mine in Oldham allowing Paul an inexpensive cotton mill development followed by Nick with a port development. Ben followed Paul's lead with a cotton mill development signaling that cotton mills were going to be contested. At the beginning of the third turn, Allan developed and placed a port in Fleetwood. The battle lines where now clear as it would be Nick vs Allan for ports and resources and Ben vs Paul for cotton mills. At the beginning of the Rail Era two leaders had emerged -- Allan and Ben both with 45 V.P.s, followed by Paul at 36 and Nick trailing with 28. Ben pushed building 5 mills in the rail era. Allan responded by building fourteen rails and both shipyards which was enough for the win.

I would like to thank my Assistant GMs Jack Jung and Kevin Snider for their help in this year’s Brass tournament.

2018 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2
Ben Scholl Paul Sampson Nick Henning Greg Thatcher Richard Shay
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
At least one is smiling!
Lane Newbury contemplates his next move.
Finalists with GM Bruce Hodgins
GM Bruce Hodgins [3rd Year]  NA
 hodginsb@sympatico.ca  NA