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Brass (BRS) WBC 2019 Report
Updated October 19, 2019.
52 Players Allan Jiang 2019 Status 2020 Status Event History
2018-2019 Champion & Laurels

Reigining Caesar repeats as Brass Champion!

This year’s field of 52 players, including 22 newcomers, was the largest ever at the WBC Brass tournament. It reversed the downward trend in recent years of participants playing Brass at WBC. For example, only 38 players entered the Brass tournament in 2018. The introduction of the new Brass variant, Brass: Birmingham, at WBC in order to attract new participants was deemed a success and will be continued next year.

Using the same format as the 18xx tournament, either game (i.e., Classic Brass / Brass: Lancashire or Brass: Birmingham) can be played in the heats with the agreement of all the players at the table. The selection of which game that is played will be made before tables are assigned to the players. Next year, the semi-final and final will also be voted on by the players at the table, with Classic Brass / Brass: Lancashire being played if there is not unanimous consent.

The first and second heats at the tournament this year each had three of the nine tables playing Brass: Birmingham with the remaining tables using either Classic Brass or the updated Brass: Lancashire. A total of twenty-three games of Brass were played in the three heats and there were seven players that won two heats, the same number as last year.

I have been incorrectly tabulating the qualifying scores for players to advance to the semi-finals. A player’s qualifying score in a heat is calculated as a percentage of the heat winner’s score plus 3/2/1/0 for placing 1/2/3/4th – so a heat winner will always score 4.00 and, for example, a player coming in third with half the winner’s VP’s would score 1.50. A heat winner who plays in only one heat he would place behind a heat winner who played in a second heat.

Heats Most Wins (HMW), however, requires at least one win to make the SF. The total of a player’s best two scores in the heats entered was inadvertently used. This error allowed players with two second place finishes to be placed above a player with one win, which is incorrect according to WBC rules. I am very sorry for this error and to any person who was adversely affected by the error.

This year there were 15 players that had at least one win and the player with the best score without a win qualified for the semi-finals. Other players with high qualifying scores but without a win made the alternate list. The top four qualifying scores are seated at different table for the semifinal, with the tie-breaker being the highest combined total score for both games.

When the survivors emerged from the four semi-final matches, last year’s champion, Allan Jiang, advanced to the final. The other finalists were Scott Pfeiffer, Ben Scholl, and Richard Shay.

At the final game, Allan and Ben played the mill strategy while Scott developed ports. Richard made the best of a sub-optimal hand and produced resources. At the end of the canal era, Scott had a narrow lead over Ben. Allan was a close third and Richard trailed the others by a fairly large margin. As is often the case in Brass, players do not have to win the canal era in order to win the game. All the players had similar rail points but Allan had more industry points than the other players in the rail era, which was enough for him to win the game. Ben finished second, Scott took third place and Richard finished fourth. With his win, Allan becomes the third person to win two Brass championships (Philip Shea and Greg Thatcher also have two WBC tournament wins in Brass) and the only person to have successfully defended his title.

Allan has been kind enough to have written up his experience in the Brass finals at https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/259377/defending-title-my-wbc-2019/page/3 . This write-up is a very well-composed analysis of the final by the best Brass player that I know.

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

2019 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 3
Ben Scholl Scott Pfeiffer Richard Shay Eugene Hourany Avins, Dvd
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Rob Eno contemplating his next move.
John Emery studying the board.
Dvd Avins on way to laurels.
Another Mafia member takes on Brass.
New versions of Brass used in tournament.
Brass Finalists trying to dethrone Caesar.
GM Bruce Hodgins [4th Year]  NA
 hodginsb@sympatico.ca  NA