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Brass (BRS) WBC 2023 Report
Updated November 1, 2023
47 Players Jay Matthews Event History
2023 Champion & Laurels

Spectacularly Close Finish In First Birmingham Final!

This was the third WBC Brass tournament that included both Brass: Lancashire and Brass: Birmingham. The two games have the same overall idea and mechanics, but different maps and industry buildings make for a different game strategically. In 2019, about two-thirds of the games in the heats were Lancashire. Last year, it was about a 50-50 split. This year, we had more players playing Birmingham in each heat. In heat 1, there were 5 tables of Birmingham and 4 tables of Lancashire. Heat 2 had 4 tables of Birmingham and 3 of Lancashire. And Heat 3 had 4 tables of Birmingham and 2 of Lancashire. Many thanks to the players who were flexible between playing Lancashire and Birmingham, my AGMs Ben and Philip for helping run the event, and to the previous GM Rob who had developed a good system for signing players based on their strength of game preference.

We had 17 unique winners this year, led by triple winner Stephen Costa. Two of the winners did not show up to the Semifinal, so one player without a win ended up advancing. We ended up having 3 tables of Birmingham and 1 table of Lancashire this year. The three Birmingham tables were won by Stephen Costa, Cliff Flachsenhar, and Jay Matthews. Ben Scholl won the Lancashire Semifinal by a single point over Carl Chauvin, in which a late overbuild ended up determining the result.

For the first time ever, this year’s Final table played the Birmingham edition of Brass. The market arrangement and card distribution resulted in an unusually tight game, with all four players pursuing similar risk mitigation strategies. Each player speculated in crates and pottery in the Canal Era, and nobody invested in cotton mills. Jay opened the game by developing 2 breweries, Stephen, and Cliff both took a loan, and Ben also developed 2 breweries. Stephen's last action of canal was overbuilding his level 1 pottery with a level 3 pottery, flipping Ben's brewery, and denying Jay a double rail action at the start of the rail era. The scores were 42-39-39-34 at the half.

Jay went first in the Rail Era, with over $90 in hand, and achieved a rail advantage early. Still, it was a very tight game with no apparent leader. Stephen invested in Level 5 pottery (the game’s highest scoring building) to vie for the win. The endgame turned about successive decisions on whether to overbuild Stephen’s ironworks. With a depleted iron market, Jay discussed with the table whether to overbuild Stephen’s Level 3 ironworks or to achieve more points relative to the entire table. Jay chose instead for his final four actions to build (and sell) a Level 3 pottery and a Level 3 brewery. This left the overbuild opportunity to Ben, but only to build a Level 3 ironworks on Stephen’s Level 2 ironworks (for less of a point swing). The final score was about as close as four players can be: 132-129-129-129, with Jay’s decision turning out to be the right one for the win. Ben’s overbuild earned him second place by the income track tiebreaker, and Stephen took third place.

2023 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 1
Ben Scholl Stephen Costa Cliff Flachsenhar >Carl Chauvin Jonathan Mattanah
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
GM Allan Jiang enjoying heat game.
Watching for where he will go next.
Tedd Mullally enjoying his return to WBC.
Finalists with GM Allan Jiang.
GM Allan Jiang [1st Year]