As happens all too often it seems, many of our nominees for GM of the Year pulled double duty by running multiple events in the absence of enough volunteers to help shoulder the burden of our combined enjoyment. Such was the lot of our top two contenders who each ran a pair of events during our Seven Springs debut.
The competition for our 25th GM of the Year Award was extremely tight with only two points separating the winner from the runner-up, but ultimately John Corrado emerged victorious with a first, two seconds and a third place vote. In his fifth year as the humorous and highly entertaining GM of Facts in Five, the event shattered its previous attendance mark by 37 players—an extremely impressive figure for a non-heat event, especially in a year when convention overall attendance declined by 23%. In all, 144 players took advantage of the larger forums in our new venue to comfortably participate in his highly orchestrated Power Point presentation.
Impressive as that was, John also ran a second event drawing triple digit participation by drawing 119 players to the three heats of Castles of Mad King Ludwig in its second year as a WBC tournament. For running two of WBC’s 25 triple-digit events, John will be our guest at WBC 2017 where we hope he will continue to favor us with his well organized efforts.
Coming close on his heels was Andrew Drummond who had a hand in fellow Canadian Duncan McGregor’s selection as the 2015 GM of the Year with his role as an Ass’t GM last year. The Canuck group nearly made it two in a row as Andrew garnered three first place votes from a short-handed Board to narrowly miss back-to-back honors for the Canadian contingent. Andrew is a relatively new convert to WBC but has become an enthusiastic and highly visible component of the WBC cadre in record time.
His habit of “dressing the part” for events with a collection of themed garb generates enthusiasm and makes him stand out in a crowd which is necessary when you are running events like Can’t Stop. The late night event drew 242 players—some of whom got to play on his especially made giant “board” with the big fuzzy dice. For an encore, he also ran the Seven Wonders Duel debut for 86 players which would have also drawn in triple digits were it not for a shortage of games. And if that wasn’t enough, he also ran THREE Juniors events and is already at it again—proposing several new events for the 2017 ballot.
Taking third place in our suppressed voting with 57 points and one first place vote was George Young whose six-round Swiss format for Twilight Struggle tied its all-time attendance mark with 70 players and 80 games played in its 11th year. George has been its GM for the past eight years during which time it has been the best attended of the two-player game events. It was George’s second Top Six GM nomination.
Fourth in our pantheon of top GM efforts went to another of our double-dipping GMs who ran two events—garnering 55 points and another first place vote. Keith Wixson ran Wilderness War for the 15th straight year and has managed to keep that out-of-print wargame in the Century despite declining numbers with a combination of appropriate tournament formats, expert commentary and tempting replica prizes. He is also in his third year as GM of Washington’s War. Both CDWs owe much of their WBC longevity to his persistent quality efforts. This was Keith’s third Top Six GM nomination.
There was a tie for fifth with both Gareth Williams and Rich Shipley scoring 51 points. Gareth has run The Napoleonic Wars for the past five years as well as helping to administer several other games in an AGM capacity. His three heats of the six-hour game as well as a special learning game to indoctrinate new members has helped keep the event at the top of the laurel food chain. He is certainly one of our most involved international members, bringing both himself and a variety of unique themed prizes across the pond from Morocco.
Rich Shipley’s involvement was somewhat different from the others in that he was not so much an advocate for a favorite game but a volunteer who has stepped in at the 11th hour (three years running) to prevent a gateway game from being abandoned due to lack of a GM commitment. Settlers of Catan has seen its numbers in decline for some time and this year hit a new low. A true devotee of the convention willing to do his part for the common good, Rich also serves in the Juniors Room. This was the first Top Six GM nomination for both Gareth and Rich.