I hope you enjoyed your experience at WBC 2014. You helped set another record attendance during our ninth year in Lancaster. In all, players from over 50 states and Canadian provinces plus a record 21 nations attended in 2014. Two dozen events drew triple-digit participation – another all time high! All of the scheduled 159 events achieved tournament status with fields ranging from a minimum of eight to a record 303 players for Ticket to Ride. This year’s champions are now listed on line at http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc/champs.htm. A more complete listing of the top six places, updated laurel totals, photos and anecdotes for every event as only WBC does it will appear on our website in November.
14 reigning WBC champions successfully defended their titles, led by the Master, James Pei, who extended his latest streak in For The People to six years to maintain his hold on WBC’s longest current winning streak. Curt Collins II remained his closest pursuer with his fourth straight Union Pacific title – but will require voting support in our Annual Membership Drive Trial Event selections if he is to get the opportunity to try for a fifth. Other contenders in this 14-member pack are Peter Gurneau (Combat Commander) and Eric Wrobel (Merchant of Venus) who claimed their third straight championships in their respective specialties.
113 new champions were crowned for the first time, including 35 who claimed their first WBC title of any kind. That left 46 enjoying another taste of victory in their favored event – with 29 of them claiming higher Boardmaster status with their third (or more) championship in their game of choice. 92 players earned their first laurels to claim genuine contender bonafides in the years to come. 15 gents managed to win two events each while the ladies’ market share shrunk by 40% as only six achieved the top rung in 2014. But all were overshadowed by the awesome performance of Nick Henning who won FIVE titles – a heretofore never achieved total that rendered my usual baseball analogies obsolete. The accomplishment was even more impressive because Nick had won only one of those events previously.
Running WBC takes a lot of effort, but few realize that the work following each convention actually surpasses that which precedes the next one – or so it seems at the time. That is especially true this year with all the preparations required for making a smooth transition to a new venue in 2016. 2014 may well be remembered as the year the public forums changed from pillorying the Lancaster Host to criticizing the decision to leave it. Venue changes are always controversial and this one was no different. The announced change of location to Seven Springs, PA for 2016 aroused much comment, pro and con, as was expected. We will have more to say on this subject in due course From the Director’s Chair section of our website. Be sure to subscribe to our free monthly email newsletter for prompts to this and other information pertaining to the future of WBC as it becomes available.
In the meantime, I want to remind everyone that WBC is all about volunteers. You only get out of WBC what you put into it. For most of you that may be only a few minutes, but give us those few minutes. If you saw an act of sportsmanship or a good (or bad) GM experience tell us about it. Nothing gets rewarded or corrected if we don’t hear about it. Drop me a line at CD@boardgamers.org to take part in our Awards process and/or GM feedback program with your impressions.Similarly, if you want to see an event added to WBC 2015, know that it will only occur if someone volunteers to run it and is willing to do so according to our rules. So, if you want to be a part of the solution instead of a part of the problem and are willing to serve instead of being served, read ourGM Guidelines and then submit an Event Form by November 25th. That will get your event on the ballot and we will put it to the membership in our Annual December Membership Drive.
Those joining the BPA at that time enjoy our lowest prices, get to vote for our 25 New or Continuing Trial events for 2015 and get free souvenir t-shirts, hats and/or full color Yearbook. But that ends and prices increase at the end of the year. So, take a moment now to subscribe to our free monthly email newsletter to be kept appraised on the when and how of it all.
Note: first time attendees … The daily rate you paid as a walkon visitor is FOUR times that enjoyed by members who take advantage of our deepest discounts to pre-register during our December Membership Drive. Actually, the difference is even greater when you consider the free premiums enjoyed by those who become members in December. Even if you don’t join then, there are considerable savings to be had by early pre-registration. So, take a moment to get our free newsletter now and save next summer when we bid goodbye to Lancaster with our tenth WBC in Amish country.
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