2014 WBC: Back in the tribe after two year absence
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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Made it back to WBC http://www.boardgamers.org/ after missing the last few years. Had a fantastic time. AAR below.
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1. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:262]
Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

Started the WBC experience with a trip for business to NYC. Glorious Sunday afternoon the week before WBC.

From gallery of Herr Dr

Stocking up on supplies in DC

From gallery of Herr Dr

Hannibal kicks off the precons for yet another WBC. Bruce Widgor at extreme right of wargameroom designer fame. If you play card driven wargames, you'll want to check that out. Pei brothers across the table from him. Jim in the back with his Carthaginian helmet he always wears. My good friend Pete Reese to his left

WBC begins when I fly into DC the night before. This year, I had business on the east coast the week prior. When I got to DC at the end of the week, my friend Pete puts me up for a nite and then drives us up to the con. Usually we get there by 1 PM after stopping at a diner on the way.

I play in HRC (Hannibal) if it doesn't conflict with Paths of Glory HRC is one of the gang of BIG DOG wargame tournies (2 to 3 days, 6 rounds, 32+ participants and a long history of TOP notch competition - the others are Paths of Glory, Breakout: Normandy, Victory in the Pacific). For the People and The Russian Campaign are also close in terms of a gruelling slog to the gold. I believe only two players at WBC have ever won two of the events in one year:

1. Pete Reese - HRC and POG in 2002. He also won his first two rounds of Wilderness War , but then withdrew to make the brackets easier for the GM. 14 straight victories of very competitive card driven wargames.

2. Riku Riekkinen - PoG and FtP in 2008. That will never be equalled again. The Finnish dragon knocked the Nest of Spies out of contention for the team championship (would have been their fourth in a row) by defeating myself in the PoG finals at the beginning of the week and the Master Pei in FtP finals at the end of the week. The effect on his mind of participating & winning both events can be seen below (he is in the RANGERS! Slapshot picture below).

Nic Anner also did something close to what Pete and Riku achieved: he won PoG and Puerto Rico in 2004: narrowly beating out a one Arthur Fields for the PRO gold ring.

This year, HRC and PoG started within an hour of each other, so, I passed on HRC. It was great to see friends I haven't seen in 3 years. As always with good friends, the conversation simply started with were it left off three years ago.

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2. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:169]
Board Game: Paths of Glory
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

20 turn prelim game between Peter G (the GM) and 4375 (his AREA number for PoG - was the lowest ranked active PoG player when he had the tshirt done and wore it as a badge of honor - Nels.

From gallery of Herr Dr

The PoG legendary roll off. So, we play three rounds. The 2-1s roll off to advance. Usually 7-8 for 5-6 spots; so, each player has about a 75% chance to advance. We've tried all the normal ways to break ties for advancing to the money rounds, and, they all suck (strength of opp). About 10 years ago we hit on the right formula: roll dice. Keeps everyone playing the 3rd round (all the 1-1s). And, something about spending 24 hours (3 rounds at 8 hours each) and then having the advance to the quarters decided by a ridiculous die roll is at the essence of WBC: serious competition, but, with a BIG laugh and giggle. The young gentleman (red shirt) is Alex Gregorio - his father is Tom Gregorio of The Russian Campaign fame. Alex started playing PoG a few years ago and consistently gets into the quarters now. Alex is fantastic WBC opponent: great sport, tough player and enjoyable to spend eight hours with facing across the table of a complex wargame

From gallery of Herr Dr

Quarter final round.

From gallery of Herr Dr

Semi's

From gallery of Herr Dr

Finals: MeCay vs Birnbaum. Birnbaum turned in a REAL turkey this year (SR'ing the german 8th army to Balkans and back); finals were over turn 7? First time the finals haven't went deep into the game for many years.

From gallery of Herr Dr

GM Peter G. Did a GREAT job in his first year with this BIG dog event. Peter G here is showing off his prize for winning the European PoG Championship.


First event I participated in was the PoG-a-Thon: six consecutive eight hour rounds during the "precon". Enough to turn anyone's brain to rubbish...and then begin the actual convention. One of the prime reasons to compete in the event is that you are likely to get a number of 8 hour 20 turn epic affairs. Top pic is of one such game.

I was lucky enough to have such a game with Peter G in round 3 (my only loss). Went to last die roll of turn 20 (a full eight hour 2AM game). I should have won that game (took 8 VP spaces in France and 4 in Russia). But, good play by Peter G with his Army of Orient took Constantinople (Turks couldn't dig a trench to save their lives) and the cards didn't fall right for pushing giving the Tsar the ax and the revolution a go.

A 2-1 record put me in the roll off, but tossed a 13 with 5 dice. I think a 15 got the 5th 2-1 into the quarters (three undefeated....four, but Mr.Drueding decided to drop). I deserved the poor roll: I was PoG rusty.
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3. Board Game: Trailer Park Wars [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:7520]
Board Game: Trailer Park Wars
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Becoming sort of a tradition for a few of us: a nice trash talking screw your neighbor game of trailer trash. Yes, it's a wargame. Even has surface to surface missiles.

From gallery of Herr Dr

I scored the first two pink flamingoes (which are the VPs in the game). Shortly thereafter, an opponent dropped a tornado on my trailer park or something and blew those birds away.
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4. Board Game: Bermuda Triangle [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:14398]
Board Game: Bermuda Triangle
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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Threatened to bring it (The Bermuda Triangle) and did. Managed to get in three prelim heats to determine the players for a final (LaDue, Wixson and Dolan won). Never managed to get the final off. Next year we'll have The Bermuda Triangle finals.

From gallery of Herr Dr

During a stop at the restroom, noticed the "ad" on the wall for some Axis and Allies variant. THAT is something you will only see at WBC! Should have taken it down and put up in a truck stop restroom right next to the "for a good time, call" ads
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5. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:158]
Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

Dan Dolan uses an instrument that he carries in his pocket to measure my foot. My wonderful wife had called about 5 minutes earlier and demanded "I need to know the exact size of your foot in inches". Still don't know why. Will find out in a day or so.

Stopped by the event and had a friend explain the rules to this game in about 10 minutes. I had bought it awhile ago, but it had been sitting in the closet since. I then managed to play three games of it; one against the game developer/lead playtester. Getting beat badly by a shark of a game is the only way to learn how to play it.

I can see playing in this tourney in the future. James Pei, card driven wargame master, won the gold. The GM (the designer) gives out GREAT prizes for this and that.

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6. Board Game: Lost Worlds [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:4837] [Average Rating:6.53 Unranked]
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David Dockter
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Minnesota
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Played Lost Worlds: Amara Wintersword with Grant LaDue in the bar late one night. I think I defeated him. Why were we playing this? Years ago I stumbled across the Chain Mail Lady. Someone bought me a Lost Worlds (it is like Ace of Aces) book with her pic on the front. Since then, Grant and I try to get in game during WBC.

Such silly games are part of repairing my mind after the abuse PoG dishes out, prior to the epic For the People tourney at the end of the week.
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7. Board Game: Dungeon Dice [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:4321]
Board Game: Dungeon Dice
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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More late nite silliness. Was walking thru open gaming at 2AM and was grabbed by two of my east coast friends. Played with JR Tracy and Chris. Another fun gaming experience. Sadly, JR had his critters (a loyal dog and goat?) killed off in one our quests.

Not a bad game.
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8. Board Game: Breakout: Normandy [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:1471]
Board Game: Breakout: Normandy
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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Never got on the BKN train in the past. Respect the design, but, it's not in my wheelhouse; not enough chaos & chrome - TOO much calculation to determine "optimum" attack. However, we've got a member of First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society , Lt. Jason, that is on a quest to become good and someday a BKN shark. Consequently, we've been his sparring partner at the club. After I pooped out of PoG, thought I would play a round or two of BKN. Managed to win one and advance to the second round. My second round opponent? Game designer and convention director, Don Greenwood.

Greenwood kicked my arse. 1st turn was all his (he cleared, I think, every beach and/or suffered no debacles). He was even SMILING! I did get a weather change as the German on impulse 6, but, the turn ended impulse 7. Turn 2, he showed me the double impulse tactic and took Caen: he put together an attack of 22 and the Germans never knew what hit them. I think he even asked me to borrow the dice for the remainder of the tourney. Hopefully, more play in 2014/2015 will at least make me somewhat competitive....and Greenwood frown at the conclusion of our next game.

The three entrants from 1st MN did manage to at least advance to the 2nd round before all being promptly dispatched by the old time BKN sharks. "Next year" says the 1st MN.

From gallery of Vrooman

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9. Board Game: The Republic of Rome [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:527] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Board Game: The Republic of Rome
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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WBC is one place where I learn to play games. I don't bother reading rules, but just seek out someone who has a passion for the game.

I've played Republic of Rome a few times previously. Last time I played was 15 years ago. I noticed a heat was taking place and jump into the event. I rounded up a few blokes that were standing around. We had a great table: an OUTSTANDING dungeon master showed us rookies the ropes - and he really added to the atmosphere of the game. Fab game and fab time. Hope to help this event to grow in size next year again.

We are planning to do a vassal/Skype Republic of Rome this fall. Drop me a line if interested.
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10. Board Game: B-17: Queen of the Skies [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:1611]
Board Game: B-17: Queen of the Skies
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

B-17 in full glory. Yes, that is someone in a flight suit and yes, those are all the planes (and their status) tracked on the wall - by squadron. Would only be cooler if they had a big table, with little B-17 models location indicated and some women in uniforms using sticks to push the models here and there

The B-17 tourney at WBC is DA BOMB. What an event! GREAT AAR meeting when it concludes. Outstanding GM(s) and prizes. And, most importantly, the event & tribe generates one hell of a story line each year. Next year, I hope to finally enter the event.

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Family: Series: Der Weltkrieg
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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This was the beast Curtis and his wargaming nutcases from Baltimore choose to play for the entire con. Greenwood always gives these guys some space (along with Joe & Matt - who usually play something like Longest Day). Looked liked a good game and they were having a hell of a time. Guess my group may need to tackle that after La Grande Guerre 14-18
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12. Board Game: Triumph of Chaos [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:3449]
Board Game: Triumph of Chaos
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr


Francis, of the Curtis big honkin wargame tribe, reached out to me prior to WBC 2014 indicating they intended to play ToC during the con. Clash supplied a sign indicating my intent to get v2.0 out the door in 2015.

I stopped in frequently to watch and answer questions. Good fun. WHITE never got rolling.
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13. Board Game: The Korean War June 1950-May 1951 [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:2897]
Board Game: The Korean War June 1950-May 1951
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr


After Triumph of Chaos completed, the boys moved on to this outstanding game.

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14. Board Game: BBQ Blitz! [Average Rating:5.58 Unranked]
Board Game: BBQ Blitz!
David Dockter
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Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

THE Andy Nelson preparing our BBQ.

From gallery of Herr Dr

Curdis and Dan Dolan jr. chowing down on Andy Nelson BBQ

Yet another great tribe at WBC lead by Curdis are the blokes that play ONE monster wargame all week at WBC. I first met Curdis and his crew a decade ago at Baltimore WBC. They were playing Burma (OCS) at the time. Every year since I stop by to see their game and listen to their many gut busting stories.

This year, on Tuesday, we started to talk about BBQ and our yearning for Andy Nelson's special treats. I think Daniel heard us talking about how we really had a hunger for the chow. He promptly dispatched his son to bring us some up from Baltimore. It arrived the following day at 4 PM and a large group of us we then eating pork, ribs and brisket. Heaven.

Luckily for us, when the supply was exhausted, the Host was serving grilled bacon AND cheese sandwiches. While not as good as BBQ, grilled bacon AND cheese is also among the truly great inventions of the last few thousand years and will tie one over until the next resupply of BBQ arrives. Bacon & cheese.
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15. Board Game: Perudo [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:713]
Board Game: Perudo
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Attended for the first time this year. 200 people shaking a dice cup in unison prior to the event beginning is pretty damm cool. Was accused of "having my crazy switch on" when it came to my bluffing strategy.
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16. Board Game: Wilderness War [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:888]
Board Game: Wilderness War
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

Master Pei vs LaDue. LaDue prevailed.

One of the many great things WBC produces are epic matches. The night prior to the finals of Wilderness War, Grant and I shared a beverage in the bar. We swore a pack to defeat Master Pei in the Wilderness War and For the People finals. LaDue fulfilled his end of the bargain. I was able to defeat one Pei (Padawan Pei) in the quarters, but came up short in the semi's of FtP.

Anyways, I like to sit in on good matches. This one lived up to its promise. It went down to the very end of the 3+ hour match.
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17. Board Game: For the People [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:967]
Board Game: For the People
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

Beginning of final turn: the dance of death around Richmond.

From gallery of Herr Dr

Destroied the CSA AoT in wicked fight to first maintain and then reopen the supply line to the south

From gallery of Herr Dr

The final USA play. Richmond holds by a whisker.

From gallery of Herr Dr

Breaking bread with my good gaming mates, the Pei's.

From gallery of Herr Dr

i]A picture of FtP game designer Mark Herman and myself from a few years ago - proudly displaying a tshirt my friend Gordon gave us as a present[/i]

As always, I had an absolute blast in the For the People tourney. Shout out to 16 year old Max: he is going to be a GREAT wargamer. He played a competitive game of FtP.

I had two VERY enjoyable games with close gaming mates: Nick Pei and Bill Pettus (who taught me Paths of Glory). My game with Nick Pei went 13 turns (the entire distance). I, as the CSA, prevailed (one raid all game - and blockade of zero). Nick mounted a WICKED final turn attack at Richmond, but, the Army of Northern Virginia held firm. The pictures above are from that final turn. Nick's last play was a minor CC. From turn 2 thru 11, Nick as the USA drew 2 discarders and 7 campaign cards. I drew none. This was one of my favorite FtP games ever. And, yes, the LONG CSA game (defending, but, an active defense - I managed to eliminate two USA armies {one with 13 SPs!}) can be a winner against very strong opponents - providing blockade is low.

My second game with Pettus was VERY interesting also. Me CSA. I received about 13 SPs from cards in the first 7 turns. Decided to go with a western strategy. Loaded up an army (+7 modifier...lead by Jackson) and attacked bloomington...three times vs a +3 corp. Failed every time (1/9 x 1/9 x 1/9). In fact, I don't think I won a combat roll until turn 7. Brutal. I did make a BIG mistake, in not just taking a few rounds and building the army up to 15 SPs - especially in the absence of an opposing USA army in the area. That would have generated a large battle that I likely would have won.

I did manage to raid IL via Padacuh axis. Big Boy (Grant) then showed up.
On turn 8, Pettus made an incredible move: river move with an army to take out Dover. With Dover gone, he then attack my army at Nashville, that failed its interception roll and then was destroied. That unhinged the strong defense position I had built up. By then, USA had also pushed the blockade to 4. On turn 10, I resigned when USA used another discarder to remove my Major CC.

Loved playing against my mate Pettus again (he outplayed me - when I was being pig headed about the dice..."No way I can fail another 8/9 chance"...yes, there was). And, the game made me crabby (damm the dice gods!) which happens to about every wargamer every once in awhile.

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18. Board Game: The Sands of War [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:8905]
Board Game: The Sands of War
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

Followers of the "The Way of the Sand" 2014. Greenwood forgot his fez - so, I had to give him another one. Going to make give a deposit (like for convention badges) in the future. GRAND SANDMAN ELIASON (five plaques now) in the center, proudly displaying his latest trophy to futility

From gallery of Herr Dr

Broke the Sand Plaque fezes out at a bar in the Caribbean a few days before WBC. Maybe we'll get a convert or two. I do know that a room full of fezes in a Caribbean bar makes for a LATE nite of debauchery and what not

From gallery of Herr Dr

Sand tribe parade from a few years ago.

From gallery of Herr Dr

Sand plaquers are now getting their own custom designed fezes made. Wixson got his at Fez-o-rama

From gallery of Herr Dr

Michael Kaye forgot his fez last year. Went to the staff at the Host and told him his plight. They made him a pink one. Mike and two others were all that did the parade last year, but, the boys carried the tradition on!

Thursday nite is the sandbash and sand parade. More about the sand tribe here: http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX/.1ddacb3d/77

Basically, WBC gives away a 6th place plaque for a few events (like 10 out of 150 tourneys each year). They either are euro's that have a few hundred attend or the BIG dog wargame tourneys (things that take a few days to resolve and involve very long games). A few years ago, we got the idea of celebrating the ridiculous nature of finishing "6th" and getting a plaque for it. The color of the rare plaque is "sand". Hence, the sand tribe.

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19. Board Game: A World at War [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:4175] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Board Game: A World at War
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

The glory of the A World at War tribe: they anchor a corner of the WBC wargame hall

I always like checking in on this tribe at WBC: The WaW tribe. They start setting up when we arrive on Saturday by breaking out the cookie sheets (to hold the bazillion magnetic counters they use). If you haven't read this, you should:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/940888/life-altering-gam...
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20. Board Game: Sports Illustrated Baseball [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:6012]
Board Game: Sports Illustrated Baseball
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Another great element of WBC is the randomness. I was walking back to my room one evening and bumped into a gaming friend, Rodney Lee. He asked what I was doing. "Nothing". He said, "Why not play some Superstar Baseball". I told him I didn't know the game (although I used to play STATIS PRO Baseball, Football, Basketball and Racing when Statis Pro was still based in Iowa).

Mr.Lee responded with "No problem; I'll show you how to play". 15 minutes later we were ready to begin. Basically, you pick a team (one of any pennant winners from baseball history). I selected the 87 Minnesota Twins to face his dastardly Dodgers.

Close game. Steve Garvey (Dodgers), who, I hate, managed to go four for five, score three runs and hit a homer. Dodgers prevailed 3 to 2. My friend Nels Thompson stopped by to watch. After the top of the seventh, he decided to go to sleep (I think it was 3:30A at that time). Before leaving, he did lead the room in a rousing rendition of the seventh inning stretch by singing "Take me out to the ballgame" at the top of his lungs (along with us). One of the best moments of my WBC 2014 con.


Next day, we had a rematch. Although Steve Garvey, who, I hate, managed another homer, the Twins prevailed this time 3-2. You are supposed to do eight games in a heat. I only managed two, but, none-the-less, had a great time.
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21. Board Game: Up Front [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:598]
 Missing Image
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Microbadge: Guns, Dice, Butter fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...Microbadge: Wargamer of 40+ yearsMicrobadge: Triumph of Chaos fanMicrobadge: First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society member
From gallery of Herr Dr

First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society member Bob M (on the right) in his first ever WBC final trying to fend off Greenville Mafia Don John Emery

My local club, 1st MN, was able to rope in two new attendees: Bob M (of EiA Sawatdee fame http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1036872/eia-sawatdee/pag... and Michael: a new wargamer that is a great sport, fun to play games with (helped teach me Musket & Pike) - and is helping build our club

From gallery of AlbertaClipper

Michael on left pictured at our club's GMT games day: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1135845/first-first-minn... ....Lt Jason on the right - this was his 2nd WBC {last year being his first}...Sir patrick {2nd from left} and King gordo {2nd from the right} will be attending their first WBC soon

I knew Bob M would excel at WBC tournies. He is among the top (wins and sportsmanship) boardgamers I've ever met. Been playing EiA, WiF, etc with Bob for about 20 years now. He hosts our Sawatdee group in MPLS. He entered three tournies: Britannia, BKN and Up Front. He won Britannia and lost to Emery in the Up Front finals. I predict he'll win two meaty tournies next year; wouldn't even be surprised to see him challenge for the Caesar one of these years.
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22. Board Game: The Napoleonic Wars [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:2722]
Board Game: The Napoleonic Wars
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

Curtis gives a very inspirational speech.

Nappy Wars can be great fun with the right group. An epic game broke out on Thursday(?) nite. I think it began a 7 P and went until 4A. MANY wild swings in that particular game. At least two of the hard core vets that played said it was their funnest/best game ever. English, lead by Francis, ended up winning at the wire.

The next day, I stopped by the semi's. Picture is from the game above. At some point, a podium was wheeled out and Curtis decided to use it to great comic effect.
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23. Board Game: Slapshot [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:3856]
Board Game: Slapshot
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Board Game: Slapshot

RANGERS! slapshot team from a few years ago.

From gallery of Herr Dr

All that remained of 2014 WBC RANGERS! team the morning after: a few splotches of body paint on a table. I did not look under the table to see if anyone was sleeping there

We resurrected the RANGERS! team for 2014. Eight brave souls painted up. We added a coach this year. Hopefully, no one took pictures or video as we made our entrance to event with 200 boisterous souls. Pinch hitter Dan Dolan did an outstanding job of reading the rules this year. Luckily, I managed to lose early and not even make the prelim playoffs. I think my team may have scored a couple of goals in about eight games. Everyone wanted to play (get an easy win) my team.
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24. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:659]
Board Game: Washington's War
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

Another epic final: Young vs Wixson - with Sir Gaberson looking on.

On Sunday mornings, a few finals are played. The one for Washington's War occurred between two great friends and card sharks: Keith Wixson and George Young. Not sure who won.
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25. Board Game: Attack Sub [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:4380]
Board Game: Attack Sub
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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From gallery of Herr Dr

Me taking down my close gaming friend, Marvin.

Sunday morning at WBC is a time for goodbyes, a few tournies (Atlantic Storm in particular) and a few finals. I've always wanted to play Atlantic Storm and took the occasion this year to meet that goal. Andrew Cummins explained the rules in 15 minutes and I was off to the races. I got matched up with my mate Marvin "scenario boy" Birnbaum. I had a british sub vs his two Argentina iron tombs (Falkans War). I managed to sink both and win the game. Marvin threatened to sit on me if I would play the next two games (best of 3 series). I decided to bolt why the bolting was good.

On my way out, Marvin caught up with me and indicated that one loss had knocked him out of the tourney. My thinning the herd mission accomplished, I decided it was time to go to Antietam with Pete.
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