OK. Let's FIX the WBC. What are your ideas?
Randy Cox
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South Carolina
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Several BGGers have chimed in on their experience (often first timers) at the recently completed WBC in Lancaster, PA.

Well, everyone who attended is urged to fill out the WBC Survey and return it immediately so that the governing board can decide on issues for next year's con (including venue--Pennsylvania or Maryland).

But that's not as important as the final question. It says "What one thing would you change to make WBC better for you?" You get a free shot to persuade the Board to make changes to "fix" WBC.

I'll start by posting my recommendation (feel free to copy my recommendation and send in your survey--quickly--if you don't have ideas of your own).

If you do have your own idea, add it here.

Please, no snide entries like "just eliminate the whole thing" or "I don't care--I don't go." Let's try to make this constructive.
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Randy Cox
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OK. People (including myself) complain about the ubercompetitiveness of the WBC. It's often true in the semi-finals and finals that you'll run into people who care more about winning than about having a good time. In fact, those types can't understand the concept of having a good time without "the wood."

But there are plenty of us who just want to play games we like, against people from all over the world, with a qualified GM present. We don't care about the wood. And some of us even show up at the tournaments with that attitude--play once and leave, regardless of whether we win or not.

Problem is, you could end up in a first-round game with one of those sweaty, hyperventalating, drooling idiots who see the plaques as some sort of validation of their man/womanhood. Oh, let's not kid ourselves...I've not encountered a poor sport ubercompetitive woman yet. Anyway, having one of those at your table could make for a very bad experience. So here's my suggestion to make WBC better...

For all events, allow people to enter as "non-advancement" players. The GM still seats them and makes sure they have a good game and even rules on disputes (not that there should be any in a friendly game). But the GM seats those players only with onther "non-advancing" players. This way, the GM gets more head-count (which is important in the uber-competitive realm of GM event competitions) and the social players don't have to put up with someone who's more concerned about "wood" than being cordial.
 
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2. Board Game: Care Bears: Warm Feelings [Average Rating:5.78 Unranked]
Geoff Speare
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Bedford
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I think a stated emphasis on "playing nice" would help -- if event organizers, GMs, etc., took a stance on people who were taking fits over games, a consensus of proper play might evolve.

(Some games, like Warhammer, use actual "sportsmanship" scores, but from what I've seen they are very susceptible to metagaming and really depend on the players already being on board with sportsmanlike behavior.)
 
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3. Board Game: The Flea Market Game [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Daniel Broh-Kahn
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Phoenix
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There have been so many comments about competition vs social play that I won't rehash them here.

What I want, and am willing to help organize, is a Flea Market! I was actually surprised to see it on the survey...

A decent suggestion would be to use the dealer area (To be relocated to the Lampeter room, near the wargamers and garage doors!) The dealers do NOT want to be selling games for the entire duration of the Con, as they want to play games too. So, Flea Market TUES, WED, THU, Dealers FRI, SAT, SUN. Absolute space efficiency!

Are you reading this, BPA Board?

Daniel
 
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4. Board Game: Tangled Webs [Average Rating:4.10 Unranked]
John Squires
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Brooklyn
New York
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I did not attend the WBC, so I don't have a survey to pass this feedback to them directly.

About 2-weeks before the con I checked out their website. I couldn't figure out 1) How to sign up for tournaments. 2) If it was too late to sign up for tournaments.

The lack of information made the WBC intimidating so I didn't go.

The website had a ton of information but it seemed to mainly be geared to WBC-regulars. If they would like to bring in new gamers I would suggest they design their site to be more newby-friendly.
 
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5. Board Game: San Francisco [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:4986]
Dave Eisen
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Menlo Park
CA
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Have it somewhere else. Having to fly to the east coast for this event makes it just about impossible for me to manage.

Or is this one of those snide comments you were trying to avoid?
 
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6. Board Game: Monster Dinner [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Jason Wagner
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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The food at the hotel was OK, but limited, and each place was open at awkward hours. There was a lack of good places to actually sit down and eat. I prefer not to eat meals while gaming, because I eat like a Dolan.

The vendor booth downstairs should probably be switched with the food service table. They should add pizza and some other options. The front doors to the open gaming room should be opened with a wide path through the room to get to the other ballroom without having to pass the food line. They should also remove several tables from Cafe Jay to alleviate foot traffic problems.

I also think that a dinner party one night early in the week would be a good idea. Maybe open bar and karaoke too. It creates an excellent atmosphere for socializing, something I've heard is lacking at the WBC. It may be expensive, but...
 
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7. Board Game: Lottery [Average Rating:4.28 Unranked]
Jason Wagner
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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How about a raffle? Prizes could be: one of several games(either bought or donated), a free night at the hotel, a percentage of the proceeds, free BPA membership the following year, etc. The money collected could help pay for the dinner party.
 
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8. Board Game: All My Children [Average Rating:4.69 Unranked]
Jason Wagner
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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Start them young!

Great strides were made in the Juniors part of the con, but I think we need to do more to attract and keep a younger crowd. I really don't want to see this con (and our hobby) die out with the generation ahead of me. The kids this year were much better behaved than I remember (much better than I was at that age!), and were excellent gamers as well. I lost to the Teen Girl Squad!
 
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9. Board Game: Busen Memo [Average Rating:4.78 Overall Rank:16065]
Jason Wagner
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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Anyone up for trip to the strip club next year? I hear those Amish girls show a lot of calf...
 
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10. Board Game: Surprise! [Average Rating:5.71 Unranked]
Maik Hennebach
Germany
Frankfurt
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Not a real change, but a possible addition that might appeal more to relaxed gamers and less to obsessive losers:

Introduce a Surprise Tournament where a different game is played in every match. A possible way to do this is to select a dozen games that
a) play well with four players,
b) can be explained within 15 minutes and
c) last for about an hour.

For every table of four players, a GM decides the game to be played be rolling a D12. Then, he either hands each played a copy of the rules (if he's feeling lazy) or explains them himself (if he's feeling nice).

The list of games should probably be made available at the website beforehand or at least when signing up for the event.

This tourney format would be a bit similar to the Deutsche Brettspielmeisterschaften (German Boardgame Championships), where teams of four players contest in four different games. Incidentally, the German Championship has regional preselections and 500+ participants, which leads neatly to my next point ...
 
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11. Board Game: Name That State [Average Rating:3.81 Unranked]
Maik Hennebach
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Frankfurt
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... which would be to change the friggin' name, already .

This has already been mentioned in the discussion below, but can't be stressed strongly enough: It is downright silly when an event that might barely get away with calling itself the US National Boardgaming Championship is declared WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. And I'd guess that this attracts the wrong kind of silly people.

If an honest, down-to-earth name (WhateverCon or something like that) should not appeal, at least go all the way and call it the Intergalactical Boardgaming Championship. That would only be a teeny bit more ridiculous and a good deal more funny.
 
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12. Board Game: Signs Up [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
Jason Wagner
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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As suggested by Dan Dolan, we need more signs. "Registration This Way --->" perhaps? And also a large bulletin board in a central location for finding opponents and scheduling open gaming. (There probably was one and I missed it.)
 
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13. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:128]
Jason Wagner
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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'Nuff said!
 
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14. Board Game: Wide Open [Average Rating:4.70 Unranked]
Tom "Snicker Daddy" Pancoast
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Henrico
Virginia
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The only real change I can suggest is to encourage more open gaming. Jay's Cafe was one of the best areas of the con because he had a nice stable of games to play. It would be nice if the con partnered with a game club with a decent library, like the Maryland Game Club or CABS and allowed gamers to borrow games.

If it wasn't for Jay, if you didn't want competative play, and you didn't bring your own games, you were out of luck.
 
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