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Subject: One Last View From the Directors Chair rss

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Christopher Yaure
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For what its worth, although I do not use Andy Latto's spreadhseet, I have formatted the submission forms in Excel, type my information in there, and print out and submit those typed Excel spreadsheets. Don ok'd this (initially, the registration room staff declined to accept them). I do this in largest part because my handwriting is so abysmal a handwritten copy would be useless.

As I understand it, Don has always required paper submissions because he maintains all of the event forms in a large set of binders.
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Gareth Williams
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I use VLOOKP as well

CD provides a list of all pre-Regs to GMs before the open.

It is up to GMs to do with it as they wish, or not.

However here is the kicker:

GMs are volunteers so will do things they are most comfortable with.

WBCs strength is that GMs are volunteers and that in return for that they get considerable leeway in how they organise their events.


If you tell GMs they MUST use specific tools in a certain way many of them will tell you where you can get off
 
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Marty Sample
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actuaryesquire wrote:
For what its worth, although I do not use Andy Latto's spreadhseet, I have formatted the submission forms in Excel, type my information in there, and print out and submit those typed Excel spreadsheets. Don ok'd this (initially, the registration room staff declined to accept them). I do this in largest part because my handwriting is so abysmal a handwritten copy would be useless.

As I understand it, Don has always required paper submissions because he maintains all of the event forms in a large set of binders.


Ken the new CD is pretty computer savvy, I could see this changing over time.

Like you, my handwriting is borderline illegible at this point .
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Matt Morgan
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Time for someone who actually is involved in planning PAX Unplugged to jump in here, no speculation needed. (I have no idea who the other account people were referring to here is, so I take him on his word he's not involved)

Marty S wrote:
Just like PAX Unplugged was not designed to compete with BGG.Con, even though its on the same date, I see no reason why some feel the need to compare it to WBC other than its in the same neck of the woods.

I agree that these cons will be very different from each other, will remain distinct, and are not designed in any way to compete with each other.

rshipley wrote:
Eric Brosius wrote:
rshipley wrote:
I wish the new con good luck.

Me too. But I'll be shocked if they get 100 people for a Power Grid tournament or 260 for Ticket to Ride.


Hard to say whether they will even have such tournaments. My guess is that it will be like what Origins and GenCon have become - run for the benefit of game manufacturers rather than game players. Maybe not, but the way it is being presented seems to be "just wait till we tell you what it will be" rather than "hey, tell us what you want". I remember WBC starting with a survey to figure out what potential attendees would like.

I would be shocked too! At a 100,000+ person PAX, where board games are maybe 15% of the convention, we regularly fill little 16 and 32-person tournaments for those games. But even with a con exclusively focused on tabletop gaming, those numbers are stellar. We run 20-30 tournaments each day (and will likely run 3x that for Unplugged), but any con would be hard pressed to get close to that player count.

If anyone has ideas on collaboration with WBC I'd certainly be open to doing anything that'd be mutually beneficial to these geographic neighbor conventions. And if anyone wants to know more about PAX I am happy to answer any question I can (perhaps in this thread, as I don't want to hijack yours too much). PAX conventions came about as a "for the fans" convention in response to the video game industry's events being way too industry-focused, and I'm confident we will achieve that here as welll even though tabletop gaming doesn't have such a problem. PAX certainly isn't for everyone but I have the feeling there will be something for all types of tabletop gamers at this con.

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Eric Brosius
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Thanks for your reply, Matt, and I wish you the best with PAX Unplugged. It's true that the two cons have different targets, but there will no doubt be people who have interests in both, and communication cannot hurt!
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Christopher Yaure
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Matt - thanks for the information, the link, and the tone. By the way, not clear if you were aware, but those tournament attendance numbers for Power GRid and Ticket to Ride are typical at WBC.

Good luck in November! And I hope you get to try the Amish fried chicken and shoo fly pie at Reading Terminal right next to the Convention Center in Philly, or maybe the tapas at Amada a short cab ride or brisk walk away.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
If anyone has ideas on collaboration with WBC I'd certainly be open to doing anything that'd be mutually beneficial to these geographic neighbor conventions.


The one piece of advice I could give here is make sure the GM's you pick to run tournaments at PAX know what they are doing.

I know at large conventions it can be all hands on deck and sometimes you get well-meaning people that are out of their depth.

If you are trying to draw people used to WBC GM's, that won't cut it.

The GM's at the WBC are dedicated volunteers that take the events they are running seriously. Sure there are snafus from time to time, but for the most part, tournaments go off without a hitch and the GM's know their beans.

So, WBC attendees that attend PAX tournaments, I believe, will expect cogently run tournaments and not just a distraction with the moniker "tournament."

I'm really coming to PAX Unplugged for the hype-side (industry) of the hobby, but if that were combined with serious gaming with detail-oriented tournaments, it would be the bees knees.

Kevin
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Eric Brosius
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Does Bassett's Ice Cream still have a location at Reading Terminal? I used to love their Butter Almond (probably still would if I lived in Philadelphia.)
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
Good luck in November! And I hope you get to try the Amish fried chicken and shoo fly pie at Reading Terminal right next to the Convention Center in Philly, or maybe the tapas at Amada a short cab ride or brisk walk away.


My buddy is telling me Bonchon is the way to go for chicken now. I've never had it. I'm looking to compare it to the Amish stuff I get at the Allentown Farmers Market.

I think you have to go pork and broccoli rabe at Reading Terminal, no? At least that way tourists learn what the true Philly sandwich is.

Kevin
 
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Christopher Yaure
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Yes to Bassett's ice cream and yes to pork and broccoli rabe.
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Joel Tamburo
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Now that we have dispensed with the sock puppet attack (many thanks to Matt Morgan for coming here to set the record straight), back to Don's missive.

While over the years Don and I have sparred now and again (probably in part because we both could be called Type A personalities ), I have nothing but respect for Don and what he accomplished.

In fact, I hope that the Board and Ken (the new CD) maintain one big feature that Don brought to the table, which was overall prudence in decision making. Possibly the main reason we still have a WBC and were able to make the jump up in facility quality was the way we ran things beforehand, which let us have the big war chest.

Of course any move that upgraded our facilities was bound to (one way or the other) put us into a position where we had to choose who our primary priority was - those who come and stay onsite for all or most of the convention or those who come up for only a day or two. I think both Don and the Board deserve kudos both for identifying the choice and for choosing wisely.

I'm looking forward to WBC this year, and remember - Don is now out there playing in tournaments so he's fair game!
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Andrew E
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actuaryesquire wrote:
For what its worth, although I do not use Andy Latto's spreadhseet, I have formatted the submission forms in Excel, type my information in there, and print out and submit those typed Excel spreadsheets. Don ok'd this (initially, the registration room staff declined to accept them). I do this in largest part because my handwriting is so abysmal a handwritten copy would be useless.

As I understand it, Don has always required paper submissions because he maintains all of the event forms in a large set of binders.


One of the nicest features of Andy's spreadsheet is that it will produce an event form that's printable and looks close to the standard. The staff gave me the side-eye when I turned it in, but accepted it since it was pretty close and had all the info.

That said, it'll be nice if they can give us a straight excel format standard (or, gods willing, an online submission) we can use as well since the coding for it is awkward as hell and only works in the online version of the form.
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Andy Latto
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GoRight wrote:
Guess what? PAX Unplugged has arrived to do everything and be everything the WBC should have been a long time ago.


GoRight wrote:
Overall I'd prefer a con in a more accessible urban location, skewing younger and more exciting, even if they don't have tournaments as large or as many of them.


So you're saying that what WBC should have been was a convention without as many tournaments and without large tournaments. And what about those of us who go to WBC and love the many and large tournaments? Why would it be a good thing if WBC was yet another con that emphasized vendors trying to sell their latest games, like Origin and Gencon are and I'm guessing Pax Unplugged will be?

Different conventions have different emphases, and appeal to different people. That's a good thing. Pax Unplugged will be a different con than WBC, that will appeal to different people, though there will be overlap.

If you want to encourage those who like WBC to try Pax Unplugged, tell us about what you think will appeal to WBC people. Be positive about PaxU, rather than negative about WBC.

On the other hand, if your goal is to discourage people at WBC from trying PAX, the best thing to do is to make a post that runs down WBC (and when challenged, emphasize things about WBC that are previous-location based and are therefore irrelevant), say that the things WBC focusses on are the wrong things, and that PaxU will focus on the right things, without providing a shred of positive information on what PAXU does focus on.

But maybe that was the goal of the poster, since his perception is that WBC is old people, and that one of the things he thinks will make PAXU better is younger people. One of the experiences I enjoy regularly at WBC is being beaten soundly at games I thought I was good at by people in their teens and younger, so this is just another aspect of WBC that he is running down while being ignorant about.

GoRight's postings had completely persuaded me not to bother with PaxU, though Matt Morgan's posts may have convinced me to give it a try after all, if I can afford a convention that is more than twice as expensive per day as WBC.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
If you want to encourage those who like WBC to try Pax Unplugged, tell us about what you think will appeal to WBC people. Be positive about PaxU, rather than negative about WBC.


I don't think he had a rational position. It was just about venting about what he saw as a convention that didn't cater to his personal needs and preferences.

For what it is worth, I am going to PAX Unplugged soley because I'm probably not going to make it to Gen Con.

Yea, we have an "airport" here in the Lehigh Valley, but it is for shit in terms of actually traveling within the US conveniently. I'm too old to sit on a bus for hours on end and I'm not driving that far.

So, a PAX in Philly is the next best thing.

All I really expect from it is hype and spectacle, but I haven't really seen that side of the hobby in a long time. So it will be a nice change of pace.

Plus, like I said above, I get an opportunity to eat Bonchon and hit the Reading Market.

I'll admit I'm going in kind of prejudiced against actual "serious" gaming like we get at the WBC, but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised on that front.

But I'm going in eyes wide open that this is a trade show, not really a gaming convention. The idea is to sell me shit and WOW me with marketing. I don't think the idea is to really sit down and game for hours on end...unless it is with the games I buy there.

On the other hand, this could be baggage I'm bringing from the WBC. Maybe there will be top-notch gaming here.

Time will tell.

Kevin
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Chris Trimmer
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I went to Pax South a couple of years ago. I spent probably 50% of my time there in organized tournament games and another 30% in open board games.

The tournaments were decently run. They were smaller and mostly for lighter games. They did run some medium weight euros though - Puerto Rico and Terra Mystica.
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Andy Latto
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gundabad wrote:

rshipley wrote:
Eric Brosius wrote:
rshipley wrote:
I wish the new con good luck.

Me too. But I'll be shocked if they get 100 people for a Power Grid tournament or 260 for Ticket to Ride.


Hard to say whether they will even have such tournaments. My guess is that it will be like what Origins and GenCon have become - run for the benefit of game manufacturers rather than game players. Maybe not, but the way it is being presented seems to be "just wait till we tell you what it will be" rather than "hey, tell us what you want". I remember WBC starting with a survey to figure out what potential attendees would like.

I would be shocked too! At a 100,000+ person PAX, where board games are maybe 15% of the convention, we regularly fill little 16 and 32-person tournaments for those games. But even with a con exclusively focused on tabletop gaming, those numbers are stellar. We run 20-30 tournaments each day (and will likely run 3x that for Unplugged), but any con would be hard pressed to get close to that player count.


15% of a 100,000 convention is 15,000 board gamers, and yet the totals that you say "any con would be hard pressed to get close to" are the totals that WBC gets routinely, with only a tenth that many gamers.

Quote:

If anyone has ideas on collaboration with WBC I'd certainly be open to doing anything that'd be mutually beneficial to these geographic neighbor conventions.


If you want to have good tournaments, like WBC has, rather than the tiny ones that PAX events have had, then I think the important thing is not collaboration with WBC, but learning what WBC does right and emulating it. I think that there are 5 key decisions that WBC made that have a huge effect on the size, quality, and number of tournaments they have. If you care about tournaments, you should do these things too.

1. Have tournaments run by unpaid volunteer GMs
When people get monetary benefits by running tournaments (including free or reduced con entry or rooms), then people run as many tournaments as they can, doing the minimal acceptable job, in order to get the rewards. If you have tournaments run by volunteers, you get people who love a game, and want there to be a high-quality tournament in that game, putting in the time and effort for free.

If you want to do this, you should start soliciting for GM's now.

2. Only nominal prizes
Competition is fun if it's friendly. WBC keeps its competition friendly by giving only pieces of wood as prizes. If the volunteer GMs want to give additional prizes out of their own pockets, they can, but even these are restricted in value.

3. Allow GM's to play in their own tournaments
You want the people who love a game and care about it to be the ones running the tournaments, and you'll lose a lot of the people you want if you don't let them play. This is another reason it's important to have only nominal prizes. As long as there aren't big prizes, the WBC technique of avoiding conflicts of interest works quite well; to play in your own tournament, you have to designate two assistant GM's, who will rule on any disputes that occur at your table.

4. Tournaments open to all con members, with no pre-registration.

People don't like to plan their con time in advance. And if there are many tournaments, some people will have to abandon the first round of one tournament when it conflicts with a later round of another tournament they are playing in. If you want big tournaments, anyone at the con should be able to walk in at the scheduled time and play in the tournament.

5. Ask con-goers to bring copies of the games they want to play in tournaments.

If the GM is required to bring all the games, it severely limits tournament size. You might get a GM to bring 4 or 5 copies, but that only gives you a 16 or 20-person tournament of a 4-player game. WBC experience shows that if you ask people to bring copies, enough people will generally bring them to allow everyone to play (which only requires 1 person in 4 to bring a copy for a 4-player game). A rule that says "If there aren't enough copies of a game available, those who brought a copy are guaranteed entry into the tournament" is all you need to do.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
If you want to have good tournaments, like WBC has, rather than the tiny ones that PAX events have had, then I think the important thing is not collaboration with WBC, but learning what WBC does right and emulating it.


In thinking about it more, I don't really think PAX would want WBC-style tournaments, though.

For one thing, it would take away from the "hype" atmosphere of these things. I think tournaments are meant to be a sideline rather than the "main event" like they are at WBC.

We have nine-days to run tournaments of all different stripes...these guys have three. Even if you did all heats and semis/finals in one go like some WBC tournaments, you are talking about people giving up a huge portion of their convention time to one, maybe two tournaments. With at most three days there, that is alot.

For locals, maybe. But I certainly wouldn't be paying the hotel rate I'm paying in Philly just for a few tournaments. I'm paying for the whole splashy convention experience. I just don't know what kind of return they would get from investing so much into tournaments when the core PAX base doesn't seem to be into that kind of thing.

Maybe that will change since this is Unplugged. But what the WBC does isn't really rocket science and if big cons like GenCon or PAX wanted to do it, I think they would have done it by now.

I just think these kind of things are 99% spectacle and industry side of things and tournaments are kind of an add-on. This certainly makes sense from a marketing point of view.

If you are looking to sell new stuff or get people excited about new stuff to buy in the future, you don't really want them with their heads down over Puerto Rico or Twilight Struggle for hours on end.

I think your suggestions are spot on, but my gut says Penny Arcade would look at it and say, "No thanks," or they already have and have decided they don't want tournaments taking up a big part of the convention.

Tiny tournaments fit their whole schema better for what they are trying to do at these things, I think.

Just as we don't want the WBC to become more like PAX, I don't think these guys want PAX to be more like the WBC. Their formula is working quite well.

Now, as I said, I absolutely could be made to eat these words come November. Maybe this is going to be a boardgame convention for people that really want to play games as much as be WOW'd by them.

I'm not going to hold my breath, though.

Kevin
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Daniel Blumentritt
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I was struck by Don's comparison to the US Chess Federation in this regard. I was a member of that for over 20 years and until I read what Don said, I never really thought of the BPA in the same way.

In other words, "membership" in the BPA just seemed like a technicality to go to a game convention. I didn't really feel like a member of anything in the same way I felt a member of the Chess Federation.


But for many people it is a technicality in order to go to thfe convention, because that's their only option if they want to go play in gaming tournaments. They may not care who is on the board (and it's hard to be able to distinguish one option from another) and may not be a good choice for a GM or know a game well enough, or plain just not want to, which is fine too. Nobody's wronging anybody here.

And I also think it's a mistake to think that the pool of potential GMs is equal to the pool of potential players. I've played in a lot of events at WBC over the past decade. The only ones I could have competently GM'ed are Successors (no longer an event), Victory in the Pacific (am an AGM for, might GM in the future, and has about 15 guys any of whom could GM it), War at Sea and Britannia (both have dedicated GMs who are there every year), Can't Stop (don't care about it enough to run it), Here I Stand (and that's no longer true now that there's a new edition), and Football Strategy (not sure of situation). So out of all that, there's 1 game that there's any reason for to submit a form for - and since that event happens every year with a GM who is much more of a regular at the event than I am, what would be the point?

Quote:
When those proposals are limited to one potential GM as they usually are, there isn’t much leeway to force a better decision. So, unless you’re willing to get involved and provide a better alternative, you really haven’t got much right to gripe about those who do.


The idea keeps propping that anybody who dislikes something about an event should just submit to GM it, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Granted I don't know why people are complaining to Don about event schedules when it's obviously not his job, but "if only we had a bunch of people submitting" is a weird response. It only takes 1 - as long as that one get it in on time, who cares if it was right before the deadline or not (if that's a problem, change the deadline). And if nobody volunteers, it gets dropped and we get another good event - which is a win. So what's the problem?

Quote:
4. Tournaments open to all con members, with no pre-registration.


And with the schedule pre-announced months beforehand.

I'd also add something else WBC does right: detailed records. I can find out who won which event when for any given year. It adds a sense of seriousness and legitimacy.

I know a lot of people think seriousness competition / legitimacy / keeping track of winners and such takes the fun out of it, and makes for bad sportsmanship. I disagree. It makes for more dedication - and thus less inconsiderate behavior because the people are more invested. I've been to "just show up and play, it's no big deal" conventions and there I see a lot higher instance of people abandoning or delaying games.

Quote:
My "less is more” philosophy when it comes to number of tournaments as defined by the Century concept has been debated since the outset and remains as controversial today as it did then in some quarters. Every time another event is cast adrift, the whining starts again. In my opinion, the Century is more responsible for the appeal of this unique convention than any other single factor and I could not disagree more with those who wish to abandon it


With Don 100% on this one and I'm glad he's stuck to his guns about it. There is a very impressive array of a variety of events as far as number of players, game length, game genre, and seriousness already. Perhaps some small tweaks could improve things, but it's rare that a quality game with decent numbers of potential players and a committed GM gets dropped. There is no one perfect formula - and the overarching principle has been correct.

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In light of that, I was surprised to see less than flattering comments pertaining to the schedule as if expectations for service as one stepped off the plane were not out of bounds. In an age when flight delays are commonplace, I was amazed to see people balking at two-hour waits for the next shuttle


I think this is a big misrepresentation of what a large number of the shuttle complaints were. The issue was that Seven Springs didn't follow their own system, didn't know how to look up their own information, and didn't do what they told us they would do. It sounds like they've fixed most if not all of this for 2017 so it should be fine, although I'll wait and see it happen before definitively proclaiming anything.

I do like that 7S has been so responsive to fix at least 3 of the 4 biggest complaints from last year: the shuttles, the wifi, and the a/c. I still wish there were a cheaper option available, but if there's not, glad we're stuck with a place that seems to genuinely care. That's pretty rare, IMO.

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know not where others dine when they enjoy a meal out, but I saw no 7S prices I would consider beyond what I expect to pay for a restaurant meal and I’m not one to splurge on high fashion.


Even if true (and even that's dubious; I think airport or ballpark prices are a better comparison) I normally don't pay for 3 restaurant meals a day for a week straight.

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You’re staying off property, enjoying their free AC, infrastructure and support staff, but you begrudge them an extra buck for a hamburger? We have indeed been spoiled. We want better than we had, but we don’t want to pay for it. Tough crowd.


No, just the same thing. And it's way more than one extra buck.

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Timewise, the absence of Route 30 traffic congestion made these side trips only slightly less convenient and a lot safer than a stroll down busy Lincoln Highway


Uh it was vastly less convenient if you didn't want to spend a few hundred bucks on a rental car. Look, I get it, the Host was a POS and we had to get out of there, but there's no need to shade the evaluations to make it look like the middle of nowhere offers the same offsite options as Lancaster did.

Quote:
So, spare me the tears of those who have lost “their” local con … It was less theirs than those dedicated competitors taking flight from elsewhere every year. Especially if their annual attendance could be summed up as a day’s shopping trip while the globetrotters stayed long enough to squeeze some equity out of their travel buck.


Dismissing all the cost increases as whiny local is disingenuous. If costs had to rise, they had to rise. But I don't understand the need to be so dismissive of people with tight budgets. I fly in every year and my costs increased about 50% from 2015 to 2016. It almost convinced me to stay away altogether.

Quote:
If I had it to do over again I would have never proposed heats as a viable format, but I would then be shorting the druthers of those who wish to specialize in a few games rather than sample many (a camp to which I personally belong)


A surprising statement given his decisions to use programs and schedule reporting formats that favor heats and punish continuous play. I hope that will change soon as the elimination of pre-cons (a good decision overall) also made it even tougher for continuous play events, especially the longer ones.

Quote:
If you didn’t volunteer to run the event, then you took no action to save it and have no grounds for complaint when the event is cancelled due to the failure of a satisfactory GM performance.


But only one volunteer can get the event. Even if everyone volunteered, they'd still all be being punished for the actions of one. That said, regarding:

Quote:
A case in point would be the annual Yearbook Event reports. Whether printed or posted on the internet, these event reports are a requirement for each and every WBC GM—one of the few standards where we have actually stuck to our guns and require compliance. Not every GM is happy about that— believing that no one really cares about such things because they themselves don’t. Just running the event in a manner that is suitable for their own druthers should be sufficient in their opinion. Yet, they were informed of the requirement and agreed to it before being entrusted with the event. Who are they to ignore the requirement passed by a duly elected Board who believes that such a system of archived reports helps promote the traditions and attractions of the convention?


I'm very glad they've stuck to their guns about this. And they're pretty clear about what's expected so no GM has the ability to claim it was unfair to them, or that they didn't know they'd have to turn in Event Reports. I wish they'd require AREA reports too, especially since this would only take about 5 minus of work per GM, but I understand why they don't do this.
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Kevin C.
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But for many people it is a technicality in order to go to the convention, because that's their only option if they want to go play in gaming tournaments.


My point was, for me at least, this is the wrong way to think about it. The only reason this convention exists is because people step up to volunteer to GM.

It isn't a technicality, but a reality that many of the others going to the convention give up their playing time to make the convention happen in the first place. Thinking of it as a technicality misses that point, to my mind.

If you want to play in this gaming convention, you should acknowledge that the only reason you can do that is because of volunteer GM's that make it possible for you to play those games.

I'm not saying everyone should move heaven and earth to GM, but maybe thinking of oneself as a member rather than just another attendee will make the WBC better in some way.

Thinking of yourself as a member in a cool organization that puts on a wicked tournament-centered gaming convention every year instead of just number 451 through the gate can only make the WBC better, I think.

You would be more apt to volunteer for something or just be a little more giving in the moment if you see the other players as members of the same organization rather than just other random people at just another convention.

I don't think the BPA really pushes the "member" thing enough.

Kevin

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Eric Brosius
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Daniel, you have a lot of good points, but AREA reports take far more than 5 minutes per GM. I help Claire with TTR and I'll bet we spend at least 10 person-hours between the 2 of us doing them.

I also wish the best to the AREA folks, who are swamped. We submitted long ago and the results aren't up yet.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Do you have a list of who played who, and who won (I would think GMs already have that information, but maybe not all do)? That's all you need.

The main issue with AREA lately in terms of timeliness was updating the website, since the old webmaster had multiple health issues going on. The scores would be correct in our database, but not visible to anyone else. There's a new webmaster and a new site now but not everything's up to date there yet.
 
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David desJardins
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Statalyzer wrote:
Do you have a list of who played who, and who won (I would think GMs already have that information, but maybe not all do)? That's all you need.


Don't you need to identify participants with their AREA id? Is there a public mapping of WBC badge numbers to AREA ids? It doesn't seem like it should take 10 hours, but more than 5 minutes.
 
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Quote:
Is there a public mapping of WBC badge numbers to AREA ids?


Yes there is, badge numbers are fine. For the majority of people the name is probably enough too but there may be more than one Mark Smith or Jeff Miller out there, even though if I see a Mark Smith playing History of the World I'm 99% sure I know who that is.

I guess it depends on if there's a spreadsheet used that tracks everything, or if the players of each game turn in a slip of paper with the results and those results don't ever exist in electronic format (maybe the players and their individual finishes are there, but not who play who in which round). In the latter case, yeah, it would take longer since somebody has to translate the slips of paper into an email report. I'd gladly do that myself but then I'd have to have a way to collect the slips from the GMs.

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Eric Brosius
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Many AREA IDs match WBC badge numbers, but some people request special IDs, perhaps to maintain their anonymity.
 
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Daniel Blumentritt
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In case it's not clear, the GM doesn't need to worry about that. AREA staff has the master list that says which WBC# matches which AREA ID.

In a lot of cases the ID is different from "W####" because the ID was assigned before the individual in question ever went to WBC.
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