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SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR PETER ELDRIDGE: BPA is pleased to announce that one of our repeat overseas visitors, Peter Eldridge of the UK, has been named 2012 Sportsman of the Year by vote of the membership in our Annual Membership Drive. Peter was one of 22 worthy nominees named on our membership ballot and garnered 13% of the votes in narrowly defeating another Peter, CABS own Pete Stein, by a single vote. Both owed their nominations to chivalrous behavior in close contests and the Sportsmanship Award was ultimately decided in an election that was every bit as evenly matched. In becoming our first foreign Sportsmanship winner, Mr Eldridge demonstrated that we colonials have finally forgiven that little matter of burning our capital during the War of 1812. Or, perhaps given the cynical nature of our current politics, he was rewarded for his ancestors' foresight. In any case, Peter will receive a free room at the next WBC in addition to being admitted to our Sportsmanship Hall of Fame. Other nominees who fared well in the membership vote were Barry Shutt who finished third with 9% of the vote, Roger Taylor at 8%, and Evan Hitchings and John Sharp with 7% each. Further details are available at http://boardgamers.org/wbc12/sportman.htm.

2013 WBC TRIAL EVENTS NAMED: BPA thanks its early commitment 2013 members for participating in our Annual Membership Drive and the associated voting process that qualified this year's Continuing Trial events. A record number of votes were cast and the amount needed to make the cutoff grew 5% despite the presence of 12 more eligible candidates on the ballot. To no one's surprise, long standing favorite Puerto Rico led the vote to retain Trial status after being dropped from the Century ranks for failure to submit a required report. The only question is who will step up to assume GM duties for this major event. Gaining entrance for the first time were Virgin Queen, Castles of Burgundy, Cities & Knights and Andean Abyss. Returning events of yesteryear granted a second life by the voters were Naval War and Tikal. Seemingly dropping from the ranks for the first time were Leaping Lemmings, Win, Place & Show, Founding Fathers, Caylus, Conquest of Paradise, Kaiser's Pirates, King Philip's War, Age of Steam and Twilight Imperium. More details including the complete voting breakdown are provided at http://boardgamers.org/wbc13/trialvote.htm.

The top 25 events are now eligible for inclusion in WBC 2013 upon receipt of a suitable event form by March 15th from a current BPA member willing to serve as the GM. Events for which no such GM is forthcoming by that date will be replaced by BPA from those events on the Alternate list with a GM Commitment on record. Vendors and sponsors may also select new events or add those from the Alternate list. To be added to the Alternate list, an event must have an event form submitted to BPA by a willing GM who is a current member.

GMs are reminded to renew their memberships AND submit an event form by January 31st to be among the first events assigned when the Orphans List is updated. This new method of handling GM reservations is intended to increase involvement among the membership in GM commitments. Even if you are not selected to run an event your offer will highlight you as a possible assistant for that event - and willing assistants are in great demand. Some of your fellow members run and/ or assist many events. They could use some help.

2012 SURVEY RESULTS: The results of the recent membership survey have been posted in the form of a new Tenth Seat report from the CD's chair at http://boardgamers.org/directorschair/directorschair2013-01.... designed to double as an informative FAQ page with everything you ever wanted to know about WBC. Warning: its a long read so settle down with a favorite beverage and comfy chair before you attempt to take it all in.

WAM XI ALMOST HERE: Next up is the eleventh Winter Activation Meeting for players of Card Driven Wargames to be held at the Timonium Holiday Inn, in Timonium, MD January 24-27, 2013. The four tournaments will be Twilight Struggle, Washington's War, Hannibal and Labyrinth plus the usual open gaming opportunities. Full schedule and pricing information is available at http://www.boardgamers.org/specific/wam13ann.htm.

NEW EUROQUEST OWNERSHIP: The Boardgame Players' Association announces that it is no longer involved in the ownership or management of the Euroquest gaming convention. Euroquest has grown from its origins as a BPA mini-con to a full fledged convention in its own right, and will operate as such from now on. Games Club of Maryland, which has heretofore acted as our management team for that conference, has graciously agreed to continue the convention and is now the sole owner of that entity. Laurels earned at the 2012 Euro Quest will count towards the BPA's 2013 Caesar Award but will be the last Euroquest laurels entered into our system. Please direct all future Euroquest correspondence to Michele Mazzola - gcom.president@gmail.com.

2012 PATRONS: BPA's list of Patrons for 2012 is now posted at http://boardgamers.org/wbc12/patrons.htm. Please report any inaccuracies to cd@boardgamers.org no later than February 28th to ensure an accurate listing in the upcoming Yearbook.

EURO CO-ORDINATION: Eric Freeman is again volunteering to co-ordinate Euro events in an attempt to minimize scheduling conflicts. If you'd like to be part of this effort, contact freemaneric@comcast.net

2013 BoD NOMINATIONS: All BPA members are hereby notified of their right to nominate members for the three Board seats whose terms expire at the next WBC. To appear on the ballot, a member must be nominated in writing by at least three members; one of which must be himself/herself. Nominations must be signed and received at BPA, 1541 Redfield Rd, Bel Air, MD 21015 no later than February 28th to be eligible for election in that year. NOTE: Email nominations are NOT acceptable, nor can a member nominate more than one member for the Board. When contemplating nominations, members are urged to consider that the BPA conducts most of its business by email and needs Board members who are able and willing to offer their time and skills to the organization in a timely manner. Board members should be considered more for their ability to contribute to the running of a successful company than for their attachment to any particular game or genre. Besides forwarding a signed nomination, each nominee should submit by March 1st a statement not to exceed 100 words summarizing what they can contribute in service to the Board of Directors of the BPA. The nomination form is on line at http://www.boardgamers.org/bpanom.htm


PBeM NEWS:

SCHULZ WINS SPEED CIRCUIT: 37 drivers competed over two heats to qualify 12 of their number for the feature race on the new Montreal circuit. Three hard laps forced only one retirement - and that was just before the last corner of the third lap. Jeff Cornett led for most of the race only to be passed on the last straight by usual WBC GM Doug Schulz for the win. John Shaheen took third place laurels followed by Tim Mossman with a pair of Italian drivers, Turyko Suky and Guiseppe Incorpora, taking 5th and 6th place laurels respectively. More details and updated laurels can be found at http://boardgamers.org/yearbook12/sctpge.htm.

PATHS OF GLORY: The 4th BPA PBeM tournament for Paths of Glory is scheduled for a February 1st start on ACTS. Details are available at https://sites.google.com/site/pathsofglory2013/. To register email the GM at preese444@gmail.com.

WASHINGTON'S WAR: GM Keith Wixson will start a new Washington’s War PBeM tournament on February 1. The format will be Swiss-Elimination with four rounds of Swiss play followed by three elimination rounds for eight quarterfinalists. Games will be played via ACTS. For details, see the tournament website at http://mysite.verizon.net/vze4bc94/waw/index.html . To sign up for the tournament please send an email to keith.wixson@verizon.net. Players must have a current 2013 BPA membership (at least Associate level) as of January 26 in order to participate. Memberships do not need to be current to remain in the tournament to completion, but will be verified prior to the start of play.

PRO GOLF: Its time again for that ultimate test of skill: PBeM Pro Golf! Can you steal Yoshi's green jacket? The fourth annual BPA PBeM rendition begins on April 1, 2013, approximately one week before the 2013 Masters tournament begins. Email GM Bruce Monnin (bdmonnin@nktelco.net) to enter. For details, see the event webpage at:
http://www.nktelco.net/bdmonnin/pro_golf_PBeM_2013.html

ADVANCED CIVILIZATION: Signups are now open for the 2013 Advanced Civilization PBeM tournament. The event structure will involve two concurrent preliminary games with game winners advancing to a Final round. The full event should take approximately 14 months. Full information is located at http://bpa-civ.rol-play.com/. To enter, email the GM at kevinyouells@gmail.com before March 1st.

NAPOLEONIC WARS PROGRESS: The Napoleonic Wars PBeM tournament is coming down the homestretch with Rich Shipley in the driver's seat as the only player to win with all three nations and the only British victor. It has not been Britain's finest hour. Thus far, no game has gone to a fifth turn. For the latest results check out the website at https://sites.google.com/site/wilphe/home/tnw-2-5-2012/stan.

WAR AT SEA PROGRESS: The Ninth BPA War At Sea PBeM Tournament began on September 1, 2012. The single elimination event drew 41 entrants and is now down to just 10 players remaining. Ed Menzel is the only player to reach the Final Four so far. Phil Watkins, Vince Meconi, Rob Drozd and Michael Ussery are also still alive in the Elite Eight.
For the bracket for this year, see: http://www.nktelco.net/bdmonnin/was-brack-2012.htm

BATTLES OF AMERICAN REVOLUTION PROGRESS: The 2012 Battles of the American Revolution PBeM Tournament got under way with 24 entrants for the first round. The tournament features play of every BAR title in chronological order by year. There will be six preliminary rounds and players may play in any or all of the preliminary rounds regardless of record. Those who score highest in the preliminary rounds will advance to four rounds of single elimination play. For more information see http://www.ohiovalleygamers.org/boarpbem.html.

VICTORY IN THE PACIFIC SF RESULTS: The highest seed eliminated the lowest remaining seed in the last semifinal. The USN finally dominated an entire round. Daniel Blumentritt, the tenth seed, escaped the dreaded bye to move into the Final vs. Tim Tow, the 12th seed, coming off his own bye. The 14th seed has won the tournament before, but we won't see that record fall this time as Rob Drozd (16th seed) is eliminated. However, whether Tim or Daniel prevails in the Final, we'll crown a new player with a major championship! Check out the details at http://www.gameaholics.com/vitp_bpa/vitp_bpa_single_elim_11.....

Visit the BPA website at http://www.boardgamers.org


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Chris Geggus
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Peter has also been a regular attendee at the conventions organised by The Weekend Gaming Group for many years and you could not ask for a more worthy winner. Peter is always a competitive, but fair player and a true gentleman and besting Peter at any game is a feat to be treasured.

Well done Peter and thank you for holding the British end up!
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Randy Cox
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What's this about breaking ties with EuroQuest?
 
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John Weber
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Randy Cox wrote:
What's this about breaking ties with EuroQuest?


Randy, I am afraid it's true. As for the why, you will need to get that from someone on the BPA Board -- it is certainly not a decision I would have recommended or agreed with. Except for this past year when attendance dipped due to Hurricane Sandy, EQ has grown in size at a level on a percentage basis that exceeds the growth of BPA's flagship event, the WBC. At this point, EuroQuest will continue under the sole auspices of the Games Club of Maryland ("GCOM"), albeit without the backing of BPA. While the current hotel has been nice enough to renegotiate the contract for next year, it's still going to be quite a challenge to maintain the event at the current location without raising prices, given the contract is heavily tied to ensuring a number of overnight rooms. Expect an announcement of dates soon (we are a bit behind this year because of the rather late notice, right before the Christmas holidays, from BPA, of this rather significant change), but GCOM is committed to maintaining EuroQuest in its current form, which means a mixture of tournaments and open gaming, including the special events we have added in recent years, such as prize drawings, Math Trades, game designer demos and "hot new games" from Essen and elsewhere.
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Christopher Yaure
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Randy Cox wrote:
What's this about breaking ties with EuroQuest?


Somehow I thought this meant performance at EuroQuest was the tiebreaker for the Sportsmanship award.
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David desJardins
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John Weber wrote:
While the current hotel has been nice enough to renegotiate the contract for next year, it's still going to be quite a challenge to maintain the event at the current location without raising prices, given the contract is heavily tied to ensuring a number of overnight rooms.


Why does having a separate sponsor affect the solvency of the convention? Are you concerned that the lack of BPA affiliation will mean fewer people will come? I'm not really sure why that would be true.
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John Weber
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DaviddesJ wrote:
John Weber wrote:
While the current hotel has been nice enough to renegotiate the contract for next year, it's still going to be quite a challenge to maintain the event at the current location without raising prices, given the contract is heavily tied to ensuring a number of overnight rooms.


Why does having a separate sponsor affect the solvency of the convention? Are you concerned that the lack of BPA affiliation will mean fewer people will come? I'm not really sure why that would be true.


I suspect that some people might be less interested in attending EuroQuest if there is no longer a possibility of winning BPA laurels. Of course, this is only speculation and this year we will find out if this is the case or not.

On the positive side, I do believe EuroQuest has instituted a number of innovations in terms of gaming conventions, namely:

1. The first (and to my knowledge still) the only U. S. convention focused on competitive play of Eurogames.
2. Centralized computerized scoring for all tournaments.
3. A unique, free-form competition (the Wild Card event) that is sort of a cross between tournament play and open gaming.

So, hopefully people who have attended in the past and appreciate these innovations will continue to attend in the future.
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Randy Cox
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I cannot imagine more than, maybe, one person who would even consider accumulation of "laurels" in the BPA as something worth coming to a convention for. In fact, I don't believe laurels were originally part of it (but computed retroactively), right?

I wouldn't think that your out-of-town attendance will drop at all as long as the convention remains exactly the same, functionally. Now, if the plaques go away or are reduced or if the open gaming gets shoved aside, well it will be a different convention and people will turn away. If it's still promoted nationally, it should succeed. But as soon as it's mostly spoken about among GCOM members, it will go the way of GameFestSouth, a.k.a. Atlanta Game Fest outside of Atlanta.
 
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Christopher Yaure
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kengelma wrote:
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR PETER ELDRIDGE:


Peter is one of the WBC regulars whom I look forward to seeing every year. He is a strong player but never forgets that it is just a game.

Congrats, Peter!
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It would be nice to know why Euroquest was dropped as a BPA event, and what it will mean for the convention.

I think looking at laurels and wondering how that could cause anybody to not attend is the wrong view. I think they're more likely to lose people by getting a smaller percentage of those who attend WBC, love it, and look for another similar convention (as I did). Similarly, if not having the backing of the BPA causes costs to rise (I don't know if this is the case, but I can imagine it being so), that will undoubtedly cause some number of people to stay home.
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Kaarin Engelmann
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I doubt there will be many changes. A vast majority of the people who attend are GCOM members. Of course there are others, but I'd be fairly surprised if people really care very much about who owns a convention, as opposed to if their friends attend and if the convention is run well. The same people who were running it before are running it now.
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Randy Cox
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So, Kaarin, what is the reason that the BPA no longer chooses to be affiliated with EuroQuest?
 
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Kaarin Engelmann
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Euroquest has grown from its origins as a BPA mini-con to a full fledged convention in its own right...
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Randy Cox
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I didn't realize it was that big. 700? 800? 1000?
 
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Kaarin Engelmann
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Guess it depends on your definition. It's certainly bigger than our typical minicons, which register in the few dozens.
 
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Max Jamelli
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kengelma wrote:
Guess it depends on your definition. It's certainly bigger than our typical minicons, which register in the few dozens.


Easily bigger. I'm an awful estimator. I was able to get to EQ on Saturday and I'd say there were a couple hundred people there that day. I don't think into the 1000's range, but maybe 500?

I bet
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would know ... and if he didn't, he'd know who to ask.
 
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John Weber
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To answer Max's question first, EuroQuest attendance the past three years has been in the 300 range. Our best year (2011) it was 340. It dipped slightly last year when the convention was the same week as the Hurricane hit but was still in the ~ 300 range.

Andrew E raises a fair point. The cost of the convention is highly dependent on the number of out-of-town attendees who will rent overnight guest rooms at the hotel. If EQ becomes strictly an event that appeals to locals, and not out of towners, that will dramatically affect the profitability of the event that could cause us to downsize or consider an alternate location or format.

My understanding is that GCOM has made the decision to continue the event at its current location. The expectation is to continue with the same kind of program that will appeal to a broad range of gamers, both tournaments and non-tournaments. Right now, I believe a hotel contract for this year is in the process of being finalized. The dates for 2013 will be a bit later, Nov. 14 - 17th, due to a conflict with the hotel on the prior weekend. For those interested, this should NOT conflict with BGG.con which will be the following weekend.
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Christopher Yaure
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Kaarin - not trying to be argumentative, but I don't get the causative relationship between the question and your answer. How does the size of Euroquest affect BPA's willingness to remain affiliated?

kengelma wrote:
Euroquest has grown from its origins as a BPA mini-con to a full fledged convention in its own right...
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kengelma wrote:
Euroquest has grown from its origins as a BPA mini-con to a full fledged convention in its own right...

Um, so? It's not clear to me why the size of Euroquest would have a bearing on this sort of decision. Is there some kind of overhead for the BPA that Euroquest imposes scaling on it's attendance?
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Kaarin Engelmann
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It was the decision of the BPA board that we would turn over EuroQuest to the people who have been managing it since the beginning. I don't have any comment other than the official one in the newsletter.
 
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Randy Cox wrote:
Now, if the plaques go away or are reduced or if the open gaming gets shoved aside, well it will be a different convention and people will turn away.


I imagine the plaques might go away. In past EQs, they were BPA plaques.
 
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Marcy Morelli
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Actually, EuroQuest will still be offering plaques - but of course not BPA laurels. In fact we have increased the number of tournaments this year, including a TGA sanctioned Puffing Billy. Check out the website for more details:
http://euroquest.gamesclubofmd.org/

Marcy Morelli
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Eric Sokolowsky
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I have been attending Euroquest for several years and it is a fantastic convention. I recommend it to everyone interested in Euro-style games. I also see the change in ownership not affecting the quality of the convention.
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Alex Bove
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In announcing last year's EuroQuest, the BPA's website said, "BPA plaques will be awarded for each event and best overall individual performance, providing plenty of laurel opportunities for those who want to improve their standings in BPA's annual Caesar competition." So the idea that laurels might have been an incentive to attend is not so far fetched, especially since the BPA (with EQ's approval, I assume) used them as a selling point.
 
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