The 24th annual World Boardgaming Championships (WBC) will be held August 4th through August 10th, 2014 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Mark your calendars, make your reservations, and get your heaters ready for action -- the 23rd annual Gangsters World Championship and all your favorite tournaments will be there!
As anyone who has attended the World Boardgaming Championships knows, the World Boardgaming Championships (formerly Avaloncon) offers a level of tournament participation and competition that far surpasses any other boardgaming convention. The first time I attended (after attending dozens of other large conventions including Origins, Strategicon, Pacificon, Game Caucus II, and Genghis Con) I was stunned by the level of competition, sportsmanship, friendliness, cooperation, attention to detail, and simple camaraderie together with the huge number of events I was interested in. My initial pass through the event list revealed 49 that I wanted to play in! The events are well-scheduled to allow maximum participation. You simply have to see it and participate in it for yourself!
If the World Boardgaming Championships has any problem it is simply that there are too many great tournaments and too many terrific choices available. I can never get enough. It's rare that there are only two events I want to play in happening at any given time throughout the week. It's a great dilemma to have, however. I wouldn't miss it for anything!
The Boardgame Players' Association (BPA) is the secret of the World Boardgaming Championships' success. Picking up where the Avalon Hill Game Company (now owned by Hasbro) left off, the BPA has taken the WBC to new heights by extending the championships to email throughout the year (see the Gangsters PBEM Tournament), opening the competition up to other manufacturers' games (and encouraging them to run trial events for their games), and improving the publicity given to the world champions (with Centurion T-Shirts, an improved website, yearbook, and event write-ups). This coming year promises to be better than ever!
The BPA runs on volunteer efforts. In fact, the efforts of the Gamemasters (GMs) of my favorite events (War at Sea, Victory in the Pacific, Adel Verpflichtet, and War of the Ring) so far surpassed anything I'd ever seen at other conventions, that I jumped in myself and strive to follow their examples. If you like how the Gangsters tournament is run, you owe these other GMs a big thank you for setting such high standards! In fact, if you want to make the World Boardgaming Championships better than ever, I encourage you to check out and join the BPA. BPA members vote on which new games to include in the championships and the membership of the board of directors. Members also provide key feedback on everything from convention length to the variety of food available. Join the BPA and add your own strength and skill in making it the best! For more details, you can check out the BPA website at: http://www.boardgamers.org! The new associate membership allows participation in all PBEM tournaments plus a vote for just $10/year!