Year of the Cop
2007 Raidin' da Joint Newsletter
2006 World Championship Yearbook

Greetings Criminal Masterminds!

In just four short weeks, the annual Gangsters' World Championship tournament will kick off to determine control of the streets of Chicago for the coming year.  The only thing remaining to be determined is who will emerge bloodied, but victorious, and who will emerge blaming the dice and their opponents' skill with a squirt gun?  Will your inner Godfather emerge?

The Enforcer takes a hit from the ruthless gang leaders in her game.

This year's newsletter is unique in that it also includes the main body of the tournament report from last year.  The report of the final match was posted earlier on the BPA website.  However, I'm hoping that saving many of the fun details of last year's crime wave will spur all of you to join in again this year and remember just how much fun it is!  A full recap of results, special prizes, honorable mention candidates, fun quotations, and even a fun little quiz awaits you.

The Enforcer equips herself for revenge!

But, first, we'll hit a few details of the upcoming shootout for gang supremacy as well as a new strategy article.  This year is Gangsters' "Year of the Cop."  You won't want to miss it!  See all of the details below.

I am running for the BPA Board of Directors this year on a Gangsters-related platform.  I encourage you to register and vote by July 15th.  For more info, see the Changes for 2007 section.

I hope you enjoy this newsletter, and that I'll see your gang in the tournament in four weeks!

Table of Contents

  1. Schedule
  2. Changes for 2007
  3. Year of the Cop
  4. 2006 Records
  5. 2006 Winners
  6. 2006 Special Awards
  7. Favorite Joints of 2006
  8. Quotable Gangsters
  9. 2006 Final Report
  10. PBEM Competition
  11. Copies of the Game
  12. See you soon!
  13. Gang Buster Quiz

1. Schedule

The complete schedule for Gangsters at the 2007 World Boardgaming Championships is:

Tuesday, July 31st

9 pm



10 pm Heat #1


2 pm

Heat #2 (Advanced Rules Recommended)


10 pm



11 pm Heat #3 (Official Squirt Gun Heat)


5 pm Heat #4


8 pm

Second Round


11 pm

Third Round

The only difference between this year's schedule and last year's (besides the missing Squirt-Gun Free-for-All) is that the second heat has been returned to the 2 pm slot (vs. 1 pm last year).

Ladykiller demonstrates cool Gangsters' fashion!  "My colors clash, sez you?  Let's see, now, where did I put my heater?"

2. Changes for 2007

There is one significant change for 2007 as well as one minor tweak.

a) One win and you're in: Although Gangsters' players have voted decisively three different times to retain a "one win and you're in" format even if it necessitates a quarterfinal, we were forced to use a semi-final size of 16 last year.  This resulted in the lowest turnout at the semi-final since 1999 (when the tournament was almost half its current size).  Even so, four winners were turned away from the semi-final.  The BPA Board has relented with respect to allowing a variable number to advance to the semi-final.  However, they have not yet given permission to hold a quarterfinal should participation and turnout justify one.

As a consequence, Gangsters will use the variable second round format per the following table (which was used from 2001-2005):





To reach 3 3F








To reach 9 3SF/3F


To reach 12 3SF/4F


To reach 16



To reach 20



To reach 25



To reach 27 3QF/3SF/3F


To reach 32



To reach 36



To reach 40



To reach 45 5QF/3SF/3F


To reach 48



To reach 50



To reach 60 5QF/3SF/4F


To reach 64


Key: QF=Quarterfinal, SF=Semi-Final, F=Final,
2=Top 2 Advance, 3=3 Player, 4=4 Player, 5=5 Player, *=Most likely

All winners will advance to the second round.  Alternates will advance per the table based on their completion % and asset % tie-breakers (just as they did from 1996-2005).

Since 25 is the maximum number of winners that have ever shown up for the second round (when attendance was 78), it's my estimate that all winners will be accommodated in a semi-final without difficulty.  However, as a safeguard, should more than 25 winners show up at the second round, the GM followed by my Senior Assistant GM followed by other volunteering Assistant GMs (selected in random order) will drop out until the total falls to 25.

In the unlikely event this process fails to bring the number of winners to 25, all winners -- including winning tournament officials -- will advance to a quarterfinal (per the above table).  I will then have to face the BPA Board's wrath for violating their guidelines.  However, I believe we'd need event participation in excess of 90 before this would be a serious possibility, so it's my expectation that this temporary solution will be sufficient to bridge the gap between now and the time when the board changes its policy.  Even so, I'd be delighted to have 90+ gangsters compete!

The benefits of changing to this "one win and you're in" format are:

In other words, the tournament has better turnout, better competition, and better camaraderie for the players, and it's easier for the GM and assistants too.

Speaking of the board, I am currently a candidate for the BPA Board of Directors (where I served previously from 2001-2004).  My platform is returning control of event formats and tie-breakers to the volunteer GMs and making certain votes that are directly event-related are publicized (so that members will know which board members represent them well).

I encourage you to vote before the July 15th deadline.  The ballot is available at: http://www.boardgamers.org/election.htm.  If you haven't yet registered for the convention, you'll need to send in your registration at the same time as you vote.  I also encourage those of you who support a true "one win and you're in" format to write a note expressing your opinion to Don Greenwood, the convention director, or to let him know when you see him.  It's my hope that a combination of my election (or at least high vote totals) and the sharing of opinions with Don will bring about the change needed to restore Gangsters' full flexibility and ability to guarantee the advancement of all winners.

Thank you for your support, and thank you for playing Gangsters!

b) Faster Sign-in: Even though handling sign-ups with a computer was useful for reporting, I will not be using the computer for sign-ups this year.  I felt it slowed the start of the round last year.  Instead, if an assistant GM is available, I will handle sign-ups in two lines this year (one for those who've been in the tournament in the past) and another for brand-new players -- starting ten minutes before the round.  This should enable games to start faster than ever!

3. Year of the Cop

We love our police officers!  What other game offers the cops donuts?  In fact, in the fall of 2005 we named each of our officers.  Drum roll, please.  Before we begin our celebration, let's hear it for each of our boys in blue:

Cop #2   Barney Fife
Cop #3   Rosco P. Coltrane (Rosco P-Co)
Cop #4   Dudley Do-Right
Cop #5   Starsky & Hutch
Cop #6   Kojak
Cop #7   T. J. Hooker
Cop #8   John McClane
Cop #9   Dirty Harry
Cop #10   Robocop
Untouchables   Eliot Ness

Welcome to Gangsters' Year of the Cop!

You'll notice the differences starting when you sign in.  First you'll discover which game you're in (and what color you're playing) by drawing your very own set of handcuffs (colored plastic fingercuffs).  Use them to put your fellow players under arrest when they get out-of-line!

Next you'll receive a new name badge -- decorated with one of our ten officers (whose images adorn this and subsequent sections of the newsletter)!  Your mobster name won't change, of course, but now you'll be linked forever with one of our policemen.  Will this matter?  Indeed.  Ten white polo shirts -- one decorated for each cop -- will be awarded as prizes.  How do you win?  Funny you should ask...

As soon as you meet the criteria for the heat, come get me and claim your prize!  Note: Bribe markers cannot be traded among players (trading is limited to cash and joints).

After your new name badge, you'll get a new variant countersheet for Gangsters together with the matching variant rules.  The counters include a complete purple gang (for use with the WBC 5-Player variant), a complete blue gang, all the pieces needed for my 5-Player variant, pieces for Alan Arvold's bomber and drive-by shooting variants, and, most importantly, a complete set of cops and bribe markers -- each of which include the names of our fine officers (just like the examples shown in this and the following sections of the newsletter)!  Now you'll be able to call the cops by name whenever you play!  Those who bring copies of the game to use during the tournament will get pre-cut copies that are ready for immediate use.  Everyone else will get to cut their own (I will have cutting equipment available).

During play, hits and raid damage taken from Cops will be recorded separately from gang violence.  For the Roadkill award for this year only, the first tie-breaker will be cop-only damage!

In conjunction with the celebration of our lovable police officers, I have written and posted a new Gangsters' strategy article entitled "The Long Arm of the Law."  Check it by clicking the link or following the link from the tournament website (www.gameaholics.com/gangsters_tournament.htm).

I hope you all enjoy the "Year of the Cop" as much as I enjoyed planning and preparing for it!

4. 2006 Records

We set a lot of records this year, and there were many tournament firsts. These include the following:


# Previous record was set last year


* It's my hope and plan that this is also a "last."

Notes: 1) No one has ever won a tournament game starting with fewer than four Racketeers.  2) No one has ever won a tournament game starting without a Vamp.  3) No one has ever won a game starting with a gang that cost less than $1,500.  4) I think it's interesting that the worst year for the Downtown Bus Station is identical to the best year of SMC Cartage Co.  5) Last year we set almost all of the shootout and vamp loss records, so it's not surprising that we've stepped back to an earlier, simpler, less bloody time.  Interestingly, this year the median losses due to Vamps and the median losses in Shootouts were exactly the same.  Winners, in general, took only 0.65 fewer losses than everyone else.

The gangster/fedora ratio reached an all-time high in 2006.  These mobsters are ready for action!

5. 2006 Winners

Congratulations to The Mumbler, Thomas Richardson, on dethroning two-time defending Godfather Dusk, Nick Henning, to take last year's title.  It was close though -- Dusk nipped at his heels and feel just short of a three-peat.  Here are the rest of the top twenty-five finishers:

  1. Thomas "The Mumbler" Richardson
  2. Nick "Dusk" Henning
  3. John "The Viper" Pack
  4. Steve "Dancin' Man" Cameron
  5. Ashley "Angel" Collinson
  6. Pat "El Jefe" Richardson
  7. John "Bugs" Elliott
  8. Mark "Ladykillier" Love
  9. Jason "Sticky Fingers" Wagner
  10. Scott "The Bag Man" Sirianna
  11. Michael "Mickey the Wire" Buccheri
  12. Andy "The Duke" Joy
  13. Robert "Bobby Tweaks" Buccheri
  14. Angela "The Unwanted" Farrington
  15. Marie "Da Djinn" Pack
  16. Kevin "The Bag" Hacker
  17. Henry "Teech" Richardson
  18. Andy "Scarface" Gardner
  19. Charles "Side Step" Stucker
  20. Ruth "Miss Kitty" Mayhan
  21. Chuck "Da Joker" Halberstadt
  22. Harald "The Oven" Henning
  23. Ewan "Doc Brain" McNay
  24. Gordon "Itchy" Rodgers
  25. Mike "The Infidel" Wojke

Note: The top sixteen were those who played in the semi-final.  The next nine are those who won games but who didn't advanced to the semi-final.  This year all those who win during any heat will be able to play in the second round.

Current AREA ratings are available at: http://wolff.to/area/T_Gangsters.html

6. 2006 Special Awards

Muscles teaches the ropes of Chicago street life to new Godfather aspirants!

Cement Overshoes Sportsmanship Award – There were a lot of nominees for our sportsmanship award this year.  Mark "Ladykiller" Love, John "Bugs" Elliott, Scott "The Bag Man" Sirianna, Andy "Scarface" Gardner, and Jim "The Instigator" Castonguay were each nominated for the first time.  Many thanks to each of them for making Gangsters a tournament of high qualify competitors that we all look forward to.  Our winner received two nominations.  Steve "Muscles" Quade's volunteer demos made a terrific impression on those attending as did his enthusiastic play.  We'll fit him with a custom pair of cement overshoes as our way of saying "thank you!"

All those who submitted nominations have my thanks.  It's nice to be able to honor those who make the Gangsters tournament even more fun to play in!

Junior Godfather Award - This was the first year our champion, Thomas "The Mumbler" Richardson, entered the tournament.  However, his prior playing experience meant he wasn't a newbie.  However, The Mumbler brought his less-experienced father and brother with him.  As a result, his brother, Pat "El Jefe" Richardson who started the tournament with just 0-1 prior games becomes our Junior Godfather (our champion novice).  Obviously, this is one family where the games at home will be tough!

"I Think She Likes Me!" Award – Just like last year, this year's winner also lost eight gangsters to Vamps in a single game.  Tim "Bite the Bullet" Evinger is always a magnet for the ladies, having also won this award in 2002 and 2003.  There was a three-way tie for second at losing five mobsters to Vamps between Andy "The Duke" Joy, Mark "Ladykiller" Love, and Bruce "Beef" Bullion.

Roadkill Award – Violence was down in Chicago's urban neighborhoods this year.  The Roadkill winner lost only eight gang members versus the "winning" total of 15 casualties last year.  This year we had a two-way tie for the honor between Peter "The Wolf" Martin and Angela "Red Rose" Collinson (with two-time winner Tim "Bite the Bullet" Evinger coming in a close third by losing seven gangsters to Vamps in each of two different games).  Neither The Wolf nor Red Rose lost another mobster to Vamps in any other game, so the tie-breaker fell to total losses.  The Wolf had none.  Red Rose had four other losses.  As a result, Angela "Red Rose" Collinson takes home our prize for top target for violence in 2006.

Honorable Mention – Figuring out an honorable mention winner is one of the most enjoyable parts of being the GM because there are so many unusual things happening in the tournament that deserve some coverage!

The first candidate is the Richardson family -- "El Jefe" (Pat), "The Mumbler" (Thomas), and "Teech" (Henry) -- which made quite a splash in their first year.  All three advanced to the semi-finals while Thomas when on to win the whole enchilada.  That's only happened one time before -- in 1998 when "The Stephmeister" (Godfather Stephanie Mayes) and her two parents, Dee Ann and Louis Gehring, advanced to the semi-final together.  Gangsters is a family business with the Packs (5), Collinsons (3), Farringtons (3), Buccheris (2), Evingers (2), Hackers (2), and Hennings (2) joining in the action -- but none as successfully as the Richardsons!

Last year's honorable mention winner, Ashley "Angel" Collinson, duplicated her feat by winning with a Purple Monopoly yet again.  More surprisingly, The Viper also won using a Purple Monopoly.  Keep in mind that up until last year no one had ever won using a Purple Monopoly strategy.  Not ever.  OK, ready for the real shocker?  This year only two players won games with monopolies -- and they were both Purple Monopolies!  There were no Red nor Blue nor Green monopolies this past year at all!  Angel writes, "I'm telling you purple is not a bad strategy."

The next nominees are Andy "Scarface" Gardner, Charles "Side Step" Stucker, Ruth "Miss Kitty" Mayhan, and Chuck "Da Joker" Halberstadt.  These are the first (and I hope only) heat winners to ever be turned away from the second round of the Gangsters tournament.

Thomas "The Mumbler" Richardson pulled off a win with three level-3 joints -- Westgate Hotel, SMC Cartage Co., and Brizelli's Riverside.

Nick "Dusk" Henning, our two-time defending Godfather, won his first heat game with just 1 Racketeer, 1 Vamp, and 1 Thug on the board.  He also won his semi-final game with $15,300 in dough.

Marie "Da Djinn" Pack had a come-from-behind out-of-time victory in the fourth heat that saw her take down Ladykiller's Level-2 joint while two other players also took out one joint apiece.  Da Djinn also took home the "Wettest Gangster" award for taking the most hits during the semi-final.  Perhaps Mark "Ladykiller" Love deserves a nomination for losing three joints -- including one that was level-2 -- in one turn?

Andy "Scarface" Gardner had his Racketeer vamped by all three opponents in row!  The game saw an incredible 21 mobsters change gang affiliations through Vamp action.  Teech's advice?  "Don't loiter near the subway!"

Andy "The Duke" Joy's yellow gang was a Vamp magnet during the first heat.  Although he only lost five Racketeers to Vamps, those five were over the first three turns of the game  It was so bad the Viper remarked, "There's gotta be a yellow Racketeer in range" even when his red die came up a "one."  Every vamp die roll seemed just right to hit The Duke.

Mike "The Infidel" Wojke played a game that saw his opponents take 15 mob hits while he remain untouchable -- taking zero losses -- despite owning the Downtown Bus Station, Brizelli's Riverside, and the Ambassadors' Club right from the get-go.  Brian "Lampshade" Mountford reported, "My goal was to shoot up a joint, cuz I'd never done it before.  And, boy, did I succeed."  According to The Infidel, Lampshade's attempt eventually brought six additional pieces into the Astoria House -- resulting in three separate shootouts there.  On one of those occasions, a police officer showed up only to be bribed in order to see the carnage continue.  And here I thought shootouts that complex only happened in my demos!

Angela "Red Rose" Collinson is our honorable mention winner for 2006 for her two unusual near misses.  One heat saw her finish with 10 joints but lose out to Ladykiller, who collected another $3,200 to add to his secret stash of $9,900 while she was trying to complete her gang.  In another game she purchased a total of 18 joints but ended up with only 9!  I'm guessing that winning the Roadkill Award had something to do with why she came up short!  Most games don't last the minimum 16 turns necessary to buy that many joints -- and that's assuming that the Racketeer can get to a new joint every single move.  For that matter, most sets of opponents couldn't take down nine joints (or even five for that matter).  Kudos to Red Rose's opponents for pulling that off!  Her epitaph?  "So close...  again...  I had 9..."

7. Favorite Joints of 2006

In 2005 almost 40% of winners held the Downtown Bus Station at the start of the game!  The Bus Station had been winner's favorite for four years in a row.  But not this past year.  This year fewer winners picked the Bus Station at the start of the game than ever before (since I started keeping track in 1998, that is).  The Bus Station moved from the top pick all the way down to a two-way tie for fifth place on the winner's favorites list.

On the other hand the Bus Station's favorite partner, Brizelli's Riverside, moved up to claim the top spot (even though it was picked slightly less often than in 2005).  The blue one-jump joints moved up into a tie for second place.

Here are the joints ranked in this year's top ten:


Winner's Joints




Brizelli's Riverside


28.96% 2 2 Slightly UP


Ambassadors' Club

27.27% 26.10% 3 3 Slightly UP


Brzkowski's Imports


21.81% 6 5 Way UP


Greenwood Park


22.88% 4 4 UP


Downtown Bus Station


30.39% 1 1 Way Way DOWN


SMC Cartage Co.

21.82% 11.08% 9 9 Way Way UP


Franklin Hostel


16.81% 6 6 Holding


Pussycat Club 16.36% 11.80% 11 8 Way UP


Palace Chophouse

13.64% 16.81% 6 7 DOWN


Jaeger's Clothier

13.64% 8.58% 14 11 Way UP

Returning to the Top 10 is the Pussycat Club which had been somewhat out-of-favor despite being firmly anchored in the all-time top ten due to high placement in the late 90's.

Taylor's Machine Shop plunged ten places from it's fifth place finish last year -- perhaps because the Bus Station also moved significantly downward?  The is the only building in the all-time top ten which isn't in this year's top ten.  Obviously, however, green strategies are still very popular -- SMC Cartage Co. is making it's all-time best finish this year.

Greenwood Park and Franklin Hostel -- favorites with the sneak-up-the-cash crowd -- hold their own in the top ten.

The bottom end of our top finishers, Palace Chophouse and Jaeger's Clothier, remain popular additions to almost any starting setup, thanks to their incredible movement potential.  If you want to get someplace else, these are good places to get there from!

The Duke discovers that "Vamps are not your friends!"

8. Quotable Gangsters

"That was the longest two minutes in the history of the world." -- Hot Tub Johnny

"I got someone I got to kill!" -- The Zoo (right before shooting Side Step)

"I'm just trying to make an honest living." -- Krackemheds

"This is getting thugly." -- Muscles

"It must be late; this is like the sixth time that I forgot to buy with my Racketeer." -- Numbers

"Buy the Vamp!  Duh!" -- El Jefe
"What am I waiting for?" -- The Bag (who'd refused to buy a Vamp during three turns when the red die was a 5)
"Another 5?" -- The Viper

"I'm in the better spot with $1,000!!" -- Hot Tub Johnny

"Nein! Nein! Das buter!" -- Nuts

"Thugs got killed a lot, especially by Cop 8." -- Dusk

"The five-eyed snake for the red player." -- Books commenting on Tick Tock's roll of five 1's

"Seeing if you've got $10,000?" -- The Viper

"I normally shoot my victims in the face." -- Da Joker

"Stop shooting, Gary!" -- Hot Tub Johnny to Da Joker (who, incidentally, wasn't Gary)

"You'd better buy a lot after sending that Cop after me.  Two?  That's not going to cut it!" -- Hot Tub Johnny

"Lots o' strategies since each got busted as it began.  Dems da breaks." -- The Raven

"Wait!  Look!  He has red.  Get 'im!!" -- Moneybags

"The Mumbler has the hardest working Thug and Vamp." -- Wheels
"My Thug, my ONE Thug, collected dough for me for the entire game." -- The Mumbler

"Mark gave me a granola bar.  Go Mark!" -- The Mumbler

9. 2006 Final Report

Before beginning the game, the finalists innovate to compensate for a missing joint marker. We used the Level-9 joint marker. As far as I know this is the first recorded use of a Level-9 joint marker! To legitimately deploy this marker, of course, one would have to own all nine brown joints and then upgrade the same joint one level per turn to reach level 9 (instead of simply declaring a monopoly victory).  Gang Buster Quiz: What's the minimum number of turns it would take to deploy the Level-9 marker?  Click for the Answer.

The starting and final positions of the 2006 final (in order of finish) were as follows:

Thomas “The Mumbler” Richardson (Green; Moved Fourth) –
Start: 5/1/2, Shop ‘n’ Save, Franklin Hostel, Serva’s Market, $400
Finish: 6/1/1, 2 hits, 0 seductions, 6 joints ($3,000), $11,500

Nick "Dusk" Henning (Yellow; Moved First) –
Start: 5/1/1, Brzkowski’s Imports, Ambassadors’ Club, Jaeger's Clothier, $400
Finish: 5/1/1, 0 hits, 3 seductions, 4 joints ($2,500; 3 of 6 Blue), $8,300

John “The Viper” Pack (Red; Moved Second) –
Start: 5/1/1, Downtown Bus Station, Westgate Hotel, SMC Cartage Co., $400
Finish: 4/1/1, 2 hits, 4 seductions, 7 joints ($2,900; 2 of 4 Red), $2,900

Steve “Dancin’ Man” Cameron (Brown; Moved Third) –
Start: 5/1/2, Brizelli’s Riverside, Greenwood Park, Hotel Belgrave, $400
Finish: 6/1/2, 3 hits, 1 seduction, 4 joints ($1,900; 3 of 8 Yellow), $4,900

All of the finalists save $400 during the initial setup and gang purchase. Each has two joints of one color and is poised for a first-turn upgrade. While the Viper begins with three green joints, only Dusk begins with both one-jump joints of his chosen color. Here’s a turn-by-turn account reconstructed from my notes with some additional comments added after reflection:

Turn 1 – Dusk upgrades, vamps the Viper’s Racketeer, and scores a payoff of $1,600 with the Public x2. We’re off to the money races already! The Viper uses the cops to raid Brzkowski’s Imports, vamps Dusk’s Racketeer, and pulls in a paltry $300. Dancin’ Man nets $600 for his Thug. The Mumbler vamps the Viper’s Racketeer – showing what a vamp magnet the Downtown Bus Station is – and picks up $500 with his Thug.

Comments: The better players are all aware of the Downtown Bus Station and ready to pounce. It’s dangerous to keep a Racketeer there these days!

Turn 2 – Dusk vamps the Viper’s Racketeer again and scores another big payoff of $1,200 using the Public x3 in Brzkowski’s. The Viper flees from the Vamps in the Downtown Bus Station after upgrading it to Level-3; his Thug brings in $400. With only one move, the Viper intentionally leaves the Public x3 in Brzkowski’s in an attempt to focus the other players’ attention on Dusk. Dancin’ Man moves the Public x3 to Brizelli’s Riverside and collects $1,300. The Mumbler brings in the cops to raid Brizelli’s, seduces Dusk’s Thug off the map, and then returns the Public x3 to the map to patronize the Franklin Hostel.

Comments: I’m down to one move already – road pizza on the other players’ path to victory! Dusk’s triple payoff at this point should have made him the magnet for cop attentions for a long time to come, but as you’ll see it doesn’t have that effect. Even though my move may look unwise, it pretty much ended my hammering. The location I fled to? The Caravan Club. This was intentional as I was already looking for a backup strategy at this point.

Turn 3 – Dusk vamps the Viper’s Racketeer for a third time in as many turns, buys two Thugs for $600, and collects nada. The Viper buys a Racketeer (to get back up to 3) and collects $600. Dancin’ Man sends a new cop after the Viper’s Thug.

Comments: At this point, I’ve been vamped four times (which ends up being my final seduction total). I’m hammered. In fact, the other players only have four seductions among them all at the end of the game! My Racketeer purchase was based on my green roll of one and my other lousy rolls (including a blue six).

Turn 4 – Dancin’ Man vamps Dusk’s Racketeer and collects $600 from the public. The Mumbler collects the same amount.

Turn 5 – Dusk scores with both Public x1 and Public x3 to collect $2,300. The Viper’s Vamp returns Dusk to the two-move range while boosting his own moves back to two; however, he collects a paltry $100. Dancin’ Man sends another cop toward the Viper’s Thug. He tries to moves the Viper’s Vamp to begin extorting. “I think I should’a collected that extortion!”

Comments: Dusk’s fourth big payoff to this point should have put everyone on Red Alert.

Turn 6 – The Viper collects his first $1,000. “I’m gonna have it framed!” The Viper also manages to turn all the cops away from his criminal Vamp and Thug (which are now in the same joint). The Mumbler uses the public to score a $1,200 payoff.

Turn 7 – Dusk pulls in $1,500. The Viper again sends the cops to Brzkowski’s. Having utterly failed to collect cash (as a Bus Station Strategy is intended to do), the Viper buys a red joint and moves to another. Dancin’ Man rolls 1,1,2,2,2. “A roll to replicate,” says Dusk. “That’s a pretty nice roll.” The crime level (7) draws a comment – “This is almost a law-abiding city now.” Dancin’ Man buys a Vamp and upgrades his second yellow building (Greenwood Park) to Level-3. Mumbler steers Barney Fife away from his criminals.

“Dusk, start a gang war!” – The Mumbler

“We cordially invite you all to attend a St. Valentine’s Day Party.” – The Viper

“Hey, we all get a plaque!” – The Mumbler

“You could surrender now and go get your plaque” – The Viper

Comments: Gangsters really becomes a lot of fun once the players get to know each other and start to play their comments to each other. The squirt gun helps people remember that it’s a fun game even when it’s an intense final!

Turn 8 – The Viper buys his seventh joint and his third red joint. Barney Fife radios for help. Cop #7 answers and moves in. The crime level stays at 7. Dancin’ Man collects $200 with the public. Dusk to The Mumbler, “You’re not the leader because of joints – it’s because you have a boatload of money.”

The Viper to the Mumbler, “The public will go away if you win that fight.” “Thanks, Viper. What would I do without you?” Dusk to the Mumbler, “Payoffs are before shootouts.” “Thanks, Dusk. What would I do without you two?” Mumbler eliminates the Viper’s red Caravan Club.

Comments: It’s easy to see the Red Monopoly threat – which the Mumbler quickly dispatches. Not so easily seen are the mounting piles of cash held by the Mumbler and Dusk.

Turn 9 – Dusk (aka “Antonio Banderas” because of his t-shirt) breaks even for the turn. Viper collects his second $1,000 bill. Cop #8 headed towards the Viper’s Vamp and Thug. Dancin’ Man leaves the public in the Downtown Bus Station. Viper collects his third $1,000 bill. Greenwood Park at Level-3 pays $1,800 to Dancin’ Man. However, that Public x3 then moves to the Ambassadors’ Club and pays the Mumbler $2,400 (for a total payoff of $3,200). His Thug slips behind Cop #7. “These cops need to be like Antonio Baderas,” says Dancin’ Man.

Comments: It appears the Mumbler managed to score a payout in one of Dusk’s joints, but we didn’t catch it at the time. My cash level is so low that Dancin’ Man doesn’t have to worry about leaving a big public in the Bus Station.

Turn 10 – The Mumbler to Dusk, “You have three seconds left.” “Viper, go back to writing!” The Viper returns to the Caravan Club after buying the other three red joints. Dusk and the Mumbler repeatedly sing, “C is for Cookie. Is good enough for me.”

Are Gangsters competitive or what? “I’m going to the bathroom.” – Dusk. “You have 30 seconds. Go!” – The Mumbler.

Dancin’ Man takes out the Viper’s red Hawthorne Hotel. The Mumbler collects $3,100 including a big payoff at Brizelli’s Riverside to declare victory with $11,500. (The Viper is still writing and hasn’t clued in that the game is over. “What happened?”)

Here’s what the Mumbler had to say for himself, “Dusk is a clumsy BUM! Viper, I ♥ you. Dusk said I sucked. Chuck Norris is WAY cooler than the Viper. WAY!” Something tells me we need to have him talk with Willy Wonka.

“What game is this?” – Passerby. “Gangsters!” – Everyone in unison

Comments: Two huge payoffs in a row vaults the Mumbler past Dusk, denying Dusk his third championship in a row. The final totals show it was close. I manage to re-establish a Red Monopoly threat only to have it blown away once more – as I still managed to attract more attention than either player with a large cash pile. There’s no question why winning with cash is so much easier. The Mumbler’s big Racketeer allowed him to manipulate the public effectively and win with a one-jump strategy.

Congratulations to Thomas “The Mumbler” Richardson for winning it all in his first WBC Gangsters Tournament! Thomas brought his father and brother with him to the tournament this year – where all three qualified for the semi-finals. Apparently they can play some pretty good games right at home! The Mumbler’s style of play is very much like our previous Godfather and second place player this year, Nick “Dusk” Henning. Who will prevail next year?

10. Email Competition

Great news!  Bill Thompson, the creator of the VASSAL game set for Victory in the Pacific, has indicated that he'll create a PBEM set for Gangsters!  The VITP set is spectacular, so we can expect good results.  I expect to announce a PBEM tournament as soon as the module is finished, reviewed, and polished!  The good news is that VASSAL is Java-based, so everyone who can access the internet can use it.  There are also stand-alone copies for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux machines.  Even better, VASSAL and its game sets are free of charge!

Look for an announcement by email later this year!

11. Copies of the Game

The good news is that, once more, I have been able to obtain copies of the game.  Alas, the nicer copies are becoming more expensive.

I have one jumbo-size unique demo copy (the board and pieces are four-times the normal size) available, after the tournament, in its tube for $125.   I have one new, shrink-wrapped copy available for $60.  I have one unpunched copy for $50.  I have partially unpunched copies for $40.  I have used copies for $35.  The used copies are all in good condition (most having been played a few times), guaranteed complete, and in boxes that have no damage worse than minor shelf wear, a tiny crease, or a taped corner.  I charge a flat $7 for shipping within the USA.  Email me for more details.  All copies are first-paid, first-served.

The profit on each sale (~$5) is used for special awards, name tags, timers, squirt guns, fedoras, and other goodies for the tournament.  If you ever run into a copy that you don't buy for yourself or a friend, let me know.  I buy them to keep the tournament well-stocked!  Thank you!

12. See you later this month!

That's all the news and all the details from last year's tournament.  You can get additional statistics, reports, articles, and information at http://www.gameaholics.com/gangsters_tournament.htm!

I hope to see you all playing in our Gangsters' "Year of the Cop" celebration in just four weeks!  Don't get caught by the coppers by surprise!


13. Gang Buster Quiz

What's the minimum number of turns it would take to deploy the Level-9 marker? (from the Final Report)

Try to solve the puzzle before you look at the answer.

Answer: Purchase three brown joints during setup.  Upgrade one of these on the first turn.  Move one's Racketeer to a new brown joint OR to the upgraded brown joint each turn (but only if enough brown joints are already owned to allow another upgrade).  Purchase the new brown joint or upgrade the previously upgraded joint.  One would need to purchase all six remaining brown joints and upgrade the previously upgraded joint a total of seven more times.  That will take 13 turns plus the first turn for a total of 14 turns minimum.

Of course, after one owns all nine brown joints, one can simply declare victory as soon as one has the ninth joint (provided all gang members are on the board) rather than messing with upgrades.  On the other hand, it's possible to place the Level-8 marker, have all of one's gang on the board, and still not have won the game.  It's a strategy I don't recommend!

Thirsty for more?  OK, here's another:

What's the largest number of gangsters possible at the start of Turn One?  What is the size of each gang member?

Again, try to solve before you move on to the answer.

Answer: If one buys three brown joints to start with, that leaves a maximum of $2,900 available for gang purchase.  That means our answer is tenEither 5 Racketeers, 1 Vamp, and 4 Thugs or 4 Racketeers, 1 Vamp, and 5 Thugs.  Any other combination requires a gang give up more gangsters than it can buy.  This is easily seen since the next cheapest purchase in all cases (a $500 Racketeer or Thug) is as many as can be obtained with the $100 in change available plus giving up one's most expensive gang member ($500).  Interestingly, no one in the history of the Gangsters tournament has every used the second of these two possibilities.  No one has ever won a game using the first of these two possibilities.  See the stats on starting gangs for more details.

Gangsters® is a registered trademark of The Avalon Hill Game Company.