2010 World Championship Yearbook

"[Former mob boss and longtime federal fugitive] Whitey Bulger's brother was a politician. So one brother was operating in a world with no morals, dealing with the lowest of the low, and the other one was a mobster." -- Craig Ferguson

A record eighty-eight mobsters played a record forty-two games before the dust settled, and Nick "Slumlord" Smith established total ghetto domination.  Squirt guns appeared in 43 World Championship tournaments this year and throughout the Lancaster Host as dueling mobs took their grudge matches to all epics, genres, and styles of gaming.  In all, it was a record amount of fun and friendship -- and hard-fought gang grudge matches.

In a few short weeks, we'll do it all again.  Don't miss it!

As a reminder to all those playing in the upcoming 2011 tournament, notes about how much cash other players have are not permitted -- not on the player chit or anywhere else.  A few notations I found on the cards suggested this may have happened last year.  We track enough statistics that some players may have forgotten that hidden cash (which must all be kept in a single location on the table) cannot be tracked in any written fashion.  Thanks for abiding by the rules as you create pandemonium around Chicago!

If you enjoy the Gangsters-related comics that decorate this yearbook, please encourage your local newspaper to carry these fine comics.  I hope you enjoy the newsletter.  Comments and feedback are always welcome!

Table of Contents

  1. What's Next?
  2. Packing Wet
  3. 2010 Records
  4. 2010 Winners
  5. 2010 Special Awards
  6. Top Ten Summer Safety Tips from Jimmy "The Weasel" Fratianno
  7. Favorite Joints of 2010
  8. Quotable Gangsters
  9. Game Comments
  10. 2010 Final Report
  11. Copies of the Game
  12. PBEM Competition
  13. See you soon!

1. What's Next?

This year Rolinda "Ma" Collinson will once again take over GM duties for 2011.  All of my able assistants will be there to help out along with her charming daughters, "Angel" and "Red Rose," and well-attired sons, "Maverick" and "Eyes."  Check out all the details at http://www.gameaholics.com/gangsters_tournament.htm!  You can follow the links from there to more Gangsters info than you can squirt with a fully-loaded pistol.

2. Packing Wet

We came, we saw, we squirted, … We got wet and had the time of our lives. The streets of Chicago ran with water this year. Was it because the Gangsters were kinder or gentler or because the Commish ordered a flushing of the water mains? Not at all – but rather because we used our arsenals to full potential. Packing heat? No – packing wet!

First Heat action!

It all started off with each participant receiving an unlimited, no-expiration-date “License to Squirt” and a loaded squirt gun as they arrived in the windy city. Then came target practice and a refresher course in the hit man’s code. It didn’t take long before squirt gun fire echoed between gin joints and through the halls of the Lancaster Host. As gangs put hits on each other and the cops joined in the fray, the water dripped from the opposition like blood on St. Valentine’s Day. The Lancaster Online reported, “A group playing 1920s gangsters stalked the hallways with water-pistols to soak unsuspecting competitors.”

Mobsters were informed by fedora-wearing officials that they had the opportunity to become bouncers, thugs, muscle, hit men, or hit men assassins if they took their newly won licenses and weaponry into other events and found creative ways to apply them there. For each such event, a Tommy Gun sticker would adorn their badge, license, or fedora like an Iron Cross on a P-51 Mustang. For those who reached the Hit Man level (7-9 events), the Silver Tommy Gun award was their prize – an emblem that would strike fear into opponents everywhere (or at least cause them to reach for a towel).

Who are these Hit Men? Their names echo on the pages of history like the Chicago typewriters they wield: Godfather Bugs, Scarface, Buttercup, Da Kid, Tasslehoff, Da Djinn, and Jezebel. Two went further and qualified for recognition as a Hit Man Assassin: Strings and The Viper.

Where was carnage reported? All over the Caribbean Sea (Pirate’s Cove), in the hallways of the Kremlin, at castle exhibits (Adel Verpflichtet), in drive-by shootings (Formula Motor Racing), on the Lexington Green (We the People and 1776; see photo on the right), during a refreshing pause on the slopes of Mt. Doom (War of the Ring), on sinking aircraft carriers (Victory in the Pacific and War at Sea), at the registration desk, in the Ardennes forest (Tigers in the Mist), during analysis paralysis (Medici), in B-Movies (Monsters Ravage America), during Assyria’s golden age (History of the World), while singing “She’ll be comin’ round the mountain” (Empire Builder), in the reactor core (Star Wars: Queen’s Gambit), on slave plantations (Puerto Rico), and many other exotic locations.

The hit men will be back this year and gunning for more. Innocent Bystanders (if there is such a thing) beware!

The final tally for those using and reporting Squirt Gun usage in other events resulted in the award of the following titles (with a silver Tommy Gun pin for for all those reaching Hit Man level or above):

Events Title Gangsters
1-2 Bouncer Ashley "Angel" Collinson Abby Elliott Katie "Shocker" Elliott
Matt "The Boot" Evinger "Dangerous" Doug Galullo Larry "Skumbag" Lingle
3-6 Muscle Winton "Twinkie" Lemoine    
7-9 Hit Man John "Bugs" Elliott Andy "Scarface" Gardner Verity "Buttercup" Hitchings
Aurora "Tasslehoff" Pack David "Da Kid" Pack Marie "Da Djinn" Pack
Sharee "Jezebel" Pack    
10+ Hit Man Assassin Bob "Strings" Hamel John "The Viper" Pack  

These titles will adorn the badges of the recipients from 2012 onward!

Where exactly did our squirt guns appear and how often?

Event Squirt Gun
1776 1
Ace of Aces 1
Adel Verpflichtet 2
Agricola 3
Air Baron 1
Amun Re 1
Atlantic Storm 2
Auction 1
Axis & Allies 1
Battleline 1
Can't Stop 1
Dominion 1
Empire Builder 1
Formula Motor Racing 5
Gangsters 164*
Gettysburg 1
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage 1
History of the World 1
Ivanhoe 1
Kremlin 1
Lost Cities 2
Medici 2
Monsters Ravage America 2
Panzerblitz 1
Pirate's Cove 11
Puerto Rico 1
Ra! 1
Robo Rally 1
San Juan 2
Squirt Gun Free-for-All 10*
Star Wars: Queen's Gambit 2
Superstar Baseball 1
Thurn & Taxis 3
Ticket to Ride 3
Tigers in the Mist 1
Titan 1
Titan: The Arena 2
Tyranno Ex 1
Victory in the Pacific 4
War at Sea 5
War of the Ring 1
We the People 1
Wooden Ships & Iron Men 1


* Or more -- since dead men and wet gangsters tell no tales.

I'm happy to report that we infiltrated every genre and every epic represented at the World Boardgaming Championships!  I'm also delighted to report that no game components were reported damaged.  Thank you all for following the Hit Man's Etiquette.  I do have to admit that I'm a little disappointed that Naval War still doesn't have any water -- but several naval games were among the highest sightings.  Pirate's Cove definitely deserves a nod as the second coolest tournament in which to use a squirt gun (and the most willing to add more fun to their games)!  If I can think of a suitable prize, I'll award it to the Pirate's Cove tournament at one of its heats this year.

The Second Heat  is the first to meet in a Speakeasy!

It was a fun year.  Don't hesitate to continue to use your "License to Squirt" wherever the need is perceived this year and in all future years too!

My favorite squirt gun story this past year occurred at the registration desk.  I'd gone there to borrow a few clean trash cans to use for the water supply during the Squirt Gun Free-for-All (kudos to the Lancaster Host for providing small food buckets instead)!  I laid my loaded squirt gun and assorted paperwork on the desk during the process.  The young receptionist coyly asked, "You're not going to squirt me with that, are you?"  To which invitation I responded, "Of course."  I picked up my gun and opened fire.  The shocked expression on her face was priceless.  She now had a story to tell about the oddities of gamers to all her fellow hotel workers!

I also enjoyed the chance to exchange fire with other criminal masterminds as we passed in the hallways.  That'll make 2010 a year to remember!

3. 2010 Records

The kinder, gentler Gangsters of Rolinda "Ma" Collinson's era disappeared as carnage and vamping levels returned to normal (14 median losses per game vs. 11 during Ma's 1,000 Points of Light).  But, believe it or not, vamping actually dropped from a median of 6 to 5 -- it was hits and cop actions that jumped from a median of 5 to 8.5 (close to the record of 9).


# High was set last year
* Previous low was set last year


I was delighted to see a surge in first-time participants; I hope all of the new players will come and try again this year.   Those who learn Gangsters tend to love it -- as the high levels of experienced players demonstrate.  Get complete statistics at http://www.gameaholics.com/gsr_wbc/gsr_statistics.htm

The Fourth Heat was very toasty and humid.  Many arrived soaking wet from the Squirt Gun Free-for-All!

4. 2010 Winners

Here are the top twenty-five finishers for 2010:

Place Name & Moniker % Complete % Assets
1 Nick "Slumlord" Smith 100% 100%
2 Ben "The Roach" Gardner 89% 159%
3 Brooks "The Ring" Beyma 80% 67%
4 Nick "Dusk" Henning 70% 80%
5 Andy "Scarface" Gardner 50% 48%
6 Derek "Lefty" Landel 90% 53%
7 Rolinda "Ma" Collinson 80% 102%
8 Aurora "Tasslehoff" Pack 80% 95%
9 Bob "Strings" Hamel 80% 63%
10 Charles "Side Step" Stucker 79% 64%
11 Pat "El Jefe" Richardson 75% 118%
12 Sarah "Vodka 'n Cheese" Sparks 75% 74%
13 Anthony "Big Tuna" Musella 73% 190%
14 David "Da Kid" Pack 71% 222%
15 Jeffrey "The Head" Hacker 67% 33%
16 John "The Viper" Pack 66% 82%
17 "Dangerous" Doug Galullo 60% 50%
18 Paul "Da Spider" Bolduc 60% 41%
19 Ashley "Angel" Collinson 60% 12%
20 Jonathan "Fence" Jones 55% 69%
21 Gordon "Itchy" Rodgers 52% 68%
21 Henry "Teech" Richardson 50% 60%
21 Kevin "The Bag" Hacker 40% 86%
21 Mike "Bugsy" Stanley 40% 35%
25 Sharee "Jezebel" Pack 37% 48%

The reading of a Hit Man's Etiquette

The Bouncer's table at our Speakeasy

Twenty-two heat winners answered the call to begin the semi-final.  Eleven winners went AWOL.  That made room for alternates for the first time in three years (though it was the last two years that were unusual in that regard).  Two of the top five alternates (who had good reason to believe they might get in) were available and admitted to the Semis quickly...  Then I continued to read names until way, way down the list at number twelve we found my name...  And thus I made it in by the skin of my teeth -- only to get immediately clobbered by Scarface.

The Gardner crime syndicate -- "Scarface" Andy and Ben "The Roach" -- deserve special mention for both qualifying for the final.  However, roaches and scarred tenants didn't bother the "Slumlord" as he turned decrepit properties into a hard-fought victory.

Current AREA ratings include all 2010 results and are available at: http://wolff.to/area/T_Gangsters.html.  As with all rating systems, recent results tend to have a greater impact on the rating (as does the total number of games played -- which is the biggest reason Bob Hamel and I are so highly rated).  For some reason, I seem to play all of the Gangsters heats every year...

5. 2010 Special Awards

Cement Overshoes Sportsmanship Award – Among the five nominees, Phil "Steak" White was sent to bottom of Lake Michigan for his good deeds.  Despite numerous attempts at "tenderizing" (or pulverizing as the case may have been) the Steak's gang, Phil remained upbeat and positive, cheerful, courteous, and friendly under fire making the game much more enjoyable for all players.  Many thanks to the other nominees as well:  Nick "Dusk" Henning, Paul "Da Spider" Bolduc, Pat "El Jefe" Richardson, and Steve "Dancin' Man" Cameron (who suffered the indignity of not getting his License to Squirt badge).  I promise I will get Dancin' Man his license this year.  Please remember to nominate your opponents when you observe good sportsmanship!

Junior Godfather Award - We had a lot of brand-new players in competition for this award this year.  Derek "Lefty" Landel emerged victorious by finishing in sixth place, where he also scored a few BPA laurels.  He was the highest second-place finisher in the semi-finals and prevailed over fellow semi-finalist novices, Sarah "Vodka 'n Cheese" Sparks (12th place) and Jonathan "Fence" Jones (20th place).  When presented with his award, all Lefty could say wuz, "I can't believe I won something! :-)"  We hope all the new players will return and give Gangsters another shot -- or at least give their opponents' gangs another shot.  For those who played just one debut game, remember you're still eligible for the Junior Godfather this year!

"I Think She Likes Me!" Award – The news that Vampage decreased in 2010 may come as a shock to a few of our fellow criminal masterminds.  Sarah "Vodka 'n Cheese" Sparks and Andy "Scarface" Gardner both lost seven loyal gang members to enemy Vamps in a single game.  But that wasn't enough to take the prize this year...  Craig "No Cigar" Reece lost eight gang members in a single match.  Craig has been thinking about changing his nickname from "No Cigar" to "No one left to smoke a Cigar" after that experience.  When awarded the prize, Craig wrote, “I was wondering if I had a shot at that award. That game was brutal in the most feminine sense possible. :)”

Roadkill Award – This year the competition for the Roadkill award was fierce. In past years, 8 casualties could get a respectable mobster into the competition and 9 casualties won it last year. This year Sharee “Jezebel” Pack lost 11 family members to enemy action. Her husband, "The Viper," lost another 12 to diabolical criminals in his vain attempt to stop a monopoly turn after turn after turn. However, when Ben "The Roach" Gardner realized he was going down in flames, he remorselessly pulled out the heaters and let lead fly at every opportunity on every turn – racking up a body count of 17 of his own boys and 18 dead among the competition. That’s far more dead guys in (wet) suits than any Roadkill winner before (and more than most mobs ever recruit in a single game). I guess it proves that one can become road pizza on purpose!

Barney Fife Memorial Award – I awarded this prize this year, but the plaque exchange was handled in a dark alley in the middle of the night.  I never got a clear look at his face before he scurried back to the darkened underworld where, once more, he's safe from city officials.

One-Time Awards –We had a bevy of unusual awards this year in addition to the standard prizes.  Shayne Graydon won a gangster mustache for being the youngest mobster to visit the tournament.

Squirt Gun Free-for-All – Prizes were awarded among ten participants in two divisions:  the junior division for those twelve and younger and the open division for everyone else (mainly to prevent collisions between very large Thugs and very tiny Racketeers and petite Vamps).  In the Junior "Racketeer & Vamp" Division, the toy gangster sedans for wettest and driest Gangsters went to Abby Elliott and Katie "Shocker" Elliott respectively (part of the crime family run by Godfather John "Bugs" Elliott).  In the Open "Thug" Division, the menacing gangster figures for wettest and driest Gangsters went to Jason Fisher (First Mate of the Pirate's Cove tournament) and David "Da Kid" Pack (part of the GM's mafia).  Larry "Skumbag" Lingle (Captain of the Pirate's Cove tourney) gets an honorable mention for being almost as wet as his first mate (and both looking like they might have recently walked off a plank).

Honorable Mention – In a year when Vamps shredded fewer gangs than normal, Craig Reece won the "I think She likes Me!" award after losing 8 victims to enemy Vamps in a single game. The runner-up, Andy, lost 7 victims -- in the very same game!  For his close, but not quite effort, Andy "Scarface" Gardner is our honorable mention winner of the year.

6. Top Ten Summer Safety Tips from Jimmy "The Weasel" Fratianno

This top ten list is courtesy of  “Late Night with David Letterman” Book of Top Ten Lists.

7. Favorite Joints of 2010

The Green One-Jump strategy joints surge to the top two spots -- after falling to third and fourth last year.  SMC Cartage Co. does not rebound with the other green joints, however.  Taylor's Machine Shop falls off the list altogether.  So Green's fortunes are limited to the two favorites only!  The Downtown Bus Station is now tied for #1 in the all-time standings with its partner joint, Brizelli's Riverside.  However, it is quickly becoming the junior partner in that arrangement as Brizelli's was owned by a full 37% of winners.

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


Winner's Joints


Brizelli's Riverside 36.59% 29.07% 3 1 Way UP
Downtown Bus Station 26.83% 29.07% 4 1 UP
3 Greenwood Park 21.95% 22.09% 11 4 Way UP
  Palace Chophouse 21.95% 16.74% 4 7 Slightly UP
Ambassadors' Club< 17.07% 25.58% 5 3 DOWN
Franklin Hostel 14.63% 16.98% 6 6 Slightly DOWN
Pussycat Club 14.63% 12.09% 15 8 Way Way UP
Jaeger's Clothier 14.63% 10.93% 6 9 UP
Brzkowski's Imports 12.20% 21.86% 2 5 Way Way DOWN
Martin & Son Carriage Repair 12.20% 6.51% 11 12 Way UP

Two years ago the Palace Chophouse dropped from the Top 10.  It's back with a vengeance the last two years -- all the way to #3 this year (from #4 last year).  This is an interesting joint because it's not the core of any one-jump strategy -- but is often used as a jumping-off point for gang members and a quick hit from the Public later in the game for cash players.  Greenwood Park also rebounds to #3 after a year off of the list.

Unlike joints that bound on and off the list, the Franklin Hostel is sixth.  And it was sixth last year and the year before.  And it's been fifth, sixth, or seventh forever.  Jaeger's Clothier remains and improves its over-all rank to 6th.  Jaeger's has become a consistent member of the Top 10 since 2006 -- but appeared in it only once before that.

Martha's Commissary and Brandon's Bikeshop drop off the list.  Brzkowski's falls dramatically while Ambassadors' Club falls only slightly.  The other key Purple Joint, Pussycat Club, enjoys a big resurgence.  It's a wonderful joint to own (for visiting Public), but its murder on Gang members who hang around.  Martin & Son Carriage Repair moves up in a year when Red monopoly attempts (but not successes) also increased.  I wonder how the additional wins were generated (since monopoly wins were not high)?

8. Quotable Gangsters (A group of statements comes from the same game or in reply!)

"Ouch!" -- Mickey the Wire

"Give me back my Rack!" -- Da Kid

"These are not the numbers I seek." -- Twinkie

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...  Yes, another Rack." -- Da Kid (vamping his seventh Racketeer of the game)

"10    10    10    Oh.... this could be painful!" -- The Viper

"Youse wanna put da Public out.  Trust me." -- Da Kitten

"Boy am I a stupid fool." -- Sidestep

"I don't have anything better to do."  -- Da Djinn

"The Vamp strikes again." -- Da Kid
"It's the blonde lure!" -- Ladykiller

"Is it legal to cheat in this game?" -- Da Djinn
"This is Gangsters!" -- Mickey the Wire    (GM: No, it's not legal to cheat in Gangsters.)

Dressed to Kill!

"This is a short game, isn't it?" -- Ladykiller (after a game ended in just 70 minutes)

"Are youse ready?" -- The Viper
"Yeah, man!" -- The Plug
"Well, you're the only one..." -- The Viper

"All you need is luck." -- Da Kid
"So, if I get this, then everyone but me is winning?!" -- Da Kid

"Nine Brown isn't as sneaky as I'd hoped." -- Dusk

"Two minutes of pure entertainment." -- Itchy

"I lost the Vamp & Thug in the same round... awesome.  So I bought him back, and they shot him again.  I thought you were supposed to ignore the player going for Purple?" -- Angel
"Don't leave, sweetheart!" -- The Viper
"That was a good party." -- Angel (2 Vamps, a Racketeer, and Public x3 in a single joint)
"Show him what kind of an underworld this is!" -- The Viper
"I'm a law-abidin' citizen, man." -- The Head

"Scarface is bangin' my Racks." -- The Bag
"We designated one instead of two minutes for Scarface's turn (jokingly) when he commented, 'Forget the convert.'  Scarface has the best Vamp in town.  The Bag is worn out.  Scarface and his gang are having a hard time not sleeping with the fishes." -- Big Tuna
"I got the Pussycat Club to level 4!" -- Big Tuna

"Out of courtesy to The Plug, I shot myself instead." -- Twinkie

"So, Tick Tock, youse feelin' like an innocent bystander?  I'm gettin' shot to shreds 'ere." -- The Viper

"Meat for the sharks!" -- Teech
"Watch where you point that thing, soldier!" -- Teech
"I'm in trouble.  I'm in trouble." -- Teech
"Already close to 10 G's, eh?" -- The Viper
"I shoulda known bettah dan to move next door to an establish'd Vamp operation!" -- The Viper
"He's a Cop of many choices." -- The Viper

"The Roach almost won twice on a Red monopoly." -- Da Spider
"They think the voices in their heads are funny." -- The Enforcer
"What did you get?" -- The Roach
"One" -- The Enforcer
"Just think -- in 100 years, you'll win." -- Da Spider
"We are just waiting to empty this sucker." -- Da Spider (to The Roach)
"I could see that the Roach would buy his fourth Red joint.  The Roach had vamped Jezebel down to two Racks.  She tried shooting up one of the Red joints with her 2-Thug.  She lived through the first round and hit the joint on the second.  But Jezebel died and was prevented taking the joint." -- The Enforcer

"Scarface's Roach is causing problems.  He's trying to win, and we're trying to stop 'im." -- Jezebel
"He wants death and destruction." -- The Enforcer
"And he's got it." -- Da Spider

9. Game Commentary

"First game of Gangsters ever.  Had a good time!" -- Lefty

"I won!" -- Jonathan Barnes
"Jonathan played the 'newbie' card and snuck in on cash." -- Teech

"My biggest turn?  $3,600." -- Bugsy (who didn't win but came close with $9,300)

"Poor rolling.  Vamped three times." -- Steak (but there was nary an X in a Vamp box on his player chit)

"I don't understand the Cops yet." -- Twinkie (GM: There are some things the criminal mind was not meant to understand.)

"You pick big cops.  You brought the 9 and 10 out.  Then you hit me with them." -- The Bull (to Jezebel)

"Bribing Barney won me the game." -- Dancin' Man

"The Head is an idiot.  He put the 3x Public in Bugs' Red Level x2 Joint." -- The Head (GM: Would you like a different nickname for each of your personalities?)

"I came to shoot up the Downtown Bus Station, but all the bus drivers were packing heat and returned fire.  I barely walked away with my life!  I bought the Bus Station as my 9th joint.  Then Moneybags arrived to shoot up the station again.  I had to free my girl from jail to win." -- Wheels (winning with a 1/1/1 gang)

"I think she likes me -- No Cigar got his entire gang removed via vamping and other action." -- Teech

"All others vamped by me." -- Da Kid

"Ma forgot to buy the same joint three turns in a row and ended up with eight joints." -- Slumlord (in a game where the winner had $11 G's, Slumlord had $9,200, and Ma had 8 joints)

"The Head got crushed by the Big Tuna." -- The Head

"The Roach takes money from the bank to pay for his bribe.  He knows how to be a gangster.  He takes the money from the bank!" -- Jezebel

"The Slumlord was a master at gettings 5's and 6's and getting one joint per turn!" -- Teech

"Da Spider's entire gang was wiped out on the second-to-last round of the game." -- Ma

"El Jefe made a bad kibitz -- thought Ma had a 4-Thug, not a 1-Thug." -- Da Spider

"Had a 4-Rack in the last Purple joint.  Calvary Club (Level 1) gets taken out.  Rack rolls and gets me back in Cavalry Club for another try at the last Purple.  Tasselhoff shot at the Channel View with 1-Thug but missed." -- Angel

"I wuz up to $8,300 at my highest point, and I was set up to buy my 10th joint if we'd played one more turn." -- Numbers

"Vodka 'n Cheese had her Rack and Thug vamped seven times to bring both down to zero (and finish at 1/1/0)." -- The Head

Semi-Final Action & Check-in Spread

10. 2010 Final Report

Here, in movement order, are the five finalists, their starting positions, and their status at the end of the game:

Brooks "The Ring" Beyma 
Start: 5/1/2; $200; Pussycat Club [Vamp], Greenwood Park [Racketeer/Thug], Franklin Hostel
Finish: 3/1/1, 5 Hits, 3 Seductions; $1,200, 8 joints (4 of 10 Brown/Grey) – 3rd Place

Nick "Slumlord" Smith
Start: 5/1/1; $600; Palace Chophouse [Vamp/Thug], Westgate Hotel [Racketeer], Strohm & Sons Auto Repair
Finish: 3/1/1, 0 Hits, 1 Seduction; $3,300; 10 joints (5 of 10 Brown/Grey) – Wins!

Andy "Scarface" Gardner  –
Start: 5/1/2; $300; Brizelli's Riverside [Racketeer], Taylor's Machine Shop [Vamp/Thug], Wylie's Storage
Finish: 2/0/1, 2 Hits, 2 Seductions; $1,100, 5 joints (2 of 4 Red) – 5th Place

Nick "Dusk" Henning, 2004 & 2005 Godfather
Start: 5/1/1; $400; Brzkowski's Imports [Thug], Jaeger's Clothier [Vamp], Sonny's Place [Racketeer]
Finish: 5/1/1, 0 Hits, 0 Seductions; $2,100; 7 joints (4 of 10 Brown/Grey) – 4th Place

Ben "The Roach" Gardner
Start: 5/1/2; $0; Ambassadors' Club [Vamp], Brandon's Bikeshop, Downtown Bus Station [Racketeer/Thug]
Finish: 1/1/1, 6 Hits, 0 Seductions; $8,900; 3 joints (2 of 6 Blue) – 2nd Place

The Slumlord shows the other finalists how to remain concealed!

The finalists are mostly old hands -- three have 20 or more games under their belts while another is nearing 20.  Only The Ring checks in with 2-5 games of experience prior to this tournament (but nearly doubles that amount in this year alone).  Dusk not only has experience in Gangsters, but has won the final twice before.  He also has experience taking notes for me -- which he puts to good use again this year.  He has my sincere thanks for this work!  Scarface and Slumlord have visited the final game before too.  The Roach has three family members who play Gangsters and gets in year-round practice with Scarface and The Ox.

Interestingly, the Downtown Bus Station is the very last joint purchased -- I guess no one wanted that target painted on their back!  More interestingly, it goes to a player invested heavily in the Blue One-Jump strategy.

Nick tries a strategy I've toyed with using myself -- a small gang, cheap one-jump joints, and a lot of starting cash.  It's a perfect way to try to sneak up the cash through extortion and occasional organized crime.  But, as you'll see, he goes for the joints instead.

Here are Dusk's notes on the progress of the game.  Thank you for making such a great record, Nick!

Turn One -- Vamp City:  The Ring extorts a lot.  Slumlord vamps Scarface who, in turn, vamps him back.  Dusk vamps The Ring whose Thug was busted by Robocop on The Roach's turn.  Cops 8, 9, and 10 show up (with the latter also departing).

Turn Two -- Public City:  The Ring gets a Public x2 in the garden.  Dolls dolla bills.  They wander over to the Slumlord's joint, then take a journey into the Machine Shop for Scarface.  Cop #7 (T.J. Hooker) comes to kill the Roach's Cavalry Club Thugs, and Dusk forgets to buy but gets the huge crowd (x3) of public in Brzkowski's who, in turn, wander over to the Bikeshop owned by The Roach.

Turn Three -- In the Public Eye:  More Public go to the garden and then wander to Westgate as the The Ring's Vamp gets busted.  Scarface leaves them there for another turn on the Roach's turn.  Double Public move into the Ambassadors' Club and the Bus Station.  That leaves The Ring with just one free move.  Uh oh.

Turn Four -- The Ring meets Mt. Doom:  One Public leaves The Roach motels, but not both.  The Public are just running rampant.  Strangely, after the Slumloard's turn there is only one crime and four police officers on the board.  The Ring gets vamped again (down to two Racks) with no vamp or Thug in sight.  The turn is otherwise uneventful.

Turn Five -- Scarface Redlines:  Scarface's Vamp gets blasted away while Slumlord seduces a Thug from Scarface to put his own piece back on the board.  Robocop kills Scarface's Thug.  At this point three players have 3 moves and two players have one move (Scarface and The Ring).

Turn Six -- Better Part of Valor: Dusk forgot to buy his joint again and is the worst player ever, as his Thugs run from an impending pair of Cops including Robocop.

Turn Seven -- Mayor Re-elected: Crime is at an all-time low.  Joint purchasing seems to be everyone except The Roach's strategy.  Racketeers kill a vamp.

Turn Eight -- Return of the Vamp: The Ring finally gets his Vamp back.  The Vamp comes back for Dusk as well.  The Roach loses two Racks at Dusk's Jaeger's Clothier.

Turn Nine -- Perseverance:  The Roach loses more Racks throughout the round and can't seem to hit.  T.J. Hooker returns and completely whiffs on the Thug.  Dusk moves into his 10th joint.

GM records the mayhem (results) on his laptop

Turn Ten -- Day of Infamy:  There is massive warfare. Dusk drops to six joints.  The Roach has a huge amount of cash.  The Ring has 7 joints and sits in the 8th.  Slumlord has 8 joints and sits in the 9th.  And Dusk goes back to 7 joints.

Turn Eleven -- History Ends:  Slumlord goes to 9 joints with just one Racketeer.  This is insane.

That's where Dusk's written record ends.  But we know what happened as the Slumlord picked up another dive on the next turn to win it all while recruiting two more Racketeers to keep a last ditch effort to rub out his gang from stopping him.

Amazingly, in a game where only one player went for cash, one player still managed to get to ten joints in such a tight real estate market.  Of course, criminal intervention at three of Dusk's establishments on turn ten probably opened the market up just enough for Slumlord to sneak through.  Shootouts are expensive, but they can be the key to victory when timed just right (if they're not too expensive).  Congratulations, Slumlord!

11. Copies of the Game

The good news is that I have several copies of Gangsters available for purchase!  The bad news is that prices on eBay lately have been sky-high.  As a result, prices are sure to go up after these copies are sold.  They're all in very good condition (new or unpunched) except one really bad copy.  They're available on a first-come, first-served basis until I run out.  Shipping is a flat $8 within the USA.





$65 1 Pristine -- I imagine very few looked this good
even at the factory!
$55 1 As if you'd removed the shrinkwrap earlier today!
$45 1 Inside it's new; outside there's packing tape and
a tiny bit of writing on the box plus minor shelf wear
$45 1 Excellent condition -- probably only played once.  Contains
the WBC expansion set released in 2007 plus rules.
$15 1 Useful for spare parts only; board is in OK shape;
Box is worn/dinged badly; a dozen missing pieces;
no squirt gun or rules

I guarantee all copies have been thoroughly inspected and are complete unless "damaged."  The cheapest I've found on eBay lately is $55 for a used copy with no guarantee of completeness plus $14 S&H. 

12. Email Competition

The Vassal module is underway.  The developer indicates that he thinks it'll be wrapped up and ready to go this winter.  The map turned out so well that it will look even better than the copy in your box!  We used the scan that created my jumbo map and edited it to remove the crack and creases.  We also changed the text to white to make the names easier to read and refer to during email play.  The street addresses are also included in the map.  Here's a tiny version (just 7% of the real size) to peek at now:

13. Tournament just around corner!

You can get additional news, statistics, reports, articles, and information by following the links from the main tournament web page http://www.gameaholics.com/gangsters_tournament.htm!  The whole website has been re-vamped so that it's mainly links to whatever you want to find.  The front page now has just the latest announcements.

Many thanks to my wife, Sharee "Jezebel" Pack, for taking pictures at the various heats she attended!

I hope you enjoyed this newsletter almost as much as you enjoy the mayhem in the streets of Chicago each year.  Time to warm up your heater and get ready for the World Boardgaming Championships!


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