2002

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The Awards Story

Once again, the "Charlies" were presented at the World Boardgaming Championships in Baltimore, Maryland on July 29 - August 3, 2003 at the Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, Maryland.*

The Napoleonic WarsBest Pre-World War II Boardgame
Guilford Courthouse/Eutaw Springs (GMT Games)
Hammer of the Scots (Columbia Games)
Napoleonic Wars (GMT Games)
Prussia's Glory (GMT Games)
Reds! (GMT Games)
This Accursed Civil War (GMT Games)

 

Barbarossa to BerlinBest World War II Boardgame
Advanced Tobruk (Critical Hit)
Barbarossa to Berlin (GMT Games)
Streets of Stalingrad (L2 Design Group)
The Killing Ground (New England Simulations)
Von Manstein's Backhand Blow (GMT Games)



Best Modern Era Boardgame
Back to Iraq 3 (Strategy & Tactics #208)
Cuban Missile Crisis (Microgame Design Group)
First Indochina War (Strategy & Tactics #209)
Khe Sanh 1968 (Against The Odds #2)

Streets of Stalingrad: Best Wargame Graphics of 2002Best Wargame Graphics
1777: Year of the Hangman (Clash of Arms)
Brandywine/Germantown (Clash of Arms)
Hammer of the Scots (Columbia Games)
Streets of Stalingrad 3rd edition (L2 Design Group)
The Killing Ground (New England Simulations)
This Accursed Civil War (GMT Games)

 

Best Desk Top Published (DTP)-Produced Boardgame
A Mere Matter of Marching (Microgame Design Group)
Charlies Year (Red Sash Games)
Greek Tragedy (BSO Games)
Innocence Lost (TCS/Roberto Chiavini)
Togoland 1914 (Khyber Pass Games)

Best Magazine-Published Boardgame
Back to Iraq 3 (Strategy & Tactics #208)
Belisarius (Strategy & Tactics #210)
First Indochina War (Strategy & Tactics #209)
Hegemon (Against The Odds #1)
Rough and Ready (Strategy & Tactics #212)

Best Pre-20th Century Era Computer Wargame
Medieval: Total War (Total War)

Best 20th Century Era Computer Wargame
Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin (Battlefront.com)

Best Game Review or Game Analysis
"Battles for Philadelphia", Paper Wars, #45, Richard Lechowich
"Enjoying a Slice of Sicilian", Paper Wars, #48, Adam Starkweather
"Hobby Japan's Pacific Fleet", Paper Wars, #46, Adam Starkweather
"Kasserine", Paper Wars, #46, Alan Murphy
"Setup and Strategy in Hube's Pocket", Operations #41-42, Tony Zbaraschuk

C3i magazine #14Best Historical or Scenario Article
"La loi du plus fort: Castiglione", C3i, #14, Alexander Ashton & Frederic Bey
"OCS Sicily as a History Lesson", Operations 43, Roger Hyman
"Overshadowed by a Phrase: Pyrrhus", C3i, #14, David W. Tschanz
"The British Wars in Afghanistan", S&T, #208, Andrew Preziosi
"Vietnam Climax: The Siege of Khe Sanh", ATO, Vol. 1 #2, John Prados

James F. Dunnigan Award
Ben Hull, This Accursed Civil War
Joe Youst, Graphic Artist
Mark Hinkle, The Killing Ground
Mark Simonitch, Graphic Artist
Steets of Stalingrad, Dana Lombardy & Art Lupinacci

Clausewitz Award HALL OF FAME
Mark Simonitch

Best Professional Wargame Magazine
Against The Odds
C3i (GMT Games/RBM Studio)
Paper Wars (Omega Games)
Strategy & Tactics (Decision Games)
Vae Victis

Best Amateur Wargame Magazine
Die Manoeverkritik (Der Musketier), Germany
The Boardgamer, Bruce Monnin
Panzerschreck, Minden Games
Simulacrum, John Kula

= Awarded Best in that Category; when more than one is awarded in a category, the result was a statistical tie.

*About the World Boardgaming Championships:

Don Greenwood describes the WBC

The World Boardgaming Championships has existed in its present form since 1999. For eight years prior to that, it was called Avaloncon. In both cases, we're talking about a unique gaming convention that many consider the best boardgaming experience on the planet. Allow me to try to explain why many a gamer feels that the WBC is Disney World without lines.

I've enjoyed a lifetime fascination with boardgames that spans five decades. If you've been a gamer long you may have heard of me. My name is Don Greenwood. For 27 years I worked for the Avalon Hill Game Company as a designer, developer and editor - and was responsible in varying degrees for such games as Squad Leader, Third Reich, Up Front, War At Sea, March Madness, Titan: The Arena, Rail Baron, History of the World and dozens more. During that time I also started ORIGINS - a gaming event widely
credited as the first annual boardgaming conference of national consequence in the U.S. I ran five of those conventions and many more regional ones during the "golden age" of gaming when boardgames were commonly seen in national toy outlets.

But times change and with the rise of the computer age, the fortunes of boardgames ebbed. One by one, the major publishers fell and the boardgaming hobby reverted to niche status. Aside from the occasional fad, it exists today largely through the magic of the internet which reaches out freely to its far flung adherents and makes play of these wonderful games easier than ever by matching us with skilled opponents and providing affordable access to ever more ingenious designs.

In 1991, after years of trying, I convinced Avalon Hill that their interests would be better served by hosting a new kind of gaming convention in which the emphasis was not on selling product - but in
actually playing the games. Seminars, auctions, flea markets and large vendor areas - the major attractions of other game conventions - would be omitted in favor of an emphasis on tournaments. And those tournaments would be covered and recorded in such a way as to build the traditions of a hobby in which one could strive to better one's personal bests and provide a measuring stick of one's success. Competition would be the furnace in which we would forge a new gaming camaraderie. Excellence
would be measured not only by plaques on the wall but records of vicarious feats in which on a given bygone day we could do no wrong. The contrast with existing conventions was pronounced and the reaction was love at first sight for many. So much so, that when Avalon Hill succumbed in 1998, Avaloncon's adherents implored me to continue the conference independently. Consequently, WBC was born anew the following year as the annual gaming convention of the newly incorporated non-profit Boardgame Players Association.

The WBC differed from its predecessor mainly in that tournament offerings were open to any boardgame (non-collectible card games being included in that definition) regardless of publisher. Focus was maintained by limiting the offerings to 100 tournaments, increasing the likelihood of a viable field of competent opponents in the game of your choice. A formula was used to fairly gauge the worthiness of each event regardless of type or length and a mechanism implemented to infuse this Century Group
(http://www.boardgamers.org/century.htm) annually with fresh blood.

And when it comes to boardgame tournaments, no one has ever done it better. Long an afterthought elsewhere, tournaments are king at WBC. Almost all WBC attendees acknowledge that its tournaments are far superior to those offered elsewhere. Whether applauding the victors or previewing the upcoming events (http://www.boardgamers.org/yearbkex/index.htm & http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc02/candids2.htm), or scheduling your week in advance (http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc03/sviewer/) no one does it better. Although volunteers, our Game Masters tend to be among the most dedicated in the hobby. Years of experience and feedback from our GM rating system have helped them improve and they all vie for the honor of GM of the Year (http://www.boardgamers.org/gmguide.htm#gmofyear). In short, these people as a group care about their events and making your gaming experience an enjoyable one.

The other difference is that this gaming convention is not owned by any one individual or publisher. Every attendee is a member, and as such, a part owner with voting rights in how it is run. Three members are elected annually to rotating three-year terms on an unpaid Board of Directors (http://www.boardgamers.org/board/boardpag.htm) which governs the corporation. Any excess funds are plowed back into the conference or set aside for emergencies or hobby philanthropy at the Board's discretion. WBC is truly a gamer's convention run for boardgamers by boardgamers with
no middle men involvement.

Adherents to this new type of gaming conference have proven immensely loyal with many returning year after year regardless of distance. As such, WBC is truly national - even international - in scope with "left
coasters" in abundance and more than a smattering of foreign visitors every year. Most of the union's 50 states are represented by one or more attendees. And the attraction is spreading to families as well with many "Junior" events (http://www.boardgamers.org/yearbook/jnrpge.htm) in evidence to wean the next generation of gamers. A host of Beginner-rated and Coached events also provide plenty of entry points for those family members and significant others with a less developed gaming background.
Indeed, the system of organized teaching demonstrations at WBC (http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc03/cafejay.htm) makes it among the most user friendly conferences. And for those intimidated by competition or organized events, Open Gaming opportunities abound
(http://www.boardgamers.org/opengame.htm), although I cannot resist mentioning that I find such fear of competition unwarranted. While "win at all costs" types can be encountered anywhere, in my experience they are less prevalent in WBC tournaments than one would expect to encounter in the average Open Gaming session. A good GM and a system that honors sportsmanship (http://www.boardgamers.org/sportman.htm) above all else tend to make incidents of this nature rarer than one encounters in many gaming groups.

That said, WBC is not for everyone. While we strongly disagree with those who find "competition" and "fun" mutually exclusive, we acknowledge that those who favor auctions, seminars, flea markets, and large vendor areas may well enjoy other conferences more, although the list of vendors, publishers and designers of note at WBC seems to grow every year.

There are other things you won't find at WBC - like, long lines. Having been personally responsible for one of the hobbies worst registration fiascos at the first convention I ran back in the '70s, I've made it a
point of emphasis to make WBC as user friendly as possible. There are no event tickets to buy - one admission covers all. And if you do arrive when the registration desk is closed or backed up, you can play in any event by simply showing photo ID ... and get your badge later... assuming you are pre-registered.

Want to stop in just long enough to visit the vendor's area or get a quick peak at the events? Be our guest. There is no charge for such visits and your non-playing spouse or children are welcome spectators as well. They can pass the time in the hotel's luxurious pool or travel to Baltimore's Inner Harbor on the nearby light rail system.

Can't see yourself ever traveling to Baltimore for a gaming convention? Don't write us off yet. BPA sponsors many email tournaments (http://www.abovethefields.com/top_pbem/) free to current members. For many, they are a way to practice between conventions, but for others they are a way to compete free of expense. Memberships (http://www.boardgamers.org/bpaterms.htm) cost as little as $10 to participate in a wide variety of tournaments. In fact, starting in 2004 it will be possible to win our overall top gamer award (http://www.boardgamers.org/caesar.htm) without even attending WBC!

While boardgames no longer enjoy the retail prominence they once did, in many ways boardgaming's real golden age is alive and well today. Never have the games been better or skilled opponents more accessible. Whether you crave the new generation of card-driven wargames or the latest quick playing Euro from Germany, the playing opportunities and the chance to excel in a meaningful tournament have never been greater. Even in its heydey during the 80's, a nine-day boardgaming convention was unthinkable. Yet, it exists today for those hearty souls caring to take the plunge in WBC's various Pre-Con mini-cons which begin four days prior to WBC. Indeed, many of our attendees do more gaming at one WBC than they do the rest of the year!

The only thing we need is you! We rejoice in the presence of fellow gaming hobbyists who share our passion for boardgames. Another kindred soul speaking the gaming jargon of our favorite pastime, comparing strategies, and swapping "what might have been" stories is our most precious resource. We hope you decide to join us for a spectacular week of gaming - if not this year, then at some point in the distant future. And if you are also a miniatures buff and really want to get your money's worth out of your travel budget, the best historical miniatures conference in the world is held right up the road from us in Lancaster, PA just a few days before we get underway. With Historicon, Gettysburg and the nation's capital all within an hour's drive, we can keep any gamer happily engaged for a full two-week vacation.

And check out these other BPA gaming conferences:

Waterloo - The Napoleonic Wars - October 24th - 26th, 2003
D-Day VI - Breakout Normandy - November 7th - 9th, 2003
Euro Quest - German style games - November 7th - 9th, 2003
WAM II - Card Driven wargames - February 5th - 8th, 2004
Enlightenemnet VII - Age of Renaissance - March 12th - 14th, 2004
WBC 2004 - August 3rd - 8th, 2004 with assorted Pre-cons starting July 31st

All of the above and much more is explained in detail throughout our website at www.boardgamers.org. I hope you'll enjoy our efforts to promote the boardgaming hobby and look forward to our monthly bulletins, but if not - just reply with the word "Remove" to be taken off this mailing list. Should you elect not to hear more about our activities, please include the complete name and address to which this message was sent to expedite removal.

Keep on gaming ...

Don Greenwood
BPA President

2002: That Was the Wargaming Year That Was!That 

Send us your stories of gaming events in 2002!