Chairman & Founder
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.*
War II Boardgame
Best World War II
Best Desk Top
Published (DTP)-Produced Boardgame
Century Era Computer Wargame
► = 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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 ...
Send us your stories of gaming events in 2002!