Monday, August 10, 2009

Back from WBC

WBC (World Boardgaming Championships) is an annual tournament-driven convention held in Lancaster, PA with lots of open gaming, demos, seminars, and a small vendor area later in the week. I just returned from my first WBC as a Vendor and it was a blast! I can't stress enough how important it is to go to shows and exhibit, sell, and/or demo games as a publisher. Many people at each show say they've never heard of me- but that's actually a good thing- it means I'm reaching new people at that show.

The 2008 Charles S. Roberts Awards were announced on Saturday evening at WBC and my friend Uwe Eickert took three awards for his game Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! - Russia 1941-1942 and his efforts on the design. I want to extend my congratulations once again to Uwe for sweeping the awards. He has put a lot of thought into CoH and has made it one of the best WWII tactical systems available today. If you haven't yet played this game, please check it out- as well as his other games in the line which can be found on the Academy Games website.

It was nice to see Mark H. Walker and his wife again at the show, of Lock N' Load Publishing. Mark is another really nice guy and friend that I first met at Fall In! in Gettysburg, PA. I also got to meet some of the guys at MMP, GMT, and Lost Battalion. Z-Man was my booth neighbor.

Academy Games is publishing Michael Tan's Sturm Europa! This is a grand-strategic block game that covers the entirety of World War II. It was nice to meet Mike- he's a really smart designer and has some neat concepts going on in the game- he was there demoing a working copy during open gaming in the auditorium. I believe the game has the potential to become one of the best WWII grand-strategic games of all time. It still is in need of some refinement, but I think Mike is well on track to have a very successful game.

I also met my map and box artist for the first time in person. Mark Mahaffey came by at the show and I didn't recognize him (his online picture is a bit dated)! Great guy, talented artist. Mark and I talked about the new map for Frontline General: San Pietro Infine that I had at the show on display- and how the print came out a bit dark. He'll be lightening it up before production. I plan to do a video preview soon to show everyone online how this map is more functional than most wargame maps out there. I'm really proud of how it turned out and it certainly helped me sell some preorders for San Pietro at the show.

The show was great, the people were even greater, and I almost sold out of the copies I had on hand of Frontline General: Italian Campaign Introduction with the new vinyl Deluxe Map (shown to the left).

It was a lot of fun to playtest one of Uwe Eickert's son's games at the show. I can't reveal much about it- but wow- what a fun Euro. A 4-player session that lasted about 1-1/2 hours was a bit cutthroat but was a lot of fun.

Another WBC highlight for me included playtesting Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943, my new card game, with Uwe Eickert. Uwe had two rules suggestions that I've now fully implemented for further testing. Those two tweaks resulted in the elimination of 3 die rolls whenever Armor Piercing rounds are used vs. armored units. I can't wait to upload more previews and info on this title, including a video. In Uwe's words, "This game is gonna be hot."

I highly recommend that if you missed this year's show, and you're big on boardgames, you make plans to attend WBC in 2010.

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