This post is for those of you who have not yet attended the WBC - the World Boardgaming Championships. My wife and I have been to the WBC for the past five years, and it's pretty much a non-decision if we are going to go. As a high school teacher, I schedule my summer plans around it. The WBC is a week long boardgaming extravaganza that features both over 100 tournaments and a ton of open gaming, as well as a nice vendor room open on the weekend and a game auction. It takes place in Lancaster, PA during the first week in August, and if you like boardgames at all, you need to go at least once.
The toughest decision I face at the WBC is whether to focus on eurogames or wargames. My first year at the WBC, I had no idea about wargames, but I checked out the wargame room and I was hooked. After two years of really focusing on wargames at the WBC, I went back to more euros last year. I had a tough choice last year - to play my favorite game, Twilight Struggle, or to play in the semifinals of Power Grid. I decided to play Power Grid because a good chance at a trophy seemed worth it to me, and I am not a huge fan of the single elimination format that has been used for Twilight Struggle.
The best part of the WBC, in my opinion, is the good-natured but serious sense of competition. I've very rarely run into someone I didn't enjoy playing with, especially in wargames where it is especially important since the games are longer and they are two-player. Other highlights include midday trips to Sonic and late night trips to Waffle House, and the hilarious night tournaments. The WBC runs some fun, goofy tournaments at night during: Can't Stop, Liar's Dice and Slapshot. These are experiences - even if you are not participating, it's worth seeing them in action at least once in your life!
To give you a sense of the WBC, here are official WBC tournaments I have competed in over the years:
American Revolution Series
Euphrat & Tigris
Hammer of the Scots
Paths of Glory
Princes of Florence (my best game, I got 2nd once!)
Race for the Galaxy
Washington's War/We the People
Other tournaments they have that I haven't played in but like and would consider playing in:
Age of Steam
Empire of the Sun
For the People
Thurn & Taxis
I am also really excited about the tournaments for Brass and Automobile in the WBC 2011!