1999-2000 World PBEM Championship

* * Final * *

Starting Joints
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Each player's purchases are shown here in order:

Sluggo and Da Boyz 'n da Gang (Pitt Crandlemire)

Greenwood Park ($200)
Franklin Hostel ($200)
Lou's Diner ($100)

Comments: After John's intro and review of events to date, I fear that I'm going to crushed in this game of powerhouses. (No, really!) However, fools rush in and all...

[After 2nd Purchase] Youse guys is buying up all da pricey joints, so I guess I'll jus' stick with my "cheap but homey" div...er...places.

[After 3rd Purchase] Da Viper's polemic notwithstanding, sometimes when ya claims to be overawed by yer brudders in crime, ya is telling da trut'. Luck has been a lady ta me so far but I ain't countin' on her dancin' wit me fer da whole ball o' wax. Meantimes, let's jus' be sure dat we don' let one of our udder brudders here put one over on us.

Ladykiller and GreenPiece (Mark Love)

Brizelli's Riverside ($300)
Brzkowski's Imports ($400)
SMC Cartage Co. ($300)

Comments: I'm predicting right now dat dis here game iz gonna be decided by da dice, as it should be. I've looked at da prior games in PBEM and all of my opponents look extremely formidable, even when dey didn't win. My observation is dat dese games get skewed when one of da players doesn't seem to be pursuin' any strategy whatsoever to actually try to win. One player in my last game kept throwin' himself on hiz sword - da other 3 were neck and neck for most of da 21 (count 'em) turns. I doan think dat's gonna happen here, and I wouldn't be surprised if we go OVER 21 turns.

The Viper and Da Yella Dawgz (John Pack)

Ambassadors' Club ($400)
Martin & Son Carriage Repair ($600)
Palace Chophouse ($100)

Comments: Looks like Ladykiller has domination of Subway #4 and that perfect one-jump sets are going to be hard to come by for everyone except Sluggo (who's got the same set of buildings he uses to sneak a win out of so many games).

By the way, I've watched Sluggo play several times. An integral part of his strategy is a "I'm over my head" opening statement to allay everyone's fears. Is anyone buying it after his 2nd and 1st place finishes at the WBC the last two years? I don't think so. His opening is what my wife and I call the "Mean Yellow Middle" and it's very effective -- especially because its so easy to take that extra move instead of getting a $200 public out of those joints. Before you know it, he's got a lot of G's in the bank. Forwarned is forarmed!

And, no, I'm not trying to take heat off of the more obvious setups that Ladykiller, the Nose, and myself are using -- they're all dangerous. But we're kidding ourselves if we don't give Sluggo the exact same due! (Or even more so given his proven record!)

The Nose and the Southern Syndicate (Mike Anchors)

Downtown Bus Station ($300)
Strohm & Sons Auto Repair ($300)
Taylor's Machine Shop ($300)

Comments: I am going to play the Bus Station strategy which is the strongest opening. It is a special case of a group of strategies called "one-jump openings". The idea in these openings is to buy a joint that can be reached by the public in a single move ("one-jump") from a subway station. In the Blue strategy, the player buys the Ambassador Club or Brzkowski's Imports; in the Purple strategy, the Pussycat Club; and in the Green strategy, the Bus Station or Brizelli's. The next step is to buy other buildings of the same color so that the one-jump joint can be upgraded immediately. It is important to leave oneself enough cash to upgrade on the first turn. If all goes well, the player can get the x2 or x3 public into the upgraded joint several times.

The Green strategy is the best because (1) one can sometimes get both Bus Station and Brizelli's, two one-jump joints; (2) you can buy three Green joints (in the Blue and Purple strategies you can get only two); (3) the Bus Station is in the center of downtown traffic; (4) the Bus Station is relatively vamp-proof on the first turn.

In the current game Mark tried to get a little Green action, but bought the wrong first joint. Brizelli's, near subway station #4, is open to vamps. Moreover when John bought the Ambassadors' Club, Mark was forced to buy Brzkowski's Imports to stop John from getting two Blue one-jump joints; that meant that Mark could not buy three Green joints. I bought Bus Station and Taylor's, my usual M.O., and Strohm & Sons so that players could not hide publics from me on the north side of town. Taylor's is a useful joint; a vamp there can move through subway #5 to snatch racketeers or the Thug & Vamp can extort in the quiet corners of Viaduct & Southside or Westside & Clark.

I would have preferred to start with racketeer-5 and thug-1, but the fact that I would be moving fourth required me to beef up my thug to avoid having the thug wiped out by a raiding vamp. Besides, I need some thug power to hit a Red joint if John persists in following the Red monopoly-strategy.

Posted After the Game Ended

The Viper and Da Yella Dawgz (John Pack)

I pretty much agree with The Nose's assessment. However, the subtle nature of Sluggo's setup begs to be ignored. In fact, if a player has few moves available, many will ignore public pieces paying "only" $100 or $200 or even $300 per player move. It doesn't take long, even at that rate, when combined with extortion funds, to pile up the money. Pitt usually opens with a very large number of Racketeers too -- which ensures that the public find their way into his spread-out joints often!

My own joint purchases would have been ideal with Brzkowski's Imports (the other blue one-jump joint). However, with Ladykiller buying it (to thwart me, just as he thwarted The Nose by taking Brizelli's Riverside), I have morphed into a triple-threat option. First, with Martin & Sons Carriage Repair and the Ambassadors' Club, I still have two big one-jump joints which may bring in the cash. Second, with the Palace Chophouse, I have an 83% chance to move into a second Red joint on the first turn and threaten a Red monopoly. If I can get the Caravan Club I will since it's harder to move to than the Astoria (and the Hawthorne is a dead-end). I'll keep $200 back in the gang purchase phase to make sure I've got at least $600 after Turn 1. Third, the combination of the first two may make a ten joint win feasible in the same way I won at Avaloncon -- by scoring enough money with the one-jump joints to fund the purchases and threaten in two ways at once (thereby allowing me to sneak up the joint total).

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