"When I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality." -- Al Capone
After thoroughly ventilating the Viper just a few weeks before the tournament, Rolinda “Ma” Collinson once again took the GM reins. As expected, Chicago-wide seductions rose with the influx of the fairer mobsters. Seductions per game were at an all-time high of 9.83! However, gang violence continued apace despite the gentler hand pulling the trigger on her Chicago typewriter.
The final was an odd affair with no one able to collect the dough despite the presence of two past Godfathers and a Top Ten laurelist. Half-way through the game, the five mob bosses had less than $3 G’s between ‘em. As a result, the lot of ‘em switched to monopoly strategies with only one ever managing to collect any real dough. In the end, our new Godfather prevailed by piling up real estate around the city for his illicit rackets and stills. It was Nick's third title in Gangsters and his third triumph of the week and his tenth WBC title overall.
While Ma and her mob were well prepared to run the tournament, the transition to Class C put more lead in the air than a cop car tailgating a lorry full o’ Ma’s finest moonshine. In 2012, we’ll smooth the road faster than a donut shop can divert coppahs by makin’ a few changes (see What's Next?). The streets of Chicago will be a different place this year. Just as wet, noisy, and dangerous, but easier and more fun alls the same. Youse can bet yer trench coats on it – just don’t try takin’ no donuts away from no coppahs if youse wants to live to tell the tale.
The Viper will return as GM for 2012 but the ladies with heaters are always welcome. Many thanks for their hard work making Chicago a dangerous place!
If you enjoy the Gangsters-related comics that decorate this yearbook, please encourage your local newspaper to carry these fine comics and buy their books in your local book join. Enjoy the newsletter!
Table of Contents
1. What's Next?
We know that Gangsters is just 1% of the Century. That means 99% aren't Gangsters, don't have squirt guns, don't have cool nicknames, don't have policemen with fun names, don't have cool cartoons in their newsletters, etc. That's not fair, so this year we're going to #OCCUPY GANGSTERS.
I encourage each of you to create an Occupy-themed sign (cover a political sign that was otherwise annoying, for example) based on the 99% vs. the 1% theme. The funnier, the better. Carry your sign with you on the way to Gangsters heats. We'll start each heat with a 60-90 second rally -- where you can wave your sign (and maybe be filmed).
I also plan some changes for beginners, including a polished training video, and some effort at automation if I have the time. You can read all about it at http://www.gameaholics.com/gangsters_tournament.htm! You can follow the links from there to more Gangsters info than you can shake brass knuckles at!
2. 2011 Records
Rolinda "Ma" Collinson and her Vamp-laden crew brought massive Vampage with them this year -- redefining the records for average Vamp losses. So much for "kinder and gentler..."
* Previous low was set last year
Also worthy of note is that the 1.73 average losses to hits this year is the next to lowest of any year and lowest since 1999 which was the first year that statistic was measured. That explains why total average losses were not unusual despite the massive Vampage!
This year no one used a starting gang lower than 4/1/1. That didn't used to be unusual, but this is the first time that's happened in six years. This year no one who started with 6 Racketeers won a game -- it's been nine years since that last happened. However, such starting gangs were also much less popular this year than in the recent past.
Get complete statistics at http://www.gameaholics.com/gsr_wbc/gsr_statistics.htm.
3. 2011 Winners
Here are the top twenty-four finishers for 2011:
Nineteen heat winners (out of 23) plus one alternate answered the call of the semi-final. The other four winners are shown last in the list above. That's an excellent semi-final turnout. The Gardner and Entwistle crime families show some muscle in the final results.
The % Assets tie-breaker shown above is a percentage of one's assets compared to those of the winner of the game -- which is why those who won the last game they played are shown as 100%.
Current AREA ratings include all 2011 results and are available at: http://wolff.to/area/T_Gangsters.html.
4. 2011 Special Awards
Cement Overshoes Sportsmanship Award – The nominees this year were Craig "No Cigar" Reece, Chris "Little Red" Entwistle, Geoffrey "Cartridge" Entwistle, Rob "Moneybags" Kilroy, and Karen "Double Peanut Butter" Roberts (two of whom are pictured to the left). They all deserve a huge "Thank You" for making our tournament more fun and enjoyable for everyone they played with. Many of the above were nominated for superlative teaching efforts in games with new players. Double Peanut Butter was nominated for taking one of the closest losses ever well (losing by 0.5% on the first tie-breaker after suffering the absent Thug $350 penalty). However, our final winner was Chris "Little Red" Entwistle for his efforts in teaching new players in three different heats! He was "an excellent teacher and very generous with his time." That's really going above and beyond the call of duty! Little Red finished 9th over-all, so you know these new players were getting top-notch instruction.
Junior Godfather Award - Many new players joined us this year. Four of them played well enough to qualify for the semi-finals: Shawn "Shady Shades" Dorsey, Brandon "Red Cheeks" Kelly, Karen "Double Peanut Butter" Roberts, and Zhiming "Cold Finger" Shi. By virtue of her twelfth place over-all finish, Zhiming "Cold Finger" Shi becomes our Junior Godfather for 2011. Now that they're armed with deadly experience, I invite all the new criminal overlords to return to the Streets of Chicago in a few weeks and to take advantage of the in-depth training that will be offered if desired.
"I Think She Likes Me!" Award – Last year eight seductions were enough to win this award. Not this year. Eight wouldn't even get second place. Neither would nine. In fact, Bob "Strings" Hamel was seduced ten times in the final and still didn't win the award. That honor goes to Geoffrey "Cartridge" Entwistle whose gang saw eleven mobsters defect to a pretty face and a little lipstick. He rallied and placed tenth in the tournament anyway. If we wants to stop 'im, our ladies will have to do better 'n that next years. To Cartridge's credit, despite all those seductions, he was nominated for good sportsmanship in that game for all his help to brand-new players.
Roadkill Award – Speaking of ten, that seems to be this year's magic number. Michael "The Infidel" Wojke and Jason "Sticky Fingers" Wagner both saw their boys dying in drive-bys, St. Valentine's Day parties, and Cop action -- ten dead gang members each to be precise. The tie-breaker is hits suffered in other games. Both played just one other game. The Infidel won his other game (which is not a good sign when it comes to this award) and lost one one gang member to gun fire. Sticky Fingers, on the other hand, took another six casualties in his other game and, therefore, wins the Roadkill award with extra tire tracks.
Barney Fife Memorial Award – Huston "Knotts" Johnson won this award by rolling two hits with Barney Fife on enemy gangsters during the very first heat and his very first try in Gangsters. It really isn't as easy as it seemed, Knotts -- come back and try that again!
Pearls Before Swine makes a Hoffa
Honorable Mention – Unusual and outstanding performances dotted the heats and advanced rounds, making it hard to pick one as the honorable mention winner of the year. Here are the individuals and games that stood out:
Phillip "Iron" Entwistle gets a second nomination for his powerful 9/1/2 ending gang in game he won with cash while also holding three Blue joints among his five establishments.
Brzkowski's Imports for totally opposing performances. In the first heat, no winner picked this Top 10 joint at all. On the other hand, in the second heat six of the seven winners owned Brzkowski's. Talk about fickle!
Bob "Strings" Hamel, Shawn "Shady Shades" Dorsey, Brian "Rudy" Conlon, and Geoffrey "Cartridge" Entwistle (Game 3 of Heat 2 ) for one-sidedness. The game saw zero hits by mobsters and cops. On the other hand, there were 18 seductions. Cartridge writes his final Vamp status as "Yes :-)". He ends the game with 8 Racketeers. Shady Shades indicates he'd bribed four Cops: 2, 6, 7, and 8. Maybe he should bribe Vamps next time? Strings was the runner-up on the "I think She Likes Me!" award for his final performance (10 seductions by himself).
Jeff "Stonewall" Finkeldey for taking out two of three Thugs with Barney Fife and drawing a sharp line between chaos and law & order -- just a little bit too late to claim the Barney Fife Memorial award.
James "Black Jack" Gilmore, Henry "Teech" Richardson, Angela "Red Rose" Collinson, and Chris "The Camel" LeFevre (Game 3 of Heat 4) for some serious Vampage! Twenty-four gangsters are seduced with another seven dying in hits. The gangs finish very small. Second-place goes for 8 joints and a 1/1/0 gang.
Jeffrey "The Head" Hacker, Rolinda "Ma" Collinson, Alan "Tick Tock" Arvold, and Katie "Shocker" Elliott (Game 4 of Heat 2) for an extremely close game. The Head won with $10,300 plus 9 joints. Shocker was next with $9,500. Tick Tock had $8,800 and 8 joints. And Ma had $7,100 despite the distractions of being the GM. Two of these guys like to win twice at the same time. This game is pictured to the left.
Andy "Scarface" Gardner, Chris "Little Red" Entwistle, Anthony "Trigger" Daw, and Rolinda "Ma" Collinson (Game 2 of Heat 4) for heavy total casualties. The game saw a combined 18 seductions and another 11 hits. Ma ends with a huge 9/1/3 gang while Little Red leans to the raw muscle of a 3/1/8 gang. That's a lot of power. Scarface, however, won with a little 2/1/3 gang. Before the game, Ma advises Little Red, "Don't get trigger happy." The advice doesn't take as the blushing Scarface has his lone Thug seduced before his first roll of the dice. The culprit? Ma herself.
And, finally, our honorable mention winners for 2011 -- Phillip "Iron" Entwistle and "Dangerous" Doug Galullo for winning their semi-finals with Red monopolies in a year that saw five successful Red monopoly attempts -- and in which no other color monopoly was successful. There have been several recent years with no Red monopoly whatsoever. Could that strategy be making a comeback? Rob "Moneybags" Kilroy probably came the closest to another monopoly first -- collecting 8 of 9 Brown Joints in a four-player game.
5. Favorite Joints of 2011
The Blue One-Jump strategy joints surge to the first and third spots once more. Our tournament seems to bounce back and force between the Green and Blue strategies. The Bus Station maintains its position; however, Brizelli's Riverside falls to sixth place. Not bad I hear you say? 14.71% of winners choose Brizelli's to start. However, while other top buildings have surged and dropped over time, Brizelli's has NEVER been chosen by fewer than 20.59% of winners before and its average is nearly twice this year's selection rate. Brizelli's has never been out of the Top 3. That's why the chart shows #6 as "Way DOWN." It's kind of like the Republicans or Democrats coming in fourth place in an election.
Here are the joints ranked in this year's top twelve:
||Ambassadors' Club||32.35%||26.08%||5||3||Way UP|
||Downtown Bus Station||29.41%||29.09%||2||1||Slightly UP|
|Palace Chophouse||23.53%||17.24%||3||6||Slightly DOWN|
||Jaeger's Clothier||20.59%||11.64%||6||8||Way UP|
||Brizelli's Riverside||14.71%||28.02%||1||2||Way DOWN|
||Taylor's Machine Shop||14.71%||9.48%||11||10||Way UP|
||Belmar Theatre||14.71%||6.90%||21||12||Way Way UP|
||Greenwood Park||11.76%||21.34%||3||5||Way DOWN|
|Martin & Son Carriage Repair||11.76%||6.90%||9||13||Holding|
|Hotel Belgrave||11.76%||6.25%||17||15||Way UP|
On the flip side, the Mean Yellow Middle strategy enjoyed some resurgence this year. Hotel Belgrave has never been picked by as many winners before. Greenwood Park and Franklin Hostel are individually down but chosen with the same frequency as Hotel Belgrave.
Martin & Son Carriage Repair holds its position as Red monopolies surge this year. The Purple monopoly strategy falls on hard times and, with it, the Pussycat Club falls off the list this year from a tie for sixth place last year. Brizelli's Riverside and the Pussycat Club were the only notable joints to fall significantly in favor this year.
One interesting thing I noted is that all of the Top Five finishes since tracking began in 1998 belong to the over-all Top Ten. None of the Top Four have ever fallen out of the Top Ten.
6. Quotable Gangsters (A group of statements comes from the same game or in reply!)
"So, am I getting a visit from your Vamp again?" -- Cartridge
"Dirty Harry (Cop #9) was just waiting outside The Head's joint -- waiting to be invited in for donuts. We didn't even thing he was winning..." -- Angel
"Hey, on a five I can vamp you Thugs. You should have vamped his Rack with your Thugs." -- Cartridge
"The reason for all the vamping (7) of my guys... 'It's the Aramis...'" --
Stonewall (ends with 1/1/0)
"Stonewall is, by far, the ladies' man. Dusk, with his ten Racks, is, by far, 'the coolist gang.' The dice were in my favor tonight. Well played game by all." -- Big Tuna
"Bob 'The Soloist' Menzel sings 'Under the Brown Vamp' to the tune of 'Under the Boardwalk.'" -- Double Peanut Butter
"I was very fond of that Racketeer... and so was his Vamp!" -- Little Red
"I wish you could Vamp three of my Racks." -- Black Jack
"Teech is very kind on Cop rolls." -- Iron
"Note to my Racks: Youse guys have GOTTA change dat aftershave -- you're waaay to popular wit da ladies!" -- Teech (seduced 9 times)
"The Duke lost all Thugs and Vamp and then rolled six on the next turn to buy them back. The Duke joked he could go to the bathroom and still finish his move in less than two minutes. The Head loses his semi-final with $10,200 but no Thug." -- The Head
"Rudy was the Vamp Queen of Chicago!" -- The Duke (Rudy finishes with 8/1/1)
"Too much strife and not enough commerce." -- Teech
7. Game Commentary
I decided, going forward, to only report commentary that I think could prove valuable or interesting to readers.
"Roach, Willie Malone, Hot Shot, and Big Tuna's attempt at city-wide domination. John McClane (Cop #8) does a fine job of assuring the security of the East Side gang's thugs and their large extortion racket. You turn your back for one second. Next thing you know, you're pulling a knife out of your back." -- Big Tuna
"Gangsters: the deal game -- they wuz moving Public into each others' joints! The Plug lost because of his own deal." -- Angel
"Robocop shot at a Vamp and rolled only one hit." -- Bug (Note: If Robocop had missed, that would have qualified you for the Barney Fife memorial!)
"I bribed T.J. Hooker (Cop #7) twice. Starsky & Hutch (Cop #5) must have spent time at the range -- 5 hits with 5 shots. Dirty Harry (Cop #9) needs to visit the range. Barney has been at the range too (he took out two Thugs on one roll)." -- Little Red
"Angel shot me a bunch, but I learned a lot when my gang quickly
disappeared." -- Double Peanut Butter
"We (Double Peanut Butter and I) shot and bought each others' Purple joints. We couldn't stop the Duke when we knew he had $9,900." -- Angel
"Angel and Double Peanut Butter cat fighting turn after turn in the Pussycat Club... the only two ladies in the game." -- The Duke
"Great game!" -- Wrap
"So you can vamp any gangster, upside down or right side up?" -- Little Red (GM: Yes. The Vamp must be non-criminal side up to seduce; she's extorting when she's in criminal mode. However, the victim of the seduction can be criminal, non-criminal, minding his own business, on the street, in a joint, or wearing too much aftershave.)
"Vamped four times... never had the moves to get Big Tuna's Public out!
Even my Vamp got hit!" -- Doc Brain
"Big Tuna's Downtown Bus Station is the hottest spot in town. The North Shore Mob had obviously upset the wrong people because his gang felt no love. Actually, they have received plenty of love, just from the other gangs. The East Side's monopoly was short-lived due to Southern Syndicate's control of the south side." -- Big Tuna
8. 2011 Final Report
Here, in finish order, are the five finalists, their starting positions, and their status at the end of the game:
Nick "Dusk" Henning, 2004 & 2005 Godfather –
Start: 5/1/1; $400; Downtown Bus Station [Racketeer], Brizelli's Riverside [Vamp], SMC Cartage Co. [Thug]
Finish: 6/1/1, 1 Hit, 2 Seductions; $7,000, 10 joints – Wins!
"Dangerous" Doug Galullo –
Start: 5/1/2; $500; Hotel Belgrave [Racketeer/Vamp], Midland House, Wylie's Storage [Thug]
Finish: 3/1/3, 1 Hits, 1 Seduction; $600; 8 joints – 2nd Place
Andy "Scarface" Gardner,
Finalist three years running –
Start: 5/1/1; $300; Ambassadors' Club, Taylor's Machine Shop [Vamp/Thug], Westgate Hotel [Racketeer]
Finish: 1/1/1, 3 Hits, 2 Seductions; $2,600, 7 joints – 3rd Place
Phillip "Iron" Entwistle –
Start: 5/1/2; $400; Brzkowski's Imports, Palace Chophouse [Vamp], Burly's Beefhaus [Racketeer/Thug]
Finish: 4/1/1, 1 Hit, 4 Seductions; $800; 6 joints (4 of 6 Blue) – 4th Place
Bob "Strings" Hamel, 2008 Godfather –
Start: 5/1/2; $600; Jaeger's Clothier [Racketeer/Vamp/Thug], Greenwood Park, Franklin Hostel
Finish: 1/1/0, 4 Hits, 10 Seductions; $100; 6 joints (3 of 8 Yellow) – 5th Place
With no official note taker at the final, reports and even endgame stats are sketchy and a turn-by-turn analysis isn't possible. Apparently, some of the criminal masterminds at work don't want to have their deeds become public knowledge. However, at great personal risk, I've investigated and will share what I've discovered with the reader.
Dusk goes with the Green One-Jump strategy. This suggests a total focus on cash, but Strings reports that "half way through the game we all were switching over to monopoly strategies and thus combined our dollar totals - for the whole of the five players - could not have been more than 2-3 thousand dollars." Dusk himself wrote, "At least $5,000 of my [$7,000 final] cash came in the last turn because they missed the 3x Public in my joint." This just wasn't the game for cash.
Dangerous Doug takes a variant of the Mean Yellow Middle strategy (usually Greenwood Park is the first choice in such a plan). The goal is to pile on several Public markers at once (and keep them due to low earnings) with a joint-buying strategy as a backup. Given how this game did not produce cash, the automatic backup plan built into this strategy may have given Doug a bit of an edge at the transition.
Scarface begins with the Blue One-Jump strategy, but find that Iron takes the second key piece away from him immediately. Scarface may have been counting on higher priority being given to keeping Brizelli's out of Dusk's hands. For his last two joints, Scarface buys key Green joints -- perhaps to guarantee that Dusk cannot easily pick up a fourth green? Or to given him a large chunk of the lower, right corner (and a place to steer the Public)?
Iron thwarts Scarface with his first purchase. It looks like he's created a zone down Central Avenue Bridge where he can steer and keep Public (thanks to the bridge that prevents turns). Of the five, Iron is the only one to seriously threaten a monopoly in the second half of the game (accumulating four Blue joints -- presumably starting with the three in his zone and then moving to Scarface's territory).
Strings goes cheap on his initial buys to ensure plenty of capital available for initial joint purchases. He looks like he's planning to buy up cheap real estate from the get-go. Greenwood Park and the Franklin Hostel will likely provide a little cash along the way. Knowing what we know about cash in the game, this sounds like the way to go. However, Strings gets pounded on like there's no tomorrow and finishes with less cash than he started with.
Iron reports that Barney Fife (Cop #2) was promoted in the game after he "killed two Thugs in two turns." Apparently, some of those hits came from the Boys in Blue.
Strings reports that the ladies worked both for and against him -- he lost ten gang members to seductresses (just one shy of the number needed to win our "I think She Like Me!" award), but he also picked up a gang member from his own Vamp eight turns running. "To Vamp or not to Vamp..."
Under severe duress, String coughed up a bit more information, "I know myself, the game was just a blur - no more like a nightmare - the WORST DRUBBING in a Final I ever saw EVER…… remember the final a few years ago in Hunt Valley where Kaarin "The Enforcer" Engelmann got vamped so many times that she basically had just a COP move for the whole game? Well, take that position and magnify it by three and that was me….I had to buy back my Rack two times, was down to one move for OVER three-fourths of the game and ended up with 100 dollars that I was saving if my Rack got hit on again – AND the game finished with me not being able to afford (or vamp) a thug so getting the off-board penalty that put me into 5th place in a four-place tourney…..very , very humbling (and sad)….. It was so bad that other players even felt SORRY for me...."
I have good news and bad news, Strings. The good news is that the penalty for no Thug only applies to your cash total. The bad news is that Iron's 4 of 6 Blue monopoly (67%) beats 6 joints (60%). So you still finish fifth -- or we can call it sixth or seventh, if you'd prefer.
In many ways, it's surprising a Red Monopoly wasn't the winner -- both Iron and Dangerous qualified for the final by winning with Red monopolies. However, in this case, it's "try something else" if the first thing isn't working. Dusk, who's always been a master at looking less threatening than he is, manages it first -- and rakes in the cash right at the end to boot. Congratulations, Dusk! With this win, Dusk becomes only the second player to win Gangsters three times (Pitt "Sluggo" Crandlemire did it in 1999, 2000, and 2003). Will Dusk be the first with four in three weeks? We'll all find out (and try to stop him) soon!
9. Copies of the Game
The good news is that I have several copies of Gangsters available for purchase! The bad news is that prices on eBay have stayed sky-high. My prices will definitely go up after these have sold. They're all in very good condition (new or unpunched). They're available on a first-come, first-served basis until I run out. Shipping is a flat $10 within the USA or you can pick one up at the WBC for no charge. I can reserve a copy for you at the WBC if you let me know in advance.
||$65||1||Pristine -- I imagine very few looked this good in 1992!|
||$55||1||As if you'd removed the shrinkwrap earlier today!|
Inside it's new; outside there's packing tape and
a tiny bit of writing on the box plus minor shelf wear
Excellent condition -- probably only played once. Contains
the WBC-only expansion set released in 2007.
I guarantee all copies have been thoroughly inspected and are complete. The cheapest I've found on eBay lately is higher than my most expensive copy.
10. Email Competition
Sadly, our developer is swamped with other projects and hasn't gotten to it. No word on when we'll fit in his schedule...
11. Tournament just a few days away!
You can get additional news, statistics, reports, articles, and information by following the links from the main tournament web page http://www.gameaholics.com/gangsters_tournament.htm! There are lots of fun links to follow and new (and newly posted old) things to check out. If you have one of the old postal newsletters and it's not on the website already, please scan a copy and send me one so that the website will be complete!
I hope you enjoyed this newsletter almost as much as you enjoy mob warfare. I hope to see all of you soon -- good travels!
John the Viper