2013 World Championship Yearbook

“A little violence never hurt anyone.” – Benjamin "Lefty Two Guns" Ruggiero

Gangsters eat the Cops' Donuts for lunch!

(BPA Lancaster)  Barney Fife, Rosco P-Co, Dudley Do-Right, Starsky & Hutch, Kohak, T.J. Hooker, John McClane, Dirty Harry, Robocop, and Eliot Ness were all put out this year when Gangsters scarfed over $100 worth of donuts earmarked by the Lancaster City Council for the local police force.  In fact, in four different raids, thirteen dozen of the Cops' favorites were stolen and ravaged.  The GM won't admit it, but he didn't manage to find a donut until the fourth heat.  The chief suspects, according to the County Sheriff, are the following:

Polo Shirt
Winner Heat Alleged
Donut Count
Yellow Donut Phillip "Iron" Entwistle 1 5
Red Donut Alexis "Repo Girl" Reece 2 4
Green Donut John "Bugs" Elliott 3 4+1
Brown Donut Jonathan "The Zealot" Barnes 4 8

Gracie Putnam, known as "Daisy" in mob circles, claimed responsibility for consuming four during the third heat.  But police discount her claim, as the notorious one-time Godfather John "Bugs" Elliot made the same claim, but was then seen at the fourth heat inflicting more damage on a helpless Apple Fritter.

Four dozen innocent donuts await the first Mobster to claim one at the first heat!

Witnesses on the scene say it wasn't pretty.  The powdered donuts went first -- and we all know that's messier than the Feds dumping confiscated hooch.  Then the glaze.  And finally the custard, apple, and raspberry fillings.  Oh, the humanity!  Witnesses report that alleged mobster Andy "The Duke" Joy scored the first donut of the tournament -- and then went on to score and snarf two more in that same heat.  The first heat was just the beginning -- with four dozen being downed in what's being called the "St. Dunkin's Massacre."  The raspberry filling on The Duke's face led to reporters calling it the bloodiest affair since the Great Grape Explosion of 1873.

Dusk and No Cigar estimate donut-survival at 32 seconds!


Phillip Entwistle, aka Iron -- a key member of a well-known crime family -- was over-heard by undercover agents to have said, "4 turns of donuts; then betrayal by bribe."  It's about time that bribes were turned against the mob, said local Judge Imma Onnzey Taake.

The mayor, after consultation with the Police Commissioner, has hinted that the Feds may be called in before any more innocent donuts are lost in the carnage.  The mayor has confidence in the G-Men but is also working with the state legislature to introduce legislation to limit heaters, fedoras, and trenchcoats to no more than four per sedan with magazines holding no more than 150 armor-piercing rounds.  Squirt guns will be limited to magazines holding a mere 10 ounces.  Mobsters will be strictly limited to one extortion attempt per day, two blackmail attempts per month, three illegal stills, and four hits per quarter.


Enough evidence to convict?

Iron, Repo Girl, and Bugs all say, through anonymous sources that they won't be limited at all, and that even Robocop can't stop them.  The Zealot, with an alleged donut count of eight, also seems unlikely to curb his appetite for the perks of being a criminal mastermind.

A policeman pulls a man over for speeding and asks him to get out of the car.  After looking the man over he says, "Sir, I couldn't help but notice your eyes are bloodshot.  Have you been drinking?"  The man gets really annoyed and says, "Officer, I couldn't help but notice your eyes are glazed.  Have you been eating doughnuts?" (jokes4us.com)

2013 Recap

We had a great time playing Gangsters and finishing off pastries this year.  The cops -- not so much.  In fact, with the Cops busy looking for donuts at every opportunity, average game casualties hit an all-time high -- at 19.93 per game.  It really was a massacre, just not the one the Mayor of Lancaster thinks.  What happens in the underworld, stays in the underworld.

Great news is that new players trying Gangsters was up for the second year in a row.  That's the best way to ensure the tournament continues to be fun and fresh year after year.  Many thanks to those who volunteered to be coaches (and ate alleged donuts while they waited for the training video to finish).

Through it all, the crime families enjoyed the artwork from King of CrimeTM on their badges and on the table flags.  Many thanks to the creator, Dan Smith, for allowing us to use his artwork.  I encourage you to check out the game!

Having three options for new players to choose from when signing in seemed to work perfectly and provide the right option for everyone:

We'll do that again this year.

Interestingly, despite a unanimous response approving the idea of using a 3-minute timer that started immediately when the previous player-turn ended, it was a disaster in the first heat and abandoned for all the other heats.  Fortunately, we had no incidents of long delays preceding timed movement this year.  As a consequence, we'll use the 2-minute timers like always this year -- but the 3-minute rule will be available for any GM or assistant to impose should a player be accused of excessive delays.

The poll results have also been used to advise this year's schedule changes.  Keep reading to see what we'll be doing this year -- in just one month!

I hope the Donut winners special shirts did better than mine (the purple donut).  The transfer and shirt type didn't go well with each other.  I think it was a gonner after just three washes.  When I do shirts again, I'll find something better.  I'm thinking the next ones might be embroidered!

Interestingly, I've managed to make it to Krispy Kreme three times while writing this newsletter...  I wonder what's been on my mind?

Table of Contents
  1. What's Next?
  2. 2013 Records
  3. 2013 Winners
  4. The Phone Call
  5. 2013 Special Awards
  6. Favorite Joints of 2013
  7. Quotable Gangsters
  8. Game Comments
  9. 2013 Final Report
  10. Copies of the Game
  11. See you soon!

Does this setup remind anyone else of a certain delectable pastry?

What's the difference between the Mafia and the Government? Only one of them is organized. (jokebuddha.com)

1. What's Next?

2014 Theme -- This year we'll celebrate the Colors of our Gangsters' gangs.  We'll have several items to party to our gangs' rainbow of colors.  When you arrive, you'll draw a wrist-band that determines your table and gang color -- and which is cool enough to wear all week.

You'll also pick up a loaded grenade-shaped squirt gun to use during the action.  Bombs, guns, water, and hits on opposing gangs in a single package -- the perfect accessory for any criminal mastermind.  They'll come in a variety of colors (albeit not in all gangs' colors, sadly).

Winners will have it made in the shade this year, as they'll get to pick up a pair of shades in their gang's color when they turn in the player chits at the end of the game!  Deck yourself out in a palette of color this year -- as only Gangsters can do it.  I'll have a blue pair for the winner of the Barney Fife Memorial award too!

Black is so 2013.  This year, get some color in your underworld.  For those playing multiple heats, players who've already played one color can re-draw to get a new color if desired!  (This option will not apply to the semi-finals or final, however.)

Changes -- The schedule has some significant changes to accommodate the board's new rules (requiring all events that have four heats to schedule one at 9 or 10 am), move to earlier/easier times, and synchronize with other events' schedules.  The Monday heat is moving two hours earlier (one hour earlier than 2012) so that Gangsters can enjoy an earlier evening time.  The biggest change is the fourth heat -- which will now be Saturday at 9 in the morning!  The good news about the morning time is that no one will have started any other event and can ensure they make it if the earlier heats didn't provide the opportunity.  The semi-final and final return to their normal timeslots (on Saturday evening) since I've now ensured no conflict with Adel Verpflichtet (by being the GM of that too).

Beginner Sessions



Location Training Topic


9:00 PM

August 5th

Wheatland (not Terrace 3) Sample Play/Demo



1) Monday

7:00 PM

August 4th

Marietta Openings & Classic Strategies

2) Tuesday

10:00 PM

August 5th Wheatland

Cops on the Beat

3) Thursday

11:00 PM

August 7th

Wheatland Maximizing Movement

4) Saturday

9:00 AM

August 9th

Strasburg Shootouts & Violence

2nd Round (Semi-Final)



8:00 PM

August 9th


3rd Round (Final)



11:00 PM

August 9th


Reminders -- Players are reminded to fill in all of the end-of-game details; otherwise, the players in your game are penalized when it comes to tie-breakers.  The winner should turn in all player chits.

Players are also reminded to carefully step through the sequence of play so as not to forget the Buy Phase, to award all payouts (including opponents' Organized Crime), and to complete shootouts.  Rushing to get to the next player can make correcting forgotten steps difficult.

Down around the Texas-Louisiana border, there has been a recent rash of illegal cock-fighting, with quite a bit of gambling. The director of the Louisiana Police finally bent to public pressure and sent an investigator to get to the bottom of the problem. The crack investigator, Boudreaux, took an unmarked cruiser and headed for Mamou. He was gone for two days and arrived back in Baton Rouge to report to the director. He reported that there were three major groups involved in the illegal cock-fighting - Texas Aggies, Cajuns, and the Mafia. Of course, the boss wanted to know how he surmised this, and he replied that he knew there were Texas Aggies involved when he saw someone enter a duck into the fight. He knew that there were Cajuns involved when someone bet on the duck. He then stated that he was absolutely positive that the Mafia was involved when the duck won! (jokebuddha.com)

Straight Shooter goes with the gray-camo!

First Heat Action!

I move to convict, your honor!

2. 2013 Records

Many records fell by the wayside this past year.  Some were part of ongoing trends in the tournament, but most appear to be single-year aberrations.


* Previous low was set last year
# Previous high was set last year

Interestingly, while Ten Joint winners were at an all-time high, after three years of finals being won by Ten Joints, this year the winner went with cash!

Someone also got away with using a 6/1/3 gang this year -- which is an illegal set up.  I'm glad to say this player didn't win, however.  That's the second time in tournament history someone's gotten away with it.

For the second year in a row, we've set the record for highest average casualties per player (4.9) and highest average total casualties (19.93).  It used to be that a player losing 8-10 was in the running for the Roadkill or I think She likes Me awards.  Now most games are seeing losses near 20 -- and it takes at least 10 to be unusual.  The higher carnage is probably due to increasing skill levels and has also made it more possible to win with Ten Joints.  This is also the first year in which winners have taken more casualties than the rest of the players.

Complete statistics are available at http://www.gameaholics.com/gsr_wbc/gsr_statistics.htm.

Second Heat Action!

The godfather finds out that his bookkeeper has cheated him out of $10 million bucks.  His bookkeeper is deaf.  That was the reason he got the job in the first place.  It was assumed that a deaf bookkeeper would not hear anything that he might have to testify about in court.  When the godfather goes to confront the bookkeeper about his missing $10 million, he brings along his attorney, who knows sign language.

The godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the $10 million bucks he embezzled from me is."  The attorney, using sign language, asks the bookkeeper where the money is.  The bookkeeper signs back, "I don't know what you are talking about."  The attorney tells the godfather, "He says he doesn't know what you're talking about."  The godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it to the bookkeeper's temple and says, "Ask him again!"  The attorney signs to the bookkeeper, "He'll kill you if you don't tell him!"  The bookkeeper signs back, "OK! OK! You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed in my cousin Enzo's backyard in Queens!"  The godfather asks the attorney: "Well, what'd he say?"  The attorney replies, "He says you don't have the guts to pull the trigger." (cartalk.com)

3. 2013 Winners

Here are the top twenty-four finishers for 2013:

Place Name & Moniker % Complete % Assets
1"Dangerous" Douglas Galullo 100%100%
2John "The Viper" Pack 86%93%
3Jonathan "The Zealot" Barnes 80%83%
4Robert "Bobby Tweaks" Buccheri 70%26%
5Alyssa "Short Stack" Gumkowski 90%46%
6Ben "The Roach" Gardner 90%38%
7Alexis "Repo Girl" Reece 80%78%
8Craig "No Cigar" Reece 80%45%
9Nick "Dusk" Henning 80%0%
10Jim "The Instigator" Savarick 76%404%
11Andy "Scarface" Gardner 71%302%
12John "Bugs" Elliott 70%126%
13Phillip "Iron" Entwistle 67%71%
14Dacey "Firecracker" Collinson 63%129%
15Pete "Zero" Gathmann 62%144%
16Scott "The Bag Man" Sirianna 60%324%
17Geoffrey "Cartridge" Entwistle 60%169%
18Jeffrey "The Head" Hacker 60%0%
19Chris "Little Red" Entwistle 50%43%
20Rolinda "Ma" Collinson 30%77%
21Marty "Baltimore Bully" Musella 100%100%
 Phil "Steak" White 100%100%
 Richard Beyma 100%100%
 James "Scab" Griffith 100%100%

No Cigar waits to coach First Heat novices!

The Fourth Heat was a popular time to learn to play.

Current AREA ratings include all 2013 results and are available at: http://wolff.to/area/T_Gangsters.html.  Interestingly, Scarface and his son, The Roach, now have identical ratings.

4. The Phone Call
(from “The Official Book of Mob Humor” by Malcolm Kushner)

The phone rings, and the maid answers.  "Hello?"
Mobster: Put my wife on the phone.
Maid: Just a minute.  (After a minute)  I'm sorry, but she's indisposed in the bathroom.
Mobster: I said put her on the phone.  Now!
Maid:  She can't come to the phone right now.
Mobster:  If you don't get her on the phone in two seconds I'm gonna come over there and pull your jaw from your face.
Maid:  You don't understand; she's in there with another man.
Mobster:  What!?!
Maid:  Yeah.
Mobster:  Listen, this is what I want you to do.  I want you to shoot them both dead and then get rid of the gun.
Maid:  I can't do that; I can't shoot anybody.
Mobster:  You do it now!
Maid:  I can't!
Mobster:  If you don't do it right now, I'm gonna kill you and your whole family.  Go do it now!  I wanna hear the shots.
Maid:  OK.  (The mobster hears two loud shots over the phone.)  I did it.
Mobster:  Good.  Whad'ya do with the gun?
Maid:  I threw it in the pool.
Mobster:  Pool?  What pool?  We don't have a pool!? ...  Is this 555-2264?

The third, late-night heat was the most colorful -- especially Ma's table and Scarface's shirt.  All games use a semi-circle around half of a table, except the big demo copy!

5. 2013 Special Awards

Cement Overshoes Sportsmanship Award – This year's winner has been nominated several times over the past few years.  Andy "Scarface" Gardner's stellar service to the tournament earned him this year's award.  He arrives early and cheerfully helps in any way he can to get the tournament running smoothly and promptly. More unusual, he stays afterward and helps clean up and put everything away. He's the reason the Gangsters area looks so clean coming and going. He's done this for several years now. He's always cheerful in his games and a fun opponent.  Thanks, Scarface!  If he keeps this up, we may have to call him Snorky!

Junior Godfather Award – This year we had four players who were new to the game (one or fewer games) win heats:  Richard Beyma, Dacey "Firecracker" Collinson, James "Scab" Griffith, and Marty "Baltimore Bully" Musella.  However, only Firecracker attended the semi-final, thus ensuring Junior Godfather status.  Congratulations!  I hope we'll see all four back for more action this year.

Roadkill Award – With only ten hits, his opponents left Craig "No Cigar" Reece quivering in the road.  But it was once again "no cigar," as last year's Roadkill winner, Robert "Bobby Tweaks" Buccheri once again took the most hits -- eleven in a single game.  This may be a result of "Bobby Tweaks" preference for the 4/1/5 Thug-heavy gang.  That's lets him wade into the fight with the muscle to prevail.  And, in fact, he won the semi-final despite those eleven hits!  Not so dead after all...  Just "mostly dead."  We might have to call him "the man in black" if this keeps up.

"I Think She Likes Me!" Award – The ladies were out in force during the first heat.  Both Kaarin "The Enforcer" Engelmann and Jeffrey "The Head" Hacker were seduced seven times apiece.  No one in later heats attracted more than six Vamps, but interestingly their first heat opponents, Andy "The Duke" Joy and Ben "The Roach" Gardner respectively, were both among those with six seductions. To break the tie, we examined their other games.  The Enforcer didn't return to action; however, The Head came back for three more games and attracted five more ladies to become this year's Ladies Man.

Barney Fife Memorial Award – The Barney Fife Memorial was won about 15 minutes into the first heat by Anthony "Big Tuna" Musella.  Normally, Barney holds out for 2-3 heats but luck favored the early entrants this year!

Honorable Mention – The first nominee is Dacey "Firecracker" Collinson, our Junior Godfather.  Firecracker drew the nicest piece of artwork I've ever seen on a player chit during the semi-finals:

The second nominee is Alyssa "Short Stack" Gumkowski who started one game with a goal of getting $10,000.  She finished with $0.  Yep, that's Z-E-R-O.  There are twelve of those in the national debt.  But, then again, Short Stack also had ten joints and won the game.

The third nominee is Richard Beyma, who is in desperate need of a nickname.  He started the game with a typical 5/1/2 gang.  All of his opponents, however, started with 5/1/1 gangs.  Richard won his game and demonstrated the "power of a thug."

The fourth nominee is Jonathan "The Zealot" Barnes, John "Bugs" Elliott, Phillip "Iron" Entwistle, and Anthony "Trigger" Daw for a fourth-heat game that saw 22 hits, 12 seductions, and 13 donuts.  Despite the casualties, no one in the game won Roadkill or I think She likes Me! awards.  However, this game did decide two of the donut shirts -- with The Zealot winning the game and taking the Brown Donut shirt while Bugs took the Green Donut shirt (by breaking the third heat tie).  This game featured another one of those 4/1/5 thug-heavy gangs.  Iron (of the large-thug gang) and The Zealot took 17 of those hits between them -- but finished second and first nonetheless!

The fifth nominee was nominated by last year's recipient, Rolinda "Ma" Collinson, for duplicating her 2012 feat of not being hit or vamped during the entire game while the other players piled up 16 casualties.  The lucky lady?  Sophie "Baby Blue" Harrison.  As a consolation prize, the players in this game consumed nine donuts!

But this year's honorable mention winner goes to Ashley "Angel" Worley (formerly Collinson) for upgrading the lowly Palace Chophouse to Level Five.  I've seen Level Three often and a Level Four once or twice, but as far as I know, that's the first use of a marker with an x5 on it ever (and to think the game contains an x9 marker)!  Knowing how the Collinsons and now Worleys play, I suspect that brand-new crisp x5 chit was sitting on a very worn board.  Congratulations, Angel!

A young lawyer was defending a wealthy businessman in a complicated lawsuit. Unfortunately, the evidence was against his client, and he feared the worst. So, the lawyer asked the senior partner of the law firm if it would be appropriate to send the judge a box of Cuban cigars. The partner was horrified. "The judge is an honorable man," the partner exclaimed. "If you do that, I guarantee you will lose the case!" Weeks later the judge ruled in favor of the lawyer's client. The partner took him to lunch to congratulate him. "Aren't you glad you didn't send those cigars to the judge?" the partner asked. "But I did send them," answered the lawyer. "I just enclosed the plaintiff's business card." (cartalk.com)

Sentries eat their chicken dinners and attempt to control
Chicago's underworld while guarding what remains
of the donuts for the Fourth Heat.

6. Favorite Joints of 2013

The Green Duo, the over-all top choices of winners since I started collecting these statistics in 1998, return to dominate the top -- with a tie for first place between the Downtown Bus Station and Brizelli's Riverside.  Woe unto anyone who let's an opponent acquire both of these establishments and get them upgraded to high levels!

Here are the joints ranked in this year's top ten:

Winner's Joints
1 Downtown Bus Station 35.48% 29.25% 2 1 UP
  Brizelli's Riverside 35.48% 28.11% 6 2 Way UP
3 Palace Chophouse 29.03% 17.17% 12 6 Way Way UP
4 Greenwood Park 22.58% 21.70% 2 4 Slightly DOWN
5 Pussycat Club 16.13% 12.64% 2 8 DOWN
Ambassadors' Club 12.90% 25.47% 1 3 Way DOWN
Belmar Theatre 12.90% 7.36% 10 12 Way UP
Joe's Lanes 12.90% 3.21% - 25 Way Way Way UP
9 Brzkowski's Imports 9.68% 21.70% 2 5 Way Way DOWN
  Shop 'n Save 9.68% 4.34% 8 22 HOLDING
Taylor's Machine Shop 9.68% 9.25% 12 10 Slightly UP
SMC Cartage Co. 9.68% 8.49% - 11 Way UP
Highest Ever; Lowest Ever

The Palace Chophouse returns to the top ten -- with last year more of a statistical anomaly than anything else.  Belmar Theatre, Taylor's Machine Shop, and SMC Cartage Co. also return to the top ten -- largely as adjuncts to the success of Green strategies and Joint collectors.  Franklin Hostel, Hotel Belgrave, and Wylie's Storage all drop out of the top ten -- showing a lack of interest in (or success with) the Yellow One-Jump and Mean Yellow Middle strategies this year.  In fact, Hotel Belgrave fell so far this year that not a single winner picked it -- the first time that's ever happened!

The big story of the year is Joe's Lanes, jumping into a tie for sixth, from nowhere.  Joe's Lanes hadn't made a top ten appearance since 1998 (at #10) and is typically chosen by just an average of one winner per year.  This year it's a favorite addition to the Palace Chophouse (to construct a block) for joint collectors.  Another joint having a record (but not top ten) year is Jack's Auto Body -- which adds to this same block (and also benefited from the Green dominance).

Also interesting is that this year is the worst performance of the Ambassador's Club and Brzkowski's Imports, as Blue One-Jump strategies fall on hard times.  However, despite their worst year ever, both are still in the top ten!  The over-all top five just don't budge out of the top ten from year-to-year.

7. Quotable Gangsters

"That was plain uncalled for." -- The Viper
"This is Gangsters; everything is called for." -- Repo Girl

"These are not the criminals you're looking for." -- Cartridge (waves hand Jedi-style)

"Oh. Wait!  That was the public?  Who cares!  Citizen's arrest!" -- The Fuzz

"What if I tell you where the donut shop is?  Can I escort you there, officer?" -- The Viper

"I wuz persecuted!!" -- Roulette

"A donut ... at last.  Victory!" -- The Viper (who earned his first donut after four heats worth of attempts)

"But wait!  Robocop has TWICE that many dice.  Watch as he pulverizes these two Thugs!" -- Iron

"T.J. Hooker [Cop #7] hits me twice, and my Thugs are still on their feet!  That's what I call good gang members!" -- Little Red

"Hey, stop pre-counting ... you're delaying the game." -- The Viper (after "No Cigar" took about 5 seconds before rolling)

Semi-Final action determines who will advance into eternal glory and who will be forced to attend Liar's Dice!

8. Game Commentary

The Enforcer: "Red (Iron) made lots of $$$ with publics.  He thought he had $10,000, but was $100 short with two bribes.  I had 9 joints.  Then Big Tuna shot up a joint and vamped my last Thug -- I had no money left."

Ma: "Tick Tock played many turns with one Rack and no Vamp, and then lost his Thug."

Angel: "Three of our gangs are 2/1/1.  'We are in maximum deep mode.'  I moved my Rack into the last Purple, but The Bag bought it.  We fought.  I rolled four sixes, but he just bought it again. :-("

Numbers: "Had up to nine joints twice and got beat up by all three gangs both times."

Ma: "Started with 6 Racks and was vamped down by three in 1st, 3rd, and 4th turns!"

9. 2013 Final Report -- Dangerous Doug prevails after a St. Valentine's Day massacre of 35...

Here, in move order, are the five finalists, their starting positions, and their status at the end of the game:

Jonathan “The Zealot” Barnes
Start: 5/1/2; $300; Brizelli’s Riverside [Racketeer], Taylor’s Machine Shop [Thug], Huck’s Marine [Vamp]
Finish: 8/1/3, 8 Hits, 1 Seduction; $3,200, 8 joints (3 of 8 Yellow) – 3rd Place

John "The Viper" Pack
Start: 5/1/1; $400; Palace Chophouse [Vamp], Brzkowski’s Imports [Racketeer/Thug], Ambassadors’ Club
Finish: 3/1/1, 3 Hits, 4 Seductions; $8,600; 2 joints (2 of 6 Blue) – 2nd Place

Rob “Bobby Tweaks” Buccheri
Start: 4/1/5; $100; Jack’s Auto Body [Thug], Joe’s Lanes [Racketeer], Martha’s Commissary [Vamp]
Finish: 4/1/0, 8 Hits, 4 Seductions; $1,000; 7 joints (5 of 9 Brown) – 4th Place

“Dangerous” Doug Galullo
Start: 5/1/1; $700; Wylie’s Storage [Thug], Franklin Hostel [Vamp], Greenwood Park [Racketeer]
Finish: 2/1/1, 5 Hits, 2 Seductions; $10,100, 3 joints (3 of 8 Yellow) – Wins!

As usual, I tried to cover just the unusual aspects of each turn and only recorded unusually high cash collections (so that I would have no advantage). Hopefully, with these notes, my memory, and the player chits, I can accurately reconstruct the final. Let's take a look at the setups before going into the turn-by-turn report.

Setup – The Zealot starts out looking like he’ll go for the Bus Station cash strategy. And this is what I expected when no one else bought the Bus Station defensively. Instead, he picks up one more green and an out-of-the-way yellow joint (the latter to counter Dangerous Doug’s opening). So it appears Brizelli’s was purchased as a pro-active Bus Station defense and to give his Racketeer a lot of options for a second turn purchase with the added benefit of an occasional cash infusion. Ten joints appears to be his plan with cash as a backup.

The Viper buys the Palace Chophouse first in order to see what the other players are up to before committing to any particular setup. It’s also a near-ideal starting spot for a Vamp with the highest mobility rating of any space and the safety of a friendly joint. Then, seeing no one else interested in the Blue One-Jump strategy, the Viper buys both blue one-jump joints. He’ll be looking to win by cash, with a Blue Monopoly as a possible backup.

Bobby Tweaks goes cheap and mobile with Brown joints around the map. He’ll clearly be going for ten, cheap joints. This allows him to start with an unusual and powerful starting gang with five Thugs! He’ll need to vamp another Racketeer in the early going to avoid a one-move-per-turn catastrophe. But this kind of firepower will allow him to hammer other gangs and their joints while he collects ten joints.

Dangerous Doug goes with the Yellow One-Jump strategy but buys an out-of-the-way joint as his first – leaving the easy-to-get-to middle yellow joints open for early purchases. Cash is his likely strategy, but the unheard-of Yellow Monopoly might be a backup plan. This is confirmed when he retains $700 of his starting cash instead of buying a sixth Racketeer or two additional Thugs. Perhaps this should be called a Yellow Sneak-Up-the-Cash Strategy.

"Dangerous" Doug rolls the dice on his way to victory!

Turn One – The Zealot upgrades Brizelli’s Riverside and vamps the Viper who, in turn, vamps Bobby Tweaks. The Viper moves Public x3 into the Palace Chophouse and upgrades Brzkowski’s Imports. Tweaks brings on T.J. Hooker (Cop #7) at Subway #3 and sends him straight toward the Chophouse. Dangerous Doug removes Zealot’s Thug with two hits from the Boys in Blue while jumping Public x1 from the cup into Greenwood Park.

Turn Two – The Zealot vamps Bobby Tweaks and hits the Viper’s Chophouse. He collects $100 by agreeing to leave the public in Greenwood Park. The Viper moves the Public from the Park into the Ambassadors’ Club. Tweaks vamps Dangerous Doug. Dangerous moves Robocop (Cop #10) past Greenwood Park while moving the Public x3 into the park. The Public x1 leaves the Ambassadors’ Club after paying the Viper twice.

Turn Three – The Viper sends Rosco P. Coltrane (Cop #3) to kill Dangerous’ Vamp. Later, the Viper’s Vamp is also killed by Rosco P-Co.

Turn Four – The Zealot collects two small payments from the Public. The Viper chokes down a $1,200 payment to recruit a new lady. Bobby Tweaks recruits back to four Racketeers. Dangerous Doug gets his Vamp working at Mary’s Merchandise (the lowest mobility joint on the board) – making her ultra-safe from roving coppers.

Turn Five – The Zealot acquires his sixth joint and vamps the Viper’s Thug off of the board. The Viper recruits a Thug for $300 and gets his Vamp out extorting. Dangerous Doug collects $1,200 – the game’s first big payoff.

Turn Six – The Zealot buys his seventh joint. That prompts a discussion later in the turn as to who should be responsible for shooting up the Zealot’s joints. We all finger someone else. Robocop helps by killing the Zealot’s Vamp. Dangerous takes up the baton and kills the Zealot’s Taylor’s Machine Shop.

Turn Seven – Joints are dangerous? Not enough to keep the Zealot from buying a seventh… again. Instead, he collects $1,800 at Brizelli’s Riverside. Public x3 then moves to Brzkowski’s Imports such that the Viper collects $2,500 while vamping the Zealot. Bobby Tweaks hits the Zealot’s Racketeer for one loss while taking one in return.

Turn Eight – The Zealot adds SMC Cartage Co. to his portfolio – his eighth real estate acquisition. He also uses Kojak (Cop #6) to kill the Viper’s Thug once again. Bobby Tweaks takes up the torch and kills the SMC Cartage Co. Dangerous Doug begins battle over the Palace Chophouse.

Turn Nine – The Viper collects another $2,400 from Public x3 in a level three Ambassadors’ Club and recruits two Thugs. The Chophouse inflicts another hit on Doug’s Racketeer. On Bobby Tweaks' turn, the Chophouse kills Dangerous’ Racketeer. Dangerous Doug luckily rolls a one on the green die and recruits two Racketeers for a mere $300. This should have tipped off the rest of us that he was closing in on a cash win.

Turn Ten – The Zealot buys his eighth joint again. Bobby Tweaks takes down Jaeger’s Clothier – and takes no losses in the effort.

The Zealot tries to stop Dangerous Doug while The Viper takes notes and Bobby Tweaks stands ready.

Turn Eleven – The Zealot buys his eighth joint one more time and brings Robocop to bear on Tweak’s Thug for two hits and also vamps Tweak’s Racketeer. The Viper puts a Public in the Zealot’s Palace Chophouse and swings Barney Fife (Cop #2) toward that target. The temperature in the room reminds us of the morgue where Bobby Tweak’s Thugs now reside. Bobby Tweaks brings Barney into raid and eliminates the Chophouse. Dangerous recruits one Thug.

Turn Twelve – The Zealot buys his eighth joint yet again. He vamps the Viper’s Thug off-the-map and uses John McClane (Cop #8) to kill Bobby Tweak’s remaining Thugs. The huge starting Thug is dead. The Viper recruits one Racketeer for $800 to get back up to four. His expensive recruiting has kept his cash total down despite the two earlier, huge payoffs. Bobby Tweaks recruits three Thugs for $600. Public x1 jumps from the cup to Franklin Hostel to pay Dangerous $400.

Turn Thirteen – The Zealot, unable to buy a ninth joint, vamps Tweaks. The Viper’s dice are all low again. Dangerous is excited by all the sixes he rolls, but claims he’s not “it” (up for hitting the Zealot). He does collect $1,200 extortion, however.

Turn Fourteen – The Zealot vamps the Viper’s Thug off of the map… again. He recruits one Racketeer so that he’s got eight. The Public moves to Brizelli’s. That Public heads to the upgraded Brzkowski’s to pay the Viper $800. The boyz-in-blue kill Tweak’s three new Thugs. Dangerous collects just enough to win with $10,100.

This was a long game. Most Gangsters’ games run 6-16 turns, with the median at 10-11. That’s because the initial payouts were so small, the Cops were so effective, and the high 35 casualty count slowed the early leader. I have seen one game end earlier than turn six (a turn four win in the game that gave Moneybags his name) and one go longer than 16 (a PBEM game that ended after 18 turns). Longer games work for joint collectors (The Zealot) and sneak-up-the-cash players (Dangerous Doug).

In this case, the Zealot attracted all of the counter-measures very early and consistently. He wasn’t able to purchase joints on his last two turns or he’d have had nine joints at least and been threatening to win. His Racketeer ended up in a heavily purchased area of town at the end which made his low rolls at the end decisive.

Bobby Tweaks made it quietly to seven joints, but he was the bulwark keeping the Zealot from winning with his eight over-all Thugs. His game-high twelve losses while the other players relied on him to stop the Zealot put him in a hard-to-recover position.

The Viper threatened a cash win, finishing at $8,600. But, during the course of the game, he recruited his Thug three times and a very expensive Vamp for at least $2,400 altogether.

Dangerous Doug ended up as Godfather by saving cash at the beginning, carefully not drawing attention to himself, slowly collecting cash over the whole game (with his Vamp ultra-safe), and making only small, necessary purchases. His fateful, failed attack on the Chophouse permanently steered all attention away from him and directly onto the successfully defending Zealot. His gang at the end (2/1/1) was just enough to win – but not enough to be called upon to stop the Zealot. Congratulations to Dangerous Doug, who moved into the limelight by staying the shadows!

10. Copies of the Game

This year has been lean.  I have only two copies of the game available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Shipping is a flat $10 within the USA or you can pick it up at the WBC for no charge.  I guarantee all copies have been thoroughly inspected and are complete.





$55 1 Minor dings and shelf wear on the box; new inside!
Huge Demo Copy $110 1 I'm going to make a new demo copy; so the current one,
in great shape, is available for purchase (after this year's final).

I also have one shrink-wrapped copy of King of Crime available with all of the Kickstarter enhancements (Kit & Kaboodle, Martian, and HP Lovecraft expansions plus one copy of each backer card plus an extra Viper).  It's yours for $60 if you let me know before the WBC (so that I have it with me).

The economy is so bad that the Mafia is laying off judges. (ribald.net)

11. WBC just four weeks 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 and new things to check out.

Come celebrate St. Valentine's Day in Lancaster this August!

John the Viper

Gangsters® is a registered trademark of The Avalon Hill Game Company.