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World Boardgaming Championships

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

My startled candid photo victims, plus playmats.

Last week we were at the World Boardgaming Championships in the Allegheny Mountains of western Pennsylvania. Playing Annapurna up in the mountains was very fitting. WBC is an event where gamers gather to compete in tournaments of their favorite games. Tournaments happen pretty much every day. I hosted the first tournament for Annapurna this year.

I had some help for this one. Craig and my Dad joined me on some demos. Here they are with much needed coffee, because we got up at a bright and early 8AM every day - usually after staying up till 1 AM. I unfortunately do not drink coffee and had to rely on my sparkling personality (anxiety) and energy (ADHD) to get me up in the mornings.

We got our shipment of playmats the day before we left, so I got to use them at WBC. Everyone loved them. We rushed to get the first orders of them shipped. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do!

For the first three days, we did demos in the open gaming hall.

The gaming hall was like the ocean, filling up and emptying as tournaments started or ended.

Each tournament had its own 3-sided tower. Games that have been here for a long time show past winners and runners up. This is my first year having a tournament here so mine was empty, but next year it will have photos too!

There were A LOT of these towers, all lined up in alphabetical order. The one on the left was mine. I took it with me to every event we held.

Our tournament was made up of rounds of play called heats where people scored points based on the number of wins. People with the most wins went onto finals.

We had some familiar faces turn up at our heats, like Anne, Ron, and Keith, our friends from Euroquest.

Everyone had a great time and the rounds of play leading up to the final were pretty chill.

After all the heats I wrote down the people who qualified (also alternates in case of no shows) on the triangular cone so everyone could check to see if they made it to the final.

The climbers who braved Annapurna in our tournament final were:


The final was most definitely not as chill as the heats were, and went on about as long as a game of Annapurna can go. There were a lot of turns, in our Turnament. (ba-dum tss, yes there's the pun.) To hear the harrowing tale of perseverance, sabotage, and yetis, read on! If however, you want to see where I'll be this Sunday and watch a a video of me being silly click here to skip it. And now (cue radio voice!) the blow-by-blow of the final.

Ascent One: Balance!

Full of energy and vigor everyone climbed quickly at the start. Rushing up however resulted in multiple yetis. The players all slowed down a bit and took out their frustration at almost being mauled on each other. There were many instances of messing with each other’s mountainsides and peak cards. Despite that Ron managed to LEAVE NO TRACE BEHIND and earned the maximum four flags while the rest were all dusted with zero.

Very Cutthroat.

Ron 4
David John 0
Anne 0
Meredith 0

Ascent Two: Attack!

Ron started the next ascent and immediately stole a card from Anne. She flipped her first card like a pro and got an extra turn. Things moved quickly even though multiple people ran into Rockslides and were slowed down. The mountainside was rife with scavenging and monkeys.

Evil Monkeys!

David-John had Trouble at the Airport with Meredith and had to shuffle backpacks. Despite that he came in closest to balanced. Everyone made it to the top with energy for another round.

Ron 4
David John 3
Anne 2
Meredith 1

Ascent Three: A Cure for Snow Blindness!

By the third ascent, the glint off the snow (sleeved cards) was blinding climbers, so we switched to original unmelted snow (unsleeved cards). See how happy our climbers are?

Ahhh, my eyes!

Extra turn number 1

As soon as David John got on the mountain he had to take a rest with a skipped turn while Anne got herself an extra turn, sweeping three cards in the process. That tired her out so she took a nap and had Sweet Dreams, thus missing her next turn. Despite this she and Ron got to the top and started throwing rocks (cards) at each other.

Ron then locked his mountain at 0 and decided to meditate while waiting for everyone else. Very Zen.

Meredith then achieved balance as she Saw for Miles at the summit. Three people ended this ascent perfectly balanced but Ron got to the top first so he won that round. This put an even bigger target on his back.

Ron 7
David John 5
Anne 2
Meredith 2

Ascent Four: Bringing the Heat!

David John decided to lay out his mountain sideways but the main Sherpa (me as the GM) said no, put them back the right way, because it was vertigo inducing.

Anne started this ascent and immediately got a second turn again (Yes, we watched her lay out her mountain). Both Meredith and Ron found yetis while David John looked at his peak card and questioned its choice at being placed there. A few turns were spent swapping out peak cards. Sabotage! Treachery! Very Cutthroat.

Then Meredith then came from behind and balanced by Seeing for Miles again! (And she just learned how to play the day before.) David John took third place so Ron would come in fourth.

Ron 7
David John 6
Anne 5
Meredith 4

Ascent Five: More YETIS!

Ron went first and immediately found a yeti. Anne got an extra turn (Extra turn count: 4. Did she have magic in her pockets?) Then she and Meredith both found yetis. David John avoided yetis somehow. There were a lot of yetis today, even if they got flipped over with Best Left Behind.

Meredith and Ron had Trouble at the Airport and swapped all their luggage perfectly. They however were unable to swap it back as they were nearly at the top of a very deadly mountain.

Anne risked it all on a Leave No Trace Behind gamble, climbing to her peak card blind. She found a rockslide instead of balance. The mountain can be cutthroat too.

Ron 7
David John 8
Anne 8
Meredith 5

The Last Ascent

Exhausted and behind schedule the group huddled in the cold to count flags once more. It was quickly discovered that this would be the last ascent up Annapurna… no matter what. Anne and David John were just one flag away from a win, Ron needed just two, and if Meredith pulled off a Leave No Trace Behind, even she could win.

Despite starting the round Ron flipped over Last on the Trail and slept in. Anne got yet another extra turn, this time on her second round. (Extra turn count: 5. Look, Annapurna was just feeling zen and benevolent.)

Anne went for Leave No Trace Behind just like last time, but found Rope instead.(Ok, maybe not so benevolent.) Meredith and Ron went for the top hoping to catch up to Anne. Everyone was unbalanced and waiting for David John to get to the top. They squabbled and threw rocks while Anne deftly locked her mountain at 0. David John cleared his mountain when he reached the top, securing second.

Final Scores
Ron 7
David 10
Anne 11
Meredith 6

Exhausted and worn they all posed at the end of their long journey with the flags they had collected on their final trek to the top. No matter the scores we all agreed that Annapurna was Very Zen and Very Cutthroat.

Anne 1st

David-John 2nd

Ron 3rd

Meredith 4th

Anne won and got a cool plaque and bragging rights.

Everyone got a coupon for Canton Games booth along with an Annapurna Travel Pouch.

Seriously, look how cool this plaque from WBC is; it has a carabiner!

That's it! My exciting play-by-play for the Annapurna Tournament at WBC! If you like tournaments you should go.

I’ll be at Stolen Con this Sunday at Stolen Sun Brewery in Eaton, PA. Click here to find out more. Watch my attempt at a Mortal Kombat call out a’la Scorpion to attendees here. Those who beat me at Annapurna will get a 20% off coupon. Come challenge me this weekend if you dare!

Keep on climbing!


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