For me 2003 started before 2000 at Baltimore. The North American Diplomacy Federation was forming and one of the first items the policy committee started working on was thoughts about DipCon 2001 and WDC 2003. Manus and others had posted tremendous results in the Denver group, ARMADA, and they were encouraged to bid for DipCon at Baltimore, with an eye toward possibly hosting WDC in 2003. Some of the input from Europe stated a Canadian site might be nice, we explored Toronto and Calgary but they eventially declined. The remaining interested party was PrezCon, and we agreed to look at the comparative results in 2001. Through miscommunication the vote for selecting a North American bid site for Paris came on the floor at the DipCon Society meeting. The ensuing turmoil and bad feelings took the NADF out of the tournament bid arena.
At the 2001 DipCon in Denver, Manus (Hand), of course, was the principal organizer for WDC, but Edi (Birsan) was going to Paris, and he and I met with the Denver Gaming Association board to assure that we could promise the complimentry entry fee and some hotel accomodations to overseas guests, and that we would have sufficient room to play. Edi and I also agreed that beyond what Denver would do in publicizing the event, he would focus on the international crowd, and I would focus on North America. Active promotion needed to wait until after 2002 but planning was ongoing.
I designed the special awards for North American participants, and worked up the plans for a hosted reception for overseas players. Edi carried the bid to Paris and it won without opposition.
At the 2002 Regatta I drafted an agreement with Denver Gamers Association, gave it to Manus and Edi for review and then took it to Kris Marquardt of DGA and the comp rooms where free entry for overseas players and the space needs were formalized.
A month later Canberra was over, and we went to work. Manus started the process by personally inviting everyone he knew, and by the time we convened at Chapel Hill for DipCon there were 103 names on the plan to attend list, of which 85 eventually played.
Mid-summer, Kris Marquardt informed Manus that the DGA had changed the date to a week later, because they felt that Valentine's Day might have a bad effect on GhenghisCon attendance. We said we bid it for that weekend; we had two tournaments that are scheduling around it in Calgary and Virginia. Kris said the host hotel was booked for the weekend, but wait a minute. Kris rescheduled the Con, to the original date after getting the hotel that had hosted for the preceeding few years.
The publicity effort continued and the declining center rule became a point of discussion. Author of the system David Norman was revising, and the new revision wasn't available until December 2002. Before the play testing in January a half dozen had cited that as the reason for not attending, after the play testing there was at least one that used that experience to decide against going.
My highlight of the weekend was at the beginning. The reception went as planned, the catering office did exactly as promised, the North American players provided the funds to essentailly break-even and the hour seemed filled with old friend greeting and new friend meeting.
The North American Division awards were less interesting than I had hoped. If I pored over the rules with the diligence that I should have I might have avoided the disappointment. The prior two years the scores were open and available on the laptop that controlled the tournament. There was no discussion of changing that that I was aware of, but the rules contained a provision for secret scoring. So all I could do was post the division players names, not the running scores that I had hoped would maintain interest for everyone. The final disappointment came when I learned at the WDC meeting that North America would be losing the Silver Spring tournament.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights had great parties. Some games were at least interesting and one was a blast. The one I was blown out of, I was Austria, and Brian Dennehey was Russia. Early in the diplomacy I said to Brian, "I know you finished second in WDC play twice, I just don't know why." Now I know!
Manus is a true pleasure to work with. He pays close attention to details and the effect of the preplanning on his part made the event run as smoothly as could be expected. Kris and the DGA provided great support, and Hyatt catering delivered everything I asked. This was a great tournament experience, and as always I learned that effective cooperation, on the board or off, depends on effective communication.