Adel Verpflichtet (ADV) PBeM Reports Updated March 5, 2023.

2022 PBeM Tournament
  Adel Verpflichtet/Hoity Toity/By Hook or By Crook Final Finishes: Seven games to get to the Final -- now it comes down to one winner-take-all game. John Pack gets off to a quick-start by exhibiting on the first turn to take a two-space lead while Dan Leader provides security. Dominic Blais picks up the D-1616 (best card in the game) while Thomas Browne finds the $24,000 check lying somewhere where no one would miss it. The main theme of the game appears on the second turn -- lots of thieves and no one to catch them!

Dan moves forward by exhibiting but loses a card to Dominic. Thomas spends his "findings" while thieves rip the check in two. Then Dominic rotates into the exhibitor role while John provides security. Meanwhile, Dan's check is five-finger discounted by Allan Jiang. Allan patiently builds a huge set but is thwarted when his detective strategy fails to find thieves during the mid-game, such that his arrival on the final edge comes only during the final exhibit. Dominic and John advance slowly but surely together to the mid-point; however, Dominic takes the worst from thieves.

That lets John soldier onward while Dominic pauses. Dominic almost catches up once John reaches the final 5/3 acceleration zone in the endgame, but comes up one exhibit or one thief from other players short of a last-second comeback. The jail ends full -- but does not parole a single bandit during the game. That means no one ever lacked the option to steal. And steal they do -- six items change hands on the penultimate turn and four more the turn before that. It wasn't for trying. John's next-to-last exhibit (two turns before the last turn) sees four detectives on patrol -- catching nary a cutpurse. It's a matter of timing. Like phases of the moon, when the thieves were in phase, the detectives were nowhere to be seen and vice versa. Bandits are selected 21 times; Detectives just 14 times (only five of which catch anything). The robbers net 17 pieces of art and 5 checks.

Dan falls victim to that timing -- exhibiting in thieves-phase and trying to catch the shadows in the night during the detectives-phase. His set is completely obliterated, and he ekes out a few final spaces with a detective.

Thomas has a lot of cards but just can't steal the right ones to connect both halves. The Auction House is not his friend either. In the end, John pushes across just barely ahead of the surging Allan and resurgent Dominic.

Top Six Laurelists:

  1. John Pack
  2. Dominic Blais
  3. Allan Jiang
  4. Dan Leader
  5. Thomas Browne
  6. Steve Cameron

2021 PBeM Tournament
  Derek Landel takes set-building and a mid-game sprint all the way to the finish line -- and holds on against the bigger sets of Allan Jiang and Chris Trimmer to win it all. Many thanks to AJ for supplying the details of the game; visit for more. Dominic Blais sprinted to the mid-board lead but had been so annihilated by thieves that his position never recovered. Haakon got both thieves in jail to hamper his set-building and leave him far behind. Interestingly, everyone but Chris finished with at least one card that he couldn't exhibit.

Top Six Laurelists:

  1. Derek Landel
  2. Chris Trimmer
  3. Allan Jiang
  4. Dominic Blais
  5. Haakon Monsen
  6. John Pack

Allan's Report: Haakon was the first to exhibit, but it was Dominic who took a large early game lead, getting more than halfway on the board, while the rest of the players were still at or near the start. Meanwhile, Derek took a lead with 7 items while everyone else had 4 or 5. In the midgame, Dominic stalled as he had to try to rebuild his pilfered set. Haakon also ran into trouble with both thieves in jail and poor luck at the auction house. Chris, Allan, and Derek all did well with set-building, but Derek was the most successful on the board, passing Dominic for the lead. Derek continued to push the pace in the late game, and triggered the end of the game, moving a full 5 spaces past the finish line. Chris and Allan took the best two endgame exhibits, which moved them past Dominic, but not enough to catch up to Derek. Congratulations to Derek Landel for winning the tournament!

2020 PBeM Tournament
  Allan Jiang began the final by wishing everyone good luck. Allan's good luck followed him across the finish line -- where he won by a single space over both the second and third places, Hochboim Haim and Sharee Pack. Sharee sprinted to the second corner before anyone else reached the first. However, her set was broken thereafter to slow her movement to crawl. She finished one space short and with a barely functional 3-card set. Hochboim collected an enormous set and used detectives to make up the distance with a few key exhibits at the end to bring him within one space. He finished with a tournament-high 13 cards -- but only 7 were displayable. Steve Cameron started out fast, got robbed even faster, and sputtered at an unprofitable auction spree to finish in fifth. Jacob Griffith collected cards but was unable to parley detectives into enough spaces to join the fray. He finished with the best set (8 cards and the oldest card in the game, 1748) but still came in fourth. John Pack rounded out the top six as the top semi-finalist who didn't advance. Congratulations to Allan! Allan squeaked into the final with a high second place finish but was the top qualifier in the preliminaries. Good luck to all in the next tournament which begins April Fools' Day! See for full details. Final Finish 1. Allan Jiang 2. Hochboim Haim 3. Sharee Pack 4. Jacob Griffith 5. Steve Cameron 6. John Pack

2018 PBeM Tournament
  The final was a close, hotly contested match settled by a tie on the final space -- with another player, with the largest set, just one space behind the two front-runners. Congratulations to Haakon Monsen for prevailing!

The game began with a thieves' convention at the castle, presaging the long, 23-turn duration with no movement. Tom DeMarco and Haakon got the initial jump with the D-1885 and the $16,000 check respectively. Seventeen wasted player-turns are recorded on the first six turns as players prefer caution to losing cards. Beginning Turn Six, Lexi Shea began her sprint with the largest set at the time (6 cards) -- having won the opening with three useful turns! But on the next two turns, she had her set broken and lost a thief respectively. Thereafter, she languished in the Auctionhouse -- unable to win a bid with her highest remaining check ($8,000) until Turn Seventeen -- and, once her thieves were both in jail, unable to be credible at the Castle. She finished the game without a set -- having one again only on Turn Eighteen -- never reaching the second corner. The cautious play by everyone hurt Lexi even more as the jail cells did not fill until Turn Seventeen when three detectives caught Allan Jiang red-handed -- delaying her parole until Turn Twenty-One. A life sentence in this game really means something! Lexi's lack of options (no thieves, no exhibit, and no high checks) dominated the decision-making by everyone else from Turn Eight onward.

On Turn Seven, Tom robbed both Lexi and John Pack to put himself in a nice position with the largest set (7 cards). He served no time for his crime! The next turn his detective put Lexi's thief in jail, defended his set, and moved from fifth to third place. By Turn Nine, Tom was tied for the lead. Tom stayed in the lead until the last turn slowly burning through his set. John played the chaser -- remaining second to Lexi and then to Tom throughout the game -- breaking that trend only by stealing four items on the final move to score the biggest set and move one space behind the leaders for third place. John counted on Allan holding cards back on the final turn to force another move.

Allan was the very first player to move forward (on Turn Two). However, he didn't move again until Turn Eighteen with a Detective for five. By that point, he'd built the largest set -- a bulletproof colossus of AAABBBCDE (though the E stayed hidden until Turn Twenty). Allan then exhibited every single turn thereafter -- with a single break to steal two items and lose his second thief on Turn Twenty-One. Allan's set was not broken until the final move (losing his C to John). Allan ties Haakon in advancement -- but his ten card set, now robbed to AAABBB, loses the tie. Haakon's story began last -- making his first move forward with a 7-card exhibit on Turn Ten just as Tom was taking the lead. However, on the next move he gave Tom an even bigger lead by guarding his exhibit. The next few turns yielded little as the cautionary play led to the World Detectives Convention (WDC) on Turns 12 and 14 (with all but one player attending each). The WDC did not live up to attendee's expectations! Haakon's second move forward was on Turn Seventeen when the detective convention had a guest to fill the jail. By that time, Haakon's check-stealing and bidding made his set tied with Allan with a nice ABCDDEEFF, for a bulletproof tail-end including the oldest D. A bit of banditry gave him an 11-card set (and third E) but with both gang-members in jail. After an exhibit that established his leadership and moved him into fourth place, three turns of Detectives (two successful) left him tied for second with Allen on Turn Twenty-One (presaging the final position). On the final move, he exhibited -- but only the bulletproof DEEEFFF. That gave Allan the 5-space move to Haakon's 3 spaces, but left Haakon with the second largest set to earn four more and then win the tie with Allan to seal the championship! Congratulations, Haakon!

Laurels, in order, go to Haakon Monsen, Allan Jiang, John Pack, Tom DeMarco, Lexi Shea, and the defending champion, Chris Trimmer (the best semi-finalist who didn't advance).

The tournament will kick off again on April Fools' Day 2019. See all the results, links to games, and format at

2015 PBeM Tournament
  Chris Trimmer saved his best for last. He secured the fifth seat in the Final by being the lone non-winner in the semifinals to advance with a five spaces-over second place. That bested the next closest runnerup, Bob Hamel, whose two spaces over earned sixth place laurels. Chris had qualified for the semifinals on the strength of four runnerup finishes in the preliminaries.

The 40th and final game of the tournament began as Israeli Aran Warszawski sprinted out to a huge early lead, But in the last 4/2, 2/1 and 5/3 spaces, he paused just long enough to cycle thieves through the jail. That allowed Chris to catch him and finish two spaces beyond him for the title. Trailing just behind were Norwegian Haakon Monsen, Greg Thatcher and Greg Landel for third thru fifth laurels.

Check out all the details of the tournament at

2014 PBeM Tournament
  Christopher Yaure proved that close enough isn't just for horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear war - it counts in Adel Verpflichtet too. Chris qualified for the semifinals on tie-breakers (the highest of those with 17 points including two wins). He then moved into the Final as the only finalist without a win - using the second tie-break as the best second-place finisher with three spaces (having a set of ten cards). In a fitting finish, he then prevailed in a tie for first place with Tom DeMarco with the largest set (a one-card margin [12] over Suzanne Tuch's 11 card set). Congratulations to Chris for winning by the narrowest possible margin!

The game started off with cautious players - lots of detectives and very few thieves in the castle. Meanwhile, in the Auctionhouse, thieves were plentiful as were small checks. The first Auctionhouse pile emptied before players reached the first corner. Sharee Pack reached the first 2/1 space first through heavy attrition of her set. Then the game paused while players again returned to detective conventions with a rare thief as a guest speaker. Meanwhile, the Auctionhouse drained to a total of four cards while the checks switched hands (though, in the end, four players each had just one check remaining once the 2/1 roadblock was breached). As a result, the contest took many turns more than a typical game.

At that point, Sharee was still in the lead, but the entire field was within three spaces. She paused to use a detective to finally fill all five jail cells. Then Sharee, Bob Hamel, and Tom sprinted for the finish while Suzanne and Chris (with the largest two sets respectively) used detectives to make up the distance. Bob and Tom with the larger sets in the second-tier crowd moved ahead reaching the second 2/1 space. As they did so, Sharee turned bandit to pick up two items, gave Suzanne and Chris the detective-earned spaces they were seeking, and brought her set into a close third place.

Chris took that opportunity to hit the Auctionhouse one more time where he picked up the card that put his set ahead of Suzanne. Bob pushed forward into the 5/3 endgame space while Tom followed to the final space of the 2/1 zone. That set up the last turn. Tom continued his sprint, sending him five spaces forward and ending the game. Bob, inexplicably, selected a detective -- worth 2-3 spaces at most (and likely to give the players with bigger sets much greater advancement). Chris, Suzanne, and Sharee each played a thief -- which added to their sets but kept them in the same relative order. With the dining-table line crossed, the last exhibits come out -- giving Chris eight spaces (just enough to catch Tom and win by tie-breakers) and Suzanne four spaces.

It's interesting to note here how that crucial last turn might have fared with some different moves:

  • Bob Exhibits: He earns the five spaces while Tom gets three. Bob finishes one space ahead of Chris and his massive tie-breaker.
  • Chris Exhibits: Chris earns five to finish one space shy of the line. Tom gets three to finish one over. Chris' set is hammered by thieves. Suzanne and Sharee get the first and second place exhibits. Suzanne finishes two over the line and wins.
  • Chris plays Detective: Tom gets five. Suzanne and Sharee get the first and second place exhibits. Tom wins.
  • Chris and Suzanne Exhibit: The game doesn't end; Sharee has the biggest set; Bob is just one space short of the line.
  • Tom Thieves or plays Detective: Game lasts another turn. Of course, Tom knew he didn't want another turn to allow the players with biggest sets more time to recover.

As you can see, most of the players still had a chance on the last move. But Chris navigated the puzzle to score the win! His only one of the event. Timing is everything.

The tournament will begin on January 3rd this coming year with the hope that we can finish before the World Boardgaming Championships! Check out all the details of the tournament at

2013 PBeM Tournament
  GM John Pack won his own tournament over a field of 25 as the 4th BPA Adel Verpflichtet tournament concluded after 30 games of swiss elimination play.

The Final opening saw all five players at the Auction House for three of four consecutive turns (bringing up comments about Groundhog Day arriving early) -- with many high and second-high checks spent in the early going (and not too many thieves being able to actually get away with a stolen check). The funniest moment came when four thieves reached for and, ineptly, shredded the check. Discussion turned to who had the "right" piece. Initial movement came via detectives putting three thieves in jail on two different turns. All four of the oldest cards put in an appearance during the game. John Pack reached the first corner after the jail had filled to capacity while Tom DeMarco and Kevin Wojtaszczyk were left without thieves. Missing options can be decisive in this game. Two thief-less players opened the way for John to sprint toward the finish (since exhibits are much safer). Mike Kaltman fell behind while building a huge set but made up ground by the time John reached the second corner. Then came the massive crime wave - with Laurie Wojtaszczyk, then Mike, and finally John scoring two, three, and three collectibles with a single thief. Tom had gallantly kept pace just a space or two behind the leader but lost items to every thief during the crime wave. That left him exhibiting but unable to advance in the last stages of the game. Kevin built a huge set before moving and rode detectives past the second corner, but didn't move much after detectives brought the criminal element under control. The last move came with John on the final space, his thief having reconnected his full set, and Mike having moved within striking distance. The last move saw John exhibit for five spaces and cross the line while Mike banked on another turn with a fruitless detective. Mike's better set (by virtue of the D-1616) wasn't enough to make up the distance though he also crossed the line for second place. The rest of the Top Six were Kevin, Laurie, Tom, and George Seary. The Final took just 15 days to complete -- with some turns taking less than five minutes for all players to log on and complete their selection. It was a breathtaking race all the way to the finish line! The next tournament will begin October 1st! See all of the details at

2010 PBeM Tournament
  After 40 games involving 33 participants over five preliminary rounds, two semi-final rounds, and the Final, Tom DeMarco, without a set to his name, emerged victorious by a single space over Greg Thatcher. It started with Bob Hamel racing to an impressive lead only to see thieves whittle away his collection. After piling up a decent set, Tom DeMarco challenged Bob's exhibits until he himself was the leader and near victory. Then he was robbed, burglarized, and purloined to a dangerously low level. Greg, the new set leader, moved up and looked to be impossible to stop. But with a final gasp (and the loss of what remained of his set), Tom moved across the line. Greg also exhibited -- but held back when three thieves showed up to enjoy the sites and help themselves. That proved the difference as Greg's set was so hammered that he only collected four bonus spaces -- coming up one short. After Tom and Greg, Raphael Lehrer finished third with the best set of 11 cards (one space short of the finish line), Bob Hamel was fourth, and Steve Cameron finished fifth. Sixth place laurels went to Marc Houde as the next best semi-finalist. See all the details at

2009 PBeM Tournament
  Our new champion is Curt Collins. He can bask in the glow of success until the next tournament gets underway on October 1st. But Curt will always remember the way he won. Alex Bove, our second place finisher, jumped out to an early lead that he retained all the way to the final move. In fact, at one point Alex held a 14 space lead over Curt (more than half of the entire distance to the table)! Curt came from last place to finish in a tie with Alex -- which Curt won due to his superior set (a mere 12 cards compared to the next player, John Pack in third place, with eight cards). Both Alex and Curt finished four spaces past the line with John Pack on the third space. Tom DeMarco and Keith Layton were the remaining finalists and finished 4th and 5th respectively. Tom retained the A-1468 Mask of Shame by special request. Anthony Daw was the sixth place laurelist by virtue of a second-place finish in the semi-finals.

As Alex rounded the second corner -- a full edge ahead of the next player -- he was robbed multiple times on multiple turns. That put him in a cautious mode that allowed a smart combination of one exhibit, lots of detectives, and a few well-timed thieves to move Curt into a close contest with a large set. A final thief scored three items to make Curt untouchable. John, Tom, and Keith almost caught up too -- but didn't have the sets needed to finish their runs. You can see all the details at including a link to a full series replay write-up on the final with comments from all of the finalists.

2008 PBeM Tournament
  "No one here for to see my pretty things." - Bob Hamel [all alone at the castle]

At the end of five preliminary rounds where 34 players each played five games against 18-20 different opponents, Thomas Browne emerged as the leader with 23 of 25 possible points. Each game was worth a maximum of 5 points. Alex Bove and Sharee Pack each finished with 21. The final five was rounded out with two of the players who scored 20 points, Greg Thatcher and Ken Gutermuth. Naturally, one of them would "steal" the tournament in the all important Final round. The sixth place player, GM John Pack, also had 20 points but only finished with a total of 9 spaces across the finish lines (vs. 25 and 19 for Greg and Ken respectively).

The tournament was lively -- with many players in three or four games simultaneously. I've interspersed some of the lively dialogue throughout this report. Needless to say, the players had a lot of fun!

"Oh, that was a great round. Bunch of thievin' varmints around this place." - Anthony Daw
"That may be the first time I've seen a double thief-convention..." - John Pack
"Looks like I have to play something other than a thief now." - Greg Thatcher
"Come on folks, I need my thieves back!" - Greg Thatcher
"Thanks for that file in the cake guys!...I'm free!!" - Bob Hamel

The Final played so quickly, taking just two weeks, that the champion is already determined! Congratulations to Ken Gutermuth who prevailed by a single space over Sharee Pack. Four of the five players still had a chance to win on the last move. Sharee was just two spaces from the finish and although she had five cards, her set was the bare minimum of three. She elected to exhibit and charge across. Darn the thieves, full speed ahead! If no one beat her exhibit, she'd have a lock on victory. Alex Bove and Ken Gutermuth played thieves to maximize their sets for final advancement. Ken would have the biggest set (ten cards). Eight spaces would put him ahead of Sharee if she got three or fewer spaces for exhibiting. Ken needed someone else to beat her exhibit. Greg Thatcher played a detective - sending the thieves to jail and moving forward five spaces (a move which brought him into the pack and which would have made him a contender if the game had lasted another turn). Greg needed two people to beat Sharee's exhibit and keep the game going. Unfortunately for Greg and Thomas, only Thomas Browne exhibited against Sharee - taking the five space reward. However, the thieves took his set down from 7 to a mere three of his five remaining cards, guaranteeing that Thomas would not advance again. Sharee finished with no set whatsoever. Ken got the 8 space final reward to finish three spaces across the line. Sharee finished two spaces across. Thomas finished one space short. Alex, who got the four space reward, finished three spaces shy, and Greg finished 5 spaces out for a very tight finish. Congratulations to Ken Gutermuth for besting a fine field! Also taking laurels were Sharee Pack, Tom Browne, Alex Bove, Greg Thatcher, and John Pack for finishing 2nd thru 6th respectively.

"It's the Secret Policeman's Ball!" - Rob Seulowitz
"Guess it was time for the annual detective's convention. I went to the panel on proper use of the magnifying glass. It was very educational!" - Greg Crowe
"Wow, THREE detectives...Guess I'm going to prison for a LONG time...." - Bob Hamel

The next BPA Adel Verpflichtet PBeM competition on SpielByWeb will get underway this October 1st. Check for details of all the tournament games and scoring!

"How much will you give me to Exhibit???? I take PayPal. :-)
"JUST KIDDING...of course...we're in it 'TO THE DEATH.'" - Bob Hamel