PBEM Tournament Guidelines Last updated 11/7/2017.

The BPA is about active gaming at the higest strata of sportsmanship. The BPA PBeM Tournaments are a perfect extention of this. Like the WBC, BPA PBeM GM's are the lifeblood to 'it all'. Who are these essential and irreplaceable GM's? They are you! Below are mostly guidelines, only a few are requirements. A BPA PBeM GM has plenty leeway on how to run his game.

Step 1 : Select a game

Number of Email exchanges: Each email need to advance a turn/phase is an exchange. The more you have, the longer the game.

  • TRC uses a 10 Turn senario, two impulses per turn, 20 moves per player then, makes for 40 email excahnges. Not all 2nd impulses will be taken, so base on 30 email exchanges. Lenght is 100 days, we have just over 3 days per exchange.
  • For BKN, about 70 moves per gamer, makes for 140 exchanges. Tournament length is 180 days.
  • WaS has a 90 day tournament lenth, this based off the GM's experience from running a PBeM ladder over the years.
  • Current PBeM GM 'common wisdom' says two years is about the max length a PBeM tournament should run.

Opportunity Fire : : Here the game allows for an opponent to take an action during the other gamers turn. TRC, BKN, and WaS have no opportunity fire, so thus far the BPA has 'skirted' this one. A tough little problem on how to handle via PBeM, but where there is a will, there is a way, just ask your local ASL PBeMer.

Simultaneous actions : Like the play of combat cards in 1776 or Saratoga. Another tough one.

Expected turnout : The game must be able to draw a minimum of 16 gamers.

Once you have a game in mind : Contact the BPA with your idea first. There will be a few emails, then proceed below

Step 2 : The Tounament's Mechanics and Web Sites

Many nuts and bolts for you to decide on, and then post to a web site. Just now the BPA can not post or make web pages for you. There is plenty of free web space avaiable at Wordpress, Googlesites, ect. If you lack HTML skills, hopefully you have a gaming buddy who can help. The BPA will put a link to your site from the BPA site. Nuts and Bolts to ponder:

  • Dice : Honor system? Must use a web die roller? See the Suggested Internet Die Roll Error Handling Convention, below.
  • Error Handling : How are errors handled?
  • Bids, errata, rule disputes, do you adjudicate, round length, tournament length, byes and everything else. Post all to your web site

For a number of these points you must "mandate" a particular way. This means if two players can not agree on how to handle such and such, then 'this way' is the way it will be done. PBeM is a big camp, many gamers with many different ideas on how this or that should work. And these gamers end up PBeMing those of like mind. When you have a torunament, differing minds will meet that otherwise would not have.... Take dice. Some play roll your own, other use an internet die roller. Each does care for the others way, so they don't PBeM one another, and thats fine. In a tournament, these guys will match.

Suggested Internet Die Roll Error Handling Convention

  1. Too many dice rolled? No problem, use the ones you need discarding the rest. Do not reroll.
  2. Not enough dice rolled? No problem, use the ones you got and send for the rest.
  3. If not specified, Attacker dice rolls are listed first, then Defender dice rolls.
  4. No response from die roller? It is best not to send for a second die roll. Wait about 24hrs, if the dice rolls still haven't shown up, the original sender will notify the original receiver to send for the dice rolls. When the receiver is notified, he is to roll because of missing dice rolls, and the receiver has yet to receive those dice rolls, the receiver will send, and at that instant the original senders dice rolls will not be used, even if they come in.
  5. Multiple die roll requests? Use the dice rolls the receiver got first.
  6. If one gamer gets the rolls and the other doesn't, check the email addresses. If they are incorrect, fix the addresses and request new rolls using the proper addresses. If the email addresses were fine, use the dice rolls that arrive, forward them to the other gamer. Upon inspection of the email, if everything is fine, use those dice rolls.
Step 3 : Getting the Word Out

The BPA Email Newsletter will announce your tournament to 500+ gamers.

ConsimWorld BB will reach many online gamers.

The WBC is the perfect place. Make some flyers up and post them around.

BPA Requirements

The GM and all entrants must be members of the BPA the year the tournament starts, Associate level or higher. They do not have to renew in subsequent years to reamin active in your tournament.

A week before getting underway the GM Must submit a list of his entrants and their emails a week before getting underway so that their membership status can be verified. Submit by email to the BPA.

A minimum of 16 entrants are required for a tournament.

GM must maintain a web page for the tournament. This web page must contain a link back to the BPA website at http://www.boardgamers.org/ A word document is available on how to create a free website (thanks to Tim Tow).

The GM must designate an assitant(s) GM who would rule in any rules dispute in a game involving the GM.

Advise the BPA of the needed Caesar Award tournament information, including a list of the top six places at the end of the competition. For those games where places beyond second are not customarily assigned and playoff rounds to decide such are not envisioned or practical, GMs can simply use the common tie-breaker method of awarding the next place to the last player defeated by the eventual winner or runner-up.

For example, places in a single elimination tournament would be determined as follows:
Final: Al won by beating Bob.
Semi-Final: Al beat Chuck. Bob beat Don.
Quarter final: Al beat Ed. Bob beat Fred. Chuck beat George. Don beat Hal. 
Places: Al, Bob, Chuck, Don, Ed, and Fred in that order. 

Before starting any new BPA PBeM tournament GMs must submit a full list of players complete with their email addresses to conventiondirector@boardgamers.org at least a week before the event starts to verify their BPA membership. Do not assume that just because you've stated repeatedly that the event is for BPA members only that all players are indeed BPA members.

When contemplating a new event start, always prepare your website in advance with all rules pertaining to the event and notify BPA of your intended starting date. Allow at least ten weeks from that point before your event start to allow time for BPA approvals and announcements.

Stress in advance the expected response time required of players to participate and what timing mechanisms will be used and the consequences for failing to meet those deadlines. This is especially vital in multi-player games where a player on vacation delays numerous opponents, not just one. Multi-player games are especially vulnerable to player attrition so have a plan in place about what happens to abandoned positions when someone drops out or fails to keep up with the announced game pace.