This is the homepage foules the 2015-16 Boardgame Players Association (BPA) PBEM tournament for Twilight Struggle.
Players wishing to participate in the tournament should leave a reply at the bottom of this page with your current ACTS ID below, to formally register their interest.
Note all first time posts are moderated so it may take up to a day for your post to become visible. No need to repost a second time.
All participants must be members of the BPA – an entry-level Associate Membership costs $10 and allows you to enter as many BPA PBEM tournaments as you wish in the current year. (Players are not required to renew their BPA membership for 2015 and beyond to continue playing in the tournament, although they are certainly encouraged to do so.) Details of how to become a BPA member can be found here.
The Signup period begins now and will continue through Jan 15, 2016.
There will be two phases to the tournament. The Preliminary Phase will consist of a set number of Swiss rounds, depending upon the number of entrants: four if there are 17-32 entrants, five if there are 33-64 entrants, six if there are 65-128 entrants, and so on. The top six qualifiers at the conclusion of the Swiss phase will advance to the Elimination Phase: #3 plays #6 and #4 plays #5 in the quarterfinals, with #1 and #2 will have a bye in this first round of the Elimination Phase and will play the lower-ranked and higher-ranked player remaining, respectively, in the semifinals. (For background information about what a Swiss tournament format entails, click here.)
All BPA members for 2015 are eligible to enter the tournament; non-BPA members for 2015 or 2016 must join the BPA at least Associate level of membership (see above). The GM will ask all players to re-register their intent to participate at the start of every Swiss round during the Preliminary Phase.
Players must have internet access and a valid e-mail address. Important: Changes in your e-mail address must be forwarded to the GM, or you may miss out on important notifications (including the call to participate in the next Swiss round).
The first Swiss round is scheduled to begin with matchups by 15 December 2015. Each Swiss Round, with the exception of round 1, and elimination game will last for 8 weeks, the intention being that each new round should begin exactly two months after the preceding round began. Players who cannot commit to this pace of play should not ask to participate in the tournament. The proposed schedule (to be confirmed) is as follows:
|Round||Start Date||End Date|
|Swiss Round 1||15 Dec 2015||15 Mar 2016|
|Swiss Round 2||16 Mar 2016||16 May 2016|
|Swiss Round 3||17 May 2016||TBC|
|Swiss Round 4||17 Jul 2016||TBC|
|Swiss Round 5||17 Sep 2016||TBC|
|Swiss Round 6||17 Nov 2016||TBC|
|Elimination Phase – Quarterfinals||17 Jan 2017||TBC|
|Elimination Phase – Semifinals||17 Mar 2017||TBC|
|Elimination Phase – Final||17 May 2017||TBC|
The GM will be responsible for determining all matchups at the start of each Swiss round in the Preliminary Phase. As far as possible, players with the same number of tournament points will play against each other. If an even number of players is not available, the GM may select eliminators to play against the odd opponents; thereafter, while the GM will endeavor to accommodate all willing participants, if necessary a player tied for the fewest points in the tournament standings (see below) will be asked to sit out.
SIdes will be selected randomly with players switching sides after each round if possible.
Games will use Deluxe Rules + optional cards with +1 influence for the United States as the starting condition.
No Chinese Civil War and no optional rules.
11.1 Revealing held cards is not used if playing with ACTS as ACTS enforces ending a game if a scoring card is held.
- Extra Influence points are placed after all other Influence points for that country have been placed.
- Such extra Influence may only be placed in countries where friendly Influence already exists.
- Extra influence may be placed to control, but not over-control.
During the Preliminary Phase, players are awarded tournament points per game as follows:
- 10 points for a Victory
- 0 points for a loss
- In the event of a tie game during the Elimination Phase, the US player will be awarded the victory for all tournament purposes.
At the conclusion of the Preliminary Phase, the six players with the most points will qualify for the Elimination Phase and be seeded accordingly. Ties will be broken according to the following priorities:
1) Strength of schedule (calculated for each player by adding up all of the points earned by his opponents and then dividing by the number of games they played)
2) Head-to-head results.
3) Most wins as the US.
4) Most games played as the US.
5) Random determination.
End-of-Game Reporting:At the conclusion of each game, one player from each game is required to post the results as a comment on this website.
b) Method of victory (Final Scoring, reaching ±20 VPs, Control of Europe, DEFCON = 1, Wargames, etc.)
GM and AGMs
The GM is Tim Tow (e-mail the GM) and there will be two assistant GMs. All three GMs will play in the tournament: The Assistant GMs will rule in the games which the GM and/or the other Assistant GM are involved. Rulings made by any GM are final.
Please be advised that the GMs will not monitor games in progress in an official capacity, except to ensure that they are completed in a timely manner. It is the responsibility of the players involved to ensure that they are interpreting the rules correctly – the GMs will not go back in time to remedy any incorrect interpretations after the fact.
Method of Play
All games will be played on the Automated Card Tracking Site (ACTS), Wargameroom, or via Vassal online.
For ACTS games, each game will be created by one of the players involved and moderated by the GM. The ACTS site provides recordkeeping of moves, provides a die roller, and serves as a secure card dealer. There is no fee for use of the ACTS web site.
For games using Wargameroom or Vassal online, there will be limited ability for the GM to moderate so those formats can be used if both players agree and they will need to self-moderate.
NOTE: Players will be responsible for tracking their own moves. There are multiple tools available to track Twilight Struggle games and players are encourage to exchange files with each other periodically to confirm positions. However, if such files are not exchanged, it is highly recommended that players confirm the locations of their playing pieces on a regular basis – the end of each turn being an opportune moment for sharing files and/or posting and comparing the Influence each side has in each country. All players will be responsible for the repercussions of their own recording errors.
Rules and Rules Disputes
All games will use the deluxe edition of the TS rulebook (available for download at GMT’s Twilight Struggle website). The official FAQ and errata should be used in conjunction with the deluxe edition rules, particularly with regard to card clarifications.
It is expected that all participants will play the game with good sportsmanship and in the spirit in which the game is designed. The special PBEM rules and guidelines listed here are meant to guide players in the application of the written rules of the game along these lines – any incidents in which a player looks to manipulate these rules to his advantage against the spirit of the game should be brought to the GM’s attention. The GM retains the right to punish the offending player should circumstances warrant, e.g., by forcing the offending player to Discard a card or cards from his hand, docking him tournament points in the standings, or possibly expelling him from the tournament altogether.
PBEM Considerations (important!)
The ACTS module for TS is not completely idiot-proof – some bugs still exist within the system.
Concerning other errors and procedures which are unique to the PBEM format:
- What if too many dice were rolled? Simply remove the excess dice, from the bottom up.
- What if dice were rolled for the wrong reason? Ignore the results and reroll the right amount of dice, specifying the right reason.
- What if a player draws too many cards? The offending player should randomly discard down to the correct hand size, making sure that the other player sees the card in question.
- What if a player plays out of turn? The player must undo the card play (and all effects thereof) and return the card to his hand.
- Any other questions to ask?
Slow Play/Adjudication (important!)
Everyone plays at a different pace, and there must be some tolerance and sportsmanship toward players who do not play with lightning speed – the goal is to ensure that all games are completed on time (and not, e.g., at the pace of 1-2 days per turn). However, the tournament is designed to operate at a fairly brisk pace, and players will need to average at least one e-mail each per day to finish a full-length game on time.
If you are concerned about completing your game on time and believe your opponent is playing too slowly, please e-mail the GM, who will review the Game Journal in ACTS to assess the situation. A slow play warning may be issued in the event that the GM agrees with you; such a warning will constitute evidence of slow play for future reference.
In the event that a game has not been completed by the deadline, which for this purpose will conclude at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time (US) on the End Date for each round, the faster player over the course of the game will be judged the winner and receive 10 points to the loser’s 0, regardless of board position or VP level. The two players will be asked to agree upon which player was slower; if they cannot agree, the GM and/or AGMs will analyze the Game Journal in ACTS to make a determination. If it is impossible to identify one player as being faster than the other, both players will receive 0 points for the round and the game will be discarded from the records, as though it had never happened.
The tournament winner will receive a BPA PBEM Twilight Struggle Championship Plaque, and the top 6 winners will BPA Laurels toward the annual BPA “Caesar” award. Apart from that, bragging rights are always handy to have…
Note comments below are initially moderated so you may not see your signup appear until it is approved by the moderator (me!).