Other Rules

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 using the Steam/Playdek application or using 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 Playdek, 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.


The tournament winner will receive a BPA PBEM Twilight Struggle Championship Plaque, and the top 6 players will receive BPA laurels toward the annual BPA “Caesar” award. Apart from that, bragging rights are always handy to have…



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!)

These are computer tools and are by no means bug-free. If something unforeseen, let the GM know as soon as possible.

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.

If using Playdek, the 21 day setting is used and Playdek will enforce this timing. Playdek games must be set up within 3 days of the beginning of the round.

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.