Gettysburg ‘88

Ladder Tournament Format

Updated May 1, 2019


Rules: The game rules will be supplemented by the Rules Clarifications and the Terrain Clarifications.

Timing. Players have a nominal 4 months to complete each round. The Union has a maximum of 24 turns and the Confederates 23 if a game goes all the way to the end. 47 moves in 120 days works out to about a move every 3 days (again, assuming the game goes all the way to the last turn).

Please finish games or come to an agreement with your opponent as to the results by the end date for the round. If that's not possible, please submit complete details of your game (including bid, sides, turn, current position of everything and comments including the amount of time used) in text or Vassal .sav files by the round deadline for adjudication by the Gamemaster. Note that the amount of time used by the players will be a factor in deciding the winner. The general guideline is that a player must be considered the favorite by an equal to or greater amount than the percentage of time used for the game. For example, if a player uses 75% of the time allotted, then they need to be considered at least 75% likely to win from the game position at the end of the round.

Seedings and Pairings For Round 2 and all subsequent rounds, all winners plus any player with a bye advance above all defeated players. For example, say a round has the following matches: player 1 vs. player 2, player 3 vs. player 4, player 5 vs. player 6, and player 7 vs. player 8. Player 9 has a bye. Player 1 defeats player 2, player 4 defeats player 3, player 6 defeats player 5, and player 7 defeats player 8. In the next round, players would be ranked in the following order: 1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 2, 3, 5, 8; player 1 would face player 4, player 6 would contest player 7, and so on.

For Round 2 and all subsequent rounds, new players enter at the bottom of the ladder. Players who are unavailable to play a round may skip that round and drop to the bottom of the ladder when they rejoin.

Ladder Champion. At the end of each round, the highest rated player is the Ladder Champion. However, no champion will be designated until there is only one remaining undefeated player from among the players who entered the Ladder Tournament in Round 1. The Ladder Champion is expected to defend his or her title in the next round.

Scenario. The default scenario will be 6F, Scenario 5, the 3-day Battle of Gettysburg, using all optional rules except 10D, Extra Union Generals. However, players are free to use any other scenario and/or add or omit any optional rules as long as both players agree to the changes.

In addition starting in Round 6, the Revised Order of Appearance will be used as the default format. Players may use the standard appearance if they mutually agree.

Sides. The lower seeded player tells the higher seeded player which side he prefers. If the higher seeded player prefers the opposite side, play proceeds. If both players want the same side, the higher seeded player bids for the preferred side. Bids may begin at zero, and may be made in whole- or half-Victory Point increments. The second player may either accept the VP-incentive to play the non-preferred side, or bid a higher VP amount for the preferred side. The option passes back and forth in this fashion until one player accepts the non-preferred side and the VP-incentive. The incentive is added to the Victory Point score of the player receiving the bid at the end of each day.

Victory Conditions. Regular victory conditions apply. In addition, the Union gains an automatic victory if at the end of July 2 their Victory Point total is 15 or more greater than that of the Confederates.

Also, any units voluntarily withdrawn from the board are considered eliminated and score the appropriate number of Victory Points for the opponent. Units retreated off the board, including retreats to avoid elimination or step losses, are not considered eliminated. Such retreated units score no points for the opponent if undamaged and one point each for the opponent if flipped. General units retreated off the board or voluntarily withdrawn may reenter the game during the next night turn per the rules as written; any other units retreated off the board or voluntarily withdrawn may not reenter the game.

PBEM Sequence. The following sequence is recommended:
1. The appropriate player makes their move and sends it to the opponent.
2. The opponent reviews the move and either approves it or notes errors.
3. The move is then corrected as desired and again sent to the opponent for approval.
4. Once the move is approved, then attacks may be rolled by either the attacker or the defender using the following sequence to resolve combat.
a. The attacker declares all attacks: attacking unit(s), defending unit(s), and die roll modifiers (odds)
b. Defender indicates use of double range artillery (if applicable).
c. Roll die for first attack.
d. Player who has the initiative chit indicates if it will be used (if applicable).
e. Reroll die (if applicable).
f. Defender indicates retreats (if applicable).
g. Attacker indicates advance (if applicable).
h. Attacker indicates retreats (if applicable).
i. Repeat steps 2-8 for each additional attack.
j. Once the defender has accepted the move and dice have been rolled, the move and stated attack odds stand even if an error is subsequently discovered.

The attacker may omit step b if there is no double range artillery available to the defender or if each double range artillery can aid in only one battle.

The attacker may roll multiple attacks simultaneously, at his option. If he does so, however, the following conditions apply:
1) If he has the initiative chit, he may use it only on the last battle, unless he states in advance that it will automatically be used if a specified condition occurs. In this case, all battles taking place after the initiative was used must be rerolled;
2) If the defender has the initiative chit, he may use it on any of the battles, after observing the results;
3) The defender may indicate use of double range artillery after observing the battle results rather than before; and
4) The attacker must specify advances and retreats for each battle in advance.
5) If the player making the move rolls attack dice without allowing the opponent to review the move, then if an error is found it must be corrected and the attack(s) rerolled at the defender’s option.

Die Rolling. Players may use any mutually agreeable method of rolling dice. Most players use dice servers. You will need one that can handle 10-sided dice. Examples are, and

Delayed Die Rolls: Die rolls are occasionally delayed beyond what is normally expected. If so, check to see if your opponent has received them. If not, the following procedure may be used.

The die rolling player may declare the first set dead and do a reroll clearly labeling it as such. The reroll must be sent prior to either player receiving the first set of die rolls. At that point only the reroll set is counted no matter what order the two requested die rolls sets arrive.

Alternately the die rolling player may declare a reroll but specify that whichever set arrives first is to be used. Since players may not receive the same set first, a careful examination of the time that the die roll server sent the die rolls may be needed to determine first arrival.

Ties. If any game ends in a tie, the Union player will advance to the next round as the winner and the Confederate player will advance to the next round as the defeated player. The game will be reported to AREA as a tie.

PBEM Errors. Having noted the official protocol above, remember that the main point of our games is to have fun and improve our skill -- not to win on technicalities. Please give your opponent every benefit of the doubt and extend every courtesy you yourself would appreciate. It is expected that good sportsmanship will be used.

Here are some examples of common mistakes. If an error is non-substantive, allow the error to be corrected. If a unit is moved illegally and it does not affect combat, allow the unit to be moved correctly. If the attacker rolls too many dice, use the correct number and discard the rest. If the attacker rolls too few dice, use the ones already rolled and roll the balance.

Gaming Software. VASSAL software is the default method of play. Players may use any other mutually agreeable method including text.

Results. The results of all games will be submitted to the AREA rating system.

Gettysburg ‘88 Ladder Tournament Administrative Personnel
Gamemaster: Ed Menzel
Assistant Gamemaster: Vince Meconi
Webmaster: Marc Menzel