Boardgame Players Association

Gettysburg ‘88

PBEM Championship V Format

Updated December 11, 2020. Tournament Home

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

Requirement: Entrants must be members of the Boardgame Players Association when the tournament begins.

Format: The format will be double elimination.

Timing: The tournament will begin on or around January 4, 2021. Players have 3 months to complete each round. The Union has a maximum of 15 turns and the Confederates 14 if a game goes all the way to the end (see Scenario, below). 29 moves in 90 days works out to about a move every 3 days (again, assuming the game goes all the way to the last turn). If a game has not been completed within the time limit, and the players cannot agree on the likely winner, the Gamemaster will adjudicate the game.

Pairings: For BPA PBEM Championship V, the winner of BPA PBEM Championship IV, should he enter, will receive the #1 seed as the defending champion. All other players will be ranked in order of AREA ratings. No distinction will be made between active and inactive ratings. Any player without an AREA rating will be assigned a rating of 5000. If players have identical AREA ratings, they will be ranked in the order in which they entered the tournament. If 16 players enter, players will initially be paired by summing the rankings to 17 (i.e., player 1 will oppose player 16, player 2 will oppose player 15, and so on). If 17 to 32 players enter, players will be paired by summing the rankings to 33 (1 vs. 32, 2 vs. 31, etc.) If 33 to 64 players enter, players will be paired by summing the rankings to 65. Players winning their games will continue in the main bracket until there is only one undefeated player. Players losing their games will be placed in the secondary bracket, and will be eliminated upon their 2nd loss, until there is only one player remaining in the secondary bracket. At that point, the one remaining player in the secondary bracket will be matched against the remaining undefeated player in the primary bracket, until one of those 2 players suffers a 2nd loss.

Scenario: The default scenario will be the July 1-2 scenario, which begins on July 1 and ends at the end of July 2. All optional rules in the published game will be used except 10D, Extra Union Generals. The default order of appearance is the Revised Order of Appearance. In the Revised Order of Appearance, Confederate units that normally enter the game on turns 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 instead enter the game on turns 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, respectively. Union units that normally enter the game on turns 1, 2, and 3 instead enter the game on turns 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Players are free to use any other scenario and/or add or omit any optional rules and/or use the classic Order of Appearance, as long as both players agree to the changes. Regardless of any change in the scenario or other rules, however, the 3-month time limit per game remains the same.

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 for July 1. At the end of July 2, the Confederate player wins if s/he has 15 Victory Points or more than the Union player. The Union player wins otherwise.

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 turns 8 or 16 per the rules as written; any other units retreated off the board or voluntarily withdrawn may not reenter the game.

PBEM Combat Sequence: The following sequence must be used to resolve combat.
1. The attacker declares all attacks: attacking unit(s), defending unit(s), and die roll modifiers (odds). The defender should review the move for legality.
2. Defender indicates use of double range artillery (if applicable).
3. Roll dice for first attack.
4. Player who has the initiative chit indicates if it will be used (if applicable).
5. Reroll dice (if applicable).
6. Defender indicates retreats (if applicable).
7. Attacker indicates advance (if applicable).
8. Attacker indicates retreats (if applicable).
9. Repeat steps 2-8 for each additional attack.

The attacker may omit step 2 if there is no double range artillery available to the defender or if each double range artillery unit can aid in only one battle.

The attacker may roll multiple attacks simultaneously, at his or her option. If s/he does so, however, the following conditions apply.
1) If the attacker has the initiative chit, s/he may use it only on the last battle, unless s/he states in advance that it will automatically be used if s/he suffers a 2-step loss. In this case, all battles taking place after the initiative was used must be rerolled;
2) If the defender has the initiative chit, s/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 defender may defer announcing retreats for the 2nd and subsequent battles until s/he has seen the attacker’s advances in previous battles.

Software: Use of software is encouraged but not required. Vassal has a very nice Gettysburg ’88 module. There is no Cyberboard module.

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 include ACTS (, Brickmill Games (, Cyrnus (, and Hamete ( Do not use the server as it is no longer considered reliable. Players need not use the same dice server as long as both players agree.

PBEM Errors: 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 first correct number of dice and discard the rest. If the attacker rolls too few dice, use the ones already rolled and reroll the balance.

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

BPA PBEM Championship V Administrative Personnel
Gamemaster: Vince Meconi
Assistant Gamemaster/Webmaster: Ed Menzel