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Play by E-Mail Tournament


The PBEM tournament for Avalon Hill's 1776 is completed!

An official BPA PBEM tournament for 1776 is underway. This is an AREA-rated, single elimination tournament beginning April 16th, 2002 and lasting 18 months.  The tournament features new scenarios and leader units found in The Boardgamer's Unofficial Guide to 1776.  

The main requirements are:
1.  Membership of at least Associate level ($10) in the BPA
2.  At least 16 players
3.  The rules and units found in the Boardgamer's Unofficial Guide to 1776 in addition to the 2nd edition of 1776.
      If you have 1st Edition Rules, click here for the 2nd Edition upgrade kit.
4.  Access to the internet for updates, clarifications, and tournament notices on this web page.

The GM is Matt Burkins with Jim Lawler as the assistant GM.  

Round 1 - Tory and Indian Scenario, 10 turns, beginning Apr 16, 2002 and running 20 weeks

Status Report for Round 1

Round 2 - Montcalm and Wolfe, 1759, 7 turns, beginning Sep 9, 2002 and running 14 weeks

Status Report for Round 2

Round 3 and Semi-Finals  - British Receding, 9 turns, beginning Jan 6, 2003 and running 18 weeks

Status Report for Round 3

Final - First 9 Months of the Campaign Game, 9 turns, beginning May 12, 2003 and running 18 weeks

Jan Orband has won the championship game against Doug Pratto.


Mechanics of the Tournament

The two fundamental principles for the tournament are:
1.  Have fun
2.  Keep the GM informed by e-mail about any rule changes, agreements, and delays in your game (both voluntary and involuntary), along with a carbon copy to your opponent.  Everybody will be less cranky if they are kept informed.


 A.  General Rules

The following apply: all Advanced Game rules; bateau and forced march rules from the Advanced Game Optional Rules; Variable Transport Capacities from pg 22.

From the Boardgamer's Unofficial Guide to 1776 (called the Guide from here on), the following apply: clarifications on pgs 25-30, leader rules on pgs 12-16 (using the standard way of figuring leader casualties, not the alternate method); partisan leader rules pgs 17-18; the Indians as Partisans rule on pg 19; and the elite unit rules from page 20 and the top left column of pg 21.

For the final (Campaign Game), all optional rules except inverted and decoy counters will be used.

Each scenario may have special rules and errata, which will be listed below under the specific scenario.


 B.  General Errata, Clarifications, and House Rules

1.  The Guide, pg 17, partisan leaders can lead a maximum of three total strength points, of which no more than two may be dragoons.
2.  Red and blue elite units moving without a leader have their movement costs doubled.  Orange and green elite units moving without a leader have normal movement costs.
3.  Delete Basic Game Rule VI.E. on page 6 of the 2nd Edition rules.  There is no movement point cost to place units on the board.
4.   For all Southern colonies, class 2 rivers can only be crossed at a ford during the Winter months of January, February, or March.
5.   Burgoyne is a two star General.  The original Leader Counter Sheet showed him as a one star General.


 C.  Dice Rolling

If two players cannot agree on a dice rolling method, the shadow island games dice roller is to be used.  The order of the rolls, whether for forced march or combat, should be unambiguous.  If too many die rolls were called, apply them in the order provided and discard the excess.  If not enough die rolls, apply them in the order specified and send for the rest.  When multiple die roll results are received for the same set of forced marches or combats, use the die rolls the receiver got first.


 D.  Tactical Cards

Three methods are available for handling tactical cards:

1.  Above the fields - An entire PBeM system that includes tactical card play.

2.  Sealed Virtual Envelopes - The virtual envelopes are just entries in a very simple database held on this webserver, accessed by perl scripts written by Peter Furniss. When a new envelope is created, the database stores two pieces of information - both free text - a "label" which identifies the envelope and the "contents". It also stores who created the envelope and when. Initially only the creator of the envelope can see the contents - someone else looking at the list of envelopes will see the label but instead of the contents, there is a checkbox marked "open". Clicking on the box and then on the "make changes" button on the page will redisplay the list of envelopes, but now showing the contents of that envelope. It will also show who opened the envelope and when - this is shown to the owner or anyone else when they look at the envelopes in future.

3.  The honor system - The attacker states that his tactical card choice is listed below, leaves a lot of space at the bottom of his message (like 15 or more carriage returns), and then lists his tactical card choice.  The defending player gets the message, stops at the first space, sends his tactical card choice to the attacker, then pages down to see what the attacker chose.

If two players cannot agree, then the Sealed Virtual Envelopes is the standard.


 E.  Error Handling

Once a player has moved his units, it is too late to correct an error from the previous player segment.  If the odds or modifiers were determined to be calculated incorrectly after the die has been rolled, then odds and modifiers are recalculated and applied to the original roll.  Unless the scenario rules explicitly say otherwise, reinforcements not taken are lost.  At the conclusion of your turn, consider sending your opponent a list of the forces as shown your board.  This can catch errors early and avoid some disputes.  


 F.  Disputes

Players may agree to handle disputes in any mutually agreeable manner.  When resolution is needed, submit disputes to the GM, or to his assistant in the case of a game the GM is playing.  Please explain the issue as clearly as possible and remember to include a carbon copy to the other party of the dispute.  


 G. Bids

In all but the Campaign Game, players may choose sides using any mutually agreeable method; however, bidding strength points (SPs) is the default method when both players can't agree.  Each player submits to the GM the number of SPs to obtain a particular side, i.e. British - 1SP.  If both players bid for different sides, then the sides are awarded without removing the SPs.  If both players bid for the same side, then player with the high bid takes command of those units and removes that number of SPs from anywhere on the board.  There are no restrictions on the type, location, or distribution (all from one hex or one from many hexes) of SPs removed.  An initial bid of zero SPs is permissible.  If the bids are tied, then the GM will inform both players that they have to submit new bids until one player is the high bidder.  A bid may not be used twice.

The final round is the first 9 months of the Campaign Game.  The players will bid for the British side.  Both players will submit a bid to the GM for number of strategic towns the British side will contol to obtain victory.   If the bids are tied, then the GM will inform both players that they have to submit new bids until one player is the high bidder.  A bid may not be used twice.  The player with the high bid then takes command of the British units.  The British player wins by controling the number of strategic towns bid at the end of the September 1776 American turn; the American player wins if the British player controls fewer towns than the bid.  For victory conditions only, Montreal and Quebec both count as strategic towns for a total of 24 possible strategic towns in the game.  

 H.  Scenario Special Rules and Errata

1.  Tory and Indian

a.  Important change to Victory Conditions: The American wins if his VP total exceeds that of the British.  Any other result is a British victory.
b.  American leader C begins at Albany.  Ldr A comes as a reinforcement in the Sep turn.
c.  Special Rule 4 on pg 75 of the Guide:  Delete the sentence "In 1779 they may move on a DR of 6 in May, a DR of 5 or 6 in June or they may move freely in July."
d.  Suggested Optional Rules on pg 75 of the Guide:  All five rules are mandatory, not optional.  Indians may not force march without a leader.
e.  Any reinforcements scheduled to appear in a hex that has been captured or destroyed by the enemy arrives at the nearest friendly town.  The exception to this is the RM that shows up at XX 34 after it has been destroyed.
f.   Butlerís Rangers and Morganís Riflesís are Elite units and do not receive the -1 DRM in combat for militia.
g.  Brandt is an Indian Leader, he only gets his +1 DRM if an Indian unit is present at the start of a combat.  He keeps the +1 DRM for the entire combat phase, even if the Indian unit is a casualty.
h.  You cannot get an artillery unit for dismantling a fort in this scenario.  These forts are actually stockades with little or no artillery.
i.   Forts and Commerce counters can only be destroyed during the Winter turn if enemy forces stay in them throughout the entire Winter turn.
j.  The note on play balance and adding Leader E to the Americans does not apply in this tournament.
k.  In Suggested Optional Rules #1, there is a typo. The word is "may", not "mat".
l.  When bidding for sides, the British player is not allowed to remove any of the neutral Indian counters as part of his bid.

2.  Montcalm and Wolfe - 1759

a.  Important change to Victory Conditions: The British player wins if his VP total exceeds that of the French.  Any other result is a French victory.
b.  The British start and receive reinforcements at the island at AAAA45, not AAAA46.
c.  The French player should add Leader C and a Fort counter to the starting forces at Quebec.
d.  The British player should add leader C to the starting forces at AAAA45.
e.  Fort Edward is hex HHH38.
f.   Replace 1BC at Albany with the Rodger's Rangers elite unit.
g.  Amhearst was a very cautious general; consequently, he can only travel 5MPs in a turn.
h.  The optional rules regarding the Abenahi village of St. Francis are in effect.  Note that the location of the village is RRR40 and not VVV45.
i.  The British cannot attack or besiege Ft. Ticonderoga until Ft. William Henry is built.  If Ft. William Henry is subsequently destroyed, the British can still attack Ft. Ticonderoga.
j.  The movement rate for artillery is 7 MPs for this scenario.


3.  British Receding 1781

a.  Important change to Victory Conditions: The British player wins if he controls at least 13 VPs at the end of the scenario.  Any other result at the end of the scenario is an American victory.  The automatic victory conditions for both sides remain unchanged.
b.  In victory conditions and special rules, "Ft Wilson" should be changed to "Ft Watson".
c.  The British player should place a fort counter at Savannah, Charleston, and 96 at start.
d.  Place British Leader E at 96 at start.

4.  9 Month Campaign Game 1776 - Final

a.  The ports of Quebec, Philadelphia, and Wilmington (Delaware) are considered frozen during Winter months.
b.  The Continental Navy cannot act as a ferry.