BPA Brass Online Tournament 2020

This is the home page for a Boardgame Players Association “Play By Email” tournament for Brass. It is open only to members of the Boardgame Players Association (BPA). If you attend the World Boardgaming Championship (WBC), and are up to date on your registration fees for 2020, then you are already a member. If not, you can purchase an “Associate Membership” (PBEM only) for $10 from this website: www.boardgamers.org. This tournament will award laurels and contribute to the annual Caesar award, all of which is tracked through that same website.

GM: Allan Jiang

AGM: Rob Murray


Please note that the format is different from the WBC tournament. All games in this tournament will have 4 players, and players will be randomly be assigned a starting position in each game.

We will use the implementation of the original Brass: Lancashire game at brass.orderofthehammer.com. Rules for this version of the game are available here. This implementation does not include the minor changes made in the more recent Roxley version.

For new users to OrderOfTheHammer, please note that accounts will have to be manually activated by the webmaster here. Please sign up below once you have created an account, even if it hasn’t been activated yet.

Ties: We will use the in-game tiebreakers for finish positions. The 1st tiebreaker is income space, the 2nd tiebreaker is cash on hand, and the 3rd tiebreaker is hypothetical turn order in rail turn 9.

Standings: In each stage, you will be awarded 10 points for winning a game, 6 for finishing 2nd, 3 for 3rd, and 1 for 4th. Any ties in the standings will be broken by average % of winner’s score. Standings will not carry over between stages, although semifinal games will be seeded based on heat standings.

Heat Stage: You will play in 4 simultaneous asynchronous games, all against different participants as determined by a roll of the dice. If we have at least 32 participants, then the top 16 in the heat standings will advance to the semifinals. If we have less than 32 participants, the top half (rounded down) in the heat standings will advance to the semifinals.

Semifinal Stage: All qualifiers will play in 4 simultaneous asynch games. The first priority for these assignments would be to minimize the number of repeat matchups, and the second priority would be to minimize the number of matchups between the top 4 players in the heat standings. The top 7 in the semifinal standings will advance to the finals.

Final Stage: The 7 qualifiers will play in 4 simultaneous asynch games. Each of the other finalists will be in 2 of them. The top 6 finishers will be awarded BPA laurels.

Pace of Play: You are expected to check your games and take your turns (at least) once per day. It’s OK to have an occasional break of a couple of days, but we expect most games to finish in less than two months. Games that haven’t finished in 8 weeks are likely to be adjudicated, and the adjudication will include demoting slow players to lower finish positions.


Registration Opened: January 3, 2020

Registration Closed: February 23, 2020

Heat Stage Started: April 3, 2020

Semifinals Started: May 14, 2020
Finals Started: June 9, 2020


Tournament Report

28 BPA members entered the second Brass PBEM tournament. 49 games of Brass: Lancashire were played over three rounds, and in every round each participant played four games. The tournament cut to 14 players in the semifinals and 7 players in the finals, and followed the same format as last year’s tournament.

In the heats, Eric Freeman achieved the tournament’s high score of 185, in a game where he scored all four of his iron works, a port and a shipyard in the canal era. Jason Pytka achieved the largest margin of victory with a 42-point win. Two games were decided by a tiebreaker, with John Emery and Paul Sampson both prevailing over Jack Jung by virtue of higher final income. Defending champion Rob Murray had the best record with three wins and a second, and the other seeds went to Jay Spencer, DJ Borton, and Rob Kircher. There was a four-way tie for the last two spots in the semifinals, and past WBC champions Philip Shea and Bruce Hodgins both barely missed the cut according to the standings tiebreaker, average % of winner’s score.

The semifinals were competitive, with all players achieving at least one second place finish. Ben Scholl won one of his games by 42 points, matching the tournament’s largest margin of victory. Another game was decided by a tiebreaker, with DJ Borton prevailing over Andrew Emerick. Ben Scholl led the pack this round with three wins and a second, and was joined in the finals by DJ Borton, Allan Jiang, Rob Murray, Jason Pytka, Jay Spencer, and Jay Matthews.

The finals were the fastest stage, taking just 16 days to complete. In three games, two players used a cotton strategy, one player used a port strategy, and one player used neither. In another three games, two players went cotton and two players went ports. And in one game, three players chose cotton while one player chose ports, which unsurprisingly resulted in the port player winning. Overall, there was a good balance as cotton strategies won four games and port strategies won three games.

In a repeat from last year, there were three double-winners in the finals. And in a repeat from last year, Rob Murray’s other finishes were the best, with a second and a third in addition to his two wins to defend his championship. Interestingly, Rob’s winning path saw him go for cotton in all of his games.

Final Standings:
1. Rob Murray
2. Allan Jiang
3. DJ Borton
4. Jason Pytka
5. Ben Scholl
6. Jay Matthews

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