BPA Brass Tournament 2019

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 2019, then you are already a member. If not, you can purchase a “Associate Membership” 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

AGMs: Bruce Hodgins and 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. You may 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.
3/5 Update: We have 30 participants confirmed, so the top 15 in the heat standings will advance to the semifinals.

Semifinal Stage: All qualifiers will play in 4 simultaneous asynch games. If we have at least 32 participants, then the 16 qualifiers will be divided into quartiles based on the heat standings. You will play every semifinalist not in your quartile exactly once, according to the game assignments below. The top 7 in the semifinal standings will advance to the finals.

[If we have less than 32 participants, the top half (rounded down) in the heat standings will advance to the semifinals. This is to comply with BPA regulations. In this case, the semifinal game assignments will be adjusted at the start of the tournament. 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 still advance to the finals.]

3/5 Update: The top 15 in the heat standings will advance to the semifinals. Each of the qualifiers will play all the other semifinalists except for 2 with similar records. Each of the top 4 from the heat standings will play no more than 2 of the other top 4 players.

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 2, 2019

Registration Closed: March 5, 2019

Heats Began: March 7, 2019

Semifinals Began: April 14, 2019

Finals Began: May 27, 2019

Signups are now closed

Tournament Report

30 BPA members entered the first Brass PBEM tournament, including 8 of the top 10 laurelists in the event’s history. In total, 52 games of Brass: Lancashire were played over three rounds. In each round, each participant played 4 games and earned 10 points for a win, 6 points for second place, 3 points for third place, and 1 point for fourth place. The top 15 in the heat standings advanced to the semifinals, which were somewhat seeded; each participant played once against all of the other semifinalists except for two with similar records to themselves. The top 7 in the semifinals then advanced to the finals, where they played all of the other finalists twice. The laurelists were determined by the standings in the finals only.

Highlights of the heat stage included a win by tiebreaker by Antero Kuusi over John Corrado, and the largest margin of victory in the tournament: a 53-point win by Andrew Emerick. DJ Borton topped the heat standings with 3 wins and a second, and the other “seeds” went to Nick Henning, Mike Turian, and Andrew Emerick.

In the semifinals, DJ Borton set the high score for the tournament; he flipped 3 advanced ports and 3 advanced iron works in the canal era en route to 190 points. But it was Andrew Emerick who had the most dominant round, winning all four of his games! Rob Murray, DJ Borton, Rob Flowers, Allan Jiang, Jack Jung, and John Corrado also qualified for the finals.

The finals were well played by all contestants. In four games, two players used a cotton strategy, one player used a port strategy, and one player used neither. And in the other three games, two players used a cotton strategy and two players used a port strategy. In the opinion of the GM, these are the two most optimal balances between the strategies, and make for games in which all of the strategies are highly competitive. And indeed, the finals did deliver the closest game from first to last in the tournament. Andrew Emerick, using a cotton strategy scored 149 points, to Rob Murray’s 148 (port), Jack Jung’s 147 (cotton), and DJ Borton’s 142 (port).

In the end, there were three double-winners in the finals. All three happened to use a cotton strategy twice and a port strategy twice. So it was the non-win finishes that determined the order at the top of the final standings. By virtue of two second-place finishes in addition to two wins, Rob Murray took home the championship.

Final Standings:

  1. Rob Murray
  2. Andrew Emerick
  3. Allan Jiang
  4. DJ Borton
  5. John Corrado
  6. Rob Flowers

Thank you to Jack Jung and AGMs Bruce Hodgins and Rob Murray for their help in planning and running  the tournament, Randy Buehler for online templates and inspiration for the tournament format, Rich Shay for providing us with a website, and Philip Eve for the implementation of Brass at brass.orderofthehammer.com.

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