BPA Through the Ages Tournament 2022

This is the home page for the 2022 Boardgame Players Association “Play By Email”  tournament for Through the Ages. 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 2022, 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

AGMs: Randy Buehler and Galen Loram

Tournament Format

This tournament will be played on the TTA app by Czech Games that launched in 2017 for iOS, Android, and Steam. You must own the app AND the New Leaders and Wonders expansion in order to participate in the tournament.
This tournament using the TTA app Tournament feature, which will automatically create games, balance seat order in the final round (and possibly also in the semifinals), record finished games, and automatically calculate standings.
Games will be 4-player, use “Random Mix” for the card set, “Rules: Digital”, and “Default Async” timing (which means you have 24 hours to make a move once it is your turn, plus a time extension bank that refills whenever a new age begins … if you run out of time you will be dropped from the game and replaced by a bot).

Stages: There will be 3 stages in the tournament: heats, semifinals, and finals. In each stage, all players will play in 4 simultaneous asynchronous games.
Advancement: Advancement will depend on number of participants.
  • 26-31 participants: Top 13 in heat standings will advance to the semifinals where each semifinalist will play all others once. Top 5 in semifinal standings will advance to the finals where each finalist will play the others three times each.
  • 32-47 participants: Top 16 in heat standings will advance to the semifinals where each semifinalist will play all others once, except those in their quartile (i.e. top 4 in heat standings will not play each other). Top 7 in semifinal standings will advance to the finals where each finalist will play the others twice each.
  • 48+ participants: Top 20 in heat standings will advance to the semifinals where each semifinalist will play 12 different opponents; seeds 1-4 will not play each other, seeds 5-8 will face exactly one top 8 player in each game, and seeds 9-20 will face either one or two top 8 players in each game. Top 7 in semifinal standings will advance to the finals where each finalist will play the others twice each.
Standings: Each stage will have its own standings. You will be awarded 10 points for winning a game, 6 for finishing 2nd, 3 for 3rd, and 1 for 4th. Points for tied positions in games will be divided evenly among the tied players.
Standings Tiebreakers:
  1. Points in the semifinals (if applicable)
  2. Points in the heats (if applicable)
  3. Average % of winner’s score in current stage
  4. Head to head record in current stages, then in previous stage(s)
  5. Average points of opponents played in current stage (strength of schedule)
  6. Later average seat order in current stage, then in previous stage(s)
  7. Random

Resignation: Players may resign as their political action prior to age IV, by clicking on ‘Game Menu’, ‘Forfeit the Game’, and ‘More about resigning”. A player who resigns will place last among the players currently in a game, and will still earn tournament points

Bot Alert: When a player runs out of time or abandons a game, the app replaces that player with a bot. This is generally unpleasant for all parties involved, so please resign on your political action if you will not be finishing the game. You will not receive any points for games in which you were replaced by a bot, while the remaining players will receive points according to their finish rank including the bot.
If a player is replaced by a bot in age I and in the first two weeks of a stage, then the game is to be restarted as a 3-player game unless all players agree to continue playing with the bot. If a player is replaced by a bot at any other point, then the game may be restarted as a 3-player game if all players agree and the GM approves, on the basis that this restart will not prolong the stage.

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.

Sportsmanship: Please be respectful to your opponents. Each player is entitled to make their own decisions in the game. However, it is not permitted to discuss pacts before offering them, to reveal any hidden information, or to intentionally help another player without any personal benefit in game. If you have any concerns, please contact the GM team.


Registration Opens: May 30, 2022

Registration Closes: July 22, 2022

Heat Stage Starts: August 1, 2022

Semifinals Start: September/October 2022
Finals Start: November/December 2022

Tournament Results

28 players played a total of 46 games (all 4-player) in this year’s tournament. We used the CGE tournament interface again with the same format as last year, although we cut to different numbers for the semifinals and finals.

Heats: Nathan Heiss set this year’s high score with 339. Four games were decided by 1 culture or less: a tie between Nathan and Aran Warszawski, a win by Andrew Norgren over Luke Heinz, and two wins by Kevin Wojtaszczyk over Mike Assante and Aran. Andrew Norgren topped the field with three wins and a second, while Galen Loram and Allan Jiang also managed 3 wins each. There was a 3-way tie at 22 points for the final qualifying spot, which Nathan Heiss took in a tiebreak over Joel Lytle and Antero Kuusi.

Semifinals: 13 players played one game in each seat, and faced everyone else exactly once. Mike Assante had the most lopsided win of the tournament (291-158). That was one of four blowouts in this round, with Galen, Aran, and AJ also winning a game by 80+ culture. All four of those big winners made it to the finals, with Randy Buehler joining them. There was once again a tie for the final spot, this time at 20 points; Galen advanced due to his better record in the heats, over Kevin Wojtaszczyk who took 6th place.

Finals: The stage is now set for the finals. Galen has won both of his first two BPA TTA events, and is looking to make it a threepeat in the online tournament. Randy and AJ are looking to add to their hardware as the two top laurelists in BPA TTA history. Aran is a frequent finalist looking to break through, while Mike recently made it to the top division of the TTA Meeple League and is in his first TTA finals. All finalists play once in each seat, and face everyone else three times.

Game 1 – Galen has a tough start in first seat, losing a worker to Barbarians and territory to Uncertain Borders. But in the middle of age II, he wins the Vast Territory I with a single unit and switches his military to Cannons with Fortifications, quickly turning a bad position into an utterly dominating one. Galen does on to win with the highest score and margin of the finals, 239-168. Meanwhile, AJ went for a military all-in, and successfully attacked Randy and Aran to take 2nd place.
Game 2 – A close one until early age III, when AJ in first seat plays Napoleonic Army backed by his Great Wall, Annexes Mike’s Vast Territory II, and hits 60 strength in an early War over Culture against Galen. Aran makes a later military push for 2nd.
Game 3 – Aran’s in first seat, but falls behind in military in age II. Randy gets a strong Barbarossa supported by Irrigation and St. Peter’s Basilica. Mike gets plenty of territory with Uncertain Borders, Vast Territory I, and adds Ocean Liner. Randy plays Mobile Artillery as his tactic, and then switches to culture production with Chaplin and theatres. Mike builds two age III wonders, but can’t quite catch Randy, who wins from fourth seat!
Game 4 – Randy and Mike get a huge boost in early age III by “winning” Cold War and making an International Tourism pact. Randy in first seat plays a strong economy game eventually leading to 2 operas, computers with Sid Meier, and a massive 36-point Empire State Building. But all hell breaks loose as AJ launches a dicey last-chance War over Culture on Mike in a desperate attempt to close the gap with them. This prompts Mike to also go all-in on his turn, seeding Impact of Strength (!!!) as the weakest player and knowing Politics of Strength (!) was in the deck. He catches the break he needed, hitting Arms Race to win the war and the game, with Randy taking 2nd place. If Politics had flipped instead, then the top 3 end in reverse order.
Game 5 – It all comes down to this game, with all four contestants otherwise having 16-19 points. Mike has the first seat advantage, and takes a big lead finding Vast Territory I with Columbus and then winning Uncertain Borders. Randy also gains territory (3 tokens) by the end of age II, but his lack of civil actions cost him dearly in the endgame. On the flipside, Galen is down 3 territory by the end of age II, yet manages to hang on with a good economy. AJ gets into a population crunch, even disbanding a Scientific Method in age II, but fights back into contention by pushing military in age III and successfully attacking all other players. 
In the end, it all came down to the impacts with Mike, AJ, and Galen in that order but all in contention. A total of 9 impacts were scored, including one by Galen’s United Nations, with all three of them scoring a total of 131 or 132 culture. Mike wins 238-236!! Congratulations Mike!!!

1. Mike Assante
2. Allan Jiang
3. Randy Buehler
4. Galen Loram
5. Aran Warszawski
6. Kevin Wojtaszczyk

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