Paths of Glory: Tournament FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (1/25/2017)

Tournament Administration

  1.  What’s the deal with this BPA membership requirement?  This is a Boardgame Players Association-sponsored event and one of that organization’s sponsorship prerequisites is that you be a member of their organization.  Being sponsored by the BPA allows us to leverage their communication platforms, provides a source of prizes, and creates a ‘qualification’ of participants that has proven to be of benefit in the past.
  2. Why can’t I pay the $10 PBEM membershiop via PayPal?  As of 8/18/2016, you may now do so.  (The online membership form is now updated.)
  3. Is this an invitational-only event?  I notice you used a specific mailing list and I want to invite some friends to join.  Come one, come all!  The initial email was to those who were involved in the last tournament and we are inviting other ‘groups’ of POG players as we hear about them.
  4. I’d like to be paired with someone with a similar POG experience level, is that possible?  The first round draw will be entirely random, we are not going to try to assess comparative skills.  For the second and later rounds, we are going to try to randomly pair players but will do so among players with similar win-loss records.
  5. Why should prior champions get byes, i.e., an easier route to the finals?  Because we want to recognise their prior achievement!  Note that a player will only get a maximum of one bye in the tournament and we anticipate a maximum of one bye per tournament round.

Playing Aides

  1. I don’t use Vassal, is that a problem?  Not at all.  There is absolutely no requirement to swap game files between opponents .  How you manage your board, be it Vassal, Cyberboard, or physical map, is entirely up to you.  (Needless to say, for the sake of the industry that supports this hobby, we believe anybody playing a game PBEM should also own a physical copy of it.)
  2. What tips do you have for using Vassal and playing POG?  We have a bunch but, at a summary level, it’s really the ACTS journal that is the authoritative record of the tournament match.  Players can agree to any procedure or guidance but we will post some suggestions separately.
  3. I’m rusty, what can I do to prepare?  Play more PoG!!  Have a look at the Consimworld PoG Board (http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?13@@.ee6d1fd/22658) and if there is no-one there looking for a bounce game, post a game request yourself.  For a swifter refresher, you could also try playing a game in real time using www.wargameroom.com.
  4. I’m very rusty on the game itself, what can I do to prepare?  Eric Brosius’s Paths_of_Glory_Teaching_Guide is a great resource for learning the game.  In a brief eight pages, it categorizes and summarizes the rules allowing you to get your cards and cardboard moving promptly!  (8/26/2016)
  5. I use Cyberboard – any good POG gameboxes out there?  Sure – here’s one that Darren tweaked.  Note:  It’s a 12MB zip file, it might take a minute to download.  (8/29/2016)
  6. I have never played PBEM before – help!  Here is an overview of what you need to do:
    • Download and install the latest version of VASSAL.   Vassal is a tool that allows the playing of any number of games on the computer.  Note that this tool works on both the PC and MAC platform.
    • Download and install the latest POG module.  Each game to be played on VASSAL has its own module.
    • Practice opening a game on VASSAL, moving pieces, and saving and loading games.
    • Start a game against yourself on ACTS – practice drawing and playing cards, rolling dice, and sending messages.
    • Have fun!  (9/16/2016)

ACTS POG Etiquette

  1. If ACTS gives duplicate die rolls for the same request, count the first message as it appears in the ACTS log.  (Double-clicking when originally submitting a die roll request will sometimes result in multiple die roll results.)
  2. Keep all game related orders/responses etc in the log.  If it isn’t in the log, it didn’t happen and the GMs have minimal desire to be reviewing copies of e-mails.
  3. When moving through an enemy controlled space, name that space to ensure control can easily be determined via a review of the ACTS journal.  Example:  “Brussels BR1 to Aachen via Liege”.
  4. To simplify finding things in the log, please be consistent with all abbreviations and place names.  Examples in common usage:
    • “BR1”, “BR 1”, “BR1A”,  (i.e. always a space, or never use a space)
    • “BR(1)”, “(BR1)”, “(MEF)” for flipped unit (put brackets round the number, or around the entire unit identifier.
  5. Always note remaining number of corps in the Reserve Box whenever it changes.  For example:  “GEc RB(5,0)” or “BR1 replaced by (c)<3,1>”.  The first number represents the remaining full strength corps and the second number is the number of flipped corps in the RB.
  6. When taking replacements, indicate when you’re not taking them and it’s usually prudent to clearly declare that that side is full strength if that’s the case.  (This may lead to a reconciliation of the map position which is a good thing!)
  7. For sequence of play, generally best if AP resolves attrition, sieges, discards CCs and takes RPs after his sixth action.  CP then discards CCs, takes RPs, checks that all attrition and sieges have been done, ends turn and rolls MOs prior to his first action.  Even if the AP thinks all actions are complete, it’s safest to let the CP consistently end the turn.
  8. If excess dice are rolled, then the extra ones are ignored.  If not enough dice are rolled, then those that were generated are used, with further dice being rolled as needed to make up the correct number.
  9. If the attacker rolls for combat, the defender may play CC after seeing the result.
  10. If the moving player makes an illegal move that is pointed out by his opponent, the ENTIRE move must be redone.  The defender can not choose to ‘accept’ part of the illegal move or any die rolls associated with that move.
  11. If a player makes a mistake, or merely wishes to reconsider and redo a move, then he may do so at any time before dice are rolled or his opponent plays a card.  Roll of dice or play of card by opponent indicates that the preceding move is valid.
  12. Most players do not attempt to keep VPs updated on a turn-by-turn basis.  Nonetheless, it is considered good form to conduct them periodically to avoid nasty suprises, especially when you’re into the second half of the game or the board situation is lopsided.  When the CP is down to five VPs on turn ten, they might want to consider conceding.  (8/22/2016)
  13. My opponent makes a legal attack but didn’t realize that a possible resolution, because of the elimination of all the attackers in a space, would leave him susceptible to being put  OOS in my next move.  Should I have given him a “supply warning” BEFORE I resolved his attack, thus allowing him to change his move?  It would be sporting but this is ABSOLUTELY not a situation where a supply warning is warranted.  This could be a game ending lesson, to be sure, but sometimes that’s the best way to learning something.  (9/7/2016)
  14. My opponent makes an illegal move.  Can I say nothing and let it slide?  You could, but this would be considered very unsporting were it ever to become known.  (9/19/2016)
  15. I provide a move with incorrect attacking specifications.  (Not accounting for terrain shifts, for example.)  My opponent rolls the combat as is, without comment.  He subsequently adjust the odds and applies the dice.   Is this the appropriate way to handle this?  No.   The defender rolling indicated his acceptance of the attack, AS SPECIFIED, as legal.  What should happen is that the defender should then point out the odds were wrong; the attacker should then offer to redo his move.  Note:  The attacker can decline to redo and accept the results with the battle being resolved at the corrected odds .  If neither the attacker or defender points out the original specfiication was wrong, play can proceed.  Lesson:  Defenders should NOT blindly roll the combats without reviewing!  There are more complex variations of this kind of error and there should be no hesitation in contacting a GM for another opinion.  It should also be noted that decisions should not be made by either play with foreknowledge of subsequent die rolls. (7/14/2017)

Play Guidelines

  1. The last tournament took forever – what are the game pace expectations?  We hope that each round will take a maximum of three months.   With eight rounds, that equates to two years to completion.  In general, we expect players to average a little more than card a day.  It’s quite OK to take time off but you should alert your opponent and plan to make it up later.  We are going to be very strict about finishing rounds on time and there aren’t many better ways to lose an adjudication than to be a very slow or inattentive participant.
  2. What exactly are “supply warnings”?  Supply warnings are generally intended to allow a player to retract, prevent, or otherwise adjust their move so that their units won’t be put out of supply.  This is very common in email play as nobody likes to lose a game simply because their map wasn’t correct or they didn’t see the threat develop.  Warnings should be posted in the ACTS log and should be specific as to which units are threatened.  Failure to issue a warning precludes a player taking advantage of the OOS situation until the opponent has a chance to remediate it.  Some specific examples of when they should (and shouldn’t) be issued:
    • The AP player makes a move that threatens to put several CP units OOS as a result of a SUBSEQUENT AP move.  The AP player issues the OOS warning to the CP player so that he may respond accordingly.
    • The AP player makes a move and opens up a hole in his line that exposes his own units to being put OOS.  The CP player alerts him before the CP move and the AP player can redo his entire move.
    • A supply warning DOES NOT need to be made if it requires a combat and advance after combat to generate the OOS situation.
    • A player may ignore an OOS warning.  His opponent need not remind him of the same threat again and may freely put the threatened units OOS if the player chose to not respond to the threat.
    • A player may not issue an OOS warning on himself with the intent to redo a prior turn. Example:  The AP moves and creates an OOS threat on his own units and neither player notices it.  The CP player moves but does not put the AP units OOS.  The AP player, in this situation, may not use the excuse of a ‘missed supply warning’ to redo his original move.
    • After a combat, an attacker SHOULD issue a supply warning if a defender retreats in a manner that a  combat advance will put defending units OOS.  The defender can freely adjust his retreat at this time.
  3. What is the ‘etiquette’ around ‘forgotten’ actions?  There is no hard rule here but this GM always favors sportsmanship.  This includes:
    • If a player forgets to make a trench roll attempt that he’d documented in the log, the gentlemen POG opponent will make that roll before doing his move.  NOTE:  If it’s not declared in the log, the gentlemen says and does nothing as there are many situations where such a trench is not desired.
    • If a player forgets to take an available replacement, the gentlemen POG opponent will make that observation and allow his foe to take that replacement at that time before proceeding.
    • If players neglect to resolve siege rolls, it should be pointed out and an appropriate roll made at that point.  Note:  If the rolls were missed for multiple turns, only ONE roll per siege need be done to satisfy honor and sportsmanship.
    • If a player needlessly includes unnecessary corps in an attack because he is not specific about which units are attacking, the gracious opponent does nothing.  Note:  It is NOT proper for the attacking player to ask to exclude unnecessary units AFTER seeing the combat rolls.  An easy lesson to encourage the practice of being specific when declaring attacks.
  4. How are errors to be resolved?  Players should attempt to resolve issues between themselves before asking for moderator intervention.  Moderator rulings can be appealed to the other two GMs.  Once the GMs have ruled no further appeal is possible.  Some standard PBEM guidelines include:
    • The attacker can resolve trench rolls and flank attempts.  If the move is determined to be illegal by the defender and requires attacker correction, these pre-combat rolls must be rerolled.
    • The defender should resolve combats.  Doing so acknowledges the attacker’s move and combat designations as being ‘legal’.  Experienced players may choose to roll their own dice but do so at their own risk.
    • A player may not change his move once dice are thrown, whether it be combat or even a trench roll.  Until that point, however he may change his move or even the card he played.
    • If adjustments need to be made to card status or availability in the ACTS card deck, please contact the game moderator.
    • If the attacker resolves his own attack, and the move and combat is otherwise legal, the defender has the right to apply a combat card AFTER seeing the combat results.
    • If the attack rolls, and ANY move or combat is illegal, the defender has the right to accept the entire move and combat results “as is”. 
    • Note that these guidelines are not meant to be all-inclusive; common sense and sporting decency should also be brought into play.
  5. Are we using the expansion cards?
    The GMT expansion cards were provided as part of the Paths of Glory Players Guide. They are not mandated for this tournament but ACTS does support them.  If both players wish to use these cards, they should notify their match moderator prior to bidding for sides.  NOTE:  Details on a specific substitution variant that saw some playtesting at the 2017 WBC are here.
  6. Are we free to review & copy moves from other game logs?  What about getting advice from kibitzers?
    It is absolutely all right to review and apply learnings from other ACTS logs to your own game.  Soliciting detailed and specific advice from others regarding your specific game situation is tacky and might draw some negative GM attention.  Don’t do it.  Not a problem if done after the move is made. (9/7/2016)
  7. What should I do if I’m reviewing a tourney log and see that they are not applying or misapplying a POG rule?
    You should not interfere with the match, it’s not your job to be the boss of them.  If something egregious is going on, i.e., an experienced player taking advantage of someone new or a player persuading the other to accept an incorrect interpretation of the rules, contact the game moderator and let him look into it.  I’ve seen this before and it’s just as likely the kibitzer is wrong on his understanding of the rules.  (9/10/2016)
  8. My opponents and I have a question, what’s the best way to get the moderator’s attention?  It is recommended that you drop your moderator a direct e-mail AND post the question in the log.  The moderator’s will not normally review your logs with any frequency nor do they get all your ACTS log messages. If you do not hear back from your moderator within 24 hours, forward the message, cc’ing your opponent and the moderator, to the other GMs.  Because the round lengths are fixed, we want to make sure we don’t lose time needlessly.  (9/15/2016)
  9. My opponent seems to be taking longer and longer to do each move.  What should I do?  This is a common problem, especially prevalent when the fortunes of war turn against someone.  The first thing is to send a direct e-mail to your opponent to make sure he knows it’s his turn.  Secondly, be aware that the GMs are using the ACTS log to monitor game pace.  If you ‘nudge’ someone in ACTS, please be aware that the elapsed time prior to your nudging gets credited to YOU so it’s highly advised you nudge directly or do so when it’s your turn.  If you anticipate being unavailable for an extended period of time, be courteous and alert your opponent but be aware that such time counts against you when it comes to adjudications based on time.  Finally, if this is repeated problem, alert your moderator so that he can step in.  (1/23/17)

Rules Q&A

  1.  WBC Historical Scenario Rule 6 states:  “Only Austrian and Italian armies may operate in Italy (move, attack, or advance into any space in Italy) and no German armies may end their movement (OPS or SR) in Trent, Villach or Trieste until the start of a turn at which THE AP is at Total War.”   During limited war, with Italian units in Trent, which of the following is legal
    (1) Can a German army in Innsbruck attack Italian units in Trent?   Yes, the rule does not preclude this.
    (2) Can a German army in Innsbruck advance after combat into Trent?  Yes, the rule does not preclude this.  If a GE army ends up in Trent (or similar border space), it may activate and move away but may not enter Italy.  That army may NOT activate for movement to trench, as that would end its movement in a prohibited space.  Essentially, if a GE army is in Trent it can either move away or not move until the TW restriction is lifted.
    (3) Can a British/French army SR from France to Austria (e.g. Trent) through Italy?  No, the rule uses the term “operate” which includes SRing, regardless of where the BR/FR armies end up.  (10/4/2016)
  2. There seem to be some contradictions between some POG Q&A posted on the GMT site and rules in the current rule book as well as GM rulings.  Which take precedence?  The POG Q&A posted on the GMT site is outdated.  Current GM rulings and the current published version of the rules will always take precedence.  (10/5/2016)
  3. Supply rule 14.1.2 has a clause that “A supply line must be traced across either solid or dashed lines across which the tracing unit could move”.  This creates all sorts of interpretation problems.  The GMs acknowledge this.  A more substantial ruling will be made but, in the interim:  RU units may always use “RU only” connections for supply and, unless otherwise specified in the list of NE-capable units, units may not use Constantinople as a supply source. (12/21/2016)

Game Rule Updates:

The following rules updates are in effect for Round 2 of the PBEM tournament.  

Trench Attrition:  A literal reading of trench attrition would not have an L2 attrited trench switching sides.  The revised wording is in alignment with prior intent as documented in the GMT FAQ.  (1/25/2017)

11.2.7:  Attrition and Trenches: If a space with a Level 1 Trench suffers attrition, the Trench marker is removed. If a space with a friendly Level 2 Trench marker suffers attrition, it is replaced with an enemy Level 1 Trench marker.  Exception: Level 1 and Level 2 Trench markers in an intact fort space do not suffer attrition.

Strategic Redeployment:  SRing from the RB seemingly precludes a corps going to a fully stacked space.  This contradicts common practice and 10.1.2 which specifically says you may voluntarily overstack during SR as long as stacking limits are met at the end of SR.  (1/25/2017)

13.1.8:   SR and the Reserve Box: Units may SR out of the Reserve Box into any space containing a supplied unit of the same nationality within the stacking limit.

Supply tracking:  A literal reading of the rules would preclude AH and GE armies from drawing supply to Constantinople as well RU units in the NE being able to trace supply to the “To Caucasus” supply source.  The revision below will remove these restrictions.  (1/25/2017)

14.1.2 Tracing Supply: To be in supply, units must trace supply through any number of friendly controlled spaces to a supply source. (Exception: A player may not trace supply through or to a space containing a friendly besieged fort.) A supply line must be traced across either solid or dashed lines across which the tracing unit could move. (Exceptions:  RU, RO, and SB units may trace supply over dashed connections to the RU off map boxes and AH and GE armies may trace supply to Constantinople.)

Vassal Module Errata

  1.  The French Army of the Orient counter is missing the ‘black dot’, i.e., it may not take replacements.  (12/21/2016)
  2. The connection between Taranto and Valona shows as a solid line; it should be dashed.
  3. For the historical scenario, several spaces have their text in red letters.  Despite this, they are VP spaces ONLY if the space outline is also “red”.  (Examples:  Jerusalem, Ahwaz)