War At Sea
Ladder Guidelines

(as of January 19, 2003)

These guidelines were originally developed by Bruce Monnin, the initial WaS AREA PBeM Ladder Moderator, and updated by Nick Markevich, the current WaS AREA PBeM Ladder Moderator.

Guidelines for the War At Sea AREA PBeM Ladder

All games will be AREA rated (see http://wolff.to/area/G_WAS.html#_).

Second edition rules will be used. The only change from the first edition is that accelerated US Entry is now used (US ships enter on a 6 on turn 4; a 5-6 on turn 5; a 4-6 on turn 6; a 3-6 on turn 7; and a 2-6 on turn 8).

The ladder will be run as described by Glenn Petroski in the "At The Kiosk" article in a previous issue of the Avalon Hill GENERAL. That is, the winners of each round pass all of those above them on the ladder who lost during the last round, but do not pass those above them who also won. That also means that if the leader of the ladder loses a game, he falls halfway down the ladder.

The method used for resolving die rolls is left up to the players involved, but the default method is explained below. Most paticipants use a nice die rolling utility which answers die roll requests usually in less than a minute. For details, send the message "help" by email to <dice@pbm.com>. It will give you the specifics.

Bidding for sides is used. Players secretly email to the GM their preferred side. If both players in a game choose the same side, the GM sends out a die roll request (simulated coin flip) to determine who starts the bidding. That player emails how many (if any) POC he is willing to give up to play the preferred side. The other player can then accept the non preferred side or bid a higher amount of POC. This continues until one of the players accepts the POC and the non preferred side. Bidding must be in multiples of one-half (1/2 or 0.5) POC; zero bids are allowed.

A tie game will be awarded to the Allied side for ladder purposes (keep this in mind when you do your bidding for sides). A tie game will be reported to AREA as a tie, however.

A time limit will be set for each round. It will usually be 3 or 4 months. If a game is running past the time limit, I will ask for two other members of the ladder to adjudicate the game. If those two disagree, I will be the tie breaker. I do not expect to need to do this, as long as everyone plays at a reasonable speed.

Players are, of course, free to drop out or reenter the ladder at the end of any round. All reentry will occur at the bottom of the ladder.

Although it is nice to rise to the top of such a ladder, the purpose of this is to provide the members with new opponents on a fairly regular basis, thus exposing all to new ideas on strategy and tactics. The ultimate goal is to make all better players.

Ladder standings will be emailed at the end of each round, as well as current AREA ratings. All results will be passed on to the AREA administrator, Glenn Petroski, or his assistants.

PBEM Examples

Here are some details of the procedures used on the ladder using two players, Ricardo and David:

Both Ricardo and David indicate to the GM that they prefer to play the Allied side. Ricardo wins the simulated coin toss (by the GM) and gets to start the bidding for sides. The number of POC bid can be any integer or half integer, including zero. David can then either accept the other sid, or bid higher to play the preferred side.

If Ricardo begins the bidding by offering 0 POC to be the Allies, David can either accept the Axis side straight up, or offer to spot Ricardo 0.5 POC (or more) and take the Allied side for himself. Ricardo then has the option of accepting the 1/2 POC and taking the Axis, or he can offer David 1 POC (or more) and keep the Allies. This continues until one of the players accepts the Axis side and the POC handicap that comes with it.

When doing combat, you can use any mutually agreed upon method, but the default is using the electronic die roll server at <dice@pbm.com> used by most ladder participants. This is a random number generator that does the die rolls and emails the results simultaneously to both players. Below is an example which shows how the die roller is used. A specifically formatted file is sent to the dice server to generate die rolls. It gives an output of four die rolls in each of two column. We generally play that the actual shots are in the first column, and if the shot resulted in a hit then the damage is in the second column.

This file needs to be sent to the die roller at <dice@pbm.com>.

#P monninb@bright.net
#S 6
#D 1
#R 8
#L 2
#C Allied Turn 1 Barents Combat - Round #3
#C .
#C Lines 1-3: Renown (3) vs Admiral Hipper
#C Line 4: Cumberland (1) vs Blucher
#T Allied Turn 1 Barnets Combat - Round #3

#P: The lines stating with #P shows the email address you want the results sent to. Note that the results will also be sent to the address of the person sending the request (so I will also receive these results).

#S: This line is the number of sides on each die. Always use 6 for this game.

#D: This line is the number of dice in each roll. If you would set for 2, for example, it would report back results ranging from 2 to 12. So, always use 1 for this game.

#R: This is the total number of die rolls. If this case there are 4 combat shots, so 8 die rolls are needed (four for to hit rolls, four for the potential damage rolls).

#L: This is the number of column the results are reported in. We use 2 to get the to hit column and the damage column.

#C: These are comment lines. I use them to send the details of the combat. You could also send the details as a separate email to the other player, but putting your notes and comments in the die rolling email cuts down on the total number of emails needed.

#T: This is the title line that the incoming email will have.

Now, let's says the results from the die roller are like this:

4 6
1 2
6 3
5 4

This would mean that the Renown's three shots were a 4, 1, and 6, yielding one hit on the Admiral Hipper. The hit causes 3 damage points.

And, the Cumberland's one shot is a 5, disabling the Blucher.

If you have any questions or comments about these guidelines, please let me know.

Nick Markevich

If you have any questions, please contact the current WaS AREA PBeM Ladder Moderator, Nick Markevich.

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