Guide for First Time Visitors

What is the easiest way to get into an email game of Victory in the Pacific?

Send John Pack (the GM) an email at john@gameaholics.com and ask to join the VITP ladder.  Be sure to include your name, email address, postal address, and phone number for AREA records.  You'll also need to read the Universal PBEM Format and tell the GM that you've read it.  The ladder is the largest VITP tournament ever held -- with more than 65 participants from 9 countries and 6 continents (from the far-east to Africa) including 14 of the top 15 AREA-rated players!

How is the game different?  Is the Simultaneous PBM System from The General used?

We do NOT use the Simultaneous Play-by-Mail system -- we use a system that tries to mimic the face-to-face game as much as possible.  The main exceptions are placement of more than one LBA at a time and resolution of battles in all areas together.  See the Universal PBEM Format for full details!

How are dice rolled?

We use a nice internet facility for rolling dice -- dice@finberg.org (send a blank message for details).  It answers promptly and will send results to both players!  See the Universal PBEM Format for full details!

When will my game start?

Around 9 pm Mountain time on the 15th of January, May, or September or the 1st of March, July, or November for quick rounds.

What's the ladder?  Quick rounds?  Are there other options?

The World PBEM (play-by-e-mail) Victory in the Pacific tournament is broken up into three brackets plus extra "quick rounds" (which do not count in the competition).  Click on the titles to see the current competition and on the format to see more detailed information on each bracket!  Here's summary of the differences and links to more information:

Tournament
Bracket
Top 10
Invitational
BPA
Single-Elimination
King-of-the-Hill
Ladder
Quick
Rounds
Format Round Robin Single Elimination Continuous Ladder Single Games
Entrants 10 32-64 No Limit No Limit
Requirements Invitation BPA Membership None None
Tournament Length 2 years 2 years 2 years/Continuous 10 weeks
Rounds 9 5-6 6 1
Round Length 11 week average 4 months 4 months 10 weeks
How often? 4 days 4 days 4 days 48 hours
Start Dates September 15th
in Odd Years
September 15th
in Odd Years
January 15th
May 15th
September 15th
March 1st
July 1st
November 1st
Late Entry? No No Up to 4 weeks late Up to 1 week late
Prize Plaque
Traveling Trophy
BPA Plaque Plaque None
Adjustments Yes Yes Yes Yes
Variants or Scenarios? No No No As Announced
AREA Yes Yes Yes Yes

Are there any other dates I should be aware of?

Yes.  The following table summarizes the dates (hopefully the pattern is obvious!):

Roll Call
Begins
Ladder/BPA
Round Begins
Quick Round
Roll Call
Quick Round
Begins
All Rounds End/
Adjudication
January 1st January 15th February 15th March 1st May 12th
May 1st May 15th June 15th July 1st September 12th
September 1st September 15th October 15th November 1st January 12th

These dates have been good for more than fourteen years -- so now you know that Pearl Harbor Day comes more than just once a year!  Note: Quick Rounds are held at the convenience of the GM unless a player pro-actively signs up.

I don't have the space to keep a board up for four months.  Are there any computer aides?

Yes.  The default for these tournaments is VASSAL, so I recommend using it first.  There are links to all of the computer aides from the main page -- including an installation and introductory guide for VASSAL.  There are also VITP modules available for Wargame Processor (WGP), Aide de Camp II (ADC2), and Cyberboard as well as a text file.  Players can agree to use any of these mediums of exchange that they wish; however, when players can't agree, then VASSAL is used.

Why are there so many options and different tournament brackets?

The King-of-the-Hill ladder appeared first (in 1997) and is open to anyone -- it allows everyone to compete as much as they want no matter their skill level!  No one is ever eliminated.

The Quick Rounds were next.  The original ladder rounds lasted six months -- and that wasn't enough for many players.  So the quick rounds -- rounds that don't count but allow an extra game for fast players -- were born!  They disappeared for a while after the other formats appeared but have been more popular than ever since their return (and since the use of variants was introduced into these games)!

With the Boardgame Player's Association (BPA) beginning to sponsor PBEM tournaments in 1999, it was time to create the World PBEM Championships.  However, since the BPA requires membership (albeit only $10/year), a format was chosen that would continue to emphasize the original ladder.  Thus the BPA tournament is a single-elimination affair -- and the ladder allows participants to retain their positions until they're eliminated.

The final piece was born out of the desires of many of the highest-ranked players for a very high-level tournament.  The current formats for the Midwest Open and World Boardgaming Championships pit the top players against each other in early rounds -- so that they eliminate each other.  However, even so, the winner will normally have played only 2-4 of the very best players along the championship trail.  The Top 10 Invitational pits the ten best players against each other -- with each player playing every other player.  It's the toughest tournament format of all.

The tournaments function together -- with the Top 10 Invitational taking the champions of each (as well as the champions of the major face-to-face tournaments) for an over-all championship.  So, while the individual brackets play out over two years, the over-all tournament is four years long -- two years to qualify for the Top 10 and then two more years to crown the world champion!

Are there any big tournaments of Victory in the Pacific held anywhere?

Are you ever in luck!  Some of the biggest tournaments held anywhere, ever are being held all around the nation!  The biggest (with over 140 other tournaments besides) is at the World Boardgaming Championships (Lancaster, PA) followed by the Midwest Open (Kenosha, WI).  There are a lot of smaller ones too -- like Consimworld Expo (Tempe, AZ), Pacificon/Conquest (San Mateo, CA), and Genghis Con (Denver, CO).  See the main page for more!

Why aren't invitations to the Top 10 Invitational just given to the AREA Top 10?

The Top 10 Invitational is intended to be a tournament of tournament champions with invitations based on the basis of the difficulty of each event (i.e., how many rounds are played against top quality competition).  Consider the following table that compares the most elite VITP tournaments and the number of invitations issued to winners of each:

Tournament Rounds Participation Top Opponents
Faced by Winner
Invitations Alternates
Top 10 Invitational 9 10 9 3  
World Boardgaming Championships 7 40 3-4 2  
King-of-the-Hill Ladder 6-7 70 3-4 2  
Midwest Open 6 30 3 1 1
BPA Single-Elimination 5 39 2-3 1  
Pacificon/Conquest 4 16 2-3 0 1
AREA Ratings - 400 - 1 Remainder

Having multiple ways of qualifying for an invitation increases the number of players who have a chance to qualify as well as the number of times most players have an opportunity to qualify.  A bad run of luck in one tournament will not eliminate an excellent player while, at the same time, a new player (or one whose skill has recently improved) can qualify in a single event!  The invitations themselves are substantial, highly-sought-after prizes -- increase your chance of qualifying by participating in as many of these tournaments as possible!

In actual practice, the invitationals have invited eight or nine of the AREA Top 10.  This is not surprising when one considers the likelihood of having a high AREA rating after winning one of these prestigious events!  There's no question that our Top 10 Invitational field really does represent the ten best players of the moment!  Join them if you can!


Victory in the Pacific® is a registered trademark of The Avalon Hill Game Company.