Saint Petersburg Tournament Format

Saint Petersburg 2022 BPA PBeM Tournament Format

GM: Chris Wildes (

Assistant GMs: Ray Wolff and Ryan Feathers

Boardgame Players Association:

All players must have at least a PBEM-level membership at the time of tournament start.   The cost of this is $10 and you can apply for membership on their website:

Approximate Schedule:

  • Registration will be open via email ( until December 1, 2022 at 11:59pm EDT
  • Games will start roughly one week later (December 8) pending BPA membership confirmation.
  • Round limits will be flexible, although players will be penalized for slow play.  I am hoping rounds will go no longer than 10-12 weeks.
  • The first round will consist of 4 simultaneous games for all players, approximately December 2022 to February 2023.
  • The second round will consist of 4 simultaneous games for all qualified players, approximately March 2023 to May 2023.
  • The third round will consist of 4 simultaneous games for all qualified players, approximately June 2023 to August 2023.
  • These schedule estimates are conservative, I expect the rounds will be completed more quickly in practice.

NOTE:  A minimum of 24 players are required for this to be run as a BPA sponsored tournament.


We will be using Board Game Arena for game play:

Players must register on Board Game Arena and let the GM know of their usernames. The site is free of charge although there is a paid premium option that will NOT be required for this event. I do recommend that you try starting a pickup game or two to get a feel for the mechanics of how the game interface works.

We will be using the First Edition rules, and since the games are asynchronous we will be using the “Show other player rubles” and “Show other player hands” options.

The site does not allow an action to be undone after it has been selected. I recommend playing a one or more games before the tournament starts to get familiar with the interface. If there is a difference between how something works in the online implementation, and how it is typically implemented in person, we must abide by the online implementation.

The unfortunate nature of online board games is that sometimes mistakes are made that would not be made in person, but cannot be taken back. There is no way of resetting or rolling back a move once it has been committed. That said, if you encounter an actual bug in the software, please let me know.

Players should try to check the site at least once daily when not on vacation.

Reporting Games:

We will use a Google Sheet for reporting game results:


First round will be 4 simultaneous games for all players. Players will score points for each game according to the following formula:

  • 1st place finish: 1000 points plus (your score/second place score)
  • 2nd place finish: 100 points plus (your score/winning score)
  • 3rd place finish: 10 points plus (your score/winning score)
  • 4th place finish: 1 point plus (your score/winning score)

I will avoid pairing family members together as much as possible.

Ties within games will be broken by the following:

  1. Most money at end of game. (Enforced by BGA implementation)
  2. Fewest unique aristocrats (orange cards) in your tableau.
  3. Most buildings (blue cards) in your tableau.
  4. Most workers (green cards) in your tableau.
  5. Most upgrades in your tableau.
  6. Most total cards in your tableau.

If still a tie, then all involved in tie are considered winners for highest place tied.

Players will be ranked accordingly and the field will be cut after each round.

If there are fewer than 32 total players, the semifinal will cut to the top 13 players in the first round field. If there are between 32 and 48 players, the semifinal will cut to the top 16 players. If there are more than 48 players, the semifinal will cut to the top 1/3 of the first round field (rounded up). The final round will cut to the top 7 players from the semifinal.

For 2022, the semifinal cutoff will be the top 17 players from Round 1.

Both the semifinal and final rounds will consist of 4 simultaneous games. In the semifinal, a player will play each other player at most once. Assuming 7 players for the final round, a player will play each other player exactly twice. 

After the final round players will be ranked to award laurels to the top six finishers.

Round Length:

The average game of Saint Petersburg on Board Game Arena consists of roughly 100-120 actions.  Assuming 2-3 actions a day, the round length should be about 6 to 8 weeks.

If players will be on vacation without internet access, they must let the GM know and post a message within all their current games.  If you plan to take more than one week of vacation, please clear that with the GM before starting.

Slow Play:

If a player has not taken a turn after 72 hours (without alerting the GM that they will be on vacation/unable to play), there will be an escalating series of penalties for the slow player.  This will be triggered either by opponents in that game alerting the GM to the situation, or at the discretion of the GM if egregious slow play is occurring.

The penalty levels will be:

Level 0: First Warning
Level 1: Second Warning
Level 2: Loss of 10 points from your round score
Level 3: Loss of 100 points from your round score
Level 4: Loss of 1000 points from you round score

Repeated infractions after reaching Level 4 will result in the same penalty. At the start of a new round, any advancing players who have earned a penalty in the previous round will be reset to Level 1.

Drop Outs:

Players are expected to complete all games they are invited to.

If a player drops out DURING a game (or doesn’t take a move for at least 1 week with no vacation or other notice), the GM and assistant GMs will consult and decide whether to adjudicate the game or restart the game without the player. This player may also be barred from playing in events run by me in the future.

Any player may drop from the event between rounds. If an advancing player drops before the start of the next round, their spot will fall to the next player in the standings.