Splendor Tournament Format

Splendor 2023 BPA PBeM Tournament Format

GM: Chris Wildes (chriswildes@gmail.com)

Assistant GMs: Jeff Wu and Rob Murray

Boardgame Players Association:

All players must have at least a PBEM-level membership at the time of tournament start.   The cost of this membership is $10 and you can apply for membership on their website: http://www.boardgamers.org/. NOTE: Associate memberships are based on calendar year, so do not apply for membership until 2023. You can still register for this tournament at any time.

Approximate Schedule:

  • Registration will be open via email (chriswildes@gmail.com) until February 1, 2023 at 11:59pm EDT
  • Games will start one week later (February 8) pending BPA membership confirmation.
  • Time limits will be flexible, although players will be penalized for slow play.  I am hoping rounds will take no longer than 2 months to complete.
  • The first round will consist of 3 simultaneous games for all players, approximately February 2023 through March 2023.
  • The second round will consist of 3 simultaneous games for all qualified players, approximately April 2023 through May 2023.
  • The third round will consist of 3 simultaneous games for all qualified players from the semifinal, approximately May 2023 through June 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: https://boardgamearena.com/. Players must register on Board Game Arena and notify the GM of their usernames.

Splendor is a Premium game on BGA which requires a Premium account to create a table for the game. I will not be checking every account to ensure they are Premium, nor will I be pairing tables to ensure that there is at least one Premium account at each table. Players with non-Premium accounts may join the tournament, but if a table has only non-Premium users, either a) one player will need to upgrade their account, or b) the game will count as a loss for all players.

We will be using the standard setup with no optional variants.

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.


The first round will consist of 3 simultaneous games for all players.  All games will be three-player games. Players will score points for each game according to the following formulas:

  • 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)

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

Ties within games will be broken by the following:

  1. The player with the fewest development cards.
  2. The player with the most nobles.
  3. The player with the most gems remaining.
  4. The player going later in the turn order.

Players will be ranked accordingly and the field will be cut after each round. Players may choose to drop from the tournament after any of the first round heats. However, a player must play all three heats to advance to the semifinal.

If there are fewer than 32 total players, the semifinal will cut to the top 50% of first round players (rounded down). 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.

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

Round Length:

The average game of Splendor takes roughly 25 rounds, or 75 player turns in a 3-player game.  Assuming an average of 2-3 turns a day, the round length should be roughly one month.

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 me that they will be on vacation/unable to play) and another player in that game issues a complaint to me, there will be an escalating series of penalties for the slow player.  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.