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El Grande (ELG) Email GM   Last updated July 11, 2022
Class B: Beginning Players Welcome You may play if you have read the rules, played previously, or participated in a scheduled demo. Be on time for the scheduled demonstration. The GM will remain for only 15 minutes if no one is present.
Schedule  GM: DJ Borton (1st Year)
Round Day Start Time Duration Location
Demo 1/1FSu121Exhibit Hall Annex Table #3
Heat 1/3FSu132Alpine
Heat 2/3Mo122Alpine
Heat 3/3Tu182Grand Ballroom
2022 Tournament Format HMW-Points

The German Invasion of Spain ... Euro style

El Grande is a multiplayer game of territorial control. The map depicts Spain, divided into nine provinces into which players place their forces. While there is no combat, players select option cards which can rearrange the forces on the board or make parts of the board off-limits.

Players bid for the order of choosing these option cards, but the higher bids carry the penalty of giving fewer troops. Thus, the game is a balance between resource acquisition and use; players must know when to 'lay low' in order to restore their forces. It is equally important to give other players good reason to do things which help your cause while they optimize their own scoring.

The tournament will have three Heats. Up to 25 players will advance to the semi-finals; be sure to check the event Kiosk for your status following each Heat. Winners of semi-final games will compete in a five-player final game.

All games will be limited to two hours, including Semifinal and Final Rounds.

This is a B level event. If you have not played the game before, be sure and attend a teaching session before you sign up to play.

Tournament Format:

  1. No expansions – this tournament uses the base game only.
  2. Game Size - Default game size will be 5 players, with 4 player games as necessary.,/li>
  3. Table Assignments
    • Players who have set up their own games will play at their table
    • To save time, all other players will be randomly assigned to tables; however, please alert the GM if team members or acquaintances are assigned to the same table. The GM will switch players as necessary between games.
      • Seating Order and Start Player - Players will be assigned an order around the table when handing out table assignments. First player is then randomly determined.
      • Game Length:
        • Rounds for ALL games will be 2 hours.
        • If the game is starting to run long, the GM will remind the players of the time limit. If turn 9 has not started by 12 minutes before the end of the heat, the GM (or assistant) will first ask all players if they are willing to play past the end. If all agree, play will proceed. If any object, the current turn will be the last. After the end of the turn, all provinces will be scored. The Castillo will be scored twice without any movement of pieces. Tiebreakers will apply as per usual.
      • Score Sheet:
        • At the completion of your game, please fill out the top part of the table score sheet in its entirety. All information is important for determination of tiebreakers and advancement.
        • The bottom part of the score sheet is only needed if players are tied in score:


During the three heats, 3-player games will be avoided if at all possible, and 5-player games will be preferred.

After the three heats, the players will be ranked according to the Heats Most Wins – Points standard tiebreakers.


The top 25 heat winners will qualify for the semifinal. Alternates will be taken in ranked order as necessary to fill the field to 15, 20, or 25 players.

All winners of at least one heat will advance unless we have more than 25 unique winners.

During the semifinal, players will be assigned to tables based upon their heat ranking, with the top-seeded qualifiers being placed at separate tables.

In cases where we end up with tables of unequal player count, the player count at each table will be randomly determined.

After the semi-final games, the semifinalists will be ranked by:

  1. Finish in the semifinal.
  2. Among those who didn't win a game, narrowest margin of loss in percentage terms.
  3. Ranking from the heat results.

The top five semifinalists advance to the final. The semifinal ranking also determines the 6th place finisher.

Note: Per convention rules, if a player qualifies to advance and chooses not to, they forfeit any prizes/laurels they may have been entitled to.

Unsportsmanlike Behavior

We are here to run a good, fun, and competitive tournament. If you witness anything that may constitute unsportsmanlike behavior (which may include verbal abuse, cheating, and even excessively slow play), please alert the GM immediately. Outcomes may involve as little as a warning up to ejection from the game and a ban from future tournaments.

Table Talk

As a general rule, deal-making and negotiation is disallowed. Any “agreements” made by players are non-binding. While it is impossible to forbid adults to say anything they want at a game table, El Grande should not be considered a game of diplomacy.

If any player feels that the table talk crosses a line and/or is unfair, please call over a GM or assistant GM and we will attend to the matter.

Rule Clarifications:

  1. The Default Ruleset will be the Decennial Edition, with exceptions as listed below.
  2. The correct total number of Caballeros for each color is 31, which includes the cube used for scoring. At the beginning of the game, you should have 2 on the board (plus your Grande), 7 in the court, 21 in your provinces, and 1 on the scoring track. (NOTE: The Decennial Edition has extra pieces for the expansions)
  3. 3) The number of Caballeros in players’ provinces is not open knowledge. Players are permitted to cover or otherwise conceal their province pieces (usually, putting them in a pile is sufficient). Number of pieces in court is open knowledge.
  4. Veto cards: No “partial vetos” will be permitted. A Veto, when executed, cancels the entire special action it is applied to. LIMITED negotiation is allowed between the veto card holder and the current player, provided it is brief and does not hold up the game.
  5. Cards in the 2 stack: all cards in the 2 stack that remove pieces from the courts or the board affect your fellow players ONLY, and do not affect the player who executes the special action.
  6. If, when required to remove Caballeros from a region by means of the “secret” disk, the player chooses the King’s region (or a region with none of the player’s pieces), then another region must be selected. The targeted player must remove the required number of Caballeros from a legal region which has the fewest of his own Caballeros.
    • If there is a tie between two or more legal regions for fewest Caballeros, the player who is executing the action card may pick between the tied regions. This could occur during the 2 stack action cards for removing 2 or all pieces from a region. The same applies if 2 caballeros were required to be removed, and the affected player chose a province with only 1 caballero when another province with 2 or more was available.
  7. Optional rule (By agreement of the entire table): If the first card in the 2 stack is “send all caballeros from your court to the provinces”, then any player (before bidding begins) may ask for a reshuffle. That card is taken out of the deck, the next card selected, and then the card is reshuffled into the rest of the deck.
  8. Optional rule (By agreement of the entire table): The Veto cards may be removed entirely from the game. In this case, simply play with the other cards in the 2-stack.

HEATS: MOST WINS - POINTS (HMW-P):Tie-breakers are:

  1. Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered)
  2. Most Second Places
  3. Fewest total points behind first place in second place finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
  4. Fewest total points behind first place in all finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
  5. Fewest Heats
  6. High dice roll.