The War At Sea tournament at the WBC is a Swiss-Elimination event. Players may use either the Avalon Hill Game Company’s 2nd Edition version of the game or the L2 Design Group’s version. The default scenario will be the basic game with no optional rules.
Sides. Players simultaneously reveal which side they wish to play, by using the Axis and Allied control flags provided in the game. If opposite sides are chosen, play proceeds. If both want the same side, the players bid for the right to play that side. Players determine who has the first option via die rolls. The player winning the roll begins the bidding. Bids may start at zero and may be made in half-POC or whole POC increments. The 2nd player may either accept the POC-incentive to play the non-preferred side or bid a higher POC amount. The option passes back and forth in this fashion until one player accepts the non-preferred side and the POC-incentive.
Preliminary (Swiss) Rounds. The 5 preliminary rounds of the tournament will be conducted via the Swiss System. Pairings for each round will be determined by seeding. For the first round, the champion from the most recent WBC will automatically receive the #1 seed, should s/he enter. All other players will be seeded by their AREA ratings. The highest half of the seeded players will be placed in one group and the lowest half of the seeded players will be placed in another group. The top-seeded player from the upper bracket will play the top-seeded player from the lower bracket, the 2nd ranked player from the upper bracket will play the 2nd ranked player from the lower bracket, and so on.
In preliminary rounds 2-5, each player will be matched against a player with an identical Victory Point (VP) total. Each game in the preliminary rounds is worth 10 Victory Points (VPs). If the game is decided by 2 or more POC, the winner gets all 10 VP and the loser gets 0 VP. If the game is won by less than 2 POC, the winner gets 8 VP and the loser 2 VP. Each player gets 5 VP for a draw.
Players may play any one round, any combination of rounds, or every round. They may drop out and reenter for any round if they are present for the start of that round.
Qualification for Playoffs. The qualifiers for the playoffs will be the players with the top 8 VP totals from the preliminary rounds. If 2 players tie for any place in the top 8, the following tiebreakers will be used, in this order: 1) head-to-head results in the preliminary rounds, if any, 2) strength of schedule, and 3) higher AREA rating. If 3 or more players tie for any place in the top 8, the following tiebreakers will be used, in this order: 1) strength of schedule, and 2) higher AREA rating.
Playoff Format. The Quarterfinal, Semifinal, and Final will be single elimination. The winners of the Quarterfinal games will play each other in the Semifinal, and then the winners of the 2 Semifinal games will play each other in the Final for the championship. Pairings for the Quarterfinal will be determined by performance in the preliminaries; the #1 ranked player will play the #8 player, the #2 player will play the #7 player, and so on. In the Semifinal, the winner of the 1-8 Quarterfinal game will play the winner of the 4-5 Quarterfinal, and the winner of the 2-7 Quarterfinal will play the winner of the 3-6 Quarterfinal.
Chess Clocks. Chess clocks will be used for all games. The Allied player will have one hour and 5 minutes and the Axis player will have 50 minutes to complete their moves. If you have not played with a clock previously, do not worry. Seldom do any players run out of clock time.