El Grande

This is the home page for the 2021 Boardgame Players Association “Play By Email” tournament for El Grande. It is open only to members of the Boardgame Players Association (BPA). If you attend the World Boardgaming Championships (WBC), and are up to date on your registration fees, then you are already a member. If not, you can purchase a “PBEM Membership” for $10 from this website: www.boardgamers.org. This tournament will award laurels and contribute to the annual Praetor and Caesar awards, all of which is tracked through that same website.

To register for the tournament, email me at jay.spencer@ymail.com with your Yucata user name.

GM: Jay Spencer

Assistant: Rob Flowers


Games will be 4-player or 5-player games whenever possible, using the free website Yucata.


  • 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)

Advancement to the next stage will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Most points in current stage
  2. Total raw score in all games in current stage

Rules notes

The online version of the game has two significant differences affecting play:

  1. There is no veto card
  2. All caballeros are open and not hidden (i.e. the number of each player’s caballeros in the provinces and in the castillo are known to all players)

Tie breakers

All players who tie for a win in the Heat Stage will be given credit for the win, except as required to distinguish for Semifinal advancement or seeding.

If needed for seeding or advancement, the following tie breakers will be used, in order:

  1. Most caballeros in court
  2. Most caballeros in provinces
  3. Highest unused power card (compare until there is a difference)
  4. Random determination

Heat Stage: Everyone who joins the event will play in 4 or 5 asynchronous games, which will launch simultaneously. Players will be seated randomly. We will do our best to avoid putting people into multiple games together. If some players are in 4 games and some are in 5, a multiplier will be applied to ensure all players have an equivalent opportunity to qualify for the Semifinal Stage.

Semifinal Stage: The Semifinal Stage will consist of 50% (rounded down) of the number of entrants, rounded down to the next lowest multiple of 5. For example, with 27 participants, 10 will qualify for the Semifinal Stage. Players will be placed in 4 simultaneous asynchronous games. We will avoid giving anyone repeat opponents if possible. Seeding will be used for those winning at least three of their Heat Stage games such that those players will not play each other in the semifinal unless it cannot be avoided.

Final Stage: One single game will be played with the top five qualifiers. The next qualifier will place 6th for laurel purposes.

Pace of Play: Games are asynchronous, but the expectation is that you will check your games approximately daily or more frequently. Life happens and delays will occur, but be aware that the Yucata site removes any game in which a turn has not been taken in 30 days. Please do not sign up if you think you will not be able to keep up.


Games will be played exclusively on yucata.de.


Registration Opens: February 2021

Registration Closes: April 30, 2021

Heat Stage Begins: around first week of May 2021

Semifinals Begin: around a week after completion of last heat game (nominally July 2021)

Finals Begin: around a week after completion of last semifinal game (nominally September 2021)