Adel Verpflichtet
(also known as By Hook or By Crook and Hoity Toity)
World Email Championships
BPA logo
Open Swiss-Elim Tournament

Learn How to Play in 5 Minutes
Current Tournament Standings

GM: John Pack
Assistant GMs: Tom DeMarco, Ken Gutermuth, Bob Hamel

Sign-up Deadline: February 1st, 2023 at 6 pm Eastern (UTC-05)
Tournament Period: February 1st, 2023 - August 31st, 2023 (Pairings are posted when BPA confirms membership.)
Next Start Date: February 1st, 2024

Joining: Those interested in joining the tournament should send an email to as soon as possible. The sign-up email should include your name, your SpielByWeb name, the email address you wish to use, and an indication that you've read through and agree to this format.  Late entrants will not be accommodated once pairings have been posted.

Membership: Membership in the Boardgame Players' Association (BPA) at the minimum Associate level ($10 for 2021) or higher is required.  See for details.

All games will be played using the free Hoity Toity game facilities on SpielByWeb.  All players must join that site and provide the GM with their login name.  There is no cost to join SpielByWeb.  As soon as possible, players should join SpielByWeb.  Although the interface is simple, some players may wish to play in a practice game there to familiarize themselves with the rules and the mechanics of the game and the website.  SpielByWeb is unforgiving -- you can't take back a decision once it's been selected.  Errors cannot be retracted.  Players are warned to carefully take their turn and to realize the "back" button does not undo a move.  On the other hand, players will find that the interface is very simple and makes the game very easy to play remotely.

Starting a Game: As each round begins, the first player to log onto SpielByWeb will be responsible for creating the game using the name, comment, and number of players provided by the GM. That player will select a password of his/her own choosing and email it to the GM and other players in the game.  The other players will join that passworded-game on (by clicking on "games list" then "passworded-games" and then the "join" option available adjacent to their assigned game). Note: Passwords are caSe-senSitivE.  Colors and starting sets will be assigned randomly by SpielByWeb.

All players will compete in five preliminary, simultaneous rounds.

Preliminary Rounds: 5
Participants: No Limit (a minimum of 25 is required)
Rounds Begin: All five rounds begin on the start date.  Players are requested to join all of their games within 48 hours.
Round Length:
9 weeks*
Players: 4-5 per game
Pairings: Players will be assigned to their first games randomly, though family members and friends should request placement in different games.  Such requests will be honored as far as possible.  No 3- or 6-player games will be used.  As few games as possible will use 4 players.  The GM will attempt to ensure that each player plays in a minimum number of four-player games (and that no player plays in more than one more 4-player game than any other player).
Each player is encouraged to check into SpielByWeb once per day (except when SpielByWeb has been notified of a player's absence/vacation).*
Absence/Vacation: To notify SpielByWeb that you'll be unavailable, click on "Going Away?" after logging in.  Then select the calendar date when you'll return.  While you're unavailable, SpielByWeb will put a suitcase next to your ID that will show other players when you'll return whenever they mouse-over the suitcase icon.  When you return, click on "Back?" and then click on "[Mark Yourself Here]".  Players who use this feature properly will not be cited for "delay of game" unless the game deadline has passed.
Drop Outs: Players may drop out at the completion of their current games and may ask the GM not to assign them to additional games at any time.  Players should plan to finish each game that they start.
AREA: All games will be AREA-rated.
Scoring: The scoring for each game is the same as the World Boardgaming Championships:

# of Players Place Points
5 Players 1st 5
  2nd 4
  3rd 3
  4th 2
  5th 1
4 Players 1st 5
  2nd 4
  3rd 2
  4th 1

*Slow players will be penalized one point (i.e., place) per week if and only if a game runs over the 9-week time limit.  A "slow player" is defined as one generating more than one complaint within a game or more than two complaints within the tournament.  A valid complaint is one which is made after the game has been waiting on a player for more than 48 hours (i.e., it has been that player's turn for more than 48 hours) and the player has not signaled absence in games whose deadline has not passed.  Most games should finish in six weeks or less.  Once a game passes the 9-week time limit, warnings will be given every multiple of 48 hours.  I request that players stay on top of this for their games -- nothing ruins a game more than long waits.

Advancement: The ten entrants with the top total scores after the five preliminary rounds advance to the semi-finals.
Tie-Breakers: If the top ten entrants cannot be determined solely based on total points (which is likely), the tie-breakers will be used in the following order:

  1. Total spaces a player has advanced beyond the "finish line."  (The is the line that triggers the final exhibit.  Only spaces beyond the line are counted even though spaces short of the line may also be reported.  Since one can never end on the line, this number is never zero.)
  2. Players who created a tournament game on SpielByWeb (named and commented per the instructions) and notified the GM of the password and SpielByWeb game #.
  3. Total size of all final sets.  The size of each player's final set in each game (not including cards which cannot be exhibited).
  4. Total number of cards held at the end of all games.
  5. Oldest card held in any final set, Second oldest card held in any final set, and so on to the fifth oldest card held in any final set.
  6. Current AREA rating

All points and tie-breakers will be reported on this website as games end.  I doubt we'll ever need anything beyond the third tie-breaker (as none of the completed tournaments have needed it).

Semi-Final Begins: April 5th (or sooner if the preliminaries finish earlier)
Semi-Final Format: All semi-finalists will play two simultaneous games (so that each may play 6-7 of the other 9 semi-finalists).  Family members will be placed in separate games if possible.  All winners advance to the final.  The highest second-place finishers (using the tie-breakers above as necessary) advance to fill the remaining seats (with the intent that the final will have five players).  No third-place finisher will advance (even if it means the final proceeds with only four players).
Final Begins:
June 7th (or sooner if the semi-finals finish earlier)
Final Format: The final will be a one-game, winner-take-all affair designed to conclude by August 31st.

Trophy: The champion will receive an "Adel Verplichtet" PBEM Championship Plaque from the Boardgame Players' Association (either by mail or in person at the World Boardgaming Championships' tournament the following July).  2nd through 5th places will be determined by finish in the final.  6th place will be awarded to the top finisher in the semi-final games who didn't advance to the final.  The Top 6 places will receive BPA Laurels.

I hope you all enjoy your games and have fun in the tournament!  Please contact John Pack with any comments or questions regarding the format, game engine, rules, or play as the games progress.

Check back here for updates as the tournament progresses!

SpielByWeb Hoity Toity Engine Notes

Players of any version of Adel Verpflichtet, By Hook or by Crook, and Hoity Toity should easily adapt to the SpielByWeb engine.  However, there are a few details worth noting before beginning that I'll summarize here.

Sequence of Player Actions

1. All Players choose a Location (Castle or Auctionhouse).
2. All Players choose an Action (Exhibit, Thief, Detective, or Check).
3. The Highest Bidder at the Auctionhouse, if any, selects an Item.
4. Exhibitors at the Castle, if any, select items for their exhibits.
5. In order, Thieves at the Castle, if any, select items from each exhibit, if any.

All other "actions" are handled automatically by the game engine since they involve no player choices.  As a result, players will want to either check in more often than required or to read their email notification carefully to see what happened since their last move.  Note: It's possible that some or all of Steps 3-5 will not be required on any given turn -- in which case, players proceed directly to the next step (or next turn)!

Initial Checks and Thieves

The colors are a bit different than in Adel Verpflichtet and By Hook or by Crook.  Here's the opening card inventory for each Hoity Toity color and how that compares to the original games:

Hoity Toity
Thieves Adel Verpflichtet
By Hook
or by Crook
Green 24 13 12 1 7 6 Yellow Yellow
Blue 23 14 11 2 8 5 Blue Blue
Black 22 15 10 3 9 4 Purple Black
Red 21 16 9 4 10 3 Red Red
Yellow 20 17 8 5 11 2 Green Green
Purple 19 18 7 6 12 1 Doesn't Exist Doesn't Exist

The thieves of each original color are one line below that color in this table. 

Other Differences

Note: Successful detectives advance based on current place (not position) just as they do in the original rules and at the World Boardgaming Championships. See this SpielByWeb forum for details.

Now you're ready to play!  Get ready for some seriously fun competition!

Hoity Toity is copyrighted by Uberplay.  Adel Verpflichtet  and By Hook or By Crook are trademarks of Alea and the Avalon Hill Game Company respectively. The World Boardgaming Championships is a trademark of the Boardgame Players Association.