Bidding: Players will bid to choose sides in each game. The player bidding first will be determined randomly as part of the draw for each round: that player must name his preferred side and how many POC, if any, he is willing to sacrifice from his score at the end of the game (only) to play that side. The second player may either accept the POC incentive his opponent is willing to give him, if any, or bid a higher POC amount for the preferred side. (All bids must be in increments of 0.5 POC.) The option passes back and forth in this fashion until one player accepts the non-preferred side and the POC incentive.
(If you are new to War at Sea, you may wish to note that in games between expert players, the average bid has historically tended to be around 1.0, 1.5 or 2.0 POC to play the Allies.)
Time limits: A time limit of eight weeks will be set for each game and clearly communicated to all players before each round begins. If any game runs past the time limit, the GM and the two assistant GMs will adjudicate the game – each player's speed of play will be considered in the adjudication decision. We do not expect to need to do this (and other GMs have not typically needed to in the past) as long as everyone plays at a reasonable speed.
Dice procedures: If there are disputed die rolls in a game, players will be strongly encouraged to resolve their problems themselves. If they cannot do so, the GM will rule in the following manner:
We would suggest that everyone use the Firish WaS/VitP Die Roller, though the final decision is up to the two players and other options like ACTS or firstname.lastname@example.org are also perfectly acceptable - each player in any given game may use different dice servers, although if there is any question about a dice server's validity, please contact the GM. (GM note: if you don't know what ACTS and/or email@example.com are, ask your opponent or don't worry about it!)
Exchanging moves: If both players are willing to exchange VASSAL (.vsav) or CyberBoard (.gsn or .gmv) move files, they may do so. If not, the default is that you communicate your moves to each other via email text. Make sure you are as specific as you need to be to avoid ambiguity and slowing play down: e.g., as the Axis player, don't write "German fleet to the Baltic" without specifying whether or not that includes your U-boats.
Code of conduct: Greg Smith runs a separate War at Sea PBEM Ladder (which I would recommend to anyone looking for more WAS action!), and at that web link he lists a Code of Conduct which I'd highly encourage everyone - particularly newer players - to check out. War at Sea etiquette is generally a matter of common sense, I find, but if you want any specific pointers, please consider that Code as the Code of this tournament.
Official rules clarifications: The latest Official Errata & Rules Clarifications for War at Sea can be found below:
And for anyone who doesn't have a PDF of the official War at Sea rules, here's the file for you - many thanks to John Sharp for finding a PDF of the 2nd Edition rules that everyone can now use!