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The Puffing Billy


A Puffing Billy® tournament is, at its heart, a very simple tournament. You run train gamers (we don't care if your tournament has five competitors or fifty -- it is still a PBT and that is what matters) through a certain number of train games listed in different categories, crunch their scores through the Puffing Billy® scoring system which universalizes their scores and declare a winner based on their cumulative scores acquired from playing in the requisite number of categories. That is it. That is the PBT at its most basic form. If you want to add levels of complexity, then you can add a number of different formats as listed in the Explanation of Competitions found elsewhere in this area.

Or, if you wish to add more excitement to your tournament, you may schedule additional finals for individual train games. Instead of running twelve people through an Empire Builder tournament as a means of qualifying for your PBT, you may also create a final for the Empire Builder tournament so that individuals not only are competing for the overall PBT title but also for the Empire Builder title. It is our experience that train gamers enjoy competition and that they enjoy winning tournaments. So, if your tournament can support more finals for individual train games, we recommend that you do so.

One of the reasons the TGA formed was to support and foster train gaming. We consider the PBT our main way to do so. Our ultimate goal is to have every gaming convention organized host a PBT. The only two hindrances in this goal is lack of knowledge about conventions (see convention information form) and lack of available Puffing Billy ® conductors (see conductor application form which you may fill out and submit even if you do not have a PBT in mind at present) to run PBTs. So, it is in our best interests to make the sanctioning process as painless as possible and as universal as possible. That means that unless some overriding concern makes an approval impossible, you will be sanctioned to run a PBT. We have worked with over 30 different conventions a year for the last four years and in all that time we have only denied approval to three conventions (two of which had not asked for our approval before advertising that they were hosting a PBT and all three denials were based on legal concerns to do with protecting our trademark and the quality of the PBT in general).

Sanctioning your PBT ensures that you have full access to the TGA's support system, including but not limited to, the Puffing Billy® Conductor Trunk program, prize support, promotional materials, access to conductors around the country and a sympathetic ear ready to help you with any problems that you may encounter along the way. Also, you don't want to have several irate train gamers on your hands when they discover that their participation won't accrue them TGA ranking points because you neglected to solicit sanctioning of your PBT.

We have put together several trunks that contain a good selection of train games. These trunks are available for the use of any conductor running a sanctioned PBT. All the convention has to do is to agree to pay for the shipping of the PBC trunk, both to the convention and back to either the TGA or another convention. Return shipping of the trunk must be done in a timely manner and if the trunk is not returned by the convention, then the convention is responsible for the full retail cost of the games contained within.

We know that you can become very excited about your endeavor but please remember that anyone may play in a train game. They need not participate in the Puffing Billy® tournament as a whole nor need they be a TGA member. You may not require them to participate in the Puffing Billy® tournament as a whole and all train game tournaments should be open to any train gamer who desires to play. The only exception to this rule would be where a tournament has been designated a sanctioned special TGA event.

For those players who do intend to participate in the PBT, the words "qualifying" and "category" become extremely important. Always keep these two words in mind when considering schedules, pick-up game policies and other similar situations. If a PBT requires that a player qualifies in four events, then the player may count only his/her best four tournament scores and no more than one score per event category (the best score) toward the overall PBT. The player may, however, play in more than one event per category and certainly play in more than one game per event.

So, take some time and check out this area and if you are excited about becoming a conductor or having your convention host a PBT, then contact us and we will get the process started together.

All material within this area is designed to be disseminated to the public at large. By all means, download any and all material that you need. But, please, if you do decide to run a PBT, use the Sanctioning Request form so that we can get the formal process started. The Train Gamers Association owns a federally registered trademark of Puffing Billy. That means that we have the right to decide who uses the Puffing Billy trademark. It means that we decide who may or may not conduct and host a PBT. It also means that we have the responsibility to ensure that every PBT run is supported as fully as possible and is of the highest quality possible.


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The contents of this Web Site are copyright © 1998 by The Train Gamers Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Designed by Scott Lininger. Last modified Thursday, 11-Jun-1998 16:34:14 CDT .