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675[ukpbm] Armistice Day

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  • Stephen Agar
    Jan 2, 2001
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      FORMER ZINE EDITOR IN MID-LIFE CRISIS?

      In the two years since I folded Spring Offensive I have been enjoying a
      break from the routine of zine publication, satisfying myself with the
      occasional foray into Diplomacy on the Internet. But web sites and e-
      zines are to a "real zine" what using a condom is to "real sex" (if you
      know what I mean). It may be more or less equivalent, but if you had a
      choice you'd go for the tactile option. Zine editing is a drug and I am
      not alone in being an addict. I miss the freshly copied paper, the
      collating, the quick fold and thump of the long-arm stapler, the
      enveloping, the licking of the stamps and the drive to the main Post
      Office in Brighton at 2.30am. I also miss the correspondence - it is so
      depressing when your wife gets all the real letters and I am left with
      the bills. In short, I want to start a new postal Diplomacy zine and it
      will be called Armistice Day.

      So what sort of a zine will it be? Well, there's only one sort of zine
      that I know how to produce and you can't teach an old dog a new trick.
      So I am thinking of an old-fashioned Diplomacy zine, with a touch of
      variants and hobby history, and a bit of nostalgia about entering middle
      age. A zine for people born in the 60's (or late 50's at a pinch). Not
      that youngsters wouldn't be welcome, but they would probably be too busy
      with their Playstation2s and Bob the Builder CDs to find it appealing.
      Maybe a sort of Dolchstoss for non-bridge playing, 30/40-something
      liberals? It will be a slim and efficient zine - not a fat and slow one
      - so I am looking at a 16-20 page maximum. I want the zine to be fun,
      not a chore. Non-Diplomacy games would be cautiously welcomed if anyone
      else offers to GM.

      What is more problematic is whether or not there is sufficient demand
      for a traditional Diplomacy zine these days. In the last couple of years
      the number of Diplomacy zines (and to an extent all postal games zines)
      has fallen steadily. This may well be a permanent and fatal decline, as
      I suspect there is a minimum number of active players needed to sustain
      any sort of recognisable hobby. In short, there may not even be enough
      demand to get this zine off the ground. I reckon I need an active
      circulation of about 80 to sustain the zine and keep a couple of games
      of Dip going to keep me nice and regular (as someone's mother probably
      used to say, albeit in a different context).

      Issue 1 of Armistice Day will appear sometime in January. Likely topics
      include Airfix plastic soldiers, why Christmas should be in September,
      why the current singles charts are crap compared to the 1970's,
      Diplomacy archive stuff, a new Dip variant, and lucid and entertaining
      repartee (well, maybe not that last one). The zine will be A5 booklet,
      around 16 pages and cost 80p. To begin with there will be waiting lists
      for regular Diplomacy, Gunboat Diplomacy (one game only) and the
      brilliant variant Abstraction (which hasn't been played postally to my
      knowledge for nearly 10 years). [As a special offer, anyone playing
      Abstraction can have the zine free for the life of the game!] The
      results of all games will also be sent by email to all players who
      request it (so you can play your Diplomacy by email if you prefer) - but
      the zine itself is available in hardcopy only. Issue 1 will be available
      for FREE upon request by writing to:

      Stephen Agar, 47 Preston Drove, BRIGHTON, BN1 6LA
      stephen@...

      --
      Stephen Agar, Brighton, UK
      http://www.diplomacy-archive.com
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