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Re: And you thought the last one was long!

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  • John Harrington
    In message , John and Denny Colledge writes ... John s missives are massive at the best of
    Message 1 of 10 , May 22 10:03 AM
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      In message <3745D56F.5185@...>, John and Denny Colledge
      <dunorroch@...> writes
      >From: John and Denny Colledge <dunorroch@...>
      >
      >Apologies for the silence folks. The Colledges have become jet setters
      >more or less over night, with first a visit to Inverness, then Chicago,
      >then Stranraer, and next week we are off to Paris. Stranraer was of
      >course the highlight of the tour!

      John's missives are massive at the best of times but when he stores them
      up after a long break ...

      >I have received an other letter from Alex Bardy so here are the main
      >points he raises, plus a few comments from myself. I will use (( ))
      >for anything I have to say.
      >Firstly, he encloses a list of 50+ games available in the zines that he
      >sees.
      >((A CGS service was mentioned some time ago by I think Stephen, who
      >offered to run one for Diplomacy. I teased Alex a bit by suggesting that
      >he had just been voted CGS coordinator for the hobby but I seem to
      >remember Ryk Downes and David Oya saying they would hold information on
      >Waiting Lists on their web sites. Might it be possible for this sort of
      >thing to be coordinated so those involved are not all slogging their way
      >through the same stuff? If they are agreeable, those with their own web
      >sites would appear to be an obvious place to hold this information. Any
      >comments/suggestions?))

      A CGS was one of the things that caused Mark Wightman to go apoplectic.
      Having been out of the zine editing game for a while now I had forgotten
      how competitive zine editors were (and I was no better). As such
      running the CGS might be a fairly thankless task for someone to do.

      I like the idea of a place where hobby waiting lists can be ... er ...
      listed. I agree that there is no point in having 2 or more people
      recording this information in different places. Whoever emerges as the
      preferred candidate should be someone that all zine editors are prepared
      to trade with or, if it is someone who does not publish a zine then they
      should receive complimentary copies (or the info could be sent by e-mail
      if applicable).


      >Without going into the wherefores and whyfores, Alex is still concerned
      >about the number of people who have not to have received "The Letter".
      >As a number of these are in the United side of the hobby, he feels they
      >have been further alienated. He also points out that a number of them
      >don't particularly want to be considered as part of the hobby anyway.
      >((Many moons ago I seem to remember there being some ill feeling because
      >the Hobby Ghods of the time looked down their noses at those
      >who didn't play Diplomacy. I think this was when the split took place.
      >Given that our numbers are slowly dwindling, I would like to suggest
      >that we welcome games players of any sort into the hobby. As I am sure I
      >have said before, I feel there is a certain amount of crossover between
      >our hobby, the professional games playing hobby and the United hobby so
      >why we should feel we are anything special, I don't know. They can
      >always say "no thanks" if they are still not interested, but at least we
      >have made the effort.))

      I agree with JC. PBMers and United players are welcome to share in our
      hobby if they want to and equally welcome to spurn it if they wish.

      >Alex then goes on to list a number of Digest entries and his responses.
      >A number of them have been raised before but it will do no harm to
      >mention them again.
      >((Having just done a whistle stop tour of the hobby web sites I think
      >only about half of them mentioned John so I have taken the liberty of
      >leaving a polite message. After all, it seems daft to spend money
      >advertising when we can send "visitors" directly to MfG from these
      >sites? After all, they are presumably interested in games or they
      >wouldn't be in the sites in the first place.

      I think the link has even disappeared from www.diplomacy.co.uk. I'm
      sure there used to be one. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place.

      >Digest 43, Message: Alex was "heartened" to see some of our friends from
      >across the pond taking an interest and hopes they will stick around.
      >((I will mention our campaign to Conrad von Metzke as well.))

      Apparently one of the reasons our hobby has survived better than the
      American one is because our postal service is so much better.

      >Digest 44, Message 1: Alex has seen a copy of the original Novice
      >Package and describes it to me. He wholeheartedly agrees with the idea
      >of thinning it down to a more acceptable size. He mentions that a lot of
      >people must have been involved it the original and bemoans the fact that
      >there are so few of us involved this time round. He suggests that there
      >be some sort of presence at the Mind Sports Olympiad.

      Moves are afoot to have some sort of postal gaming presence at the
      Olympiad even if it only takes the form of "world championships" of
      games that can be played by post - namely Dip, 18xx, RR, Fireside
      Football (United), Breaking Away, Pass the Pigs (only kidding).

      On July 3rd there is a games event in Harlow and a few hobby luminaries
      will be there too. If anyone else wants to attend send me an e-mail
      (johnh@...) or write to me at 1 Churchbury Close,
      Enfield, EN1 3UW.

      >((How is the revamped Novice Package coming along John? I am very much
      >aware of the fact that you have been rather lumbered with this. What
      >ever you do, don't rush it. I am sure we would all rather that you were
      >happy with the end result than have the thing go out at half-cock. Will
      >we get a chance to pass comment before you go public?

      I've started so I'll finish....

      Just don't know when yet. Lin's parents are coming round tomorrow and
      number 2 son has been despatched to Clacton for the week-end so I might
      get a chance to finish it this week. It will be much shorter than the
      previous version and will cover the whole of the postal gaming hobby,
      not just Dip.

      I can circulate it for general approval if you wish but I've got a pile
      of people (about 20) waiting for it who signed up at the recent PBM meet
      so I might send them the draft copy if that's OK (get Gihan to photocopy
      it for me :-) and then produce a revised version afterwards.

      >Digest 45, Message 1: Alex advises that he will be passing a cheque on
      >to John at the PubMeet.
      >((We should hopefully have our bank account set up by now but I have
      >been unable to contact Nick. When I hear, I will let you know then we
      >can ask for donations with a clear conscience!))

      I didn't make the PubMeet as it coincided with a 4 hour lunch down the
      pub!

      >Alex also mentioned that he felt it would be worth doing an other stand
      >at the Midlands/Northern PBM con but doesn't give a date. I also noticed
      >somewhere that there will be one in Blackpool at some stage called
      >Towercon, I think. Anyone interested?

      Blackpool should be doable by me in theory as Lin's parents live just
      down t'road in St. Annes. (Lin, in case you have not guessed, is my
      wife).

      >Digest 50, Message 1: Finally, he says he is "leaning towards the idea
      >of attending Manorcon" and wonders if John might meet his wife again and
      >put in a few words for him.
      >((I suggested blackmail!))

      I'm a bit confused here. Am I the "John" to whom Alex refers? I must
      have made a good impression last time we met - probably the first time
      she had ever met someone who could rabbit as much as Alex.
      >
      >Right! It's just me from now on so I will forego the brackets. Alex
      >mentioned in the passing that John now no longer has access to cheap
      >printing. I hope you are not out of pocket over anything you are doing
      >for the Hobby Revival John. If you are, please shout.

      There has been a reprieve on the cheap printing front, at least for 6
      months or so. I'm probably shelling out about �40 a year on hobby
      promotion but I am not bothered about recompense because it is all good
      publicity for Fiendish Games. The hobby is the best source of play-
      testers in the world and many of our customers come from this community
      so we are happy to do what we can to promote it.


      >Can I make a suggestion? Things appear to have reached a bit of a hiatus
      >just now as it seems unlikely that we are going to get any more really
      >good ideas. As a cross section of the hobby, (all be it rather small),
      >what about everyone putting on their thinking caps and letting us know
      >what they see as being the five most realistic suggestions we have
      >received so far for bringing new blood into the hobby, and probably more
      >important, why? If you give them in order of merit, after a couple of
      >weeks, we can tally up the votes, then focus on how we should implement
      >say the top three? I will start the ball rolling.
      >

      5 - ads in games shops - how about flyers in every carrier bag?
      4 - flyers in games
      3 - ads in games mags
      2 - presence at games cons - including rpg, war games et al
      1 - articles in the local press to coincide with Mind Sports Olympiad

      --
      John Harrington
    • Stephen Agar
      In message , John Harrington writes ... As I said ages ago - I would be prepared
      Message 2 of 10 , May 22 1:13 PM
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        In message <FpnpqOAvNuR3Iw37@...>, John Harrington
        <johnh@...> writes
        >From: John Harrington <johnh@...>
        >
        >
        >A CGS was one of the things that caused Mark Wightman to go apoplectic.
        >Having been out of the zine editing game for a while now I had forgotten
        >how competitive zine editors were (and I was no better). As such
        >running the CGS might be a fairly thankless task for someone to do.

        As I said ages ago - I would be prepared to collect names of people
        after a quick Diplomacy gamestart and then send them off to zines who
        had a waiting list nearly full (no bias - even including Sprouts!). As I
        don't have any waiting lists myself anymore, I have no axe to grind.

        >
        >I think the link has even disappeared from www.diplomacy.co.uk. I'm
        >sure there used to be one. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place.

        You do me an injustice. Click on UKPBM and there's a link to MfG and
        Danny's page.

        >
        >>Digest 43, Message: Alex was "heartened" to see some of our friends from
        >>across the pond taking an interest and hopes they will stick around.
        >>((I will mention our campaign to Conrad von Metzke as well.))
        >
        >Apparently one of the reasons our hobby has survived better than the
        >American one is because our postal service is so much better.

        And we have a smaller percentage online and no free telephone calls.


        --
        Stephen Agar, Brighton, UK
        www.diplomacy.co.uk
      • John Harrington
        In message , Stephen Agar writes ... I thought it unlikely that you had eliminated it but it
        Message 3 of 10 , May 23 3:47 AM
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          In message <sKqrSLAU$wR3EwIK@...>, Stephen Agar
          <stephen@...> writes
          >From: Stephen Agar <stephen@...>
          >
          >
          >>
          >>I think the link has even disappeared from www.diplomacy.co.uk. I'm
          >>sure there used to be one. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place.
          >
          >You do me an injustice. Click on UKPBM and there's a link to MfG and
          >Danny's page.
          >
          I thought it unlikely that you had eliminated it but it looked like you
          had done a bit of revision to the site and sometimes things get lost in
          the wash.


          --
          John Harrington
        • Stephen Agar
          In message , John Harrington writes ... I see it s also the first link on the
          Message 4 of 10 , May 23 4:51 AM
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            In message <4a$WmAANz9R3IwDq@...>, John Harrington
            <johnh@...> writes
            >From: John Harrington <johnh@...>
            >
            >In message <sKqrSLAU$wR3EwIK@...>, Stephen Agar
            ><stephen@...> writes
            >>From: Stephen Agar <stephen@...>
            >>
            >>
            >>>
            >>>I think the link has even disappeared from www.diplomacy.co.uk. I'm
            >>>sure there used to be one. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place.
            >>
            >>You do me an injustice. Click on UKPBM and there's a link to MfG and
            >>Danny's page.
            >>
            >I thought it unlikely that you had eliminated it but it looked like you
            >had done a bit of revision to the site and sometimes things get lost in
            >the wash.
            >
            >

            I see it's also the first link on the links page too!

            I've had an idea. Would you object if I lift the entire contents of MfG
            and put it on the Diplomatic Pouch postal section (with
            acknowledgements)? At the moment there is a link - but if the material
            was staring people in the face they may actually read it.

            --
            Stephen Agar, Brighton, UK
            www.diplomacy.co.uk
          • John Harrington
            In message , Stephen Agar writes ... Mystery solved. I was looking at
            Message 5 of 10 , May 23 7:41 AM
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              In message <9EyPRJA0u+R3EwKx@...>, Stephen Agar
              <stephen@...> writes
              >From: Stephen Agar <stephen@...>
              >
              >In message <4a$WmAANz9R3IwDq@...>, John Harrington
              ><johnh@...> writes
              >>From: John Harrington <johnh@...>
              >>
              >>In message <sKqrSLAU$wR3EwIK@...>, Stephen Agar
              >><stephen@...> writes
              >>>From: Stephen Agar <stephen@...>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>>
              >>>>I think the link has even disappeared from www.diplomacy.co.uk. I'm
              >>>>sure there used to be one. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place.
              >>>
              >>>You do me an injustice. Click on UKPBM and there's a link to MfG and
              >>>Danny's page.
              >>>
              >>I thought it unlikely that you had eliminated it but it looked like you
              >>had done a bit of revision to the site and sometimes things get lost in
              >>the wash.
              >>
              >>
              Mystery solved. I was looking at http://www.diplomacy.org.uk/ which is
              not Stephen's site at all. Anyone know who does maintain this?
              >
              >I see it's also the first link on the links page too!
              >
              >I've had an idea. Would you object if I lift the entire contents of MfG
              >and put it on the Diplomatic Pouch postal section (with
              >acknowledgements)? At the moment there is a link - but if the material
              >was staring people in the face they may actually read it.
              >
              I'd prefer to steer the traffic to our web site if only because there is
              a small chance they might amble round the rest of it and buy a game.

              Let me mull this one over for a bit.

              --
              John Harrington
            • Chris M. Dickson
              In message , John Harrington writes ... Emeric Misz... Misc... Mist... Emeric.
              Message 6 of 10 , May 23 10:46 AM
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                In message <F2mZ9CAkOBS3Iw+S@...>, John Harrington
                <johnh@...> writes
                >Mystery solved. I was looking at http://www.diplomacy.org.uk/ which is
                >not Stephen's site at all. Anyone know who does maintain this?

                Emeric Misz... Misc... Mist...

                Emeric.

                (Sorry, Emeric!)
                Chris
              • Richard Smith
                SA: I ve had an idea. Would you object if I lift the entire contents of MfG ... JH: I d prefer to steer the traffic to our web site if only because there
                Message 7 of 10 , May 23 2:34 PM
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                  SA: > >I've had an idea. Would you object if I lift the entire contents of
                  MfG
                  > >and put it on the Diplomatic Pouch postal section (with
                  > >acknowledgements)? At the moment there is a link - but if the material
                  > >was staring people in the face they may actually read it.

                  JH: > I'd prefer to steer the traffic to our web site if only because there
                  is
                  > a small chance they might amble round the rest of it and buy a game.
                  >
                  > Let me mull this one over for a bit.

                  A link is much better. You can always put the hyperlink on an
                  attention-grabbing graphic to get people to click on it. Whenever John
                  updates the content you don't have to do anything.

                  Also, I actually bought a copy of Breaking Away (admittedly from SFCP
                  tacked onto an order I was about to send in - just laziness - would have
                  saved a couple of quid buying direct from Fiendish) after visiting the
                  site. Being a fan of Demaarge and 6-Tage Rennen I was drawn to it - and
                  it's better than both of those games. All it needs is a decent box :-)

                  Richard
                • John Harrington
                  In message , Richard Smith writes ... Which reminds me - as soon as I get the Hobby Starter
                  Message 8 of 10 , May 26 1:13 AM
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                    In message <927495850.1110176.0@...>, Richard Smith
                    <richard@...> writes
                    >From: "Richard Smith" <richard@...>
                    >
                    >
                    >SA: > >I've had an idea. Would you object if I lift the entire contents of
                    >MfG
                    >> >and put it on the Diplomatic Pouch postal section (with
                    >> >acknowledgements)? At the moment there is a link - but if the material
                    >> >was staring people in the face they may actually read it.
                    >
                    >JH: > I'd prefer to steer the traffic to our web site if only because there
                    >is
                    >> a small chance they might amble round the rest of it and buy a game.
                    >>
                    >> Let me mull this one over for a bit.
                    >
                    >A link is much better. You can always put the hyperlink on an
                    >attention-grabbing graphic to get people to click on it. Whenever John
                    >updates the content you don't have to do anything.
                    >
                    Which reminds me - as soon as I get the Hobby Starter Pack finished
                    (almost done the draft) I must update MfG on t'web.

                    >Also, I actually bought a copy of Breaking Away (admittedly from SFCP
                    >tacked onto an order I was about to send in - just laziness - would have
                    >saved a couple of quid buying direct from Fiendish) after visiting the
                    >site. Being a fan of Demaarge and 6-Tage Rennen I was drawn to it - and
                    >it's better than both of those games. All it needs is a decent box :-)

                    Sorry but we bought the boxes before we found a better source, and alas
                    the board won't fit into the A4 boxes we have in stock. Just be
                    thankful you didn't buy version 1 with the polythene bags which
                    eventually split!

                    --
                    John Harrington
                  • Stephen Agar
                    In message , John Harrington writes ... Some of us did :-) -- Stephen Agar,
                    Message 9 of 10 , May 26 3:09 PM
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                      In message <2tSl7nA206S3IwI3@...>, John Harrington
                      <johnh@...> writes
                      >
                      >Sorry but we bought the boxes before we found a better source, and alas
                      >the board won't fit into the A4 boxes we have in stock. Just be
                      >thankful you didn't buy version 1 with the polythene bags which
                      >eventually split!
                      >

                      Some of us did :-)
                      --
                      Stephen Agar, Brighton, UK
                      www.diplomacy.co.uk
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