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RE: [ukpbm] Re. the State of PBM

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  • Howard Bishop
    John, are you still getting requests for the newbie start-up packs? Is there anything else we can do to help newcomers to become more quickly involved? I did
    Message 1 of 19 , Oct 22, 2001
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      John, are you still getting requests for the newbie start-up packs?

      Is there anything else we can do to help newcomers to become more quickly
      involved?
      I did wonder about setting up a 'zine specifically for people who haven't
      done any PBM or PBeM before. It would have a core set of medium complexity
      games with all the rules printed in every issue and I would try to guarantee
      a gamestart each time.
      When I joined the hobby, I got a whole bunch of zines and MfG, which was
      great, but I knew very little about most of the games on offer, and I almost
      packed it in and went away.
      I'm not making any sense now.

      Howard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: John Harrington [mailto:johnh@...]
      Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2001 5:49 PM
      To: ukpbm@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [ukpbm] Re. the State of PBM


      21/10/2001 14:54:34, Tom Tweedy <tom@...> wrote:

      >
      >Getting feedback all depends on how the GM steers the conversation...
      >you know yourself most of the feedback you get is from simple throwaway
      >remarks. Most of dip2000's lettercol was like that. The only thing about
      >an online letter column though is shortage of space. With your postal
      >zines players/subscribers can keep and collect the zines. Whereas
      >dip2000's letter column just got bigger and bigger. It just wasn't
      >[isn't] practical. Since I started up the message board I have no actual
      >feedback to the letter column at all. Everyone turned to putting up
      >their comments on the board - easier for me, easier for them. Even so, I
      >have to 'clip' old messages from the board just to keep it manageable.
      >

      I think one of the biggest differences between an online zine and a postal
      one is "personality". Not that an online zine
      can't have a personality, but if there large bits of it that are
      self-regulating (message boards, satellite web sites that do
      their own thing) then I feel it is less likely.

      So, it should follow (he said hesitantly) that the "postal" gaming hobby
      should be emphasising the "hobby" more than
      the "gaming", the "community" more than the activity. Whether we have the
      firebrand editors any more to appeal to
      newbies, I don't know. The likes of Birks, Sharp, Wilson, Marsden & co are
      still doing good stuff, but then so are Bob
      Dylan and Paul McCartney (probably?) yet they're not getting many new fans.

      The postal gaming hobby is a bit like, I don't know, big bands. Duke
      Ellington is gone but bands playing that style of
      music still tour and the diehards turn out to see them but they're not
      shifting albums.

      I have almost certainly said this before but to some extent the hobby has
      become a victim of its own success. People
      played postal games because they couldn't get a gaming fix. Now we have
      virtually one games convention a month,
      mostly populated by people from the gaming hobby. I don't know about you,
      but as I now get ample opportunity to play
      lots of the new games and could, if I wish, probably raise enough players at
      a con to play a really long multi-player game
      such as Civi or Pax Britannica then I feel less of an urge to play these
      games by post. This could explain why the postal
      hobby is now infested by all reader games, glorified parlour games and
      trivial number games (such as Breaking Away!).
      None of these really float my boat but they seem to be popular because
      people can put their orders in as a 4 word PS
      on the bottom of a letter complaining about the editor's views on refugees,
      anthrax or some other heavy metal band ....

      Maybe it is therefore worth promoting the face to face hobby (games clubs,
      conventions) to the e-mail fraternity and
      then pitch the zines as ancillaries to this, a means of giving people the
      opportunity to be famous within the hobby
      through being outspoken, funny, prolix, acerbic, argumentative or in Mark
      Wightman's case all 5.

      >> If I was to relate it to my personal experiences, I would say that
      it's akin
      >>to when you're at secondary/senior school and all of a sudden everybody
      goes
      >>their own way after that final schoolyear - there are loads of promises to
      keep
      >>in touch and all the rest of it, but when push comes to shove, everybody
      has
      >>their own family and life path to follow, and you're not usually part of
      it...
      >

      I take it you haven't heard about the runaway success of
      friendsreunited.co.uk, allegedly the most popular UK site,
      which reunites old school friends?

      >Do we have a CGS custodian still? Does he still collect newcomer names?
      >And does he have ANY contact service on the Internet?

      No, we do not have a CGS custodian. I seriosuly doubt there is a demand.

      >
      >Actually I have our hobby contact as John Harrington but I don't know
      >how much feedback he gets from the hobby advert on dip2000. [John? Do
      >you get any newcomers from the advert?]

      Yes, I'm still here, keeping up with the reactive stuff (answering queries)
      and doing poorly on the proactive stuff (Mission
      From God - still imminent! - and doing PAs and promotional stuff).
      Enquirers don't always tell me where they came from
      so it is hard to tell whether the dip2000 advert is working; of course I
      usually ask them where they heard about us but
      once they have the freebies they don't always respond again unless they
      choose to join the hobby as Howard Bishop
      did.


      Did any of that make sense? I'm slightly pished after watching Spurs beat
      Newcastle down the pub. Not sure what
      they were doing playing the football match in the pub but there you go. And
      here I go.


      John

      Fiendish Board Games - makers of games in the German style.
      Breaking Away, Office Politics and Traffic Lights.
      http://www.fbgames.co.uk <http://www.fbgames.co.uk>




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    • Ben Goodale
      You are. Er...that s what MFG is all about, at the risk of repeating myself. I was in at the start of it, it made sense then and it makes sense now. On
      Message 2 of 19 , Oct 22, 2001
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        You are.

        Er...that's what MFG is all about, at the risk of repeating myself. I was in at the start of it, it made sense then and it makes sense now. On reflection, the name was perhaps a little unhelpful, but other than that...

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Howard Bishop
        To: 'ukpbm@yahoogroups.com'
        Sent: Monday, 22 October 2001 20:21
        Subject: RE: [ukpbm] Re. the State of PBM


        John, are you still getting requests for the newbie start-up packs?

        Is there anything else we can do to help newcomers to become more quickly
        involved?
        I did wonder about setting up a 'zine specifically for people who haven't
        done any PBM or PBeM before. It would have a core set of medium complexity
        games with all the rules printed in every issue and I would try to guarantee
        a gamestart each time.
        When I joined the hobby, I got a whole bunch of zines and MfG, which was
        great, but I knew very little about most of the games on offer, and I almost
        packed it in and went away.
        I'm not making any sense now.

        Howard

        -----Original Message-----
        From: John Harrington [mailto:johnh@...]
        Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2001 5:49 PM
        To: ukpbm@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [ukpbm] Re. the State of PBM


        21/10/2001 14:54:34, Tom Tweedy <tom@...> wrote:

        >
        >Getting feedback all depends on how the GM steers the conversation...
        >you know yourself most of the feedback you get is from simple throwaway
        >remarks. Most of dip2000's lettercol was like that. The only thing about
        >an online letter column though is shortage of space. With your postal
        >zines players/subscribers can keep and collect the zines. Whereas
        >dip2000's letter column just got bigger and bigger. It just wasn't
        >[isn't] practical. Since I started up the message board I have no actual
        >feedback to the letter column at all. Everyone turned to putting up
        >their comments on the board - easier for me, easier for them. Even so, I
        >have to 'clip' old messages from the board just to keep it manageable.
        >

        I think one of the biggest differences between an online zine and a postal
        one is "personality". Not that an online zine
        can't have a personality, but if there large bits of it that are
        self-regulating (message boards, satellite web sites that do
        their own thing) then I feel it is less likely.

        So, it should follow (he said hesitantly) that the "postal" gaming hobby
        should be emphasising the "hobby" more than
        the "gaming", the "community" more than the activity. Whether we have the
        firebrand editors any more to appeal to
        newbies, I don't know. The likes of Birks, Sharp, Wilson, Marsden & co are
        still doing good stuff, but then so are Bob
        Dylan and Paul McCartney (probably?) yet they're not getting many new fans.

        The postal gaming hobby is a bit like, I don't know, big bands. Duke
        Ellington is gone but bands playing that style of
        music still tour and the diehards turn out to see them but they're not
        shifting albums.

        I have almost certainly said this before but to some extent the hobby has
        become a victim of its own success. People
        played postal games because they couldn't get a gaming fix. Now we have
        virtually one games convention a month,
        mostly populated by people from the gaming hobby. I don't know about you,
        but as I now get ample opportunity to play
        lots of the new games and could, if I wish, probably raise enough players at
        a con to play a really long multi-player game
        such as Civi or Pax Britannica then I feel less of an urge to play these
        games by post. This could explain why the postal
        hobby is now infested by all reader games, glorified parlour games and
        trivial number games (such as Breaking Away!).
        None of these really float my boat but they seem to be popular because
        people can put their orders in as a 4 word PS
        on the bottom of a letter complaining about the editor's views on refugees,
        anthrax or some other heavy metal band ....

        Maybe it is therefore worth promoting the face to face hobby (games clubs,
        conventions) to the e-mail fraternity and
        then pitch the zines as ancillaries to this, a means of giving people the
        opportunity to be famous within the hobby
        through being outspoken, funny, prolix, acerbic, argumentative or in Mark
        Wightman's case all 5.

        >> If I was to relate it to my personal experiences, I would say that
        it's akin
        >>to when you're at secondary/senior school and all of a sudden everybody
        goes
        >>their own way after that final schoolyear - there are loads of promises to
        keep
        >>in touch and all the rest of it, but when push comes to shove, everybody
        has
        >>their own family and life path to follow, and you're not usually part of
        it...
        >

        I take it you haven't heard about the runaway success of
        friendsreunited.co.uk, allegedly the most popular UK site,
        which reunites old school friends?

        >Do we have a CGS custodian still? Does he still collect newcomer names?
        >And does he have ANY contact service on the Internet?

        No, we do not have a CGS custodian. I seriosuly doubt there is a demand.

        >
        >Actually I have our hobby contact as John Harrington but I don't know
        >how much feedback he gets from the hobby advert on dip2000. [John? Do
        >you get any newcomers from the advert?]

        Yes, I'm still here, keeping up with the reactive stuff (answering queries)
        and doing poorly on the proactive stuff (Mission
        From God - still imminent! - and doing PAs and promotional stuff).
        Enquirers don't always tell me where they came from
        so it is hard to tell whether the dip2000 advert is working; of course I
        usually ask them where they heard about us but
        once they have the freebies they don't always respond again unless they
        choose to join the hobby as Howard Bishop
        did.


        Did any of that make sense? I'm slightly pished after watching Spurs beat
        Newcastle down the pub. Not sure what
        they were doing playing the football match in the pub but there you go. And
        here I go.


        John

        Fiendish Board Games - makers of games in the German style.
        Breaking Away, Office Politics and Traffic Lights.
        http://www.fbgames.co.uk <http://www.fbgames.co.uk>




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        <http://us.adserver.yahoo.com/l?M=178320.1681224.3212089.1261774/D=egroupmai
        l/S=1705057088:HM/A=766844/rand=228504898>

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        <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Tom Tweedy
        In message , John Harrington writes Hello John, ... What do you mean about message
        Message 3 of 19 , Oct 22, 2001
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          In message <000ac38491615a1PCOW024M@...>, John Harrington
          <johnh@...> writes

          Hello John,

          >I think one of the biggest differences between an online zine and a postal one
          >is "personality". Not that an online zine
          >can't have a personality, but if there large bits of it that are self-regulating
          >(message boards, satellite web sites that do
          >their own thing) then I feel it is less likely.
          >
          What do you mean about message boards are self regulating? I'm the only
          one regulating the dip2000's board. I don't know about 'personality' but
          a lot of our players say they like the site because of its feeling of
          'community spirit' - whatever that is...

          >So, it should follow (he said hesitantly) that the "postal" gaming hobby should
          >be emphasising the "hobby" more than
          >the "gaming", the "community" more than the activity. Whether we have the
          >firebrand editors any more to appeal to
          >newbies, I don't know. The likes of Birks, Sharp, Wilson, Marsden & co are
          >still doing good stuff, but then so are Bob
          >Dylan and Paul McCartney (probably?) yet they're not getting many new fans.

          I disagree - the ENTIRE board gaming fraternity should be advertising
          boardgaming, not just the postal hobby. We should all be in it together.
          >
          >Maybe it is therefore worth promoting the face to face hobby (games clubs,
          >conventions) to the e-mail fraternity and
          >then pitch the zines as ancillaries to this, a means of giving people the
          >opportunity to be famous within the hobby
          >through being outspoken, funny, prolix, acerbic, argumentative or in Mark
          >Wightman's case all 5.
          >
          [Grin] I've had first hand experience of Mark being prickly [can't
          remember why though]. I thought we WERE promoting face to face gaming
          already?
          >
          >No, we do not have a CGS custodian. I seriosuly doubt there is a demand.
          >
          Why, because the custodian wouldn't get any newbie players? Or the zines
          wouldn't take on such newbie line-ups?

          Tom
          --
          Tom Tweedy
          Diplomacy 2000
          http://www.lancedal.demon.co.uk/dip2000
        • John Harrington
          ... so can t watch the news! ... No, it s OK, I m a Spurs fan. I was pissed, not pissed off! John Fiendish Board Games - makers of games in the German style.
          Message 4 of 19 , Oct 22, 2001
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            22/10/2001 01:09:10, "Ben Goodale" <ben_goodale@...> wrote:

            >Oh yeah, I meant to say bad luck on the Newcastle result. I'm half way through my overnight tape of Chelsea/Leeds
            so can't watch the news!
            >

            No, it's OK, I'm a Spurs fan. I was pissed, not pissed off!


            John

            Fiendish Board Games - makers of games in the German style.
            Breaking Away, Office Politics and Traffic Lights.
            http://www.fbgames.co.uk
          • John Harrington
            ... Dried up of late, what with Games Games Games not being published for a few months. ... Well I quite liked the idea of a single postal gaming site but when
            Message 5 of 19 , Oct 22, 2001
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              22/10/2001 08:21:58, Howard Bishop <hbishop@...> wrote:

              >John, are you still getting requests for the newbie start-up packs?
              >
              Dried up of late, what with Games Games Games not being published for a few months.

              >Is there anything else we can do to help newcomers to become more quickly
              >involved?
              >I did wonder about setting up a 'zine specifically for people who haven't
              >done any PBM or PBeM before. It would have a core set of medium complexity
              >games with all the rules printed in every issue and I would try to guarantee
              >a gamestart each time.

              Well I quite liked the idea of a single postal gaming site but when Stephen set one up it died a death. A site with MfG,
              Alex's waiting list update, a compendium of all the postal games and maybe a central game start service would be great
              provided we could advertise it well enough to get people to go there. Now, who wants to run such a site?

              Anyone?


              John

              Fiendish Board Games - makers of games in the German style.
              Breaking Away, Office Politics and Traffic Lights.
              http://www.fbgames.co.uk
            • John Harrington
              ... Self-regulating might not have been the best term but what I meant was that people can post messages & reply to them without any intervention from the
              Message 6 of 19 , Oct 22, 2001
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                22/10/2001 12:05:09, Tom Tweedy <tom@...> wrote:

                >In message <000ac38491615a1PCOW024M@...>, John Harrington
                ><johnh@...> writes
                >
                >Hello John,
                >
                >>I think one of the biggest differences between an online zine and a postal one
                >>is "personality". Not that an online zine
                >>can't have a personality, but if there large bits of it that are self-regulating
                >>(message boards, satellite web sites that do
                >>their own thing) then I feel it is less likely.
                >>
                >What do you mean about message boards are self regulating? I'm the only
                >one regulating the dip2000's board. I don't know about 'personality' but
                >a lot of our players say they like the site because of its feeling of
                >'community spirit' - whatever that is...

                Self-regulating might not have been the best term but what I meant was that people can post messages & reply to them
                without any intervention from the editor. One of the appeals of a zine lettercol is the interface between the readers and
                the editor.

                >>No, we do not have a CGS custodian. I seriosuly doubt there is a demand.
                >>
                >Why, because the custodian wouldn't get any newbie players? Or the zines
                >wouldn't take on such newbie line-ups?
                >

                The old CGS was purely for Diplomcy games, if I recall. I think it died out when the demand dried up - yes, there was a
                time when people were desperate to play Diplomacy but those sorts of people are now probably playing by e-mail. I
                don't think there is a huge pent-up demand to play By Popular Demand, Preposterous Poetry, Sea of Despair which are
                the sort of games that most zines seem to be running these days. Demand may or may not be there for RR, United and
                other postal classics but these games seem to be run by specialist zines who don't have much trouble attracting players.

                If there were more zines trying to get slightly more unusual games off the ground - I dunno, games like Britannia,
                Civilization, History of the World, Empires of the Middle Ages, Lord of the Rings, Settlers of Catan, Iluminati, Magic the
                Gathering (the game practically plays itself, the real fun is in deck building - surely it is not beyond the wit of someone to
                design a MtG campaign that could be played by post?) - then there might be a call for a CGS. Working hand in hand
                with the Waiting List update it could be a useful service.


                John

                Fiendish Board Games - makers of games in the German style.
                Breaking Away, Office Politics and Traffic Lights.
                http://www.fbgames.co.uk
              • Stephen Agar
                In message , John Harrington writes ... One of the domains I registered, but never
                Message 7 of 19 , Oct 22, 2001
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                  In message <0bb8545511216a1PCOW034M@...>, John Harrington
                  <johnh@...> writes
                  >22/10/2001 08:21:58, Howard Bishop <hbishop@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >>John, are you still getting requests for the newbie start-up packs?
                  >>
                  >Dried up of late, what with Games Games Games not being published for a
                  >few months.
                  >
                  >>Is there anything else we can do to help newcomers to become more quickly
                  >>involved?
                  >>I did wonder about setting up a 'zine specifically for people who haven't
                  >>done any PBM or PBeM before. It would have a core set of medium complexity
                  >>games with all the rules printed in every issue and I would try to guarantee
                  >>a gamestart each time.
                  >
                  >Well I quite liked the idea of a single postal gaming site but when
                  >Stephen set one up it died a death. A site with MfG,
                  >Alex's waiting list update, a compendium of all the postal games and
                  >maybe a central game start service would be great
                  >provided we could advertise it well enough to get people to go there.
                  >Now, who wants to run such a site?
                  >
                  >Anyone?
                  >

                  One of the domains I registered, but never used, was "postalgames.com"

                  So if anyone wants to use it for the hobby - be my guest!

                  --
                  Stephen Agar, Brighton, UK
                  http://www.diplomacy-archive.com
                • Tom Tweedy
                  In message , John Harrington writes ... Hmmm, so what you re saying here, John, is
                  Message 8 of 19 , Oct 23, 2001
                  • 0 Attachment
                    In message <0f93651001316a1PCOW024M@...>, John Harrington
                    <johnh@...> writes
                    >
                    >The old CGS was purely for Diplomcy games, if I recall. I think it died out
                    >when the demand dried up - yes, there was a
                    >time when people were desperate to play Diplomacy but those sorts of people are
                    >now probably playing by e-mail. I
                    >don't think there is a huge pent-up demand to play By Popular Demand,
                    >Preposterous Poetry, Sea of Despair which are
                    >the sort of games that most zines seem to be running these days. Demand may or
                    >may not be there for RR, United and
                    >other postal classics but these games seem to be run by specialist zines who
                    >don't have much trouble attracting players.
                    >
                    >If there were more zines trying to get slightly more unusual games off the
                    >ground - I dunno, games like Britannia,
                    >Civilization, History of the World, Empires of the Middle Ages, Lord of the
                    >Rings, Settlers of Catan, Iluminati, Magic the
                    >Gathering (the game practically plays itself, the real fun is in deck building -
                    >surely it is not beyond the wit of someone to
                    >design a MtG campaign that could be played by post?) - then there might be a
                    >call for a CGS. Working hand in hand
                    >with the Waiting List update it could be a useful service.
                    >

                    Hmmm, so what you're saying here, John, is that a lot of postal zines
                    are running unpopular games? Well that explains it then... I thought our
                    job was to supply games people WANTED to play.

                    Tom
                    --
                    Tom Tweedy
                    Diplomacy 2000
                    http://www.lancedal.demon.co.uk/dip2000
                  • Tom Tweedy
                    In message , Stephen Agar writes ... Heyeah right - I ll be surprised if anyone takes up your kind offer,
                    Message 9 of 19 , Oct 23, 2001
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                      In message <zv9YrrBKzB17EwJA@...>, Stephen Agar
                      <stephen@...> writes

                      >>Well I quite liked the idea of a single postal gaming site but when
                      >>Stephen set one up it died a death. A site with MfG,
                      >>Alex's waiting list update, a compendium of all the postal games and
                      >>maybe a central game start service would be great
                      >>provided we could advertise it well enough to get people to go there.
                      >>Now, who wants to run such a site?
                      >>
                      >>Anyone?
                      >>
                      >
                      >One of the domains I registered, but never used, was "postalgames.com"
                      >
                      >So if anyone wants to use it for the hobby - be my guest!
                      >
                      Heyeah right - I'll be surprised if anyone takes up your kind offer,
                      Steve. A lot of you editors can't think past paper and staples. :-)

                      Tom
                      --
                      Tom Tweedy
                      Diplomacy 2000
                      http://www.lancedal.demon.co.uk/dip2000
                    • John Harrington
                      ... Well, that s my perception, but I may be wrong. The all reader games may be popular but I can t see people seeking out zines that run them in the same
                      Message 10 of 19 , Oct 24, 2001
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                        23/10/2001 13:08:20, Tom Tweedy <tom@...> wrote:

                        >Hmmm, so what you're saying here, John, is that a lot of postal zines
                        >are running unpopular games? Well that explains it then... I thought our
                        >job was to supply games people WANTED to play.
                        >

                        Well, that's my perception, but I may be wrong. The "all reader" games may be popular but I can't see people seeking
                        out zines that run them in the same way that a fan of Outpost might seek out (for instance) Cut & Thrust.

                        The En Garde and United zines are still running games that are ball-busting for the GM to run and there's a few other
                        zines that are running some reasonably meaty fare but to me there does seem to be an awful lot of lightweight games
                        being run - the postal equivalent of Windows' Minesweeper.


                        John

                        Fiendish Board Games - makers of games in the German style.
                        Breaking Away, Office Politics and Traffic Lights.
                        http://www.fbgames.co.uk
                      • Howard Bishop
                        ... be popular but I can t see people seeking ... out (for instance) Cut & Thrust. ... for the GM to run and there s a few other ... to be an awful lot of
                        Message 11 of 19 , Oct 24, 2001
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                          >John Harrington wrote ....
                          >Well, that's my perception, but I may be wrong. The "all reader" games may
                          be popular but I can't see people seeking
                          >out zines that run them in the same way that a fan of Outpost might seek
                          out (for instance) Cut & Thrust.
                          >
                          >The En Garde and United zines are still running games that are ball-busting
                          for the GM to run and there's a few other
                          >zines that are running some reasonably meaty fare but to me there does seem
                          to be an awful lot of lightweight games
                          >being run - the postal equivalent of Windows' Minesweeper.

                          I agree that all-reader games are not the only thing that a 'zine should be
                          running, but for the damp-behind-the-ears 'zinelets like mine, they're the
                          only way to get any games started and the readers involved. I'm also running
                          the all-reader games with friends and work colleagues. I intend to introduce
                          them to the 'zine through stealth bombing tactics!


                          >Alex Bardy wrote ....
                          > Now surely I don't have to put 2 and 2 together for you guys, do I?
                          >(1). We have a site called postalgames.com.
                          >(2). We stick pretty much the whole of Mission From God on it, including
                          >a copy of the Novice Starter Pack intro thingy.
                          >(3). We upload the latest 'issue' of Waiting List Update on there (or at
                          least
                          >a kind of Compendium of Postal Games database [there's a brief summary of
                          >all the Waiting List Update games included in the Waiting List Update])
                          >(4). We stick one of those easy-to-use email form thingies in there
                          -Mike will
                          >know what I mean- to allow interested parties to let the webmaster know
                          >their email address and what games (or types of games) they're interested
                          in
                          >playing.
                          >(5). And then some poor bastard (probably me), gets the job of
                          processing all these email wish-lists and pointing them in >the right
                          direction - ideally giving
                          >them an editor's email address.

                          BINGO!
                          Alex, if we can share the work out in some way. I'd be happy to help.
                        • John Harrington
                          ... Isn t there some way that the GMs can update the Waiting Lists info for their own zine? Granted not every editor would want to be bothered but hopefully
                          Message 12 of 19 , Oct 25, 2001
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                            25/10/2001 07:01:14, Howard Bishop <hbishop@...> wrote:

                            >>Alex Bardy wrote ....
                            >> Now surely I don't have to put 2 and 2 together for you guys, do I?
                            >>(1). We have a site called postalgames.com.
                            >>(2). We stick pretty much the whole of Mission From God on it, including
                            >>a copy of the Novice Starter Pack intro thingy.
                            >>(3). We upload the latest 'issue' of Waiting List Update on there (or at
                            >least
                            >>a kind of Compendium of Postal Games database [there's a brief summary of
                            >>all the Waiting List Update games included in the Waiting List Update])
                            >>(4). We stick one of those easy-to-use email form thingies in there
                            >-Mike will
                            >>know what I mean- to allow interested parties to let the webmaster know
                            >>their email address and what games (or types of games) they're interested
                            >in
                            >>playing.
                            >>(5). And then some poor bastard (probably me), gets the job of
                            >processing all these email wish-lists and pointing them in >the right
                            >direction - ideally giving
                            >>them an editor's email address.
                            >
                            >BINGO!
                            >Alex, if we can share the work out in some way. I'd be happy to help.

                            Isn't there some way that the GMs can update the Waiting Lists info for their own zine? Granted not every editor would
                            want to be bothered but hopefully enough would be to make it worth while.

                            Not sure how it would operate but it could be done with forms and drop down menus - one form for "Add game to
                            waiting list" and another for "Delete game for waiting list".

                            Form fields would be something like:

                            1) Name of zine (drop down menu of all known zines, plus one entry for "Other")
                            2) "If other, please state name of zine"
                            3) Name of game (drop down menu of all know games - ha, ha! - plus one entry for "other")
                            4) "If other, please state name of game"
                            5) Editor's password (don't suppose anyone would deliberately post false information on the form but as a safeguard the
                            webmaster could give each editor a password and only update the information if the password is correct. Come to think
                            of it, even the passwords could be on a drop-down menu, giving the "saboteur" only a 1 in 20 chance of guessing right
                            and saving the editors the hassle of remembering yet another bloody password)

                            Button: Submit (info sent by e-mail to webmaster and also to a named page on the web site)

                            You could have another page, "Modify", if we wanted to keep track of "Number of players required - e.g. "just one
                            more needed for a game of Railway Rivals"


                            John



                            Fiendish Board Games - makers of games in the German style.
                            Breaking Away, Office Politics and Traffic Lights.
                            http://www.fbgames.co.uk
                          • Richard Smith
                            ... be ... running ... introduce ... This certainly strikes a chord with me. Quite a few zines are have games sitting around for ages not getting filled,
                            Message 13 of 19 , Oct 25, 2001
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                              Howard said:
                              > I agree that all-reader games are not the only thing that a 'zine should
                              be
                              > running, but for the damp-behind-the-ears 'zinelets like mine, they're the
                              > only way to get any games started and the readers involved. I'm also
                              running
                              > the all-reader games with friends and work colleagues. I intend to
                              introduce
                              > them to the 'zine through stealth bombing tactics!

                              This certainly strikes a chord with me. Quite a few zines are have games
                              sitting around for ages not getting filled, whilst an all-reader game, with
                              its zero commitment starts straight away with no problemo. For example it
                              took over a year for me to get 5 players for Bluff! - hardly a taxing game,
                              but despite its nerdiness, Sound Charades is starting in (the late) SMEG 21
                              with no problemo.

                              See link below for rules of both games ...

                              http://fp.sholing.f9.co.uk/rulesban.htm

                              Richard
                            • John Harrington
                              ... At the risk of sounding like a real old fogie, but in the real old days a new zine had to pay its dues by running a popular game that was a ball-breaker to
                              Message 14 of 19 , Oct 27, 2001
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                                25/10/2001 23:42:22, "Richard Smith" <richard@...> wrote:

                                >Howard said:
                                >> I agree that all-reader games are not the only thing that a 'zine should
                                >be
                                >> running, but for the damp-behind-the-ears 'zinelets like mine, they're the
                                >> only way to get any games started and the readers involved. I'm also
                                >running
                                >> the all-reader games with friends and work colleagues. I intend to
                                >introduce
                                >> them to the 'zine through stealth bombing tactics!
                                >
                                >This certainly strikes a chord with me. Quite a few zines are have games
                                >sitting around for ages not getting filled, whilst an all-reader game, with
                                >its zero commitment starts straight away with no problemo. For example it
                                >took over a year for me to get 5 players for Bluff! - hardly a taxing game,
                                >but despite its nerdiness, Sound Charades is starting in (the late) SMEG 21
                                >with no problemo.

                                At the risk of sounding like a real old fogie, but in the real old days a new zine had to pay its dues by running a popular
                                game that was a ball-breaker to run if it wanted to garner new subscribers. Hence Home of the Brave started off with
                                En garde! (which TTYF! took over when it started up) and Bloodstock started off with the Win, Place & Show campaign
                                which it took off Hopscotch's hands. I'm not sure if there are that many guaranteed crowd-pleasers of this ilk anymore.
                                The United scene seems to be shrinking and even Alan Parr's league has numerous vacancies. En Garde! still seems
                                to have a bit of a hard core following. Railway Rivals is well served by Devolution (20+ games) and various other zines
                                but if run well would probably attract subscribers.

                                Something like Alex Bardy's Zine Editor game would have been the sort of thing that had gamers scurrying to subscribe
                                a few years back but maybe the sort of people who used to play these quasi role playing resource management
                                campaign games are now getting their urges satisfied by PC games.

                                If a game is sitting around for ages with lists half-filled there are two options. One, market the game and see if you can
                                get players from other zines (or web sites) to sign up. Two, dump the game and think of something else.

                                I liked Howard's selection of games for Tangerine Terror as he offers some games that are not often seen in the postal
                                arena - e.g. Lost Cities, Football Strategy, One Page Bulge and a couple of other wargames (have you thought of
                                advertising these on www.grognards.com, Howard?) - but none of them are going to net him 12 to 20 players in one go.
                                On the other hand, if he wanted to abandon any hope of a social life and start up a campaign version of Mogul or
                                maybe run Hypereconomic Diplomacy then he might rustle up some subbers in a hurry. The all-reader games and the
                                niche interest games can then be used to fill in around the edges.

                                Regards



                                John

                                Fiendish Board Games - makers of games in the German style.
                                Breaking Away, Office Politics and Traffic Lights.
                                http://www.fbgames.co.uk
                              • Howard Bishop
                                ... new zine had to pay its dues by running a popular ... Hence Home of the Brave started off with ... off with the Win, Place & Show campaign ... guaranteed
                                Message 15 of 19 , Oct 28, 2001
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                                  >At the risk of sounding like a real old fogie, but in the real old days a
                                  new zine had to pay its dues by running a popular
                                  >game that was a ball-breaker to run if it wanted to garner new subscribers.
                                  Hence Home of the Brave started off with
                                  >En garde! (which TTYF! took over when it started up) and Bloodstock started
                                  off with the Win, Place & Show campaign
                                  >which it took off Hopscotch's hands. I'm not sure if there are that many
                                  guaranteed crowd-pleasers of this ilk anymore.
                                  >The United scene seems to be shrinking and even Alan Parr's league has
                                  numerous vacancies. En Garde! still seems
                                  >to have a bit of a hard core following. Railway Rivals is well served by
                                  Devolution (20+ games) and various other zines
                                  >but if run well would probably attract subscribers.
                                  >
                                  >Something like Alex Bardy's Zine Editor game would have been the sort of
                                  thing that had gamers scurrying to subscribe
                                  >a few years back but maybe the sort of people who used to play these quasi
                                  role playing resource management
                                  >campaign games are now getting their urges satisfied by PC games.
                                  >
                                  >If a game is sitting around for ages with lists half-filled there are two
                                  options. One, market the game and see if you can
                                  >get players from other zines (or web sites) to sign up. Two, dump the game
                                  and think of something else.
                                  >
                                  >I liked Howard's selection of games for Tangerine Terror as he offers some
                                  games that are not often seen in the postal
                                  >arena - e.g. Lost Cities, Football Strategy, One Page Bulge and a couple of
                                  other wargames (have you thought of
                                  >advertising these on www.grognards.com, Howard?) - but none of them are
                                  going to net him 12 to 20 players in one go.
                                  >On the other hand, if he wanted to abandon any hope of a social life and
                                  start up a campaign version of Mogul or
                                  >maybe run Hypereconomic Diplomacy then he might rustle up some subbers in a
                                  hurry. The all-reader games and the
                                  >niche interest games can then be used to fill in around the edges.
                                  >
                                  >Regards
                                  >John


                                  This is exactly the kind of constructive criticism the new editors like
                                  myself need. I'll certainly contact the Web Grognards to try and get some
                                  kind of presence on their website. It's a site I use regularly.

                                  I have already dumped a couple of the slow fillers, and I do intend to start
                                  peddling a couple of monster games in the near future. Watch this space.

                                  John, thanks once again for the tips

                                  Cheers
                                  Howard
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