September 16, 1998

Produced by Jim Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327 USA, (401)351-0287

Accessible through Internet at burgess of; FAX to (401) 277-9904

``But I misunderstood; I thought she was saying, `Good luck'; She was saying `Goodbye'." - Richard Thompson. Ghod Quote courtesy of Eric Coffey! Thanks, Eric. Special bonus ``Jim-Boob Brownie Points" if you write something about Ghod that might or might not include telling us about where this quote may be found.

``Down by the river, near the railroad tracks;

I saw my baby, she was dressed in black;

Down by the warehouse, where nobody goes;

I tried to tell her, but she wouldn't know.

She's over there, I'm everywhere;

Up in the air everything is, up in the air.''

From ``Up in the Air'' - one of the great unknown songs of the 90's - by one of TAP's resident musical geniuses, Mark Cutler. This is one of those songs (like many of the above Ghod's songs) that still makes my cry when I hear it (especially live, as I heard it today, and decided to print these lyrics again). You may find this hidden gem on 1995's Mark Cutler and Useful Things, which is Potters Field recording PFR-2122. The pictures on the CD are of the area described in the song above. I still cry, but luckily when I've walked there I haven't lost MY baby dressed in black.... the rest of the song isn't exactly an upper.


We also welcome Dead Poets Society, the newest subszine by Pete Gaughan, to this issue of TAP. We now have FOUR - count 'em - FOUR subszines here in TAP. Unfortunately for you E-Mail subbers, only Mark Lew's e-Benzene appears in the E-Mail version. Pete is trying to figure out how he will make his accessible (if you can convert it to html format, Pete, I can put it with TAP on the web page...) and Peter Sullivan already has his on his web page (E-Mail Pete at peter of I cannot tell you how proud and pleased I am to have Pete Gaughan in these pages and how happy I am for Pete in the sense that this subszine is an indicator of improvements in his personal life, some of which he tells you about in this first issue. I hope this relationship can work for quite some time. Arsenic and Old Farts is truly an amazing Diplomacy game. Watch it. Yes, so we are becoming a bit of a complicated institution here, but I think it is good for the postal hobby. New szines also are finally poking out of the woodwork. I really mean it, I see no reason why postal Dip is dead, although I can't see anyone doing a szine without E-Mail access. There very definitely is a market for the ``long deadline'' games that will continue to be the raison d'etre of the postal hobby. What does raise questions is what Hasbro is going to do with Dip. More on that below....

The postal sub price is a flat $1.00 per issue in the US and Canada, a bargain at twice the price.... but you can double that for other foreign subbers (or $2.00 per issue sent airmail). Players in current games and standbys will continue to get the issues for free, and new game starts (except for Nuclear Yuppie Evil Empire Diplomacy, which is free) cost $15.00 ($10.00 for a life of the game subscription and $5 for the NMR Insurance). I am going to defer rate increases for the moment, but only until the current series of game starts is completed. Remember that music comments and reviews are scattered through the game press at times.

Check out the connections in the Diplomatic Pouch with all of the information you need to play Diplomacy on the Internet at:

Through Jamie McQuinn's Postal portion of the Pouch:

the szine resides in html format. Presently, issues from #190 to the current issue are there, and I will be updating the back issues gradually in the near future.

The most recent issue also can be accessed through David Wang's and Pete Sullivan's web pages. David has grabbed and reserved the HIGHLY prized name:!! His szine Metamorphosis may be found there, along with the latest issue of this szine, plus some information on John Caruso's baseball league - which yours truly plays in. I still want to review David's web site in some detail and will do so presently. His ``version'' of this szine is somewhat more html.friendly than the one I created, so please check it out. Also, look at the Caruso baseball league chat to see what some old semi-retired Dippers are up to with their spare time. My team has finally started to come back to earth so perhaps next year, when I'll be aiming for the World Championship, I may have some success.

By electronic mail, through the Internet, subs are free and can be obtained automatically by sending the message: subscribe tap

to majordomo of and messages can be sent to the entire electronic mailing list by mailing them to tap of which will forward your message to all of the people currently on the list. The message:

unsubscribe tap

sent to majordomo of gets you off the list. Please make careful note of that as well since you generally can get yourself off the list a lot easier than I can, and NOBODY likes to see unsubscribe messages sent to the entire list. A big, big thank you for David Kovar for setting this all up!!


Yes, this is a ``two-fer" and these guys will be on the main list until issue 215. More on them and their publications in future issues. Go to it, guys, each one is worth $50 in cash and prizes!!

This is now going to be a regular continuing feature of the szine and I will be introducing a new ``search for'' every five issues. Moreover, you can win a $25 prize for finding some previous target who went unfound in the original $50 period. That means that if Kevin Tighe or Garret Schenck or Jerry Lucas or Dan Stafford is ``found'' from now on it is worth $25. Plus, Steve Emmert will throw in another ten spot for Garret Schenck if you can get Garret to write to him.

Winners will receive credit for Dip hobby activities that I will pay out as requested by the winner. Bid on PDORA items, subscribe to szines here or abroad, run your own contests, publish a szine, or whatever. Spend it all right away or use me as a bank to cover hobby activities for years. What must you do to win? Get me a letter to the editor for TAP from the person we're searching for. This is very important, just finding them doesn't do it. They have to write me a letter. The final judge as to the winner of any contest will be the target himself and I reserve the right to investigate the winning entry. When you find someone I'm looking for, you should ask him to send me a letter for print that includes a verification of who ``found'' him.


The British representative is the editor of Mission From God, John Harrington. John may be contacted at 1 Churchbury Close, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 3UW, UK (johnh of or JHarrington of The representives in Australia (John Cain, PO Box 4317, Melbourne University 3052, AUSTRALIA) or Belgium and some other European countries (Jef Bryant, Rue Jean Pauly, 121, B-4430 ANS, BELGIUM) also will forward your subscription on to the editor in either Australian dollars or continental European currencies respectively. Please include the full name and address of the foreign publisher with your order, if possible, as well as the szine title. Make your check in US dollars out to me personally. I will conduct business for Canadians as well, if I can, but prefer to deal in US dollars with them if possible, or Canadian dollars cash. To subscribe to American szines, the system works in reverse.

DIPDOM NEWS SECTION (with letters)

Obscure and not-so-obscure ramblings on the state of the hobby and its publications, custodians, events, and individuals with no guarantee of relevance from the fertile keyboard of Jim-Bob, the E-Mail Dip world, and the rest of the postal hobby. My comments are in italics and ((double quotation marks)) like this. Bold face is used to set off each individual speaker. I should also make a note that I do edit for syntax and spelling on occasion.

A discussion is taking place that will address what stance we (the hobby) should take (proactive in some way for sure) toward Hasbro, the new owners of the rights to Diplomacy. If you want to be part of the discussion, send the MESSAGE:

subscribe hasbro

to majordomo of, it works just like the tap mailing list described below. Sending messages to hasbro of sends the mail to the whole list.

The game Diplomacy is a copyrighted product owned by Hasbro and all reproductions or other use of that material in this szine is intended to be personal use and not infringe on those rights in any way. All reproductions are done at a heavy financial loss to the editor and thus are without the remotest possibility of commercial intent, except to promote THE game, the Game of Diplomacy, which you all should purchase from Hasbro or other duly licensed distributors.

First off, here's a couple of ``big items'' from the hasbro mailing list...

Keith Ammann (Thu, 6 Aug 1998 14:45:00)

FROM DIPLOMACY TO MONOPOLY [Playtime, Aug. 6, 1998]

Every time I vow to myself to make this column less board-game-centric, something outrageous happens in the industry, and this time is no exception: On Tuesday word was leaked that the Avalon Hill Game Company, manufacturer of the world's most popular wonky war games, had been bought lock, stock and barrel for $6 million by Hasbro, which then went and sacked Avalon Hill's entire staff.

The news set the Internet newsgroup on fire. Comments ranged from the mournful ``There are thousands of people who became gamers because they saw an Avalon Hill game. . . . Without Avalon Hill, every single game company might suffer") to the pessimistic (``My guess is that Hasbro will take the few good titles and let the rest die a slow death") to the bitter (``Avalon Hill was an industry leader in the American trend toward pushing adult board games into a ghetto, closing the gates and burning the ghetto to the ground").

Without a doubt, Avalon Hill was hurting. In its annual report, dated July 29, parent company Monarch Avalon attributed three years of losses to its game publishing division and stated an intention to ``reduce operations in the games business," although it claimed not to have any specific plans yet. I guess when Hasbro came knocking, Monarch Avalon didn't need much convincing.

As for Hasbro - well, see what you think about this. It's the largest toy and game company in the United States. In addition to the Hasbro mark, it owns Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley, Tonka, Nerf, Kenner, Playskool, Wham-O and OddzOn (maker of the Koosh Ball), and it's in the midst of acquiring Tiger Electronics. It made $3.2 billion in revenues in 1997 - 1,000 times Avalon Hill's total sales. It sells almost 90 percent of its games through Toys 'R' Us, Wal-mart and Kmart, and it's not known for being attentive to independent retailers. It's in so tight with Toys `R' Us that when the superstore decides it can't support a game anymore (recent examples include Mille Bornes, Pit and Samurai Swords), Hasbro drops it from its line.

The Hasbro tradition, inherited from Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley, is to buy games with proven track records and coast on them. Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Yahtzee, Mille Bornes, Jenga, Ouija, even flagship game Monopoly were all bought (or, in some cases, ripped off) from outside designers.

Avalon Hill never published bestsellers. Avalon Hill published dozens of obscure, often complicated games that a very small number of very isolated people HAD TO HAVE. Diplomacy. Civilization. History of the World. Wooden Ships & Iron Men. Third Reich. Squad Leader. Acquire (ironically, acquired from 3M's game division when it tanked in the early '80s).

If player loyalty and intensity of demand make a game a success, Avalon Hill was undeniably successful. But in terms of sales figures - which I suspect is the standard Hasbro goes by - it was a wash. So the conventional wisdom is that Avalon Hill has been boarded and will now be looted and scuttled.

Losing Avalon Hill doesn't spell the imminent end of war game publishing, but even so, I have to agree with how one r.g.b user characterized the buyout: ``Just another step toward the brave new corporate world in which we all go to Disney-Universal-Fox movies that we hear about on the Microsoft-AT&T data network and then go home and play the Hasbro-Mattel-Sony computer game. Curiously, we will continue to call this a `free market' and consider it a victory for democracy." I couldn't have said it better myself, with or without the Noam Chomsky allusion.

See, in typical corporate fashion, despite being America's No. 1 game manufacturer, Hasbro has absolutely no interest in what makes a good game. I laughed in disbelief when I read in Avalon Hill's annual report, ``Competition in the games business is principally based on product quality and features." Meaning who's got the lowest and fewest?

Take a look sometime at the design creativity and production quality that go into the games that are being produced in Germany. There's a renaissance going on over there, pure volcanic brilliance. But Hasbro doesn't want to get into that stuff. When it does, it's a halfhearted sop to the ``specialty" game sector, as when Milton Bradley bought the rights to Flinke Pinke (by award-winning designer Reiner Knizia - in Germany, they give the designers credit on the boxes), renamed it Quandary, did its usual grinning-family-on-the-back packaging job and jacked the price up from $10 to $35 to cash in on the niche market's higher average price point. Hasbro's idea of innovation is letting the public pick a new Monopoly token.

What really burns me is that some company COULD develop inspired games with quality components and market them to the general public, but nobody WILL. Even when a hobby-market company inadvertently stumbles upon the secrets of marketing and graphic design, it has to charge inflated prices and sell through specialty stores, because it has no access to mass promotion and distribution. Meanwhile, the big manufacturers protest that the public won't pay more than $30 for a game, so they HAVE to cut corners.

Well, that's complete bullshit. The games that are taking Germany by storm sell there, on average, for 45DM to 50DM - roughly $25 to $28. They come with top-quality wooden, plastic and pewter - PEWTER! - playing pieces, have mouthwatering graphics, are developed by designers who are recognized for their work, and sell like crazy. Yet we in the States complain that if we put the same effort into a game, we'd have to charge $40 or more for it. America, this supposed wonder of can-do industrial ingenuity, is totally incapable of producing a decent game and pricing it affordably. Some free market we've got here. What a fucking victory for democracy.

And what a potential loss for the gaming world. Requiescat in pace, Avalon Hill.

-Keith Ammann, geenius of

Dan Mathias (Fri, 11 Sep 1998 12:49:04)

I am forwarding Don Greenwood's message and survey. Please forward it to anyone else you think would want to help create a replacement Con for AvalonCon.

Dan Mathias, dcmathias of

((As most of you know, I'm not a big gaming convention kind of person and I've never been to AVALONCON. Still, Don Greenwood's message and survey below needs to be seen by the widest possible audience. So here it is.))

Don Greenwood (Thu, 10 Sep 98 14:33:49 -0400)

Dear AVALONCON enthusiast;

You are receiving this survey because you have indicated an interest in the continuation of the Avalon Hill gaming conference. If you object to receiving such material, respond with a ``remove" subject to be deleted from my mailing list. However, if you do take an active interest in AVALONCON, I urge you to take the time to respond to this survey in full. Not only will the questions posed determine the future course of the convention, the % returned will act as a gauge of support for its continuation.

As promised, I have petitioned Hasbro regarding its intentions for the continuation of AVALONCON in the wake of the sale of Avalon Hill to Hasbro. During my recent visit to their Beverly, MA campus I stressed the need for immediate action if we were to preserve our facility at the Hunt Valley Inn for 1999. To their credit, they have responded in a timely fashion - thus resulting in this poll.

Allow me to inject at this point that Avalon Hill fans should be thankful for the Hasbro buyout. The acquiring company usually is painted as the heavy in such takeovers, but from my perspective Hasbro is very much the white knight in this story. The infusion of their resources and marketing savvy promises to save many of the classic titles that were otherwise headed for oblivion. My understanding is that not only will they convert many of the AH games to the computer, but that they will continue to produce the best of the boardgames. And more importantly, they will be reissued with state of the art graphics and components that could only be described as ``lavish" by AH standards. I am extremely pleased that some of my favorite games will not only survive, but be made available to a far greater audience in an improved format. When I was fired by Avalon Hill, I was sitting on no less than eight fully developed games that languished with no hope of publication due to lack of proper graphic support. Those restrictions are now gone. Far from being the end of wargaming as we know it, I believe our hobby stands on the threshold of a new golden age where quality will again reign supreme.

That said, I regret to report that Hasbro has decided not to continue AVALONCON and will not sell me the trademark so that I may do so. Their decision is not unexpected and makes perfect business sense. They do not want to detract from the prominence of GENCON by sponsoring a competing conference. It is their preference that AVALONCON enthusiasts be encouraged to attend GENCON instead.

While I am disappointed by their decision, I respect it and applaud them for resolving the matter in a timely fashion. I certainly understand the corporate preference for a dominant trade show, and while I would argue that AVALONCON is not a trade show, the difference is not something I would expect them to appreciate. Certainly the size and grandeur of GENCON surpasses anything that we could hope to emulate with AVALONCON.

Nevertheless, I do not share their enthusiasm for the larger trade shows which strike me as being more about corporate sales than true gaming - at least from the viewpoint of the competitive boardgamer - whose activities take a back seat to the marketing of new products. Having not experienced the comradery of an AVALONCON or the sense of achievement in winning a national event against a large field of players, I'm sure AVALONCON came off as the small potatoes it is in a corporate sense. Fortunately, Hasbro has not requested that we cease doing our own thing provided we do not refer to it as AVALONCON or the Avalon Hill National Championships. And that, dear reader, is why you need to take the time to answer the following survey ... so we can judge whether to proceed along that course and how to do so, given these events.


1. SHALL WE PROCEED? I can sympathize with Hasbro wanting to support one dominant convention. I felt the same way about AVALONCON vis a vis smaller regional cons. What makes a great gaming conference is the accumulation of many like-minded gamers playing in the events of their choice to provide both a sense of achievement and comradery. Smaller cons tend to detract from the glamour of a national conference by luring away those local players who only have the time or resources to attend one per year. Should we fold our tent and embrace GENCON as the national con of choice or continue doing our own thing?

[ ] Let's just call it the end of an era and book our rooms for GENCON.

[ ] Baltimore or bust!

[ ] Other:


2. WHAT DO WE CALL IT? Assuming we collectively decide to continue, what will we call ourselves since AVALONCON is no longer available? The most commonly heard alternative adorns my email address and is one I find pretentious and embarrassing. Its only redeeming feature is its recognition value to our regular attendees. However, it means nothing to new players who we want to attract to a growing conference. My choice is Playercon because Avaloncon has always been first about the players who were the real and only stars of Avaloncon.

[ ] Playercon

[ ] Sponsor-XCon

[ ] Other:


3. WHEN CAN WE DO IT? Unfortunately, the HVI has already sold our ``first weekend in August" date and wants to book us later directly opposite GENCON which I find totally unacceptable. As much as I like the HVI as a site, that leaves us with the following choices:

[ ] June [ ] July [ ] later in August [ ] Other:

[ ] Another location first week in August


4. WHAT WILL IT COST? I've always taken great pride that AVALONCON was the best bargain in gaming when one weighed admission against that of comparable conferences which charged more for less days, gave less in prizes, and then charged players extra for individual event fees. When one deducted the purchase credits for pre-registrants, it was a night and day comparison - at least from my viewpoint. As a point of reference, ORIGINS '98 charged $45 for four days plus event tickets. To be honest, I do not know how their prizes stacked up in comparison, but their $10 discount for pre-registration may have been viewed superior to AH's $15 purchase credit for pre-registration since it did not require another purchase. I would like whatever we do to remain the best bargain in gaming, but without the resources of a company to back it with sales on site, we may have to acknowledge reality somewhat.

What would you be willing to pay as admission next year for the same convention you had in 1998 (assume five days and the same prize structure and pre-registration credit):

[ ] $40 [ ] $45 [ ] $50 [ ] Other:

What would you be willing to pay as admission next year for the same convention you had in 1998 with no pre-registration credit:

[ ] $25 [ ] $30 [ ] $35 [ ] $40 [ ] $45 [ ] $50


5. WHAT GAMES WILL WE PLAY?: Without Avalon Hill backing, many will argue that there is no longer a need to play only AH events. We all have favorite games by other manufacturers that we would like to play in this setting. On the other hand, many feel that the focus on AH games is what made AVALONCON so special. While it is true that we could generate many more events by opening the con up to other games, what would then make us any different from a smaller GENCON or ORIGINS? Wouldn't something be lost? I, for one, am not interested in duplicating the format of the bigger cons ... or any change which is a step backwards from the focus of what we've experienced the past eight years. One of the reasons I stopped going to ORIGINS years ago was because 500 events which averaged a handful of entrants apiece held no great attraction for me. The choices appear to be:

[ ] Continue events in Avalon Hill games only.

[ ] Allow events from a second company willing to act as a corporate sponsor - replacing the role Avalon Hill played in providing merchandise credits.

[ ] Open up the convention to any event sponsored by a volunteer GM regardless of manufacturer.

[ ] Other:


6. WHAT SPONSOR WOULD YOU PREFER? Given your choice of companies to be a sole exhibitor, add their products to our tournaments, and redeem awards for their merchandise, who would you prefer?


7. WHAT WILL WE PLAY FOR? Assuming no appropriate corporate sponsor can be found, what should replace their merchandise certificates?

[ ] An equal amount of cash

[ ] Replace the prize structure with plaques for all prize winners - not just the champs

[ ] Other:


I'd like to again thank those of you who took the time to send me words of encouragement and pledges of support, both monetary and otherwise, to continue AVALONCON. I'm sure that your heartfelt expressions impacted Hasbro officials nearly as much as they have me and played no small role in their enthusiasm for reviving Avalon Hill boardgames. To the many who have asked what you can do to help, I offer the following:

1. STAY IN TOUCH: Put my email address in your address books and notify me asap when either your email or snail mail address changes.

2. SPREAD THE WORD: It seems trite, but it is true now more than ever. The convention needs word of mouth advertising to survive. If everybody that stopped to tell me what a great con AVALONCON was tried to persuade one other person to attend we would have no problems. Mention us on line. Tell people what convention is worth attending. Encourage people to get on our mailing lists ... especially email. Send a copy of this survey to any gamer you know who might be interested who has not already received it. Ask your gaming friends if they have received this, and if they are interested, send them a copy. If they're not on line, give them a printout to return. This convention was borne out of a longing for the good old days and the realization that nobody cared as much about your hobby as you do. It's still true. If you want it to continue, you will do something to help, rather than lamenting its loss.

3. VOLUNTEER: If you'd be good at running an event, join our cadre of GMs who make a difference. While I'm not interested in adding more events per se, I'd rather see bigger events than more 8-player mini-events of out-of-print games, every GM can use assistants. Volunteer for the games you'd be qualified to run ... especially if you're unhappy with how it has been run in the past.

4. BOARDGAME PLAYERS ASSOCIATION: While I'm flattered by the number of people who have expressed a willingness to invest money to see AVALONCON continue, I am uncomfortable with accepting monetary contributions of any kind. However, donations of time and expertise in such matters as graphics (we'll need a new logo), web sites, liability insurance, and legal advice regarding incorporation are another matter and I would welcome such help.

I propose to continue the GM quarterly newsletter and voting input of the GMs in any new conference. In essence, I advocate replacing the AH Advisory Board with the Boardgame Players Association which would attract, I assume, most of the same people ... the folks dedicated enough to volunteer their time as GMs. Membership would require yearly dues of $50 payable by February 28th and entitle members to free admission at the conference.

Would you be interested in joining this Association? [ ] Yes [ ] No

Please do not send any money at this time. Respond by Email to doncon7 of or by snail mail to: Don Greenwood, 1541 Redfield Rd, Bel Air, MD 21015.

Thanks again for your encouragement and support. Don, doncon7 of

Heath Gardner (Tue, 01 Sep 1998 18:54:31 -0400)

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the mention in TAP. So I am the "real deal" eh? :) But you forgot to print my address, at least in my copy. You wrote: "Heath's address is The rest of you should send him a subscription." But thanks for the mention, nevertheless. ((And see? You did it again! You brought it up and DID NOT write your postal address in here, so I have to go look it up. And it isn't right here at my fingertips. I'll try to remember to go look it up and put it in here, but I make no guarantees. Admit it, this is just a trick so that I mention you every issue!))

Are you going to the Rubicon Games? Or are you too far away to attend? I believe I will attend.

I will be driving next month. Finally. I'm looking forward to that - and I bet I am the only zine editor that is under 18 and doesn't drive. If I had started Driver's Ed earlier, like when I was 14 or something (instead of starting when I am closer to 16) I would be doing great, but I am just in it now.

So, what's up with these 'desert island lists'? Can I send one? How 'bout explaining it so I can participate?

And I'd ask some advice of you as well. I plan to print NE for a long time. Decades, hopefully, if all goes well. But when I go off to college - I'll want to settle in before I resume printing. What shall I do at that point? Just put it on suspension? Is that common practice?

Have you received NE #2 yet? I hope it went over OK. Less meaty than my first one but I've been busy.

At any rate, thanks a million for the mention and I hope to hear from you about the desert island lists soon. Thanks.

signoff, Heath Gardner - Bassoon of

((Yeah, so I happened to find it this time.... 3017 Mayview, Raleigh, NC 27607. Another new szine that is much more attractive than Heath's - but who cares, pretty szines are a dime a dozen - is Scott Morris' The Flat Earth Society. You can reach Scott at 12110 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 and Scottm221 of Issue number 5 features a great article on being an asshole when playing Diplomacy and a new subszine by Warren (rhymes with ``foreign'') Goesle (rhymes with ``Noel''). Warren says his nickname is Goz which is all wrong since the ``s'' is silent in his last name. Around here, Warren will be Go-El, which must mean he's really foreign... like from Krypton, hey, he must have super powers!! OOOO-eeee, Boob hits it on the head again!! Assigning nicknames is the exclusive perogative of the Szine Idiot.... uh, I mean Editor. This is a custom far too long in decline. Anyway, it's a perfect subszine for a ``flat earth society''. Now, Go-El, ya gotta change the name of the subszine!! I Digress is really wimpy for a superbeing like you. And, last but not least....))

Paul Rauterberg (Sunday, August 09, 1998 12:12 PM)

Jim: This note is more "for print" than any I've penned lately: ((So I went ahead and lost it and didn't print it for an extra month.... go figure.))

I am considering going back into publishing myself, as another of the ``bridge" zines between the snail and electronic mediums. ((Lately, people who want to be convinced that the US postal hobby is dying have been calling me ``primarily an E-Mail szine'' (stand up and be counted, Pete Birks!!). I intend to fight for my rights as a postal szine. I won't do it by getting pretty, I won't do it by mailing more issues out or starting more games, I'll just do it by persisting. Now other szines are starting and there's a lot of excitement around. If anyone chooses not to see it, that's their problem.)) I would like to get back into writing articles on the psychological aspects of playing The Game, and as a means of ``staying in touch" with many people at one time. I'd like to encourage readers, this time, to submit their own comments/ideas on topics that I introduce-sort of a ``forum" type of thing. ((Yeah, great idea!!! I always thought that was the best aspect of your previous szine effort, although it was more informal there, as I recall.))

The name Midlife Crisis has gotten a little ``old"; one third of my life has transpired since I published that zine! Eric Ozog has encouraged me to use Muppet Logic, an expression that he's seen me use to describe illogical (or asinine) reasoning from time to time. That's okay, as long as people don't expect the name to necessarily reflect the content....

Is this a formal announcement of the new zine? Ah, no. I'd like to solicit comments from the hobby at large as to whether a new zine is perceived as ``needed" (is the interest there?); if I reenter the pubbing scene (that's ``publishing", not ``owning a pub", for those who wonder), ((Well, when I was telling James Wall about your idea at VertigoGames in Philly the other weekend I couldn't help but think of that. No, I think you should stick to publishing.)) which games should I try to run therein? Any input will be appreciated.

Paul, prosit of


This section is developing a list of the great party singles of the century. You'll get a definite sense of quirky before we're done. You'll also get a sense of timelessness. I'll assume that I'll also get some comments from some of you. Then, I'm going to set a slate of 20 or so (perhaps more at the rate my thinking is going) and DEMAND votes from you out there. I may get a bit obnoxious on that score as the great freedom to work and play will generate a responsibility to offer some opinions as we near the end of the century. I intend to have a lot of fun with this, and hope all of you do too. We'll end up with a monster party tape at the end of it that I plan to segue and sequence and copy for distribution. The result will be a great New Millenium party tape. So far, we have ``I Melt With You'' by Modern English; George Gershwin's ``I got Plenty O' Nuttin' '' from Porgy and Bess in the 1957 concert recording with Ella Fitzgerald finishing off the vocals after Louis Armstrong blows and sings through the tune; Duke Ellington performing Billy Strayhorn's ``Take the A Train''; Frank Sinatra's ``New York, New York''; ``Planet Claire'' from the B-52's is added this time; The (English) Beat's 12 inch version of ``Save It for Later'' ratchets things up to the next level (wherever you put it!), Buster Poindexter's ``Hot, Hot, Hot'' keeps you there, and Koko Taylor cleans up singing Willie Dixon's ``Wang Dang Doodle''.

The ``bullpen'' is the list of suggestions that people make that I haven't decided whether or not to include yet. Comments on the bullpen are, of course, actively encouraged. I also am ``working'' on some ideas Mark Luedi tossed out last time. I put Gatemouth in the bullpen for now, but he will be joined by others from that list soon. I liked Mark's ``criteria addition" that: ``One of my own criteria for truly great songs is that it can sound as good or better distorted as not, whether on account of poor signal, bad speakers, tape deterioration, car noise.''

BULLPEN: ``Rocking the Casbah'' - The Clash; ``Dancing With Myself'' - Billy Idol's Gen X; ``Walk This Way'' - Run-DMC; Prince - ``1999"; ``Fire on the Mountain'' - the Grateful Dead; Devo - ``Whip It"; B Movie - ``Nowhere Girl"; B-52s - ``Give Me Back My Man" or ``Rock Lobster"; ``Roadrunner'' - Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers; Strunz and Farrah - ``Americas''; Clarence ``Gatemouth'' Brown - ``Up Jumped the Devil''; David Bowie - ``Fame''.

SPECIAL GEORGE CLINTON BULLPEN: ``I Just Wanna Testify'', ``Let's Take It to the Stage'', ``The Pinocchio Theory'', ``Atomic Dog'', and ``Flash Light''.

SPECIAL ROLLING STONES BULLPEN: ``Midnight Rambler'', ``Satisfaction", ``Paint It Black", ``Jumpin' Jack Flash".

SPECIAL DRUG MUSIC BULLPEN: ``Cocaine'' - Eric Clapton's version; ``Casey Jones'' - the Grateful Dead; ``Red, Red Wine'' - UB40; The Toys - ``Smoke Two Joints''; ``Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette)'' - Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen; and I'm adding this time ``I'm an Okie from Muskogee'' - Merle Haggard.

Jack McHugh (Thu, 11 Jun 1998 12:04:46 -0400)


Sorry you couldn't make Shorecon but I understand you're a definite for Vertigo games. ((I made it, I really was there! No time this issue for a write up, but I hope to say something about it next time. Let me just say, that it isn't a good con if you don't watch the sun come up.....)) You missed a good time at the shore. We had about a dozen people there and despite the cold weather we had a grand time on the beach and in Avalon. Due to time constraints Brad was not able to make the group pilgrimage to the Wildwood boardwalk. We did get some great baked goods at the local bakery for breakfast as well as Maria's excellent chicken that Brad cooked up on the gas grill.

Of course the highpoint of the gaming weekend was when I smashed Brad in Kingmaker when he gave me the Lieutenant of Ireland in a rather lame attempt to get rid of one of my best nobles. So I was forced to destroy him. Brad has been shown that he shouldn't cross me in Kingmaker. We can also show you the new collectable card game, Netrunner that Tom Swider and I are pushing. It was done by Wizards of the Coast but it is now, sadly, out of print. Brad hated it, but we did get Maria and Steve Courtemanche to play. They both enjoyed it.

Anyway I am writing to let you know that I am interested in several topics in the issue that I listed in the subject area of the note. (I just got issue 204 yesterday and haven't had a chance to read it yet.) As for the issue of bribes, I agree with you that only way to solve it is to make it public. Diplomacy is a simple game that is controlled by the players, not the rules. It is up to the players to make it work.

It also highlights what I have thought for years-namely that Diplomacy is a terrible tournament game. A tournament game is one that minimizes differences in games and allows players to repeat them with no impact on the other games. Duplicate bridge is the ideal tournament game because it allows for this easily. Diplomacy is best if you simply score the player's best game. Yes there will be ties under this method. There are a couple of ways to resolve these ties. You can either allow the best players to playoff-although this also presents difficulties if the players don't tie in convenient groups of seven for the championship boards. You could simply accept the ties and use some other means (supply center count, time taken to reach a win, survivors on the board, etc., etc) to break ties.

Of course, we as a hobby could stop expecting an easy way for these ties to be resolved and simply accept them as part of the game. But then that would mean ultra-competitive turbo freaks might go home without a plaque and bragging rights. No, far better to sully a perfectly good game with meaningless point counts and silly scoring systems. And for what? For some artificial count that doesn't reflect the sprit of the game or this hobby. Good riddance, I say, to tournament scoring systems.

End rant.

I also agree with your policy on NFP letters. If you are talking about someone else and can't say it in public or to their face, barring some exceptional circumstances, you shouldn't be writing it down. Gossip is bad, written gossip is much worse. Feuding is usually the result of people who can't laugh at themselves. As you know, while I have been my share of disagreements, rarely do I let rise to the degree of feuding-I'd be lying if I said it never happened but I don't like it so I usually don't allow it. (And you know me, I don't even lie during Diplomacy games) ((Wimp!!!))

That's something else everyone should be made aware of: No one can feud with you if you simply don't allow it. Usually people who are only interested in feuding will quickly grow bored by your lack of a good tantrum every so often. On the other hand if they are truly interested in a debate they don't need to see you have a fit to keep participating in a dialogue with you. If not, I don't consider losing that sort of a conversation a loss.

I also want to comment on Brad's discussion of George Washington. Brad, my friend, you're letting your Revolutionary War bias seep through here. Yes, Washington was a great general and political leader, although I think the latter was more he was what the country needed at the time rather than his being an objectively great political leader. However, Grant and Lee were certainly generals on par with Washington, especially Grant. If Grant's material advantage was so the only thing that mattered, why was Lee able to fight off other generals for three years?

Blaming Marshall and King for Soviet domination of Eastern Europe is lame-even for your warn out conservative ideology of the Cold War. Yalta wasn't about approving of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe anymore than the Soviets approved of US domination of Japan. It simply was a fact to be acknowledged. I don't think anything else much could have been done, even the British Imperial Staff didn't think Churchill's schemes for Balkan invasions had much of a chance of succeeding. Sir Alan Brooke, the Chief of the Imperial Staff, thought most of Churchill's plans for military operation were hair-brained ideas and he viewed part of his job to keep them from getting any further than talk.

I like John Harrington's letter very much. Keep it up John and don't worry about not being ``well-informed" I thought you're letter sounded quite intelligent to me. It was especially enjoyable to hear from someone new and middle of the road, instead of the usual letter writers. I don't know if I would say that people were treated poorly in Hong Kong. It has been known ever since the communist took over in 1949 that they would not renew the 99 year lease on Hong Kong. People there must have known that the British would be forced to leave come 1997-why were they acting so shocked when it happened?

I also thought a lot of that British sponsored last minute ``democracy" was a transparent ploy to make the Chinese look bad. Let's face it, Hong Kong was ruled from London, not from Hong Kong, for the last 100 years. If there really had been a home grown government there for say 20 or 30 years or more, then I might agree that Hong Kong wasn't treated very well. Patton's government was only about six or seven years old, as was the Hong Kong Assembly. I find this whole new democracy rather silly as the Chinese are their own worst enemies and don't need any help to look bad, yet Britain felt it had to construct a whole government that they knew the Chinese would never accept. Then the British government could beat its chest and say, ``Look, the bad Chinese are dismantling democracy in Hong Kong." It was a farce and the British people saw through it.

Finally, Hong Kong's best defense is its own prosperity. As long as it is making a profit then it safe from any wrath from Beijing. The Chinese follow the new model of ``Marxism for Profit" so they might not like Hong Kong but they know better than to mess with a profit making enterprise like Hong Kong, Inc.

I just joined BMG music club and got five free CDs. So far I've only heard Dire Straits greatest hits-Money for Nothing-and I am currently listening to The Cars anthology, Just What I Need. Very good, if dated tunes. I will let you know what I think of the Blues Traveler and Manhattan Transfer's Swing.

Keep in touch, Jack McHugh, jmchugh of

Drew James (Thu, 03 Sep 1998 07:31:33 -0400)

Jim, By the way, I picked up a couple of new albums. I now own my first Mekons CD (Original Sin). It is growing on me with every listen. ((Heh, heh, heh, another one trapped in my clutches. There's a bit of filler in the way they packaged that CD, but the heart of the original Fear and Whiskey record is still one of my top ``Desert Island Discs'')) I also purchased The Specials singles collection. I am thoroughly enjoying both.

Drew James, drew.james of

Steve Emmert (Wed, 09 Sep 1998 10:52:23 -0400)

Dear Jim - Let's see, it was about six weeks ago that I predicted that Roger Maris would keep his record for yet another year. Hmmm, . . . ((BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTT!!! Your crystal ball has been recalled!))

I should have stuck with my guns. Last year, I wrote in TAP that I thought the home run record would fall in 1998, when expansion added two more teams' worth of AAA pitchers to the major league ranks. Didn't pick McGwire, mind you - I probably would have guessed Frank Thomas - but at least I got that part right. ((I always thought it would be McGwire - definitely not Griffey or Thomas or Belle (Imagine what life would have been like had ``Joey'' been going for it??) - though Sosa has been a surprise. I am still rooting for McGwire to take the record to 70... or at least to 69.))

I still think Griffey has an excellent chance to eclipse Aaron; his 50th the other night gives him 344 for his career, and he's just 28 years old. He could reach 400 by the end of next season, and if he does, look out.

You can leave me out of the drug music discussion for want of expertise; no experience with drugs whatsoever. I did like ``Shine On You Crazy Diamond," if that helps. And does Alan Parsons qualify as drug music? ((You and me both.... strange how many closet Alan Parsons fans there are in this szine. I'll have to dig out my old albums and make some comments that will force the rest of you to come out of the woodwork.))

My little girl, already thoroughly ruined by her overindulgent father, gets rottener in two days, when she turns four. Remember the baby picture thingy? Hey, she's a kid now. Won't even let me call her ``my little girl" any more. ((Hey, she probably thinks she's ready to date and be an intern and everything already!!))

So, when does my next turn as the Huns start? ((Nope, sorry, you draw the jaundiced Turkish blocks....))

Best wishes, Steve, SEMMERT of

Keith Sherwood (Mon, 14 Sep 1998 08:25:52 -0700)

Have you heard that Harvey Danger song out your way? Although I've never seen it on VH1, it get's heavy airplay (once every three hours) on our local radio equivalent of VH1. ((Harvey's song has been big around here all summer. It's actually dying down around here now. Are you just getting it onto heavy airplay??))

No, it's been big all summer. Which is why I had to call it ``lyric of the summer" rather than month. It's press I wanted to publish 3 months ago, but couldn't put finger to keyboard. Another example of why I'm a jerk. ((You can't be a jerk, right now no one except the President is allowed to be a jerk.))

Someone around here said it sounded like Cheap Trick. I thought it sounded like Green Day (i.e., melodic punk about masturbation). Is this merely a generational thing? Is Cheap Trick the 70's equivalent of Green Day? ((That's about right. Both remind you of too sweet candy.... Green Day does equal Cheap Trick = = > Cheap Trick is back, by the way!! They're "recreating" their earlier work for rerelease.))

My son (6 1/2) is now very into music, and wants to listen to the aforementioned radio station every time we set foot in the car. I can't stand it for the very reason he craves it: their *very* tight playlist which enables them to repeat songs every three hours. He likes the songs because he becomes very familiar with them, where as I dislike the repetition. I don't know what's worse: the lyrics he sings along with (often racy, though he doesn't know it) or the version of the lyrics he comes up with (and swears that's what they're singing). ((Is this stuff for print??? That's "precious"!!)

You want precious: I know you know Barney, but you may or may not know that one of Barney's songs has become the tool of every parent and preschool everywhere (exactly as it was designed to be): ``Clean up Time"

Clean up time

clean up time

Everybody do your share

clean up time

clean up time

Everybody everywhere.

Our 6 1/2 year old even uses it as a tool to get our 3 year old to help clean up. Okay, here's the precious part. Our 3 year old, always influenced by his older brother, now sort of sings too. His favorite song to sing is Semi-sonic's ``Closing Time." But he sings it ``Clean up time."

Personally, we prefer it to Barney.

Keith, ksher of

((Feeding whiskey and beer to minors?? I'll bet you're claiming he's using the alcohol just to clean and disinfect his play area!!))

Richard Weiss (Tue, 1 Sep 1998 21:14:28 -0700)

Jim: If there was once nothing and there will again be nothing, and there was once no time, how did it all arrange itself so I can enjoy this cosmic joke of cognition and life? I dunno, but I dig it.

BBKing was awesome. Nevilles so family and tight, but it was someone I never liked all that much before that blew me away - Santana. Whoa.

I'm taking swing lessons - tomorrow will be my third. I got part of a zoot suit. Tough. Watch out Brian Setzer (grin).

We had a weekend of games at Mark Lew's Mother's house (Karen). Pete was there with his daughter. Fun. Two more weeks and we will play at Pete's new house with Daf Langley as their new roommate, in Clayton, for a weekend. If you can go to Vertigo you can come to ClayCon! We won't tell the family (quit making up your brother, just cause you pretend to mail him your zine, no biggie).

Do you know what the phrase ``Zero Sum" means in game language, or systems theory, or who coined it? (I'm not being antagonistic here, just curious and interested in a little educational rap along with the vulgarities. I promise that the answer to none of these is ``Mikey.")

Richard - that's what's next - rcw of

((Obviously, I pulled this out of the game to put up here in the letter column. I thought you knew all about the zero sum idea already? The intuition of the idea came from work by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern begun during WWII and continuing afterward. I know the concept of ``zero sum'' if not the terminology originates in their pathbreaking Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1944). Strangely enough, though, today the fundamental concept of the zero sum is being recognized as having sent economics down a path that perhaps was not exactly ideal. Let me try to explain without bogging everyone down in boring irrelevancies.))

((A zero sum game is one where the beginning resources available to be distributed to the players in the game is fixed - cannot be increased through the process of playing the game (though technically you can always destroy resources, a concept called free disposal) - thus, you can't create new resources by cooperating or any other activity. In Diplomacy, once you start with a premise that there can be only one winner, thinking of it as a zero sum game means that agreeing to a two way or three way draw does not create more than one winner, it just splits value of the single win among the drawing players. This concept is why many scoring systems for Dip take that ``single point" and divide it so that the total points scored still add up to one.))

((It turns out in economics to be theoretically productive (as von Neumann and Morgenstern pointed out), then, to separate ``production'' and ``dividing up the resources'' into separate processes where the ``game'' of dividing the resources is a ``zero sum game''. This assumes rational processing of information, including accounting for the expected behavior of other players in the game. It has, however, turned out not to be practically productive since it has led to an over-emphasis in economics on competition for ``zero sum resources'' at the expense of understanding the potential growth benefits of cooperation. There are no simple answers to questions like: ``Do the technological advances and growth that come out of having a large single corporation like Microsoft control much of the computer systems environment outweigh what is lost by concentrating economic power (and wealth) in Bill Gates and a small number of `owners' of the corporation?'' This is an example where using zero sum game thinking probably has not helped the understanding of the situation.))

((Any Diplomacy player worth their salt recognizes that the cooperation decisions that they need to make in order to succeed at all in the game need to be considered conjointly with their efforts to win the game (though in some sense there are only 34 dots and one win to allocate - a zero sum game). So, is Diplomacy a zero sum game, or isn't it? Well, perhaps. Am I making any headway, or am I just confusing you? Anyway, more recently, in both pure game theory and in its applications in economics people are getting away from the zero sum concept as unduly limiting toward understanding the tradeoffs between production from cooperation, production from competition, and competition for the rewards or resources that result. But zero sum concepts make for lots of neat and clean mathematical proofs!))

((Von Neumann, of course, was one of the most brilliant men of this century. In addition to coming up with some of the century's most important pure mathematical proofs, he did some of the fundamental work in developing the atomic bomb and came up with a number of the methods and structures that made modern computing possible. Lots of people debate about who ``invented'' the concept of the programmable computer as we now know it, but Von Neumann was one of the ones you can point to and he addressed some of the thorniest problems (like, how do you get reliable answers from a computing machine with components that are not completely reliable because they break down or make mistakes). So, I am not criticizing his monumental achievements at all. Does that get you started with what you wanted? Sorry for pulling the discussion out of the press, but many people don't read all the press carefully! Believe it or not!!))

Rick Desper (Thu, 10 Sep 1998 12:51:59 -0400 (EDT))

Movies: Saving Private Ryan was a fantastic movie. Not overdone like Platoon. ``Ryan" is content to use realistic characters, instead of exaggerated Christ imagery. If they only had just clipped the beginning and end from the movie (the current-day framing) it would have been a touch better. But it's easy enough to ignore those scenes. It seems the fad to be unwilling to set a movie in the past without having some grounding in the present. (Ryan, Titanic).

There's Something About Mary was riotously funny. ((Yeah, I thought so, and you didn't even catch the little Rhode Island ``in-jokes'' that were put in there. As people say around here, if Cameron Diaz ever really did go to Smithfield High..... well, I really can't say in a family szine.)) My only complaint is that too many of the best parts were included in ads and previews. The one ``zipper" scene is the grossest thing I can recall seeing in a movie. It was also fun to watch Jonathan Richman play, after all the discussions we've had.

Godzilla was, well, a disappointment. It's not that it wasn't good, it's just that it could have so easily been so much better. ((Oh, probably it could have been better, but I still loved it. Me and the guy in Tucson.... did I ever tell you about how Steven Spielberg's best movie is 1941....)) Between Godzilla and the X-Files movie I'm worried that every SF movie in the future will feel some need to rip off the Aliens series. Oh wait, Godzilla was ripping of Jurassic Park. Never mind. ((Ah, maybe I have it now. Since no Steven Spielberg movie will ever equal 1941 in my eyes and I try to avoid them wherever possible and thus have NEVER SEEN Jurassic Park, perhaps THAT'S why I liked Godzilla so much. It was new to me.))

So...perhaps somebody should tell the makers of Godzilla how suspension bridges work? Those cables aren't just for show! ((Yeah, well, everyone keeps outrunning fireballs too, which also is impossible. Let's face it, the movies are fantasy.))

Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the failure to include the museum scene from the preview which was so popular.

Rick, desper of

Doug Essinger-Hileman (Fri, 4 Sep 1998 11:07:03 -0400)

I'll bet you're getting tired of me by now. ((No, because I haven't arranged your letters in order, so this one actually comes first!!)) But I have pulled out some old albums (in CD form, not in vinyl). And I have some more suggestions:

From Paul Simon's Graceland album: ``The Boy in the Bubble"; ``Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes"; ``You Can Call Me Al".

From Rod Stewart's Vagabond Heart album: ``The Motown Song"; ``If Only".

From Claude Bolling's Suite for Cello & Jazz Piano Trio (with Yo You Ma): ``Baroque in Rhythm"; ``Galop".

Now, I will shut up for a bit (at least until I hear some reaction to my suggestions)!

Doug, revref of

((Well, while I enjoy the Simon album, none of those songs are really especially compelling dance tunes. At best, Rod Stewart makes novelty dance tunes. And, well, I don't own the last record, but I think I've heard these songs on the radio. They don't make this grade, but they definitely are worth listening to! But, hey, those are just my opinions! I'll let your other choices below stand mostly on their own. There are too many songs here to put them all in the Bullpen, but if you focus on up tempo, fast dance songs and suggest only a couple, I'll put 'em in the Bullpen. The challenge here is to condense lists down, not to keep adding songs. I have literally hundreds of mixed music dance tapes - well, over 100 - lying around my house and car with a sum total of well over 1000 dance songs. It wouldn't be very helpful just to list all of them out.))

Doug Essinger-Hileman (Fri, 4 Sep 1998 09:08:28 -0400)


Here are four more songs from my early morning listening, all from Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown: ``Linus & Lucy", performed by David Benoit; ``Joe Cool", performed by B.B. King; ``The Great Pumpkin Waltz", a wonderful waltz - for those slow moments, performed by Chick Corea; ``Red Baron", performed by Lee Ritenour.

I am sure that more will be coming.

Doug, revref of

Doug Essinger-Hileman (Fri, 4 Sep 1998 07:45:14 -0400)

Jim, Now that I have a place of participation in one of your games, I thought it important to become a responsible participant in TAP's community of readers. ((See???? That's why this is a POSTAL szine and not an E-MAIL szine. When people play and take part in the POSTAL aspect of the szine, then they write. I've got 300 of you deadwood E-Mail readers and if I get a letter from one of you every six months, that's really stretching!!)) My first act toward that goal is this short list of suggestions toward your list of great party singles. (As I am still going back to listen to some songs, I am sure that there will be an addendum!)

The first song that came to my mind was Louis Armstrong's rendition of ``Hellzapoppin'" from his What a Wonderful World album. This is the title song from a play that was then made into a movie of the same title (in 1941). I know that Jerry Lewis starred in the (a?) broadway production of the play at one time.

Since every good dance sequence needs some slow movers appropriately place let me suggest three. ((OK, but I already decided to pretty much bag the slow movers since they are so much more subjective than the rhythm filled fast songs. As many have said, the essence of music is rhythm - we're huntin' rhythm.)) On their first and second albums, Chicago began with excellent songs. ``Introduction" opened their first album, Chicago Transit Authority; ``Movin' In" opened their second, Chicago. Of the two, I believe ``Introduction" to be the better choice for this list.

The third song appropriate for a slower piece is ``Espiegele" by Claude Bolling and Jean-Pierre Rampal. Bolling has produced a number of albums in this Jazz Suite for Piano and . . . series. This is from the Suite for Flute & Jazz Pian Trio album.

Finally, let me suggest two pieces from Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints album: ``The Obvious Child" and ``Proof."

This should be the good beginning of my responsible participation in the community of TAP readers. I won't vouch for its quality as a list of good dance tunes, though I am fond of all of these.

Doug, revref of

((Well, it certainly gives others a sense of your musical tastes. I know some people share them.))

btw, Richard Weiss suggests ``Red, Red Wine" by ``(I think U2)". He may be right that U2 recorded this version. ((Actually, he corrects himself (and I should have caught it too, but I was racing to put that part of the szine together.... it was UB40).)) But an earlier recording was made by Neil Diamond. It is worth considering. ((Oh, do I have to?? Neil Diamond really makes me ill.... sorry.... anyway, I've been trying real hard when faced with 6-7 good similar songs to decide which one REALLY breaks out. But I'll certainly publish all your suggestions.))

Doug Essinger-Hileman (Fri, 4 Sep 1998 18:41:04 -0400)

As you said in TAP, the list will eventually be trimmed, then we, the readers, will have to vote. btw, one last song, a ballad that I think provides some good dancing moments: ``An Hour in the Shower" by Chicago.

Doug, revref of

Peter Sullivan (Sat, 12 Sep 1998 07:31:46)

Please see attached. The strange thing is that spread betting was completely unknown in Britain until the 1980s (I think it basically took off at about the same time as interest grew in American Football), but these days we seem to have developed it way beyond the States.


British betting firm gives Clinton 5-9 months

LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) - A British gambling firm on Friday reported a flood of bets on how long Bill Clinton will remain U.S. President - most from punters expecting him to quit within months. ``There has been an enormous amount of trade," said Patrick Jay, head of the sports operation - which also handles political bets - at IG Index.

IG operates on a different basis from ordinary bookmakers. Instead of offering odds on a particular outcome, it quotes a ``spread".

Currently the ``spread" on Clinton's term of office, which has already lasted 20 months, is 25-29 months.

If Clinton left office this weekend, a punter taking a ``short" position would be paid five times his or her stake. But if Clinton served out his full 48-month term, the punter would owe IG 23 (48 less 25) times the stake.

Similarly, someone expecting Clinton to survive could bet ``long" and win 19 (48 less 29) times the basic stake if the president served his full term, but pay nine times if he stood down immediately.

Jay said he had adjusted the spread on the longevity of the Clinton presidency down by 10 months during the past week.

``We have done thousands and thousands of pounds of business in the past 72 hours," he added.

``About a fifth of it has been from the United States, although that represents only three to four percent of our client base. Most of the punters have been going short."

Conventional British bookmakers are declining for the moment to open a book on Clinton. ``We feel too remote from the action. If we got the odds wrong, we could be in for a pasting," said Graham Sharpe, a spokesman for the William Hill chain.

Britons are well used to betting on political events and staked millions of pounds on the outcome of the 1997 general election.

Peter Sullivan, peter of

((Thanks, Peter. I have been saying all year that I believe that eventually he will resign. I'm not sure under what circumstances, or when, but I don't think he'll end up staying the course. Some people were confused by my inclusion of Mark Lew's subszine. Whenever it appears it will be here as the last item following the letters. I'll try to give it a bigger build up this time! In so-doing I will also do something that I have been meaning to get around to for about 150 issues - raising the size of the szine title - just up to 12 points, wouldn't want to be too flashy.))

eBENZENE - by Mark Lew

I pay barely any attention to politics these days. What a change from the old Benzene days when I could give you an opinion on any Senate race in the country. I didn't even vote in the election this spring, because I had no idea who I preferred. (It was a primary, but Oakland is so overwhelmingly liberal that the Democratic primary may as well be the general election for local posts. I think there was another special election later, but I missed that one too.)

So forgive me if I'm behind the curve on this Monica Lewinsky business. As I understand it, Ken Starr's report recently came out. I didn't read that. I'm still responding to whenever it was that the president admitted he had some sort of sex with Monica and all the Democratic senators had press conferences about how ``betrayed" they felt to find out that the president would do such a thing.

OK, so what have we learned here?

1.Pussy has the power to make men do crazy things.

>> This is news?? I thought that was a fundamental fact of life.

2.When a married man is having an affair with a woman half his age, he keeps it a secret.

>> Well, duh.

I'm more interested in this whole thing from Ms Lewinsky's point of view. What's with all that psycho-babble crap I heard about what the experience meant to her, and what it tells us about our nation and society? All these ultra-sensitive socio-eggheads are writing articles about what the fellatio-gate scandal can teach Americans about sex roles blah blah blah.

The basic story seems to go: Middle-aged male Bill Clinton was in it for the sexual gratification, whereas young female Monica Lewinsky expected some sort of relationship and was disappointed.

Oh boy, there's just so many things wrong with that.

First of all, it assumes that Monica is a total moron. True, 21-year-olds do some pretty stupid things, but anyone smart enough to get in as a White House intern isn't that stupid. The guy is a public figure, twice her age, and married - and we're supposed to believe she thought he was going to be her boyfriend? Yeah, right.

The fact is, she did have ``some sort" of relationship with Clinton; she had a short-term, clandestine, oral sex relationship with him. It's not the sort of thing that leads to marriage, but it's not necessarily unsatisfying, and it's even intimate in a way. Sometimes people, even women, enjoy a relationship like that, and I see no reason to believe Monica couldn't have been one of them.

That brings us to another thing.... What's the deal with this idea that fellatio is about male gratification? It is, of course, but, unless my women friends are lying to me, a lot of women enjoy it quite a bit also.

Finally, the essential point which no one seems to want to mention, is that she got to BLOW THE PRESIDENT!!

This is why the world had to invent Howard Stern ... because no one else in the media would say the obvious: Monica Lewinsky got to give head to the president of the United States, fer Chrissake! Come on, how many girls get a chance to do something like that? Even with all this legal and political bullshit she's going through now, that's still something that 10 or 15 years from now makes you look back and smile, like, ``Yeah, I did that." Heck, I'd go down on Hillary Clinton if I had a chance. I'm not even promiscuous, and I don't find Hillary especially attractive, but still ... she's Hillary Clinton. You can't pass that up.

Back to E-Benzene index: ~ markdlew/ebz/index.htm

Sept. 12, 1998

markdlew of


``I have never learned ... to play the lyre, but I know how to make a small and obscure city rich and great." (Themistocles, in Plutarch's Lives.)

If you want to submit orders, press, or letters by E-Mail, you can find me through the Internet system at ``burgess of''. If anyone has an interest in having an E-Mail address listed so people can negotiate with you by computer, just let me know. FAX orders to (401) 277-9904.

Standby lists: Mike Barno, John Breakwell, Dick Martin, Brad Wilson, Jack McHugh, Glenn Petroski, Steve Emmert, Mark Kinney, Vince Lutterbie, Eric Brosius, Doug Kent, Paul Rauterberg, Doug Essinger-Hileman, Stan Johnson, Harry Andruschak, Heath Gardner, Dave Partridge, Andy York, Michael Pustilnik, and John Schultz stand by for regular Diplomacy. Sean O'Donnell, Mike Barno, Harry Andruschak, and Andy York stand by for the Colonial Diplomacy game. Brad Wilson, Jack McHugh, Paul Kenny, and John Schultz standby for the Modern Diplomacy game. Let me know if you want on or off these lists. Standbies get the szine for free and receive my personal thanks. I'd really appreciate it if anyone wanted to be added to the lists.


The regular Diplomacy opening is filled and begins lurching toward a gamestart in this issue. Take that!!.... those of you who claim Postal Diplomacy is dead. I still think I might actually end up starting a second regular Diplomacy game. Anyone interested needs to get their money in now and we'll see where things shake out for next time. I think it is likely there will be another regular game started. I have interest expressed from at least two or three people. You also can send your $15 for your life of the game sub and game fee with NMR insurance now.

Harry Andruschak would like me to run another variant, like ``1499, Stonehenge, and maybe you could talk to Brad Wilson about him letting you run a game of Philadelphia Dip.'' The other idea I have that intrigues me much more is to run Colonia. I will at least troll for players for Colonia VIIb (I believe that is the most up to date version). I have interest from at least three people already. Could we firm that up in the next few issues, please? I am still lookinf for ideas on what I will need to know to run Colonia.

On another front, I'd really like this Black Hole game to start too! Conrad von Metzke recently finished GMing a black hole game where you can freely jump over black holes instead of having them render spaces impassible. I played in this game and like the tactics of jumping over the black holes a great deal. Now there the black holes were random, but what would happen if you could plan them? The next NYEED game will feature this rule change and will be a 7x7 tourney format unless I am convinced otherwise. I STILL am itching to get this game started, so it will start as soon as it is filled! You get a life of game sub, and the game itself is FREE!! Sandy Kenny, Mike Barno, and John Schultz are signed up. Off an offhanded suggestion in the NYEED press, we'll call it Nelson Mandela. Just four more and we'll get started! Come on, this one will be REALLY exciting!!

We also have the Breaking Away game filled and ready to start. See below.

Otherwise Conrad von Metzke is the editor and publisher of Pontevedria, the game openings listing, if you're interested in other game openings. Send Conrad a SASE for the latest issue to: Conrad von Metzke, 4374 Donald Avenue, San Diego, CA 92117.

SO GOOD IT HURTS: 1998 ??, Regular Diplomacy


Winter 1901

AUSTRIA (Essinger-Hileman): bld f tri, a vie, a bud.

ENGLAND (James): bld f lon, f edi, a lvp.

FRANCE (Dwyer): bld f bre, a mar, a par.

GERMANY (Goesle): bld f kie, a ber, a mun.

ITALY (Rauterberg): bld f nap, a rom, a ven.

RUSSIA (Rusnak): bld f stp(sc), f sev, a war, a mos.

TURKEY (Emmert): bld f ank, a con, a smy.

Addresses of the Participants

AUSTRIA: Doug Essinger-Hileman, 309 North Main Street, Masontown, PA 15461 ($5)

ENGLAND: Drew James, 8356 Radian Path, Baldwinsville, NY 13027-9357, (315) 652-1956 ($5)

dkbn of

FRANCE: Luke Dwyer, Colgate University, Box J 1262, 13 Oak Hill Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346, (315) 228-4625

School Breaks Only: 49 Middlesex Drive, Slingerlands, NY 12159, (518) 439-5796 ($5)

GERMANY: Warren Goesle, 3907 Cedar Ridge, #1B, Indianapolis, IN 46236 ($5)

ITALY: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221, (414) 281-2339 ($5)

prosit of

RUSSIA: Russ Rusnak, 1551 Highridge Avenue, Westchester, IL 60154-3428 ($5)

TURKEY: Steve Emmert, 1752 Grey Friars Chase, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, (757) 471-1842 ($5)


Game Notes:

1) I welcome everyone to this game. Everyone offered preference lists of one sort or another, so here we are. Most of you got exactly what you wanted. If I haven't given you enough time for the first deadline, let me know. Press is accepted and will be printed for any TAP deadline prior to the Spring moves. Label your press carefully if you submit it early. My tendency will be to get the press moving by printing it right away.

2) If I need to correct or add any contact information above, please get it to me ASAP. Thanks!

3) Boardman Number please, Mr. von Metzke? Also take note of the finished games below.


THE DUE DATE FOR TURN 0 (submitting cards) IS OCTOBER 3RD, 1998


Addresses of the Participants

TEAM 1: Eric Brosius, 53 Bird Street, Needham MA 02192

72060.1540 of CompuServe.COM

((I need a name for your team and your four riders. Also you missed the rule that the MAXIMUM card value you can choose for the beginning of the game is 15.))

TEAM 2 (Chef's Crackers): Rick Desper, Bergheimer Strasse 114, 69115 Heidelberg, GERMANY

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Members: (listed from fastest to slowest) Stan Marsh (aka the Star Quarterback); Kyle Broslofski (aka the Lonely Jew); Kenny McCormick (aka the Pov); Eric Cartman (aka the FatAss); Coach is, of course, Chef.

((You have it all set.))

TEAM 3 (Goz Transportation Co.): Warren Goesle, 3907 Cedar Ridge, #1B, Indianapolis, IN 46236

gozcorp of

Riders: A: Alessandro Cyclotron; B: Bernard Spoke; C: Christoph Wheelhub; D: Damon Velodrome.

((You missed the rule that the MAXIMUM card value you can choose for the beginning of the game is 15.))

TEAM 4 (Brit Pack): John Harrington, 1 Churchbury Close, Enfield, Middlesex, EN1 3UW UK

johnh of

Alfred the Great, Sir Isaac Newton, Will Shakespeare, John Logie-Baird.

((You got it all straight.... as well you should! I note, to even the playing field for the rest of you, that the game designer chose four cards for his ``A'' rider and none of the rest of you did. Does he know something you should know? Beats the hell out of me, but it seemed that I should divulge that fact to stir the pot of GM interference, if for no other reason. Remember that abuse of the GM always is encouraged. Anyone can change their card values up until the October 3 deadline.))

TEAM 5: Mark Luedi, 7478 Way Road, Honor, MI 49640

((Ludes, you are missing in action? I need my midwestern bicycling superstar to round out this crowd. Note that Go-El lives in Indiana where you used to hang out and where the true center of midwestern bicycle racing is supposed to be. You need to show Warren who's boss!!))

TEAM 6 (The Stoogecycles): David Partridge, 15 Elmer Drive, Nashua, NH 03062-1722

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Team Members: Curly (A), Larry (B), Mo (C), and Shemp (D)

((You seem to have everything straight.))

TEAM 7 (The Flat Wheel Society): John Schultz, #19390, Marion County Jail II, 730 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202

Broke Leg Meg, Shane the Chain, Barkin' Larkin', Chasin' Jason.

((You missed the rule that the MAXIMUM card value you can choose for the beginning of the game for any rider is 15.))

Game Notes:

1) I'm still holding off from announcing everyone's cards until next time since there were some misunderstandings of the rules. See your personal notes under your names above. Here's the key card set up rules again:

i) Choose three cards numbered between 1 and 15 inclusive for each cyclist (note exception for Cyclist A).

ii) The sum total of cyclist B's cards may not exceed 25.

iii) The sum total of cyclist C's cards may not exceed 20.

iv) The sum total of cyclist D's cards may not exceed 16.

v) Cyclist A may have three or four cards.

vi) The sum total of cyclist A's cards may not exceed 30.


(CHEF'S CRACKERS): Hi Eric. I was born in Needham, and lived there for 11 1/2 years. Ah, many of my best years were in Needham. I lived on Oakland Ave., which is near Highland School, the High School, and the center of town. (Needham center, not Needham Heights) I went to Stephen Palmer back when it was an elementary school. They closed it after my 1st grade. Amy Wyeth (of the painting Wyeths) was in my kindergarten class. I used to swim at Rosemary pool, and I played trumpet at Carter Elementary, and I used to sled on the hill near the high school. I liked going to the library and playing Star Trek on the computer. It was easy to reprogram the games, which were all written in BASIC.

Hi Goz. We had a nice game in Chapel Hill, yes? Too bad you didn't want to join me in taking out Vince Mous. But a 3-way was nice (my France, Warren's Italy and Vince's Russia.)

Hi Dave. It's been many years since we've played a game together. Is this a co-operative game? From my reading of the rules, it didn't really seem to be. ((My take on it is that anything (except performance enhancement) goes. I'm not going to make any rules about teams working together. That would seem to divert the potential fun! I'm glad that it is starting out as a press game in any case!!))

Hi John, Mark, and John. Glad to be in a game with y'all.

(THE STOOGECYCLES): Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

(TOP TIP FROM THE DESIGNER): Remember this is a game where you go fast by first going slow. If you wait to go fast until all my boys have passed square 118 I'll be much obliged.

FEAR AND WHISKEY: 1998Ers31, Modern Diplomacy



Spring 1996

BRITAIN (Johnson): f edi-NWG, a LON h, f NOR-swe, f SAO S FRENCH f por,

f ire-NAO, f bel-NTH.

EGYPT (J. O'Donnell): a asw-ESA, a ALE h, f esa-LIB, a isr-JOR, f sau-RED.

FRANCE (Andruschak): f mar-GOL, a bor-NAV, a LYO S a swi, f POR S a bor-nav,

a SWI S GERMAN a aus (otm), a mon-MAR, a BAR-mad.

GERMANY (Rauterberg): a ham-DEN, a fra-RUH, a mun-SAX, f BHM S f den-swe,

a HOL S a fra-ruh, f den-SWE, a aus-SLO.

ITALY (Ozog): f nap-ION, a MIL h, f MAL S f nap-ion, a cro-SER, f adr-ALB.

POLAND (Sasseville): a WAR S a lit-bie (nsu), f GDA-bal, f LIT h (uno),

a lit-bie (nsu), a cze-KRA, a lat-STP.

RUSSIA (Goranson): a MOS-vol, a BIE-crp, a stp-FIN, a fin-LAP, f GOB-bal.

SPAIN (S. O'Donnell): a MAD-bar, f TUN S EGYPTIAN f esa-lib, a GIB-sve, a SVE-mad.

TURKEY (Pollard): a ada-IRN, a izm-ANK, a ist-BUL, a geo-AZE,

f ank-GEO, f gre-AEG, a bul-MAC.

UKRAINE (Partridge): a kha-CRP, f sev-WBS, a KIE S a kha-crp, a don-VOL,

a hun-POD, a RUM S ITALIAN a cro-ser, f ROS S a don-vol.

Addresses of the Participants

BRITAIN: Jonas Johnson, 3649 SE 33rd Ave., Portland, OR 97202, (503) 238-4430 ($5)

EcidLor of

EGYPT: Jeff O'Donnell, 402 Middle Ave., Elyria, OH 44035-5728, (440) 322-2920 ($5)

FRANCE: Harry Andruschak, PO Box 5309, Torrance, CA 90510-5309, (310) 835-9202 ($5)

GERMANY: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221, (414) 281-2339 (E-Mail)

prosit of

ITALY: Eric Ozog, PO Box 1138, Granite Falls, WA 98252-1138, (360) 691-4264 ($5)

ElfEric of

POLAND: Roland Sasseville, Jr., 38 Bucklin Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861, (401) 722-4029 ($5)

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RUSSIA: Rich Goranson, 10 Hertel Avenue #208, Buffalo, NY 14207-2532, (716) 876-9374 ($5)

ForlornH of

SPAIN: Sean O'Donnell, 126 S. Park, Oberlin, OH 44074, (440) 774-2928 ($5)

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TURKEY: Kent Pollard, Box 491, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, ($5)

UKRAINE: Dave Partridge, 15 Elmer Drive, Nashua, NH 03062-1722, (603) 882-3523 ($9)

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Game Notes:

1) Check out the Modern Dip web page at: Cyberia/modern.htm

2) I have made a compound error on Ukraine's orders from last time. I am NOT delaying the game over it, but I want to explain it. Ukraine had three builds and built a KHA, f SEV, and a KIE; but I transmogrified the a KIE into an a ODE on the order page AND on the map. Mid-deadline I realized that there should be an a KIE and notified all relevant players of that fact, but at that time I did NOT tell them that the a ODE should not be there. I have corrected all unit placements and orders and I apologize for the error. Unlike a certain chief executive of note, I believe in documenting my senility, stupidity, and other sundry faults when they are identified and not trying to deflect and assign blame to others. Of course, I can make errors in that too sometimes! But then I can admit those too!! Damn if it doesn't have me apologizing all too often. Maybe I should stop and start stonewalling too? Nah.... why bother. Anyway, on with the game!! See the a propos Mekons quote below...

3) A comment on the art and style of playing games under my season separation house rules! You have all just learned what happens when you have a complicated Winter season and how QUICKLY that Spring season ``springs'' upon you. The idea is that you don't wait until you get the Spring results before going on to negotiate seriously about Spring! If you do, there indeed is not much time to do it. Lesson for the future.... other times, those ``summer'' seasons just languish a bit when there aren't many (or none, like this time) retreats. To my mind it all balances out and it allows me to run more games at once than I could if I had to line them all up on the same deadlines.


(THE MEKONS QUOTE OF THE MONTH): ``I tongue Myself beautifully; I am on a roll, I am always on a roll. This place was made for Me. Watch this - I never fuck up. Hey, I'm so gooood; Me, like always, perfect! There are 12 words there for thunder; Speak in tongues, speak in tongues. Ba ba da gal rath takar ne; Everything is here. Johnny Cage in Huddersfield; In the pub with modern man.'' From ``Thunder'' off of the latest Me...

(ANDRUSCHAK-GM): TAP #207 with a deadline of 22 August arrived on 31 August. I am sorry your scanner cannot read my letters, ((It really is old and can't read much of anything any more...)) although (o goody, another excuse for GM abuse!!) if you weren't so stingy, so much of a tightwad, too busy just being a Scrooge, perhaps you could buy a new scanner. ((Oh yeah, how'd you like to buy me one??)) Just to show you how generous I can be, in spite of my Scottish blood, I am willing to donate $1 towards the new scanner. I encourage other TAP readers to be equally or even more generous. ((Go for a hundred and we might be talking....)) Until then, I'll check the local library tomorrow about internet e-mail access.

(GM to PRESS WRITERS): You set each other up SO beautifully here! I love to see these kinds of press segues. I have done my best to line it up for maximum effect. Need I say more?? More!!!

(EGYPT to FRANCE): As Napoleon told Talleyrand, ``Vous etes de la merde dans un bas de soie.''

(SEAN to HARRY): I have no desire to play blind in gunboat the main reason I got into these games was to get better at my Socialization skills which is obviously a complete failure and probably when I use up my money already on standby and in my two CCC games there's a good chance I will not be remeeting any of you on a battle field unless I decide to play in a F-T-F PLAY or other.

(ANDRUSCHAK-WORLD): This press item is written in response to an anguished postcard I received from Sean O'Donnell on 17 August. I wish to make it clear that Sean NEVER, at any time, threatened me with a bomb in my kitchen. I made the whole story up for the sole purpose of perpetuating a ghastly pun. I apologize to Sean O'Donnell for any distress this may have caused him, and promise that I will not, in the future, do it again.

Also, out of consideration and courtesy for the other 8 players in this game, if any of you object to my using your name in vain to perpetuate puns, let me know and I'll refrain. (This consideration and courtesy does not extend to the GM, of course, as he doesn't deserve it.) ((And well that it doesn't, as I don't want it! I love puns. In fact, I demand that you damn the consideration and courtesy and go ``pun-wild''!))

(ITALY-WORLD): Sorry for being out of touch for the last few weeks-my friend and brother were visiting and I've been out in the Great Outdoors with them while the weather holds. I will reestablish communications with you all in about a week and will put more effort into the game during the coming bleak fall and winter months....

(SPAIN to BOARD): Finish me off.

(ERIC-PAUL, HARRY & JONAS): If you can't beat the O'Donnell's then join 'em!

(UKRAINE - FRANCE): Thank you for your letter. Always nice to chat, even if we have nothing to say.

(TURKISH SCIENCE FICTION CLUB to MR. ANDRUSCHAK): We are disappointed that you did not care for our last selection. We are sending you our latest Best Seller: ``Atäturk Meets the Green Women From Venus''. (Only two more selections to receive your free bonus!)

(ANDRUSCHAK-BURGESS): I doubt if I can help you much on your proposed ``party record''. I never attend parties where pop music is played. I suppose I could recommend ``Green Christmas'' by Stan Freberg, still one of my all time favorites. But I am not sure how to justify this angry satire in a party record. If you want a party song with some relationship to Diplomacy, I do remember hearing, on the Doctor Demento Show, a song with the lyrics ``It's Istanbul, not Constantinople''. Hopefully, one of your TAP readers can supply the correct title and performing outfit. ((The record is called Flood, it is from 1990, the song title is actually ``Istanbul (not Constantinople)'', and the group is.... They Might Be Giants. Of course, it has been discussed in these pages before....))

(SOMEWHERE IN A HALLWAY): Dave looked down at the gun in bewilderment. This wasn't going as planned. In all the TV shows you shot someone, and if he was a bad guy he was knocked across the hall and fell down dead. But Rich wasn't dead, and he was shooting back! Could it be that Rich was a good guy? Who wrote this script anyway? He had a bad feeling about this, but it didn't look like there was much choice so he started off following the drops of blood on the floor. Somehow he just knew the audience was saying ``No, don't go in there" as he moved into the next room, gun held high.

(DOCTOR RICHARD WEISS to ALL MODERN DIPLOMACY PLAYERS): The stabs have started, so it would help if I knew what your blood types were.

(SPAIN to BOOB): No, I don't get that way after watching cable. Yes, it's TV and maybe I would be better off High and smashed what do I need my reflexes for??

(RICH GORENSON ((sic)) to SEAN O'DONNELL): It would seem as if Jonas Johnson is doing unto you what he has done unto ME in the Colonial Diplomacy game. My advice to you is to take a deep breath, turn around, drop your trousers and underpants, and bend over. Also, remember that Harry Andruschak served ten years in the US NAVY, so he can educate you about the need and use of KY jelly. I'm sure he has had much experience to draw on.

(THE CASTRATED GREEK NATIVES to AMBASSADOR ANDRUSCHAK): We blame you! It was you who gave those inhuman Turks the Unholy idea to take away our manhood! We curse you. ``May the tires of your Postal Trucks blow out all at once!'' ``May you be flooded with so much junk mail at Christmas Time that you are blinded and cannot read the fine print!'' We know you are to visit Turkey. We will wait and watch for you...

(FRANCE-GERMANY): I thank you for your letters of 18 and 31 August. Perhaps I did err in over-estimating Spain's diplomatic and tactical skills. However, I had suspicions in Winter 1994 that Sean O'Donnell was a hoax. Could a 17 year old really be so lacking in language skills? And even if he did lack language skills and diplomatic skills, he could still have tactical skills. Many a player has been a poor diplomat but a hot-shot at tactics. That is why no-press gunboat was and still is so popular in some szines. (NOT, of course, in TAP.) ((SLAM, BOOM, DUNK!!!))

(BERLIN to GDANSK): We have devoted our two fleets to the prevention of the growth of the Russian Fleet North. That was to prevent his eventual access to areas adjacent to our vital lifelines-Ber, Den, Kie and Hel. And now YOU build another Baltic fleet, at the cost of your taking Bie and at the price of defending your home centers. Are you ready to pay those prices?

(POLAND to WORLD): Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it. 60 years ago, Northwestern University awarded an honorary college degree to ventriloquist dummy Charlie McCarthy.


(SPAIN to FRANCE OF 1 440 774 2928): Oberlin OH and don't know a dang word in Latin. It wasn't me that wrote that the only two foreign languages I could write is German and French and I don't know the pronounceachings of French due to all I got is a book to use.

(FRANCE-TURKEY): Thank you for your letter received 28 August. I did write all nine powers after receiving TAP #206, so where are my letters in return from Britain, Egypt, Italy, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine? For the record, I am NOT attacking Spain. What looks like an attack on Spain is really a very clever deception engineered by Sean O'Donnell to confuse and eventually eliminate Britain.

(AMBASSADOR ATÄTURK PÖ-LLARD to THE NATIONS OF ITALY AND THE UKRAINE): I do hope you gentlemen have received my recent letters. Negotiations are open. Let us proceed and avoid unpleasant difficulties....

(P-F): When some keeps repeating in bigger and bigger ways that something is not even being considered and does this once too many times I get suspicious. So I'll bite. When do we do it?

(FRANCE-GERMANY): We wish to protest your Army in Austria learning to yodel. You know very well that the Geneva Conventions ban Deadly Yodeling warfare just as they ban Deadly Joke warfare. Rest assured we will not allow a Yodeling Gap to exist. We are now in the process of teaching our army in Switzerland to yodel also, and we have the best teachers in the world. So there!

(P-G): I didn't mean to do any harm with the fleet build.

(CHARLES JONES >> > HARRY ANDRUSCHAK): Build Fleet Brest?! What kind of dumb missteak (sic) is that? Are you one of those who tried to learn DIPLOMACY in Richard Weiss's zine Zero Sum? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

(POLAND to UKRAINE): When are you going to get moving?

(UKRAINE to TURKEY): ``May those who love us, love us. And those that don't love us, may God turn their hearts. And if He doesn't turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles so we'll know them by their limping.''

(P-R): ... and maybe even myself ``Non semper erit sestas"

(ALLEGED ALBERT EINSTEIN QUOTE): ``Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.''

(P-LOWER BOARD): What's with all the land forces

(ITALY to EGYPT): Remember what we spoke about. Out of sight, out of mind.

(UKR to ITALY): I agree to disagree, but that should be next.

(SPAIN >> > FRANCE): Si, Andruschak, populi arbitrio tua cana senectus spurcata impuris moribus intereat, non equidem dubito quin primum inimica bonorum lingua execta avido sit data vulturio, effossos oculos voret atro gutture corvus, intestina canes, cetera membra lupi.

(SPAIN to WHOEVER THIS LATIN SPANIARD IS): I don't know latin people and what I do know I learned from braveheart and I have no clue how to spell liar and Barbarious.

(TRANSLATION): If, Andruschak, your decrepit old age, polluted by your wicked ways, should be cut short by the will of the people, I have no doubt that it will be your tongue, the enemy of all good men, which will be cut out first, and thrown to greedy vultures; the raven will suck your gouged-out eyes down its dark black throat, the dogs will guzzle your guts, the wolves will get the leftovers!

(SPAIN to FRANCE): Hurry up and finish me off. I'm tired of you trying to destroy me. Keep it up, I don't care.

(GERMANY to FRANCE): I hope you finish Spain off soon. His babbling is driving us all over the edge.

(STING EMPIRE): Sean stood before sweating from the lose of blood. Above him looming stood Jonas and Harry. Harry shot Sean in the head then Jonas shot Harry in the chest then punched him to death. Before Sean died he yelled, ``I wanted to be Lambert!" then died. Harry died staring at Jonas laughing.

Rich ran down the corridor where he saw a bazooka mounted on the wall, pulled the trigger, and it exploded as Dave, Kent, and Roland shot then Kent shot Roland who shot Dave. They all died, leaving Paul, Jeff, Eric, and Jonas.

See you next issue of Sting Empire. May contain violent content may not be suitable to ages of 20-40 with bald heads.

(PALACE OF VERSAILLES): The cabinet meeting had been long and busy. With war breaking out all over Europe, the question of survival hanged in the air. Towards the end, one of the ministers asked about the USA. What were they going to do about all this? Prime Minister Andruschak smirked and said ``Special Operations?"

A man cloaked in black, with daggers in his belt, stood up. No hint of emotion could be seen through the black mask. ``Our plan to sabotage all the USA computers worked. The Pentagon is helpless, although they have allowed no word of this to leak out. It will take them about 3 years to undo the mess caused by Windows 95.''

The Minister of State shook his head in disbelief. ``How in the world did you manage to get such control over Bill Gates?'' The pictures were passed around the table. Typical comments were ``I didn't know you could DO that with gerbils and duct tape'' and ``what a creative use of cheese spread!'' The meeting ended on an upbeat mood.

SHOW ME THE MONEY: 1997Mea04, Colonial Diplomacy


Autumn and Winter 1903

BRITAIN (Johnson): bld f mad; has f MAD, f ADEN, a PUN, a BOM, f RS,

f HK, f SIN, a TIB, f SHI, f EIO, a BEN, f SCS, f MAL.

CHINA (Goranson): R a mon otb, a ben-tib (imp, otb), a mac otb; has a SHA, a ASS, a CHU.

FRANCE (Sasseville): bld a ton, f coc; has a TON, f COC, f GOS, f ANN, a CAN,

a MAY, a YUN, a U.BUR, f FOR.

HOLLAND (Desper): bld f java; has f JAVA, f BOR, f SIO, f SUL.S,

a SUM, f JS, f MNA.

JAPAN (Dwyer): bld a kyu, a kyo, f tok; has a KYU, a KYO, f TOK, f ECS, a P.ART,

f SAK, f YS, f SOJ, a SEO.

RUSSIA (Williams): bld a mos, a omsk, a ode, PLAYS ONE SHORT; has a MOS, a OMSK, a ODE,

f BLA, a CON, a KRA, f MAC, a BAG, a URU, a PEK, a SIK, a MON, f ANG.

TURKEY (Tallman): R f rs-SUD; rem f med, f kar; has f GOA, a EGY, f SUD.

Addresses of the Participants

BRITAIN: Jonas Johnson, 3649 SE 33rd Ave., Portland, OR 97202, (503) 238-4430 ($8)

EcidLor of

CHINA: Rich Goranson, 10 Hertel Avenue #208, Buffalo, NY 14207-2532, (716) 876-9374 ($5)

ForlornH of

FRANCE: Roland Sasseville, Jr., 38 Bucklin Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861, (401) 722-4029 ($5)

Djrolandb of

HOLLAND: Rick Desper, Bergheimer Strasse 114, 69115 Heidelberg, GERMANY (E-Mail)

desper of

JAPAN: Luke Dwyer, Colgate University, Box J 1262, 13 Oak Hill Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346, (315) 228-4625

School Breaks Only: 49 Middlesex Drive, Slingerlands, NY 12159, (518) 439-5796 ($4)

RUSSIA: Don Williams, 27505 Artine Drive, Saugus, CA 91350, (805) 297-3947 ($6)

wllmsfmly of

TURKEY: Terry Tallman, 3805 SW Lake Flora Road, Port Orchard, WA 98367, (360) 874-0386 ($0)

ttallman of

GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287

Game Notes:

1) Rick Desper comments: ``Looking at the results, you seem to say that I ordered F Sul S. S FRENCH F JS - > Sunda S. Before somebody raises the objection that the fleet in JS is not French, I would like to say that I did not include the word `French' in my orders." And you indeed did not. Sorry about that. I had it right in my head if not on the written pages!


(TIM RICE QUOTE OF THE MONTH): ``We've been sitting on the fence for far too long..." - ``Jesus Must Die'', from Jesus Christ, Superstar.

(CHINA-JAPAN): You're welcome.


(LUKEY-LUKESAN to ODESSAPHILE): How easily we forget our own mistakes. ((Don't worry, that's Don the Duck Williams you're talking to. He's a master at forgetting his own mistakes. Unfortunately, I remember mine too well....)) Attack you unprovoked? I think not. As I remember, you told me that you were not going to bounce me out of Fus and let me in. Ah, but a little birdie (we'll call that birdie China) told me of your diabolical plan to in fact bounce me in Fus and I made you pay. ((Don can always be counted upon to blow his own brilliant plans by barking up the wrong tree.... heck, he can't STOP talking to save his life!)) And now, you are very, very bitter. That is unfortunate. ((But an oh so common state of affairs.... when isn't Don bitter about SOMETHING??)) Perhaps we could have worked together, but now I stand to put a swift end to your reign in China. How you will regret that initial move. As they say, the first moves are the most important!

(TURK to CHINA): Okay, does one of us die first or do we get to face St. Peter together?

(STRAY THOUGHTS): I wonder who the Russian bear will eat up next? How much damage can Turkey do before he crumbles? Can China and Japan give the bear a stomachache? Are Britain and Holland having a war or a well choreographed dance-a-thon?

(MULDER to SCULLY): Even though someone out there thinks we are stale, I must inform you of the latest conspiracy theory. I heard that... oh no gotta run, I hear gunshots catch up to me later.

(TURKISH THRONE ROOM): The mallard and the ``Queen" are standing over a large bowl with very few dots left. in it. ``Odd," muttered the ``Queen", I expected the supply to be limitless."

``It is limitless," stated the duck, ``Until you run out!"

``What? You mean the easy dots are not infinite? How shall we survive????"

``The old fashioned way! Oh, could you pick that soap up?"

(BORNEO): (At the Dutch HQ in Borneo, Chef and the Kids are trying to figure out what to do. They wanted to enter a bike race, but Pip crashed one of the bikes. While Pip let all the kids spit on him, they still don't have enough bikes for the race.)

Chef: Well, children, what should we do?

Stan: Let's kick Pip's ass!

Kyle: Yeah, Pip is really annoying.

Kenny: Mm-mm-mmm

Chef: Now, Kenny, you know that's not a nice thing to say. (pause)

All the kids: (much laughter)

Cartman: Yeah, that Frog Pip just won't shut up!

At that moment Pip walks in.

Cartman: There's that French bastard now!

Stan: Hey, Pip, why don't you go back to France where you belong?

Pip: (starting to get mad) I've told you before, I'm British, not French!

Kyle: Yeah, sure, Frenchie, we've heard it before.

Cartman: Stupid Frog.


(Pip flies into a rage, tearing the room to shreds. Kenny dies. Stan starts drawing something in the sand floor.)

Kyle: Dude, what are you doing?

Stan: That kid Damien said if we ever needed his Dad's help, we should draw one of these on the floor and start playing Philip Glass music.

Kyle: Cool!

(Stan finishes the pentagram. A puff of smoke, and in comes Satan, yup, Beelzebub, Prince of Darkness himself).

Satan: (Booming voice): Who dares call me to the mortal realm?

Stan: Oh, Satan? That would be me? Could you do something about this Pip guy?

(Pip flies into a rage and attacks Chef, who holds him back by firmly placing his hand on Pip's forehead.)

Satan: (softer) Pph, is that all. BEGONE PIP!

(Pip is lifted into the air by dozens of screaming demons, and borne out of the room. He is last seen headed towards the Himalayas.)

Stan, Kyle, and Cartman: Hooray!

Satan: Anything else I can do for you boys?

Kyle: Yeah, we heard about this bike race, and we wanted to enter a team, but one of our bikes was ruined by Pip.

Satan: Oh, is that all? (Satan waves his hands, and four shiny new hellcycles appear.)

Cartman: Sweet!

Stan: Kick-Ass!

Kyle: Oh, thank you Satan! One more thing, our fourth teammate, Kenny, just died. Do you think you could release his soul for this race?

Satan: Sure! (He snaps his fingers a *puff* Kenny arrives, healthy as ever.)

Stan: Hi, Kenny!

Kenny: Mm Mmmm.

Satan: Here, have some Andro to help your ride along. (Satan dispenses some pills to all the kids). ((Hey, do you want to be disqualified before the race starts???? Do you think just by hiding this press in another game that the ever-vigilant race-director won't be right on top of these things?? Swallow those pills and you can join Pip on his ``little trip''.))

Cartman: You're the best, Satan!

Kyle: Yeah, Satan kicks ass!

Stan: Oh, Satan, what can we do for you.

Satan: Well, I'm glad you asked. In about two years time, my earthborne armies will need your help...

(Credits and Iggy Pop music)

THE HERMIT: 1995 IH, Regular Diplomacy


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
AUSTRIA (Randy Ellis)  5  6  8 10  7  7  6  5  4
Survived Winter 1909
ENGLAND (Kent Pollard)  4  4  2  2  1  1  1  1  1
Survived Winter 1909
FRANCE (Luke Dwyer)  5  5  6  7  8  9  9 10 10
Survived Winter 1909
GERMANY (Steve Emmert)  5  6  6  3  2  2  2  1  0
Eliminated Winter 1909
ITALY (Mark Kinney)  4  4  3  0 - - - - -
Eliminated Winter 1904
RUSSIA (Keith Sherwood)  6  7  9 12 16 15 16 17 19
Won Winter 1909
TURKEY (Roland Sasseville, Jr.)  4  2  0 - - - - - -
Eliminated Winter 1903

One (!) neutral in 1901

GM: Jim Burgess, The Abyssinian Prince to completion.

Addresses of the Participants

AUSTRIA: Randy Ellis, Box 1000, Jackson Lake Lodge, Moran, WY 83013 ($10)

ENGLAND: Kent Pollard, Box 491, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, ($5)

FRANCE: Luke Dwyer, 49 Middlesex Drive, Slingerlands, NY 12159, (518) 439-5796

GERMANY: Steve Emmert, 1752 Grey Friars Chase, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, (757) 471-1842


ITALY: Mark Kinney, 3613 Coronado Drive, Louisville, KY 40241, (502) 426-8165

alberich of

RUSSIA: Keith Sherwood, 8873 Pipestone Way, San Diego, CA 92129, (619) 484-8367 ($4)

ksher of or Keith_Sherwood of

TURKEY: Roland Sasseville, Jr., 38 Bucklin Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861, (401) 722-4029 ($3)

GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287

End Game Statements!

GERMANY (eliminated)

Congratulations, Keith. This is only the second game of my postal career in which I've been eliminated (and at least I lasted until the final move!). Golly, things were going along just fine until that fateful turn when I made two mistakes: (1) I decided to stab Austria. (2) I turned my back on Russia in doing so. Oops. Vae victis, as Brennus said to the Romans. Now, as for this officious Monday-morning quarterbacking by the GM, telling us how we could have more effectively prolonged the game for (unh!) one (oof!) more (urgh!) year . . . ((But you coulda, woulda, and shoulda!!!))

FRANCE (survived)

Gentlemen, this is my first end-game statement, so I'll try not to sound like a fool. ((Don't worry, our dear President has lowered the standards of discourse so far that it will be difficult to look truly foolish....)) First off, I have to congratulate Keith on not only his excellent military strategy, but his superb diplomatic tactics too. I found it very impressive (and disheartening at the time) that Keith managed to convince Steve to stab me, while at the same time, moving in on Steve from behind. I also have to commend Keith on keeping Randy thinking that he was not going to stab him. As hard as I tried to get Randy to realize that Keith was going after him, Randy did not believe me and as a result, Keith had another successful stab.

Speaking of backstabbing, I don't believe that I have ever found so many knives in my back in one game. ((Be glad that you aren't playing in the Arsenic and Old Farts game. We've had way more stabs in two game years than this game had all the way through.)) It really surprised me that I was able to pull all of the knives out and live. This is definitely one of the odder games that I have played in. I have never seen as many stabs in one game before and I have never seen an English fleet alone in the Mediterranean before. But then again, I have been playing Diplomacy for less than four years.

Nevertheless, this was a quality game. While I hate losing (I never lose any FTF games with my friends) I enjoyed playing The Hermit. In my opinion, which has little experience behind it, PBM games are a lot harder than FTF games. Maybe I'm encountering higher quality players in PBM. ((In general, most FTF games don't have enough good players in a small group, whereas most PBM players are pretty good. But, with good players, a FTF game in my view is MUCH harder to play. In a postal game, you can think out what you're doing and why you're doing it. In an FTF game, a complex game pretty quickly gets out of control.)) All in all, this was a quality game and I thank everyone who played with me for making my PBM debut an enjoyable one (I also have to thank Mike Barno and Jim for my vocab lessons!).

The Ambassador of France, Luke Dwyer

Austria-Hungary (survived)

For me this game started ominously in that I took over the Austrian position as a standby in Spring 1901. ((Note that I decided to count the Spring 1901 new players (you actually took over BEFORE any moves were made) as original players.)) I feared that Russia and Turkey had already made plans to divide and conquer. My fears were unfounded. I wrote to the Turk twice and never got a response. Keith, I believe, did not have much better results. Keith, a player whose name I've seen over the years, was a regular letter writer and a shrewd diplomat. The Russian/Austrian alliance was forged.

I was also on good terms with the Italian player: Mark Kinney. Mark's Italy being friendly meant a quick demise for Turkey. While Turkey was being cleanly and efficiently eliminated, the west remained in chaos. At first, it appeared that the two `rookies' (Pollard and Dwyer) were allies. Steve Emmert, however, was successful in getting France to turn on England and with a bit of Russian treachery, the second wicked witch was brought to her knees. Feeling sympathy for my friend, Kent, getting so brutally pounded in his first postal Diplomacy game, I supported him into Tunis a little later. That, in retrospect, might have been a big mistake...

There came a point in the game when essentially I had a choice: stab Italy (and remain Russia's ally) or vice versa. It is interesting to speculate - I think - on how this game would have turned out had I chosen to stick with Mark Kinney.

The rest, basically, is obvious. Keith stabbed me one year before I expected it. Luke Dwyer's France was slow to meet the Russian threat. I gradually lost interest in the game (reminiscent of my last Dip burnout period in the late '80's) culminating in a critical NMR. I think `the allies' could have stopped Russia if we had communicated better and coordinated more effectively. Given the reality of the situation, however, I think that my NMR simply gave Mr. Sherwood his victory a game year earlier than he would have had it otherwise.

I'd like to congratulate Keith Sherwood on his victory and thank Jim for running the game. As for myself, I expect to retire from the hobby for a while. I'll be back when the fire is back: when I'm ready to play the way I'm capable of playing. Primarily due to apathy and indifference, I think that I played more poorly in `The Hermit' than in any of my other 15 or so postal Diplomacy games.

Until next time, Randy

PS Did I win the most COA's in a single game contest?? ((I wanted to count them, but it was just too difficult, you had at least a dozen....))

England (survived)

Now it has ended.... Wow! Contrary to what many thought, I survived. Going back to the beginning of the game and throughout it, I learned a lot! (This was my first Diplomacy game, ever) I still defend my tactics. My problem was not keeping confidential my plans to my allies. Initially, Russia and France were Britain's ``friends''. I had two immediate goals which ironically came to be, but in a different path I never expected. France made a proposal to attack Italy, full force. I decided to throw in one of my fleets, mainly to pull his nearby French fleet away and thereby demilitarize the sea. The main attack for Britain was to be aimed at Germany. I had convinced myself that Russia and Austria would join in. Well, plans went astray. I still am not sure why Dwyer pulled out of this pre-set plan. If any of you look back at Italy earlier in the way, you will notice that his forces were strung out Eastwardly towards Turkey. When Admiral Langworthy came into position and the event was to begin, Luke started giving excuses why he could not begin an invasion. Big warning bells sounded off! At this point I knew he would not honor our agreement. I decided to realign (too late) with Germany and attack France! I let Russia and Germany know my intentions (Bad mistake, but I'm a rookie). ((Hey, it's OK, Don Williams makes the same type of mistakes and he's a veteran....)) Next thing I know, France counters my moves perfectly and from there on, Britain declines....

I have experienced joy, anger, amazement, frustration, and even contentment with this game. Going into it, Randy prepped me. On one side I knew players lied like sheets. On the other side some people play with a sense of honor. I saw both in the Hermit. The reason I survived was two fold. One was because I happened to be in position in the Med. Sea. The second amazed me. Randy out of nowhere offered to support me into Rome or Tunisia. Incredible! I was under the impression that he was a backstabbing son of a.... What a total opposite. He was the only one in the game that played with a bit of chivalry (you see, my problem is that I play lots of games where you must work together in some kind of common goal). So, I was naïve. But, you old pros, that doesn't mean I shall not stab at thee in the future. I am hooked on Diplomacy. I think you all need fresh blood in order to invigorate this game. Different styles. That is what I shall attempt. I will try to make it fun and break some of you of your old bad habits... ((Good luck..... you'll need it!))

Now, I congratulate you, you old wolf, Keith Sherwood. You did it all by yourself. I look forward to a rematch. Mr. Emmert, good game! Sorry the Huns didn't make it. If I had aligned with you, events would have turned out differently. Dwyer, please don't force the British people to speak French (you bloody...). Admiral Erik Von Steuben, thank you old boy. We do retain Africa. To Ambassador Kinney, I was serious when I suggested supporting you into Spain. You could have trusted me. Mr. Sasseville, you never wrote. What can I say? Jim-Bob Burgess, thank you for running a splendid game. I shall play Diplomacy until I become gray, senile, and ancient. This game will not die unless we allow it....

I look forward to meeting more Pros, more Rookies, and having more fun....

Take care all.... Kent.

PS Does Mike Barno get an end game statement? (Hey, hee, hee) ((If he wants one, sure, absolutely! Anyone can write press or make end game statements in any of my games.))




Spring 1911

ENGLAND (Lowrey): f NTH C a yor-den, a yor-DEN, a hol-KIE, f NAF S FRENCH f wes (otm),

f BAR S a stp, f den-SWE, f BAL C FRENCH a ber-lvn, a STP S FRENCH a ber-lvn.

FRANCE (Rauterberg): a par-BUR, a MAR-tus, a bur-MUN, a PIE S a mar-tus,

a RUH S a bur-mun, a ber-LVN, f GOL C a mar-tus, f WES-tyh, a mun-BER, a ROM-nap.

GERMANY (Kent): a SIL h.

RUSSIA (Williams): a SEV h.

TURKEY (Sherwood): a bul-SER, a TYO-pie, a tri-VEN, a ukr-WAR, a MOS S a ukr-war,

f con-AEG, a GAL S GERMAN a sil, f adr-ION, f TYH-tus, a vie-BOH, f TUN S f tyh (otm),

a APU S f ion-nap, f ion-NAP.

Addresses of the Participants

AUSTRIA: Terry Tallman, 3805 SW Lake Flora Road, Port Orchard, WA 98367, (360) 874-0386 ($7)

ttallman of

ENGLAND: Michael Lowrey, 4322 Water Oak Road, Charlotte, NC 28211

mlowrey of

ENGLAND EMERITUS: Tom Nash, 202 Settlers Road, St. Simons Island, GA 31522, (912) 634-1753 ($4)

75763.707 of CompuServe.COM

FRANCE: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221, (414) 281-2339 ($5)

prosit of

GERMANY: Doug Kent, 10214 Black Hickory Rd., Dallas, TX 75243 (214) 234-8386 ($5)

73567.1414 of CompuServe.COM

ITALY: Simon Billenness, 33 Lancaster Terrace, Apt. 211, Brookline, MA 02446, (617) 731-1419 ($5)

sbillenness of

RUSSIA: Don Williams, 27505 Artine Drive, Saugus, CA 91350, (805) 297-3947

wllmsfmly of

RUSSIA EMERITUS: Ken Peel, 12041 Eaglewood Court, Silver Spring, MD 20902, (301) 949-4055 ($5)


TURKEY: Keith Sherwood, 8873 Pipestone Way, San Diego, CA 92129, (619) 484-8367

ksher of or Keith_Sherwood of

TURKEY EMERITUS: Pete Gaughan, 502 Mt. Dell Drive, Clayton, CA 94517-1503, (925) 673-3396 ($4)

gaughan of

GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287

Game Notes (back from the tropopause):

1) The game specific standby list for this game includes Garret Schenck, Cathy Cunning Ozog, Mike Mills, Dick Martin, Vince Lutterbie, and Eric Brosius in reverse alphabetical order (note that Garret is STILL missing... someone find him!). Guest press from potential standbys would be a ``good thing'' if they wanted to be chosen.

2) I forgot to put Paul Rauterberg's two builds on the map and in the ``has'' section of the results last issue. There should not be any serious concern about this, I hope? But, yes, your GM blew that one again. Twice with more or less the same mistake in one issue. Gotta get on that one!

3) Back here in this one, we had the inevitable FET (almost DIAS) draw proposal. It 'tis rejected. It also is reproposed. Please vote on it again with your summer press! As always, failure to vote vetoes the proposal.


(TUR-FRA): Tired of being outplayed by you, I submit these rather risky Spring orders in a desperate attempt to have at least one season where I thwart you. Probably blow up in my face.

(PARIS to GERMANY (WHEREVER YOU DWELL)): Consider yourself punished for coordinating that early alliance against me....

(SONG LYRICS OF THE SUMMER): ``I wanna publish zines, and rage against machines" Flagpole sitta, Harvey Danger. Closest Diplomacy has come to pop stardom since REM's ``Man on the moon" (with its mention of Risk).

Ghods too (ghodstoo on the judge): 1997 KT, Internet Judge Diplomacy

I'm holding my write-up on Ghods too until I have more space and time. The game history AND all of the negotiating letters may be found in the Diplomatic Pouch showcase:

This is FASCINATING reading. I've heard some comments that this IS fascinating reading. I apologize for some of the formatting difficulties in the way the program edited the press. Would anyone like to make comments for print? If I don't get around to this shortly, I might drop it..... you guys know that I just leave these notes in here as a ``shopping list'' to remind myself and that I am most likely to get off my butt in responding to comments by any of you.

AUSTRIA: Edi Birsan (edi of;

ENGLAND: Jamie Dreier (James_Dreier of;

FRANCE: John Barkdull (uejon of;

GERMANY: Pitt Crandlemire (pittc of;

ITALY: Cal White (diplomat of;

RUSSIA: Mark Fassio (jm2365 of, fazfam of;

TURKEY: Hohn Cho (hohncho of

GM: Jim Burgess (burgess of

USIN judge: judge of

((The main point of this game was to take some successful E-Mail players, some successful FTF tournament players, and some successful PBM players, put them in a game together using the Judge E-Mail technology and see what happens. The game ended in a France/England/Turkey DIAS draw.))

COVINGTON CROSS: 1993 AQ, Regular Diplomacy


05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15
AUSTRIA (Craig Cowley)  0 - - - - - - - - - -
Eliminated Winter 1905
ENGLAND (???) - - - - - - - - - - -
Eliminated Before Winter 1905
FRANCE (Jason Yarbrough)  9  9  9  9 10 12 13 16 16 17 18
Resigned Fall 1906;
(Paul Rauterberg) Won Winter 1915
GERMANY (Harold Zarr)  8 10 10 10 11 12 11  9  8  7  5
Survived Winter 1915
ITALY (Vince Lutterbie)  5  5 *5  4  2  0 - - - - -
Resigned Fall 1905;
(Jack Garrett) Eliminated Winter 1910
RUSSIA (Eric Brosius)  3  2  1  1  0 - - - - - -
Eliminated Spring 1909
TURKEY (Stan Johnson)  9  8  9 10 11 10 10  9 10 10 11
Survived Winter 1915

* = Played one short

GM: Melinda Holley, Rebel to Fall 1905 (records lost); Jim Burgess, The Abyssinian Prince to completion.

NOTE: In The Abyssinian Prince, the year 1913 was skipped to Spring 1914 - the supply chart above is corrected.

Addresses of the Participants

FRANCE: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Drive, Greenfield, WI 53221, (414) 281-2339

prosit of

GERMANY: Harold Zarr, 215 Glen Drive, Iowa Falls, IA 50126-1957, (515) 648-2821

RUSSIA: Eric Brosius, 53 Bird Street, Needham MA 02192 ($5)

72060.1540 of CompuServe.COM

TURKEY: Stan Johnson, 1254 East Broadway Road #56, Mesa, AZ 85204-2223, (602) 668-1105

GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287

COLUMBUS CHILL: 1993 J, Regular Diplomacy



Fall 1919

AUSTRIA (Davis): a BUD h.

FRANCE (Zarr): a GAS S a mar, f BRE S f mid, a MAR S f spa(nc), a POR S f spa(nc),

f SPA(NC) S f mid, f MID S f spa(nc).

GERMANY (Jones): f hol-BEL, f kie-HEL, a ruh-BUR, a GAL S a ukr, a MOS-sev,

a VIE S a tyo, a BOH S a vie, a MUN S a ruh-bur, a TYO S a vie, a wal-LON, a bel-PIC,

a UKR S a gal, f nth-ENG, f cly-NAO.

TURKEY (Weiss): a BUL-rum, f TUN-wes, f BLA S a sev, a RUM-gal,

a VEN-tyo, a TRI h, a SER S AUSTRIAN a bud, f GOL S f pie-mar, a SEV S a bul-rum,

f WES-spa(sc), f NAF-mid, f PIE-mar, f ADR-vie (imp).

Supply Center Chart

AUSTRIA (Davis): bud (has 1, even)
FRANCE (Zarr): bre,par,por,spa,mar (has 6, rem 1)
GERMANY (Jones): mun,kie,ber,den,hol,bel,swe,nwy, (has 14, bld 1)
TURKEY (Weiss): ank,con,smy,bul,rum,sev,gre, (has 13, even)
Neutral: none (Total=34)

Addresses of the Participants

AUSTRIA: Rick Davis, 2009 Bodega Avenue, Petaluma, CA 94952, (707) 773-1044

redavis914 of

FRANCE: Harold Zarr, 215 Glen Drive, Iowa Falls, IA 50126-1957, (515) 648-2821

GERMANY: Charles Jones, 1722 Quail Circle, Corona, CA 91720-4155, (909) 735-8981

RUSSIA: Eric Schlegel, 314 Fords Lane, Aberdeen, MD 21001, (410) 272-3314

TURKEY: Richard Weiss, 500 Beale St. # 104, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 512-7221

rcw of

GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287

Game Notes:

1) All draws and concessions are still rejected. With winter orders please vote on a concession to Germany, and FG, FGT, GT, and FGTA draw proposals.


(FRA-GM): Hey, I was just trying to give you a bad time and inject a little levity into the game? You're too serious. Lighten up! ((I think that's the first time I've ever been accused of THAT! I'm lighter than air....))

(TUR-FRA): Well, well, well. I trust that you are not a Christian zealot waiting for the Inquisition to come back, because that would be the end of your foul-mouthed friend the Germ. However, if you have a moral fiber, you will be able to tell from re-reading Summer Press who is voting against the 4-way. If you want to play this out, continue to suck up to the Germ. I hope you don't get sick. Do remember that if you suck up to the Boob, you will get sick, very sick, touched in the head, lactose intolerance for ever for sucking Boob lacrimations and may never be able to write without tangents again.

(GERMANY >> > FRANCE): I have voted for F/G, F/G/T and of course they don't pass. I can't bring myself to vote for Austria. He stabbed me. Turkey told me in one of his last letters that he wasn't voting for the draws, then a turn or two later he put it in his press. It's my belief that he keeps Austria alive so that he can make us believe that Austria is voting against the draws. Let's revisit the issue of Jim-Bob not tallying the votes correctly. You are assuming that Jim can count up to four. How's that for abuse, Jim? ((I don't need to count to four, I only have to count to one, the number of people that either don't vote or vote against each of the draws. Be assured, none of them has ever passed.))

(FRA-GER): Give Turkey a break. He can't helpit if he is an ass... or that he likes them! (Well, maybe he could if he would exercise a little self-control, but those people in San Francisco don't seem to have that as one of their outstanding character traits.)

(TUR-GERM): Maybe you have lost your cell membranes and have become your own cytokines, the dreaded needs a host ``VIRUS!" How's your RNA? Your reverse transcriptase? You think Boob, who is still trying to pull off his Brother bit, could invent Mr. Michael J Blarno, Esq, JR??? Have you ever seen the Boob? You ever heard anyone say anything good about him? Even his wife compares rock performers to dead poets. Neither of them have a clue. Go rehearse for your retirement, because while you were in Chicago, I was in Detroit (and that's a damn fine song. Which makes me ask the neuron that still functions for Boob, Lucinda Williams makes me think of Graham Parker if he were still alive, or at least Emilooo if she were singing his vocals. What do you think of those three?) ((Graham Parker is still very much alive, isn't he???))

(FRA-GM): Yes, I'm finally having fun. Seeing that my deliberate policy of giving my supply centers to Germany is driving Turkey crazy, I'm having more fun with the game than I've had in a long, long time. I still wish it would end.

(TUR-AUS): C'est la vie as the Frenchman tries to say. C'est l'morte as you and I will be saying before too long. See you in a couple of weeks at the house of the winner of more Dip awards for BEST ZINE than any other mortal. (And don't worry about the VIRUS and little Napoleon coming, they couldn't figure out a clue like that if they asked Peeriblah.)

(GERMANY >> > MR. LOW HOF): I'd go for the draw and kill Austria, if I was you! I'm going to bet that you don't.

(TUR-VIRUS): I'm catching a little head cold, and occassionally I go ``Hof, hof, hof." Other than that, Hof Haut is a fairly large company out here.

(GERMANY >> > JIM-BOB): I still am of the opinion that you made up Mike B. By the way I don't believe in the twin brothers Don and Dan Stafford that you made up either. Isn't it kind of lame making up twin brothers with first names that start with the same letter, who also play Diplomacy? In several issues of The Abyssinian Prince you talk about Don and and others it's Dan. ((Nope, it's only been YOU!)) I distinctly remember that in issues 37, 54, and 121, you talked about a Don Stafford. Do I get points for abusing the GM yet? ((A very miniscule number of points, for some pretty lame abuse! I of course checked said issues and found no such reference. making it even worse for you, there WAS NO The Abyssinian Prince for 37 and 54.... hah, hah, hah!)) These points are very hard to earn. Richard is so much funner to abuse.

(GERMANY >> > JIM-BOB): I had been considering sending my moves to 666 instead of 664 as a good way to start GM abuse, but often wondered how often you checked the second box. I'm really not very good at abusing you, you are a good GM and I like your comments. ((You clearly don't know me very well....))

SUFFREN SUCCOTASH: 1993 AI, Regular Diplomacy


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11
AUSTRIA (Michael Swift)  5  5  5  4  4  4  3  2   1   1   1
Dropped Summer 1902;
(Michael Pustilnik) Survived Winter 1911
ENGLAND (Karl Hoffman)  4  5  5  6  6  7  8 *8   6   5   6
Survived Winter 1911
FRANCE (Drew James)  5  5  5  7  7  8 *9 11  13 !17  18
Won Winter 1911
GERMANY (Mickey Preston)  4  5  7  6  7  7 !8 *9 !12  10   8
Dropped Summer 1901;
(Mike Stewart) Resigned Fall 1901;
(Steve Emmert) Survived Winter 1911
ITALY (Dan Gorham)  4  4  3  2  1  0 - -  -  -  -
Eliminated Winter 1906
RUSSIA (Bill Wordelmann)  6  7  7  8  8 *7  5  4   2   1   1
Resigned Spring 1902;
(John Schultz) Survived Winter 1911
TURKEY (Richard Tucker)  4  3  2  1  1  1  1  0  -  -  -
Resigned Spring 1902;
(Jack Garrett) Resigned Spring 1907;
(Harry Andruschak) Eliminated Winter 1908

* = Played one short

! = Played two short

Two (!) neutrals in 1901

GM: Garret Schenck, Upstart to Fall 1905; Jim Burgess, The Abyssinian Prince to completion.

NOTE: In The Abyssinian Prince, the year 1909 was skipped to Spring 1910 - the supply chart above is corrected.

Addresses of the Participants

AUSTRIA: Michael Pustilnik, 140 Cadman Plaza West, #13J, Brooklyn, NY 11201, (718) 625-0651 ($7)

ENGLAND: Karl Hoffman, 395 Imperial Way #220, Daly City, CA 94015, (650) 991-2394

KarlHoffmn of

FRANCE: Drew James, 8356 Radian Path, Baldwinsville, NY 13027-9357, (315) 652-1956

dkbn of

GERMANY: Steve Emmert, 1752 Grey Friars Chase, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, (757) 471-1842


ITALY: Dan Gorham, PO Box 279, Belmopan, Belize, CENTRAL AMERICA

Danielg of

RUSSIA: John Schultz, #19390, Marion County Jail II, 730 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202

TURKEY: Harry Andruschak, PO Box 5309, Torrance, CA 90510-5309, (310) 835-9202

GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287

GM EMERITUS: Garret Schenck, still lost, HELP!

Game Notes:

1) Remember that the default with leftover NMR insurance is to put it into a continuing sub until it is gone. You also can use it toward a new game, e.g. if Michael wants to join a new game he only needs to send me $8.

End Game Statements:

GERMANY (survived)

Congratulations, Drew. This game had a couple of turning points from my perspective. The first was when I invaded Russia, which was (I think) right after John took it over. I convoyed an army into Livonia in a spring turn, and he had an army in Warsaw, nothing in Moscow, and nobody close enough to help. It became a guessing game as to where to go, and I got lucky and guessed right; my army walked into Warsaw as he covered Moscow. The inevitability of his downfall after that cemented one conclusion I had drawn years ago: An opponent's home dots are far more valuable than his ``fringe acquisitions," for obvious reasons. If I had just taken, say, Sweden, he could have fought me off. The second turning point for me was, of course, Drew's stab of me. It goes without saying that it succeeded, and was decisive for this game. He and I had communicated often and coordinated our moves very well until that point. Drew told me that he would have been disappointed to learn that I had never considered stabbing him, but that is, in fact, the case. We had worked together so well for the entire game that I never even thought of stabbing him; this sets me up as one of the game's great suckers, I suppose. Jim, thank you for taking this game over from Garret. Shamefully, you never gave me credit for the $15 I sent you, but given the length of the game, I'd have to say I got my money's worth. By the way, did anyone ever hear from Dan? He never wrote to me the entire game. Thanks, guys, for a fun game. ((Ask and you shall receive....))

Italy (Eliminated)

Let me use a work by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) called: `Success is counted sweetest'. This is an apt statement since I was knocked out of the game so quickly (where are friends when you need them?):

``Success is counted sweetest; By those who ne're succeed;

To comprehend a nectar; Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple host; Who took the flag today;

Can tell the definition; So clear, of victory.

As he, defeated, dying; On whose forbidden ear;

The distant strains of triumph; Break, agonized and clear.''

Suffren - France - End of Game Statement (won)

I really enjoyed this game. The truth be known this is the first game I have won outright since I started playing by mail about five or six years ago. It took most of those five or six years to complete Suffren.

From the very beginning it was my plan to form a three way western alliance. Despite the comments throughout the life of this game, I thought it would be more interesting than the standard ``fight it out in the west and fight it out in the east" type of games. I spent lots of money on postage due to the high turnover at the beginning of the game. I ended up negotiating with two Englands and three Germanys. I threw everything I had against Italy, trusting in my allies who didn't let me down. Steve Emmert's move into Tyrollia early on was the key move of the game. That really shook things up and cemented our alliance for good (or almost for good).

Italy had no chance at that point and Steve and I kept in perfect coordination. The eastern powers never seemed to really confront the threat from the west. Russia devoured Turkey, but lost everything else. Austria seemed paralyzed. I figured that Austria was allied with Russia against Turkey and Italy so he didn't want to help Italy, but never got any of the spoils in Turkey. The bottom line was that the east couldn't or wouldn't confront our threat from the west in a coordinated fashion.

After the fall of Italy, Steve and I moved on Russia in Turkey. Unfortunately, some botched email communications between Steve and Jim resulted in Steve losing his army in Asia Minor and allowing Russia to survive the game.

As with all three-ways, we had to confront the problem of having no place left for one of the powers (England in our case) to grow. Given how close the alliance between Steve and I had become due to our need for very close coordination in Italy, England became the odd man out. We agree to stab and then split the win between us. I had every intention at that point in the game in accepting a two way draw.

I had a good time for awhile proposing three-way (and then 2-way) draws and voting against them or sending in an NVR. I'm glad that the GM doesn't allow public draw votes.

A couple of things then changed. It became clear to me that I was in a much stronger position than Steve and had the chance for a solo; Steve had become too trusting; and I no longer needed Steve in the Balkans. It pained me to stab Steve as I had never had a closer ally before, but I felt that not going for the win would be a cop out and I also felt it would breath more life into the game. The flurry of email from Steve putting me in touch with others who had stabbed him in the past (seems like a long list), made the stab worthwhile fun in itself.

I miscounted supply centers at the very end, so I was surprised to win when I did. I was expecting a race to the Balkans to determine the outcome. I was surprised to find the survivors turning on each other at the end, but it didn't matter at all.

All and all I had a great time with this game. I wish we could find Garret, though. Thanks for the outstanding GM work of restarting and following through on this game.

Turkey II (Eliminated)

Coming in as a standby with only 1 SC didn't leave much room for diplomacy or maneuvering. John Schultz (Russia) was the only player to write back to me with any ideas, mostly to try and break up the Evil Western Triple Alliance.

I did write to E/F/G, pointing out that they were in a position to run the inspiring convoy of an army from Saint Petersburg to Smyrna. I still wish they had gone for it, if only to see the GM's reaction. Of course, to set up the convoy route would have required France to back off his fleets from Greece and leave my lone army untouched. Instead, France promptly eliminated me. That's the problem with kids nowadays, no sense of humor.

But eventually the Evil Triple did fall apart, and I do look forward to reading the endgame statements of the three players involved. Most importantly, when France and Germany built, and England didn't, was that a planned double-cross by France AND Germany, or were France and Germany acting independently?


(ANDRUSCHAK-``LAWYER''): Yes, it would be nice to have an ORIGINAL lawyer joke, but what you re-printed in TAP #206 was not all that original. I remember hearing it back in the 1950's when I was at Sladegreen County Secondary School in England. Only back then the 3 persons were an Englishman, an Irishman, and a Scotsman. Since the stereotype of a Scotsman was of a greedy moneygrubber, guess who tossed in the check? In 1958, at age 14, I was back in the USA. This joke was being recycled with a Protestant, a Catholic, and a Jew as the three persons involved. Since the stereotype of a Jew was of a greedy moneygrubber, guess who tossed in the check? In fact, I have grave doubts that ANY of the so-called lawyer jokes are original. They seem to be the same old ethnic bashing jokes re-written. ***yawn*** ((You must have a good memory, I can never remember jokes so when I hear them again, I still laugh.... I can remember other things really well though.))

Personal Note to You:

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 1.66.