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October 24, 2009

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Mission From God Issue 24

The directory of magazines that run games by post

Jack Duckworth's Alternate Universe

Simon Ives, 42 Elmlea Road, Kings Stanley, Stonehouse, Glos GL10 3HR

Season Ten Issue 1, A5 booklet, every 2-3 weeks throughout the football season, 20 pages, 8 for a season i.e. about 50p per issue)

Runs: Fantasy Football, Predictions Game, Quattro League, By Popular Demand, Celebrity Big Brother
Waiting Lists: Sumo, By Popular Demand variant

Jack and his magic "tear in the space-time continuum" beans continue to flourish. This is a very seasonal zine in that 80% of the content is the flagship Fantasy Footy game, so if you don't get involved in August there's less to see. Most of the other games Quattro League, The Sack Race, Predictions Game, etc. are also footy related, so follow life's natural cycle. It has a bit of a snooze during the summer (World Cup years excepted), but is great stuff for nine months of the year.

(Howard Bishop, 18 October 2001)

Jumpers for Goalposts


... Mais n'est-ce pas la gare?

Steve Thomas, 168 Orchard Way, Addlestone, Surrey

E-mail: maisnestce@aol.com

A4 corner-stapled.

Runs: 18xx
Waiting Lists: 18xx

Dense and pithy.

(Rob Thomasson, December 2002)

A fully-subscribed zine devoted to the 18xx series of games. Great name for a zine.

(John Harrington, December 2002)

Maniac's Paradise Lost

Douglas Kent, 1404 East Lamar Blvd #106, Arlington, TX 76011, USA

E-mail: dipworld@ix.netcom.com

Issue 3, open page format (letter sized, corner stapled), 6 pages (but growing), monthly, 50 cents in the US, outside the US between 50 cents and a dollar elsewhere, free to players in Orphan games


Runs: Diplomacy, Gunboat (Diplomacy variant)
Waiting Lists: Diplomacy

(I occasionally allow editors to provide a description of their own zine if it is not well know or brand new. Here’s Doug’s explanation of what his zine is all about - JH)

"Back in the day (circa 1988) I started this zine called Maniac's Paradise. I was a real genius _ I figured I could trade it for all the Diplomacy zines I wanted to subscribe to, and save money in the process. Not the first time all the chlorine in my gene pool showed itself.

Over the years I expanded my Diplomacy empire to include publishing a number of additional zines (including Diplomacy World), but MP remained my flagship. It grew and grew, sometimes reaching over 50 letter sized pages, filled with Diplomacy, variants, other games, letters, subzines, cartoons, and who knows what else?

Then in 1998 a series of personal and financial disasters knocked me out of the hobby just as I was about to claim the title of Grand Poobah of the International Diplomacy Community. My toadies scattered for cover (the likes of Markie Nelson, Jim Burgess, Little Steve Agar, and Conrad von Metzke). The hobby was struck a catastrophic blow. All hope seemed lost.

But fear not. Four years later, I have returned like the Phoenix. Maniac's Paradise Lost will grow and grow until I have once again conquered the hobby. Toadies are welcome, join my minions now before it gets crowded."

(Douglas Kent, December 2002)


Rob Thomasson, 205 Tolcarne Drive, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 2DN

E-mail: rob@thomasson.com

Issue 250, A4, monthly, 8 pages, 50p including postage


Runs: 1829 (3), 1830 (3), 1835, 1856 (3), Railway Rivals, Outpost (2)
Waiting List: 1829, 1830, 1835, 1856, Railway Rivals, Outpost

Jeez, what must it be like being a zine editor and having Keith Thomasson (see For Whom The Die Rolls) as a brother? Still, I am pretty sure Jackie Charlton won more league championship medals than brother Bobby, which is not to suggest that Rob edits a "Route One" style zine; after all, you’ll need more than one route in a zine largely featuring railway games.

God, that was a laboured pun but never mind. Minstrel may not have the high profile accorded other zines but 250 issues under the belt suggests this is a very successful zine. I’ve not played in it, largely because reputation suggests I’d get eaten alive by the players, all of whom, apparently, are very good and highly competitive.

(John Harrington, November 2002)

90 Minutes

Steve Gregory, 29 Charlecote Drive, Wollerton, Nottingham, NG8 2SD

E-mail: steve.gregory@classicfm.net

Issue 170+, 9 a season

Runs: Soccer Supremo
Waiting List: Soccer Supremo

Ninety Minutes is a Soccer Supremo game and still chugging along merrily. Three divisions of eight and one vacancy currently. My lot are dropping like a stone as we speak - hello again third division! No other games, no chat generally, but a very solid Soccer Supremo game. Game fee is 9 and the zine is monthly.

(Dave Carter, December 2002)


Alex Richardson, 9 Bridge Street, Hitchin, Herts. SG5 2DE

Issue 117, A5 booklet, 6-7 weekly, 12 pages, 50p (including postage)

Runs: Diplomacy, Middleman, Intimate Diplomacy, Sorcerer’s Cave, Tutankhamun (2), Breaking Away, The (Not Very) Beautiful Game
Waiting Lists: 18xx, Silverton, Diplomacy, Aberration III, Gunboat Diplomacy, Intimate Diplomacy, Woolworth II-D, Civilization, Eat Me!, Grand Slam, Middleman, Postal Snowball Fighting, Secrets, Sopwith, Tribute

Another zine that I trade with. Well into three figures and with a nice easygoing style and a good range of games. There’s an interesting footy game in there that I’m hoping to sign up for if Alex offers it again. If your expectations are for a big fat tome with bucket-loads of games, then you’ll probably be disappointed. However, if you don’t like too much fibre and being regular isn’t important, then you could do a lot worse than getting involved with this one. There are also two fledgling subzines offering some interesting games (including Silverton which I haven’t seen elsewhere).

(Howard Bishop, November 2002)

Alex Richardson's zine has often seemed to teeter on the edge of stalling, only to cough into life again. The current mood is upbeat, as the last couple of issues have been good ones, and the zine has been enlivened by a couple of subzines. Alex is also threatening to get a PC, having already taken one technological leap in having e-mails sent to his TV. I have subscribed to Obsidian for many years now, and I still look forward to receiving each copy.

(Allan Stagg, December 2002)


John Marsden, 91 Westwood Avenue, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 9RS

E-mail: John@ode-online.net

Issue 240, A4 two-column, 5 weekly, 16 -22 pages, 75p including postage


Runs: Diplomacy (6), Gesta Danorum (Dip variant), Diplomacy the Gathering (Dip variant), Bourse, Railway Rivals (5), Railway Rivals Discovery, Bus Boss, 18xx (3), Empires of the Middle Ages (2), South Wales Ironmaster
Waiting Lists: Diplomacy, Mercator (Dip variant), Seismic Diplomacy (Dip variant), Railway Rivals, Railway Rivals Discovery, Trawling, Bus Boss Economic, Acquire

Winner of the 2002 Zine Poll

Pretty much unchanged in the ten years or so I have been subbing and trading. Goes through various peaks and troughs, but John has obviously found a formula to suit his subber base. There is usually an ed’s bit, sometimes a letter column and occasionally an article or whatever. However, most of the zine is given over to game reports and there are a wide number of them. They include Diplomacy, various variants, Railway Rivals, 18xx and Empires of the Middle Ages (one of these is "Leman", which must have been running all the time I have been in the hobby!) Anyway, John is very reliable and I have no hesitation in sticking him in third place in my list of favourite zines.

(Neil Duncan, December 2002)

off the shelf

Tom Howell, 365 Storm King Road, Port Angeles, WA 98363

E-mail: off-the-shelf@olympus.net


Volume X, no. 7, booklet, 6 weekly, 24 pages, $1 ($1.50 to non-US subscribers) including postage

Runs: Diplomacy (3), Golden Strider (2), Fog of War Diplomacy (2), Breaking Away, By Popular Demand, Off The Map
Waiting Lists: By Popular Demand, Golden Strider, Hardbop Downfall (Diplomacy variant)

ots is a tightly packed, fairly serious zine, of an ideal size for stuffing into your trouser pocket for the purposes of smuggling it unseen into the loo for a good read. Looking at the simple but effective web site it looks to be averaging about 7 or 8 issues a year.

(John Harrington, November 2002)

Tom Howell's booklet-size zine is always a fun read. In addition to the games (Dip, variants, By Popular Demand, Golden Strider and Breaking Away) Tom always put a lot of his personality into each issue. There's the "Off the Map" feature where Tom asks us to identify an anonymous piece of a map (could be a river, an island, anything). "In My Neighbourhood" catches readers up on Tom's life and all the work he does on his property. And sometimes he'll throw in some real-world commentary as well. Small but very worthwhile and enjoyable, and very dependable (Tom is also a very good GM).

(Douglas Kent, December 2002)



Postal gaming

Published in January 2003

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