Mission From God Issue 24
The directory of magazines that run games by post
John Webley, Töpferreihe 4, 38259 Salzgitter Germany
Issue 126, electronic delivery via mail-list, 10 pages, 6 weekly, free by e-mail
A zine of significant longevity, produced in electronic format only. It's mainly RR, 18xx and Acquire with a nice editorial and some very good game reviews. John lives in Germany so has his finger on the pulse of the games scene there. Perhaps he'll offer some of the German games at some stage.
(Howard Bishop, November 2002)
Richard Smith, 106 Bracklesham Close, Sholing, Southampton SO19 8RX
Folded. Richard now runs a relatively clean living subzine in Variable Pig.
Keith Thomasson, 14 Stepnells, Marsworth, Nr Tring, Herts. HP23 4NQ
Available on http://www.fwtwr.com
Sopwith is a nifty little air combat game which plays better by post than it does face to face. One of the rules concerns pilots achieving "ace" status as a result of achieving a certain number of kills. Ace status gives the pilots extra skills so it is actually important to keep track of player records in this game, which makes the Sopwith Stats less of a duvet stuffing exercise than most stats zines.
(John Harrington, 1 November 2001)
It still is a nifty little combat game and all of the above still applies.
(John Harrington, February 2003)
Mark Wightman, 52 Park Road West, Bedford, Bedfordshire MK41 7SL
Issue 58, A5 booklet, 32 pages, 6 weekly, £1 (UK), £1.30 (Europe), £1.50 (rest of world) including postage (50p for unwaged)
Showing every sign of hurtling towards a fold. Well, OK, not hurtling. Limping, maybe.
What are the signs? Only 5 issues in a year for a formerly fairly reliable zine. An increase in the number of "why do I bother?" editorials. The well-known post-milestone depression as the editor suddenly realises it will be another 50 issues until his next well deserved bout of back-slapping from subscribers and peers. Letting something like a massively debilitating back injury get in the way of producing the zine ... yes, that last one was ironic.
If Mark can get through the dreaded fifties (issue number not age) then hopefully his enthusiasm for zine editing will return because Sprouts is a truly excellent zine. The games are run efficiently, the editor is entertaining and takes no shit from anyone, the lay-out is innovative, the regular features are quirky and entertaining. On the other hand, no one wants Mark to soldier on for our sake; hes a grumpy bugger as it is, and the prospect of several years of carping and moaning about his unworthy subscribers is not a pleasant one.
(John Harrington, November 2002)
I do hope Marks back problems get resolved before too long, because fans of this zine have to wait far too long between issues. A very good zine when it arrives, although the sense of humour often misses me, but needs to recover past efficiency.
(John Marsden, November 2002)
The zine I look forward to the most, I have to say. I enjoy Marks style and wit and the cartoons of course. Like The Cunning Plan, it tends to the following format: editors bit, letters, games and maybe the odd article (but these are in short supply since Bandy hung up his word processor and dagger). Recent turnarounds have been a little slack, but on the whole Mark is an editor to be trusted (but not in a game of Diplomacy, of course!)
(Neil Duncan, December 2002)
Paul Sands, Flat 2, 432 Birmingham Road, Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B73 1YL
Issue 33, A4 corner stapled black & white, 16 pages, 7 weekly, 60p including postage
It is not the most rapid of zines but it turns up when it is supposed to. There is only a minimal amount of chat, usually to do with cricket, but this is supplemented with reprints of Diplomacy articles and some very amusing press clippings of the "man sets fire to his friends testicles" sort. The range of games on offer is broad, but for once this does not mean game reports are crammed into as small a space as possible. All in all this is a responsibly edited zine from the Flights of Fancy school, which appears to have a long future in front of it
(John Harrington, November 2002)
Martin Draper, 124 Lord Street, Hoddesdon, Herts. EN11 8NP
Issue 170, monthly, 18 pages, £9.50 per season. (Cost also includes a close season booklet, and a A5 manager's handbook of 120 pages!)
Striker is a long running and efficiently GMd United league using the rules developed by Ken O'Brien and Martyn Hathaway in the now-defunct Tumbling Dice. This means that it uses coaching costs which vary according to age and level, injuries and other differences to the traditional United. There are currently five names on the waiting list which is a frustration to anyone who would like to join with a quick start but equally is testimony to the quality of the league.
(Martyn Hathaway, November 2002)
Martin Draper's United zine has been running for an awful long time (18th season just starting), and as far as I can tell, is done so to extremely strict and regular deadlines.
Martin has always been extremely helpful, and if you're genuinely interested in joining and committing yourself to this league, you'll find the man to be more than happy to send sample issues, etc. for your perusal.
(Alex Bardy, December 2002)
Published in January 2003
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