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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

Tangerine Terror (The)

Howard Bishop, 43 Guinions Road, High Wycombe, HP13 7NT

Email: latics@globalnet.co.uk

Issue 17, A5 booklet, 7 weekly, 32 pages, 75p (50p to players)

Runs: Postal Tennis (2), Battle Of The Bulge, Where In The World Is Kendo Nagasaki, For Sale, Backpacks & Blisters, Cube Farm, Speedway Challenge, Football games: Survivor/Brag/Fantasy Footsie 20, Pop Quiz, Zeitgeist (Chess variant), Quebec 1759, Go-to-Poly (Monopoly variant)
Waiting Lists: Diamond Dogs (baseball management game), Going Underground, The Far Seas, Dauntless, Origins of WW2, Extraordinary Adventures Of Baron Munchausen

Just about the youngest zine on the block and a fantastic example of what an enthusiastic newcomer to the hobby can produce. Although it struggles to achieve its intended target of a monthly frequency it compensates by offering a tremendous mixture of unusual published games (e.g. Backpacks & Blisters) and original games. TTT is a bit of a throwback in gaming terms in that it appears to focus more on Avalon Hill type games than Hans im Glück games, so you get war-games and sports simulations as well as the now obligatory low maintenance all-reader games.

Aside from a baffling preoccupation with baseball (are there zine editors in Akron writing about the fortunes of Blackburn Rovers, I wonder?) the chat element is light-hearted and plentiful. If I were still getting enquiries to the Zine Bank (see elsewhere in this issue) then this is the first zine I would be shoving in the envelope to new members of the hobby.

(John Harrington, November 2002)

Howard Bishop's TTT started life as a subzine in The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword (PiMS), and has emerged as one of the best new zines to appear in the past couple of years. It runs a variety of games, most of which are unique to the zine. Some of these are based on war-games - the Battle of the Bulge is currently reaching its climax, and the opening shots have been fired in Quebec 1759. There are also a fair number of sports games, and Howard has been very active in devising and promoting new games. The chat and the humour is very good, and there is a lively letters column. This zine has the energy and freshness that is often missing in its more mature rivals. Recommended.

(Allan Stagg, December 2002)


Colin Ford, 5 Brookfield Avenue, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 5QZ

E-mail: colin.ford@lineone.net

Issue 290, A5 booklet, 4-weekly, 12 pages, £3 per year plus postage

Runs: Soccer League
Waiting Lists: Soccer League

Very regular and reliable Soccerleague zine; I’ve had to buy a new accordion file just to accommodate all the issues Colin sends me. A typical issue - and virtually all issues are typical - consists of a written report on the league games, classified results (with a few notes detailing highlights and features of the game), cup match reports, suspensions and injuries, league tables, transfer activity, auctions and training. At the back end of the zine is a whimsical report from "around the grounds" which seems to be what Diplomacy players would call "Press". Usually there are also a couple of pasted in cartoon strips and maybe a joke or press clipping. Not ground breaking by any means but it’s hard to think of an iconoclastic footie management zine - the players tend to want efficiecy and Thing provides it in spades.

(John Harrington, 28 October 2001)


(John Harrington, November 2002)

Top of the League aka TOTL

Pete Burrows, 8 Magnolia Court, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 3LG (Tel: 07946 439 725 mobile.)

E-mail: Buzzwackpbm@aol.com


Issue 176, monthly, 16 pages, A5 part-colour, £1 (including postage) or £1.50 per season for the e-mail version

Runs: United
Waiting Lists: United

In case you are wondering why Pete runs two United zines, he used to play in the Top of the League and when the GM decided to jack it in, Pete volunteered to take it over rather than see it die. Such enthusiasm and dedication is being shown by Pete a decade or so later. Pete reckons that it is easier to achieve success in Top of the League than it is in Puma but does not explain why.

(John Harrington, November 2002)

To Win Just Once

Paul Evans, 180 Aylsham Drive, Uxbridge, UB10 8UF

E-mail TWJO@pevans.co.uk


Issue 18, 5 weekly, 32 pages, A5 booklet, £2 including postage (£2.50 Europe, £3 rest of world)

Runs: En Garde! , Star Trader, Railway Rivals, The Bonking Game
Waiting lists: En Garde! , Star Trader, Railway Rivals, Diplomacy

One of the more expensive zines in the hobby but in comparison with other En Garde campaigns it is by no means expensive. It has clocked up 11 issues in the last year which suggests its advertised frequency of 5 weeks is no idle boast.

It’s a very tidy zine, with about 4 pages of chat at the front and some nicely laid out game reports at the back. The reports are often augmented by some jolly illustrations.

Like 98% of the hobby Paul is interested in games, beer and science fiction and that tends to be what he writes about. He certainly knows his science fiction but his reviews occasionally give away too much of the plot for my liking, although why this bothers me when the chances of me reading the books he reviews are about 1,000 to 1, I don’t know. Then again I am the sort of person who got annoyed at the trailers for the second Lord of the Rings film featuring a character who died in the first film. What next, trailers on TV for The Usual Suspects explaining the identity of Kaiser Sose?

(John Harrington, November 2002)

Track Events

Keith Loveys, 32 Barkston Gardens, Earls Court, London, SW5 OEN.

I have absolutely no details on this zine. I think its subscribers are part of a secret society or something. Keith used to be a regular at games conventions, smoking away like Battersea Power Station in its pomp, but I’ve not seen him of late but evidently he is still publishing because people voted for his zine in the Zine Poll.

(John Harrington, January 2003)

Underneath The Mango Tree

Alex Bardy, 6 The Crescent, Kexby, York, YO41 5LB

E-mail: alex@mangozine.com

Web site: http://www.mangozine.com

This zine is dead; Alex just hasn’t got around to burying it yet. He’s looking for volunteers to take over the games so write to him at the above address if you are interested.

The games in question are...

Auction Brag... last published results: turn 2 (relatively easy card-based bidding game)

Breaking Away... last published results: turn 4

Breaking Away (Checkpoint Variant)... last published results: turn 2 (same as the normal game but with riders’ squares not revealed until checkpoints passed)

Perverse Countdown... last published results: turn 2 (another simplistic bidding/numbers game)

Tutankhamun... last published results: turn 6 (quite clever but simple tile collecting game

Railway Rivals (Xanth)... RR - 1725 - XA... last published results: turn 10

Powerplay... only the game-start has been published for this, so technically not started yet (relatively easy to GM [compared to United] Ice Hockey Game

With regards to Gutter Press — Alex may be persuaded to see this through, but it's very time-consuming and a 3-monthly (at best) turnaround time may be enough to put players off...

(John Harrington, December 2002)

(The zine has folded so regard these as obituaries rather than reviews - Ed.)

One of the brightest of stars in the PBM firmament seems to have gone out. At its zenith Mango was a thoroughbred (games, both traditional and home-grown, banter, hobby news, all presented with typical Bardy flamboyance and verve). Recently though, Alex has found the zine to be a sulky mule (like Eeyore, only not quite so cheerful). Perhaps he should aim for something a bit more manageable, like a Shetland pony. Failing that, it's amazing what you can do with a broken jar and a burst balloon.

(Howard Bishop, November 2002)

Much slowed recently, with marriage, house moving, etc. Hopefully will steady soon, because this is one of the best general games zines around, with lots of interesting games, as well as well-written chat. New subzine from Simon Robertson shows great promise.

(John Marsden, November 2002)

Dynamic, thrusting young zine editor Alex Bardy gets married, moves north, and his zine Mango disappears. Hopefully the absence will not be a long one, as Mango was always an entertaining read, and carried a lot of good games.

(Allan Stagg, December 2002)

Variable Pig

Jim Reader, Wethouder Gerssenlaan 27, 3454BA De Meern, The Netherlands

E-mail: cj.reader@wanadoo.nl


Issue 84, A5, bi-monthly, 36 - 40 pages, free but stamp donations are welcomed

Runs: By Popular Opinion, Awful Green Things from Outer Space, Boggle, Warlock, Breaking Away, Bus Boss (2), Café International (2), Fair Means Or Foul, Hare and Tortoise, Mongolfiere (2), Rail Baron, 6Nimmt, Maneater, Sternenhimmel, It's A Raid, RoboRally (2), Railway Rivals (9), Sound Charades, Scrabble, Turkey Chase, World Record, Bluff, 6Nimmt!, Cosmic Celebrity Cricket, Preposterous Poetry
Waiting Lists: Elfengold, Shanghai Trader, Snowball Fighting, Breaking Away, Fair Means or Foul, Hare and Tortoise, 6 Nimmt!, Droodles

I'm a bit of a newcomer to the sty of variability, but I like what I see already ("The porkers loved you Reg". "Thanks Mr P"). There's bucket-loads of banter and a range of games as long as some of the longest arms. In fact it's actually almost two zines in one, because when Richard Smith folded his beloved SMEG, he just turned it into one of the best subzines around (The Universe Is A Pink Blancmange Called Simon). This means that you get the old (Railway Rivals), new (Sound Charades), borrowed (Boggle) and blue (Postal Cottaging). I defy you to not find something you like in there.

(Howard Bishop, November 2002)

Jim Reader's zine hosts a large number of subzines, and thus a large variety of games. It is well produced, but has suffered from variable turnaround recently, as Jim has a busy life. Quite a lot of diagrams and pictures in the zine.

(Allan Stagg, December 2002)

Western Front

Brad Martin, 180 Peninsula Rd, Maylands 6051, Western Australia.

E-mail: martib@afh.training.wa.gov.au

Issue 54, A4, corner stapled, black & white, 14 pages, 6 - 8 weeks, A$2.50 or free by e-mail


Kingmaker, Railway Rivals (3), Diplomacy (4), Colonial Diplomacy

Waiting Lists

Age of Renaissance, Britannia, Bus Boss, Colonial Diplomacy, Dark Continent, Gunboat (Diplomacy variant), Diplomacy, Fair Means or Foul, Princes of Florence, Railway Rivals

An interesting mix of old and new style games. I recall when this zine first started that I thought it was a bit ambitious but Brad has pulled it off with over 50 issues under his belt. The e-mail version of the zine is free but subscribing to the postal version is easy enough as Brad is the Australian rep of the International Subscription Exchange

(John Harrington, November 2002)

Where is My Mind? aka WIMM?

David Oya, 24 Kingsway, Banbury, Oxon. OX16 9NY

E-mail: david.oya@lineone.net

Issue 45, A5 booklet, hugely variable frequency, 24 pages, £1 including postage

Runs: Railway Rivals (7), By Popular Demand, Breaking Away (2), By Popular Opinion, Golden Strider, Turkey Chase, Matchplay Golf, Work Rest and Play, 6 Nimmt!, Kendo Nagasaki, Teadance
Waiting Lists Railway Rivals (Middle Earth map), Eat Me!, Breaking Away

One of the slightly off-kilter zines with (unfortunately) a slightly uncertain future, because of the effect of "stuff" on David's life. Still plenty to recommend it though, thanks to 2 cracking subzines from Allan Stagg and Conrad "Railway Rivals" von Metzke. Allan knocks out some excellent home-grown stuff. Hopefully David's life will come together again and the search for his mind will continue.

(Howard Bishop, November 2002)

WIMM? is edited by David Oya, but most of the chat and games are contributed by its three subzines. These subzines include Conrad von Metzke's Calafia's Island, winner of the last two subzine polls. Long-time readers of WIMM? may feel that the tone of the zine has changed, as WIMM's editor, David Oya, has increasingly taken a back seat in recent issues, confining himself to producing the zine and contributing his unique editorials. For some this detracts from WIMM's original idiosyncratic flavour, although others may welcome the greater variety the subzines offer, and the wide range of games available to players. (I have to declare an interest here - I contribute one of the other subzines to WIMM?).

(Allan Stagg, December 2002)

(The) White Cat

John Wilman, address unknown

(E-mail: jqwilman@lineone.net)

John Wilman's zine is sadly running down to a fold. This is a pity, as John is an entertaining writer, and the zine had some charm, but it is evident that John's heart has not been in it, and the zine spends most of its time on the backburner.

(Allan Stagg, December 2002)

Zine Register

Phil Reynolds, 2896 Oak St., Sarasota, FL 34237-7344 USA

E-mail: preyno@yahoo.com

Issue 29, letter, 11 pages, more frequent than Mission From God, $2 ($3 overseas)

The US version of Mission From God concentrates exclusively on North American zines that feature Diplomacy - the only exception to this rule being Mission From God. This means that fewer zines are covered but you do get deeper coverage of each zine, with more reviewers chipping in with their thoughts.

The zine is very well laid out, using graphics of the mastheads of the featured zines, and also features a couple of "where we came from, where we’re going to" type articles.

(John Harrington, 28 October 2001)



Postal gaming

Published in January 2003

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