The Bleeder is the official club magazine of the BTHQBGC — The British Telecom Board Headquarters Board Games Club. This club is a grouping of Board games Enthusiasts — mainly "Railway Rivals", various 18xx games, Diplomacy, and "Brawl", although we have had excursions in the past to other Diplomacy variants, Junta, and other games — originally based around a group at the BT Headquarters in London, but since expanded to include people who migrated to other sites, people who worked in the Post Office (before BT was split off and privatized), people whom worked at other sites, ex-BT employees, friends and relations of BT employees and finally people who had just heard about us and wanted to join. The Bleeder contains details of the people co-ordinating the games, results from the games, original articles about games, press from the games (sometimes highly inventive/insane) and odd things that might take the editor's fancy. According to Club legend The "Bleeder has been going since 1970, which makes it older than some of the club members; but is only on edition #292. It was intended to be published quarterly by the current editor, but pressure of work (some of us are still full-time BT employees) means that it rarely achieves that falling back on the amateur method of whenever-the-editor-can-manage it!
For our readers' edutainment, we are able to present two sample issues in PDF format — Issue #291 (October 2007), and Issue #292 (June 2008). If you're interested in finding out more about The Bleeder, contact Peter Williams at the address below!
This Zine, now in its ninth incarnation, is an unofficial rival Zine to the long established (1970- present) and highly esteemed Official Zine of the British Telecom and Post Office Board Games Club (BT & PO BGC): The Bleeder, now at Issue 292 (PDF format), which is currently edited by Peter Williams. This particular games club is now Europe's Longest Board Gaming Club, but has sadly now fallen on hard times, its active membership having declined sharply from i's heyday in the 1970's and 1980's; so the club now focuses only upon Diplomacy and Railway Rivals, and has about 25 active members. The Bleeder is Europe’s oldest Zine after the now defunct Albion (1969-1971).
The Tory Bleeder (the word 'Bleeder', by the way, implies a devious and disreputable person) is a lighthearted attempt to poke some fun at the mostly left-wing dominated BT & PO BGC by the club's sole remaining (true blue) Conservative party voter. The format is very similar to that of the Bleeder, but with a right wing slant throughout which is meant solely to wind up those bleeding heart lefties who run our club. The Tory Bleeder also features far more games maps and scanned pictures (usually humorous) than are offered within the club’s official Zine.
After a humorous picture on the front cover, the introductory Mr. Mouthful Column on page two outlines The Tory Bleeder’s contents. This is then followed by a series of two to four articles on Diplomacy strategy articles as well as an assessment of various games currently running in the BT & PO BGC are offered, sometimes interspersed with brief humorous articles or outrageously funny jokes. Towards the middle of The Tory Bleeder, a few games maps are presented showing the current state of play in various diplomacy games. The Tory Bleeder Letter’s page then follows and this Zine then concludes with a humorous page and picture. To illustrate the current issue concludes with an adobie photoshop altered image of an Enid Blyton book The Tale of Peter Rabbit which has been altered to read: Peter Rabbit Tank Killer and which features a picture of the editor of the rival Zine dressed up as a Nazi Rabbit, his ears poking through a German helmet as shoots down allied planes. The accompanying story is written in Enid Blyton style but is about a nasty little Nazi Rabbit called Peter Williams Rabbit.
The Tory Bleeder is a unique mixture of right wing old fashioned Conservative party hang-em flog-em politics (some would say right-wing ranting) together with Diplomacy board gaming, to my knowledge no other games Zine anywhere else in the world offers such a unique mixture. It has a vanishingly small readership (one of whom hails from Munich by the way!!!) and appeals to either manic Tory right-wingers, sick individuals or to the psychotically insane. None of which really matters to me as the real intention of this Zine is simply to annoy those sour faced humorless lefties who now dominate British boardgaming and particularly the BT & PO BGC.
"Are you tired of balanced reporting? Are you completely fed up with seeing all of your prejudices ignored? THE TORY BLEEDER makes absolutely no pretence of truth or fairness. For good old fashioned right-wing venom, it’s an absolute must-read."
If you're interested in finding out more about The Bleeder, contact Robert Skynner at the address below. Also, be sure to check out his sample article in this issue!