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About The Diplomatic Pouch

Simon Szykman, Guest Editor

Welcome to the Spring 1997 Retreat Issue of the Diplomatic Pouch. Once again I apologize for the delay in getting the issue out. This delay ran even longer than usual. Due to the oddest coincidence of timing, both Manus and I started new jobs at almost the same time, he with a new employer and I with the same one. And of course, with our friend Murphy enforcing his laws as best he could, this happened right when we should have been working on production for this issue of the zine. And on top of that, we had an unusually high number of submissions for a Retreat issue, which is generally smaller than the Movement issues of the Zine.

However, we finally did manage to get the issue out, thanks to the aid of a few people who helped out with HTML formatting of four or five of the articles (the long ones, at that). I'd like to thank Charles E. Carroll, Thomas Kuhlmann, Calvin MacGillivray, and Oliver Mailes (and my apologies to anyone else who helped with the formatting that I may not have mentioned -- somebody else was coordinating things before me and since a couple of things were done by the time I got involved, they may have been done by somebody other than these gentlemen).

Sorry for spending so much time on apologies (it's a joke, get it?), but on to other things... This issue brings a very nice mix of content. We've got articles on variants, a convention report, survey results, a guide to GMing, and more. We also bring you new installments a several ongoing serieses of articles: Vince Mous' Modern series, Joseph Wheeler's "On Diplomacy" strategy series, "Tarzan" with another article on the Payola variant, and David Rosen with another article on game theory.

And aside from the Zine, The Pouch continues to grow. We are now hosting the openings list (thanks to Bjoern Tore Sund for maintaining it as long as he did, and thanks to Hans de Graaff for picking up the torch by getting it up and running and taking care of maintenance here at its new home. The maps and variants pages are by far the most often-updated parts of The Pouch. We're nearing 150 maps, and have links to over 85 variants. We're also making other enancements here and there, such as letting you do a limited search from the search page of just the Zine instead of the entire site. Earlier this month the 200th Game Queue diplomacy game was started -- an average of more than one per day since the queues went up. We're always open to suggestions, so if there's anything else you'd like to see, let us know.

Well, enough propaganda. I'll let you get on to more important things, like this issue of The Pouch. I hope it was worth the wait!

Simon Szykman, Guest Editor

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