Pouch Deposits

The Editor and the Readership

Getting Right Down To Business....

We're so late this time that I'm just going to pour the mail out, without even bothering to make idle conversation with you while I untie the top of the mailbag.

Well, here near the top of the pile are some solutions to the acrostic and cryptic pencil puzzles in the last issue. Looks like we received solutions from Bradd W. Szonye, Stephen Araps, Andrew Hejl, and Brett Clegg. I also see that a number of people said The Pouch should have more puzzles. We'll do our level best.

Well, let's see what else we have in here....

Mail Received Concerning Discovering the Religion of Donism

From Brandon Clarke (the author, bjc@stevensons.co.nz):

I see you took my bait, Manus. After my jibe about cricket being baseball for grown-ups, you inserted the editorial comment: "In passionate defense of the Great American Pastime, let me categorically state that baseball is to Americans as the church is to the Pope. And for good reason."

Absolutely, Manus *chuckle*, and as I said, cricket is still like baseball for grown ups!

I love it when Americans try to talk about cricket and baseball and unknowingly make my point that much more ironic....

Editor's response: This from the man who sang to Shane Warne about his jelly donut diet. (smile)

From Chris Wade (cwade@surf.net.com):

As an Aussie who has attended a couple of tournaments in Sydney about eight years back and who has been living in Turkey for the past four years I'd like to thank you for an excellent article.

I've only just got back into playing Diplomacy by e-mail and as for the cricket, no-one over here has a clue.

Excellent article.

Mail Received Concerning From Russia With Love

From Jeff Serandos (jserandos@pipeline.com):

I must point out one recurring error in the article. It states at several points that such-and-such an opening guarantees Sweden to Russia. Not true! Russia is never guaranteed Sweden because Germany can put two units on it in the Spring move. That is one of the reasons that I am so down on northern strategies for Russia.
Author's response: True - Germany could send Hamburg north to Denmark and Berlin to the Bornholm Sea and then support itself into Sweden. This is maybe even a reasonable tactic for Germany, so that it can better control the north and go after Britain. Because of this, however, Britain is more likely to support Russia into Sweden in 2000, and it's also easier for Russia to get a third unit on Sweden than for Germany.

Germany also has so many other SCs it can take that annoying Russia in 1999 is probably not his top prority. But thanks for pointing this out. I guess we should rectify all those mentions of 'guarantees Sweden' to 'almost guarantees Sweden.' [Editor's note: that change has now been made.]

It was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative article - as usual. Another great article. I wanted to thank you for the fine editing job you did on my comments.
Thanks again, and thanks for your comments. The articles wouldn't be the same without all the player comments. I think Manus deserves some of the credit too, for the final touchups and layout.

Editor's comments: Well, my editing of the Modern articles does suffer in that when I choose to call myself done, what we have is a very huge single file. In the course of editing, I kind of trample on Vince's well-thought-out divisions of where useful hyperlinks would send the reader to shorter passages. This has unfortunately become a tradition since the first time I edited one of his submissions -- I must have procrastinated and been under a time crunch, and never went back to give it his more sensible presentation. Subsequent articles in his series were done the same way for consistency, but on the proverbial "someday," it sure would be nice if I would go back and reorganize all of his articles so that they are split into subject-related pieces, with links. The article in the current issue ("The Spanish Armada") is a bit of a departure. Because of the lateness of the issue publication, I chose to adhere more closely to Vince's original rather than to be consistent with the other published articles. It's still a single page, but it's a bit easier to navigate.

Mail Received Concerning Super-Alliances in Modern Diplomacy

From an anonymous someone:

In a recent game of Modern I played, one mass alliance seemed to do quite well (while it lasted); this was in fact a four-player alliance: Russia/Ukraine/Turkey/Egypt (a sort of mega-juggernaut; luckily, I was Spain). There were several consequences of this alliance; the most notable being that Turkey got four builds in 1995.

The alliance broke down with a Turkish stab of Egypt, as well as a Ukranian stab of Russia.

A Couple of the Messages of General Praise (Aw, shucks)

From Macario Reyes (rejima@gdl1.uninet.net.mx):

I have to congratulate you on the Dip Pouch. It is by far the best page on Diplomacy on the net, you have done a great job.

Again, I thank you for the great effort you have put into the development of Diplomacy through your Internet site. I'm crazy about the game myself and I'm playing a bundle of games as well as mastering many others and would like to contribute an article to The Pouch some time in the future if you allow me to do so.

Publisher's response: If I allow you to contribute???? You apparently don't know me (the eternal nag, begging and pleading for articles from anyone, anywhere, anytime) very well. Yes, apparently you don't know me very well......yet!

From Alvaro Campos (acampos@certto.com.br):

I want to express all my thanks for your help in playing Diplomacy on the Internet. It's the game of my childhood that I've never forgotten!

Mail Received Concerning The April Fool's Front Page

From Ketan Gangatirkar (ketan@owlnet.rice.edu):

Good one guys. I was completely fooled. I totally forgot what today was. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to crawl under my bed for the next 22 hours.

From Ed Lybrand (Elaglar@aol.com):

ROFLMAO! Beautifully done, sir. I haven't been snowed by an April Fool joke in years, and may I add that The Pouch is my very favorite web-site.

From Jeffrey Kolb (jkolb@hamilton.edu):

I am writing to express my appreciation for a perfect hoax! It made a great start to the day, thanks very much.

From David Lay (dave@netc.net.au):

As a big fan of April Fool's on the 'net, I was having a rather disappointing day this year. The day had almost passed without a single incident. But then, as I went to check the game queue at the DipPouch, I got my fix.

Excellent choice of fooling material given the current wave or corporate crackdown on non-revenue generating web sites.

The giveaway, for me, was the failure to name the sender of the cease and desist letter and the plea to extinguish flames against Avalon Hill. Nevertheless, there's something strangely satisfying about the shock to realisation to ROTFL cycle.

Please pass on my thanks to The Council for making my April Fool's Day, 1998.

From Kent Liljegren (kent.liljegren@malmo.mail.telia.com):

You really stabbed me! It's the first joke I've fallen for in years but this time I wasn't even close! Nice work. With lies like that I understand why you're such a good player. Signed, A smiling Kent.

From Corey Barr (cmb228@is7.nyu.edu):

Absolutely wonderful. It's currently 11:57 pm, and I hadn't been fooled by a single thing today, and was worried that I'd get through with only the law school newspaper prank issue. (Which had a revealing photo of our dean and Sandra Day O'Connor that looked like they were making out, with the headline "Smokin': Sexton caught in liplock with Supreme Court Justice."

That had me going, since it was so believable and done in the writing style that I have come to expect from the Pouch. The checkers part threatened to give it away, but I chalked that up to resigned wishful joking.

Great job!

From Dan:

Thanks for your work on The Diplomatic Pouch. It is very useful, and it would be horrible if it left us (please don't scare us with another April Fool's joke like that again!). Well laid out.
Publisher's response: I liked it too. As usual, 95% of the credit should go to Simon.

Well, there you have it. Another Deposits column. Yep, it sure is.