Pouch Deposits

The Editor and the Readership

Have At It....

Once again, the issue is so late this time that we'll just dump out the mail and let you at it. I'm going to trim it a little more than usual, though. Well, a lot more than usual. Reason being that about 90% of the mail had to do with the PBEM Rating System that was up for a while (and will return as soon as I get some free time). I have decided not to publish any of those letters, but hope that all the correspondents and all the readers know that all the constructive comments that were sent (even those that I initially didn't take that way, since I was nigh buried under an avalanche of ratings-related mail there for a while) had input into what is to come. Elsewhere in this issue, you will find Tony Nichols' description of what is to come.

So, a representative sample of what remains in the mailbag appears below. Before we get to it, I'll just mention that we received complete solutions for Graeme Ackland's last Sherlock Holmes mystery, "The Great Disarmament Conundrum," from Rick Desper and Andres Egneus (and, I believe, from one or two others whose names I can't seem to find). We also found that a group of players established a game on an Internet judge (the game name was pointles) for the sole purpose of living the solution to that puzzle. No word on how that turned out.

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

First, Some Welcome News From the Former World Champion

From Cyrille Sevin (sevin@math.jussieu.fr):

I answer a little bit late, but I just returned to work after many weeks recovery from the coma. As for the accident, everything seems okay now, and I will not be left with any problems, neither mental nor physical, and fortunately, no one was involved in the crash but me, so all seems fine now.

Mail Received Concerning Conspiracy Theory

From Randy Hudson (ime@netcom.com):

I believe that Danny Loeb (France) intended to buy a lot of pounds once England was on the brink of elimination, and then orchestrate a resurgence of England. Such orchestration would require help from at least one other power. I assumed both France and Russia were involved, but apparently that is not the case.

And Russia (Pitt?) gave me enough hints that I was quite sure that the changes in fortune of the powers were being orchestrated by the leaders; I didn't know whether there was an explicit six-way conspiracy to do so.

Randy Hudson, replacement leader of England in dippouch

[So... it seems that the schemers were scheming! --Simon]

Mail Received Concerning Cheating Yourself

From Someone Named John (jt200497@aol.com):

I agree with the stupidity of emailing 2 or 3 sets of orders to a judge by a single player pretending to be 3 separate individuals. but what do you think about using free email accounts to email game players individually to spread rumour, gossip, lies, or heaven forbid!!! -- the truth!!!!

Mail Received Concerning The Great Disarmament Conundrum

From: Brian Kieslich (briank@fredericia.mail.telia.com):

I saw your plea for volunteers to help you edit the late issue of The Pouch, and would love to help you, but I use all my sparetime trying to solve a puzzle a certain someone asked me about. It looks like a mad man has devoleped a variant involving Payola and Royale, where the goal seems to be to commit suicide as fast as possible. Where is the Austrian army dislodged??? I have now spent more time trying to solve this puzzle than I used to win a Payola Sail_Ho. I demand you tell me before I go insane.

Mail Received Concerning The Lepanto Opening

From Michael Sandy (mehawk@cnnw.net):

I disagree with one aspect of the Lepanto: A Rome-Naples puts too much of the trust burden on Austria.

A Rome-Apulia is much more versatile. It can protect Venice if things go wrong, it can be convoyed to Greece or Tunis, and it doesn't cover a center you may want to build on.

The Lepanto is primarily anti-Turkey, and doesn't necessarily involve hostility to Russia. If Russia suspects a Lepanto is being planned he has to consider whether it is better to prop Turkey up or take the opportunity of Turkey's weakness to go for Scandinavia.

The reason Lepanto is so anti-Turkey is that an Austrian fleet in Greece and/or an Italian fleet in the Aegean is possible at the end of Fall 1901. If Austria and Italy split Serbia and Greece, their combined three fleets can force any Turkish defense in time.

Mail Received Concerning Maintaining the Status Quo

From Michael M. Lawlor (mlawlor@whitworth.edu):

I missed the two days in which your new logo design was tried, but just saw the article about it in the Diplomatic Pouch. I wanted to let you know that I think it is quite clever, and I "got it" right away. It would be a shame to let this go completely to waste, so perhaps it could be included from time to time in some section of the Pouch? Anyhow, I just wanted to pass on my positive response to the logo since it sounded like it was met primarily with criticism.

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

First, I missed the logo when it was up. Second, thanks for giving me an opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. Third, I recognised that the logo was a license plate, and recognised the diplomatic plate thing, without having to read your explanation - maybe I'm just gifted - I've never seen the plates concerned. Fourth, having said all that, I would have agreed with those who voiced their strong preference for the original logo. The original one is slicker and the license plate seems offensively US-centric to me. It's mildly clever, and a good idea, but at the end of the day it's no good. My flatmate doesn't know squat about Dip. I showed him the old one and the new one and he said "Ewwww!!"

From Chris Martin (tremewanC@worldnet.att.net):

Didn't see the new logo the first time around, but, as a resident of NYC and Washington DC before that, immediately recognized the logo for what it was, said to myself "What was the problem?" and then read on. Alas, another clever Idea, shot down by people who weren't interested in anything different.

See you at WDC8, I'm with Tim Richardsons crew from "The Old Republic", a 25-ish All-American with brown hair and eyes -- looking forward to meeting you!

[Well, there, preserved for all time, is the last time Chris Martin has to describe himself to a Diplomacy player. The new World Champion, who was good enough to contribute not one but two articles to this issue of the Zine, shouldn't have the anonymity problem anymore. --Ed.]

General Feedback on The Pouch

From Jethro Gulner (jethrogulner@bigfoot.com):

One day I was just surfing the Pouch, and I came upon the About the Zine page in which you stated, "Without Avalon Hill, there would be no Diplomacy. Well, okay, that's not at all true..." It reminded me of when, just a few months ago, I started playing Diplomacy. I was looking over a map I had downloaded, when my Mom said, "Diplomacy? We have that upstairs you know." I ran upstairs, and sure enough, there was the big, brown box, collecting dust. All these years I had lived in this house and never known the treasure just sitting in the closet. I opened it up and was struck by the beauty of the wooden pieces and the small booklet containing the simple but complex rules. And not only that, but the copyright was 1961 Games Research, in Boston Mass. Not only was it a treasure, but it was also a relic of BAH (Before Avalon Hill) Times. So, however much we owe to Avalon Hill, we must also remember the others that kept the game of international intrigue alive all those years.
Editor's response: Indeed so! And let me be the first to envy you your find! Readers might be interested in something else in this issue written by someone who is slightly familiar with the BAH game, one Allan Calhamer.....

From Paul Driver (driver@i-link-2.net):

You've been a really big help to everyone in the Diplomacy world. I want to tell you that Payola actually was the "kickoff" for my real interest in Diplomacy. You've really made my life more fun. Thanks a million!
[Editor's response: Thanks for the kind words about the Payola variant. It rivals The Pouch in my own mind in the list of my humble accomplishments for the hobby.]

From Joshua Randall (jerandall@yahoo.com):

Having just spent the past several days reading about 75% of all the DipPouch Zine offerings, I must say you and your contributors have done a fine job. It was very helpful to me in getting back up to speed after a few years of being away from the PBEM part of the game. Thanks for creating one of the best Dip sites on the Web. May you have a forced solo win in 1904.

From Daniel Folatelli (folatell@hotmail.com):

I really appreciate what you do to let people all over the world play the game. By the way, your trademark phrase, "stab you soon," would be Te apuñalare pronto in Spanish....

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