About The Diplomatic Pouch

Brandon Clarke, Guest Editor


Well, it's a funny old world! Guest Editor of The Pouch even!

Back in 1997 I discovered The Pouch, and like many a newbie before and since, I was genuinely impressed with Manus' work. The site seemed to be everything I had always looked for. I read articles, saw authors' names, followed links to other sites. I read and posted to rec.games.diplomacy, and got involved in the world of PBEM Diplomacy. I loved it. Back then, I remembered thinking that many of the names I saw listed as authors of articles in The Pouch (and on other web sites) were names of very eminent people in the hobby. I looked up to them, and from where I was sitting, at a desk in Auckland, New Zealand, where there was no organised FTF Diplomacy Hobby, I had to crane my neck and look a long long way up... or so it felt.

Since then I've become good friends with Manus and many of those names I once gazed up upon as the "gods" of the Diplomacy hobby. Turns out that they're all just regular guys like you and me. [You're normal, Brandon?? --Manus] They're very approachable, very sociable normal people... so much so, that all of a sudden I find myself sitting here editing The Pouch! That's one of the great things about the Diplomacy hobby... Diplomacy players are very sociable people... easy to get a long with, easy to get "in" with, and fun to spend time with at FTF Tournaments or Conventions.

But Where's Manus?

Why am I here this, month though? Manus has a lot on his plate right now. Following my article in the last issue of The Pouch on how to build a hobby in your area and then run a Diplomacy Tournament, Manus a few of his friends in the Rocky Mountains have been working hard to build up their own hobby scene. Their first tournament is coming up in February, and among other things Manus is flat-out working on that. Check out the ARMADA Web site to see what they've been doing... it's pretty impressive stuff.

They're not the only ones to have been spurred into action either. Check out the Pouch Deposits section to see news of new FTF hobby scenes springing up like mushrooms all over the place!

Other News

For me the most interesting news floating around the hobby at the moment is the news that the game's creator, Allan Calhamer, is about to have a book published. It's called Calhamer on Diplomacy and is expected to be available within a month or two. By my count, this will only be the third "book" ever published on the game, following Richard Sharp's "The Game of Diplomacy" and Mark Nelson's "The Diplomacy A to Z." For me this book will be a must-buy. It will be available from the publisher's online bookstore at www.1stbooks.com.

And Speaking of ABC....

Mr. Calhamer is a confirmed attendee of the forthcoming World DipCon X! Anyone who is not in Baltimore in August will miss what may be their best chance to stab and be stabbed by the inventor of Diplomacy!

Make your plans now to attend! Check the Conventions section of The Pouch for complete details!

In the PBEM World, FROG is Back!

The long-dormant Ken Lowe e-mail Diplomacy judge located in France is now back up and online!

The new FROG can be e-mailed at juge@frog.goa.com and all information about the judge can be found at its Webpage: http://frog.goa.com/accueil.html

Tremendous thanks to all involved in getting the judge restarted without loss of a single game through the judge's extended hiatus!

Oh, And By The Way...

It's a beleaguered garrison, guys. BE - LEAGUE - RED. You would not believe the number of variations I saw on the spelling of that word in your letters regarding Eliminating the Paradox in Diplomacy. It's not any of the following:

[Welcome to the world of Pouch editing, Brandon! --Manus]

While I'm talking about spelling... I'm from New Zealand, right? Well, we speak English here, not American. Consequently, my spell checker spells in English, not American, and since I've got the reins in my hand this issue some of you may find that there are some spellings in your articles that you find a bit odd... that's because I've added in all those superfluous letters that we English speakers use. So don't give me any grief over it; just accept that there's one country that speaks American, and tons of countries that speak English, and for just one issue of the Pouch you Americans are just going to have to put up with the way the rest of us spell.

Ohhhhh the power... [At this point, seeing this little italic insert I'm typing, Brandon is wondering (with good reason) just how many of those superfluous letters Manus has removed! Oh, the power! --Manus]

Enjouy The Pouch! [Oops! Looks like I missed one! --Manus]

Brandon Clarke
Guest Editor

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