Pouch Deposits

The Editor and the Readership

This issue, we have people writing us about articles from the (relatively) distant past, as well as more recent issues.

Mail Received Concerning
The Bismark Papers, Lecture I

From Tom Carr-Griffen (tbreak@hotmail.co.uk):

Dear Sir,

I am an absolute newbie to the game of Diplomacy in all its forms, and have been enjoying reading through this Retreat issue. I write merely to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Bismark lectures this morning, finding them both entertaining and thought provoking. I have just started playing face to face Diplomacy with my 'cell' mates. We are living in a somewhat out of the way school in China, in rather close confines. Having read these lectures I am now debating the wisdom of this.

One segment in particular made me think:

So you want to play Diplomacy? Try this quick quiz:
  1. Would you steal from your mother?
  2. Could you lie plausibly even under a lie detector test?
  3. Consider this well known expression: "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game." Does this strike you as weak-kneed and limp-wristed?

If you have answered yes to all three of the above — congratulations! You are in the right place.

I answered no to all of these questions; but I was lying. I rather felt that this was one better.

Thank you for the easy availability of the issue, and I look forward to reading more.

Mail Received Concerning
First Games, How I Became A Diplomacy Addict by James O'Fee

From James O'Fee (ofee59@yahoo.co.uk):

Edi Birsan has been in touch to refute my suggestion that I may have been the world's first to achieve wins in Postal Diplomacy with all 7 countries. Edi achieved that in the USA many years earlier. I've written the below about Edi -

In the 1970s I became involved in the DIPLOMACY and POSTAL GAMES hobby. Through that I met FLIGHT LIEUTENANT ALLAN OVENS. Allan was based at Bishopscourt, Co Down, an RAF base later closed down. Once we ate at the mess in Bishopscourt and watched the World Cup soccer final afterwards.

Allan drove me to the national convention in Nottingham. I won through to the final of the Diplomacy cometition and met EDI ‘THE STAB’ BIRSAN, a well-known figure in the US Diplomacy hobby at the time.



From Edi Birsan (EdiBirsan@astound.net):

My nicknames in the Diplomacy hobby at the time (1970's) were rather varied, but they were not Edi 'The Stab' Birsan.

More accurately they were:

Just for the record.

An Announcement Received Concerning
A New Diplomacy Zine

From Philip Murphy(trekkypj@gmail.com):

Hi all,

The first issue of my new web zine, Th' Edge of Th' Abyss, is now available to download at:


Special thanks to Douglas Kent, editor of 'Diplomacy World' (http://www.diplomacyworld.net/) and the zine 'Eternal Sunshine' (http://www.whiningkentpigs.com/DW/), for kindly providing TEOTA with an online home.

Let me know what you think. And apologies for the lack of Diplomacy content in advance — time constraints meant I am still working on those articles. This *will* be addressed next issue and hopefully the contents of issue 1 will be enough to entertain! I do have game openings available for anyone interested in a game of postal diplomacy.

Philip Murphy
Editor, Office boy and Tea Lady
Th' Edge of Th' Abyss

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