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Current Postal Diplomacy Zines

[ Australia | CanadaThe Netherlands | United Kingdom | United States ]

This Registry contains short descriptions of zines and contact information. At the moment it is rather sketchy, but additional information would be very helpful. Contact Jim Burgess with updates and changes to this list. If you are interested in trying any of these zines, please contact the publisher and ask to see a sample issue.


  Western Front

Contact: Brad Martin

"The Multi-Player Play-by-Mail Magazine," offering Diplomacy and a wide variety of other games, including Empires of the Middle Ages, Britannia, Pax Britannica, Civilisation, 1830 and History of the World. In addition, Brad includes article s on historical subjects and Southeast Asian politics.



The CANADIAN DIPLOMACY ORGANIZATION (CDO) is a volunteer group which co-ordinates the activities of postal Diplomacy Gamesmasters in Canada. Membership in CDO is automatic upon subscription to any Canadian Diplomacy newsletter. No fees are charged for CDO services. Currently, the CDO is inactive.

Making Love in a Canoe

Brent McKee, 901 Av T North, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan CANADA S7L 3B9

Brent is currently on hold, but has not officially announced a fold.

Northern Flame

Rob Lesco, 49 Parkside Dr, Brampton, Ontario, CANADA L6Y 2H1.

Cost: $1/issue N.America. An eight weekly, 20 digest page zine first published in September 1994 with a circulation of 53. Price: $1/issue Games running: Diplomacy, Gunboat Game openings: Diplomacy, Gunboat, Winter 1900, 1499 (vt)

“It’s not particularly pretty but I try to make it easy to play in by including maps and player addresses in every issue. In defiance of all predictions, NF V2 has been growing in size, circulation and number of games running — even after accounting for the orphaned games I’ve picked up.” RL

“Robert puts out a nice, bimonthly, digest zine. Though hardly handsome (Robert does not like computers — I believe one bit him as a child) NF V2 is still a very worthwhile publication, with the standard Dip zine features including Diplomacy and Gunboat games, and a letter column. More unusual features for a Dip zine include a column on classical music and discussions of wargaming magazines. Definitely a throwback, though a good one.” MPL

The Tactful Assassin

Eric Young, 4784 Stepney Rd, RR#2, C2, Armstrong, BC CANADA V0E 1B0
Cost: $10 (CDN or US)/year

The Tactful Assassin

Eric Young 4784 Stepney Road RR #2 C2, Armstrong BC V0E 1B0 CANADA (H): (250) 546-6943. [email protected]

A five weekly, eight to ten open page zine first published in 1990 with a circulation of 35. Price: $1/issue (more in the U.S.) Games running: Diplomacy, Gunboat, Mitotic Diplomacy Game openings: Diplomacy, Gunboat, Mitotic Diplomacy

“TTA is the best Canadian zine to play in. It’s the most regular, with the best GM’ing, the players are all there to play, so the NMR’s are very low. The deadlines are very closely followed, but not with ‘strictness’. The editorials are left leaning, social-democratic, environmentally friendly. The letter column has had some good disagreements about economics in the past, but there is no ‘trashing’ allowed in the zine. The author is crazy about riding motorcycles and enjoys telling about his journeys.” EY

“I think I have been subscribing to TTA ever since it started —what, about 10 years ago? It hasn’t changed much since then. Eric usually runs a handful of games with clear, third-page maps. Sometimes he runs uncommon variants like Mitotic Diplomacy. TTA players tend to be veteran hobby types, and many of them —more so than in any other zine, I would bet — are Canadian. Eric revels in his zine’s Canadian flavor, though he doesn’t hide his passion for the American NFL! Other features include brain teasers and the occasional letter column. This zine may not be fancy, but it’s dependable.” PR

“By the time this is published, this zine will be on hiatus until late August. While I can’t predict if Eric will decide he can live without publishing, my bet would be that he returns to business as usual. It’s been said many times that TTA is the best zine to play in published in Canada. His deadlines are his bond and he successfully forecasts them well in advance. He encourages press and his players respond enthusiastically.” RL

United Kingdom

Back To The Dark Ages

Ryk Downes, Chapel House, Manor Gardens, Pool-in-Wharfedale, West Yorkshire, LS21 1NB.

A5 booklet, monthly, 40 pages, £1 including postage

What a cracking set of games! The incomparable Maneater, in which swimmers lose limbs to a marauding shark. Where Am I?, the game Oliver Reed plays every morning.  Civilization, which probably takes longer than the scenario it is meant to be simulating, but it's good to see this classic game being offered by post as few have the time to play it face to face any more.  The zine now contains John Colledge's all-conquering Blue Nose Special and if Ryk keeps up a regular schedule of publication this year I can envisage him having to make an embarrassing announcement at this year's Zine Poll ceremony. (John Harrington)

Has definitely benefited from the addition of John Colledge's Blue Nose Special sub-zine, which does seem to have had a fair few homes in its time - hmm, all the previous hosts have fallen by the wayside, drained, wrinkled entities - are we witnessing some sort of hobby vampirism?  Anyway, what has particularly helped my enjoyment is the faster turnarounds, there is nothing worse than huge unsightly gaps between issues.  Ryk wades in with some zine reviews in issue 125, very dodgy, thin end of the wedge I say.  How long before he starts feuding with some narrow-minded editor who takes exception to his pet being bad-mouthed?  But on the down side, all the cartoons seem to have vanished. (Neil Duncan)


Mick Haytack, 43 Swanmore Road, Littleover, Derby, DE23 7SD.

A5 booklet, 6 weekly, 24 - 40 pages, 60p including postage

Perennial unsung hero of the hobby; Mick runs lots of board games by post to a high standard and demonstrates his aggressive intelligence with some quizzes which take no prisoners. The recent acquisition of a desktop PC has improved presentation no end, too. (Chris Dickson)


Ian Harris, 36 Brecon Place, Perkinsville, Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham, DH2 1HY.

A5, bi-monthly, 12 - 24 pages, 2p per page plus  postage

Low-key, slow-key bread-and-butter 'zine running some Dip and a lot of original games, many of which have come from the "Toolbox" game design and discussion chat section. Ian is possibly the kindest, most pleasant editor in the hobby and the chat is invariably friendly and enthusiastic. A 'zine with a lot more heart than most. Hurrah! (Chris Dickson)

Box Frenzy

Paul Clayson, 26 St. Hugh's Rise, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 9UZ

A5 booklet,  five weekly, 20 pages, 70p including postage

Box Frenzy has made a very welcome return after a long absence. Paul doe admit that more delays are likely in the near future, but he does promise not to fold.  The zine is mainly a diplomacy and variant zine and is the only place I have played pbm dip. It does run a few other games (I have really enjoyed the Blood Royale which is about to finish), although nothing like as many as I'd like. What there is though is very well presented - in fact I would say I've not seen clearer diplomacy maps in any zine. Overall - I would recommend this to dip players if Paul overcomes his recent production problems.  (Philip Honeybone)

(The) Cunning Plan

Neil Duncan, 25 Sarum Hill, Basingstoke, Hants., RG21 8SS

A4,  5 weekly, 16 pages excluding games supplements, 80p including postage

By his own admission, Neil informs in the editorial that this issue is slimmed down and late, and them proceeds to blame his retiring subzine editor for messing around with content. He also blames his subbers for not providing a decent enough sized letter-column, mind you it is bigger than most I have ever managed in any of my zines. There is also a promise of a reinstatement of zine reviews as of next issue. From memory TCP was one of the best places for zine reviews. About the only person to review my zine anyway. (Ryk Downes)

Cut & Thrust

Derek Wilson, 6 Caldbeck Drive, Woodley, Reading, RG5 4LA

Issue 175, A5 booklet, litho, 5 weekly, 24 pages, 65p plus postage

Derek enlists the help of numerous GMs to run the games in C&T , namely Jeremy Tullett, David Watts, Dane Maslen, Richard Ashley, Kevin Lee and Jeanette Hawley as well as running a few games of Man-Eater himself. The appearance of C&T has hardly changed over the years. There is still the yellow front cover, these days Derek does the editorials, although this issues on working hours did not particular interest me, but I'm sure made interesting reading for some. There is a letter column followed by a game review of 1849 by Steve Thomas. That has always been a good feature of C&T - The game review. C&T is a very reliable zine and well worth getting for the excellent variety of games on offer. (Ryk Downes)

Gentle Art of Making Enemies aka GAME

Nic Chilton, 21 Nowell Street, Harehills, Leeds, LS9 6HS.

A4, 4 - 5 weekly, 18 to 22 pages, 65p excluding postage

In the very latest issue of GAME, Nic Chilton is pushing his Electronic Football League — an interesting variant on the standard United rules I believe. Also beginning this issue, is something called Blackadderlon 59, a cross between Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, and of course Blackadder itself. Personally it wasn’t exactly my kind of thing, but then it’s been said that a sense of humour transplant may lead to happier days, so we’ll wait around for that. Nic Chilton also makes an effort to set himself up as some kind of successor to Stephen Agar as ‘the next big target’ in the hobby. Found this very petty and totally pointless myself, and it does leave a sour taste in the mouth. (Alex Bardy)

Greatest Hits

Pete Birks, Top Flat, 4 Lewisham Hill, London, SE13 7EJ.

A4 10 pt font, mostly monthly, 18  - 36 pages, 80p including postage

Pete lives in a different world to most of the rest of us, but one that is compelling to explore through his masterfully and professionally written articles. One of the best sources for hobby history and much closer to the world of big business and the corridors of power, money and influence than you'll get elsewhere, so there are worthwhile insights aplenty plus a goodly number of cartoons (formerly Dilbert, now the much closer-to-the-edge Red Meat). Only has one game, a Fantasy Football League run in a subzine by your MFG editor - and there's nothing wrong with that, either. (Chris Dickson)


Alex Richardson, 30a Queen Street, Hitchen, Herts., SG4 9TP

A5 centre-stapled, 6-8 weekly, 16 pages, 50p (including postage)

Issue 93 was little more than a flyer really, with my game included.  If any other editor did this i would mark him down for an imminent fold but Alex has hovered at this rather relaxed level for a number of years now and it would be unthinkable for him not to hit the hundred.  At least he has the good sense and good manners to keep his games ticking over even when he is not able to deliver a load of chat. (Neil Duncan)


John Marsden, 33 Weston Road, Strood, Kent, ME2 3HA.

A5 booklet, 5 weekly, 32 pages, 70p to 75p (depending on size) including postage

Edited by John Marsden, Ode has got to be the most reliable zine, over 200 issues on and issue 203 is the first one I can ever recall being late, which requires a superhuman effort. Ode is known for its Diplomacy and Railway Rivals, as well as regular articles that John has delved into his archives from 100 issues or so for. Ode is also noted for its large number of external GM's (7) many of them long running GMs comprising Steve Jones, David Watts (inventor of Railway Rivals and many other games), Dave Erridge, Steve Thomas, Geoff Hardingham, Mike Pollard and Kim Head. Ode is always a good source of hobby news. (Ryk Downes)

No hobby zine reaches 200+ issues without having something going for it, and although I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve only seen the last eight issues or so, I’ve been mightily impressed with this. As solid and reliable as the atomic clock I’ve got on the mantel-piece, this runs a variety of games including a number of hobby favourites. Perhaps this is the key to it’s longevity? In which case, I say where’s Sopwith? I always refer to John as an old hobby stalwart, and he hasn’t yet got pissed off enough to say something about it, but in this context the term is used with the greatest respect. The man’s a marvel of modern postal gaming, and is not averse to voicing an opinion if he feels strongly enough about something. Also nestling herein, is Kim Head’s sub-zine, Life’s Still Rich Pageant, and she’s another one who is not averse to shouting! Good on ‘em both! (Alex Bardy)

(The) Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

Tony Reeves, Maes y Dderwen, 15 Oakfield Park, Cradoc, Brecon, Powys, LD3 9QA

A4 corner-stapled, 9 times a year, 16 - 24 pages, 60p inc. postage

Amateur game inventors with overflowing ideas and enthusiasm make this a perpetually fresh 'zine and one well worth following. Tony is a physics teacher but his games are put together with a keen eye for design and I'm sure it won't be many years' time before we see Kniziaesque classics springing from the Reeves stables; his Sumo design is the first to have caught on around the hobby. Nine issues so far have seen more original ideas from the editorial board than some 'zines can put out in nineteen. A charming 'zine. (Chris Dickson)

PIMS continues to experiment with new (and untried) games. This is very good to see and I am sure I'll pick up some ideas at some point. I really appreciated the Rulebook which fills me in on some of the rules published in earlier issues. At present I haven't joined any games - mainly because the typical length is 4-6 turns (I prefer something a little longer and more detailed), but that may change ("Missionary" looks an interesting game). One thing that takes my interest is Tony's aim of collating postal rules for all games. (Philip Honeybone)

Pick of the Bunch

Mark Boyle, 15 Linn Park Gardens, Johnstone, Renfrewshire, PA5 8LH (Tel: 01505 324745)

A5 booklet, photocopied (glossy colour cover and splash colour inside), 6 weekly, at least 32 pages, £1 including post

I can’t get anyone else to review this zine and given Mark’s forthright comments about other editors scattered throughout this and previous issues of Mission From God this is not, perhaps, surprising.  Where are those professional blunt northerners when you need someone to dish it back out to someone who pulls no punches?  If being blunt is a northern phenomenon then presumably the further north you go, the more blunt you get.  Mark is Scottish, which is even further north than Yorkshire, the world capital of blunt speakers, so that gives you some idea of what a reticent wall flower he is. It’s easy for me to describe his zine as entertaining because he has not, as yet, winched his cannon round in my direction (notwithstanding a couple of sighting shots  over a perceived schoolgirl fetish on my part).  I guess I like it because it is as much a music zine as a games zine, and the music influence stretches to lay-out as well as content.  By which I mean the lay-out is more like a music fanzine, with intelligent use of cut & paste graphics.  Theoretically there’s enough fonts being used in one publication to give the style gurus heart failure but in practice it works because Mark uses the font he wants not just because he fancies being flash. The content constantly reminds me that not everyone views London as the centre of the universe.  Quite why the goings on at Laurel Park school should be so fascinating to someone living hundreds of miles away I don’t know, but stuck up school kids are the same the world over. If I had to criticise it I’d say it is a bit on the slow side and Mark’s shoot from the hip style might not suit all tastes.  Oh and it sometimes carries poetry, for which there is no excuse. Maybe it is a celtic thing?  (John Harrington)


Clive Palmer, 36 Ravensfield, Barstable East, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1UG

A5 booklet, 5 - 6 weekly, 24 pages, 75p including postage

This is generally my favourite zine at the moment because of the range of games run both by Clive himself and by the 4 subzine editors. Clive runs several games himself, although he since reaching issue 100 he has restricted himself to GM non-intensive games. Amongst them is Mississippi Queen (which is fun).  The subzines, however, do run more intensive games, including 18xx, Civilisation and a Cthulu-based En-Garde. In gaming terms, something for everyone. Unfortunately, a couple of the subzines have been erratic recently, but none the less this still picked my No. 1 vote in the recent zine poll.  (Philip Honeybone)

This latest issue of Pigbutton is a particularly slim affair, with only two of the three in-house subzines appearing this time round and absolutely nothing from the editor himself. I’d be very hard-pushed to recommend this on the substance of this issue alone, but Clive’s zine is recognised as an excellent and reliable place to play all manner and variety of postal games which are somewhat different to de rigueur. Issue #116 is definitely not worth the asking price, however, and recent issues have also been pretty lacklustre, so here’s looking to better days ahead... If you’re writing off for a sample issue, ask for a copy of #113, ’cos that was the last decent issue I can recall.  (Alex Bardy)


Subs to: Geoff Challinger, 42 Mulberry Close, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 7SS although the editor is John Webley,  Töpferreihe 4,  38259 Salzgitter Germany

A4 corner stapled with spot colour, 10 pages, 5 -6 weekly, Geoff's an accountant so he's not very good at keeping track of money, which probably means this zine is free at the moment (tax deductible I expect)

Somewhat of a rest home for grand old men of the hobby, with John Webley (former winner of the SubZine Poll), Geoff Challinger (former winner of the Zine Poll) and Brian Creese (co-editor of the best zine never to have won the Zine Poll) on the team.  With an heavyweight line-up like that it is hard to fathom why this zine is so overlooked; perhaps the import of young blood in the form of Nick Parish will raise its profile, although the last 2 zines which had Nick as a subzine editor both went belly-up this year! There's usually a couple of pages of chat each issue from John Webley, normally restricted to his personal interests (bird-watching, holidays and board games) whilst Messrs. Challinger and Creese have a wider remit, pontificating on anything from contraception to the immaculate conception.  There's even the first rumblings of a letter column which should liven up the zine too.  Serendipity is one of the few zines to feature colour.  It's used selectively, mainly on maps, where its use is very effective, particularly for 1830 and Circus Maximus. The days of this zine winning the Zine Poll are apparently gone but the skills that made this team so successful have not deserted them - the only thing that has changed has been the commitment to a rigorous production schedule, which has dropped from well above average to about average for the hobby (i.e. reliable with occasional delays of one or two weeks).  (John Harrington)

(The) Sprouts of Wrath

Mark Wightman, 52 Park Road West, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK41 7SL.  

A5 booklet, 52 pages, 6 weekly, £1 including postage - add 30p for overseas (50p for unwaged)

To paraphrase Marvin the Paranoid Android, "Mark Wightman; loathe him or ignore him, you can't like him." Luckily for Mark he is a Robert Rankin fan not a Douglas Adams man so he'll pay no attention to that miserable old android.  Mark's shoot from the hip style of writing has made him a few enemies in the hobby but it does make his zine horrifically readable.  Add to that an excellent games package, Mark's striking artwork and you have a zine that fair makes the old train journey whiz by.  Recommended unless you are thin-skinned or offended by rude words and blunt Northerners. (John Harrington)

Probably the coolest 'zine around at the moment; the first twenty issues of its life were as a subzine, so Mark is approaching the task with enthusiasm by the bucketful at the moment. Lots of Diplomacy, as you might expect from one of the bigger wheels on the tournament circuit, but Mark has introduced lots of fresh and original ideas to the 'zine as well. Enthusiastic, witty and opinionated writing; appropriate art; jolly subzines. About as different from For Whom The Die Rolls as you can get in terms of character and game offerings, but similarly excellent in its own way. (Chris Dickson)


Paul Sands, Flat 2, 432 Birmingham Road,  Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B72 1YL

A4 with horrible side-staples, 20 pages, 7/8 weekly, 60p including postage

Since I last reviewed Strangitude, Paul has demonstrated his ability to produce his zine on a regular basis The main part is run efficiently and well, with Paul running a good variety of games (Railway Rivals, By Popular Demand, Bus Boss, Breaking Away, Sopwith, Scrabble & Diplomacy + Variants). Quartz (the subzine) runs the same range of games, but Geoff's other commitments mean this is often incomplete. Overall a competent zine with a fair amount of additional reading material (which I tend to skip over). (Philip Honeybone)

One of the few zines in the hobby having much success getting Diplomacy variants up and running - the other being Backstabbers United Monthly.  Talking of BUM, this zine reminds me of it a bit and it's not just because of the similar preoccupation with unusual deaths; it's also the broad variety of games on offer.  Of course the presentation is not as good as Backstabbers United Monthly, but few zines can match BUM in this regard, and Strangitude's look is none too shabby even if it does have the dreaded double staple down the side of the page rather than the more convenient corner staple.  The zine's appearance might be improved if one of the sub-zine editors invested in a new typewriter ribbon but perhaps I just caught him on a bad issue. Recommended if you want a wide variety of games with a bit of humour thrown in and you don't mind the relaxed frequency. (John Harrington)

Underneath The Mango Tree

Alex Bardy, c/o 13 Stanley Road, Bulphan, Essex RM14 3RX

A4-folded-into-three booklet, colour inkjet printed, 3-4 weekly, 6-18 pages, SAE only

Very fannish 'zine which has got off to rather a hot start, plunging right into the middle of the state-of-the-hobby debate; an ideal place for Alex's talented writing skills and neat presentation. Large and introspective letter-column and extremely fluffy game offerings. Big things expected from what may become an excellent small 'zine. (Chris Dickson)

Very prettily printed through a colour inkjet, & someone else with an enthusiasm for ‘saving the hobby’. Unfortunately, he’s another one with an Agar-esque romantic attachment to the concept of ‘hobby feuds’, so if Alex’s wondering why I never replied to his freebie, now he knows. (Mark Boyle)

Mango comes in an unusual format - A4 folded in three to give the DL size and even colour printed throughout. It is basically a chat zine (main subject being "The future of the hobby…", whatever that may mean.) It does, however, have a few short games - Sumo, Middleman, Tribute and Triple Threat and it does have a Breaking away waiting list - but not enough to grab my playing interest. (Philip Honeybone)

Variable Pig

Jim Reader, Wethouder Gerssenlaan 27, 3454BA De Meern, The Netherlands

A5, occasional (about 10 weekly), 40 pages, 0p plus postage

Put under UK as it is edited by an ex-pat Brit and published in English. This is one of my favourite zines because of the variety of games on offer, helped by no less than 6 subzines! The main games run are a well established En Garde (at turn 63) which always welcomes new players to the world of the 3 musketeers, and Railway Rivals (I am about to see my first finish as a player for about three years). Perhaps the best thing though is Jim's willingness to adapt other games for postal play. Basically a great zine if you want to play a wide variety of games. (Philip Honeybone)

(The) White Cat

John Wilman, 26 Powrie Place, Hilltown, Dundee, DD1 2PQ.

bi-monthly, A5 booklet, 16 - 28 pages, £1 including postage

One-of-a-kind chat-heavy 'zine, originally with Diplomacy intentions but only really finding success with its featherweight all-reader games, of all the things. However, the editorial is what you pay for and John explores much more high-brow matter than most 'zines would ever dream of printing with style and aplomb; every issue contains a great deal well worthy of your attention and very carefully and fascinatingly crafted too. It would be unfair to pigeonhole this as just a philosophy 'zine when it covers a much greater scope, but you'll need to be a fan of John's intellect to appreciate this to the full. (Chris Dickson)

A strange and curious affair this, and running a selection of all-reader games while waiting for the Diplomacy lists to fill. This latest issue contains the rules for 1885 III, a Diplomacy variant, but, unusually, there doesn’t appear to be a list open for players to join? Anyways, usually contains plenty of chat and discussion about life’n’stuff, and John seems something of a recluse. To all intents and purposes, this makes his articles and point of view quite fascinating, and instantly appealing. Strange? Moi? (Alex Bardy)

United States

Zine Register

Zine Register contains the current listings of Diplomacy szines in the US and North America and is edited by Tim Snyder. The latest issue (Jan. 2005) is Zine Register Issue #30. Tim has not announced when he will produce a new issue.


If you run (or know of) a postal zine that you would like to have listed, just send us the title, summary and contact information (postal or electronic).

Much of the information in this section was supplied by John Harrington of...

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The Postal Diplomacy section is coordinated by Jim Burgess and was last updated on September 19, 2006.