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  Stone Soup or PBM Stew?
Posted by: GrimFinger - 02-18-2024, 02:28 PM - Forum: Editorials - No Replies

This morning, it's almost as if I have to force myself to write something about PBM.

Almost.

Somewhere in my mind, the old book Stone Soup nudged one of my memory glands (a little word play to start your Sunday morning off with), causing it to tumble inside the cavity that is my head. This, in turn, got me to thinking about stew - preferably of the beef kind. Yet, since I won't be enjoying any of that, today, let's aim for some PBM stew, instead.

I should be working on Issue #33 of PBM Chaos, but I really have no inclination, whatsoever, to do that. Part of me keeps on asking me why I bother with any of this stuff, at all. For some reason, a piece of me always seems to want to know why - as if there even needs to be a reason why. It's a hobby interest, after all. Something to be tinkered with and piddled with, just whenever the mood strikes, you might say.

And so it was that I found myself browsing back and forth through the January-February issue of Paper Mayhem. It's an amateur-looking issue. Paper Mayhem was still a newsletter, back then. I don't recall, offhand, what issue number marked the "official transition" from newsletter to magazine. Subscriptions advertised in this issue were eight dollars per year for six issues. Purchase of a single copy would set you back a buck seventy-five ($1.75). Being Canadian and being a subscriber would inflict an additional two dollars to the subscription prices, as issues had to go out as first class mail, and Paper Mayhem was already shipping copies to American subscribers by way of a bulk rate permit, normally. Normally, huh? I wonder what exceptions there were to that general rule of thumb?

Advertising rates? Glad you asked. Full page ads would cost you twenty dollars per issue, ten dollars for half-page ads per issue, and a one-quarter page ad would hit your wallet for a mere five dollars per issue. And in case you were wondering about classified ads, those would cost you one dollar per classified ad, with a limit of a mere ten words.

At this time, Paper Mayhem's editor was C.L. Derbacher, Jr.

There was a guaranteed circulation of 500 copies per issue. It's a pretty sad reflection that PBM Chaos can't even approach that figure for a free digital PBM publication sent directly to your e-mail inbox, all these many years later, Huh? Que será, será.

One of this issue's general announcements was for a PBM network. Hey, that sounds somewhat familiar, huh? Didn't I list something similar as a New year's resolution for 2024? The more that things change, the more that they remain the same. Could a modern day PBM network be beneficial to the PBM industry and PBM hobby? Absolutely. What are the realistic chances of it ever happening, though, and in a meaningful way, at that? Oh, if I had to guess, and it's purely a guess, probably somewhere around zero percent. It would definitely be a good time to be wrong.

There's much irony to be found in the omnipresent "time shortage" that continues to cripple the PBM industry. Communication, particularly effective communication, requires a persistent investment of time. And since the PBM industry seems to suffer from a self-inflicted time shortage, one of the first and foremost of deficiencies that manifests itself is an approach to communication that I would characterize as nothing short of crippling. Does anyone out there really and truly believe that PBM doesn't take it on the chin, due to its communication failures? It isn't uncommon, at all, to encounter comments by PBM gamers lamenting about how PBM companies fail to communicate. This doesn't mean that PBM companies never communicate with anybody, but rather, that communication failures and communication voids very much remain a part of the PBM landscape in today's day and age. This is not a distant and ancient problem.

The January-February 1984 issue of Paper Mayhem was described by the issue as "issue number four of the Paper Mayhem Publication." This issue mentions, in one of its General Announcements/News Releases that Jim Robinson, President of Paper Games (a new PBM company) was in the process of developing its first PBM game, which would be called Swords of Pelarn, and that it should be available by April of 1984. The following issue, which was Issue #5 of Paper Mayhem, there's a full page ad for a PBM game called Swords of Pelarn. Inquires about that game should be sent to . . . wait for it . . . Midnight Games.

Huh? Say, what?! What happened to Paper Games? My, how quickly things happened in the PBM industry back then! Thank God we don't have to worry about that, anymore, huh?

PBM was definitely a more fast-paced place, decades ago. Compared to back then, today's PBM industry is routinely outpaces, by snails, turtles, and sloths. What an odd fit it is, indeed, in today's more hectic-paced world. Keep that in mind, anytime you might wonder why so many people seem to think that PBM is dead or dying. How ironic it is that PBM used to be the cutting edge of gaming, particularly multiplayer gaming, and now it can't seem to keep up with any other sector of gaming.

Issue #6 (May-June 1984) of Paper Mayhem says, in its GameLine News & Updates section that Schubel & Son celebrates its 10th Anniversary in PBM gaming that yea. Thus, Schubel & Son got its start way back in 1973, in case any of you out there in the PBM shadows might have ever wondered when they burst onto the PBM gaming scene.

By Issue #6, Paper Mayhem, in the words of its then-editor, was "closing in on the 1000 mark for general circulation." Clearly, I'm doing something wrong.

Skipping over to Gaming Universal Issue #2 (The Magazine of Play By Mail Adventure), the Industry Bulletins section looms large starting on Page 335. Dubbed "Company and game news from the major PBM moderators," we find the following PBM companies listed (this issue with its thick front cover was the January/February 1984 issue):

Adventures Design Group, Inc., Central Texas Computing, Inc., Clemens And Associates, Inc., Emprise Game Systems, Flying Buffalo, Inc., Jabberwock Enterprises, Inc., Superior Simulations, Viking Games, and World Campaigns. Thus, apparently, if this issue is to be believed, there were nine "major" PBM moderators active at that early stage of the PBM year 1984.

This PBM stew is not the buffet all-you-can-eat variety. Instead, you only get a single serving size. I hope that you enjoyed it, while it lasted.

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  The Habitual Habit of PBM Gaming
Posted by: GrimFinger - 02-17-2024, 04:03 PM - Forum: Editorials - No Replies

In life, we do many things as a matter of habit. We habituate ourselves to a lifetime of habits. PBM gaming is but one of them.

Take myself, for instance? I have a habit of writing about PBM gaming. In fact, I write about PBM more than I play PBM. And maybe that's one of the problems? Perhaps I should play more and write less.

Or better yet, perhaps I should not write about PBM, at all?

That sounds odd, huh? It even seems quite counter-intuitive, at first glance. But the whole point of PBM is not to play PBM games, simply because PBM games exist.

Or is it?

Not in my book, certainly. My mind continually runs the gauntlet that is thinking about play by mail gaming. The three letters, PBM, are quicker to type, than are the then letters and two spaces that comprise play by mail. Yet, those three letters were chosen to stand for that term, as a way to distinguish in a nutshell gaming via a particular medium. Yet, way back when, PBM also basically stood for hundreds and hundreds of different games that there were no board game equivalents of, for the most part.

And this worked well, for quite some time.

But what about now? What about here in the current era, an era that seems quite dystopian, compared to many different aspects of what life was like back when play by mail gaming was booming?

You are able to read this, at all, because technology changed. Now, there are easier ways to write, than what existed way back when. There are quicker forms of communication, now compared to then, without question. Yet, when the play by mail gaming industry prunes itself almost to the point of non-existence, there ends up being considerably less to write about, to talk about, to ponder.

My sister's recent death did not turn out to be a PBM revelation. But then again, no one ever really expected it to. In fact, she probably was never even aware that PBM gaming existed. She did like receiving letters in the mail from me, in recent years, but those are few and far between. And now, the opportunity to send her more is gone forever.

While PBM Chaos readers wait with bated breath (ahem!) for the next issue (#33) of that PBM quasi-publication to land in their e-mail in-boxes, here I site typing this nonsense, instead of doing something that is more PBM-constructive, you might say.

But so what?

The world is in no danger of ending, because if it. And PBM gaming is not in danger of dying because of it, either.

Again, so what?

The PBM industry doesn't appear to be inclined to save itself, and I'm certainly in no shape nor position to save it from itself. The temptation is great to just unilaterally declare that I have simply run out of things to say about play by mail gaming, but a part of me somewhere deep inside of me knows that such simply isn't true.

But then again, so what?

If PBM gaming were to enjoy a massive resurgence, would I even cover it? Would I dare even try to report on it? Or would I toss my literary meanderings on the subject of PBM to the wind, and dive right back in to this particular field of gaming?

Probably not.

Then why should anyone else out there reading this herald their own return to play by mail? Maybe they shouldn't.

Or maybe they should.

On the one hand, I don't really care what anyone else thinks, but simultaneously, I very much tend to enjoy learning what they think. Again, we're talking about PBM gaming, here, folks. Don't get lost, just because I take you on a long and winding stroll to nowhere.

Because the current PBM state of things is a lot like being nowhere, right?

Oh, sure, there's still PBM games left. There's quite a few of them, in fact. There's probably more than most might realize, if they were inclined to look, at all.

Imagine if all PBM companies and PBM GMs and PBM games consolidated into a single entity. What would that look like? Would it be the salvation of play by mail gaming? Probably not.

Or just for the sake of thinking for thinking's sake, imagine if no single entity in PBM gaming ran more than a single PBM game. Now, would that save PBM gaming? I seriously doubt it.

Some recent PBM efforts seem have collapsed. Some PBM undertakings appear bent on imploding. And all the while PBM Chaos remains, unsurprisingly, in a state of perpetual chaos. Well, at least the name seems to fit, huh?

Where is PBM Chaos Issue #33? No idea. It's in stasis. It must be, because no real progress of consequence has been made on it. If I wanted to just kill it, I could do that quite easily. I think that the real problem is that I'm not really sure what it is that I want to write, what I want to publish. Maybe I really just need some new hobbies.

But what's wrong with this hobby?

Nothing. Everything. Who knows? Who cares? Why bother?

Yesterday, Randy Ritnour of Takamo fame wrote over in the PlaybyMail.Net Discord, "I am going to try to get additional content to each issue of PBM CHAOS online magazine. If anyone wants to place messages, empire notices, or trash talk (keep it clean), please email the messages to me and I will add them to my Takamo Updates."

Of course, if you don't ever go there, then you don't end up reading things like that. In fact, it would be very easy to miss out on all kinds of different PBM-related things, if one chooses to not enter the PBM Matrix, so to speak.

But who am I to talk? After all, I've sort of "detached" myself from a variety of different PBM places in recent years.

Say what?

No doubt, it's Richard Weatherhead's fault. Or Wayne "Smitty" Smith's fault. Or Richard Lockwood's fault. Hell, it might even be Daniel J. Fisher, Sr.'s fault. No way that it could jsut be my own fault, right?

Yeah? Well, what about you? Whose fault is it that you have become so detached from play by mail gaming in recent years? If only we could capture in a bottle Wayne Smith's enduring vigor for the PBM games that he continues to clench tightly to. Now, that would be something, something indeed!

But we can't.

At least, I can't. Maybe you can. Perhaps it is you who possesses a certain ability to connect with others, in such a way as to ignite within them a curiosity, a spark, an energy that can kickstart something within them that will set the stage for a new golden era in PBM gaming here in the modern era.

But no one really expects that, now do you?

The Internet is everyone's favorite whipping boy, these days, in spite of the fact that the Internet is the very thing that allows you to maximize your PBM gaming pleasure, currently. Without the Internet, you couldn't read this. Without the Internet, PBM Chaos would never have been brought into existence. Without the Internet, no one would even know or realize that Richard Weatherhead still owes me that article about Austerlitz PBeM.

Yeah, well, I've got to write about something, you know.

Hey, what can I say? It's a habit.


.

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  Super heroic PBEM, Science City
Posted by: katefan - 01-25-2024, 01:30 AM - Forum: New Games Launching - No Replies

Well it's been going on a few months now so it's not exactly new, but I am always on the hunt for new players:

Welcome  to Science City, the most incredible metropolis on Earth. Here mad scientists do battle with sorcerers; pterodactyls vie for airspace with flying cars. It's survived aliens dropping rocks on it and  extra-dimensional invasions. The town’s been torn apart and stitched back together again and who knows what is coming next? If you can make it as a super hero here, you  can make it anywhere.

You just wouldn't want to.

It's Science City, it’s 2034, weird is the new normal and the populace wouldn’t want it any other way.

Science City is rated 2-2-2, or PG-13 if you don’t know what the three numbers mean. Our Discord server is here, please feel free to stop by and say "hello!".

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  PBM Inquiry for 2024 for PBM Companies & PBM GMs
Posted by: GrimFinger - 01-18-2024, 03:05 PM - Forum: Editorials - No Replies

I started sending the following e-mail letter to PBM companies and PBM GMs, yesterday. I sent it to about a dozen different ones, and I'll continue to send it out to other PBM companies and PBM GMs in the coming days. I'll probably scatter this task out over a couple of weeks or so, and then wait to see who all responds or doesn't respond:


Hello!

I hope that you're doing well. In the coming days, I will be sending a copy of this e-mail to all PBM companies and GMs. Basically, it's a new year, and I have decided to reach out and to take a pulse, so to speak, on whether you and your PBM company or PBM game(s) prefers that we continue to try and run free ads for the PBM game(s) that you offer to the public for play. It's perfectly fine, whatever you decide.

There's no charge for the PBM ads. Nor do I have any plans to begin charging for the PBM ads. Basically, free ads is a concept that I introduced in Suspense & Decision magazine, originally, and later it was carried forward to PBM Unearthed, and then even later, it was carried forward to PBM Chaos. PBM Chaos publishes more than once per month, and yesterday, issue #31 of PBM Chaos was published.

Everyone in and across PBM has their own opinions on everything, but I thought that the dawn of a new year would be a good time to try and gather some current feedback, if you're interested in providing any.

If you prefer that I continue to include PBM ads for your PBM games, just let me know that. If you prefer that I not run PBM ads for your games, then let me know that. It's easy to adjust. I don't know what people prefer, and from time to time, people change their minds on all kinds of different things.

Separate and apart from that, for some, I create new PBM ads. I don't charge anything for that service, either. If you like this, then let me know, and I can create new ads for your PBM game(s). Or if you want me to run free PBM ads for your game(s), but you prefer to just send me ads that you or your company make, just let me know that. You can feel free to send them at your leisure and convenience. I just try to promote PBM gaming as a whole. I create new PBM ads, at times, because I know that not everyone has the time to make new ads. Again, whichever route that you prefer is fine with me.

------------------------------------------------

I try not to pester PBM companies and PBM GMs too much, by e-mailing them constantly. However, in the process of trying to figure out how to best make progress in growing the overall PBM player base, I have come to the conclusion that some degree of recurring contact with PBM companies and PBM GMs could be beneficial in achieving that PBM growth objective. But I don't have any desire to overdo it, and to make such recurring contact excessive.

Thus, one thing that I would like to try and focus on in this new year of 2024 is to create some kind of low impact PBM networking. For example, I would like to create/come up with a better way to get the word out about new games forming and openings in PBM games that become open, such as when players drop out.

It isn't something that I think needs to involving time-consuming discussions, but rather, what I was thinking about was a two-pronged approach.

(1) Since all PBM games do not process at the same frequency, but the desire is to provide to the public a list of games forming and openings that become available that is fairly current, I could send, say, a once-a-week reminder e-mail. After all, we all get busy, and sometimes we get distracted or just plain forget. I think that some kind of reminder system could be beneficial.

(2) Someone on your end would simply receive the reminder e-mails, and there would be no need for discussion, but rather, someone on your end would just send the bare information necessary (games forming, positions open, frequency of turn processing for the games in question). And sometimes, you might not have any new games forming or open positions that become available, and at most, you could just send NONE. I think that this would be a time-conscious and a time-savings approach.

When you e-mail me any openings or games forming and such, I would compile them into a list on my end, and publish it so that the public could access it. I think that if something like this were done regularly and reliably, it could make a positive difference to growing the size of the overall PBM player base.

Of course, you would always be free to send other information, if you wanted to.  For example, if you wanted to provide a company news update for inclusion into PBM Chaos, kind of like used to happen in Paper Mayhem and Flagship magazines, that would be fine.

The very fact that such a list of games forming and open positions in existing PBM games would exist would be one way to visibly demonstrate that PBM isn't dead. After all, it would be a visible sign of life in the PBM industry.

I know that over the years, the PBM industry and individual PBM companies and PBM GMs have tried all kinds of stuff, in a bid to get the word out and to drum up business. But I also think that the PBM industry has kind of let some of their past efforts taper off. We all grow older, and our priorities change, and sometimes even things that are important and which matter end up falling between the cracks of everyday life. So, this is an effort to try and refocus, you might say.

I enjoy talking about PBM gaming, but to create a better or improved form of broader PBM networking can, I think, be accomplished, without it becoming talk-intensive. Any industry is better off, I think, when it gets the word out, compared to if it doesn't.

Information such as new PBM games forming and positions that become open in existing PBM games is basic information. The longer that positions in PBM games go unfilled, the more that the positions, themselves, tend to deteriorate. A list that contains games forming and positions available from a lot of different PBM companies would, I think, be more likely to draw the eye of the PBM interested more than a similar list with the same information from just one or two PBM companies.

At any rate, let me know what you think or what you prefer, where these matters are concerned, and then we'll go from there, whatever you decide. Again, it;s entirely your choice as to whether you want to participate or not. For those who do want to work together on these items, maybe we can make some progress in this new year.

Thank you for your time and your consideration,

Charles Mosteller
Editor of PBM Chaos


We don't all live in the same time zone, and we all have different personal or business schedules, so some will reply quickly, some slowly, and some likely won't even bother to respond, at all. Generally speaking, That's the norm. Nothing unusual about it.

The responses that I receive (or don't receive, as each respective case may be) should help me to know how to shift my own activities, as they relate to PBM gaming and PBM advocacy. There's no real point in pouring time and energy and effort into certain things or areas where it's pointless. If some PBM companies don't care about PBM ads, as an example, then I can concentrate more on those that do, and less on those that don't. Ultimately, I can publish PBM Chaos with no ads of any kind, but that's certainly not my personal preference.

Some PBM companies have already responded. Others haven't yet even received a copy of this e-mail letter by e-mail. So, I won't really know a lot for probably several weeks, if I had to venture a guess. After all, if I'm still sending this out a couple of weeks from now, I'm not gonna get responses from those who haven't even received it, yet.

Now, will this e-mail letter do any good? Who knows? I figure that it's worth a try. What does PBM have to lose, huh? If nothing else, maybe we can get rid of another excuse from why PBM gaming isn't doing better than it is, or that it's been doing in recent years. Of course, it's quick and easy to blame/scapegoat the Internet. How many current PBM gamers don't use the Internet, though? Hell, even Wayne Smith uses the Internet. He could tell you, if his wife would let him, that the Internet facilitates his ability to enjoy the PBM games that he plays in more fully. If it wasn't for the Internet, then he and I would likely have never becomes friends in the first place.

Separate from that, just as a side note before I click on that Post Thread button to post this message, it is really interest how the modern Internet has affected communication between players in PBM games. Davin Church, the GM of Talisman Games and Galac-Tac, recently suggested in the Galac-Tac Discord channel the possibility of sending a "diplomatic message to open negotiations of some form" - referring, of course, to the built-in Galac-Tac messaging system. These days, other alternatives to using that messaging system exists, compared to when that built-in in-game messaging system was first create years ago. That message system probably works, just fine, but PBMer Pax and I had just automatically started discussing that particular game of Galac-Tac that we were both in (Galaxy #113) via the Galac-Tac Discord channel (which is located in the PlayerByMail.Net Discord server). Now, our two empires aren't working together in that game, but the opportunity to communicate about that game presented itself outside of Galac-Tac's built-in message system.

The Internet is a force-multiplier, but it's not a handyman that just goes around automatically doing all of the grunt work for PBM companies for them. It can be a time-saver or a time-consumer, just depending on how you approach it. Trying to make the Internet adapt to PBM isn't ever likely to work as good or as smoothly as making PBM adapt to the Internet. The vast bulk of opportunities that the Internet can offer to PBM gaming, PBM gaming doesn't even bother with. Yet, the Internet killed (or is killing) PBM?

Such utter nonsense!

I criticize the PBM industry a lot, but I don't hate the PBM industry. There's a huge difference in the two. Think about this, if you get a chance. What is Amazon? I'm talking about the company, and not the river in South America.

It's lots of things, actually, but for an awful lot of people, Amazon is basically "one stop shopping." Malls have lost a lot of the popularity that they once had. Amazon is a modern-day souped-up version of the old Sears catalog. If you wanted to do "one stop shopping" for PBM stuff, where would you go?

I can tell you, already - one stop shopping doesn't exist anywhere within the PBM realm. Yet, the Internet killed PBM? Be careful what propaganda you swallow, people. Before the onset of the Internet, what did PBM companies blame their failures on? Do the epitaphs on all of the tombstones of PBM games and PBM companies read, "Killed by the Internet?"

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  GTac Assistant reference lists
Posted by: Davin - 01-17-2024, 06:27 PM - Forum: Galac-Tac - Replies (10)

For those of you that use the GTac Assistant, you may find that there are some long lists of choices that can be used when customizing maps. I'll post those lists here for anyone who wishes to see them...
(BTW, these lists are coming from the release that's pending, so a very few names are new and will be available shortly.)

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  GTac
Posted by: GrimFinger - 01-15-2024, 12:39 AM - Forum: Galac-Tac - Replies (7)

Davin,

I know that everyone doesn't use Gtac on the same sized computer screen, but it's currently a pain i the ass trying to view dozens of options with such a small window that displays a maximum of just 6 options at a time, even with GTac fully expanded as a window on my computer.

   

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  PBM Rulebook Library (Under Construction)
Posted by: GrimFinger - 01-13-2024, 05:54 AM - Forum: PBM List and PBM Rulebook Library - No Replies

This PBM Rulebook Library is currently under construction!
Adventurer Kings
"Adventurer-Kings" is a game set in a medieval world filled with magic, treasure, monsters and armies. There are 8 to 12 players in each game. A player controls one King, his armies and treasures, and any Heroes which he hires to serve him. Each turn, a player sends in a set of moves for his "Adventurer King" (or Queen, for that matter) and his Heroes. These moves cover the King's activities for one year in the medieval world.

Alamaze
A multi-award-winning fantasy war game that promises an unparalleled multiplayer strategy experience. Choose from 32 distinctive kingdoms, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, and engage in a battle of wits against eleven human adversaries. Your arsenal includes magic, military  might, economics, politics, and covert tactics, as you issue commands to nobles, wizards, armies, and agents, all in pursuit of territory and alliances.

Ancient Empires

The setting for Ancient Empires is at the dawn of time where you, a second son or lone adventurer set out to find your fortune.

With control of a small cluster of villages it is up to you to lead your forces to dominance of the area around you and to create an Ancient Empire.

Starting with very low tech units you will need to expand as well as study to make more effective weapons for your military.


Atlantis Miskatonic
Atlantis Miskatonic is  version of Atlantis, a free open-ended multi-player computer moderated fantasy turn-based strategy game for any number of players.

Atlantis: New Origins
Atlantis is a play by email game.

Austerlitz
Austerlitz is the premier PBeM Napoleonic Wargame, and has won awards all over Europe and in the UK. The realism is unparalleled, and the accurate representation of the armies of 1808 make this a thrilling simulation of Napoleonic conquest.

Battle Plan
Do you have the ambition, the skill, and the insidious single-mindedness necessary to conquer all of Europe? War (and lots of behind-the-scenes intrigue) takes place on a map of Europe, among 4-8 players all trying to conquer 29 countries. With the technology of the latter-half of the Twentieth Century, you can build Army, Navy, Air Force, Missiles, Anti-Missiles, and even more industry with which to build. You can spend your cash on research, spy networks, counterspies, or propaganda. To win you'll need all of them - the question is how much of each

The object is to occupy or conquer all 29 countries, or otherwise eliminate all the other players from the game. This is an area movement strategic game (each "space" on the map is generally an entire country), with production a very important part of the game.


Boldhome Heroes
The game is set in Glorantha, specifically in the city of Boldhome in the Kingdom of Sartar in Dragon Pass. Argrath is King of Dragon Pass after marrying the Feathered Horse Queen. As such, he is also the City Rex of Boldhome. Below him the player characters maneuver to increase their personal power.

Players can join at any time.

The game is turn based. Players submit orders for four weeks per game round. The GM processes all players' orders and, when done, publishes game reports and sends updated character sheets to all players.

Player characters are Sartarites trying to increase their Charisma and move up the hierarchies of Boldhome.

There is nothing like "game balance" in this game. New characters can be destitute cottars or the children of very rich tribal queens, or anything in between. Their starting opportunities will vary greatly.


Clash of Legends
Clash of Legends offers free and fully automated, turn based multiplayer games that have strong elements from war games with an interesting economic side to it and some RPG elements added to the mix.

Another way of explaining it, is that Clash of Legends is a computer moderated, turn based multiplayer game similar to a board game.


Company Commander
Although the original Company Commander was designed at the height of the Cold War it represented a chaotic vision where a Third World Country is fragmented into many factions struggling to gain control. Today that chaotic vision has moved from the imagination of the game's original designer to the nightly news on our TV screens.

The design now mimics the international reality of today, making Company Commander as relevant today as it was in first days of the game design process. The design of Company Commander has come a long way from design to current version 13. In those years, the nightmare has become more real and current, not less.


Continental Rails II
Continental Rails simulates the great railroad expansion in America during the 19th Century. This is a game of fierce economic competition in which you are one of 15 railroad tycoons seeking fame and fortune. There can be up to 6 winners in each game, so you can select which goals you wish to  pursue. The game begins in 1841 after the first railroads were established.

Each game turn represents 1-2 years of time. The game has 2 phases, an eastern rail building phase during the first 10 turns, followed by a western rail building phase after turn 11. Each game will last over twenty turns, which provides plenty of time to recover from setbacks. If you don't do well in the first phase, then look ahead to the next phase.


Covert Operations
* Link to the rulebook is broken.

Designed by Charles Gaydos, this game simulates the struggle for control of the world by international megacorporations. An unknown number of players, each representing the head of an international corporation, incredibly wealthy family, or secret organization, vie for domination over all the others.

Each player has a minimum income per turn, no matter what happens during the game, so you cannot be eliminated as long as the game lasts. You may submit a turn every day, or you may submit many orders in advance (to be processed, seven orders per day). It is not necessarily fatal to miss a turn.

This game is played entirely by email,
and you will receive an email "result" every day except major holidays. You are not told the names of the other players, or even how many there are, but you are allowed to send your email address to another player as part of the game, after which of course, you may communicate as much as you wish.

The object of the game is to get control of a majority of the countries on the map, by bribery, assassination, revolution, or force of arms. When that happens, you become Master of the World and have won.


Dark Age II
When the Romans left Britains, they turned out the lights. This is what happened next.

Dark Age is a game of power and conflict in Dark Age Britain. The game system is simple and straightforward, with plenty of scope for skill and skullduggery, combining the finesse of Diplomacy and the fluidity of Risk. To win the game you must expand your population to become the dominant kingdom of Britain. Only warfare will provide the room for your population to grow, but only peace will allow you to secure your gains. Wars must be decisive, and your diplomatic efforts may be the key to victory.


Duel2
Duel2 is a Play-by-Mail game of ancient gladiatorial combat. If you're new to Play-by-Mail gaming, just think or it as a chance to play some of the most realistic and exciting games you will ever come across. Every two weeks, you'll be matching your skills and ingenuity against players from all across the North American continent and beyond.

Empires
Empires is a game of diplomacy, conflict and conquest. It’s designed to have the maximum of action with the minimum of fuss. There are currently four different versions with different maps and slightly different rules.


En Garde!
Like d’Artagnan, each player in En Garde! starts as a young man arriving in Paris. Now he must find his feet in Parisian society. En Garde! characters may be noblemen, gentlemen or peasants. They may have lots of money or none. They may be accomplished swordsmen or not know which end of a sword to hold.

What characters have in common is their main goal in En Garde!. They try to increase their standing (‘Social Level’) and climb the greasy pole of Parisian society. They do this by gaining status: being seen in the right places; cultivating friends in high places; joining the right regiment or club; and, of course, winning duels!
Dueling is the usual way of settling disputes in En Garde!. Two characters face each other over the affections of a woman, to settle questions of precedence – or simply because one belongs to the Cardinal’s Guard and the other to the King’s Musketeers. Then it’s down to the skill and strength (and cunning) of the two protagonists.

Eressea
Eressea is a multiplayer turn-based nation-building 4X fantasy game with hundreds of simultaneous players and thousand of individually controlled units.

If you enjoy simulations like Sid Meier’s Civilization, and fantasy games of the D&D variety, Eressea is a mix of both: Each unit in the game is a fantasy character with their own skills, and your goal is to build a viable civilization in competition with hundreds of other players.

Eressea is a very low-tech game. There are no 3D graphics, no online play, and turns take an entire week.


Feudal Lords
Designed by John Van De Graaf, this game simulates the struggle for kingship in a mythical period of English history. Up to seventeen players, each representing the head of one of the more active noble families, vie for the throne which has been left vacant by the death of King Arthur. Only by building both economic and military strength can one prove himself worthy of the mantle of King (or Queen).

Players must feed their peasants, tax townsmen, train and pay knights, hire mercenaries, buy & sell livestock, improve their castles, dabble in foreign trade, and go on military campaign. They may conquer neighboring fiefs, forcing them to swear fealty to another player. Names & addresses of all players are given at the start of the game for easier diplomacy.

The object of the game is to get a minimum number of other fiefs to swear fealty to you (at the same time) by force of arms, persuasion, or bribery. When that happens, you become king and have won.


Forgotten Realms: War of the Avatars
War of the Avatars (WA) is set in the Savage Frontier region of the TSR's Forgotten Realms setting. This is a land of fearsome monsters, rampaging humanoid hordes, and battle-hardened humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings.

If you are familiar with the AD&D® game, it will be easier to understand how to play War of the Avatars. The creatures you'll meet here will be familiar if you've ever played a fantasy role-playing game. Instead of playing a single character, however, in War of the Avatars you control an entire realm in the Savage Frontier. Thousands of characters and creatures will jump to obey your every whim. It's the sort of thing you could really get used to.

Each player controls communities of various size, armies, magical items, and perhaps even an avatar, the awesome manifestation of an extra-dimensional being on the Prime Material plane.

The game is played on a huge, 50 hexagon by 100 hexagon map--5,000 locations in all! Over 150 different types of units may join your armies as you march across this vast territory, spreading fear and flame among your rivals. Dozens of magical items can be found to further enhance your power.

War of the Avatars is played in turns. One turn takes one month of game time. Each turn, you give orders to your subjects, writing them down on the Order Sheet. After you mail your orders in to RSI, we process your orders (and those of the other players in the game), then we mail the results back to you. The Turn Results Sheets you receive show the effects of all these orders. With the results comes an Order Sheet for you to fill in your orders for the next turn.

Up to 50 players compete in each game, called a campaign. There are many campaigns going on simultaneously, each completely separate from the others.


Galac-Tac
Galac-Tac entry is incomplete.

Heroic Fantasy
* Link to the rulebook is broken.

You direct a party of up to fifteen fighters and magic users (humans, elves, dwarves, fairies, gremlins, leprechauns, hobbits, goblins, even a troll, ogre, or giant) through a dungeon maze killing monsters, gathering treasure, and hunting for magical prizes.

You get to decide what kind of adventuring party you want to go with. The maximized constitution and strength would be a party of 5 human magic users and 5 human fighters. But some of the other combinations are even more fun. An Ogre magic user, an elf magic user and a dwarf magic user make a 3 character party that uses up all 100 of your points. You only get three characters, but they are tough. One that I think is fun is a giant fighter, and fourteen fairy magic users! The fairies fly around and put monsters to sleep, then the giant comes in and squashes them!

There are currently four levels (ultimately there will be a special fifth) and hundreds of players already exploring the depths. You may meet some of these players in the maze, and there is no certain way to determine at first meeting whether these are player characters or computer-run "NPCs" (non player characters). The object is to get your characters through all four levels alive, and get them into the fifth or "outdoor" level. After each level, there is a chance to get your characters entered into the "Hall of Fame" of adventurers which will be printed in our magazine. This game has been extensively play-tested, and has been running since 1982.

The per turn fee is only $3.00 and for this one fee you get to move all 15 of your characters. They can stay together or split up into as many as 15 parties moving in different directions, all for one single turn fee! No "extra action fees" ever.

Each level adds new things to the game. Be aware that the first couple turns are somewhat boring as you get your party started in the safe "entrance room", prepare your first spells, go into the store and buy your initial weapons and/or potions, and decide which direction to explore first. This is not just a "go into the room, kill the monster, take the prize" game. There are a lot of subtleties built into the game that you might not notice unless you pay careful attention to everything that is going on!


Hyborian War
Hyborian War is a game of imperial conquest in the age of Conan. You will wield the power of command over the destiny of the kingdom you have chosen, charting a course of battle, intrigue and diplomacy over the centuries of the Age. Virtually every tool of statecraft is at your disposal. These rules will give you an idea of the many options available. How you use them--even how many of them you use--is up to you.

Ilkor: Dark Rising
* Rulebook link is missing.

Needs text entry.


It's A Crime
New York in the 21st century is a city on the edge of collapse. The mobs are about to take control. To survive you have to become the leader of the meanest, toughest, gang ever.

Away from the main streets and boulevards, in the narrow alleys and derelict tenements the street gangs have taken control. Illegal weapons and incendiary bombs are the tools of their trade as they fight each other and the woefully undermanned New York Police Department.
The Gangs are winning!

Protection rackets, drug pushing, muggings and robbery are common place, even the mob are taking an interest in Gang activities.       

Do you have what it takes to survive?

As a player you are the leader of a small street gang. Your gang consists of approximately 20 members. A few will be street wise pro's, the backbone of your gang. The other members are punks or 'cruits, the kids recently initiated. Your gang's turf consists of a single city block.

Your task is to become the meanest, biggest, toughest gang in the city. Eventually you may even join organised crime and compete to become Godfather of the city - before someone else does.


KnightGuild
* Rulebook link is missing.

The world that the game is set in is large and earth-like, with a number of continents and all divided into 30 x 30-mile squares (sectors). Each sector has a terrain type, and may contain man-made features such as settlements (Cities, Colonies), canals, roads, etc. The game world has a fantasy medieval flavor, but it is neither a high-fantasy setting nor a medieval simulation… it's somewhere in the middle.


Roaming the map are player-run clans, player-run expeditionary forces, and some NPC forces. These can be traveling either on land or across water sectors.

At the start of the game some cities are run by players, though most are not.

Player-run positions (clans, expeditionary forces, cities) can be affiliated with one or two factions that are pre-defined in the game, or they can choose to stay
independent. Being affiliated with a faction will usually give a player position access to resources, support and a factional ability that independent positions can't.

All players run one or more clans, and each clan can potentially have a single city attached to it for the
player to also run. Each of a player's clans can have its own faction affiliation(s), but a player has to
nominated one clan as their 'main' clan, and only the player's clans with the same primary faction
affiliation as the 'main' clan can be promoted to rank 10 or higher.


Legends

Legends is possibly the most in-depth fantasy game on the market today, combining powerful game mechanics with vibrant and original game worlds.

The Legends game system is rich in both complexity and potential, allowing thousands of different stratagems and options, so that one can play for years and only begin to scratch the surface of the possible. The various modules each offer an entirely new world to be explored and conquered, all with their own unique races, monsters, histories and politics.

Explore on your own, or work as part of a larger faction. Roam the land as dragon-slayer, hero or sword for hire; lead a group of mercenaries or clan of orcs; command cities, armies, fleets. Rise to power through the use of steel, magic, politics, or perhaps a little of each. The worlds of Legends await you; what you do in them is down to you.

Our games are not simple ‘coffee break’ games. You can expect to spend hours exploring your position, weeks thinking about your tactics, and years becoming an expert. In fact, many of our players have been playing our games for decades, and are still discovering new things to explore!

So if you are looking for something that is quick, mindless, and easy to play, then our games are not for you. But if you are want something a little more challenging, then read on…


Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses
Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses is a game of En Garde! (the swashbuckling role-playing game) using a turn-based or
Play-By-e-Mail format. Each turn is a month in the game. Players negotiate with each other and then send orders for their character to the GM (me!). I adjudicate what happens (which is not necessarily what the players intended!) and produce a narrative report for all players.



Liminal En Garde

* Needs link to rulebook!

A Play By Email Game (PBEM) set in a fictional 17th century France.


Follow in the footsteps of d’Artagnan and Cyrano de Bergerac as you make your mark in the Parisian social scene! Court the fair ladies of Paris, carouse in the gentleman's clubs and give your enemies the thrashing they so sorely deserve.

You could start as a peasant or a nobleman, but whatever your background Paris holds delight and danger in equal measure.

The game is played through a combination of email and this forum as players give in orders to tell the GM what their character is doing each month.

Lords of the Earth
Lords Of The earth (LOTE) is a play-by-(e)mail war game. Basically, you’re the king or queen of a medieval (or Renaissance or Classical or Fantasy) nation and struggle to better your own realm, usually at the expense of other
nations (and players). This is a turns-based game, so you have to wait
for your results, fretting and biting your nails.


Middle-earth PBM
We run turn-based, strategy games inspired by The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, including elements from ICE's Middle-earth Role Playing.

Play as either the Free Peoples or the Dark Servants, and work together with your team-mates to take control of the lands of Middle-earth.

Earn your victory through a combination of martial strength, magical prowess, and economic power.


Nuclear Destruction
Nuclear Destruction is a game for any number of players and a computer. Each player will have a country with a  population between 25 and 99 million people. There will also be a number of minor countries (minors) with a population of 20 million each. The object of the game is to destroy the population of all the other players, while keeping at least one million of your own alive.

Quest of the Great Jewels

* Link to the rulebook is missing.

Quest of the Great Jewels is a computer-moderated play-by-mail
game. It is a "closed ended wargame" with turn times of about three weeks for regular games and slightly longer for team games

Quest of the Great Jewels involves twelve players, each of whom could can one of four races, each of which had different objectives and powers:

Azoni were fighters who bred slowly and earned victory points by building citadels.


Quntag were empire builders who earned victory points by controlling territory.

Rilris were treasure seekers who earned money by hoarding money and magic treasures.

Slenth bred at a prodigious rate, and although they were the weakest fighters, they earned victory points by destroying and ravaging.

The four races are well-balanced, with no race offering an advantage over the others
.


REN1493
*Missing link to the rulebook.

[color=FF1111"]The historical simulation game of strategy designed by Constantine Xanthos.[/color]

Renaissance
*Missing link to the rulebook. 

Needs text entry.


Rome Is Burning

Need text entry.

Scramble For Empire
Scramble for Empire is set in the 19th century, with one game turn representing a month and players taking on a variety of roles. Typically you play as the head of a country, for example the President of France, the Kaiser, or Tsar, or the head of an expansive merchant company with global positions, or a VIP (like the Mahdi, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, or Charles Hadden Spurgeon!).

Each game turn is run approximately once a month in real life, and each turn you receive details of your own position details, hopefully letters from others, the in-game newspaper, and a map (they are updated frequently).

The game is not strictly historically accurate, but a pseudo-Victorian world with Steampunk elements so all sorts of oddities such as marvellous machines and the odd vampire nun are possible (without turning the game into farce, of course, the atmosphere and believability of the whole thing is marvellously Victorian!).

Turns cost £12 each, with one played every four to six weeks.


The Glory of Kings
The Glory of Kings is set in the days of the 18th century, with one game turn representing a month and players taking on a variety of roles. Typically you play as the head of a country, for example the King of France, a German prince, or a Chinese or Indian lord. Smaller positions, such as a notorious pirate can be taken on instead if you prefer.

Each game turn is run approximately once every five weeks in real life, and each turn you receive details of your own position, any letters from others, and the in-game newspaper. The game has won multiple awards over the years, and is a firm favourite amongst our players. Standard turns cost £12 each.


The Isles PBeM
The Isles is a hand-moderated Play By Mail game run via either the postal system or via eMail. It is set in a fantasy world where trade and commerce are held in higher regard than Lords and Kings and where life can be brutal, terrifying and often short for those who do not belong.

Players take on the role of an Outcast, someone who is newly released from Prison with only a few possessions, little money and no tangible memories of who they are, what their past life was, or why they were imprisoned for so long.


Throne of Cofain
Four nations struggle for control of the island of Cofain in this fantasy wargame. Do you have what it takes to build your nation's strength, tame the wilderness, crush your rivals and ultimately put yourself on the Throne of Cofain?


TribeNet
TribeNet is an open-ended, play-by-email (PBEM) game of growth and management, where you are the leader of a Clan. Your people build, trade, farm, sail the seas and explore, and, as with all growing and expanding populations, there is a need for diplomacy and negotiation.

Your people start off in the middle of nowhere as a nomadic tribe. You know nothing about your environment and you have but a handful of skills. You explore your world and build skills and resources.

TribeNet simulates a nomadic and growing tribal life and lets you choose where it may lead. There are components of TN that allow you to become Builder, Trader, Fighter, Sailor and Explorer. The potential and possibilities are endless.

Can your clan survive and become a civilisation? It’s up to you.


War of the Dark God
"War of the Dark God" is a strategic fantasy wargame in which 16 nations in two teams battle for control of seven vital power spots which will either be instrumental in allowing the minions
of the great Dark God to call their master into the world or conversely
allow the followers of the Old Gods to deny the Dark God entry.

The game is played over 24 turns unless one side can manage a run-away victory. The two teams of 8 nations are fixed from the start and teammates must work together to further the overall goal of their side. Even though an individual winner will be found in the end, the success of the team is more important than just building your own position.

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  PBM Games List
Posted by: GrimFinger - 01-12-2024, 12:47 AM - Forum: PBM List and PBM Rulebook Library - No Replies

Ancient & Medieval PBMs
Ancient Empires
Adventurer Kings
Dark Age
Feudal Lords
REN1493
Renaissance
Rome is Burning
Scramble for Empire


Crime PBMs
It’s A Crime


Dungeon Crawl PBMs
DungeonWorld Adventures
DungeonWorld Brokenlands
DungeonWorld Daemonrift 3
DungeonWorld Estates
DungeonWorld Frontiers
DungeonWorld Kyr Adventures
DungeonWorld Kriegmund
DungeonWorld SteamWorx
DungeonWorld The Golden Coast
Monster Island
Quest


En Garde! PBMs
Boldhome Heroes
Engarde!
Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses
Liminal En Garde!
Sword and Crown


Espionage PBMs
Covert Operations


Fantasy PBMs
Alamaze
Atlantis Miskatonic
Atlantis: New Origins
Atlantis PbeM
Clash of Legends
Eressea
Forgotten Realms
Heroic Fantasy
Hyborian War
KnightGuild
Legends
Lords of the Earth
Middle-earth PBM
Quest of the Great Jewels
Throne of Cofain
TribeNet
War of the Dark God


Gladiator PBMs
Duel2


Napoleonic Era PBMs
Austerlitz


Roleplaying PBMs
Ilkor: Dark Rising
The Isles PBM


Space Warfare PBMs
Fire on the Suns
Galac-Tac
Galactic Conflict
Mobius I
Phoenix: Beyond the Stellar Empire
Regime Change
Riftlords
RSW: Retro Space Wars
Spaceplan
Star Chase
Star Fleet Warlord
Starweb
Stellar Conflict
SuperNova: Rise of the Empire
Takamo
Wraith


Sports PBMs
Extra Time
Extra Time: Chairman
Gameplan
Gameplan Baseball
Hoopplan
Imaginary Wrestling Association
Raceplan
Run Chase
Slapshot
Soccer Star
Soccer Stats
Summit PBM


World War II Era PBMs

Battle Plan
Victory! The Battle for Europe


Miscellaneous PBMs
2300 A.D. – The Great Game
Company Commander
Continental Rails II
Empires
Nuclear Destruction
The Glory of Kings

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  Galaxy #113
Posted by: GrimFinger - 01-11-2024, 07:47 PM - Forum: Galac-Tac - Replies (3)

This forum is for discussions of the Galaxy #113 Game of Galac-Tac.

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  Issue #5 - My Learning Games of Alamaze - Charles Mosteller
Posted by: GrimFinger - 01-06-2024, 06:19 PM - Forum: Articles that appeared in issues of PBM Chaos - No Replies

My Learning Games of Alamaze
Charles Mosteller


Game 5663 - Dwarves

Turn #7 - This game is plodding along. My Dwarven kingdom gained control of a new village, this turn, via usurpation.


The Lizards kingdom was dropped from the game, this turn. That makes what? Four kingdoms, and we’re only in Turn #7? Man, that’s crazy! This is what happens when new players don’t know how to play, and aren’t firmly invested enough, interest-wise, in learning the game. But the flip side of that coin is, for Alamaze to acquire new players to grow its overall players base, you run the risk of players dropping out or being dropped (by not issuing turn orders for three turns in a row). The risk of players dropping goes hand-in-hand with the reward of growing the Alamaze player base. Drops are nothing new to PBM games. Heck, even chess has to deal with the occasional problem of players flipping the board (I’m looking at YOU, Wayne Smith!).


Wayne doesn’t really flip chess boards. He’s too busy collecting his safe driver awards.


As this game of Alamaze is but one of several Learning Games for me, even with player drops considered and taken into account, this game is still useful, from a learning perspective. Hey, maybe I’ll finally managed to gain control of a second region in a game of Alamaze, finally. I am playing around with the game interface and issuing various orders. Right now, this game is a stress-free environment for me, so the learning has a very casual feel to it, right now. No pressure on the Dwarves, at present, in game 5663 of Alamaze.


Game 5684 - Underworld

The damned Elementalist kingdom has been defeated, at long last. Yeah, sure, it was mostly the handiwork of Alamaze player (and new owner) Brekk Firestarter (or is that one of my character’s names? I forget), but somebody had to plant the seed of progress, and that somebody in this particular game of Alamaze was me. After all, ‘twas I who initiated communication with the Lycans (werewolves). And if you’re thinking that this is a roundabout way of me saying that Alamaze’s new owner has fleas, I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth.


The death blow for the Elementalist player was likely the Lycan’s military conquest of that kingdom’s last population center, which probably resulted in the elimination of any remaining Elementalist political figures/characters. I know that all of my sleep spells cast and attempted assassinations and kidnappings of Elementalist characters, this turn, ended up being of no efefct - for the battle for control of that last Elementalist population center took place before my assassins and wizards got a chance to stir the pot, this turn.


That accursed Elementalist really should have not messed with my town. That’s what brought this whole chain of events that led to his kingdom’s demise into existence. Don’t tell me that a new player can’t have an impact of a game of Alamaze.


Overall, my Underworld kingdom in this game of Alamaze is in pretty decent shape (famous last words, huh?). But what kingdom will next rise to oppose my kingdom’s greatness?


Game 5693 - Underworld

Turn #20 - This game had really grown fairly boring for me. The last two turns, it has begun to pick up a little bit. Of course, I’m being militarily and diplomatically invaded by two kingdoms, now, but what the heck? Nobody lives forever, right?


My Amazon and Forgotten enemies, being the naturally obedient creatures that they were destined to be, are nonetheless “teaching” me certain aspects of how to play Alamaze. My coming defeat at their combined hands will ultimately yield a victory for me, all my own - in the form of acquiring a better understanding of what Alamaze is like, when you’re on the losing end of things.


From my current perspective, my kingdom has no realistic way of fending off these two invading interlopers, but perhaps there’s a chance, yet, to bleed them a little. I pondered dropping the game, just to tweak them and to deny them the true thrill of victory, but nah. I won’t learn as much, that way. Besides, it always kind of sucks, when players drop games, just to deny their fellow player the good feeling that goes along with a genuine win.


My real concern isn’t losing this game of Alamaze. Rather, it’s whether as my kingdom’s population centers get conquered (or razed to the ground, as in one recent case) and the amount of gold that my kingdom takes in, my remaining kingdom assets will be able to function effectively to any real degree. This is one of the true risks that go right along with crafting a character system that is gold-dependent. If your characters can’t work, because you lack gold, then what’s the point of continuing to stick things out? Winning is its own reward and incentive, but what is the incentive for losing kingdoms’ players to continue on. That’s what I aim to find out.


Game 5703 - Demon Princes

Turn #13 - Talk about a hell of a development, I usurped control of three Giant-held towns, this turn, in the Giants’ starting region of Mythgar. Mwahahahahahahaha!


I can’t really say that I was surprised by this tasty development, seeing as how i’m the one who planned it, but even still, it’s nice to see one’s plans come to fruition. Not that all of mine do.


This particular one did, though, and that’s exciting for me. And did I mention, that a Giants’ village is going to follow suit, next turn? Yep! My Demon Prince character is already there.


Also, I had my king character to issue a #355 – Relocate Capital command, this turn. What that translates into, for better or for worse, is that my kingdom’s new capital is now located in far away Mythgar - and the way that things work in Alamaze, is that a number of my kingdom’s characters that were stationed in my old capital have made the move right along with the capital, itself. Ooh, the possibilities!


This is a trick that I learned recently in Game 5684, my first real game of Alamaze, which helped facilitate the Elementalist kingdom’s very recent demise in that game.


At present, I can neither confirm nor deny that character Lucifer Morningstar is on the move in game 5703. He’s definitely there, somewhere. It’s just a question of where. Rumor has it that he’s literally an agent - an agent of Hell!


Stay tuned for further developments.


Game 5705 - Warlock

Turn #9 - Looks like somebody built a Legendary castle at Stormgate, but it wasn’t me.


Instead, I’ve barely looked at my turn results for this game of Alamaze, and my next set of turn orders for this game is due, again, when? In a few hours, by the looks of it.


:Confusedigh:: I guess that I had better get with it, then. Too much stuff going on in life to fully concentrate. Yet, I’m not really having this problem with my Demon Princes game. So, something about this particular game of Alamaze is lacking, compared to that one. Oh, that’s right - it’s the excitement, dummy!


This is where flavor of a kingdom comes in, and why flavor is imperative to longevity in the playing of a game. I am playing the Warlock kingdom, but I have no actual warlock, only wizards. Which begs the question, why is this kingdom called the Warlock kingdom? Is this false advertising? Or is the warlock flavor supposed to originate from certain spells that this kingdom is capable of casting? So, basically, is this the Will-Someday-Be-The-Warlock kingdom?


Flavor, flavor, flavor. One can never have too much of it in a game, but one can frequently not have enough.


Looks like my kingdom neither gained nor lost any population centers, this turn. I am pursuing my ESO (Early Strategic Objective) in this game, a 5-pointer rather than a 3-pointer. Will I achieve it by next turn, though? You have several turns to claim your ESO rewards, after you accomplish your Early Strategic Objectives (that you set for your Alamaze kingdom no later than Turn #3).


My kingdom’s Early Strategic Objectives for this particular game are:

    Control a region [worth 2 points]

    Have an influence of 17+ and 2 Princes (not Demon Princes) [worth 2 points]

    Have at least 3 Wizards, power 4 or higher [worth 1 point]


From the looks of it, I won’t have three wizards of Power Level 4 or higher, by next turn. Ack!


I have until Turn #15 to meet these objectives and claim their associated rewards, so I am very hopeful that I will achieve my kingdom’s Early Strategic Objectives, yet.


Game 5712 - Cimmerians

Turn #4 - Not a bad turn for me. Not a bad turn, at all. This turn, my Cimmerians accomplished several different things. A Cimmerian governor usurped control of a village in the Crown Islands from the Humans (non-player kingdom). In the process, he was also promoted to the rank of baron, it seems. A Cimmerian ambassador usurped control of a Neutral village. Meanwhile, a minor city in this region of the Crown Islands was successfully usurped by a Cimmerian Duke, who was aided by a Cimmerian count via his stirring of unrest in that city.


Additionally, a Cimmerian military group launched an attack upon a Neutral village, with all Cimmerian military leaders and wizards surviving the battle. All three of my military leaders on hand for this battle earned promotions.


I decided to try my hand, this turn, at Searching for Encounters. It’s easy as pie to do, and there’s no reason reason why I shouldn’t have attempted this command before. I assigned two different agents to this mission of searching for encounters, and lo and behold, I lucked out and found two of these unusual sights to explore.


Because I am an idiot, apparently, I waited until last turn (Turn #3) to issue my Kingdom Customization order for this kingdom. Really, that’s something that any player should do on Turn #1, because there are real, tangible benefits to doing so. One of the items that I claimed for the customization of my kingdom in this game of Alamaze was +1 added to my kingdom’s influence. I could have really used that, when I first began to try and usurp control of population centers. This oversight can clearly be chalked up to human error on my part.


I will be trying to transfer an artifact from a population center to a character in the coming turn, Turn #5. In order to accomplish this, I will be using the #910 command.


#910 – Transfer Artifact

This order allows you to move artifacts from place to place under your control. An agent/fanatic may pick-up an artifact from a group, population center or emissary and deliver it any of those possible targets. Only the pick-up point must lie within the agent's range.


I’ll be using an agent to carry out this artifact transfer. But does the agent stay at the location of the artifact’s intended recipient? Or does he automatically go back to where he started, this turn, which is my kingdom’s capital? The rulebook doesn’t actually say (at least, not where this command is listed in the rulebook, so I’ll have to pose that question to either Alamaze support or to an experienced player of the game.


All things considered, Turn #4 turned out to be a confidence builder for me for this kingdom of the Cimmerians. I’m feeling pretty good about how I’m doing, right now, all things considered. Maybe this kingdom will grow on me, yet.

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