Eternal Sunshine #34

November 2009

By Douglas Kent, 11111 Woodmeadow Pkwy #2327, Dallas, TX 75228

Email: doug of or diplomacyworld of

On the web at – or go directly to the Diplomacy section at  Also be sure to visit the official Diplomacy World website which can be found at  Also remember to check out for official Toby the Helpful Kitty news, advice column, blog, and links to all his available merchandise!  Links to many of the books and DVDs reviewed can be found by clicking on the Amazon Store button in the main menu of the Whining Kent Pigs website.  Or go to where women can learn all the secrets of how a man’s mind works, and why they act the way they do.

All Eternal Sunshine readers are encouraged to join the free Eternal Sunshine Yahoo group at to stay up-to-date on any subzine news or errata.  We also have our own Eternal Sunshine Twitter feed at

Quote Of The MonthI thought maybe you were a nut... but you were exciting.” (Joel in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)


Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only subzine in the Diplomacy universe that comes out six times more frequently (at least) than the zine it supposedly appears in.  At this point I’m willing to take bets on which zine appears first: Costaguana, Vertigo, Absolute!, or The Abyssinian Prince.  And TAP is barely the favorite at the moment on the odds boards.  One tip though: don’t try to bet the trifecta, because you’ll be dead long before we discover who comes in third place on that list.


This month has seemed to last forever, but at the same time there’s very little news to report.  Heather continues with her classes, I’m still working, the cats are fine…just the usual life stuff.  Our anniversary is on Halloween, so of course I’ve had to spent some time trying to find small and meaningful gifts I can give to celebrate the big day.  I don’t think I’ve assembled anything close to what I wanted to accomplish, but Heather always seems pleased; even if she is probably faking it. 


I continue to resist the temptation to bring a third cat into the household.  There was one in particular who I was in love with at the orphanage where we volunteer: Vivian (her original name was Violet but they changed it).  A beautiful and sweet-natured gray-colored ball of love, she’s a particular fan of tummy rubs.  Unfortunately, not only is our apartment a bit too small for another cat, but Sanka seems determined to keep Toby all to herself.  Toby, on the other hand, seems to love every cat he meets.  He’d have no problem sharing the apartment with Vivian.  He’s always looking for new playmates, and he’s quite the ladies’ cat…every adult female he meets is a potential new love of his life.



There is also Tabitha, who is loving and quiet and has been at the orphanage for 6 months already.  I don’t know why she hasn’t been adopted, but if you live in the Dallas area and want a cat, please get in touch with me!













Finally, there is my new love, Kalani.  A slightly big-hipped female black cat, with a short tail, I only met her for the first time last week.  Kalani is nothing but love, purrs, and paw-kneading.  Hopefully Heather won’t go meet her personally, otherwise we could have a major problem on our hands!


In zine news, we STILL have one open spot for the Cronin Special Diplomacy game.  This game should be light-hearted, fun, and a chance to help a few younger players experience a zine game for the first time.  So consider signing up!  If we don’t get some new sign-ups for Fog of War or Deviant I’ll drop those for the time being.  Another classic variant would be next on the list; Cline 9-man, or perhaps something somewhat forgotten.  I bump into a lot of older variants during my time scanning zines for the Postal Diplomacy Zine Archive, so I may take a shot and try one of them.  As of today (Sunday morning) I haven’t finished my personal writing chapter – the same one I hadn’t finished last issue, as I simply haven’t felt much writing motivation this past month.  Work has been occupying much more time than usual.  But who knows…maybe by Tuesday I’ll have enough written to include it in this issue.  Meanwhile, you get Part 4 of “I’m No Edward Norton,” and next issue will be the final installment of that.  Jack McHugh asked me “How could you have the nerve to print THAT?”  I’d like to hear some OTHER feedback, whether it’s positive or negative.


That’s it…in the days immediately following the release of this issue there will be my birthday and our anniversary…and then it will be time to start planning Thanksgiving.  Be warned: the deadlines for the next issue fall BEFORE Thanksgiving, as they are based off of the last Tuesday of the month.  Get your orders in early, even if they are just preliminary!


Have a great month, and I’ll see you in December!


Playlist: A Fine Frenzy – One Cell in the Sea; Toad the Wet Sprocket – Coil; Sorta – Strange and Sad But True; Glen Phillips – Winter Pays for Summer; Danny Balis – Too Much Living.










Eternal Sunshine Playhouse

Just a reminder…the events are basically all a true account of how Heather and I met, and our first date.  I wrote the play longhand from prison for the anniversary of our first date.  Some names have been changed for reasons I forget at the time I typed it in (even Heather’s daughter’s name), but otherwise this is very close to how it went.


I’m No Edward Norton

(An Anniversary Gift to Heather Taylor)

By Douglas Kent, © 2009

Part Four



Doug sits on a bench on the far side of Stage Left.  To the right, near Center Stage, is a table.  Stage Right remains dark; it still contains Heather's apartment.

Doug sits nervously, glancing at his watch, with a small package on his lap.  He is wearing a paper cut-out mask over his face, with eyeholes cut out.  A piece of string fastens the mask around his head.  The mask is a photocopy of Edward Norton's face, enlarged to be approximately life-size.

A WAITER approaches the bench.  Doug lifts the mask.


Table for how many?


Well, it will be for two, but I'm still waiting for someone.

Doug glances at his watch.


Do you know what time it is?


I believe it is about 7:20, sir.

Doug's cell phone rings.  Stage Right lights up.  In her apartment, Heather is frantically pulling a jacket on as she holds the phone to her ear, trying to do everything at once.




Oh God, I am so sorry I'm late!


That's okay.  I was starting to worry that you weren't coming at all.


No, I'm sorry.  I'm always late.  I couldn't decide what to wear, and I did my hair, but I can't get it the way I want it and I'm such a klutz.  Have you been waiting long?


I got here half an hour early.


Oh no, why?


I didn't know how bad traffic would be, and I didn't want to be late.


Oh, I'm so sorry.


Really, as long as you're still coming it's okay.  Actually, this is the best I've felt all day.


You've been sick?


I've been a nauseas nervous wreck!  Pacing around the office, my stomach hurt, my heart is racing, my head is pounding.  I'm an insecure mess!


At least that makes two of us.  I thought I was going to throw up all day long.  I had to leave work early!


Thank goodness you did, or who knows how late you'd be then?


Stop!  I said I was sorry.


It's fine.  Actually Heather, I know this will sound fake and corny, but hearing your voice has suddenly made me feel calm and relaxed.  Take your time, and I'll be waiting when you get here.


Oh, you're so sweet!  Okay, I'm leaving right now, and I'm only a couple of blocks away.  I'll see you in a few minutes.


I'll be here.  Bye.

Heather and Doug each hang up the phone.  Heather races around her apartment for another few minutes, searching for her purse, then her keys, and finally exits through her door.  Stage Right fades to black again.  As she does all of this, Doug begins to speak.


(to himself)

What's wrong with me?  Why am I so nervous?  I haven't even met this woman yet.  How can I be so emotional already?  Oh, let's face it Doug.  You have completely fallen for Heather and you don't even know what she looks like.  You're so hers, and you haven't laid eyes on her yet.

Doug pulls his mask down and looks to the entrance, straining his neck a bit to view an unseen person enter and pass by.


Whew, glad that wasn't her.  What if she's got the anti-look?  What am I supposed to do?


There's nothing I can do.  I've never felt like this before.  It doesn't matter.  Whatever she looks like, I'll have to get over it.  She can be a troll.  She's already stolen my heart.  It just feels too right.

Doug adjusts his mask some more, and looks to the entrance.


Oh, please don't let that be her.  She looks like she's fifty years old.

Doug watches the unseen woman pass by.


(looking up at the sky)

Thank you!

The Waiter approaches.


Still waiting sir?


Yes, but I just spoke to her.  She'll be here in a moment.


What's with the mask?  Hiding from the paparazzi?



No, it's a long story.

The Waiter retreats, and Heather walks into the restaurant.  She sees Doug in his mask, and laughs out loud, eliminating any doubt to her identity.  She looks stunning, in a leatherette jacket with a gold-colored butterfly stick pin on the lap.  She's dressed in a black sweater, black and white knee-length plaid skirt, black tight, and simple black shoes.  She carries a small package in her left hand.  Doug stands and stares, unable to speak.  Heather walks forward and sits down on the bench, smiling sweetly.  Doug joins her, his arms uncertainly suppressing the urge to hug her.  Instead he  places his left hand on Heather's right knee.


Take that silly thing off!

Doug removes the mask, still staring at Heather.  Heather looks down, flattered but embarrassed.


So?  Do I have the "anti-look"?


Are you kidding me.  It's "The Look."  You're incredible.



Thank you.


It's a good thing you showed up.  I think they were nervous that I was going to rob the place, with the mask and all.


You didn't just out it on?


How could I, when I didn't know who you were?  I've had it on since I got here an hour ago.


Oh don't tell me that!

The Waiter approaches again.


Ready sir?


Yes, I think so.


Smoking or non-smoking?

Doug looks at Heather for a preference.




(to Heather)

You're the boss.

(to the Waiter)

Smoking please.

The waiter leads them to the table.  They are to be seated at opposite sides of the table.  Doug helps seat Heather, then moves to the other side and seats himself.


Can I get either of you something to drink?


I'm not much of a drinker, but I think I'll have a margarita.


I'll have one also, to start.  But you'd better hurry, because the way things are going I might need a refill soon.

The Waiter leaves, and Doug and Heather begin looking at the menu.


Do you want an appetizer or anything?


I'm not really that hungry.  They have good fajitas here though.


Would you like to split an order?  I've been so nervous all day that I'm not too hungry either.


That sounds good.

The Waiter reappears, carrying a tray with the drinks atop it.  He places them on the table.


Are you ready to order?


Yes, we're going to split an order of fajitas.


A single order?


Please.  Don't worry, we don't eat much but we're great tippers.

The Waiter departs.  Doug takes a swig of his drink but keeps his eyes on Heather.


I'm sorry if I keep staring.  I'm not sure where I'm supposed to look.  And I can't believe how beautiful you are.


Thank you.


So what do we do now?


Get to know each other better, I suppose.


Tell me about your marriage, and your child.  If you don't mind talking about it, that is.  I mean the marriage, not the child.


Well, I'll start with my daughter.  Her name is Bailey.  She's three.


I can already see how much you love her, your face just lit up.


She's the best thing I have ever done in my life.  Because of her, my marriage was worthwhile.  Without George I wouldn't have had Bailey.


That's true.  Does she live with you?


No, I decided she'd be better off living with George and his grandmother.  She gets full time attention there, more than I could have given her by myself, with work and school.  I go and see her Tuesdays and Thursdays.


You don't think that makes me a bad parent, letting my daughter live with her father, do you?


On the contrary, Heather.  I think that was an incredibly brave and difficult thing to have done, to put what you felt was best for your daughter first.  A lot of women might not have been so willing to make that kind of a sacrifice.


Thank you.  I try to be a good mother.


I like the way you say my name.


I didn't know there was another way to say it.


There isn't, really, but it just sounds good.


It's one of my favorite names.  Heather.  It's beautiful.  And you really look like a Heather.


Thank you.


So what about your marriage?  How long did it last?

The Waiter returns and serves the meal, interrupting the conversation momentarily.  He exits again.


Oh, I almost forgot, I have a little gift for you.


I've got one for you too!

They exchange packages, and each opens their gift.


A notebook.  Thank you, it's lovely.  I like the cover design especially.


"Drop Dead Gorgeous" and "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles."  Thank you Doug.


Well I wanted to bring you a little something, and flowers or chocolates seemed too obvious for a first date.  Besides, I told you I'd have to make sure you saw "Planes-Trains."


I figured you needed the notebook, since I ruined your Saturday and everything.


I'd rather say that you gave me a much better alternate plan for my day.  I'm willing to say that this past Saturday will go into my Top 10 Saturdays of all time.


I'm flattered.


So do you feel like talking about your marriage?  You show me yours and I'll show you mine?


Well I'm not sure what to tell you.  George was younger than me, but we seemed to be in love and get along well together.  After we married, everything changed.  He became a control freak.  He always had to know exactly where I was, what I was doing.  We lived by his rules, his schedule.  He was a Nazi when it came to house cleaning.  Once a week he even made me open our video cabinet and dust every tape individually.  He didn't like me to read because I wasn't "with" him then.  I had to sit on the sofa while he watched his boring black-and-white sitcom reruns.


That sounds awful.  So he completely changed?


Not just that.  He wanted to change me too.  He didn't like my friends; I had to stop seeing them.  He hated the way I dressed; it was too "weird."  And then, in the end, he lied to me and cheated on me.  First he changes me, and then he complains that I'm not the same woman that he married.


I'm sorry.  This may sound stupid, but I can't imagine somebody wanting to change you.  I think you're so wonderful just the way you are.  I know I just met you, but that's how I feel.


You say some very sweet things.


I wouldn't say then if I didn't mean them.


So, are you going to show me yours?


Why not?  If you want to see it.  But remember, I said no sex!


Not that, silly.  You're marriage!  Are you uncomfortable talking about it?


No, not really.  Just your normal decade-long nightmare of hospitals, illness, in-laws, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches--



It must be very hard for you to stay "on" all the time like that, isn't it?


(long pause)

How can you see through me, and into me, so easily Heather?


I suppose it’s because I've used all the same tricks.  It's a defense mechanism.


I can't believe you can knock down all of my walls like that.  With one look, one sentence.


You don't have to talk about it if you don't feel like it.


It's okay.  Marcie was my first love.  She was 18.  I was 15, a pimply teenager.  Somehow she saw through that and fell in love with the man inside.  I knew she had demons in her, but I made it my mission to save her form them.  She had been molested by her grandfather for a number of years, but I thought I could fix her if I worked hard enough.  I tried everything I could, but every time we'd climb one hill, a new mountain would appear.  She started getting sick, and was diagnosed with Crohn's disease.  I passed up going to college so I could go right to work and get us an apartment.  When I was nineteen she said we either had to get married or break up, but I knew if she had to move back home she'd kill herself.  So we got married.


Did you actually want to get married?


I wanted Marcie to be happy.  That's not the same thing, but at the time I thought it was.  Then she had a nervous breakdown and checked into a mental hospital for four months.  Excuse me.

Starting to cry, Doug pulls a white handkerchief from his pocket and wipes his eyes.


You carry a handkerchief?


Every day.  I know that's sort of old-fashioned, but I'm really an old-fashioned romantic at heart.  I like  to write love letters, surprise my love with cards and flowers, small gifts.  Open the door for her.  My last girlfriend was sort of uncomfortable about that kind of attention.


That's her loss.  I wish more men were true romantics and knew how to treat a woman.  So then what happened with your wife?


Her mental health stabilized, but she was alternating between a long list of physical and mental problems.  Soon after we got married she told me, point blank, that if I ever wanted a divorce all I had to do was let her know; she'd gladly kill herself in that instance, because I was the only reason she had for living.


That's quite a burden to put on someone.


I know, but it just made me try harder.  Eventually she gained an incredible amount of weight, until she weight over 400 pounds and needed a wheelchair to get around outside the house.  Through it all I stood by her.  Through the day-long migraine, the weeks where I never left the house except to go to work.  I stayed through the manic fits, the tantrums where she threw and smashed things, the emergency room visits, the hospitalizations.  I held her hand, wiped her tears, brought her flowers, cleaned the shit from her clothes when she was sick, but I couldn't fix her.  Finally, fifteen years to the day  from when we first started dating, she gave up on life and swallowed a bottle of Xanax.  She lived, and there's a lot more to the story, but it was a close thing.


Oh that had to be so hard on you.


It was, and I still feel guilty about it.  But when she gave up on life, that's when I gave up for good on the marriage.  We're still good friends though.  She's living in Florida, and just remarried.  I'm hoping that she finds all the happiness she deserves, at last.


I hope I didn't push you too hard to talk about all that.


Actually it was refreshing to get some of that out.  I usually try to make everything into a funny story.


I think the way you told it was just fine.  It was honest, and honesty is important to me.


So I'm not a complete disappointment in person?


No Doug, I think you're even better in person.


How many margaritas did you have again?

The Waiter returns to clear the table.


Any dessert tonight?

Doug looks to Heather, who shakes her head.


(to The Waiter)

No, not tonight.  I think we've had all the food we can handle.

The Waiter leaves the bill and takes the dishes away.  Doug looks at the bill and puts cash down to pay for the meal.


(to Heather)

I hope it’s okay that I'm buying.  I wouldn't really want it any other way.


No, I don't mind at all.


I only live around the corner you know.  Would you like to come over and see my apartment?


Are you sure that's okay with you?


I'm positive.  I'd like you to.

Doug and Heather gather their things and walk towards the exit.  Doug reaches over and holds Heather's hand as they walk.


It's okay to hold your hand?


Yes, it's very okay.




But remember, no sex!

The lights fade to black.


Hypothetical of the Month


Last month, we gave you these two hypotheticals: #1 – As a magazine publisher, you buy ALL rights to a story for $500.  Unexpectedly the story inspires a movie and nets you $500,000.  Do you share any of your windfall with the author?  #2 – During lunch, a valued client makes some offensive racist remarks.  Do you make an issue of it?


Melinda Holley - #1 - Yes.  While I may legally able to keep all the money, any future authors may be reluctant to do business with me.  Sharing the windfall with the author will go a long way to establishing positive credentials with other authors in the business.  


#2 - Are these remarks made in public or in a private conversation?  If it's a private conversation, I'd probably tear a strip off that person and suggest he find someone else to work with.  If it was done in public, I'd speak in a very cold and cutting tone of voice and say that I didn't appreciate either the comment or the attitude and that perhaps I needed to rethink our association.


Andy York - #1 - In the situation you list, yes (with the implied condition that it was submitted rather than piece work). I'd hope to encourage more writing by the individual and that they would think of the magazine I published as first in line.   If it was piece work (i.e., they were hired to produce it or it was a part of their routine employment), I might. However, the reward for this situation would be a higher rate for their next piece or a raise/bonus as part of the employment package. 


#2 - Depends on the circumstances and the context of the remarks; but I'd likely talk to the individual off to the side and let them know my views.


Per Westling - #1 - Yes I would at least give the author something, although maybe just 10%. I would also buy more stories from the author in the future, with better deals for the author. 


#2 - Knowing myself I would probably clam up, and sulk. I have been in similar, less critical, situation and sometimes, but not always, I have started arguing.


Mark D Lew - #1. Seems unlikely it would be my decision to make, since the rights probably belong to some sort of corporation. But assuming it is, I'll give the guy something as a gift, but make it clear it's just to be friendly and nothing to do with any obligation since he sold it fair and square. I'm thinking somewhere around the $1,000 range, which is a pretty small piece of my profit. 


#2. Depends what you mean by an "issue". I certainly mention it, but I don't think it has to be confrontational. Just say, "Dude, that's totally uncool and a lot of people would find that offensive." (Or if I personally found it offensive, which I probably wouldn't since I'm not easily offended, "...and I find it offensive.")  It does not make me decide not to do business with him; if me telling him I don't like his remark makes him decide not to do business with me, so be it.


Don Williams - #1. Of course I give the author a bigger cut – I’m a good person and have integrity and believe in “karma”.  (“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy … “)  I’m also a good businessman – if I give the author a better percentage on the original, maybe he writes something else for me and we go on to make even more money.


#2. Do I make an “issue” of his racist comment?  Depends on what you mean by “issue”.  The first time, I would let him know, perhaps verbally, but more likely non-verbally, that I found the comment distasteful and uncivil.  More than 70% of face-to-face communication is non-verbal, and humans have been socially and biologically overwritten with a very good understanding of non-verbal cues, so he/she would get the message.  If that one racist comment was end of it, I doubt the issue would arise again.  If it happened again, I would make a verbal comment about it as my not saying anything now makes me a partner, willing or otherwise, as that person should know where I stand on the issue.  The client aspect is also confusing … I have clients, but they are members of the public.  If this were a paying client who bought a service or product from me I would do the same.


For the record, this is not a hypothetical question and I’ve said something to someone (twice) in the past.  Where this whole thing breaks down, though, is at the point of “What is a racist comment?”  Some comments are obviously racist, and many more are not.  What is offensive to some may not be offensive to others .. and I don’t mean that disingenuously.  I grew up calling a chicano a chicano and a black a black … hey, it was the seventies and everyone was doing it.  Now, to some people, both of those labels – and they are labels – are considered racist, or at least disrespectful and offensive, but at the time it was the name preferred by blacks and chicanos themselves.  I’ve also been involved when a person of color uses offensive language regarding their own color and I find that racist and offensive and have also made a comment about it.  (I have one black employee who often slips into “ebonics” to ridicule other blacks, and I’ve repeatedly told her to knock it off.)


Heather Taylor - #1. Yes, I’d give him 10%.  I’m that kind of person.


#2. It depends how offensive the remarks were. 


Wow, we got quite a few responses this month.  Let’s keep it up.  And remember, iif you’d like to comment on any of these responses, feel free…generally I’d put those in the letter column.


For Next Month (For the time being, I am selecting questions from the game “A Question of Scruples” which was published in 1984 by High Games Enterprises).  Remember you can make your answers as detailed as you wish.: #1. A friend has designs on a colleague of yours who is married.  He asks you to introduce them.  Do you?   #2.  Two of your friends have had a fight and are not speaking.  One regularly makes inquiries about the other.  Do you give information candidly?


The Dining Dead -
The Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews


Extract – I’m sure there are people out there who have seen Office Space and hated it.  There must be.  But so far I haven’t found any.   That isn’t to say that the humor of Mike Judge is beloved in all cases; Idiocracy – while a favorite film of some people – was to me a great idea with horrendously unfunny execution.  Fortunately, Extract returns us back to the same sort of familiar humor as Office Space: an Everyman who is somewhat unhappy in his life, while surrounded by oddball characters and morons, is forced to determine what he can do to make himself satisfied with life again.


In the case of Extract, our straight man is Joel (Jason Bateman).  Joel is a successful businessman, the founder and owner of a company which produces and sells flavoring extracts.  It’s not an exciting business, although he does find some pleasure in it.  His employees are generally incompetent or lack basic skills, but Joel knows them by name and in feels sorry for those who need some help (many of his employees were hired off of the “Job One” program, which by inference is for unskilled laborers). 


Joel has grown tired of this life, and hopes to sell the business so he can retire.  In the meantime, his sex life with his wife is non-existent.  His former co-worker and buddy Dean (Ben Affleck) is a bartender at a local hotel, and he tries to give Joel advice on how to spice up his life.  Enter Cindy (Mila Kunis), an attractive con-artist who uses her feminine wiles to get what she wants.  In an effort to hook up with an injured worker, and to convince him to sue Joel’s company, Cindy joins the workforce, and feigns interest in Joel.  Strongly attracted to her, Joel considers cheating on his wife…but his guilt would never let him do that.


In typical stoner fashion, Dean comes up with a plan to relive that guilt: they will hire a gigolo he knows, and give Joel’s wife the opportunity to be seduced by him.  If she succumbs, Joel will no longer feel guilty, and he’ll be free to have sex with Cindy.


As with Office Space, the plot is almost secondary to the characters Joel is surrounded with.  His goofy employees, his annoying neighbor, the moronic gigolo/landscaper are all good for laughs.  Gene Simmons (of Kiss fame) appears as an obnoxious and somewhat creepy lawyer who advertises on television and represents the injured worker, and even he gets a chuckle or two.  If you’ve seen Office Space and enjoyed it, I think you’ll find Extract very funny, even if it is not up to the hilarity of Office Space.  That film is a classic; this one is just a really good time.


Paranormal Activity – Alfred Hitchcock once gave an interview where he explained what suspense was, and how it could be used.  In essence, he said that having a bomb under a desk blow up could be frightening, but having that same bomb sit under the desk for five minutes while two men in the room discussed baseball, unaware of the bomb’s existence, was unnerving suspense.  Paranormal Activity, which in some ways is the new Blair Witch Project (a micro-budget horror film which is growing in popularity by word of mouth), successfully uses that Hitchcockian principle to frighten audiences at times, and keep them uneasy the rest of the film.


The plot is simple enough, and much of it could be (and probably was) taken from episodes of A Haunting, Ghosts, or any of a number of cable television shows which retell haunting experiences which are supposedly based on truth.  As Heather and I recently finished watching seasons 1 and 2 of A Haunting, many of the ingredients were very familiar: a young couple (Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat, who use their first names as their character names as well) live in a two-story home in San Diego.  Prior to the start of the film, we’re led to believe they have experienced a number of nighttime disturbances: noises, bumps, and voices.  Katie has revealed to Micah that this is nothing new for her; she’d gone through similar periods when she was 8, 13, and at other times.  Micah doesn’t take the events seriously, but he does relish the idea of capturing any paranormal activity on film.  So he buys himself a digital movie camera, which he sets up in their bedroom to capture anything they might miss while asleep.


The story progresses as you would expect it to.  The activity grows more frequent and more alarming, and now they have proof that something or someone is causing it.  Katie becomes more frightened and agitated, while Micah seems to dare the forces to let themselves be seen; whether this is because he wants more “cool” footage, or because he feels he can deal with the problem if it is no longer hidden (or both), we’re not sure.  A psychic is brought in, who suggests that because this has followed Katie throughout her life, it is demonic rather than a haunting.  In this instance, leaving the home will do no good; it has followed Katie before, and it likely would do so again.  He suggests they call on a colleague who specializes in such matters, but Micah is the normal alpha male, and he is determined to learn the answers to all the questions and eliminate the problem on his own, despite Katie’s protests.  So step by step he makes stupid decisions and antagonizes the situation, which would be less believable in a larger film.  But here, where the action never leaves the house and the interaction between the couple is shown in such minute detail, it doesn’t come across as dishonest characterization.  And, as it happens, Micah does many of the same things other husbands and boyfriends do in various episodes of “true life” haunting episodes on television.


The suspense lies in the videos the camera takes.  These are played back for the audience, with a clock in the lower right hand corner.  The videos speed through in time-lapse format until something is about to happen, at which time they slow to real-time speed.  This is the Hitchcock method; we know something is going to happen, but we simply don’t know what it will be.  Sometimes it is benign, such as Katie waking from a nightmare.  Other times, it is unworldly. 


If you go to see this film alone, it won’t be that enjoyable.  See it with someone you know; our theater was rather empty, but that did not detract from our enjoyment or Paranormal Activity.  It isn’t a horror film in the modern sense (where bloody, violent movies like Saw VI and remakes of Halloween or April Fool’s Day rule the box office), but more of a suspense film.  Regardless of how you classify it, it’s a fun movie (and Heather was really scared and uptight by the time it ended, which is always a bonus).


Seen on DVD – Rocky (B+, still holds up very well, despite being over 30 years old now).  The Eighteenth Angel (C-, you’d think a movie with generally high production values and a few very nice shots would spend a few more hours filling up the canyon-sized holes in the script).  Papillon (B+, always a great movie but it just drags out during the last 30 minutes). Californication Season 1 (A-, this series was much better than I expected, and ended with a terrific cliffhanger).  Flatliners (B+, even after all these years a decent movie, and an exceptional direction and cinematography job creating a very dark mood).  Duel (B+, early Steven Spielberg film which was a movie of the week on TV, still holds up well). April Fool’s Day (B, the original, kinda dopey but fun to watch, and no real gore).  Following (B+, Christopher Nolan [Memento] wrote and directed this effective semi-noir film, which has some Memento-like aspects with cuts forward and back but not in such a puzzling way).  The Blair Witch Project (B, it will never be as scary as it was opening weekend in a crowded art house theater, but once a year or so it is still good entertainment, especially if you have the deluxe version which includes the back-story extras).  The Brood (C+, still creepy but not as fun as I remember.)

Meet Me In Montauk
The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column

Tom Swider: Not sure about some of those answers for "movies difficult to interpret".  Brazil?  View the director's final cut and it's very clear, assuming you realize that many movies have dream sequences (e.g. the music is definitely a cue). Eyes Wide Shut? Kidman's little soliloquies at the end (while shopping at FAO Swartz's) sums up the movie (about indiscretions, whether real or imagined). Memento? Put the DVD in and spin it backwards. Plan 9? Required viewing before any trip to Salt Lake City. Mulholland Drive? It's art like Eraserhead so just watch and enjoy the moments and moods. 2001: A Space Odyssey? Confirms that the lunar landing was indeed faked by NASA.


[[I do agree that Memento and Plan 9 do NOT in any way belong on the list.  Following, listed in the Seen on DVD section, is worth a watch if you haven’t seen it yet, and again does not belong on the list.]]


Andy York: About Inglorious Basterds - I thought it was one of the best Tarantino movies I've seen. You capture the madcap plot twists and storylines that seem to derail (or at least end up on the wrong track); but still move forward. I recommend it as well.


[[Those first 20 minutes were exquisite, almost like a little movie of its own.]]


Per Westling: One improvement to ES would be to use page numbers. It would make it easier to read the PDF version.

[[I have added them beginning this issue.]]

I should probably be ashamed that I hadn't found my way to ES before this, but at last I am here... Fanzines have been a no-go for 10 years but now I'm feeling that it might be time to take it up again…well, not publishing - that is probably not in the future, even though it is completely different thing today with its blogs, PDFs, Facebook etc I don't even think a column is likely, but who knows. Anyway, you got an article to DW#100 at least.

Speaking of 10 years, last year was first time in about that period that I visited a game con, LinCon. I went again this year, and probably will next year. Nice to refresh on the game scene and see which new games there were.


[[I know there are so many excellent new games out there, but to date I haven’t gotten around to trying any of them.  I’m stuck in the past.]]


Paraic Reddington: Just a thought. If you are looking for content ideas - how about a serial story where you get a different guest writer to submit a new chapter each issue? Nobody knows where the story is going or how it will end. Each issue's writer can take it wherever he or she wishes it to go - but it must begin where the previous 'chapter' finished.


[[I used to do such a thing in my pre-zine days on my BBS network (most of you will have no idea what that means).  Anybody out there interested in joining a community story?]]


Out of the WAY #13


by W. Andrew York

(wandrew88 of





It’s been a quiet month, for the most part, after my return from Chicago. The only out of the ordinary thing I’ve done is take a trip on the Austin Steam Train. Granted, the steam engine part of the steam train was filled in by a diesel engine as the vintage steam engine is undergoing an extensive overhaul and complete rebuild. However, it was still a worthwhile outing - my first on a real train since I was six or seven, taking a trip to visit my aunt in Detroit from Lansing Michigan.

Starting just northwest of where I live, the train leaves from a station in Cedar Park. This particular Saturday, it consisted of two lounge cars, two climate controlled cars, a snack bar/souvenir car and four non-climate controlled cars. I rode in one of the ones without heating or air conditioning as I expected a nice October afternoon, which it turned out to be.

The roughly two hour outbound trip was relaxing, rolling through beautiful countryside and a surprisingly quiet set of passengers - even the many kids weren’t too loud or rambunctious. Considering they had a captive audience, the can of soda was only a dollar and the staff )almost all volunteers) were very attentive and were concerned with making the trip as enjoyable as possible. As an added plus, the conductor (who actually walked through the cars, punching tickets and chatting) is Ben Sargent - a local Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist who would autograph a print of the train available for purchase.

For this trip, once the destination of Burnet (pronounced Burn-It) was reached, there was a two and a half hour layover to wander the town, eat lunch at one of the restaurants, visit the farmer’s market, have a picnic, etc. Near the end of the layover, there was a short “Wild West gunfight” skit and then the train loaded for the leisurely return trip. Quite a few folks napped on the trip back along the same track to Cedar Park. All in all, a great time!

I’ll have to take another trip sometime soon. They have a shorter trip to Bertram (with a fifteen minute turnaround), a Polar Express Christmas trip, murder mystery outings and other special event trips.

Below you’ll find the usual and an end to the first “Hangman, by Definition” game. Based on one known letter in the word and one letter in the definition not only did one person figure it out, but two! Mark Lew coasts to an easy win, getting four of the five words with Dane Maslen coming up with two. Another game is starting with slightly revised rules - instead of spotting players “E” and “S”, those letters can never be revealed. We’ll see if this will level the playing field a little.





Poll Question


Each month a question will be posed to the readership. Your thoughts and commentary are solicited for the next issue. Also, any response to

                what folks have submitted for the previous question are very welcome.


This issue: Football, baseball, soccer (OK non-American football), golf – what is the one sport you couldn’t

            do without and why is it so important to you?


[Doug Kent] I think I ENJOY watching Football the most, and look forward to the season more than any other, but a big part of that is because

                there are a limited number of games. Overall however, Baseball is my sport. I have been a fan since I was a very young child. I love

                the statistics, the records, the history, the chess-match each pitch is...I prefer the low-scoring games we used to have, as a 1-0 nothing

                game excited me much more than an 11-7 one. But as a part of my childhood, and a sport which I can see or hear every game my

                local team plays (but where I can get the true feel of the game from a decent box score and recap), it is the game that I am most

                deeply tied with.


[Per Westling] Sport I couldn’t do without. I would say (ice) hockey. I see about 40 games live each season, and read sports papers. Watching

                the games are often (but not always) exciting, and I think that the feeling is increased if you rout for a team. The happiness that you

                can feel when your team is playing good and successful, is something you long for. At the same time, when your team is doing badly,

                or even is defeated in the playoffs, can make you feel miserable for days.


[WAY] For me, I don’t watch that much in the way of sports, though this year I’ve seen quite a bit of baseball as my interest in it has

                reawakened. I also watch a bit of college football (local University of Texas games, and the occasional Notre Dame one - a team a

                friend of mine follows). But, is any of it “couldn’t do without”, Nope. Though, baseball is to good have on the TV in the background.


For next issue: With ten (count ‘em ten!) films to be in the running for “Best Picture” Oscar, which ones

            from 2009 do you think are worthy of being included?

The Month in History


November 4, 1939 - The US passes the Neutrality Acts allowing “Cash and Carry” arms purchases to any country able to buy arms and

                transport them to their country. Effectively, this is a benefit only for the Allied countries due to the blockade of Germany.


November 9, 1989 - After a poorly worded announcement that all East Germans would be eligible to receive passports, the population of East

                Berlin begin to gather at various crossing points in the Berlin Wall. At 11:17pm, unable to obtain orders or direction from their

                superiors and, after hearing reports that other crosspoints were being opened, the guards at Checkpoint Charlie allow free passage

                into West Berlin and, effectively, brought down the Wall (though, physically, it lasted a bit longer).


November 17, 1869 - The 101-mile Suez Canal opens for business.


November 22, 1859 - On the Origin of Species by Darwin is published and sells out the first printing in one day. Soon, the debate between

                Creationism and Evolution begins and is unresolved even today.


November 30, 1939 - The Russo-Finnish War begins, with the much smaller and less well equipped military of Finland fending off the massive

                Soviet force sent against it for nearly four months. The resulting purges do little to prepare their country for the upcoming German



Sources include: current issue of Smithsonian; The World Almanac Book of World War II edited by Peter Young





Letter Column

(always welcome, send them in!)


[Per Westling] Regarding local products, I buy quite a lot of organic & local food, even bio dynamic. For example I tend to choose district

                brand of milk (East Gothia) to the national brand (Arla), and once a week we get Ekoladan (Eco Box) delivered to our door,

                containing ecological (and sometimes biodynamic) growth of vegetables and fruit. That’s from an Antroposophic community close to

                Stockholm, Sweden. (Of course, local produced fruit is difficult in a cold country....). Besides local produced food and ecological

                food, I also try to choose Fair Trade brands to support Third world countries. [WAY] Fair trade products (which are those from Third

                World countries that work to maximize profits for the farmer, not the middlemen in the delivery chain) are not well publicized or

                available in the local markets, beyond coffee and, to some extent, tea. I wish there was more of it readily available.


    [Per] Speaking of locally produced things, one of the government boards gave an official recommendation that people should buy locally

                produced things. They got based by the European Union, as they regard freedom of trade between countries as more important than

                the environment! Even though in some parts of this country, locally produced by all means would mean produced in another country.

                [WAY] It’s good to hear from you again Per and I hope to hear more from you in the future.





Babylon 5 Quote


In The Paragon of Animals:


                G’Kar: “The universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice. The language is not Narn or Human or Centauri or

                                Gaim or Minbari. It speaks in the language of hope. It speaks in the language of trust. It speaks in the language of

                                strength, and the language of compassion, the language of the heart and the language of the soul. But always it is

                                the same voice. It is the voice of our ancestors speaking through us, and the voice of our inheritors waiting to be


        “It is the small voice that says ‘We are one. No matter the blood, no matter the skin, no matter the world, no

matter the star, we are one. N matter the pain, no matter the darkness, no matter the loss, no matter the fear, we

are one.’ Here, gathered together in common cause, we agree to recognize this singular truth, and this singular

rule, that we must be kind to one another.

        “Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us, and each voice lost diminishes us. We are the voice of the

universe. The soul of creation. The fire that will light the way to a better future. We are one.

        “We are one.”


Source: But In Purple...I’m Stunning! by J. Michael Straczynski, edited by Sara “Samm” Barnes, copyright 2008.





Recipe of the Month


Recipe Philosophy: Except for baking, recipes are only suggestions. I rarely precisely measure, eyeballing most everything. The listed

                measurements, for the most part, are estimates from the last time I made the recipe. Feel free to adjust to meet your personal tastes –

                and remember, it is easier to add “more” of something than to compensate when “too much” has been added.


For ingredients, if you don’t like raw onions, omit them or replace with celery to retain the crunchiness. If you like food with more spice, add

                an extra jalapeno or use habenaros instead. On the other hand, if you don’t like spicy food, replace the jalapeno with half a bell

                pepper. Optional items are used when I’m looking for a variation or making it for individuals with specific preferences.


Grilled Pepper Snacks


version by W Andrew York

(last revised October 2009)


Ingredients (per serving):


                6                              Italian, or Other Mild and Long, Peppers

                1 pkg                       String Cheese (six portions)




                1) Slice stem end from peppers and remove seeds without splitting the peppers

                2) Insert one portion of string cheese into the pepper

                                (there should be about an inch between the top of the cheese and the sliced end of the pepper)

                3) Grill over hot coals until cheese is melted and exterior of pepper is done




                - If cheese is melting out of the pepper, tilt the cut end up slightly or prop up on a spare cooking utensil

                - For a spicier bite, dice jalapenos and press into the cheese before putting into the pepper.

                - For a more substantial serving, diced cheese and mix with ham or pre-cooked hamburger before placing in the pepper..







                I’ve recently been reading a book titled Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews in World War II (by Norman H. Gershman in 2008). In it, the author includes photographs and documents the stories of families in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia who protected Jews and other refugees from the Germans during the war. It is more of a coffee table book in price and presentation, but the humanity and faith within the stories is thought-provoking and humbling.

                The baseline of the story is the Albanian principle of Besa or an individual’s word of honor. Once given, the person is bound by it regardless of the consequences. And, as the foreword states, it was “coupled with another inherently Albanian folk principle - that of giving refuge to someone in need of help.” The result was few of the Albanian Jews were ever sent to the concentration camps. Additionally, after Italy’s surrender, Italian troops were sheltered as were other refugees.

                Many of the stories include statement that the entire village knew of the Jews in their midst, but no one would tell the Germans or that the Jews offered money or valuables in return for the shelter; but they refused. The families often shared the same rooms, food and accepted each other as family. And, they did it with little publicity after the war or with expectation of recognition.

                Israel has acknowledged many of their efforts by naming them as “Righteous Among the Nations” and this book records their sacrifices and efforts to protect their neighbors and others in need. In some stories, families are still holding property left behind for their families to reclaim, others have regained contact with those they sheltered since the fall of Communism; but all take their actions as a matter of course. Bahrije Seiti Borici (pg 86) “Why did we hide our Jewish family? Well, of course we would. We were one family.” Basri Hasani (pg 106) “...I am a true Muslim....My door is always open to anyone in need.” Higmete Zyma (pg 34) “Why hide a Jew? We just did it. It was the thing to do.” Lima Balla (pg 2) “We were sheltering God’s children under our Besa.”

                It is a sobering, but uplifting,  book - replete with sacrifice and oppression under the German and Communist rule. However, the underlying story is we are all one, regardless of religion, ethnicity or beliefs and each human being has a responsibility towards every other.

                If you do find the book, don’t read it cover to cover. Take one story a day to reflect and consider how their actions matter today.





Game Section


Hangman, By Definition


This is a five round game, with each round consisting of a variable number of turns. The winner will be the person who wins the most rounds, with a tie breaker being fewest total number of turns in those winning rounds. Second tie breaker will be the most number of letters guessed (by total count revealed, not by individual letter).


Each round will consist of identifying a word of at least six letters. Along with each word will be the first definition given. Both words and definitions will be identified by blank spaces. Words and definitions are verified in a dictionary that was my high school graduation gift (slight hint to those who might want to find the edition). [[Note – for the first round of this game, an online source was used]]


The goal is to guess the word in as few turns as possible. Each turn, all players will submit one letter to be revealed. The letter submitted by the most players will be the letter revealed in the next turn. Ties will be broken by a random method. Additionally, each player should submit a guess for the word. Once the word is correctly identified (spelling is important), that round will end and a new round will begin. All players who guess the word in the same turn will share in the win for the round. If the word is not guessed by the end of six turns with no letter revealed, no one will win the round.


Along with revealing letters in the word, letters will be revealed in the definition. There are no bonus points for guessing any part of the definition, it is only there to help players figure out the word. No guesses about parts of the definition will be confirmed or displayed except by the letter revealed in that round. The letters “E” and “S” can never be chosen as the letter to be revealed..



Game 1, Round Five, Turn One:     


                Letter Votes: A - 1, D - 1, M - 1, O - 1                                              Revealed: N/A    


                Words Guessed:   Mark Lew - LAVISH; Dane Maslan - LAVISH; Doug Kent - Kibosh; Jim-Bob Burgess - Truism




                Word:                     L  A  V  I  S  H


Definition:             Extravagant; prodigal.


                Revealed:              E, S


Words Guessed: Mark D Lew - 4, Dane Maslen - 2, Jim-Bob - 1



Game 2, Round One, Turn Zero:


                Word:                     __  __  __  __  __  __  __


Definition:             __     __  __  __  __  __;     __  __  __  __  __  __


                Never Revealed:  E, S                         Already Revealed:  <none yet>


Player Comments:


[Mark Lew] Interesting that Dane and I followed the same logic on ACRID. I got farther than he did, but we were both on the

                exact same track.

    This next one looks pretty easy to me. The grammar of the definition is plain: two simple synonyms. An 11-letter word that

                starts with E and has no E’s or S’s anywhere else if very limiting. I doubt there are more than a handful, and it will

                probably be pretty clear which one is plausible. Especially with one letter revealed from the defined word.

    But, I’m busy tonight, and likely to stay busy for another week or two, so I’ll try to resist the urge to sink hours into looking

                until later this month.

  [Later] Yeah, OK, I looked a little tonight already.

    Looks like I was wrong about the E word. I’m finding dozens of them, including quite a few that are entirely plausible

                (educational, encouraging, egalitarian, elimination).

    I don’t get any ----s- words out of those, though. I don’t think any of them is it; it’s just an illustration that the E word is not

                nearly as limiting as I originally guessed.

    I still say it’s solvable. A puzzle isn’t unsolvable until you can come up with at least two answers that could be correct. If

                you’ve got zero, you just aren’t done looking.

  [Many Days Later] Looking at Hangman again.

    I don’t think it’s truly unsolvable, but finding it would require (like Espy’s “rhymeless rhyme”) a great deal of will and time.

                I have the verbosity, but I’m lacking in the other two.

    There are a lot of words that could be the E one. Even if you limit it to plausible ones, I think there’s still about 20 of them,

                And even more for the S word and the blank.

    With that in mind, I decided a while back that rather than determining to find the only answer, I would settle for finding any

                parings of E word and S word that’s a match. I’ve finally come up with one: “ejaculation” could be “orgasm”. I don’t

                think that’s it, but at least it *could* be it, so my guess is ORGASM.

    I vote for “O” for the next letter. I’m not sure how to be strategic about letters, since the strategic goal would be not what

                reveals the most, but what reveals more to me than it does to others. I’m not sure what that would be, though I’m pretty

                sure that it would *not* be something that gives an obvious clue like X or Q (either of which could easily be

                immediately after that E, but the way - if it’s say, equilibrium or exclamation).

  [Last Note] Funny how this always happens. Right after I email I have another thought.

    Mentioning the X got me thinking about EX words - exclamation, explanation, exploration, examination, extravagant...

    And then I’m thinking “extravagant” seems very promising. So I think a bit and it’s a good match with “lavish”. So that’s my

                new guess now: LAVISH.

    That’s a guess I feel pretty good about. I think it might actually be right. We’ll see.


[Dane Maslen] When I first saw this round, my immediate impression was that not even Mark Lew would be able to crack it in

                one go. Now I’m not so sure, given that I have come up with a plausible answer and Mark is evidently better than me at

                reasoning these things our.

     It occurred to me that the word was probably an adjective with two other adjectives given as the definition. Then I realized

                that 11-letter adjectives beginning with ‘E’ and having no other ‘E’s or ‘S’s in them were not going to be hugely

                abundant. Furthermore, given that it’s in the definition, it must surely be a common adjective.

     I tried thinking of suitable words and came up with ‘exorbitant’; only to realize that it was a letter too short. It did, however,

                direct my attention towards words starting ‘ex’ and those ending ‘ant’, so a decided to flick through a dictionary looking

                for words that matched ‘ex------ant’. In the process I spotted some alternatives, e.g. ‘explanatory’, that while not

                uncommon were not convincing. When I encountered ‘extravagant’ my immediate reaction was that this was an

                excellent candidate - indeed I looked no further (though there wasn’t much further to go anyway).

     Now I needed to find a 6-letter synonym for ‘extravagant’ that matched ‘----s-’. Time to flick through a thesaurus! Well,

                actually, it was time to search for the thesaurus that I knew sat on my bookshelves somewhere! That took considerably

                longer than the flicking through.

     The thesaurus yielded ‘lavish’ as a plausible possibility. As a cross-check I looked up the definition of ‘lavish’ in Chambers.

                Sure enough ‘extravagant’ was one of several meanings given. Another was ‘prodigal’. Aha, an 8-letter adjective

                containing no ‘E’s or ‘S’s!

     The above looks very promising, and I’m half convinced by it, but it’s all based on the initial leap of faith of deciding to

                concentrate on words beginning ‘ex’. As such it could well be utter nonsense.

     Incidentally, you’ll notice from the above that whereas I decided that electronic aids (e.g. searching the SOWPODS word

                list) constitute unfair assistance, I consider manual aids fair. [WAY] Absolutely. [Dane] After all one’s got to have

                some sort of idea where one’s aiming to be able to make sensible use of a dictionary.



Possible future game openings - Railway Rivals, Empire Builder, Liftoff!, Pandemic


Suggestions accepted for other games to offer.






Deadline for the Next Issue of Out of the WAY:


November 21, 2009 at 7:00am – See You Then!



Game entries, letters of comment and other material can be sent to:


wandrew88 at; or by post to: W. Andrew York; POB 201117; Austin TX 78720-1117

Rating Players

by Paul Milewski


Playing Diplomacy is an activity some people might characterize as each person in the game being out to promote his own interests to the detriment of everyone else’s.  My favorite illustrations of the difference between “players and persons” is found in The Compleat Strategyst by J. D. Williams (original copyright in 1954 by the Rand Corporation and now available as a Dover publication, ISBN 0-486-25101-2) in which he describes 5 people sitting around a table playing poker: if 2 of the people have formed a “coalition” [his term] it can be better analyzed as a 4-player game.  “It is significant to count the number of sets of opposing interest around the table, rather than the bodies.  According to this principle, Bridge is classed as a two-person game…”  The parallel to a Diplomacy game should be obvious.  Diplomacy, as it is commonly played, is a team activity.  The teams (commonly called alliances) are not determined before the start of the game, and the compositions of the teams may change, with some teams breaking up or being formed as the game goes along.  (I’ve never heard of two or more players collaborating to come up with preference lists that will enhance their chances of getting starting positions next to each other so they can form an alliance right off the bat.)  I have to admit that there is something curiously disappointing to me about being in a game in which it is obvious that 2 or 3 of the players have formed an alliance with the intention of sharing in a draw and appear to be unalterably committed to that end.  I think the word I am looking for is “boring,” but I am willing to admit that that is being pretty judgmental on my part.  Me, judgmental?  Who would have expected that?


Some numerical systems for rating players involve awarding 1 for a solo win, some lesser amount (a fraction between 0 and 1) for some less illustrious result, such as being included in a draw, and perhaps 0 for being eliminated or merely surviving.  An example of such a system is the one used by Andy Lischett in Cheesecake.  (Believe it or not, I’m not writing these articles for Doug to pick on Andy—there just aren’t many postal zines to choose from right now.)  In his system, a being in a two-way draw is worth 0.50, a three-way draw 0.33, etc.  He divides the accumulated points by the number of games to get an average, which he refers to as your “score.”  (Andy’s system does not count standby positions unless they “help a player’s rating.”  For instance, the rating published in Cheesecake issue #273 Mark Fassio has two games results included, both were standby positions, a 0.33 and a 1; including the 0.33 would produce a rating of (0.33 + 1)/2 = 0.667 so the 0.33 is not included and his rating is 1.000, ranking him at the top of the pack with Michael Lowrey, who had two wins as a standby, earning a rating of (1 + 1)/2 = 1.000, too.)


This should remind you of scoring systems for chess matches or tournaments.  The scoring often involves 1 point for a win and ½ point for a draw.  Chess is a one-on-one game with a winner and a loser, so awarding a 1 or a 0 seems reasonable; the ½ for a draw may be a shakier proposition in certain situations, but that’s a chess discussion.  The numerical result is not an expression of how much better one player is than the other; it’s just a system for determining the winner of a match or tournament.  Averaging points by dividing by the number of games played by a particular person participating in a chess tournament produces an indication of how well the person has done so far for purposes of comparison.  If Kathy and Melinda are both in a tournament with a large number of players, Kathy has won 3 games out of 6 she’s played so far and Melinda has won 5 games out of 10 she has played so far, they’re both “averaging” 1 win every 2 games.  Expressed numerically, that would be similar to the 0.500 of Andy’s system.


I am 60 years old, and many, many times I’ve mentioned some movie star or politician or world famous person to someone younger than myself and realized that the person I’m talking to has no idea who I mean.  It is with a similar mixture of nostalgia and bitterness that I conjure up the memory of the 1976 rulebook, which defines winning as 18 supply centers—it also mentions a “short game” (a game with a fixed time limit) in which “the player who has the most pieces on the board at that time” is the winner.  More to the point, “players may terminate the game by mutual agreement before a winner is determined, in which case all players who still have pieces on the board share equally in a draw.”  (I’ve never seen a game conducted according to the “short game” rule.)  I strongly suspect that anyone who is currently active in (what’s left of) the postal hobby can attest that many, if not most, players now play for a draw, as if being included in a draw is winning.  Of course, you can’t negotiate very well unless you know what the other person wants.  From the point of view of someone taking that approach, or defining the victory condition in those terms, evaluating being in an n-way draw as being worth 1/n of a point may appear to make sense.  But to someone with such a goal, is being in a 3-way draw “worth” one-third of a solo, 18-center win?  I doubt it.  It is also clear that the “rulebook” victory condition does not take into account the team nature of play; you don’t define the winner of a baseball game as being the person who himself scores the most runs in that particular game; it’s the team that wins or loses a game.  Players are evaluated or rated on the basis of what they do that is likely to promote the interests of the team: batting average, RBI, ERA, etc.  Moreover, it is difficult to express numerically the quality of a person’s Diplomacy playing.  The very best indication of how well a person did in the game is probably found in the endgame statements, but these treasure troves of information are often incomplete, arguably biased, and sometimes meager. 


I might add, parenthetically, that “house” rules such as draws-include-all-survivors (usually abbreviated simply as DIAS) may be ignoring, or even interfering with, the team nature of play that is really going on in a Diplomacy game.  It seems clear on its face that with the Diplomacy board the way it is, with 34 supply centers, and the game beginning with 7 players together controlling 22 of those centers, nobody playing any of the 7 positions stands much of a chance of advancing his own selfish interests without convincing some other player(s) to help him, unless the other players are incredibly incompetent or just plain weird.  Playing against people who do not share his goal of an 18-center solo win for themselves may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle to someone who is hoping for an 18-center solo win for himself.   Indeed, I have read that Calhamer, the game’s designer, assumed that once anyone seemed to be gaining an advantage over everyone else, the other players would gang up on him.  In other words, he assumed the game has an inherent equilibrium or stable state, roughly corresponding to the “balance of power” at the beginning of play, to which it would return.    This is clearly not the case.  I have never been in, or seen, a game that did not steadily and surely evolve away from the initial balance of power.  Only rarely does one of the 7 starting positions not end up being eliminated within a few game years; in most games I’ve been in, the only question is who will be the first to go.  It follows that the rulebook’s victory conditions are also simplistic, naïve, and misguided.  (I know that sounds harsh, but it’s nothing personal against Calhamer.  My own attitudes toward some of the most important things in life have been simplistic, naïve, and misguided.)  It’s very much like classical economics being based on rational behavior when we know that most people make irrational choices, and I’m not excluding myself.  I am talking about looking through superficial appearances and self-serving rationalizations to see why people are really doing what it is they’re doing.  For instance, what men tend to find sexually attractive in a woman are those things generally indicative of good health and suitability for reproduction, which may involve a certain youthful vitality.  What a man typically thinks he sees are breasts and thighs and various other portions of female anatomy.  (It’s hard to work something interesting like sex into an article about Diplomacy, but I try.)

Brain Farts: The Only Subsubzine With It’s Own Fragrance

By Jack “Flapjack” McHugh – jwmchughjr “of”

(or just email Doug and he’ll send it to me)

Issue #12



What amazes me is that most of you dipshits can’t be bothered to write me, and yet I received (through Doug) a comment from the great Per Westling, all the way from Sweden.  If he can take the time to come out of  hobby hibernation and send me an email, why can’t the rest of you?


Per Westling : Don't know what XXX By Popular Demand is, but BPD is a fun game. I will even join ES-BPD...I have not much to say about "cash for clunkers" and if it is a good idea to spend money on that. One thought I have about this is - How long time does it take to make a gallon of oil? I don't mean collecting it / pump it up, but actually make it. There is a reason for oil not being called renewable.


Thanks for the letter.  I’m glad you’re joining Doug’s By Popular Demand, but trust me when I tell you that my XXX version will be more fun.  I’m poor and only working part time still, so I can’t offer prizes the way Doug does, unless he decides to donate one.  But next issue when I start my XXX version you’ll realize it isn’t as lame as Doug’s.  “Who was your favorite character on Fraggle Rock?”  Come on, his categories suck more than a new $400 vacuum cleaner.  Thanks again for writing; I wish more of these losers would follow your example.


I took a trip to Florida this month, which really means my wife took one and I had to go along.  The drive down wasn’t so bad, but the drive back was terrible.  Traffic, car problems, and I was so damn tired by then.  I did manage to shoplift a nice little “Welcome to Florida” ashtray from a gas station.  Too bad I don’t smoke anymore.


One thing was kinda sucks is I have to get this column to Doogie before the normal zine deadline, so some of the things I’d like to talk about (such as who my Phillies will be playing in the World Series) aren’t settled.  For a few minutes last night it looked like the Yankees had won their series with the Angels, but I went to take a piss and  by the time I got back (I had to empty about 5 beers so it took a few minutes) the Angels had the lead again.  Either way, I predict the Phillies will win it all.  So stick that in your pipe and smoke it, suckholes!


I think my baseball picks this year were pretty good.  I wasn’t perfect, but you get what you pay for.  I’ll review them for your benefit.  In the AL East, I had Toronto winning.  Okay, that was wrong, but I didn’t expect the Yankees to sign every single free agent in the universe, plus a few from other dimensions.  So I can’t be blamed for that.  In the AL Central I had Minnesota, which was spot on.  In the AL West I had Texas ahead of the Angels, but that was before I knew Tom Hicks had more financial problems then I do.  So I think that was decent.  Plus the Rangers played much better than the pundits thought they would.


In the National League, I predicted Philly (hooray for me), and I had St. Louis as a wild card (which I was close on).  I didn’t think the Dodgers would have such a great year, but now I am glad they did because it meant Philly didn’t have to play a difficult team to make it to the World Series.  And hopefully this is the end of Joe Torre.  Ugh, I am so sick of him!  So overall I wasn’t perfect, but I did okay.  And don’t forget, I’m the one who gave you Arizona vs. Pittsburgh last year.

I’m waiting to see if more of you are interested in XXX By Popular Demand before I start it, so tell me or Doug if you’re considering playing.  I’ll probably start it next issue.  I’m not considering running anything else right now, so sign up for Doogie’s games instead.


As usual, I’ll finish my column off with a couple of jokes.  These are both older ones but I’m too classy to give you Michael Jackson or Walter Cronkite humor.


Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married.  She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all.

One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room.  She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea.  As he sat facing her old Hammond organ, the young minister noticed a cut glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water, and in the water floated, of all things, a condom!

When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat.  The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist.  “Miss Beatrice,” he said while pointing to the bowl, “I wonder if you would tell me about this?”

“Oh, yes,” she replied, “Isn't it wonderful? I was walking through the Park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet, and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter!



The Madam opened the brothel door to see a frail, elderly gentleman.. "Can I help you?" the madam asked. "I want Natalie," the old man replied. "Sir, Natalie is one of our most expensive ladies, perhaps someone else..." "No, I must see Natalie."

Just then Natalie appeared and announced to the old man that she charges $1,000 per visit. Without blinking, the man reached into his pocket and handed her ten $100 bills. The two went up to a room for an hour, whereupon the man calmly left..

The next night he appeared again demanding to see Natalie. Natalie explained that no one had ever come back two nights in a row and that there were no was still $1,000 a visit. Again the old man took out the money, the two went up to the room and an hour later, he left.

When he showed up the third consecutive night, no one could believe it. Again he handed Natalie the money and up to the room they went. At the end of the hour Natalie questioned the old man: "No one has ever used my services three nights in a row. Where are you from?" The old man replied, "I'm from Philadelphia."

"Really?" replied Natalie. "I have family who lives there."

"Yes, I know," said the old man. "Your father died, and I'm your sister's attorney. She asked me to give this $3,000 to you."


See You Next Month!

Game Openings

Diplomacy (Black Press – Permanent Opening in ES): Signed up: None, needs seven to fill.

Diplomacy “Cronin Special” (White Press): A regular Diplomacy game with White Press, but with Larry Cronin and his two sons together in the same game.  If they’re anything like my family, that’s no guarantee they’ll be allies – more likely they’ll constantly stab each other.  But come sign up and help the two Cronin sons get some PBM experience!  Signed up: Larry Cronin, Michael Cronin, Chuy Cronin, Pat Vogelsang, Graham Wilson, Brad Wilson, need 1 more to fill.  Let’s get this filled up THIS issue!

Gunboat Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: One, need six more to fill.  Sign up now!

Fog of War Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: Jack McHugh, Graham Wilson, Mark Firth, Paraic Reddington, need three more to fill.  Rules can be found in ES #30.  The only portion of the game which will run here in the zine would be the press, as the maps and the supply center information is all private.  And, of course, the end-game statements and report would be run here.  But the game would run under the usual ES schedule.  If nobody else signs up for this by next issue I will drop it.

Deviant Diplomacy II (Black Press): Signed up: None, needs seven to fill.  Crazy game, completely out of its mind.  Rules were in Eternal Sunshine #23.  Check out the game currently running if you want to see what this is like!  If nobody signs up by next issue I will drop it.

Colonial Diplomacy: Game has been moved to Paul Bolduc’s Boris the Spider.

Diplomacy Bourse (Black Press): Buy and sell the currencies of the Diplomacy nations.  This Bourse is using the new game “Dulcinea” as its basis.  Players may join at any time (one just joined this issue), and are then given 1000 units of every currency still in circulation.  The rules to Bourse can be found in ES #24.

By Popular Demand: Game currently underway, join any time.  New game starts this issue!

Standby List: HELP!  I need standby players! – Current standby list: Graham Wilson, Jim Burgess (Dip only), Jeremie Lefrancois (Dip only), Lance Anderson (Dip only), Martin Burgdorf, and whoever I beg into it in an emergency.

I may offer another Gunboat 7x7 soon, so keep your eyes open.  I’m also considering variants like Cline 9-Man (one player has shown interest so far), Youngstown, or Woolworth.  Does anybody have an interest in Kremlin?  If somebody wants to guest-GM a game of anything, just say the word.  If you have specific game requests please let me know.



Eternal Sunshine Game Section


Diplomacy “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” 2008A, W 07/S 08


Austria (Kevin Wilson - ckevinw “of” Build A Vienna..A Budapest – Galicia, A Galicia – Silesia,

 F Greece Supports A Rumania - Bulgaria (*Cut*), A Rumania - Bulgaria (*Fails*),

 A Serbia Supports A Rumania – Bulgaria, F Tunis - Ionian Sea, A Vienna - Tyrolia (*Bounce*),

 A Warsaw Supports A Galicia - Silesia.

England (Jérémie LeFrançois - jeremie.lefrancois “of” F Baltic Sea – Berlin, A Denmark – Kiel,

 F English Channel - North Sea, F Irish Sea - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*),

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Portugal (*Bounce*), A Moscow – Livonia,

 F North Atlantic Ocean Supports F Irish Sea - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*), F North Sea - Helgoland Bight,

 F Picardy – Belgium, A Sevastopol Supports F Black Sea - Rumania (*Void*).

France (William Wood – woodw “of” A Brest – Gascony, A Paris Supports A Brest - Gascony.

Germany (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” Build A Munich..

 A Burgundy - Marseilles (*Bounce*), A Munich - Tyrolia (*Bounce*), A Prussia - Silesia (*Fails*),

 A Silesia - Bohemia.

Italy (Don Williams – dwilliam “of” Plays 1 short.. F Gulf of Lyon - Tyrrhenian Sea,

 A Marseilles - Spain (*Fails*), F Piedmont - Marseilles (*Bounce*), F Spain(nc) - Portugal (*Bounce*),

 F Western Mediterranean Supports F Gulf of Lyon - Tyrrhenian Sea.

Turkey (Brad Wilson - bwdolphin146 “of” F Aegean Sea Convoys A Constantinople – Greece,

 F Black Sea Supports F Bulgaria(ec), F Bulgaria(ec) Supports F Black Sea (*Cut*),

 A Constantinople - Greece (*Fails*).

Summer/Fall 1908 Deadline is November 24th 2009 at 7:00am my time



F to All:  Our Emperor did not die on St Helena.  He will return.  The Destiny of France can only be postponed by the barbarian occupation... not denied.



Diplomacy “Dulcinea” 2008C,Winter 04/Spring 05


Austria (Stephen Agar – stephen “of” Retreat A Tyrolia - Trieste.. Build A Vienna..

 F Apulia Supports F Ionian Sea – Naples, A Bohemia Supports A Vienna – Tyrolia, A Trieste Supports A Venice,

 A Ukraine Supports A Sevastopol – Moscow, A Venice Supports A Vienna – Tyrolia, A Vienna – Tyrolia,

 A Warsaw Supports A Sevastopol - Moscow.

England (Philip Murphy trekkypj “of” F English Channel Convoys A Wales – Gascony,

 A Livonia - St Petersburg, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Convoys A Wales – Gascony, F North Sea - Norwegian Sea,

 F St Petersburg(nc) – Norway, A Wales - Gascony.

France (Brad Wilson – bwdolphin146 ”of” Build F Brest.. F Brest Supports A Picardy,

 F Marseilles - Spain(sc), A Paris - Burgundy (*Bounce*), A Picardy Supports A Paris - Burgundy.

Germany (William Wood – woodw “of” Build A Berlin… F Baltic Sea – Prussia,

 A Belgium Supports A Ruhr – Burgundy, A Berlin – Silesia, A Holland – Kiel, A Munich Supports A Berlin – Silesia,

 A Ruhr - Burgundy (*Bounce*).

Italy (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” Remove A Tyrolia, F Naples..

 F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Piedmont – Marseilles, A Piedmont – Marseilles, F Tunis - Ionian Sea (*Fails*).

Russia (Jack McHugh – jwmchughjr “of” Retreat A Warsaw. – OTB..

  A Moscow Hold (*Dislodged*, ret Livonia or OTB).

Turkey (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” Build F Smyrna..

 F Aegean Sea Supports F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea, F Black Sea – Sevastopol,

 F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea, F Ionian Sea – Naples, A Rome Supports F Ionian Sea – Naples,

 A Sevastopol – Moscow, F Smyrna - Eastern Mediterranean.



For those of you interested, a “duplicate” of this game now exists (but I am not printing it separately until necessary, which will be in ES #36).  You can see the details by checking out the game of Deviant Diplomacy II, and in particular reading Rule #31)


Summer/Fall 1905 Deadline is November 24th 2009 at 7:00am my time




THE REAL PM - I *am* the real PM. All you other PMs are just ... imitators. So won't the real PM.... please stand up? ...  please stand up? .........Please. Stand. Up.

PRIME MINISTER TO ALL - What I propose is that we, as a government, stand firmly behind our people, with big sticks while their houses are repossessed by the banks and their personal assets are seized by debt collectors. We cannot, will not condone the criminal actions of debtors against the soverign rights of Her Majesty's Government. We shall fight debtors wherever they are, be they at home or abroad. Her Majesty's Armed Forces will intervene, firmly and decisively against this threat to our national security. I have announced, therefore that we shall be merging the Ministry of Defence and HM Revenue into a new department - The Ministry of Financial Ruin.

PRIME MINISTER TO FRANCE. Malheureusement, oui. Apres moi, la deluge.

LE PETIT NAPOLEON TO EUROPE: All for one, or one for all?



“Dulcinea” Diplomacy Bourse


Billy Ray Valentine: No activity.


Duke of York: Sells 500 Francs and 237 Lire.  Buys 606 Piastres.


Smaug the Dragon: Sells 300 Crowns, 500 Francs, 500 Lire, 500 Rubles.  No purchases.


Rothschild: Sells 325 Pounds.  Buys 85 Crowns, 93 Francs, 98 Marks, and 77 Piastres.


Baron Wuffet: No activity.


Wooden Nickel Enterprises: Sells 500 Lire, 500 Rubles.  Buys 445 Crowns, 445 Marks.

VAIONT Enterprises: No activity.


Insider Trading LLC: Sells 36 Francs, 500 Marks, 500 Lire.  Buys 350 Pounds, 500 Piastres.



Next Bourse Deadline is November 23rd 2009 at 7:00pm my time




WNE – GM: Ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.  That’s the sound of us all sucking.


DUKE OF YORK comes up on the outside: This turn I should move into fourth place, here I come!!!  My countrymen are useless....

SMAUG TO MIDDLE EARTH - These 'quantative easing' measures are hammering my Sterling futures! For shame, Mr Brown! *snorts flame!*




Diplomacy “Just a Taste” 2009C, Fall 1901


Austria (William Wood – woodw “of” F Albania – Greece,

 A Serbia Supports A Ukraine – Rumania, A Trieste - Albania.


England (Robert Jewett – Robert_Jewett “of” and robertjewett “of”

 F North Sea Convoys A Yorkshire – Norway, F Norwegian Sea - Barents Sea, A Yorkshire - Norway.

France (Paraic Reddington - ): A Burgundy – Belgium,

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc), A Spain - Portugal.

Germany (Philip Murphy trekkypj “of” A Bohemia – Galicia, F Denmark – Sweden,

 A Silesia Supports A Bohemia - Galicia.

Italy (Ian Pringle - pringle.ian “of” A Apulia – Tunis,

 F Ionian Sea Convoys A Apulia – Tunis, A Venice Hold.

Russia (Don Williams – dwilliam “of” F Gulf of Bothnia - Baltic Sea, A Moscow – Warsaw,

 F Sevastopol - Black Sea (*Bounce*), A Ukraine - Rumania.

Turkey (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” F Ankara - Black Sea (*Bounce*),

 A Armenia - Sevastopol (*Fails*), A Bulgaria - Rumania (*Fails*).



Winter 1901/Spring 1902 Deadline is November 24th 2009 at 7:00am my time.  Winter will be separated by 2 requests.


Supply Center Chart:

Austria:            Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna=5, Build 2

England:          Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Norway=4, Build 1

France:            Belgium, Brest, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=6, Build 3

Germany:         Berlin, Kiel, Munich, Sweden=4, Build 1

Italy:                Naples, Rome, Tunis, Venice=4, Build 1

Russia:             Moscow, Rumania, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Warsaw=5, Build 1

Turkey:            Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Smyrna=4, Build 1

Unowned:        Denmark, Holland.



Reuters: Due to unforeseen circumstances, deliveries to Germany of the 1901 Michelin guide could not be completed in time. As a result, German armies have been left without any maps and are wandering aimlessly around Europe as a result.

In other news: Earthquake strikes Armenia. Turkey sends in troops to support the relief effort.

RUSSIA to ENGLAND & FRANCE:  Hey, this kraut is a bird brain … come and get him!


RUSSIA to AUSTRIA:  Thanks, sir!  May I have another?

General Oggo Hellen-Mutt von Klingerhofen to Der Spiegel: Ah you ask why ve send our forces into Galicia? Das ist part of a master plan. By the time this interview is printed, ve shall have schlammed our 6th Army here into Konigsgrad und take them from the rear!!!! Was? Wir haben only zwei armies? Das ist not good enough! How can I vin if zer ist not enough armies! Gott im Himmel! *storms out of the room*

RUSSIA to AUSTRIA:  Don’t look now, but I’d say you have a golden opportunity to explore the northern reich to your best advantage.


F to All: Rumours abound that the wandering German armies have been eating carrier pigeons heading west. As a result, the French high command has been receiving little or no communication from the east.


RUSSIA to TURKEY:  You want a piece of me, too?  Were we married or something?  I haven’t seen this kind of a knife fight since my last divorce!

The Kaiser to the Tzar: Our Swedish brothers are not for your grubby hands. Go home!



Diplomacy “Bellicus” from Strange Meeting, Fall/Winter 1905

England (Smiley McKinnon – Boltar35 “of” F Edinburgh Hold, A London Hold,

 F North Sea - Belgium (*Fails*).

France (Pat Vogelsang – godawgsgo33 “of” A Belgium Supports A Ruhr - Holland (*Cut*),

 A Burgundy Supports A Silesia – Munich, F English Channel - London (*Fails*), A Gascony Hold, F Irish Sea Hold,

 A Liverpool – Clyde, A Ruhr - Holland (*Fails*).

Germany (Beartla de Burca – beartlab “of” A Holland Supports A Kiel (*Cut*),

 A Kiel Supports A Munich (*Disbanded*), A Munich Supports A Kiel (*Dislodged*, retreats OTB).

Italy (David Latimer – davidlatimeryork “of” F Adriatic Sea - Trieste (*Fails*),

 A Tyrolia Supports F Adriatic Sea – Trieste, F Tyrrhenian Sea – Tunis, A Venice Supports F Adriatic Sea - Trieste.

Russia (Chris Babcock – cbabcock “of” F Baltic Sea Convoys A Livonia – Kiel,

 A Berlin Supports A Silesia – Munich, F Denmark Supports A Livonia – Kiel, A Livonia – Kiel,

 F Norway - Norwegian Sea, A Silesia – Munich, A Sweden – Norway, A Vienna Supports A Trieste,

 A Warsaw - Silesia.

Turkey (Phil Amos – p.v.a “of” F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea, F Albania Supports A Trieste,

 A Bulgaria – Serbia, F Constantinople - Aegean Sea, F Greece Supports F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea,

 F Ionian Sea - Tyrrhenian Sea, A Serbia – Budapest, A Trieste Hold.


Supply Center Chart

England:          Edinburgh, London=2, Remove 1

France:            Belgium, Brest, Liverpool, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=7, Even

Germany:         Holland=1, Even

Italy:                Naples, Rome, Tunis, Venice=4, Even

Russia:             Berlin, Denmark, Kiel, Moscow, Munich, Norway, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Sweden,

Vienna, Warsaw=11, Build 2

Turkey:            Ankara, Budapest, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Rumania, Serbia, Smyrna,

Trieste=9, Build 1


England: Removes F North Sea.

Russia: Builds F St Petersburg(nc), Build A Moscow.

Turkey: Builds F Constantinople.


Spring/Summer 1906 Deadline is November 24th 2009 at 7:00am my time




England to Germany, France and Italy: "Please can we stop fighting each other and concentrate on the threat from the East? Otherwise this game is as good as over".


Italy to Russia,"Sounds good to me, just let me know when".


Russia to all: "You are making this so easy".


Italy to all "Turkey is no longer an independent player, control of Turkish forces has now been given to Russia, we need to stop him now!"


Turkey to Russia, "Whatever you say Boss..."


Official Press from Italy:  Surprised?  Gotta keep you rotters on your toes!  See you next month.


Grandmother and Eggs?

Some quotes from 'The Gamers Guide To Diplomacy' 2nd Edition March 1979, published by Avalon Hill...

"The key to victory is communication".

" Restricting negotiation is always a mistake".

" It is a huge mistake to stop negotiating with enemies. It frequently happens that two players fighting each other one season may form a profitable alliance the next. But they can't do that if they stop speaking to each other".



Diplomacy “Chimaera” from Strange Meeting, Fall/Winter 1905


Austria (Tim Deacon – timdeacon1 “of” A Greece Hold, A Trieste Hold,

 A Vienna Supports A Trieste.. Build A Budapest, plays 1 short.

England (Nigel Pepper – nepper “of” A Brest Supports A Burgundy – Paris,

 A Burgundy – Paris, F English Channel - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*),

 A Gascony Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc), F Holland - Belgium (*Bounce*),

 F Irish Sea Supports F English Channel - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, F Kiel Hold, A Liverpool – Wales,

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc), F Picardy - Belgium (*Bounce*).. Build F Liverpool.

France (Robert Jewett – Robert_Jewett “of” and robertjewett “of”

 A Paris - Brest (*Disbanded*), F Portugal Supports F Western Mediterranean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,

 A Ruhr - Belgium (*Bounce*),

 F Spain(sc) Supports F Western Mediterranean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Dislodged*, NRR, ret OTB).

Italy (Jimmy Cowie – jcowie “of” F Ionian Sea Hold,

 F North Africa Supports F Western Mediterranean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, A Tyrolia Supports A Venice (*Cut*),

 A Venice Supports A Tyrolia, F Western Mediterranean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean.  Remove F North Africa.

Russia (Mike Oliveri – oliverima “of” F Ankara Supports F Black Sea – Constantinople,

 A Armenia Supports A Constantinople – Smyrna, F Baltic Sea – Berlin, A Berlin – Munich,

 F Black Sea – Constantinople, A Bohemia - Tyrolia (*Fails*), A Bulgaria Supports A Greece,

 A Constantinople – Smyrna, A Silesia Supports A Berlin – Munich, A Ukraine - Rumania.  Build F Sevastopol,

 A Warsaw.

Turkey (Eric Knibb – eric_knibb “of” F Aegean Sea no move received,

 A Smyrna, no move received (*Disbanded*).  Remove F Aegean Sea.



Draw Now Proposed – E/R.  Please vote!  NVR=No


Spring/Summer 1906 Deadline is November 24th 2009 at 7:00am my time


Supply Center Chart:

Austria:            Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna=5, Build 2 (Room for 1)

England:          Belgium, Brest, Denmark, Edinburgh, Holland, Kiel, Liverpool, London, Norway,

Paris, Spain=11, Build 1

France:            Marseilles, Portugal=2, Even

Italy:                Naples, Rome, Tunis, Venice=4,Remove 1

Russia:             Ankara, Berlin, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Moscow, Munich, Rumania, Sevastopol, Smyrna,

St Petersburg, Sweden, Warsaw=12, Build 2

Turkey:                        None=0, OUT!!



Austria - All: As I, now, have a new email address I am back in the game. My email address is
Austria - Russia: Thanks for your continued support whilst I've been away, perhaps we can resume our friendly discussions/alliance.


Diplomacy “Albion” from Strange Meeting, Spring/Summer 1905

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY (Douglas Kent): F(Tun) s TURKISH F(ION) - TYS; A(Ven) - Apu; A(Bud) - Gal; A(War) s A(Bud) - Gal; A(Ser) - Tri; A(Tri) - Tyr; A(Vie) s A(Tri) - Tyr


ENGLAND (Jeremy Tullett): F(Edi) Stands (DISLODGED TO Cly)


FRANCE (Mark Stretch): F(WMS) - TYS (FAILED); A(Pie) - Ven; F(Mar) - GoL; A(Spa) - Gas; A(Lpl) - Edi; F(IRI) Stands unordered; F(MAO)-IRI(NO SUCH UNIT)


GERMANY (Toby Harris): A(Tyr) - Tri (FAILED, DISLODGED TO Pie); A(Mun) - Boh; A(Ber) - Pru; A(Gal) - Rum (FAILED, DISLODGED TO Sil); A(Nwy) s A(Swe) - Fin; A(Swe) - Fin; F(SKA) - Swe; A(Lon) - Yor; F(NTH) s FRENCH A(Lpl) - Edi


ITALY (Mog Firth): F(ADS) s FRENCH A(Pie) - Ven; A(Rom) s FRENCH A(Pie) - Ven


RUSSIA (Robin ap Cynan - NMR!): A(StP) Stands


TURKEY (Ian Pringle): A(Bul) - Rum (FAILED); F(Con) - Bul sc (FAILED); F(ION) - TYS; F(AEG) - ION; A(Mos) Stands; A(Ukr) Stands; F(Gre) Stands


Deadline is November 20 - Remember: Orders go to Stephen Agar!!!




Deviant Dip II – “Black Licorice” – 2009Brc08 – Winter 1902


I will list any snowball hit points after each unit from this point forward


Drance (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” with Don Williams ordering units): Waives one build.

 Has Picardy, Gulf of Lyon, Burgundy (1), Spain, Marseilles, Sardinia.


England (Russell Blau – russblau “of” Builds Wales (1), Edinburgh..Also has Belgium, Holland,  Irish Sea, English Channel, Norway, Ireland.

Snowball throws:

Iri-Wal-Lon-Nth-Den-Bal-Lvn-Mos (Hits Wal)
Ire-Nao (Hits NAO)
Eng-Bre-Par-Bur (Hits Bur) 4 style points
Nwy-Ska-Den-Kie (Hits Kie) 4 style points


8 Total Style Points = 1 Extra Vote next turn


Verminy (Pete Gaughan – raptormage “of” No builds received, plays 2 short.  Has Berlin,

 Moscow (1), Rome (1), Kiel (1), North Atlantic (1).


Italy (John David Galt – jdg “of” Has Adriatic Sea, Tuscany, Tyrrhenian Sea,

 Ionian Sea (2), Sicily (1).

Snowballs Throws

   Adriatic Sea -> Venice -> Rome
   Ionian Sea -> Naples -> Rome
   Sicily -> Tyrrhenian Sea -> Rome (Hits Rome)
   Tuscany -> Venice -> Tyrolia -> Munich -> Kiel
   Tyrrhenian Sea goes indoors.

Austria (John Walker - jwalker150 “of” No retreats or build submitted.  Greece and Galicia

 retreat OTB, plays 2 short..Has Serbia (1), Budapest, Trieste.


Nussia (Mark D Lew – markdlew “of” Builds M Livonia (1)..Also has Gascony, Cyprus Air,

 Sweden, Galicia, Warsaw, Sevastopol, Corsica.

Snowball Throws

- Gas-Bur-Mun-Sil-War-Mos
- Swe-GoB-Lvn-Mos (Hits Lvn)
- Gal-Ukr-Mos
- War-Mos
- Sev-Mos (Hits Mos)

Turkey (Jason Bergmann – jasonbergmann “of” Builds Ankara, Smyrna..Also has Greece,

 Aegean, Crete, Rumania, Eastern Med.

Snowball Throws

1. Crete - Ionian - Sicily – Tyrrhenian
2. Greece - Ionian - Sicily – Tyrrhenian (Hits Ionian)

3. Aegean - Ionian - Sicily – Tyrrhenian (Hits Ionian)
4. Eastern Med - Ionian - Sicily – Tyrrhenian (Hits Sicily)
5. Rumania – Ser - Tri - Adriatic - Venice - Tuscany - Tyrrhenian – Corsica (Hits Ser)

Now comes Rule #38 – Scrambled Eggs.  Remember, each player needs to choose which three of their supply centers will be build centers (Nussia can choose four centers).  I will randomly select build centers if anyone does not choose on their own.  This will actually result in a reduction in the number of build centers, although each player has the same number of supply centers.  Also Cyprus Air retains the same destination as it had previously, even though it will be moved.  The unit positions and supply centers are listed below, as well as the updated map.


Drance (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” with Don Williams ordering units): Has St. Petersburg,

 Serbia (1), Munich, Ukraine, Cyprus, Gulf of Lyon.


England (Russell Blau – russblau “of” Has Wales, Black Sea (1), Ankara, North Sea, Galicia,

 Spain, Ionian Sea, Trieste.

Verminy (Pete Gaughan – raptormage “of” Has Moscow, Bulgaria (1), Picardy (1),

 North Africa (1), North Atlantic (1).


Italy (John David Galt – jdg “of” Has Paris, Kiel, Baltic Sea, Syria (2),

 Norway (1).

Austria (John Walker - jwalker150 “of” Has Sevastopol (1), Portugal, Norwegian Sea.


Nussia (Mark D Lew – markdlew “of” Has Gascony (1), Mid Atlantic, Ruhr Air, Sweden, Warsaw, Smyrna, Budapest, Tuscany.

Turkey (Jason Bergmann – jasonbergmann “of” Has Finland, Aegean, Rome, Brest, Tunis,

 Western Med, Edinburgh.



New Supply Center Chart


Drance             Ankara, Warsaw, Belgium, Ireland, Crete, Brest, Portugal=7

England            Paris, Smyrna, Sevastopol, Munich, Norway, Iceland, Trieste, Rome=8

Verminy           Greece, Vienna, London, Liverpool, Moscow, Spain, Sicily=7

Italy                 Serbia, Budapest, Naples, Edinburgh, Denmark=5

Austria             Cyprus, Venice, Marseilles, Holland, Armenia=5

Nussia              Tyrolia, Sardinia, Rumania, Piedmont, Kiel, Wales, Livonia, Berlin=8

Turkey              Constantinople, Corsica, Prussia, Bulgaria, Sweden, Tunis, St. Petersburg=7


RP’s (Rule #21): John Walker - 1; Russell Blau - 2; Jim Burgess - 4; Pete Gaughan - 0; John David Galt - 2; Mark D Lew - 3; Jason Bergmann - 2.


Official Standby Players, as needed: Jack McHugh  (jwmchughjr “of”, Hugh Polley (hapolley “of”


I am calling Hugh Polley to stand by for Verminy.  If Pete is going to continue playing, I ask that he submit preliminary orders of some sort as soon as possible, so that Hugh doesn’t spend a lot of time on the game unnecessarily.  As John Walker did submit proposals, I will not call a standby for him yet.


Spring 1903 Deadline is November 23rd at 7:00pm my time

This turn will include moves, proposals, build center declarations, and votes!


New Rule Proposals:


Rule #36 - In Democracy Flagrante (Reproposed by Russell Blau): After all other rules are resolved, the number of votes permitted by each player is doubled.


Rule #39 – Still More Deviant (Proposed by John David Galt): Rule proposals may now be made in Fall seasons as well as Winter and Spring.  Similarly, voting takes place in all three seasons.

Rule #40 - Wormholes (Proposed by John David Galt): Players may no longer submit retreat orders.  Instead, every dislodged unit is treated as if it had been ordered to retreat to a random space on the board, to be determined by the GM.  The unit may move there regardless of whether the spaces are adjacent.  However, units that attempt to retreat to an occupied space, or one that was left adjacent by a bounce on that turn, are disbanded as in regular Diplomacy.


Rule #41 - Votes as Currency (Proposed by Jason Bergmann): During Spring and Fall turns, votes may be spent as follows:

(1) One vote to support a unit in place.
(2) Two votes to support any unit's move.
(3) Three votes to garrison a controlled supply center.  A garrisoned supply center has an intrinsic defensive strength of one if the area is unoccupied.  A garrison is destroyed if any other player's unit occupies the garrisoned space. 
(4) Five votes to buy one Rule Point.

These expenditures are in addition to those that are provided by other rules.

Rule #42 - Collapsing Wormholes (Proposed by Jason Bergmann): Each "wormhole" (i.e., adjacency between any two spaces that are not adjacent on the map published in Eternal Sunshine), immediately collapse after any unit successfully moves through it.  All other wormholes that touch either of those two spaces also immediately collapse.  No additional movement is allowed through a collapsed wormhole.  For each successful move that causes one ore more wormholes to collapse, the moving player will receive 0.5 Rule Points.  (Fractional rule points do not round up.)  The adjacencies created by Rules 14, 17 and 22 are non-geographic adjacencies and qualify as wormholes.  The adjacencies created by Rules 15 and 23 are geographic adjacencies and do not qualify as wormholes.  With each game result, the GM shall publish an alphabetical list of all non-collapsed wormholes.  This rule does not apply retroactively.


Rule #43 - Evening the Odds (Proposed by Russell Blau):  All odd-numbered rules adopted before this one are repealed. This only applies to rules adopted by the players, not the original Deviant II rules.


Rule #44 - It's 2 a.m., boys. Time to go home (Proposed by Mark D Lew): If at the end of the fall 1910 turn no player has achieved victory, the game ends and Heather Taylor is declared the winner.

Rule #45 - Return to (Relative) Normalcy (Proposed by Mark D Lew): Now that we are completely scrambled, the board returns to normal and we try to regain our sanity:

Units, center ownership, and home centers remain as determined by the Egg Scrambling. Board adjacences return to normal (reversing the effects of Continent-Wide Web, Habsburg Relocation, and Teleport Gates). The island spaces are still passable dots but with normal board adjacences only (including Cor-Sar and Nap-Sic). Upper and Lower River still exist, treated as ordinary sea spaces adjacent to Belgium and London respectively and to each other.

Jim Burgess and Don Williams still control Drance's votes and moves as currently specified, but any other deviant business related to them is repealed, as are the rules extending Deviant influence to other games in the zeen (ie, #31 and #32).

All marines become armies or fleets (army if in a landlocked space, fleet if in a sea space, randomly chosen otherwise). Any marine currently in the air continues its flight as a marine but then reverts to army or fleet once it lands. No new marines may be built. Any barbarian horde currently existing continues as such until destroyed, but the rule is repealed with regard to new barbarians. Any unit currently invisible remains so until revealed, but the rule is repealed with regard to new invisibility. (That is, #8, #19, and #28 are no longer in effect once their current alterations expire.)

Other rules (ie, #1, #16, #21, #34) remain in effect.

In re-establishing normalcy, this rule does not override any new abnormalcies (eg, adjacences) passed simultaneously.

Rule #46 - Dulcinae Runs Wild (Proposed by Jim Burgess): All Dulcinae players now control their units fully in both Dulcinae and Dulcinea II and may give different orders on each board.  Dulcinae players NMRing in Dulcinae II/Black Licorice will still give the same orders they provided in Dulcinae.  All units and centers in Dulcinea II now count for Black Licorice votes.  If players control countries and units in both games, these are kept separate for purposes of all rules and voting.  Note that the Premise of Rule #25 makes Jim-Bob ineligible to push units in Black Licorice and its other games.  Thus, once this passes, Jim-Bob may NOT move his units on Dulcinae II any more since those units are now active Black Licorice units.  Instead, Don Williams will be called upon to make those moves for Jim-Bob's Turkish position.


Rule #47 - Full Eternal Sunshine Takeover (Proposed by Jim Burgess): All rules passed each turn in Black Licorice (not retroactive) are automatically proposed in all Eternal Sunshine games where they can possibly take effect.  Votes are conducted by the GM, announced in the following Eternal Sunshine, and then take effect (thus they take effect one season/one issue following the one where they take effect in Black Licorice).  Note that votes not received count as a yes, only vetoes can stop Black Licorice rules from taking effect.


Rule #48 - Player Switch Rule (Proposed by John Walker): After every turn the player with the most centers will now become the player with the least and each person in succession with every person switching places.


Rule #49 - The Rules Proposal (Proposed by John Walker):  Every rule proposed from here on out is automatically passed by consent and no objections can be filed.  After 2 years the rule is null and void and no longer applicable.  This rule applies to every rule already passed.  This rule is exempt from its own requirements.


Passed Rule Proposals:


Rule #1 - More Deviant Rule (Proposed by Jason Bergmann).  Paragraphs (5), (7), and (8) of the Deviant Diplomacy II variant rules are repealed and replaced with the following:


(1) Every Winter and Spring season, each starting player who controlled at least one supply center at the end of the previous Fall season may propose up to two rule changes.  Such players may choose to submit fewer than two rule proposals without consequence.


(2) Every Winter and Spring season, each starting player who controlled no supply centers at the end of the previous Fall season may propose up to one rule change.  Such players may choose to submit no rule proposals without consequence.


(3) Every Spring and Fall season, each starting player has a number of votes equal to one plus the number of supply centers the starting player controlled at the end of the previous Fall season. 


(4) Players may vote yes or no.  Players may cast all of their votes for or against any one rule proposal, or players can split yes and no votes among multiple rule proposals.  Players' votes are published.


(5) A no vote on any rule proposal cancels a yes vote.  The rule proposal receiving the most net yes votes goes into effect beginning the next season.  If more than one rule proposal tie for the most net yes votes, then all tied rules go into effect beginning the next season.  The rule proposal (or proposals) will go into effect even if the net yes votes are zero or negative.


(6) In addition to any rule proposals that go into effect under paragraph (5), additional rule proposals may also go into effect beginning the next season, if such proposals receive one or more net yes votes and if such proposals do not receive no votes from at least two different players.


(7) If two or more rule proposals would go into effect on the same turn but conflict explicitly or implicitly with each other, then both rules are null and void.


(8) The phrase "starting player" refers to the seven players who started this game, plus any standby player who succeeds the position of a starting player in this game.  The word "player" includes all starting players and all other persons who enter the game as a result of the passage of additional rules.


(9) This rule may be amended or repealed only by any rule proposal going into effect under paragraph (5).  Any rule proposal going into effect under paragraph (6) that amends or repeals this rule, or which conflicts explicitly or implicitly with the terms of this rule, will have no effect.


Rule #8 - "Barbarian Hordes, or the Excess Profits Tax." (Proposed by John David Galt).  When any power captures three or more supply centers (which he did not already own) in a single fall season, neutral armies known as "Barbarian Hordes" are immediately built in half of those centers (rounded down), selected at random by the GM.  This happens before the owner can build.

Once at least one Barbarian Horde exists on the board, player(s) may spend any or all of their rule votes to attempt to give an order to a Barbarian Horde.  Each Horde follows the order to it that gets the most votes.  If a Horde receives no orders, it is in disorder and holds.

If two or more orders to a Horde get the same number of votes, the tied orders are cancelled and Horde obeys the non-tied order with the most votes, even if that is a smaller number of votes than the tied orders got.

Barbarian Hordes are amphibious -- they can move to any land space as if they were armies, and to any water space as if they were fleets.  They cannot convoy or be convoyed.  They can support and be supported.  They cannot retreat, and are destroyed if dislodged -- but that is the only way to destroy them, because they do not need supply.

If a Barbarian Horde occupies a supply center after a Fall turn, that center becomes unowned.  However, a newly built Barbarian Horde does not affect the ownership of its starting location in the Fall turn in which it is built.

When a Barbarian Horde is built, the unit which captured that space is destroyed (thus allowing the owner to rebuild it normally in the Winter turn immediately afterward, if he holds enough centers).


Rule #13 – “The Duck Escapes Rule” (Proposed by Don Williams): Due to inept leadership, poor press writing, and insufficient cerebral bandwidth the French Republic under Don “Le Duc” Guillaume is swept away in a monstrously effective coup d’etat.  A new government and extremely popular government – to be headed by the extraordinarily handsome, exceptionally erudite, and press-prolific James “Le Burgess du L’Isle du Rhodes” Burgess – is immediately installed.  Tragically, as “Le Duc” is dragged straightforward to the guillotine for his just come-uppance, he is permanently unavailable to be re-called into this travesty of a dip game.


Rule #14 - Duck Williams Heart of Darkness Rule (Proposed by Jim Burgess): While Don Williams may be "out of the game" one can never be OUT of this game. Two new Provinces in Africa are created by this rule, accessed from Belgium (for obvious reasons) and London.  Belgium now also is attached to the Upper River province, which in turn is attached to the Lower River Province, which in turn is attached to London.  Only Fleets may enter this "river pathway" between London and Belgium, convoys may be made through it if two fleets are in it.  The first fleet entering this pathway is forever afterward dubbed "Marlow's Steamship" (again for obvious reasons) and that player shall then document to the GM (via CC or other means) E-Mails, phone calls, text messages, Facebook/Twitter postings etc. to Don Williams where they say "The horror, the horror!"  Besides driving Don nuts, Marlow's Steamship shall never be able to be dislodged or removed in the game (regardless of whether it has a supporting supply center) as long as the GM (in his infinite wisdom of how to bug people) views that the owner of Marlow's Steamship has sufficiently bugged Don that month.  [[For the basis of this rule “fleet” now refers to “marine unit.”]]


Rule #15 - Habsburg Relocation Act (Proposed by Mark D. Lew): Besieged by enemies on all sides, the Habsburg emperor pleads to Heaven for delivierance! Heaven answers, and the core of the empire is removed from Europe and transplanted to a paradise island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The four spaces of Vie, Bud, Tri, and Ser are transplanted: They are no longer adjacent to Boh, Gal, Rum, Bul, Gre, Alb, Adr, Ven, or Tyo. They are each adjacent to Mid (and thus have a coast now). They retain their normal adjacency with respect to each other. Any units currently occupying those spaces are transplanted with them. The area where those spaces used to be is now a large impassable void.  [[Vie, Bud, Tri, and Ser will each have only one coast, and will still be known by their original names.]]

Rule #16 - Drench the Vermin! (Proposed by Mark D. Lew): France, Russia and Germany are renamed Drance, Nussia, and Verminy. Whenever reporting game results, GM must list countries in the following order: Drance, England, Verminy, Italy, Austria, Nussia, Turkey.

Rule #17 - "Teleport Gates" (Proposed by John David Galt): The North Atlantic becomes adjacent to the Eastern Med.  The Gulf of Bothnia becomes adjacent to the Western Med.  Galicia becomes adjacent to Burgundy.

Rule #19 – “Marines” (Proposed by John Walker): All units are made into units called Marines.   Marines can move on Land, Water or by Air.  Marines have no movement restrictions if by air.  Air Movement takes 2 turns to complete, either a spring-fall or a fall-spring.  [[By this rule, there are no longer convoys.  Coasts are no longer necessary to specify, as the Marine units may move by land and sea.  Movements by air must be specified as “by air” or “via air.”  Destinations of air movements will not be revealed to the rest of the board until the 2nd turn, although the player MUST specify the destination with the original order; if you order Moscow – Paris via air, the first adjudication will merely state Moscow – Moscow Air.  The next adjudication will report Moscow Air – Paris.  If the landing fails due to a bounce or other interference, the unit returns to the original location the following movement season.  However, if unable to land at the location of origin because of a bounce or because it is occupied, the Marine which had attempted the air movement is destroyed, crashing due to lack of fuel.  Once a unit is in the air, the space it used to occupy can be immediately occupied.  In the above example, Moscow would be considered unoccupied immediately, so an uncontested move of Ukraine – Moscow would succeed even if ordered in the same season as Moscow – Moscow Air.]]


Rule #21 - "It's All About the Rules" Rule (Proposed by Russell Blau):  Beginning with the season this rule goes into effect, each player (as defined in the More Deviant Rule) receives one Rule Point (RP) for each rule proposed by that player that goes into effect.  For every season in which voting takes place, each player receives one vote for each RP they hold, in addition to all votes provided for in other rules. Clause (9) of the Deviant Diplomacy II rules is repealed. The Victory Condition for this game is to control a majority of the awarded RPs, provided that no player can win the game until the total number of RPs awarded is greater than one-half the number of supply centers in existence.


Rule #22 - "Continent-Wide Web version 2.0" (Proposed by Russell Blau): Every passable space on the map is adjacent to the spaces immediately before and after it in alphabetical order. The list wraps around, so Yorkshire is adjacent to Adriatic Sea, and vice versa. All new coastlines created by this rule are considered to be contiguous to existing coastlines -- so, for example, a fleet that enters Yorkshire from the Adriatic can exist to the North Sea, and vice versa -- and new land boundaries created by this rule do not interrupt any existing coastlines. Each space's name is alphabetized based on how it is printed on the official map on the copy of The Game used by the GM. In addition, at the end of the Fall 1902 season, the GM will randomly select one land space for each power, from among all land spaces within that power's 1901 boundaries that is (a) not a supply center and (b) not occupied by any unit, which will immediately become a buildable home supply center for that power.  [[In effect, the new adjacencies are “worm hole” passages, because they do not change any other aspects of the board.  St. Petersburg is considered to be spelled out as Saint.  I haven’t found any, but if someone discovers before next turn that this rule contradicts Rule #15 by making Vie, Tri, Ser, or  Bud adjacent again to any of their original neighbors, then both rules are null and void by Rule #1 clause 7.  As I mentioned, I haven’t found that to be the case, but I could be wrong.  If no such contradiction is pointed out to me by the next deadline, both rules stand regardless.]]


Rule #23 – “Island grabbing” (Proposed by Jason Bergmann): Effective immediately: Iceland is a German Home Center containing a German Fleet; Ireland is an English Home Center containing an English fleet; Corsica is an Austrian Home Center containing an Austrian Fleet; Sardinia is a French Home Center containing a French Fleet; Sicily is an Italian Home Center containing an Italian army; Crete is a Turkish Home Center Containing a Turkish Fleet; Cyprus is a Russian Home Center containing a Russian fleet.  All such spaces are now passable.  The Eternal Sunshine map shall be used to determine what other spaces to which they are adjacent.  In addition, Sicily and Naples are adjacent to each other, and Corsica and Sardinia are adjacent to each other.  [[“Fleet” now refers to “Mariine.”]]


Rule #25 - The Boob Says Nay and Ducks (Proposed by Jim Burgess): Jim-Bob has NO interest in actually playing this game, so he gives control of all the units back to Don "The Duck" Williams.  So as to meet the criteria of the previously passed "unlucky" Rule 13, Don is NOT actually re-called into the game.  He just has to control all the units.  The Boob will retain all the voting and rule-proposing rights that are the only reason anyone would actually want to play this insane game and define who the actual players are.  If this rule passes, the Boob (aka Jim-Bob) can never push a piece, order a unit, or any other order writing construct that anyone cares to propose for any power for the rest of the game.  [[Don Williams will now be called on to submit movement orders for French units.]]


Rule #28 - Invisibility Spells (Proposed by John David Galt): Each Spring or Fall turn, each player may spend one of his rule votes to cause one of his units to become invisible.  The unit will act normally in all respects, but its location, and any orders to it, will be known only to its owner and the GM.  Invisibility takes effect immediately -- before the adjudication of orders on the same turn in which it is cast -- and only ends if the unit, at the end of any turn, is in a supply center which did not belong to the unit's owner at the beginning of that turn.  (On that turn its location is revealed but the order, if any, it received that turn is not.)  Neighboring units affected by the invisible unit will know whether their orders succeeded or not, but will not be told why.


Rule #31 - Take over the Dulcinea (Proposed by Jim Burgess): As soon as this is passed (i.e. in the same issue), a "Dulcinae II" board is created with all the players and unit positions of the Dulcinae game.  All of the Dulcinae players control their units on the Dulcinae II board as well as the original board, but initially (until modified by future rules in this game) cannot issue orders any differently from in Dulcinae I, their submitted orders are also executed on Dulcinae II.  Every Fall turn, each player on the Black Licorice board randomly will have one of its units cloned onto the Dulcinae II board in the same location and it annihilates any existing Dulcinae II unit in that space.  If the randomly chosen unit is in a "new space", the entire rule creating that space will also be transferred to the Dulcinae II board -- otherwise all rules on the Dulcinae board are as in Standard Diplomacy (at least for now).  These units have one free game year, the unit does not have to be in a supply center to stay on the Dulcinae II board, but after that must support themselves by taking centers on the Dulcinae II board, centers are counted separately on each board.  [[This rule doesn’t actually take effect until ES #34, but since this rule does not do anything to the “Dulcinae II” game until the Fall turn (which I have decided to rule refers to the Fall turn in Black Licorice since Jim was not specific) it makes no difference whether it starts right now or not.]]


Rule #32 - Take over Eternal Sunshine (Proposed by Jim Burgess): Rules proposed in Black Licorice can have real effects on other games in Eternal Sunshine.  If this rule passes and subsequent Black Licorice rules pass that affect other games, the GM/Publisher shall poll players in those games as to whether the Deviant rule shall take effect.  Any veto by any player in the "real" Eternal Sunshine game invalidates the Black Licorice rule for that game (rules proposed to affect multiple ES games can thus actually only affect a subset of those games).  These rules can be re-proposed, but can cause the GM to poll players in any given Eternal Sunshine game no more than once per Eternal Sunshine issue.


Rule #34 - Snowball fighting! (Proposed by Mark D. Lew): During each winter season, each unit on the board may throw a snowball at any other unit on the board. When ordering throws, the player should specify a path of adjacent spaces, starting with the space occupied by the thrower and ending with the space of the target. (For snowball purposes, use adjacencies per the original map, ignoring any changes in game geography due to deviant rules. A snowball's path may include an impassable space such as Switzerland.) The path must be reasonably straight, as if drawing a straight line from somewhere in the one space to somewhere in the other, but will be judged generously if it seems close enough. If a path is clearly not straight, GM may either designate a new path with the same start and end space or else disqualify the throw as too preposterous.

Each snowball throw has a 1/N chance of hitting its target, where N is the length of the path including start and end spaces. It also has 1/N chance of hitting any unit in an intervening space along the path. Snowball throws are ordered with winter builds, but they are resolved after builds. Newly built units may neither throw nor be targeted, but they might be hit if they end up in an intervening path along a throw. Units about to be disbanded may throw or be targeted before they go, but they won't be around to get hit.

For each successful throw of length N=3 or more, the throwing player scores N style points. No style points are scored for hitting a unit other than the target, and no style points are scored for a throw of N=2. A player who scores eight or more style points in a turn gets one additional vote on rule proposals the following season. (Style points are not cumulative, and any number less than eight garners no voting benefit.)

Snowball hits taken by a unit are cumulative and tracked from year to year. During the winter season, any unit may, instead of throwing a snowball, be ordered to go inside and dry off. It takes no hits that winter and its cumulative total of hits is restored to zero. For each unit ordered to go inside and dry off, a player gets -5 style points that winter.

Any unit which suffers 20 snowball hits is considered pummeled and is treated as if in civil disorder for the rest of the game. It may not move or support during spring and fall turns. It also may not throw snowballs nor go inside during winter.  [[As the rule does not specify, a player MAY hit his own units with a snowball.  Also, once a snowball hits a unit, it stops its trajectory; so you can only hit one unit with each throw, and if you hit one along the path it never reaches the destination.  And to be clear, the chance for a hit is not variable; if you throw where N=5, the spaces along the way with units have a 1/5 chance of being hit, regardless of how far from the initial throwing space they are.]]

Rule #38 - Scrambled Eggs (Proposed by Jason Bergmann):  At the end of Winter 1902, after builds, all units will be redistributed randomly among all passable spaces.  Armies landing in water will become fleets.  Fleets landing in non-coastal land spaces will become armies.  In addition, supply centers will be redistributed among all players.  After such redistribution, each player will have the same number of supply centers, but such centers will be randomly chosen.  In Spring 1903, each player may designate three of his supply centers to be home centers.  (Russia may designate four) [[All units are now Marines, so the changes from army to fleet and vice versa are to be ignored.]]




England to Vermany: Thank you for the kind offer of your excellent selection of beers, but we are not ready to surrender to you just yet.  We'd like to sample a little of that Nussian Vodka first.

Boob to His Recalcitrant Commander: Look, Duck, you're the one who joined this game in the first place.  Now start pushing the blocks!!!  You think you're cute by "choosing to hold".  The horror, the horror!


Boob to Dork; Can I dork you??


Boob to Dork: If you're in doubt as to whether you actually in fact, ARE a dork, then of course you are.


Boob to Prospective Marlow's Steamship: Russell, avoiding your destiny does nothing to stop its inevitable occurrence.  Get into the River now or get the heck out of the way!!!


This is the All-Powerful EFGIATR: Prepare to be scrambled!

Nussia to GM: Dude, onion booty is awesome. No way that is an embarrassing revelation. That's flaunting it.


Boob to Sirius: There is no such thing as being too sirius in this game, go ahead and try.


Boob to Dougie Boy:  Any feedback from the ES peanut gallery, are they shaking in their boots, or are they just all planning to be party poopers and veto the Black Licorice rules??


GM – Boob: The little feedback I’ve gotten suggests nothing in this game will ever affect any of the others.

Ireland to North Atlantic Ocean: Duck!

Duck to Ireland: What?



Black Press Gunboat, “Maple Sugar,” 2009Crb32, W 01/S 02



Austria: Build A Vienna. A Galicia – Budapest, A Serbia - Trieste (*Bounce*), F Trieste – Albania,

 A Vienna - Trieste (*Bounce*).

England: Build F London. F London – Wales, F North Sea Supports A Norway, A Norway Hold,

 F Norwegian Sea - Barents Sea.

France: NMR, plays 1 short.. A Belgium U, F English Channel U, A Ruhr U (*Dislodged*, ret Bur or OTB).

  A standby will be called.

Germany: Build A Kiel, A Munich. A Denmark Hold, F Helgoland Bight Supports A Holland,

 A Holland Supports A Kiel – Ruhr, A Kiel – Ruhr, A Munich Supports A Kiel - Ruhr.

Italy: F Ionian Sea - Greece (*Bounce*), A Rome – Venice, A Tyrolia - Bohemia.

Russia: Build F Sevastopol, Build A Moscow. A Moscow - St Petersburg, F Rumania - Black Sea,

 F Sevastopol Supports F Rumania - Black Sea, A St Petersburg – Finland, F Sweden Hold, A Ukraine - Rumania.

Turkey: Build F Smyrna.

 F Black Sea Supports A Constantinople - Bulgaria (*Dislodged*, ret Ankara, Armenia, OTB),

 A Bulgaria - Greece (*Bounce*), A Constantinople - Bulgaria (*Fails*), F Smyrna - Aegean Sea.


Fall 1902 Deadline is November 24th 2009 at 7:00am my time




AustriaRussia moved to Rum with a fleet so we are buddies, and gal did not move on War.   Italy is now at war with Austria so long as Tyr is occupied. Turkey: take Greece with a Fleet and I will support same unless of course I get there first.  If I do gain Gre you have my word it will not attack a Turkish unit. Germany! Any support you can lend against Tyr will be returned in kind should shoe be on other foot.  Italy remove your unit from Tyr, have ION s Alb-Gre and our War is over.  France want Rome Napl, if you built fleet Mar Italy is toast. AH moves ser-tri, gal-bud, tri-alb.


Russia-Austria: So sorry, dear friend I thought you were trying to kill me. Let us dine in Ankara! death to Turkey!!!!

Russia-Italy: you are not my enemy nor my friend. alliance is possible if you so desire it.

T -> R: My F was sent to the Black Sea in the hope of a stand-off with your F Sev. I have not intention to attack Rum or any of your home scs.

Russia-Germany: I have not spoke with you often yet an alliance is open if you desire it.

Eng -> Fra:  I'm just being a bit paranoid - but I sure hope we didn't bounce!

Russia-Turkey: im sorry but u do not seem willing to ally yet the option is still open. For now though... i will try to kill you.


Austria to Sou: What the hell does 'Sou' stand for?  I am not making demands on any power except for the one power attacking AH territory.  Notice I did not try to grab War or Bul by asking for Russian support.  Notice Gal and Ser did not gang up on Rum.  It would be nice to take gre for a much needed build but I do not demand it from Turkey.  I look to co-operate with my peaceful neighbours not make war on them.


Germany to France: I could not allow the Ruhr intrusion.


Russia-Britain: what is this? regardless of Germany and France you still come after me? im sorry but friendship is not likely to occur.

T-> E: You have still a long way in front of you...

Russia-France: Yes let’s "discuss"!!! An alliance is open if you so desire it.

Germany to World: Mutual respect to all.


Austria to Turkey: I would never dream of declaring war on such a powerful corner position, were on earth did you get that idea.  I just want to hold on as long as possible that means army Greece must be resisted; you want to stick a Fleet there, no problem.  Like other players; bribing you to turn your guns on some other power say Russia or Italy, whom may somehow manage to stalemate you, is my only hope.  A bribe, let’s see; Turkey gets Tun, Nap; Austria Gree, Ven, Rome! I could live with that.



By Popular Demand


Credit goes to Ryk Downes, I believe, for inventing this.  The goal is to pick something that fits the category and will be the "most popular" answer. You score points based on the number of entries that match yours. For example, if the category is "Cats" and the responses were 7 for Persian, 3 for Calico and 1 for Siamese, everyone who said Persian would get 7 points, Calico 3 and the lone Siamese would score 1 point. The cumulative total over 10 rounds will determine the overall winner. Anyone may enter at any point, starting with an equivalent point total of the lowest cumulative score from the previous round. If a person misses a round, they'll receive the minimum score from the round added to their cumulative total. In each round you may specify one of your answers as your Joker answer.  Your score for this answer will be doubled.  In other words, if you apply your Joker to category 3 on a given turn, and 4 other people give the same answer as you, you get 10 points instead of 5.  Players who fail to submit a Joker for any specific turn will have their Joker automatically applied to the first category. And, if you want to submit some commentary with your answers, feel free to.  The game will consist of 10 rounds.  A prize will be awarded to the winner.  Research is permitted!


Round 1 Categories


1. A zoo animal.

2. A brand of sneakers.

3. A John Hughes movie.

4. Something bitter.

5. A professional tennis player.



Congrats to Don and Allison for scoring the best this round.


Selected Comments By Category:


Zoo AnimalDane Maslen: “'Lion' or 'Elephant' for number 1?  Tricky.  I won't get distracted by the gorilla joke.  Past experience has taught me that most players select their answers without reference to anything else in the zine, probably because the zine is long read and forgotten about before they get round to doing their last-minute orders. J  Jim Burgess “The biggies are going to be lions, bears, and elephants.  Giraffes are my favorite.”


Sneakers – None.  Nike was too overwhelming to require comments.


John Hughes Per Westling “The Breakfast Club was the first movie that came to mind. Although some research indicates that "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was number one, and I am weak for long titles, I will stand by my first thought.”  Jim Burgess “The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off are precisely tied in their ratings on the Internet Movie Database and these are the two from which to choose.  They also are pretty close to tied in my estimation.  Breakfast Club has that great Simple Minds song, and I loved Simple Minds from before anyone else knew who they were.  Ferris Bueller's Day Off is one of the few great Economist movies of all time.  Now everyone else knows what the Smoot-Hawley Act is after Ben Stein's brilliant performance. Anyone, anyone???  Gotta go with Ferris Bueller.”


Bitter – Brendan Whyte “Tempted to say marriage, but my wife won’t untie me until I promise not to.”  Per Westling “I don't like bitter things. More of a cider guy.”  Dane Maslen “I was tempted to answer "Your ally after you've stabbed him" to number 4.  It would probably have scored me as much as "quinine", which is unfortunately the answer that still springs most readily to mind 40 years on from the biology lesson in which we used it to discover which parts of the tongue react to bitter flavours.”  Jim Burgess “Herbs, way too many ways to go here, gotta hope there are enough Jewish knowledgeable people out here.”  Don Williams “Or my ex…both of them!”

Tennis Player – Brendan Whyte “Though that Roumanian chick with the big boobs who wants to get breast reduction surgery could be a top score (as it were).”  Andy York “Arthur Ashe first came to mind, then Billie Jean King; however, I don't think they'll be chosen by anyone else.”  Per Westling “Although European (and Swede - 20 years ago Björn Borg or McEnroe would have been my choice) I think Federer is the automatic choice as he is regarded as the best player ever, has been #1 for quite some time (excl Nadal) and almost won US open 6 times in a row.”  Dane Maslen “The answer that ought to come most readily to my mind for number 5, given that I watch Spanish satellite TV news, is ..., but as you can see, it isn't!  I'll go with Federer instead.  I think I'm right in saying that for the last few years they have taken it in turns to be the top-rated player, not that I know much about tennis really.”


Round 2 Categories – Deadline is November 24th, 2009 at 7:00am my time

1. A type of spider.

2. An airline.

3. A movie with Edward Norton.

4. A vegetable.

5. Someone who died in 2009.


General Deadline for the Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine:  November 24th, 2009 at 7:00am my time  - See You Then!