Octopus's Garden Issue Twenty-Five

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HELLO, good evening and welcome to issue 25 of Octopus's Garden, the subzeen with its very own draft FAQ. An html version of this subzeen is available on the Web at http://www.manorcon.demon.co.uk/octopus/index.html. It's also sent to the TAP mailing list, which you can join automatically by sending the message 'subscribe tap' to majordomo@igo.org. The message 'unsubscribe tap' sent to the same address will get you off the mailing list.

Round 6 (RR 1549 FR)


Railway Rivals (France)

Little Froggy FooFoo ChooChoo (LFFfCc) [orange] (Pitt Crandlemire, MA)
6a) (R13) - P12 ; 6b) (P12) - M11 [-1 blue] ; (P21) - Clermont Ferrand ; 6c) (P21) - K23 ; (Metz) - G68.
French Rail Emperors And Kings (FREAK) [purple] (W. Andrew York, TX)
6a) (P25) - O25 - N25 ; 6b) (N25) - M25 - L25 - K25 - J25 [-1 yellow] ; 6c) (Z18) - Orleans ; (R13) - N11 [-12 orange] [-1 blue].
Conrad's Absurd Names Create Acronymic Nausea (CAN CAN) [green] (Conrad von Metzke, CA)
6a) (C49) - Rennes ; (T9) - S10 [-1 orange] ; 6b) (C70) - C71 ; (S10) - R10 ; 6c) (C71) - C72 [-1 purple] ; (R10) - P11.
The Blue Nosed Special (TBNS) [blue] (John Colledge, Scotland)
6a) (R21) - Clermont ferrand [+6] ; (Paris) - E58 [-3 green] ; 6b) (E58) - G57 [-1 green] [-1 orange] ; 6c). (G57) - Dieppe [-1 green] & tries to buy ferry (fails) ; Bayonne - F7 - E7.
Railways Asserting Very Egalitarian Lines (RAVEL) [yellow] (Berry Renken, Netherlands)
6a) (J59) - Amiens - J57 ; 6b) (J57) - J55 & buys Dieppe ferry [-6] ; (H60) - H62 ; 6c) (H62) - H64 [-1 purple] [-1 green] ; (Paris) - D58 ; (N57) - N58 [-1 purple] ; (V21) - U21 [-1 blue].

Races for Round Seven

For Round Seven, you may enter four of the above races, then build up to 14 physical points (i.e. excluding all payments to others, known and unknown). Orders for Round Seven by 23:59:59 Greenwich Mean Time on FRIDAY, 15th MAY, 1998, to Peter Sullivan. E-mail : octopus@manorcon.demon.co.uk PGP key available for the paranoid.

Press :

TBNS - LFFfCc : I say sir! That was a bit forward of you! "Hemph!" as Lucy would say.

CAN CAN : So - now I know that Spam is crap in both countries. (But I love it. Does wonders for the cholesterol levels, but it is ever so addictive ...

Railway Rivals on the Web

Diplomacy is quite well covered on the web. There are lots of different sites, often by people involved in the postal hobby recycling material from their snail-mail zeens, and (of course), the corner-stone of the Diplomacy PBeM (Play by Electronic Mail) hobby, the Diplomatic Pouch. This started me thinking about what Railway Rivals resources there might be on the Web.

www.rostherne.com is still an unregistered domain, and I somehow doubt that David Watts will be rushing on-line in the near future. The standard place to start with an exercise like this are the search engines, and from personal preference, I tend to use Yahoo for subject-based searches and Alta Vista for keyword-based searches, if only because they were the first ones I ever used, and I've never really investigated any of the others.

Yahoo starts promisingly, with a whole subdirectory of Railroad Games (which threw me slightly, as I had originally been looking in Board Games). However, there are only three sites listed in this category. The Depot is exclusively 18xx. The Train Gamers Association have a whole slew of games information, but little related to RR. Likewise, the Railroad Games Home Page also pays more attention to the more commercial games like the 18XXs and the "crayon" games like Empire Rails, although it does have the postal rules for Railway Rivals.

So, it's off to Alta Vista to see what we can find there. I found 190 matches. (Of course, if you repeat this now, you'll get at least 191, as presumably this page will be listed too, now.) However, on paging through the list, these turned out to fall into several distinct categories.

There were several entries for Mike Quist's RiverCity Railroad Gazette, but nothing appears to have been updated since 1995. Mike Siggins' Sumo, the games discussion zeen, which I have shamefully never got around to subscribing to, appeared several times. But RR was mainly mentioned in passing ("...this game is not as good as Railway Rivals.") apart from an excellent History article.

Various other hobby zeens which have made issues available on the web also registered the occasional hit, as did the UK equivalent of the Zeen Directory, Mission from God, which is available on John Harrington's Fiendish Games website. There were some convention listings (notably Manorcon and Midcon), and a few sundry game reviews (some of Railway Rivals, some of the German edition DamfroB. But there doesn't seem to be a single, DipPouch-style central resource, or even a basic FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions file).

Well, they say that the English always talk about the weather, but never do anything about it. It shouldn't be too difficult for me to put together an FAQ, even if (to start with, at any rate), it consists mainly of questions that the compilers feel ought to be Frequently Asked, even thought they're not. (Actually I suspect this is true of many an FAQ file on the net.) Obvious questions to start with would be :

I have my own ideas for answers to some of these, but if anyone else wants to chip in with answers or further questions, then please feel free to e-mail me.

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