Edited by Steve Doubleday
By Stephen Agar
would probably forgive me for saying that Gallimaufry has seemed a little
depressed of late. For the last
couple of issues Steve has seemed rather dissatisfied with how Gallimaufry has
been progressing, with circulation dropping to 34 subscribers and 11 trades.
That such an established and occasionally innovative zine should be so
poorly supported is a great shame.
Steve has had some problems due to his very hectic work schedule (and some ill
health), but although such problems have sometime affected the length of
Gallimaufry, they have not affected its frequency or its capacity to entertain.
You don't get to issue 122 without having some staying power.
has been interested in variants since the year dot and is probably best known
for designing the classic two-player diplomacy variant Intimate Diplomacy along
with Adrien Baird. Other inventions
from Steve's twisted mind include Timelords, Fall of Empires, Five Dynasties (a
Chinese variant), Millenium, Beleriand, Dark Tower and numerous rule change
variants. Steve is the thinking
man's variant designer who often explores new concepts both for Diplomacy
variants and new games. Recent
issues have seen articles on game design and Timelords tactics.
Sadly, probably because of Gallimaufry's low circulation, Steve doesn't
always get the feedback from his subscribers that he needs to inspire him.
to what some commentators have said, Gallimaufry is not in need of improvement,
it is just in need of additional vitality.
Steve's writing style is friendly, concise and witty as you would expect
from someone who has been editing a zine for fifteen years on and off.
However, there's no getting away from the fact that what Gallimaufry
really needs is some new subscribers who want to play Diplomacy, are interested
in the theory behind new games and variants and who will be willing to really
participate in Gallimaufry and lift the zine's spirit.
know that Richard Sharp and Steve Doubleday are two very different people and
that Dolchstoß and Gallimaufry are two different zines, but I still somehow
feel that because the two zines use the same fonts, the same reduction, similar
lay-out and neither use coloured paper, it is impossible not to end up making
comparisons. Dolchstoß has a large
circulation and mass feedback, which sometimes makes Gallimaufry look like the
poorer relation. Maybe it would
help if the zines looked more distinct visually.
am conscious that Spring Offensive has an unusually large number of subscribers
who don't see any other zine. That
is a pity, because I think the hobby does become a lot more enjoyable when you
see two or three zines. If you are
considering branching out (and I really would encourage you to do so) then take
a look at Gallimaufry. The zine is
an undiscovered gem.
the moment Gallimaufry is running only 3 games of Diplomacy and one variant,
though lists are open for Timelords (a hyperspace variant), Fall of Empire (an
Alexandrine successor historical variant) and Scrabble, as well as good
old-fashioned Diplomacy). Write to
Steve and ask for a sample copy and see what you think.
from Spring Offensive 4