Y Ddraig Goch
by Iain Bowen
By Stephen Agar
Ddraig Goch is the Oscar Wilde of the postal Diplomacy hobby being witty, camp,
pompous and smug. Iain is the past master of the put-down, an expert at irony,
the self-appointed inventor of disparaging hobby nick-names and a renowned hobby
bÍte noir of the first order. Which
all in all makes for an interesting, if occasional, read.
is A5 reduced photocopy using Gill Sans, Courier and Palatino Italic fonts,
though the combination of typefaces may have more to do with Iain's fondness for
casually dropping the name of various fonts and software packages in
conversation in order to make sure that we are all reminded of the expensive
hardware and software that he has at his disposal. Average length is 24-28 A5 pages, carrying 3 games of
Diplomacy, 1 variant, 2 games of Railway Rivals and games of Empire of the
Middle Ages and Government. Iain's
waiting lists do seem to be talking some time to fill on the Diplomacy front.
I get the impression that the GMing is erratic, in YDdG #66
Iain was apologising for all the GMing errors he was making, while in
issue #67 out of the three games of Diplomacy he is running there were errors in
two games and the third held over because Iain lost the orders.
Maybe he is just going through a rather prolonged bad patch.
few issues ago I thought that Y Ddraig Goch may fold, as Iain was muttering all
sorts of dark thoughts about how little time he had to devote to the hobby and
his diminishing satisfaction in putting the zine together, but such shadows seem
to have disappeared over the summer.
trades fairly widely both in the UK and abroad so YDdG is quite informative when
it comes to hobby news and gossip, though the longish gap between every
appearance of YDdG sometimes means that things are a little stale.
Iain walks a tightrope in that he likes to appear to be a hobby
elder-statesman who is above all this games nonsense and only reads Diplomacy
articles out of a sense of duty, yet occasionally his guard slips and he finds
himself enjoying being immersed in a lot of "wank and toss" (his words
- I would never be so uncouth) in YDdG over how the title of World Diplomacy
Convention should rotate through the various national cons throughout the world
over the next few years. Who cares? It
would not bother me if we had as many WDC's as boxing has world championships
for the difference it would make.
50 undoubtedly raised Iain's profile in the hobby to new heights, having as it
did a photograph of two naked men fondling each other on the cover.
Presumably this is why Iain proclaims in every issue of YDdG that it is
only for sale to those who are 18 and over.
Regrettably there has been very little sleaze in recent issues, so I hope
that Iain comes up with something for issue #69 to restore his increasingly
flaccid reputation for the outrageous. Of
course Iain's big secret is that he is really rather prudish about sex, despite
the basis of the last seven issues I am a little at a loss to explain why YDdG
should have come second in last year's Zine Poll (which is of course run by Iain,
which must help), though that may be more of a reflection on the competition.
It is certainly a good and entertaining zine, I wouldn't deny that, but
is everything else really that much worse?
Reprinted from Spring Offensive 6