͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ 
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Another glorious issue!

Well, maybe not glorious, but then again, why not? Why not count this issue as a glorious issue? Glorious is an adjective, after all, and right now, I'm feeling pretty darned glorious for getting this issue "done." Sixteen issues is nothing to snurl your nose at.

But then again, one man's issue is another man's e-mail, so maybe I had better tone it down a bit, huh?

Are issues of PBM Chaos too long for your digital taste buds? Are they too short? Or are they Goldilocks-style just right? I did include a copy of the PBM List in this issue. It's far from finished, but it should be of use to our readers in the meantime.

In Game 5703 of Alamaze, my Demon Princes kingdom is about to do military battle with a Red Dragon group and a Giants group. I fully expect to lose both battles, but don't think for even a second that there won't be a price to pay. At least, that sounds good on paper, anyway. We'll just have to wait and see if I can back it up, against what is arguably the two most militarily powerful kingdoms in all of Alamaze (no offense intended towards the Black Dragon kingdom, of course).

I've been giving some thought to possibly taking up a bandit position in TribeNet. I wouldn't mind giving TribeNet a go, but I really ain't all that anxious for it to become a time sink. It's not the thought of playing that bothers me, but the thought of having to read a bunch of stuff before figuring out what to actually do. I really don't want sink into a morass of economics.

And then there's Galac-Tac. Do I want to try and really dig into that game's rulebook, also? Not really, but Galac-Tac's rulebook isn't nearly as thick as a number of other PBM games' rulebooks are.

Then, too, Middle-earth PBM calls to me, from time to time. Somewhere inside of me, there's a Nazgûl just itching to burst free. I would probably be a plague upon my own team, in most of those Middle-earth PBM modules. But isn't there one module where I wouldn't have to play as part of a team?

And how would I manage any of those or all of those, while simultaneously still playing in seven games of Alamaze, GMing and narrating for PBMville, and publishing PBM Chaos, all at the same time? I'm not as young as I used to be, but compared to my dear friend, Wayne Smith, I am. Hahahahahahaha!

Looks like there was some action in PBMville, this turn. Maybe all of these PBMville hoodlum characters aren't all cowards, after all. Itchy trigger fingers set the stage for this issue's turn to unfold.

If your game isn't getting the attention that you think that it deserves in PBM Chaos, then the best way to "fix" that is by writing in to me. You send to me what you want to see in digital print, and that will likely be a better approach than just hoping against all odds that I remember your game, or that I just stumble upon your game by sheer chance. I don't have time to visit every gaming Hobbit hole on the Internet, each issue. So, help me to help you, and help me to help raise awareness about your game. Capiche?
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From the vast realm of Alamaze

Alamaze Game 5712

Ranger King,

You delude yourself into thinking that you can withstand the might of my pack and seize our capital city. Your hubris blinds you to the undeniable truth. As we now ride for your weakly protected capital, the reckoning draws near.

Know that we have more than enough to fight you, now that the iron men have departed the battlefield. Prepare for the tempest that is about to descend upon your realm, for the time of reckoning is nigh, and your forces shall bear witness to the wrath of the lycanthropic storm.

Bararod Jhaan,

the Unyielding Werewolf King

Demon Princes Suggestion

I have not yet played them, nor played against them, so this is purely theoretical.

If the demon princes are overpowered, how about making them capturable and holdable? Traditionally in lore, it is straightforward yet dangerous to hold a demon in one place. Eventually, it will get out (and will be unfond of its captors) but it can be held, and while it is held, it is very rewarding for the holder. Demons can be coerced to give information, gold, magical items, etc..

Something like that might make the demon prince player a bit less cavalier about hurling them blindly around the map, and give the player who defeats the demon prince in battle a tangible reward for so doing.


Demon Princes Thoughts

If they are so overpowered then they would have more wins. Their military is not good. They are balanced as i see it. Maybe make the other kingdoms stronger. Like the archer phase of the elves can be devastating, give the ancient back the plow, etc..


Demon Princes Ponderings

In my opinion, the real power of the Princes is their unlimited range, and immunity to sleep. And now with their immortality, they have free reign. They also cost 1/3 the amount to move as a normal Prince. Gate used to be undetected about 50% of the time, now its 100%. My strategy would be to use your King and Wizards to maintain good regional reaction while jumping around with the princes to capture PCs.

My opinion again is the demonic denigration and demonic enamor is very situational, and not usually the best use of an order.

Whether or not you can take a PC with a political depends on your influence, type of PC, regional reaction, and emissary rank. A Prince whose king has 12 influence in a friendly region can usually take a neutral city, so two could take a controlled city (baring other influences, such as fortification, natural defense like the ruthless trait, and maintain status quo).

One other cool thing to remember, if the rules are the same since the last time I read them, the Princes never act at less than halfway between suspicious and tolerant regional reaction... which means you can probably go into a hostile region and take controlled villages and maybe even towns without enamoring. Working together, the princes could possibly take hostile cities. If you get your ESO, you can have a 4th Prince, definitely worth going for.

The best strategy, in my opinion, however, is one that employs dynamic tactics using multiple assets in harmony. Sending three princes into your neighbors region by themselves is just dicking around, which could be fun, but not particularly effective.

Jon Deaux

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Demon Princes Advice

The Demon Princes is one of my personal favorites and fun to play!

Maximus, you may get a 4th demon prince by achieving your Early Strategic Objective (ESO). One of the rewards is another demon prince so be sure to grab that one. Granting rewards for ESO are turns 10-15.

Also, you may want to hire more princes (human) to protect your demon princes. The reason why is that if your king/queen is ever kidnapped or assassinated, one of your demon princes becomes regent. So, to prevent that hire a bunch of normal princes for them to be inline to be regent, while leaving your demon princes alone.

Keep in mind that there are other uses for those valuable demon princes than just political purposes.

For example, you can summon skeletons as one of their special abilities. No other figure in the game can do that, only your demon princes which is pretty cool. And those skeletons really add up. In one game noted below, I summoned a crapload of skeletons starting on turn 1 and raised my wizards to pwr-5 for an unbeatable combo.

That unusual tactic of primarily using your demon princes to summon skeletons early on to develop a military force rather than using them solely as political purposes, ended up being rather fun to play. Having 3 demons summoning skeletons for 10 turns (30 skeleton brigades) plus 3 pwr-5 wizards casting Shield spell (stacks for 22.5 wizard levels total), meant that I had an unbeatable group by turn 10 that took very little damage due to all of that wizard shielding. This very game was the one that caused Rick to change the rules about not allowing skeletons until turn 4, and not allowing combat spells to stack (only one combat spell of each type per battle). Can't have a political kingdom like the Demon Princes have a stronger group than the military kingdoms at that stage of the game. My mistake for bragging about it on the forum...

In game 103 (July 2013) when Alamaze Resurgence made a comeback, I played the Demon Princes kingdom with that particular tactic (attaching one of my turns). Though I'm kind of surprised that I didn't convert all of my pwr-5 wizards into undead wraiths. That was one of my standard tactics to be able to cast 3 earthquake spells without worry of dying, and being more effective in battle than casting guarded attack or self-invisible spells. I think it was probably due to the kingdom receiving that spell at 6th level or something back then.

Anyway, as you can see those skeletons can really add up. That was back in 2nd Cycle, now with 4th Cycle Maelstrom, you can improve your skeletons that much more with experience (up to Elite status) and equip with improved armor/weapons, etc..

So, when you play the Demon Princes kingdom, you may want to consider to not only use them as political powerhouses, but also think about developing a cheap, and perhaps, unbeatable military group that costs very little in food/gold for the combat value that you're getting in return.


On Immortality in Alamaze

I don't think immortality is overpowered in general. A king immune from assasination, kidnap and some other benefits is fine. Its overpowered with regards to the Demon Princes, who can teleport 4 princes anywhere on the map with no risk of death or capture AND no blocking by armies. They have much different function than a king, and compounded with their other abilities and number makes that kingdom's immortality overpowered (and really a different function than all the other immortals, with the possible exception of the AN).

AN, not sure, but who cares about an immortal priestess? Doesn't really multiply the high priestess' power like it does with the DE.

Pine Needle

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PBMville Characters & Locations

The Living

Average Joe Smith

Player: William Caddell

Health: GOOD

Last Location = Entering PBMville

Assignment Last Turn: NONE

Current Location: 21

Born in Laramie, Wyoming, Average Joe Smith has lived an average, ordinary life, and grew up a cowpoke making a living herding many a head of beef on cattle drives. His daddy was a town drunk, and beat his mother something fierce - until she had finally had enough and got fed up, and stabbed him with a Bowie knife while he was sleeping. They hanged his ma for murdering his pa. Joe Smith eventually made his way to PBMville, and when he started hearing gunfire, he made his way out into the street, to see what was going on.

Angry August Ryan

Player: Barry Robertson

Health: GOOD

Last Location = Entering PBMville

Assignment Last Turn: NONE

Current Location: 18

Hailing from a rural area of the Oklahoma Territory, August Ryan's parents and siblings died from a pox that tore through the territory when he was in his early twenties, and it galled him something awful - to the point where he got mad and has stayed mad ever since. In a bid to make himself look tougher to the outside world, Angry August Ryan sold his family's Oklahoma homestead and equipped himself as a real dandy of a cowboy. All of his attire, his hat, and even his revolver are brand spanking new, and he stands out like a sore thumb in PBMville. He's young, damned young, but he's old enough to get mad. And from the looks of it, he's also old enough to take a bullet to the gut.

Deputy Farkus Gurdeen

Player: NPC

Health: GOOD

Last Location = Entering PBMville

Assignment Last Turn: MOVE to 23.

Current Location: 23

NOTE: Deputies get one order slot per turn.

Farkus Green has only been a deputy in PBMville for a little over three months. He moved out West from Boston, Massachusetts on a lark, in search of adventure. He hadn't been in town long, when he applied for the job of deputy. The snooty type, Deputy Farkus Gurdeen is a by-the-book type of fellow, and as many times as not, his style of law enforcement rubs the town folks of PBMville the wrong way. He's itching to prove himself to the town sheriff.

Big Bad Black Bob

Player: Indie Spin

Health: GOOD

Last Location = 1

Assignment Last Turn: MOVE to 2.

Current Location: 2

Makes Widows Smile

Player: Teddy Tedstone

Health: DEAD

Last Location = 30

Assignment Last Turn: Shoot at Fastdraw Kid Sammy Hill in 19.

Current Location: 30

The Comanche chief, Makes Widows Smile, squared off in the streets of PBMville against Fastdraw Kid Sammy Hill. Even from the wooden sidewalk, town folks could smell that firewater fresh on his breath. Nothing like the taste of liquid courage to bolster a man's aim. They stared at one another, fingers twitching as they prepared to sling lead. It was then that Makes Widows Smile went for his gun. He was quick, too! He got off a shot, and it struck its target - but his target also struck the the big Indian. And this Indian bled like a stuck pig. He was dead before he hit the ground.

Deputy Winslow Kinkaid

Player: NPC

Health: GOOD

Last Location = 3

Assignment Last Turn: MOVE to 1.

Current Location: 1

NOTE: Deputies get one order slot per turn.

Ringo "Fifty Two" Fry

Player: Bryan Ciesielski

Health: DEAD

Last Location = 24

Assignment Last Turn: SHOOT at Mississippi Jane Deadshot in 25.

Current Location: 24

This day was too damned hot for the likes of Ringo Fry. He could feel the hairs on the back of his neck rise, and it dawned on him that he should look behind him. That's when he saw her - Mississippi Jane Deadshot! And she was too close for comfort, and she already had her gun drawn, when he spun on instinct to check behind him.

He never even hesitated to begin drawing as he whirled. He had practiced that move more times that he could remember. But however many times it was that he practiced it, it turned out to be not enough. Her bullet struck him square in the chest, just barely missing his heart, but close enough to get the job done. Like some kind of Wild West ballerina, his whirl became a twirl, and that was the last of him in this world.

Dan "The Loner" Hughes

Player: Stefan Graf


Last Location = 8

Assignment Last Turn: Shoot at Rowdy Slim McGraw in 22.

Current Location: 8

It was time to hustle, and The Loner knew his game. Nothing in this day had gone right, so far, and now here he was facing off against that no good bastard Rowdy Slim McGraw. Dan Hughes knew the man that was facing him, now, but these two were anything but friends. As he waited to draw, Dan sized Slim McGraw up for a coffin fit. He aimed to send this sumbitch to Boot Hill.

He figured Rowdy for a coward, the kind of man that thought nothing of shooting another man in the back. But Dan "The Loner" Hughes was nobody's fool. No way that he was gonna turn his back on this punk.

Without warning, Dan reached for his gun! He controlled his breathing, and remembered to aim. BAM! But that extra moment of aiming cost him a bullet to his, but not before his own bullet left the smoking barrel of his gun. WOUNDED! But thank God it wasn't his gun arm that took the round.


Fastdraw Kid Sammy Hill



Player: Alex Sahm


Last Location = 19

Assignment Last Turn: Shoot at Makes Widows Smile in 30.

Current Location: 19

People Killed: 1

Sammy Hill never did care for Indians. And here he was, facing off against not just any Indian, but a Comanche chief. What kind of Comanche lives in a saloon, though? The Fastdraw Kid could tell right off that Makes Widows Smile was drunk off his ass. He should never have stood his ground, not against Sammy "I've got a bullet for your ass" Hill. The more that he stared at the Indian, the more that he wanted to pull the trigger. He saw the chief reach for his gun. But Sammy's hand was like a blur, instinctively reaching for his own gun. He reeled instantly from the impact and the pain, as the Comanche's bullet nailed his ass, right there on the streets of PBMville. But Sammy had the better aim, and would live to tell about it.


Mississippi Jane Deadshot

Player: Richard Lockwood



Health: GOOD

Last Location = 25

Assignment Last Turn: Shoot at Ringo "Fifty Two" Fry in 24.

Current Location: 25

People Killed: 1

Like the sneaky little bitch that she was, Mississippi Jane Deadshot had managed to sneak down the street, and closed on her target. She had Ringo "Fifty Two" Fry in her sights, and she aimed to take his wallet, even over his dead body. But he seen her coming!

He whirled to face her, drawing his revolver as he did so. But she got a round off, first. And when the bullet from her gun struck him, his body convulsed from the impact, causing Ringo's shot to launch towards the sky. He never had a chance, and Mississippi Jane Deadshot now has his wallet to prove it.


Rowdy Slim McGraw



Casey Link


Last Location = 22

Assignment Last Turn: Shoot at Dan "The Loner" Hughes in 8.

Current Location: 22

People Killed: 1

He spit on the ground, the tobacco juice in his mouth getting to be a bit too much juice. Slim McGraw was anxious to get this show underway. And he couldn't have asked for a more deserving target than that worthless piece of trash who went by the name of Dan "The Loner" Hughes. Rowdy Slim McGraw couldn't want to shoot this hombre.

The Loner made a grab at his gun, but Rowdy Slim McGraw was on it! Rowdy was faster, but being faster doesn't mean that you're faster than a bullet that gets unleashed in your direction. Fuck! He saw Dan's arm explode in red, as the blood splattered when his bullet impacted Dan Huges. And just about a fraction of a second later, a terrible pain tore through the rowdy one's side. Talk about something that hurts like hell! What in the hell was he gonna do, now? Rowdy Slim McGraw dropped to his knees, reeling from pure pain. Wounded, but still alive!

Brendan "The Dirge" Weir

Player: Brendan Weir

Health: GOOD

Last Location = 15

Assignment Last Turn: MOVE to 14.

Current Location: 14

Possession: Ace of Spades [1 Use Only] [Averts Death]

The PBMville Narrator Speaks

Howdy, folks! It's me, your friendly town narrator, coming at ya with a little nugget of PBMville wisdom. Remember, you always strike gold when I speak!

So, you're wanting to be an outlaw, huh? That's a dangerous way of life. Even still, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do - and a woman, too.

The way that these gunfights work is that whenever you fire a gun at somebody else in the streets of PBMville, I roll dice (thus far, just one die, technically, but I like the word dice better than I like the word die - in PBMville, the word die definitely has more than just one meaning, if you know what I mean).

First, I roll to see if you hit or miss your target. Most of y'all could hit the broad side of a barn to save your life, from the looks of it. If your shot misses, then that's it. Your turn is over (unless somebody shoots you).

Second, if the roll indicates a hit on your target, I then roll again. This time, it's to see if you wound your target, of if you kill them. It's one or the other, kind of like in real life. Naturally, where PBMville gunfights are concerned, I'm always rootin' fer a kill. It makes my life easier that way. Plus, you know as well as I do that the crowd that gathers to watch these gunfights wants mayhem and blood and death. They're hard people, these PBMville folks.

I use dice to determine hits and severity of hits. That way, I have a clean conscience when your character dies. Plus, too, I never know ahead of time if your character is gonna survive or perish. That makes things a tad more interesting for me, too.

A Smattering of Alamaze Thoughts
Charles Mosteller

If you've followed along with my writings about the fantasy war game that is Alamaze over the last few months, both in issues of PBM Chaos as well as elsewhere (more than one elsewhere, actually), then you will know that my mind has fished the waters of thought both far and wide.

Make no mistake about it. The purpose of my praise for the game isn't just to praise it, and the purpose of my criticism isn't just to criticize it. Both are towards a far greater purpose!

Namely, both praise and criticism are uttered with an eye towards hopefully the game being improved, going forward. Verily, I am not part of a one-man crusade to decapitate Alamaze, and lay it low.

Far from it, in fact! Me? I want to see a more robust version of Alamaze take hold in the gaming world of the modern era. Being on the losing end of battles and wars in multiple Learning Games of Alamaze has opened my eyes to a few things - things which I think are not always good or healthy for the game's long-term vitality.

As currently designed, Alamaze makes it really difficult for losing players to rebound. Whimsically, no player would ever end up on the losing end of battles and wars, but the plain reality is not only do players begin to lose wars, it routinely happens. Reversing it isn't child's play!

And it's supposed to happen, because Alamaze is a war game, after all. That's something that I never lose sight of.

Ideally, though, you don't want new players to enter into what amounts to a rapid death spiral, one where the game's design, itself, magnifies their struggles to the point where fighting their way to a comeback is highly implausible.

New players and very experienced players are two entirely different kinds of gaming creatures. New players in games of all sorts frequently do not grasp the many nuances of a particular game's design. They don't always know and understand the full range of options and possibilities available to them. New players can become more easily disillusioned by a game gone bad than experienced players who have already invested considerable time, energy, and effort mastering a game's finer points.

If you run out of gold, and if you no longer control any population centers (or have very few at your disposal) to generate more, and if your food stores are insufficient to trade for more than insignificant amounts of gold, and if you lack sufficient gold to even send agents on missions to steal gold from other players' population centers, and if your kingdom is too broke to even be able to afford to build a sanctuary, tell me - what's your plan?

It shouldn't be assumed that new players will be in communication with any other players in the game. Experienced players often operate off of false or erroneous assumptions. Yet, new players don't think like experienced players, and that lack one crucial thing that experienced players have in spades - experience!

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Duel2 is a Play-by-Mail game of ancient gladiatorial combat.

Hyborian War is a game of imperial conquest in the age of Conan.

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Each realm is just a small part of the Savage Frontier of the Forgotten Realms setting.

Green Sun: Rise & Fall



Spent most of the afternoon this Friday (when not napping) overhauling/upgrading some of the technology files. This means that, especially if you are an established player, you may be getting a reprint of some of the technology you though you had. This new & improved version replaces anything you may have been sent previously.


Is Green Sun: Rise & Fall a roleplaying game or a combat game?

It is primarily a game of exploration with elements of roleplaying if you wish to engage (& often used by the GM to cover up his mistakes), though there is a combat element, should you feel the need to go around killing everything. I would, however, say it will be very difficult to wipe out the whole Tanhauser Galaxy.


Green Sun: Rise & Fall is an open-ended play-by-mail game in which the player takes control of a race of creatures, who having just mastered the technology to travel faster than light, are about to set out and explore the stars. This breakthrough, and the exploration it leads to, opens up a new ‘golden age’ for the race in terms of technological advancement. Whatever the history of your race up until this point, the commitment by your people to explore the stars will see a great blossoming of ideas, leading to ever more opportunities.

Each player submits their orders to the Games Master (GM), who processes these, returning the results back to the player. This process repeats as time allows until the adjustment date, when all game and real-world accounting takes place, before starting the next game cycle.

Green Sun: Rise & Fall has completed is playtesting and is now inviting players to play the game.

Contact the Green Sun GM




Galaxy #130 (1 week turns) and #113 (2 week turns) are both nearing enough players to begin. If we can just get a few more to sign up to play we can get those underway.



Fingers crossed. I'm getting to grips with the solo game but want to get into a real game


Well, it's taken quite a while to come up with time to work on it, but The GTac Assistant has finally gotten a new upgrade! A number of minor bugs and enhancements have been included in this version, but there's one new feature that a number of players have asked for... You can now copy map definitions and other configuration information from one galaxy to another! In order to make that work well, the export/import format has had some readability changes made to it - those exported maps (in particular) are now human-readable. In order to accommodate that, the internal structure of how maps are stored has been rebuilt to match, and that involved a lot of under-the-cover code changes within the mapping system itself. These changes should all be invisible to players and everything should look like it did before, but there was certainly a lot of internal coding changed along the way. Do let me know if you find any problems that I missed.
Happy gaming to everyone!

  • Galac-Tac is a single unit level, science fiction war game.
  • Each galaxy is computer-moderated and close-ended, with the end goal of taking over the galaxy.
  • 10 to 15 players start equally in random, separated positions on a 100×100 galactic grid.
  • Each game is computer generated, no two games are alike.
  • You can design your own ships and build as many as you can afford.
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Middle-earth PBM

John Davis GM


Games Starting Soon

CME (Game 830) 1/2 nations available.

CMF Tourney Season 4 (Ideally 8 teams). 2/8 available. We have a player looking for an ally as well.

1650 2wk GB (Game 969) 5/8 positions available. 3 nations 1 character per nation champion. 6 Rewards per nation. Shared turns. RANDOMISED ID on Items.

1650 2w (Game 972) 22/24 nations available (Up to 2 nations per player, Champions) 12v12 Randomised Items.

2950 2w Normal game (Game 260) 5/8 positions available. (3 nations pay for 2) . Champions.

2950 2w GB (Game 262) 4/8 positions available. (3 nations pay for 2) . 25 words per actve nation diplo. Chmapions, 6 Rewards per nation. Shared turns.

Kinstrife 2w (Game 628) 11/14 nations available. (Upto 2ntn) No Neutrals

Kinstrife 2w GB (Game 630) * NEW triplets* 3/4 triplet nations available (3 nation game) (3n pay for 2). New comboes. Of your 3 nations 1st nation gets +30% points to spend, 2nd gets +15% points, last one is normal. Loy: 2/5/21 and 3/4/6....Usu 11/14/15 and 12/1316 (with 1/22 being the nations removed).

1000 2w Normal (Game 416) Up to 2 nations per player. Normal game, 8/25 available

1000 2w (GB Game 423) 3 nations per player. 8/8 available

Grudge teams looking for opposition

Kim Andersen's Team Spartans are looking for opposition in Kin-strife,and offering their opponents 10% extra points in set-up bonuses.

OldSchool (Spanish team) 1650 (Ruben Aguayo)

A player is patiently waiting for opposition in the next CMF tournament. If you - or you and a friend - would like to take them on, please do get in touch!

John Davis GM


New Version of JOverseer Available

The most recent version of JOverseer is: 1.18.9.

As usual, it contains a number of fixes and improvements, so we strongly recommend you download it.

To do so, you can click help/check for updates from within JOverseer, or visit our website:


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John Davis GM


Our next project is going to be set in the lands to the east.

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