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Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign" - 9/6/2019 9:53:22 PM   
Hellen_slith


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Greetings. I am seeking any information anyone might have about a play-by-snail mail game from the 1970s / 1980s which was called "World Campaign" (an advertisement for same is shown below, from Dragon magazine 1980)

I lost the rules for this game long long ago. Last I heard it was still running in the late 1990s, but I'm not sure about that. Just a shot in the dark, but I was hoping that someone here in these forums might recall this game and whatever happened with it.

If you have any suggestions about any other forum I might ask, I would appreciate it. Thanks!





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RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/7/2019 7:23:00 AM   
areo16

 

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Is it just me or is this a scam straight up?

"or send $8.00 for the Rules and first move (money back guarantee on Rules). $5.00 for each move thereafter..."

Is the OP serious?

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 2
RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/7/2019 11:34:07 AM   
Hellen_slith


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This was not a scam. Play-by-mail games (using USPS) were somewhat popular "before the internet" in the late '70s and through the '80s. I played a few, including World Campaigns. If you will take the time to peruse a few issues of Dragon magazine from that time frame (they are on archive dot org) you will see at least a dozen or so of similar advertisements.

I am seeking anyone who might have knowledge of World Campaigns: what happened with it, a copy of the old rule, etc. As I said, I once had a copy of the rules, but they were lost long ago. Or, if you know of any other forums like this one (perhaps the Gentleman's Wargamer Club?) please advise so that I might find the information I seek.

I appreciate your skepticism, and thanks for your input, but these types of games were indeed "real". Some may have been just scams, but I know for a fact that World Campaigns was not. Thanks again.

(in reply to areo16)
Post #: 3
RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/7/2019 12:42:32 PM   
stuart3

 

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quote:

Is it just me or is this a scam straight up?

"or send $8.00 for the Rules and first move (money back guarantee on Rules). $5.00 for each move thereafter..."


No. This is what play by mail games cost in the pre-internet, pre-automated data entry years. On the higher tech pbm games of the day someone had to be paid to sit in front of a computer and manually enter the data from the order sheets posted in by the players. Some games didn't even use a computer and so the responses were hand written or typed by the moderators. Factor in that pbm was a minority interest pastime and that there weren't very many players in the first place, and companies had to charge these prices to cover their expenses. Players were willing to pay these amounts, because the alternative was no pbm games at all.

I played a few pbms in the UK at that period, but not World Campaigns.

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
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RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/7/2019 1:54:00 PM   
RangerJoe


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My brothers did Third Reich by Avalon Hill that way. You could also bribe the person handling the game for a certain roll . . .

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(in reply to stuart3)
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RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/7/2019 2:41:42 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 652
Joined: 10/10/2005
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Thank you for your inputs. It is encouraging to know that there are some old grognards who remember these types of games.

Some information that might help jog memories (mine is hazy; it has been 40 or so years ... )

As I recall, players would be assigned a country (mine was Taiwan) and a limited amount of "resources" in points to "spend" ... military points to buy equipment, industrial points to build industry / technology, iron / steel / ores to build industry or trade w/ other players.

If I recall, you would be advised of adjoining country's leaders and contact info (e.g., as Taiwan, I was initially in "diplomatic" contact w/ China, Viet Nam, Korea, Australia [and these players were in my area; we met a few times over pizza and beer to discuss strategy, alliance, trades, etc.]).

As the game proceeded, you would in one way or another learn other leader's info, be able to contact them for trades or alliances, and build your country. All of this was done via snail mail or phone or meeting, and behind the scenes the moderator would oversee the whole game and send updates via snail mail. You could also send a message to (e.g.) Canada via the moderator, if you did not know that player's contact information.

It was (to me) a more detailed form of the game Diplomacy. Some people have suggested that I am misremembering that game, but (as the ad shows) this was in fact not Diplomacy.

I know that there was more than one "instance" of the game running, and that some players were involved in more than one game at a time. I also recall an announcement of the winner of instance III (or maybe V).

Anyway, I hope this information might reach someone who recalls playing this game, or even the creator / moderator themselves ... all of us would be in our early sixties or older by now, if still kicking. Anyway,

Thanks for reading!

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
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RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/7/2019 3:33:46 PM   
RangerJoe


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I remember reading something similar about a game like this but it was played convention style. I don't remember the name of the game but it was on line.

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“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
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(in reply to Hellen_slith)
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RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/7/2019 5:31:50 PM   
Zovs


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The only one I recall is that after SPI went out of business James F Dunnigan started an online multiplayer game in NYC called 100 years war. But that is all I know about that aspect and this was the mid 80s and I left for the service a couple years later.

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RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/7/2019 7:08:22 PM   
areo16

 

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Learned something today.

Sorry, it just looks like a snippet out of a book called something along the lines of "101 of the Most Common Magazine Scams".

I'm going to categorize this under "The Simpler Days of Old".

I assume people were sending cash in the mail?

(in reply to Zovs)
Post #: 9
RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/7/2019 7:28:40 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 652
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: areo16

I assume people were sending cash in the mail?


Yep. Gamers back then were a pretty honest bunch ... and it was easy to slip a fiver in the envelope with your move.

Other games (like D&D by mail games) were I think maybe a dollar or two dollars a move. Just put them in the envelope and wrap your HANDWRITTEN <gasp!!> move around the cash, it was fine. Sometimes we even wrote in CURSIVE.

If there were cheaters or scammers, they were ostracized pretty quick and word spread not to deal with them.

It was an entirely different atmosphere.

Well, thanks again for your response! I can understand why it seems so outrageous, but ... that's the way it was.

(in reply to areo16)
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RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/8/2019 12:23:03 AM   
Zovs


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I remember putting $20 in those AH envelopes and waiting for 21-30 days to get my games...

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(in reply to Hellen_slith)
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RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/8/2019 12:23:07 AM   
KurtC


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Joined: 7/1/2011
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quote:

ORIGINAL: areo16

Is it just me or is this a scam straight up?

"or send $8.00 for the Rules and first move (money back guarantee on Rules). $5.00 for each move thereafter..."

Is the OP serious?


They had a Conan game where you played a nation in the Hyborian setting. You paid something like $15 per turn, but I'm thinking there was a lot you could do in one turn. Still. Not paying $15 a turn for anything.

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RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/8/2019 12:24:13 AM   
KurtC


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zovs

The only one I recall is that after SPI went out of business James F Dunnigan started an online multiplayer game in NYC called 100 years war. But that is all I know about that aspect and this was the mid 80s and I left for the service a couple years later.


I played that game some. I regret to say I was pretty childish at times when playing.

_____________________________

My known forum name is H Gilmer

He that has a mind to fight, let him fight, for now is the time. - Anacreon
"There are no modern Nazis. The real Nazis in Hell laugh at the notion." - Gilmer, descendant of Poles.

(in reply to Zovs)
Post #: 13
RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/8/2019 12:51:44 AM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 652
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: online
Well, my search for info has kind of blossomed into a project to document what I can about many other "forgotten" games of the 70s/80s that I come across during my research.

I stumbled across some old text files of "Space Gamer" magazine (seems to have been devoted to Traveller type games) which has lots of information about these old play-by-mail games.

World Campaigns is mentioned in some surveys that were published in Space Gamer, but I still have not found more definite information. So, I will keep looking.

Maybe this journey will eventually produce a little ebook or monograph about these "forgotten" games which had their flash in the pan for a decade or so and then just kind of ... disappeared when the internet became a household word.

If anyone has any suggestions about other possible leads to pursue, I would appreciate it! I'm thinking about how to possibly reach out toward GenCon and DragonCon type events. Is there any sort of clearinghouse for information about where and when these events are held?

Thanks again for your kind helps and suggestions!

(edit: believe it or not ... PBM still exists, and seems to be alive and well, as a well-known gaming company is still running some games. Don't want to say their name here, so as not to seem to be pandering, but I think I may have found a pretty good lead.)

< Message edited by Hellen_slith -- 9/8/2019 1:22:43 AM >

(in reply to KurtC)
Post #: 14
RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/8/2019 1:35:03 AM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 652
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: online
And ... the power of the internet thing is truly amazing.

I have found what appears to be the modern-day version of World Campaigns, and the game ... is ... still ... being ... played, via snail mail and computer assisted moderation.

Which, to me, is pretty darn cool.

I don't want to name the modern name b/c people might think I have just been building up to some sort of slow pandering effort, so I will not do that. I only post this message now to signal that my search has ended in success!

Thanks, all, for your kind help, suggestions, and encouragements, without which I might have abandoned my search.

Have a great gaming day!!


(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 15
RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/8/2019 2:30:42 AM   
RangerJoe


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Joined: 11/16/2015
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In other words, you found it but refuse to tell us about it.

_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 16
RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/8/2019 6:39:08 AM   
stuart3

 

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Joined: 9/4/2014
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quote:

Well, my search for info has kind of blossomed into a project to document what I can about many other "forgotten" games of the 70s/80s that I come across during my research.


In the UK, the dominant source of adverts, reviews, and general information on pbm games was Flagship magazine. It was very much required reading for the pbm enthusiast at the time. You will find information on lots of old pbm games in these issues.

http://flagshipmagazine.co.uk/index.php?a=home&sa=lib&tid=11

Interestingly, the first three issues are priced in both pounds and dollars. Unfortunately, there is then a long jump to issue 91, by which time they have obviously given up on trying to crack the US market.



< Message edited by stuart3 -- 9/8/2019 6:44:36 AM >

(in reply to RangerJoe)
Post #: 17
RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/9/2019 7:34:36 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 652
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: online
quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

In other words, you found it but refuse to tell us about it.


Had I come right out and said it, you would have undoubtedly accused me of shilling the game.

But, since it is not EXACTLY the game I am seeking (I thought at first that it was), I see no harm.

Flying Buffalo games (motto: "We invented PBM") still runs a game called "World Wide Battle Plan" which is so similar to World Campaigns that at first I thought I had hit the jackpot. However, WWBP seems to be a stripped down version of WC: there is no "economy" that was so much a part of World Campaigns.

But, WWBP is so similar that I can't help but think it is indeed WC in just its Flying Buffalo form. I've dropped them a note asking if that is the case.

Thanks again for your kind helps and suggestions.

< Message edited by Hellen_slith -- 9/9/2019 7:35:37 PM >

(in reply to RangerJoe)
Post #: 18
RE: Seeking info on forgotten game "World Campaign... - 9/9/2019 7:40:30 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 652
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: stuart3

quote:

Well, my search for info has kind of blossomed into a project to document what I can about many other "forgotten" games of the 70s/80s that I come across during my research.


In the UK, the dominant source of adverts, reviews, and general information on pbm games was Flagship magazine. It was very much required reading for the pbm enthusiast at the time. You will find information on lots of old pbm games in these issues.

http://flagshipmagazine.co.uk/index.php?a=home&sa=lib&tid=11

Interestingly, the first three issues are priced in both pounds and dollars. Unfortunately, there is then a long jump to issue 91, by which time they have obviously given up on trying to crack the US market.




Thank you! That is very helpful!

(in reply to stuart3)
Post #: 19
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