About this site

This site is an amalgamation and update of three separate websites – diplomacyzines.org.uk. diplomacy-archive.com and variantbank.org – the original “about” sections all which feature below.

As a retirement project I thought I would try to bring together all three – and add more material at the same time. Enjoy!

Stephen Agar


About Diplomacy-Archive.com

This site has been put together by Stephen Agar.  I began putting some of my Diplomacy material together on a web site in December 1995, though it was a fairly basic sort of site, hosted on CompuServe (who were not exactly generous with space). When my other ISP started to give away 5Mb of space early in 1996 I switched the site to its “spoff.demon.co.uk” address. For quite a long time the site was called “The Vault”, but I decided to rename it to “Spring Offensive” in March 1998 when the site was redesigned.

On 12th October 1998 I registered the domain “diplomacy.co.uk” and decided to refocus the site on promoting the Diplomacy hobby in the UK generally, changing the name of the site to “UK Diplomacy”. The site was completely revamped in July 1999. By the autumn of 1999 I felt the time was right to try and put some of the vast amount of material in the UK Diplomacy Archive online. Initially I suggested to Manus Hand a series of proposals as to how I could merge my site in with the Pouch – however, due to a misunderstanding I never really got an answer, so that didn’t get very far. So I decided to go it alone.

The change to “diplomacy-archive.com” was born out of an impulse, when I had nothing better to do – so on 30 October 1999  I registered the domain “diplomacy-archive.com” and decided to get a new site up and running by 1st January 2000. This is it.

Up until now I have had a policy of not importing other material into this site, but linking to it instead. However, I am revising this policy as a number of articles have been lost (perhaps for good) when the web site they were on has disappeared. If I imported all articles I came across into this site, at least there would be a duplicate copy. Therefore, all new articles I come across will be imported and the backlog will be gradually imported as well – with a credit to the original source. It goes without saying that I would appreciate feedback, good or bad.

About The Variant Bank

This site is run by Stephen Agar, the current NAVB (North American Variant Bank) custodian, with the assistance of Chris Babcock and Doug Kent. To reflect the fact that the NAVB no longer resides in North America and that it has been expanded to include variants which have been developed and played over the Internet, the NAVB has been rechristened simply The Variant Bank.

I announced this site as being “live” on 31st October 2000 (My daughter’s sixth birthday). It is a sister site for my other Diplomacy website, diplomacy-archive.com. The vision for this site is to record all known Diplomacy variants, making the rules and maps available online. I would be very grateful if you could bring to my attention any Diplomacy variants that you know of which are missing from this list – or any mistakes.

Essentially, it is an online version of what was the North American Variant Bank catalogue, expanded to include variants available on the Internet that have come to my attention. Since the site was launched I have inherited the old NAVB from Lee Kendtner (despite living in the UK) – so I suppose it is more of a World Variant Bank now.

Variants can be searched using the classification system – or if you know the name of the variant you want use the search box. If you are after variants by a particular author, I suggest using the search facility for that too. Previously I linked to variants I came across, rather than importing them into this website. However, I have reversed this policy because I have already found that some variants have been lost (possibly for good) when the original web site has disappeared. However, if any designer objects to any variant being mirrored on this site and they email me, I will remove it (only keeping a backup in reserve in case the variant ever goes AWOL). In any event, I will always maintain a link to any variant homepage – and if this is omitted in error, please point it out to me.

About the UK Diplomacy Zine Archive

This site was originally started by me, Stephen Agar, on 22nd September 2008 as an appropriate way to preserve the UK Diplomacy Zine Archive which has been built up by myself and others since the early 80’s.

Back in 1981 Richard Walkerdine thought it would be a good idea to try any collect together a comprehensive archive of all that had gone before. Starting off with his own considerable collection and that of Mick Bullock, Richard managed to assemble a large archive which he passed on to Andy Bate in 1988.

Andy added to the collection, but it is fair to say that with the disappearance of Andy’s zine, Froggy, it soon became out of date. In 1994 Nick Kinzett gave me his collection of mostly 80’s zines, so I set about building his collection into a backup archive, receiving much help from Richard Sharp, Chris Tringham, Geoff Challinger, Pete Birks, Jeremy Tullett and others.

Extra assistance was received from the USA when Walt Buchanan agreed to repatriate the UK zines from the Hoosier Archives, which included a complete set of Albion, the first British Diplomacy zine.

In the summer of 1996 Andy agreed to hand over the old Hobby Archives so the two collections could be merged.

Since then I have tried my best to keep it up to date (though the last audit was done in 2003) and I am still updating the catalogue and trying to identify gaps. Recent contributions from Neil Duncan were really helpful.

If you think you may be able to assist in finding any of the missing zines, please take a look at the list of known gaps (of zines issued up to 2003). I would be happy to pay any costs and would be grateful for photocopies or originals.

Of course, if you were the publisher of any of these zines and you object to them being available in this way, please email me and I will remove them from the site.