|Last Update: 21 September 2003|
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Minstrel is a monthly publication by myself - Rob Thomasson - that runs some of the 18xx games by post. Those listed on the left plus 18EU, 1861 & 1870. The words below were written in 2003 but bear some resemblance to today's reality.
Minstrel was founded in 1981 to complete the adjudication of two games of 1829 that I had been running in the zine called Herald. The editor/publisher of Herald was Robin Hood and he decided to stop. I started out intending to simply finish off those two games but somehow the number of games and subscribers grew over time.
Minstrel appears every month and there isn't much apart from the games. The players include all the currently active top-ten rated UK postal players, bar myself, and the quality of the games is usually very high. Minstrel has a low profile and would have never made it this far without that fact. The September 2003 issue was number 260 - a posthumous issue for the last original subscriber Keith Loveys - but others have been involved for more than a decade and then some.
Minstrel HT was created to publish the game adjudications on-line. The incentive was first created in 1997 when I moved to New York for what turned out to be 6 months. So the post took longer both ways and at the time more and more subscribers were getting Internet access plus the task presented a learning challenge. Six years on both those statements are more so and I seem to have found the time and appetite to try again but I still need to discover whether it's actually a good idea and whether I find that I can/want to keep publishing this way. I don't know that yet - just as I don't know precisely why I've kept Minstrel going all these years.
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