PBM Mailbox

BRENDON KAVANAGH brings the first...


AT LAST — just what you have all been waiting for (I hope) — a ratings system for PBM games based on YOUR votes. After a lot of letter-opening, PBM Mailbox proudly presents a new feature which will become a regular, reliable and accurate view of what you think of the games you are playing.

First, here’s what the ratings tell you. They’re all out of 100.


This figure shows what you think of the quality of the game’s GM (be it human- or computer-moderated). The higher the score the better the GM. This rating reflects such factors as reliability, accuracy, helpfulness and commitment.


Diplomacy is the haggling/arguing/meeting/planning done by PBMers outside the game environment. A lot of diplomacy can really get a game going; what you do and say outside actual gameplay can matter as much as your actions in it. The higher the score here, the more diplomacy is involved in playing the game well.


A good rulebook is often essential to get to grips with a new game. It should be nicely-produced, easy to read, simple to understand and comprehensive. Again, a high score means a good rulebook.


Some games are much more complex than others. Some, such as KJC Games’s It’s A Crime!, are relatively easy to play and so will receive a lower score here — though of course that doesn’t mean they’re not worth joining, and they may be especially suitable for PBMers just starting the hobby.

Involved games such as Global Supremacy are quite demanding so receive a higher score. And don’t be put off by complex games. They’re often the most enjoyable!


It’s all very well for a game to have a good GM, an impressive rulebook and so on, but is it fun to play? This rating shows how much the players enjoy their games; it reflects how keen they are to receive their turn report, how much time they take between turns planning for the next, and how much pleasure is gleaned from the whole thing.


OK, there are some very good PBM games on the market. There are also a fair few expensive, even overpriced, games. So just how much do you get for your hard-earned/grovelled pennies? Consider here how much the game offers compared with what it costs; if a low-price game has many fine features it’s certainly good value for money.


Well, no prizes for guessing what this figure shows. Here all the other ratings are collated to give an average score. And the games are listed in the order of their Average ratings highest first, which means Conquest beats the rest this month.

3Shattered World†93878484857783
4The Hunting95756593807881
5=The Chronicles Of The Knights Of Avalon95836479659279
5=Trolls Bottom79828371758179
9Casus Belli†50378384688267
11Game Plan81566569705065
12=It’s A Crime!62548457606964
17League Soccer†60806040455557
18Hyper League56327163545255
19Crasimoff’s World93713229455554
20Star Empires†50605030555650
21Nuclear Domination45713235456248

† Indicates that few votes were cast: MORE PLEASE!!!

And there we have it — precisely what YOU think of the games you’re playing. Have you voted for every single PBM you’ve licked a stamp for in your time? If not, then fill in the form below, cut it out (or make a photocopy) and post it to READERS’ GAME RATINGS, PBM MAILBOX, CRASH. It’s the same address for normal PBM Mailbox correspondence, of course — news, views, queries, Diplomatic Directory. Each month there’ll be a CRASH cap and T-shirt for the five voting forms picked at random out of the mailbox!