For some time I have been thinking about publishing a newsletter to cover the recent influx of European games onto the UK games scene. There can be no doubt that quality games such as Sechs Tage Rennen and Die Macher have made a substantial impact on our game playing habits and expectations, yet there are very few people reviewing these games in-depth or providing associated services such as rules translations. Add to that the games output from the UK, both amateur and professional, and I am sure there is a gap in the market to be filled. Hence this pilot issue.

Sumo's Karaoke Club was originally going to feature only European games but this soon changed to include UK productions such as THE KING'S WAR reviewed this time. There is a growing trend towards 'third world' game production in the UK, many of which are of an excellent standard but remain under exposed. As a result, this magazine will largely cover 'Non American' subjects - not because of any anti-US feeling (hardly something I can be accused of) but simply because there is an imbalance in the current coverage.

The aims of this newsletter are broadly as follows:

  1. To provide timely reviews and coverage of European games.
  2. To set up a 'bank' of English translations of foreign rules.
  3. To have a regular letter column.
  4. To cover news and opinions as appropriate.

Longer term, I will almost certainly cover some worthy older games that are still generally available on the second hand market (such as the excellent Energie Poker) and I will probably also be investigating ways of ordering games directly from the continent at reduced prices. If you are interested in this angle, please let me know.

SKC will hopefully appear fairly frequently but this will be material driven; if there is a lot to cover, issues will appear close together but don't moan if it doesn't show for three months. Size will also vary accordingly. This first issue is free, but I intend to charge a nominal sum to cover my printing and mailing costs from issue two. Cheques are welcomed on the usual subscription terms. If this doesn't fly, I will ensure all monies are returned.

Because of time constraints and my limited knowledge of languages, I have no way of making SKC viable without external support from the readers. So, I will now make the traditional request for letters, articles and, importantly, news as it happens. I am keen to hear from anyone involved in the hobby on any subject and especially from those in the know as far as the games industry is concerned. In addition, I would ask anyone who can assist with rules, either through supplying copies of English rules or actually doing translations, to get in touch as soon as possible. More details on the relevant page.

I am typing this section two days before I fly out to Essen for Spiel '89 and the intention is that it is ready for distribution there. The next issue will have a full report on the releases and news from Essen. The issue is also going out to anyone I think will be interested. I also hope to leave a pile at Midcon. Reaction to the first issue will be important so if you have a comment or suggestion, please let me know.

Those of you who know me through Sensation! and my Inside Pitch subzine should perhaps be advised that there will be little change on that front, the only likely side effect will be that my European games reviews will now switch to SKC. Inside Pitch remains as the chat and sports gaming side of things and interested parties should send a couple of pounds to Ellis Simpson, 95 Ormonde Crescent, Netherlee, Glasgow G44 3SW, Scotland.

Thanks are due to Charles Vasey for help, encouragement and the title.

Mike Siggins 17/10/89

Sumo - Mike Siggins