Playing By Post, or Email

So, over the last few months I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of actual play by post games, as famed in the 80s/90s.

You used to post your moves, in a postbox. These days they use modern technology, like excel , and email.

Anyone playing any? I’ll do separate posts below for each one I’m currently in.

(One thing that should be noted is that these games normally come with a cost per turn or action round. I’ll talk about that as well.)


I’ve played a couple games of Scotland Yard by mail with my friend, switching off who is detectives and who is Mr. X. It’s pretty much just an excuse to keep in contact by letter though; lately he’s been too busy to figure out his moves so we’re just writing back and forth sans game.

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I’ve used email to run double-blind Harpoon (modern naval wargame). I’d still like to do it in person with screens, but it’s great fun.

I’m waiting for the PbEM of Atlantis (Atlantis new horizons) to kick off its next season. When I first played a similar game over 20 years ago I tried to map it manually and write my own orders, but now I’ve got the hand of these client thingies.


Nest on the list Tribenet

Tribenet has been running in one form since the early 90s and simulates the running of a tribe in a semi bronze age setting. It’s massive, and currently has about 80 active players.

It costs money to play, but only after approximately a year. Turns are twice monthly, and there’s an active meta. I’ve been doing it for about 6 months and the community is welcoming, and there’s an active discord. The game is mainly played by Australians, with a large british contingent. If you’re like me, you’ve probably seen a facebook ad or two about this.

It’s pretty fun, I should be building my first village and developing an economy, but I sold a Bear for about 750,000 pieces of silver in an auction and I’m building a zoo instead.


Ok. Green Suns: Rise and Fall

A space game, in the grand space empires style. It’s based on a game running in the 90s.


  1. It’s very new (10 turns or so running)
  2. I think it’s amazing, lots of technical details about space exploration and planet types.
  3. Everyone gets 2 turns for free
  4. I helped with playtesting, so don’t have to pay for turns, but I do anyway.

Startup docs are here.
Race_Generation_Document_v3.2.pdf (274.5 KB)
Starter_Pack_v1.1.pdf (264.6 KB)
Rulebook_v3.1.pdf (361.3 KB)

You can contact for more info or I can send discord links.

Quick note. Tribenet is getting its first reset in over ten years. A perfect time to enter a level playing field