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To Win Just Once magazine
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Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses

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To Win Just Once

The games magazine

To Win Just Once is a magazine about games (and other things). It's written and edited by Pevans, with occasional contributions from others. The links below give more information. The box on the right has links to the latest issue.


To Win Just Once is the title of my 'zine, the first issue of which was published in February 2000. The focus of To Win Just Once is on games and playing turn-based games by e-mail/post, but I also write about other things – notably science fiction and beer. Up until the end of 2003, To Win Just Once was only published on paper. Since then it has also been available as a PDF to browse online or download. The main turn-based games are also published on this website.

Below is some more information about the turn-based games in the magazine and about subscribing. But most people's first question is "where does the title come from?"

The title of the 'zine is taken from Irish rockers, The Saw Doctors. To Win Just Once is a song on their third album, Same Oul' Town.

   "To win just once against the odds
   And once be smiled on by the gods
   To race with speed along the track
   To break the tape and not look back
   To win just once...
   That would be enough."

Click the following link to see (and hear!) The Saw Doctors perform To Win Just Once (back in 2003) on YouTube.

Games played

There are three games currently running in To Win Just Once.

Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses is my postal game of En Garde!, the swashbuckling role-playing game. It has its own section on this site – follow the link for details. New players are always welcome: email Pevans.

Railway Rivals is a board game of building railway lines between towns and then racing trains across the network. It works well by post, using a structured format of turns. To sign up for the next game, email Pevans.

Star Trader is a board game published by SPI in the 1980s and adapted for postal play. The game is mainly about buying and selling commodities on an interstellar basis, but has scope for smuggling, sabotage and all sorts of double-dealing. Email Pevans if you're interested in the next game.

There's usually a game open to all readers: one of the following.

The Bonking Game is an opportunity for the readers of To Win Just Once to pick on each other. Each round (issue), readers nominate ('bonk') one other reader: anyone who gets too many nominations at a time is out of the game. Last one left wins. The latest game finished in December 2013.

Easy Money is a share trading game devised by Chris Boote and open to all readers of TWJO. Players start with some funds and buy and sell four stocks over 12 turns. The most cash at the end wins the game. The first game ran from April 2005 to July 2006 and a second game finished at the end of 2010.

Fictionary Dictionary is for all readers of To Win Just Once. Players provide fictional definitions for a couple of obscure words and these are published anonymously. Players then vote on their favourite definition for each word - which scores points for the author. After ten rounds, whoever has the most points wins.

Trophy Hunter is a Battleships variant open to all readers of To Win Just Once. Players score points by guessing where 'animals' are on a grid.

Wits & Wagers is a clever trivia game where players bet on the answers given, which pay out in multiples of points. Or not.

Follow the links at the top of the page to take a look at the PDF version of the 'zine. Or e-mail Pevans and ask for a sample paper copy. Subscription rates are shown below.


The online PDF version of To Win Just Once is free.

The paper version is available by subscription – which includes the cost of playing in any (or all!) of the games (send an email to To Win Just Once, if you'd like a sample copy first).

If you want to play in the games through the PDF 'zine, you need to take out a "Games only" subscription.

The subscription rates are shown below and include postage where necessary.

To subscribe, send your name, address and payment in the following ways:

Paper Edition Subscription Rates (inc postage)
  UK Rest of Europe Rest of the World
One-year Subscription (10 issues) GBP 27.00 GBP 36.00 GBP 43.00
Subscribe now:

Want to play any of the games?

Want to play any of the games?

Want to play any of the games?

The games only subscription is handled just the same way: send your name, address and payment as above.

Games only Subscription
One-year subscription (10 issues/turns) GBP 5.00
Subscribe now:

Which games do you want to play?

If you'd just like to be notified when a new issue of TWJO is published, e-mail TWJO to request this.