Robo Basho – My Article in Irregular Magazine 13

Last summer I wrote a short article for Irregular Magazine for their thirteenth issue.  I was happy to be asked by a customer of who is also on the staff of the magazine as they were looking for professional writers to create material for a ‘Mysteries of the East’ focused set of content.  My love of all things Japanese combined with giant robots (more on this next month…it will be worth the wait) gave me an idea for a piece all about a sport that replaced war in a ravaged future Japan.  Wrestling in the form of two hundred foot tall, two thousand ton machines, which shake a stadium and make a crowd of tens of thousands roar in approval.  Robo Basho 2115!

You can view and download the issue on Irregular Magazine website.

The article is part one of two with the first part focusing on the history and background of Japan in 2115 which then leads to the sport of Robo Basho and the customs of the giant machines themselves the ‘Roborikishi’ in their stables.  An account of that occurs inside the ring and the weapons allowed along with the Gyoiji or Referee too.  The Kuroboshi III type giant mecha is looked over and its super thick armour and massive muscle servo bunches compared to western war machines of similar size.  Ending with the roleplaying possibilities for Robo Basho the article explains what would be featured in part two.  A good read if I say so myself!

Irregular Magazine 13 was due out last summer and the delay is regrettable.  Here is a statement from the editor on this from their website:

First of all, we’d like to start with an apology to all of our readers and contributors. We were not able to publish Irregular Magazine in Summer 2012, which we deeply regret. We believe we’ve got through the problems that made this impossible and are now back on track with regular publications!

I do not want to get into this here but I think that the problems Irregular had are similar to those other online wargame magazines and indeed other printed monthly titles have had too.  Finding and obtaining content that interests an ever diverging readership is tough and adding to that the sheer speed of the online community and news feeds means that traditional formats are failing.  No point in putting news in a magazine these days.  Focusing on deep article content is the way forward, a more journal like approach.  This of course is hard to come by from writers and artists as it takes longer to create.  For those interested it took me eight hours to pen the article plus an hours proof reading.

Lastly I must give praise to Sam Croes my good friend who created the superb Robo Basho artwork for the article which also features as the cover of the magazine too.  His talent always makes me smile and he was very kind in agreeing to craft this piece of art in his limited free time for me.  He has also produced a blog post on how he created the superb image for Sumo Basho, check it out.


4 thoughts on “Robo Basho – My Article in Irregular Magazine 13

  1. In respect of the publishing delays, it is called “Irregular”!

    To be fair, I think the publication problems you mentioned are not really new, since I can recall having similar discussions with gaming fanzine editors and authors back to the end of the ’70s – such as difficulties drumming up sufficient interesting editorial and endless delays in getting things ready to publish (so news isn’t, as you rightly say, news any more). At least chaotic nights spent desperately pasting-up copy for the trip to the printers next day (when that literally meant applying glue to pieces of typed and hand-drawn paper and sticking them to larger sheets, of course!) have become a thing of the past, albeit the time needed to organise the layout for a publication on the computer hasn’t altered that greatly from my experience (no stuck-together fingers and retyping glue-damaged pages or lines of text, but more – sometimes too many – options for how to present things, testing of which eats time at an alarming rate).

    Plus you’re being pretty modest about it having taken “only” eight hours to write the article, since that ignores all the time spent building up the expertise to have the ideas to write about in the first place, research into the subject, etc., something people who only read magazines often don’t quite appreciate…

    • Hello Alastair,

      Thank you for your comments and kind words. I was not about in the ‘game’ as it were in the seventies, I began in the late 1990’s working in wargaming. Just in time for the end of the cut and paste being a literal event for mail shots and magazines. No, its not anything new but these days the internet and wargamers themselves have ‘broken’ the heir achy of this type of magazine. Irregular indeed, but I thought it was tongue in cheek!

      I am pretty modest most of the time. I am well aware that the skill set to create the ideas and to string the words is rarer than most and more importantly takes time to master, but it does not do to shout.

      Additionally I saw your maps of Erin this morning…brilliant stuff. Expect and email from me next week on it.


  2. Apparently it was out since November, and I only found out like two days ago. It would indeed have been nice if they had told us.

    But I can understand that the lack of content inflow could have been the main reason for the delay. But perhaps there are other reasons. For one thing, I think the call for people to work on such a magazine project should be better broadcasted. Obviously I do not know the people behind the magazine, how busy they are, and how many of them are around, but surely, hunting around could turn up some interesting material? Mysteries of the East was supposed to be the theme, but practically the only themed article is Robo Basho. Perhaps some hunting could have turned up some exceptionally painted Oriental themed minis for a showcase? Or perhaps there are some interesting and lesser known game systems in this theme that can be reviewed for people to discover…

    I myself love all things Oriental (though I am most interested in Ancient China, it’s culture and epic battles) so in my view this could have been a great issue for me. Alas, only Robo Basho really stood out for me.

    • Hello Sam,

      Yes, it would have been indeed. Maybe I missed an email…

      I think I recall that your outline for the mysteries of the east was what they were after, since it was what you and I discussed before settling on Robo Basho. Perhaps they had no luck in securing suitable content. The rest of the issue is fine but you and I would like our own article best eh my friend. 🙂


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