COSTS AND CREDITS
As in all play-by-mail games you must pay for turns in advance. The number of turns you've paid for (but not yet used) is shown at the top of each game report. One turn credit is deducted for each turn you play. Turns that have not been paid for will be played but not mailed. In many of our games we can now keep track of tenths of turn credits ("part" credits) as well as whole turn credits. This allows us to make extra charges where necessary.
We make no extra charges for things that are relevant to how the game itself is played (other players can't buy and advantage by spending more money than you) but we do charge extra for things relating to extra costs (eg. fax costs, extra changes of orders, extra copies of game reports). All our turnfees are "flat", which is to say they don't change during play (except when we change our prices generally). You will not be asked to pay for more a game when you're doing well than when you first start.
COSTS AND DISCOUNTS
The cost of each turn depends on how many you pay for at once. Turnfees are given in our catalogue and in game reports. The more turns you buy in a single payment the less they cost (this is mainly because the bank charges are less).
You can start by waiting for a new game or by taking over an existing "standby" position (where the previous player has dropped out). You may have to wait a while for a new game to start, but standby positions are normally available very quickly.
One option is to take a standby position while you learn your way around the game and sit on the waiting list for a new game at the same time. Another option that's available in many games is to start in a short-handed game. These start very quickly, and they're good for learning the system and geting to know the rules. Especially if you play a short-handed game while you wait for a full sized game to start.
Note that "startup" means being placed in a game, which is distinct from being sent your first turn, so "startup and three turns" means three turns (not four turns).
Various arrangements are available for overseas players but most UK players still use cheques or postal orders (see your game report or the startup form for rates, and who to make them payable to). If you send an amount that is not an exact multiple of the turnfee (or discount offer) then a credit note will be issued for the remainder (or part credits may be assigned). If you are in more than one game with the same GM then you may split payments between games.
We strongly recommend you don't send cash, especially coins. If you send cash and it doesn't arrive you won't get your credits, and coins sent through the post often don't arrive (mostly they get mangled in the machinery at the sorting office).
Our credit card facility currently works in US dollars. If your card account uses a different currency then the exact amount you get charged depends on the exchange rate offered by your credit card provider at the time your payment is processed. In the UK, Australia and the Eurozone you're better off paying by cheque. It's cheaper and simpler. But you can use the US dollar credit card facility if you prefer.
The facility for buying credits can be found inside our "active" website at www.softsim.co.uk. It's protected by a login proccess (for security). You need to ask us to provide you with a user name for you before you can enter.
There is a separate page that deals with at credit card startups. You can't use this for top-ups, but only for buying starter packs. You can reach this page directly, but you will also need to contact us separately (by email, probably) with details of preferences in order to actually start playing.
If you introduce someone new to our games then you are entitled to four free turn credits when they sign up to play. Get the new player to mention your name on their application. If you introduce someone new under a free trial offer then the bonus is only two turn credits (the new player introduced is using the other two turns).
The bonus for introductions is liable to be reclaimed if the player introduced doesn't play for at least an equal number of turns. This is so that we can deal with the occasional scallywag who introduces imaginary people in order to collect free turns.
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