February 3 1999 RussCon Report

There were 18 of us. Jonobie was the Devil. Welcome back to Bob, returned from Ecuador! Thanks to the birthday wine-bringers. (On Thursday, my age became a prime number for the first time in 6 years.)

Discussion about the behavior of The Courteous Player continues to mount.


Games played:

Entdecker 3 James 2 Alfred 0  Jay -2
Kahuna 2 Harry 1 Laurie -1
Automania 4 KevinH 3 Daniel 1 RussW -1 JonathanR -3
Can'tStop 3 Alfred 2 James 0 Jay -2
Wizard 6 JeffF 5 Jonobie 3 JP 1 Bob -1 Marty -3 Clayton -5
Guillotine 3 Alfred 2 Jay 0 James -2
Cheops 4 KevinH 3 Harry 1 Laurie -1 Daniel -3
Goldrausch 3 RussW 2 JonathanR 0 JonathanC -2
Halunken&Spelunken 4 Bob 3 JP 1 Jay -1 Marty -3
TrainsportAustria 5 KevinH 4 RussW 2 JonathanR 0 Harry -2 JonathanC -4
Kahuna 2 JP 1 Bob -1
ElGrande 5 James 4 JeffF 2 Daniel 0 Laurie -2 Alfred -4
Condottiere 4 JP 3 Doug 0 Brady 0 Harry -3
Euphrates 4 JonathanC 3 Bob 1 James -1 RussW -3
Condottiere 4 JP 3 Harry 0 Doug 0 Brady -3

Kevin brought a new German game called Automania which turned out to be rather enjoyable. Each player is a car-exporting nation like Japan or Germany, competing to sell cars to USA, Canada, etc. A rare economic game with no money pieces! (But lots of little cars.)

Kevin also displaced me as the Trainsport Austria king, but at least I came in second and was the only other player who didn't end up with less money than I started with...

Goldrausch is a cute quick Reiner Knizia card game. Any game that has saloon girls in fishnet stockings can't be bad. Check it out.

Condottiere got played again after a long gap; last time we had a 6 player game that went on forever. This time, 2 games got played in reasonable time. It appears that with fewer players the game is better, and termination is more certain.


Evening's Soundtrack:

Apocalyptica, Inquisition Symphony
Michael Nyman, String Quartets 1-3
Rasputina, How We Quit The Forest

It was back to a tougher common theme this week. JonathanR was the first (and only?) to guess that the cello was the theme!

I have acquired a new 5-disc player for my main stereo, and it has error correction features, so no more skipping (some of you may recall the night of "Smoke on the Water"...). The speaker that was blown is inexplicably performing fine as I type, so maybe I don't need new speakers; my stereo frequently gaslights me in this fashion. Perhaps we will be back to 5 discs this Wednesday.


Rank ratings:
 1.0000 KevinH (3 games played)
 0.7778 JeffF (2)
 0.6000 JP (5)
 0.6000 Jonobie (1)
 0.2308 James (5)
 0.1667 Bob (4)
 0.0000 Alfred (4)
 0.0000 RussW (4)
 0.0000 Doug (2)
-0.2000 Daniel (3)
-0.2143 Harry (5)
-0.3333 JonathanC (3)
-0.3333 JonathanR (3)
-0.5000 Brady (2)
-0.5000 Laurie (3)
-0.5556 Jay (4)
-0.7500 Marty (2)
-1.0000 Clayton (1)

New Win ratings:
 1.0000 KevinH (3)
 0.4444 JeffF (2)
 0.3333 JP (5)
 0.2308 James (5)
 0.2000 Alfred (4)
 0.1111 JonathanC (3)
 0.0000 Bob (4)
-0.0833 RussW (4)
-0.2000 Jonobie (1)
-0.2000 Clayton (1)
-0.2143 Harry (5)
-0.2500 Marty (2)
-0.3000 Daniel (3)
-0.3333 Doug (2)
-0.3333 JonathanR (3)
-0.3333 Brady (2)
-0.3750 Laurie (3)
-0.4444 Jay (4)

Quite obviously Kevin is the Devil, having won all 3 of his games! JeffF is Vice-Devil, then JP. JP, James, and Harry all share the Dedicated Award.


Speaking of Kevin's glorious deeds, rumor has it that he passed his CPA exam. Congratulations! As a Certified Public Accountant and Gaming Devil, your geekhood is now official.


RussCon Laser Quest news:

So far I know of roughly 17 people who've said they're interested. I've gotten a little feedback about good/bad times for it. It looks like Monday evening or Saturday are the only times no one has objected to. If you're interested and have not yet told me, let me know. So far I got email from Brady, Marty, Eric, Laurie, Sea Biscuit, maybe Dawn, DaveB, Rohan, JP, Squeaky & Kara, Harry, Jonobie, JeffF, WendyWhe, and maybe some other non-RussCon folks.

Watch this space for further news. I'll be setting it up soon.


Movies to Watch For Unless You're Squeamish:

I finally saw Saving Private Ryan yesterday and recommend it. (It's back in the theaters.) It's got well-done drama and seriously impressive special effects, scenery and costumes; required viewing for any WWII buff.

WendyWhe forwards the following tidbit from a Fortean mailing list:

Someone wrote:

This leads me on to one of my favourite discussions, which film has the best decompression effects and which is the most realistic? Event Horizon, Outland and License to Kill (done on a ship with a decompression chamber) are my suggestions.

Someone replied:

"Men Behind the Sun", a Chinese propaganda film about the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, partly based on the antics of Unit 731. Since it seems to have been at least a semi-official government film, the film-makers were given a certain amount of leeway in what they were allowed to do. So, in the scene where Japanese doctors test to see how quickly somebody dies in a decompression chamber, what you're seeing is a corpse in a real decompression chamber.

As mentioned by many parties to discussions on what happens to the human body in a total vacuum, the skin is actually remarkably resilient, so a body won't actually burst. The problem is the orifices. The sight of someone's entire digestive tract shooting - and I mean *shooting* - out of their anus isn't one I'll forget in a hurry. And it's far from the worst thing in the movie..


...he also receives the Condottiere piece. After all, is he not the victor?