October 20, 1999 RussCon Report

Only 14 of us.

LaserQuest on Monday was more sparsely attended than last time; there were only 18 of us (plus a stranger who happened to be there). Thus Jeff got a better deal with his subsidized admission than Jay did last spring. Anyway it was a fun time!

Did the cold rainy weather make people hibernate?

Saturday from noon till 3 at Eilers Park (Lake Austin Blvd near Mangia's) is Jay's party for his daughter Bronwyn's second birthday.

Friday night is Clandestine at Cactus Cafe.


Fantasy War:

Fantasy War is a cool new computer game designed by Greg Costikyan (a name some of you old-timers should recognize). It uses a play-by-mail or batch type model with simultaneous turns (do your orders, submit them, and all turns are processed centrally). Rather than email, you use a nice client program connected to their server. It seems not to have been well publicized, which is a pity. I've played a couple games already and several of us are going to join a daily turn game. A game lasts at most 25 turns. It costs roughly $2 for an entire game. It's strictly multi-human play; there is no standalone program to play by yourself with AI opponents. If you've enjoyed play-by-mail games, or computer games like Warlords and Heroes of Might & Magic, then check it out at:


At this point, people you know who've joined include:
me (RussiePoo)
Brendan (bsegraves)
Sea Biscuit (Sea-Biscuit)
We 3 are in a daily turn game with 4 strangers.
Jay and Bryan also intend to play. A game supports up to 7 people, so if a couple more of us join, we could play a full RussCon game! Tell me your id if you join and want to be in a private game, so we can invite you.


Game Results:

Tripoley 6 Bob 5 Alfred 3 William 1 Clayton -1 RussW -3 JeffF -5
GreatDalmuti 6 JeffF 5 RussW 3 William 1 Bob -1 Clayton -3 Alfred -5
Metropolis 5 Marty 4 Harry 2 Tim 0 JP -3 Jayson -3
TurboHearts 4 Alfred 3 JeffF 1 Bob -1 William -3
Bluff 4 Alfred 3 Bob 1 William -1 JeffF -3
RoboRally 6 JP 5 RussW 3 Jay 1 Tim -1 JeffD -3 Jayson -5
Ferkelei 5 William 4 JeffF 2 Marty 0 Bob -2 Alfred -4
David&Goliath 4 Marty 3 Alfred 1 William -1 JeffF -3
Can'tStop 3 Jay 2 Tim 0 RussW -2
Dampfross 3 Brady 2 Jayson 0 JP -2
AmFuss 4 Alfred 3 Marty 1 William -1 JeffF -3
Brawl 2 William 1 Alfred -1
Brawl 2 Alfred 1 William -1
Brawl 2 William 1 Alfred -1
Brawl 2 William 0 Alfred 0
Brawl 2 Alfred 1 William -1
Brawl 2 William 1 Alfred -1
Brawl 2 Alfred 1 William -1
TitanArena 3 JeffF 2 Tim 0 RussW -2
Bluff 6 William 5 JeffF 3 RussW 1 JP -1 Tim -3 Alfred -5
Bluff 6 JP 5 William 3 RussW 1 Tim -2 Alfred -2 JeffF -5
Bluff 5 Alfred 4 William 2 RussW 0 Tim -2 JeffF -4

Despite all the email talk last week, no one played any games with real money. We even played a gambling game with poker chips. Tripoley is one of those wacky hybrid card games (in this case, combining poker and Michigan Rummy). At least at our skill level, it seemed to involve an awful lot of luck.

What the heck is Turbo Hearts? Should I be distinguishing it from regular Hearts in the ratings?

RoboRally was especially brutal: JP was the only one to finish the race. Everyone else died! (And yes, we were playing with 3 lives each!) We had a cool map of 3 boards in a row, with Chasm in the middle. Most deaths did NOT occur in the Chasm, however.

Brawl is the new real-time collectible card game from Cheapass. William liked to play lots of Brawl games in rapid succession so as to go for the Dedicated Award...


Evening's Soundtrack:

Music from all the continents except North America:

The Church, Starfish
Inti-Illimani, Imagination
Youssou N'Dour, The Lion
Nordic Roots, a NorthSide Collection
He Zhan-Hao, Selected Orchestral Works

(And of course no Antarctican music either...)


Rank ratings:
 1.0000 Brady (1)
 0.5714 Marty (4)
 0.5000 Harry (1)
 0.4286 Jay (2)
 0.2128 William (17)
 0.1905 JP (5)
 0.1000 Bob (5)
 0.0303 RussW (8)
 0.0213 Alfred (17)
-0.2381 JeffF (11)
-0.2963 Tim (7)
-0.4000 Clayton (2)
-0.6000 JeffD (1)
-0.7273 Jayson (3)

New Win ratings:
 1.0000 Brady (1)
 0.3571 Marty (4)
 0.3333 JP (5)
 0.1489 Alfred (17)
 0.1429 Jay (2)
 0.0500 Bob (5)
 0.0213 William (17)
-0.0476 JeffF (11)
-0.2000 Clayton (2)
-0.2000 JeffD (1)
-0.2424 RussW (8)
-0.2500 Harry (1)
-0.2593 Tim (7)
-0.2727 Jayson (3)

Brady pulled an eponymous Brady Maneuver! So Marty is the Devil. Then Jay & JP are Co-Vice-Devils. William must share his Dedicated Award with Alfred, his partner in crime in playing many brief games of Brawl. Jayson is the Generous Angel.


Science on Parade:

Some science links I've received lately:

A physiological basis for criminal behavior?

Siberian mammoth to be unfrozen!

Possible discovery of another planet.

Vintage photography. Uh, yeah, that's it, this has historical significance! Plus you get to win the prize for being the 100,000th visitor today!


Any game that has cockroach-riding dwarves is okay in my book.
--Sea Biscuit on Fantasy War