June 14 2000 RussCon Report

17 players. 16 games. 1 broken air conditioner -- again! This could be an annual summer RussCon tradition. Fortunately I have gotten it repaired already. It seems the tremendous lightning storm back on Sunday June 4 which tripped some of my breakers also ended up destroying the outside cut-off box for the AC condensor. Metal connectors were sort of sitting in a pile of ash and making a chaotic electrical connection for the next 10 days. It was kind of cool seeing the hard black plastic reduced to soft gray ash. Not sure it was worth paying for a new cut-off box and installation, though.


The Golem (1920):

"This rarely seen silent film is based on the ancient Jewish legend of the clay figure created by Rabbi Loew in the 16th century to defend the Jews in the Prague ghetto against pogrom. In this great classic famous for its extraordinary crowd scenes and painted sets, the Golem falls in love with the Rabbi's daughter, terrorizes the emperor's court and is subdued by an innocent child."

I plan to see the 7pm show Thursday June 22 at Alamo Drafthouse. There will be live musical accompaniment. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Let me know SOON if you want to go with me as I'll be buying an advance ticket soon and if it's like past silent film events, seating is reserved and the shows sell out.


RussCon Comics!

I've started making comics inspired by RussCon (as well as go club and other sources). Check 'em out at my webpage http://russw.freeservers.com. A new one appears every few days. The latest comic features 2 popular RussCon games.


Game Results:

AufHellerUndPfennig 4 BobR 3 Dan 1 Jerrie -1 RussW -3
Samarkand 4 Steve 3 JP 1 PJ -1 Allen -3
PonyExpress 6 JonathanC 5 Carly 3 Clayton 1 WendyWhe -2 Marty -2 Jeffles -5
Ohio 4 RussW 3 Jerrie 1 BobR -1 Dan -3
Vampire 5 Carly 4 WendyWhe 2 RussW 0 Marty -2 Clayton -4
Tightrope 5 Carly 4 RussW 2 Marty 0 WendyWhe -2 Clayton -4
Aladdin'sDragons 4 Steve 3 Allen 1 JP -2 PJ -2
Zero 5 PJ 4 JP 2 Carly 0 Daniel -2 Jeffles -4
ModernArt 5 Jeffles 4 Dan 2 BobR 0 Jerrie -2 JonathanC -4
Frank'sZoo 5 JonathanC 4 Dan 2 BobR 0 Paul -2 Steve -4
GoldConnection 4 Allen 3 Marty 1 RussW -1 William -3
Can'tStop 4 Jeffles 3 Carly -1 Daniel -1 JP -1
WheelOfHistory 3 RussW 2 Marty 0 Allen -2
Vampire 3 RussW 2 JP 0 Allen -2
Bluff 5 Daniel 4 JP 2 William 0 Paul -2 Steve -4
EnGarde 2 PJ 1 Steve -1

It was fun to play Auf Heller und Pfennig again. It's a nice fast-moving tile placement game.

Vampire continues to be popular (and figures prominently in my latest comic at my website, hint hint).

Tightrope is becoming a regular. Clayton dishonored himself with probably a record high score of 44 to follow up Jeffles's perfect 0 last week.

Gold Connection is a Sid Sackson game that we just didn't like. It has luck elements similar to Can't Stop, but they're combined with some tricky tactical maneuvering that seems like it would work better in a game of no chance; the combination made for a totally chaotic feeling experience where our scores continually rose and fell as we stole from each other and the winner was whoever happened to be on top when the last turn ended. I don't expect it will see much future RussCon play (especially after I slammed it like this!). One good thing about it: it introduces the phrase "'booty throw' of the dice"... but we got more enjoyment from saying "booty throw" than playing the game.

Wheel of History was cool. It's a simple little game, one of 14 included in the new Reiner Knizia collection of ancient Rome themed games. Marty also bought the trade paperback English rules translation. I hope to play more from this set. If they're all enjoyable, this looks to be an amazing bargain, getting 14 German games in one box.


Evening's Soundtrack:

Michael Nyman, The Draughtsman's Contract
Michael Nyman, Drowning by Numbers
Michael Nyman, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
Michael Nyman, A Zed and Two Noughts
Michael Nyman, Prospero's Books

Michael Nyman soundtracks to Peter Greenaway films.

I recently saw the new Peter Greenaway film 8 1/2 Women with JP, Clayton, and Wendy. It's a weird one (but then Greenaway makes no other kind of film). This and his previous film The Pillow Book have not had Nyman soundtracks, which is a pity. Meanwhile Nyman's gone on to compose for other directors' films, including The Piano, Gattaca, and Ravenous.


Rank ratings:
 0.5000 Carly (5 games played)
 0.3846 JonathanC (3)
 0.2381 RussW (7)
 0.1818 PJ (4)
 0.1429 BobR (4)
 0.1429 Dan (4)
 0.1053 JP (6)
 0.0909 Daniel (3)
-0.1250 Jeffles (4)
-0.1538 WendyWhe (3)
-0.1667 Marty (5)
-0.2000 Steve (5)
-0.2000 Jerrie (3)
-0.2308 Allen (5)
-0.4286 William (2)
-0.5000 Paul (2)
-0.5385 Clayton (3)

New Win ratings:
 0.6154 JonathanC (3)
 0.3125 Jeffles (4)
 0.2727 PJ (4)
 0.2500 Carly (5)
 0.2000 Steve (5)
 0.1818 Daniel (3)
 0.1429 RussW (7)
 0.0000 BobR (4)
-0.0769 Allen (5)
-0.2308 WendyWhe (3)
-0.2308 Clayton (3)
-0.2500 Paul (2)
-0.2778 Marty (5)
-0.2857 Dan (4)
-0.2857 William (2)
-0.3000 Jerrie (3)
-0.3158 JP (6)

Carly is the Devil! Woohoo! Sea Biscuit is Vice-Devil. Then me. I also win the Dedicated Award.



Daikatana, the long-delayed much-ridiculed game from Ion Storm (the company with the ads that said "Suck it down!"), has three main characters - Hiro, Makiko, and Superfly. Some guy sampled their speech files and concocted this funky mix:

Camp Chaos has various Flash cartoons, including some Metallica/Napster spoofs.

Eureka! Scientists break speed of light:

Spaceflight Now has various space stuff including some nifty quicktime movies from video cameras mounted on a rocket. I had not realized just how quickly a rocket reaches orbit; watch it happen from the rocket's point of view:

My page with a new comic every few days:

Columbia Games is having a 30% off sale through Father's Day (Sunday June 18). If I was still in a wargaming mode, I'd order those expansion maps for Victory:


shake your booty throw