September 13 2000 RussCon Report

Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
16 of us! 14 games.

William again brought the weird food of the week: Chinese "moon cakes" (no relation to moon pies) which are pastry thingies with odd tasting fillings, including bean paste and other stuff. To my palate, they were not bad, but not very compelling either.

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Great Hall Games (the folks doing the upcoming Millennium Con) has opened a game store in Dobie Mall. Some of us (me, JP, William, Marty, Jeffles, Carly, and Brady who is already a regular in their group) went by Friday night for their gaming and had a good time. They have boardgaming every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday night, and it's worth checking out.
Drunken Drumsticks (Drunter & Drueber), which caused us some perplexed ponderings about the ending conditions, has been clarified, thanks to Ed (a coworker of Dan's) who emailed me this:
First off, the English rules translation is not very clear on what to do on a tie vote. This has been discussed on the newsgroup and the ruling is that the tile gets played in this case. In other words the tile does not get laid down ONLY if there are more No's than Yes's.

Secondly, concerning the end game problem you saw. The situation you describe cannot happen. Remember that each card (except the neutral card) can only be used once. Therefore, eventually, the only cards left with the players will be the neutral card. If everyone just has the neutral card, you can play any tile anywhere legal. In most of the games I have played, by the time there are just a few tiles left, the players only have a couple of votes cards left. Therefore, someone might fight off a placement once or twice, but the tiles eventually get placed.

Thus "the game ends when no one can play a tile" is simple and well defined since tie votes mean yes, not no.

Game Results

Streetcar5RussW 4 JeffF 2 Clayton 0 Dan -2 BobR -4
ResPublica4Jeffles 3 JP 1 Carly -1 Matt -3
Mu6ChrisH 5 Clay 3 Steve 1 BobR -1 JP -3 Dan -5
WebOfPower5JP 3 BobR 3 Dan -1 Steve -1 ChrisH -4
StephensonsRocket4JonathanC 3 RussW 1 JeffF -1 RussD -3
Ursuppe4Carly 3 Jeffles 1 Matt -1 William -3
Hare&Tortoise4JeffF 3 Marty 1 ChrisH -1 JonathanC -3
TakeItEasy3Jeffles 1 William 1 Matt -2
Tightrope3Jeffles 2 William 0 Matt -2
Andromeda5RussD 4 BobR 2 Steve 0 RussW -2 JP -4
Vampire3JeffF 2 JonathanC 0 Marty -2
Bluff4Steve 3 William 1 RussW -1 Matt -3
ZirkusFlohcati3Matt 2 RussW 0 William -2
BattleCry2JP 1 Jeffles -1

Vice-Devil JeffF picked Streetcar, then Devil Sea Biscuit picked Stephensons Rocket, so it was a very train-oriented table! Stephensons Rocket is very cool since there are so many ways to score points and there is no simple obvious best strategy.

We overheard Carly saying how she was swimming in her own poop several times, and only later did it become clear that they were playing Ursuppe, the amoeba game!

I had good luck with Andromeda last week, but terrible luck this week. Interesting game. I like it, but I wish it had a little less luck.

battle cryThis week JP & Jeffles played a match of Battle Cry. Pea Ridge; CSA beat the Union 6-2 and 6-1.

We figured out an interesting new idea for how to do a Battle Cry tournament (or any other game with the problem of unbalanced scenarios), inspired by the Duplicate Go tournament at the Go Congress this year. (This problem is of interest since Brady is running a Battle Cry tournament at Millennium Con and wrestling with how best to do it.) Divide the players into 2 equal groups, e.g. CSA and Union. Play several rounds; each round a CSA player plays against a different Union player, but the same scenario is played by all players in a given round. After a few rounds of this, you now have a Best CSA Player and a Best Union Player, and didn't have to play match mode (i.e. didn't have to play each scenario twice, switching sides). These 2 winners from each set of players go on to play each other in a final match (where they will play the same scenario(s) twice in match mode to insure balance). (You could also have the top n players from each side go on to a finals round.) (Also of course the players in one group wouldn't have to play the CSA side each time.) Brady, what do you think of that idea? Interesting idea, we thought.

Ko Fight Club has Battle Cry comics every day this week. I'm also trying to think up a special Battle Cry scenario that will incorporate Lovecraftian horror elements...

Evening's Soundtrack

Clandestine, To Anybody At All
Despair's Book of Dreams and the Sometimes Radio
Ethos, Elytra (2 CDs)
Lone Star
All music which I enjoyed in live shows this year!

Elytra is currently in production at the Vortex. Lance & I saw it Sunday night and enjoyed it; it's a sequel of sorts to the "cybernetic opera" X&Y Trilogy.

Several of us saw Lone Star this summer, and they had a raffle drawing where (in a bowl with 100 names) they drew my name and Wendy's name!

Despair's Book of Dreams and the Sometimes Radio was at the Vortex in January, and is returning October 13-22.

Anyone who knows me knows who Clandestine is. It's got a good beat, and you can dance to it. So there.


Rank ratings:
 0.6000 Clay (1 game played)
 0.5455 Jeffles (5)
 0.5000 JeffF (4)
 0.3333 Carly (2)
 0.1875 Steve (4)
 0.1429 RussD (2)
 0.1250 RussW (5)
 0.0000 ChrisH (3)
 0.0000 JonathanC (3)
 0.0000 BobR (4)
 0.0000 Clayton (1)
-0.1176 JP (5)
-0.2000 Marty (2)
-0.2500 William (5)
-0.6000 Matt (6)
-0.6154 Dan (3)

New Win ratings:
 0.4286 RussD (2)
 0.3636 Jeffles (5)
 0.3333 Carly (2)
 0.2500 JeffF (4)
 0.1667 ChrisH (3)
 0.1250 JonathanC (3)
 0.0588 JP (5)
 0.0000 RussW (5)
 0.0000 BobR (4)
-0.0625 Steve (4)
-0.2000 Clay (1)
-0.2500 Clayton (1)
-0.2500 William (5)
-0.2667 Matt (6)
-0.3077 Dan (3)
-0.4000 Marty (2)

Jeffles is Devil!  Then JeffF, then Carly & RussD.  BobR wins the Extra Average Award!


You can purchase your very own Mach 5!

Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs at the Turn of the Millennium has an excerpt of a Crime Scene Cleaner talking about his job.

kung fuBattle Mail Kung Fu obsession continues. If you run Windows, check it out, and email me, Jay, William, or Daniel to play a game.

Icebox has lots of very well done Flash cartoons. I have looked at Poker Night, Hard Drinkin' Lincoln, and Starship Regulars (which has Michael Dorn among the voice talent) and enjoyed them all, and there are many more series here too.

H.P. Lovecraft fans should check out The Shoggoth on the Roof, a documentary about a never-staged Broadway-style Lovecraftian musical from 1979, set to the music of Fiddler on the Roof. There is an mp3 of the song "Byakhee, Byakhee" available for download which is terrific. "Byakhee, byakhee, fly me through space..."

And speaking of things Lovecraftian, there's an interactive Flash cartoon/adventure game thingie at Arcane: Online Mystery Serial.

Hey, go read that Ko Fight Club thing of mine. Battle Cry comics every day this week!

Byakhee, byakhee, fly me through space!