April 1 4 2001 RussCon Report

Game Results
Meta Party Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
21 of us played 17 games.
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My employer has officially launched our distributed cancer research project. If you want to donate your unused CPU cycles to doing some molecular biology research, check it out! There are teams; is there any interest in a RussCon team?

I fooled more people than expected with the following email, sent out Sunday April 1:

It seems my new employer UD has decided to shut down the Austin office and move all operations to their Berkeley location. Since this job is so important to me, I'll be relocating with them. Sadly, this means the end of RussCon As We Know It. This coming Wednesday will probably be the last RussCon.

A Pained Russ Is Leaving,
Following Occupational Opportunities Lately Sought.


(I draw your attention to the awkwardly acronymic final paragraph.)

A half dozen people sent heartfelt letters of concern and sadness, which were genuinely touching and I appreciate them, even as I cruelly mock their authors' foolishness. I also received a poignant letter of romantic regret:

Chow bella, that's really too bad because I've been working up the guts to ask you out, I mean that's like the only reason I even come to RussCon, and now it's all too late.


And at least one unnamed RussCon attendee this week came because they believed it was indeed the last RussCon. Late in the evening, they finally realized...

All in all, one of my better years for April 1!

Game Results

6Nimmt6Daniel 5 Dan 3 WendyWhe 1 RussW -1 Clay -3 Clayton -5
Euphrates4Bob 3 Matt 1 JP -1 Marty -3
SpyAlley5Daniel 4 WendyWhi 2 Brady 0 Jeffles -2 JeffF -4
Carcassonne5Clayton 4 James 2 Steve 0 WendyWhe -2 Clay -4
Kremlin5Daniel 4 JeffF -1 WendyWhi -1 Jeffles -1 JonathanC -1
Can'tStop3JP 2 Matt 0 Bob -2
Wizard4JeffF 3 Matt 1 James -1 JP -3
Zero5WendyWhi 4 Daniel 2 Clay 0 Carly -2 Brady -4
6Nimmt4Allen 3 ChrisH 1 PJ -1 JonathanC -3
TallyHo2RussW 1 Dan -1
Bluff5Daniel 4 Clay 2 Carly 0 WendyWhi -2 Brady -4
Rheinlaender4JP 3 Jeffles 1 Marty -1 Bob -3
Carcassonne5RussW 4 Allen 2 PJ 0 WendyWhi -2 Brady -4
WebOfPower4JeffF 3 Steve 1 James -1 Matt -3
UnionPacific4Bob 3 Carly 1 Jeffles -1 Marty -3
Can'tStop3Jeffles 2 Marty 0 Carly -2
MembersOnly4PJ 3 Allen 1 RussW -1 Brady -3

6 Nimmt is still popular, and it can still be pronounced "Sex Nymph".

carcassonneCarcassonne of course continues its reign of popularity. I won another game of it. One of these days, I'll have the trained RussCon technicians compute statistics just for Carcassonne games. I'm sure if I do that for Web of Power, JeffF will be the clear Web of Power devil.

Finally, after weeks of callously ignoring my desperate pleas, Dan relented and brought Tally Ho back. We played a long serious game of it. People even commented that we were so quiet. It was totally unlike us. I like Dan's description of the game: it starts out totally random, and gradually becomes pure strategy like chess. It is rather unusual in this regard, and well worth checking out.

An oldie but goodie that hadn't been played in a while: Members Only. A clever Knizia design with weird scoring twists, of course!

Meta Party Game Results

Matt was the Meta Party Devil. Here is the Meta Party Game he emailed out:

Inspired by a comment of Marty's that he'd lost nearly every game he played last week, as well as in honor of Russ' recent pinchbeck departure announcement:


In this metagame, you win by coming in last.

For each game played, the player(s) coming in last receives one metapoint for each player that beat them. The total for the evening is then divided by the number of players played against. Only the last-place player(s) receives any points.

Essentially, it's the converse of the "new win" Devil Point score - the "new loss" score. I expect the trained Russcon technicians will use the existing Devil Points software, but with the order of finishing reversed, to evaluate the metawinner. Ties are resolved in favor of whomever played the most games, and the 2-game minimum applies.

Highest (worst) score wins the metagame.

Trained RussCon technicians computed the scores but had to modify the software. The specification was ambiguous. ("Only the last-place player(s) receive any points" contradicts "it's the converse of the 'new win' Devil Point score", since Win Ratings award points to all players (nonwinners are all treated as having tied for last).) I took the first interpretations since it seemed the intent (and was easier to program). Thus anyone who lost no games has 0 Meta Party Points. Here are the results:
Allen 0
Bob -5
Brady -15
Carly -2
ChrisH 0
Clay -4
Clayton -5
Dan -1
Daniel 0
JP -3
James 0
JeffF -4
Jeffles 0
JonathanC -4
Marty -6
Matt -3
PJ 0
RussW 0
Steve 0
WendyWhe 0
WendyWhi 0
Notice that in fact the majority of people are LOSERS! Brady has the largest meta loser rank (-15) so he's the Meta Party Devil and will email out next week's Meta Party Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass, Passages
Marillion, Afraid of Sunlight
Mendelssohn, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Strange Days, music from the motion picture
Timbuk3, Looks Like Dark to Me

The recent change to daylight savings inspired this admittedly shifty theme. But it wasn't too unfair, because Brady detected the theme (with a little help from Matt & PJ's close guesses).


Rank ratings:
 0.9048 Daniel (5 games played)
 0.6000 Allen (3)
 0.3333 Dan (2)
 0.3333 ChrisH (1)
 0.2308 RussW (4)
 0.2000 PJ (3)
 0.1429 Steve (2)
 0.0909 Bob (4)
 0.0909 JP (4)
 0.0714 JeffF (4)
 0.0500 WendyWhi (5)
 0.0000 James (3)
-0.0625 Jeffles (5)
-0.0909 Matt (4)
-0.1111 Clayton (2)
-0.1111 WendyWhe (2)
-0.2308 Carly (4)
-0.2941 Clay (4)
-0.5714 JonathanC (2)
-0.6364 Marty (4)
-0.7895 Brady (5)

New Win ratings:
 0.7619 Daniel (5)
 0.3636 Bob (4)
 0.3333 Clayton (2)
 0.2857 JeffF (4)
 0.2727 JP (4)
 0.2308 RussW (4)
 0.1000 Allen (3)
 0.1000 PJ (3)
 0.0000 WendyWhi (5)
-0.1250 Jeffles (5)
-0.2222 WendyWhe (2)
-0.2353 Clay (4)
-0.2632 Brady (5)
-0.2857 Steve (2)
-0.2857 JonathanC (2)
-0.3000 James (3)
-0.3077 Carly (4)
-0.3333 Dan (2)
-0.3333 ChrisH (1)
-0.3636 Matt (4)
-0.3636 Marty (4)
Daniel is the Devil! I am Vice-Devil.


Chipworks Art Gallery has some really cool photos of very small art.

Radiskull & Devil Doll Episode 8 is here!

In case anyone hasn't heard already, Despair trademarked the frowny emoticon. They also have fun demotivational posters for sale, one of which is at my office, but it was so cleverly done I wasn't sure if it was real or a spoof (since we have some of the real ones around as well).

How to Dance Properly.

My employer was slash-dotted by a rabid flamer. There was also a lot of favorable press about UD, due to Tuesday's official cancer project announcement with Intel and University of Oxford. My pet peeve is that all these articles call it "peer to peer" when it's not. It's classic client/server architecture. Oh well. Such are the effects of media bandwagon hype.

MacGruff the crime dog says, "Take a bite out of sex nymphs!"


take a bite out of crime