bluff bluff bluff bluff bluff bluff bluff

March 20 2002 RussCon Report

bluff bluff bluff bluff bluff bluff bluff

Game Results
Meta Party Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
18 of us played 8 games, an unusually high player to game ratio, but not surprising!
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Ko Fight Club Check out my webcomics.
Comicollage: daily ongoing comic jam with 7 artists and no planning ahead! There's a russ strip every Tuesday.
I make exquisite corpses at deepmachines.


DaveB left a box of games he is selling off -- if you want any of them, talk to Dave (next week presumably).

Also there is a box of old sf magazines from Jeffles -- they are free for the taking.

Lost & Found: Topeak bicycle toolkit. Altex claim check. Chrononauts rules.

Game Results

Bluff14Daniel 13 Clay 11 JP 8 Marty 8 JonathanC 5 BobR 3 William 1 Steve -1 MarkH -3 RussW -5 Matt -7 Dan -9 MarkY -11 DaveB -13
Carcassonne5RussW 4 Dan 2 Clayton 0 RussD -2 Matt -4
RoyalTurf5Steve 4 Marty 2 JonathanC 0 Clay -2 BobR -4
DurchDieWueste5Matt 4 RussD 2 Dan 0 RussW -2 Clayton -4
WasSticht4William 3 JimG 1 Steve -1 Ben -3
LaCitta5MarkY 4 MarkH 2 Daniel 0 DaveB -2 JP -4
Kings+Castles4RussW 3 Matt 1 RussD -1 Dan -3
Bluff6Marty 5 RussW 3 Dan 1 Matt -1 MarkY -3 JonathanC -5

The 14 player Bluff was quite a spectacle! (And the 2-digit # of players did mess with my editor macro, Dan will be pleased to know!)

Dan brought the English game Kings + Castles, which was interesting albeit slow. It's kind of a simple elegant Vinci, with a nifty unusual cloth map and decent components except for the very dark blue counters which are hard to tell from the black counters. (Insert obligatory rant about idiotic graphic design in some games.) It has an interesting mechanic wherein the game lasts 12 (or 24) turns, and at the start we divvy up the turns, deciding the player turn order in advance. Since during a player's turn the other players do nothing, that means that after your last turn, you simply watch the rest of the game happen (and kibbitz of course). There is interesting nonobvious strategy about how you should distribute your turns along the schedule -- early, late, evenly spaced? Turn 1 seems very powerful, but that could be countered by the multiplayer effect of whoever picks turn 1 will then be perceived as the leader and be pounded on. Hopefully repeated play and familiarization will speed it up because I liked it and want to play more, and that's not just because I kicked everyone else's ass. We also had a protracted debate about whether it felt like an abstract game with a thin veneer of a theme, or a strongly themed game. I was in the former camp; it does mention specific kings, but in a way that felt about as strongly themed as the following email meme I received recently:

{Harold, Henry, William, Richard, Charles, Edward, John, James} the {I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII} wanted to be King of all England. So he {married, killed, married then killed, killed then married, befriended, forged an alliance with, made enemies with, bribed, went drinking with, went wenching with, made war with} {the Scottish, the Welsh, the French, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Church, the northern landowners, the southern landowners, the western landowners, the peasants, the queen, the queen's closest friend, the Archbishop of Canterbury, three cackling old women}, then {married, killed, married then killed, killed then married, exiled, blackmailed, gave a haircut to} the current {king, queen, Archbishop of Canterbury, king's councilor, king's pet dog}, {Harold, Henry, William, Richard, Charles, Edward, John, James, Elizabeth, Mary, Anne, Catherine, Thomas} {I, II, III, IV, VI, VII, VIII, of Scotland, of Wales, of Spain, of France, Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope, Holy Roman Emperor, the royal gardener} and assumed the throne.
We also had a protracted discussion of fake butts filled with chocolate pudding, but that's a different issue.

A reminder: please write and spell clearly when recording game results, make the scores and ranks clear, and remember last initials for people with common names, thanks! This week there was a BobH listed on Royal Turf. I guessed this meant BobR.

Meta Party Game

I was the Meta Devil. Here is the Meta Party Game, which as you see was inspired by Dan's idea:
Hmm, I was thinking of some lame-ass St Patrick's Day Meta Game, but I like
the idea of this (even if Dan is trying to break the formatting of my game
results table!), so to encourage participation in Dan's experiment, the
world record Bluff game will be the Meta Game -- the winner of the Bluff
game will be the Meta Devil.  The game will officially begin at some time
decided by Dan.

That will also make it much easier for me to figure out who the Meta Devil
is! :)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: On Behalf Of
> Dan Becker
> Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 8:45 PM
> To: RussCon Gamers
> Subject: [russcon] World Record Call My Bluff
> I would like to try to achieve a world record multiplayer Call My Bluff
> game. If you have a set, please bring it to RussCon on Wednesday night,
> March 20th. I don't know what the record is, but I bet 10 or 12 players
> is probably a good attempt.
> Yes, yes, I know, if we have 20 players, it will be easy to be 5 dice
> off. But look at it this way, at least if you make a bad call you will
> exit the game early.
> However, imagine the sound of 100 dice rattling! Imagine the dining room
> table quake as we slam 20 cups down upon it. If you defeat 20 people,
> just think how much greater that would be than defeating 20 people in
> sequential 2 player games.  We will put 10 player 6 Nimmt! to shame.
> Wonder in awe of how wide we can make the table in the weekly RussCon
> report. Tremble to the thought of winning 20 Devil points in a a single
> 15 minute game. This is for glory!
> --
> Thanks, Dan
We didn't get 100 dice, but it was still quite an event. Here are the results, as reported by Dan and posted to (this is great, I don't have to write anything this week!)
I don't know what the record is for the world's largest Call My Bluff game, but if you have had a big game, please let me know.

Last night our gaming group ran a 14 player Call My Bluff game. We came prepared for the feat with 3 copies of the game. It was an aural spectacle to hear those 70 dice rattle in the cups. One had to shout above the din to be heard. The dining room table quaked beneath the simultaneous slamming of 14 cups.

Some dedicated dice nuts called out the remaining dice and the expected rolls. "59 dice left with an expected sum of 19 and two thirds." Despite astronomical initial bids such as "28 fives" and "13 stars" most people clung on for dear life. As the play neared, players demanded "you have gotta call that", in hope of having the preceding player reset the bidding to an easier level. Sighs of relief were evident as additional bids came out and players avoided a challenge for another enormous round. When the call came, we established a convention of holding out fingers to aid with the enormous task of the counting of the dice.

Surprisingly, many players survived and the game lasted longer than expected. The first four calls resulted in losses of 4, 2, 4, and 1 dice. The bidding went around the circle 5 or 6 times until the first player was knocked out. Unfortunately, no exact challenges were able to knock out 13 dice at the 14 player level. After nearly an hour, one satisfied and relieved player emerged victorious and somewhat blessed by the dice.

In summary, it was a lot of fun. Sure there was a lot of downtime after your turn, but the camaraderie of the big game was superb. With nothing to do outside of your turn, there was a lot of heckling and jeering and unbidden kibitzing. I hope one day to play giant Call My Bluff again.

Daniel was the "satisfied and relieved player" and is therefore the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Genesis, Wind and Wuthering
PJ Harvey, To Bring You My Love
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Michael Nyman, Carrington
U2, Staring at the Sun

I've been loving the Lord of the Rings soundtrack for months now and hadn't yet played it at RussCon. It wanted to be played.


Rank ratings:
 0.7647 Daniel (2 games played)   
 0.6818 Marty (3)
 0.5294 Clay (2)
 0.3333 JimG (1)
 0.2500 William (2)
 0.2353 JP (2)
 0.1034 RussW (5)
 0.1000 Steve (3)
 0.0000 JonathanC (3)
-0.0588 BobR (2)
-0.0588 MarkH (2)
-0.0909 RussD (3)
-0.2414 Matt (5)
-0.3103 Dan (5)
-0.4545 MarkY (3)
-0.5000 Clayton (2)
-0.8824 DaveB (2)
-1.0000 Ben (1)
New Win ratings:
 0.7059 Daniel (2)
 0.1379 RussW (5)
 0.1364 Marty (3)
 0.1250 William (2)
 0.1000 Steve (3)
 0.0909 MarkY (3)
 0.0000 Matt (5)
-0.1176 Clay (2)
-0.1176 JP (2)
-0.1176 BobR (2)
-0.1176 MarkH (2)
-0.1176 DaveB (2)
-0.1364 JonathanC (3)
-0.1724 Dan (5)
-0.2500 Clayton (2)
-0.2727 RussD (3)
-0.3333 JimG (1)
-0.3333 Ben (1)
Daniel is the Devil (as well as the Meta Devil)! I am Vice-Devil. Marty is Vice-Vice-Devil. Ben pulled a Reverse Brady Maneuver.

JeffF re-forwarded me his old proposal for a new ratings system. I'm still bugged by it but haven't had time to analyze closely why.


XML Go notation project.

What Johnny the Homicidal Maniac character are you? I was pleased to be Devi.

Lego Lord of the Rings.

CDs on which my UD ping-pong homey John Weiss plays.

Famous last words. Walt Whitman's were "Hold me up; I want to shit."

Levitated Daily Source has various odd interactive Flash toys.

it wants to be found