April 3 2002 RussCon Report

queen mother

Game Results
Meta Party Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
16 of us played 13 games. Perhaps there was a smaller turnout due to apprehension about the April 1 Meta Game.
RussCon Mailing List Subscription Info
RussCon Report Archives
Previous Report
Next Report
RussCon Info
Russ Zone
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.


One never knows for sure, but it seems a couple people were April fooled as I received 2 private emails saying
Have to admit I'm glad I'm missing this one...
Makes me glad I don't usually attend.
But perhaps I was being counter-fooled. You be the judge.

Also, Our Most Assiduous Reader Dan posted this sad news:

I was saddened to hear that the Queen Mother passed away this weekend, as I knew she was a fan of the RussCon report and always wanted to game with Russ (http://russcon.org/RussCon/2001/0627.html#news).

My condolences to the family and to all RussCon attendees who miss her.

There are still DaveB games for sale and Jeffles sf mags free for the taking.

Game Results

queenWizard5Clay 4 DaveB 2 William 0 MarkH -2 Ben -4
Carcassonne4JonathanC 3 RussW 1 Clayton -1 Steve -3
PrincesOfFlorence5DaveB 4 Zack 2 Marty -1 JP -1 Whendy -4
englandHookOrCrook5JonathanC 4 Clayton 2 RussW 0 Steve -2 MarkY -4
queenTichu2( Clay MarkH ) 1 ( Ben William ) -1
RoyalTurf3Steve 2 JP 0 DaveB -2
englandStephensonsRocket4JonathanC 3 RussW 1 RussD -1 MarkY -3
SchottenTotten2DaveB 1 MarkY -1
SchottenTotten2MarkY 1 DaveB -1
queenTichu2( Dan Zack ) 1 ( Whendy Marty ) -1
englandWebOfPower4RussW 3 Steve 1 JP -1 JonathanC -3
Bluff5RussW 4 JonathanC 2 Dan 0 Steve -2 MarkY -4
Domination4RussW 0 JonathanC 0 Steve 0 MarkY 0

Games with queens or England aren't hard to find, but no one played a game with mothers.

By Hook Or Crook is one of the early German games, by Klaus "Settlers" Teuber, and published in the US by Avalon Hill, oddly enough. I've always enjoyed its elegant simultaneous decision mechanisms and amusing flavor art.

Sea Biscuit and I broke the conventional wisdom of Stephensons Rocket this game: RussD & MarkY each grew their own railroads unmolested while Sea Biscuit & I merged ours early on and battled for control of it. I thought therefore we'd come in last, but in fact we finished 1st and 2nd. Perhaps it's because our railroad was growing 2 times per round instead of 1 like the other 2? This game continues to fascinate.

Domination is an old Milton Bradley game William brought back from Houston. We naively started it around midnight. It's an abstract strategy game, and the game play is enjoyable and clever. Unfortunately it appears that in the endgame, rational play leads to the game never terminating. 2 hours later we mutually agreed to a 4-way draw. (Sadly, this was shortly after it had been proposed I be the winner, but we played on and then I made a booboo.) Next time, we'll have to try the alternate quicker victory conditions (based on whoever captures a certain number of pieces first, rather than total domination). Possibly this is a side-effect of playing it multiplayer, as I recall Whendy & I played this game about a decade ago at the long-lost High Time games bar on Congress and didn't have the nontermination problem.

Meta Party Game

I was the Meta Devil. Here is the Meta Party Game I mailed out on April 1:
This week's Meta Game: Rate My Poop

To compete, you must poop during RussCon. Everyone else must then rate your poop from 1 to 5 (taking into account size, sound, smell, and personal taste.)

Highest average score wins and is next week's Meta Devil!

Ties broken by number of flushes required.

A Poop Really Is Lovely:
Farts Optimize Our Little Sport!

This led to quite a bit of amusing email on the RussCon list, and a couple of apparently sincerely concerned private emails. On April 2 I mailed out the following clarification:

As should be clear by now, the Meta Game I sent out on April 1 was fooling around (and based some private emails received, it may indeed have fooled a few people!) See the acrostic couplet of that email if further clues are needed:

A Poop Really Is Lovely:
Farts Optimize Our Little Sport!


So what is the real Meta Game?

In light of the sad news Dan posted, the real Meta Game this week shall commemorate the Queen Mother, that most excellent fan of boardgames and comics who sadly now will never get the chance to attend RussCon nor mooch off my extensive comics collection. It is a bummer, for I'm sure she'd have enjoyed Carcassonne.

Earn 1 meta point each time you play a game that has a Queen in it.
Earn 1 meta point each time you play a game that has a Mother in it.
Earn 1 meta point each time you play a game which is set in England.

Earn a possibly tie-breaking 0.5 meta point for giving me a note with the Evening's Soundtrack theme and your name written on it sometime during the evening.

High score wins. Ties broken randomly.

There were several England and Queen games, but no Mother games played. Only Sea Biscuit identified the soundtrack theme and told me. (I sportingly didn't go for the soundtrack theme bonus.) By my reckoning, the scores were:
3.5Sea Biscuit
2Clay William MarkH Ben Steve MarkY
1DaveB Clayton RussD Dan Zack Whendy Marty JP
I'm not sure if Royal Turf is an England game or not (it wasn't marked as such in The Book), but it wouldn't have affected the outcome: Sea Biscuit is clearly the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Angelfish, Angelfish
Wayne Erbsen, Ballads & Songs of the Civil War
Kittywinder, Scream of the Weak
Pink Floyd, The Wall
Roger Waters, In The Flesh

These CDs have songs titled "Mummy Can't Drive", "Just Before the Battle, Mother", "Mom", "Mother", "Mother". Kudos to Dan for recognizing the photo of Shirley Manson from her pre-Garbage days.


Rank ratings:
 1.0000 Clay (2 games played)   
 0.6000 Zack (2)
 0.4500 JonathanC (6)
 0.4500 RussW (6)
 0.3333 DaveB (5)
 0.2000 Dan (2)
 0.1429 Clayton (2)
-0.2000 MarkH (2)
-0.2000 William (2)
-0.2105 Steve (6)
-0.2222 JP (3)
-0.3333 RussD (1)
-0.4000 Marty (2)
-0.6875 MarkY (6)
-1.0000 Ben (2)
-1.0000 Whendy (2)
New Win ratings:
 1.0000 Clay (2)
 0.4000 JonathanC (6)
 0.2000 RussW (6)
 0.1667 DaveB (5)
 0.0000 Zack (2)
 0.0000 Dan (2)
 0.0000 MarkH (2)
-0.1053 Steve (6)
-0.1875 MarkY (6)
-0.2857 Clayton (2)
-0.3333 JP (3)
-0.3333 RussD (1)
-0.4000 William (2)
-0.4000 Marty (2)
-0.4000 Ben (2)
-0.4000 Whendy (2)
Clay is the Devil! Sea Biscuit is Vice-Devil. Zack is Vice-Vice-Devil. I am Vice-Vice-Vice-Devil.


"The Trouble with Bunnies", a story by occasional RussCon attendee Jay Lake.

"The 300 Most Common Words", a story by Bruce Sterling.

Mark Simonson Studio has interesting font-geeky articles including "The Scourge of Arial" and "Typecasting: The Use (and Misuse) of Period Typography in Movies".

Spamradio makes techno music with synthesized speech from spam.

Something Awful's Photoshopped boardgames.

long live the poop!