May 22 2002 RussCon Report

star wars epic duels

Game Results
Meta Party Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
20 of us played 18 games (including 7 Star Wars Epic Duels!).
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If you enjoy cool weird live theater, see Rude Mechanicals' production of El Paraiso which ends on Saturday this weekend.

Game Results

StarWarsEpicDuels2Dudley 1 Allen -1
StarWarsEpicDuels2( Daniel JimG Fred ) 1 ( Whendy Dan RussW ) -1
StarWarsEpicDuels2( JimG Brady RussW ) 1 ( Daniel Dan RussD ) -1
Carcassonne3Clay 2 Clayton 0 Brady -2
Vampire5Clay 4 Fred 2 Clayton 0 Tim -2 Sarah -4
SchottenTotten2Allen 1 Dudley -1
SchottenTotten2Dudley 1 Allen -1
Letras3Allen 2 RussD 0 Dudley -2
DasAmulett6DaveB 5 MarkH 1 MarkY 1 JP 1 William -3 Steve -5
StarWarsEpicDuels4JimG 3 Daniel 1 RussW -1 Brady -3
Tichu2( Tim Sarah ) 1 ( Dan Fred ) -1
Cathedral2Tim 1 Sarah -1
Cosmic5Allen 4 Dudley 1 William 1 MarkY -3 RussD -3
StarWarsEpicDuels2( RussW Brady JP ) 1 ( Steve DaveB Daniel ) -1
StarWarsEpicDuels2JP 1 DaveB -1
WebOfPower4RussW 3 Steve 1 Daniel -1 Brady -3
StarWarsEpicDuels4JP 3 Steve 1 Daniel -1 RussW -3
Cosmic5JimG 4 Allen 2 William 0 Dudley -2 MarkY -4

Star Wars Epic Duels was the popular game of the evening of course. We discovered a few rules we hadn't known: in free for all mode, the rules say if your primary characters is killed, you are eliminated. Similarly in team mode, if all of the primary characters on a team are killed, that team loses, which we hadn't known until midway through tonight. These are good rules -- without them some team games had dragged on a long time even though the outcome looked clear. We had 2 different games where Boba Fett got to use his thermonuclear thingamajig to take out a group of several clonetroopers and wound several main characters very early on. Beware of grouping together if Boba Fett is around! Also I can tell you that a Jedi (with no range attack) has a tough time against a shooter... but 2 light saber fighters can kick the ass of a shooter. Also I think Luke & Leia suck. Perhaps next time we'll try playing on RoboRally boards, heh heh...

Unusually, Cosmic got played twice this evening. Also glad to see Cathedral get played; it's quite a nifty quick 2-player pure strategy game.

Meta Party Game

I was again the Meta Devil. Here is the Meta Party Game I mailed out:
Ok, the Meta Game is to play Star Wars Epic Duels. Earn a meta point each time you play. High score wins.

But wait, there's more! So much more. That's not a moon, it's a space station! Or something.

The SWED games are played with teams of good guys versus bad guys -- life-and-death battles for the fate of the galaxy! This is serious business. It's important everyone do their duty to defend the Republic (or the Empire, as the case may be). At the end of each game, each team should vote to determine who their most valuable player was -- who was most crucial to defeating the enemy team, or to put it another way: in whom was the Force strongest? On each team, the player with most votes earns a bonus meta point.

And most importantly of all, since this is the game of wacky Star Wars quoting and roleplaying and spoofing, ALL players in the game should also vote to determine who was the most entertaining player, or to put it another way: who ogled Amidala's bare midriff and performed the Yoda ball-squeeze most amusingly?

Thus the scoring for each game of SWED is:

+ 1 meta point to everyone in the game

+ 1 meta point to the most valuable player on each team. For each team, this is voted on by the team members. I.e. all the bad guys vote for the most kickass bad guy and all the good guys vote for the most kickass good guy.

+ 1 meta point to the most entertaining player in the game. This is voted on by ALL the players in the game. And for that matter, interested spectators are permitted to vote on this! And it is legitimate to consider someone not very entertaining if they agonize too long or too frequently.

A plurality (not majority) is needed to win a vote. Normally votes should be resolved quickly by vocal acclamation (you know, like a vote in the Senate where everyone says "Hear, hear!") If not, then go to ballots that are revealed simultaneously. You cannot vote for yourself. Vote for whoever you think is genuinely most deserving of the award other than yourself. Be honorable, even if you're a bad guy. You may abstain... if you're a cowardly politician.

In case of tie votes, split the meta point equally between the tying players. E.g. 2 good guys are equally valuable on their 4 player team, and each gets 2 votes. Then they each earn 0.5 meta points.)

Thus in theory you could earn 3 meta points from playing 1 game of SWED, if you shoot a fatal shot through Darth Vader's helmet while kicking Boba Fett's rocket pack so it malfunctions and he flies right into the Emperor's crackling lightning bolt finger thingies like a moth in a bug zapper (so your teammates vote for you) and you also performed a moving Chewbacca/Jar-Jar love scene with tender Wookiee moans (so that everyone votes for you). Oh yes, this is going to be fun.

By the way, in case anyone cares to play a non-team "destruction derby" version of SWED, then there are of course no team-voted bonuses, but the winner will earn a bonus meta point. I.e. the losers earn 1 meta point and the 1 winner earns 2 meta points. I doubt ties for victory occur (i.e. the last 2 players die in the same instant), but if it is, the winners split the bonus meta point.

To enable us to play many games of this fine bit of ludicrously ridiculous mayhem (what else can you call a game where Anakin Skywalker can fight against his own future self Darth Vader?), I award one more set of special meta awards:

1 bonus meta point if you bring a set of SWED this week. Dan and Daniel(*) both have copies, how about YOU? How can you NOT own this fun game? Think of all the cool painted plastic figures! Did I mention Amidala's bare midriff?

May the Force be with you.

(*) Daniel emailed me that he bought Star Wars Epic Battles, but I assume he meant Star Wars Epic Duels and is just dazed and confused from being out too long in the hot Tatooine suns or something.

Dan, Daniel, and Brady all brought sets. (If anyone else did, I missed it, sorry. Write meta info in The Book if you care.) Daniel, in true hardcore fashion, had examined all the decks and written notes to himself on their distributions and knew all the special cards. I still enjoyed playing in that virginal state of ignorance and surprise, because you can never go back to that state...

We played both team and free for all games. We corrected a few rules misconceptions also.

I didn't clearly specify, but a 2 player game would be considered free for all rather than team for meta purposes (since you can't vote for yourself anyway), so I just give the winner an extra meta point in those.

By the way, I note in passing that Dan is electionphobic (and doesn't know how to pronounce Amidala), but he still makes the best Wookiee noises. And Fred (who played Amidala) earned one of his meta points for demonstrating his special live impression of the Amidala midriff flash. Anyway, by my reckoning here are the meta scores:

7 Daniel
6.5 RussW
6 Brady
5 JimG
4 JP
3 Dan
3 Steve
2 Fred
2 RussD
2 DaveB
2 Dudley
1.5 Whendy
1 Allen
Congratulations to Daniel, who has completed his Jedi training and is now ready to design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Star Wars: A New Hope, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

This 2-disc set was the only music played, until Allen and William and a few others couldn't take it any more around midnight and cracked under the pressure. Admittedly the last track on disc 1 consists of the main Star Wars theme played 5 times in a row with subtle variations. But still, I expected a little more endurance and willingness to undergo hardship. Look how Darth Vader tortured Han and Chewbacca in The Empire Strikes Back, and they didn't cave in. Princess Leia didn't spill the beans during her interrogation. I mean we're only talking about saving the galaxy from the evil Empire here. But play John Williams music for a few hours, and they start whining. Sheesh. Damn Imperial sympathizers!


Rank ratings:
 1.0000 JimG (4 games played)    
 1.0000 Clay (2)
 0.6000 JP (4)
 0.5385 Allen (6)
 0.4286 DaveB (3)
 0.3333 Fred (3)
 0.2000 MarkH (1)
 0.0000 RussW (6)
 0.0000 Tim (3)
 0.0000 Clayton (2)
-0.1538 Dudley (6)
-0.1538 William (3)
-0.1667 Daniel (6)
-0.3333 Steve (4)
-0.4615 MarkY (3)
-0.5714 RussD (3)
-0.6000 Brady (5)
-0.6667 Sarah (3)
-1.0000 Dan (3)
-1.0000 Whendy (1)
New Win Ratings:
 1.0000 JimG (4)
 1.0000 Clay (2)
 0.4286 DaveB (3)
 0.4000 JP (4)
 0.3077 Allen (6)
 0.1667 RussW (6)
 0.1667 Tim (3)
-0.1000 Brady (5)
-0.1538 Dudley (6)
-0.1667 Fred (3)
-0.1667 Sarah (3)
-0.2000 MarkH (1)
-0.2308 William (3)
-0.2308 MarkY (3)
-0.3333 Clayton (2)
-0.3333 Daniel (6)
-0.3333 Steve (4)
-0.4286 RussD (3)
-1.0000 Dan (3)
-1.0000 Whendy (1)

JimG is the Devil (but my secret sources tell me he won't be here next week). Clay is Vice-Devil. JP is Vice-Vice-Devil. DaveB is Vice-Vice-Vice-Devil. Then Allen. Dan and Whendy are Generous Angels.


Point, counterpoint:

Jonathan V. Last argues The Case for the Empire: Everything you think you know about Star Wars is wrong!

David Brin argues "Star Wars" despots vs. "Star Trek" populists!

Salon articles about Star Wars fan films and Hardware Wars

Insecurity of fingerprint security systems... mathematician fools 11 security systems with fake fingertips made from cheap gelatin... shades of Gattaca!

One-minute aural vacations

How To Deconstruct Almost Anything

Google sets

rock me amidala