July 24 2002 RussCon Report

monsta slaya

Game Results
Meta Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
Ratings | FAQ
16 of us played 12 games.
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One other coworker (Jason who came to his first RussCon as well) submitted something for the triangle classification problem, and I think that is probably the end of the submissions, so watch for a writeup on that sometime soon. It is possible that I will pose another similar challenge before posting full info on the first one, just so people can try another such problem without having seen all the results and lessons of the first one. (No, this is not just a cheap ploy to procrastinate on writing the results -- I have all the results and am starting to write up a report now. I just think it would be interesting to get a second sampling of test suites for another problem before people get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly from the first one.)

Meanwhile some more people snuck in entries just under the wire on that Kuro5hin contest I mentioned a couple weeks ago, so my probability of winning decreased significantly... but Thad hasn't announced a winner yet.

Note there will be no RussCon on Wednesday August 7 since I'll be at the Go Congress (which, as everyone knows, is The Best Week Of The Year). I have heard rumors Marty might host a Sans-RussCon, and he has confirmed these rumors.

Game Results

PuertoRico5Marty 4 MarkH 2 Clay 0 Daniel -2 Dan -4
Transamerica4Marty 3 Dan 1 MarkH -1 Daniel -3
Munchkin5RussW 4 William 2 Dudley -1 Fred -1 Steve -4
Vampire4Steve 3 RussW 1 Clayton -1 Fred -3
Zero5MarkH 4 Marty 1 Daniel 1 Dan -2 RussD -4
6Nimmt6Whindy 5 Dan 3 Marty 1 Daniel -1 MarkH -3 JP -5
Cosmic4RussD 3 William -1 Dudley -1 JonathanC -1
TitanArena3RussW 2 Steve 0 Fred -2
PuertoRico3Whindy 2 Daniel 0 JP -2
Carcassonne3Steve 2 RussW 0 Jason -2
WizWar4Dudley 3 JonathanC 1 William -2 RussD -2
Vampire4JP 2 Jason 2 RussW -1 Steve -3

I was already looking forward to playing Munchkin (even before Daniel posted his meta game), and I indeed enjoyed it, but there are 2 complaints. It took 2.5 hours to play with 5 of us, and this problem is because there are a lot of "screw your neighbor" cards. For about the first hour or more, no one got higher than level 3 (you need to reach level 10 to win). It was kind of silly. I suspect it would play faster with fewer people, but since it purports to be for 3 to 6 players, it ought to work better with 5 and 6 players than it does. The other gripe, even more serious for me, is the crappy rules writing/editing and poor ergonomics (info that should be on cards but you have to look up in the book, inconsistencies e.g. between Half-Breed and Super-Munchkin cards, etc.) -- all sorts of pointless ambiguities and holes which should have been easily ironed out, since it's essentially a simple game and could easily have clean elegant rules. This especially disappointed me since SJ has written such genuine gems of clarity as Ogre, original Illuminati, Melee, etc. They seem to be using an excuse of "this is a silly game and arguing about it is part of the fun", but I don't buy it. Rules arguments aren't as fun as playing the game.

Fun to play Titan the Arena again, even if only 5 monsters die in a game of it; it had been a while.

New guy Jason is curiously my first UD coworker to actually come to RussCon. We played Carcassonne with the classic set, partly since he'd not played before and partly just because we've been playing with the expansion so much lately.

Meta Game

Daniel was again the Meta Devil. Here is the Meta Game he mailed out:
Slay monsters and beasts!

1 Meta point per monster or beast slain

cute animals are not beasts (no deer slaying or duck hunting) although killing Bears and Foxes in Tally Ho would count as would killing hunters (Meta devil will rule when it is unclear). Definitely killing Hitler works in Chrononauts unless someone unkills him.

ties are broken by who killed the biggest or nastiest beast.

Here are the games which earned people meta points:
Munchkin5RussW 9 William 4 Dudley 5 Fred 5 Steve 3
Vampire4Steve 29 RussW 24 Clayton 22 Fred 23
TitanArena3RussW 2 Steve 2 Fred 1
Vampire4JP 23? Jason 23? RussW 23 Steve 29
Seems like monsters and beasts might have been slain in WizWar, but no one recorded any. As it turned out, Vampire was clearly the game to play for racking up slain monsters, so Steve & I were the only serious Monsta Slayaz. I slew 58 and Steve slew 63, so Steve is the Reluctant Meta Devil Monsta Slaya and will design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Cradle of Filth, Cruelty and the Beast
Dinosaur Jr, Without a Sound
Philip Glass, La Belle et la Bete
Kittywinder, Livre des Monstres
Monster Magnet, Dopes to Infinity

It's another of those pesky meta soundtracks!


New Multiplicative Rank Ratings:   
 3.5711 35.5556 Marty (4)
 2.8904 18.0000 Whindy (2)
 2.7081 15.0000 RussW (5)
 0.9808 2.6667 MarkH (4)
 0.8109 2.2500 Dudley (3)
 0.1178 1.1250 JonathanC (2)
 0.0000 1.0000 Clay (1)
-0.2877 0.7500 William (3)
-0.4055 0.6667 Jason (2)
-0.4055 0.6667 Clayton (1)
-0.5108 0.6000 Steve (5)
-0.9163 0.4000 RussD (3)
-0.9808 0.3750 Dan (4)
-2.0794 0.1250 Daniel (5)
-2.1972 0.1111 JP (3)
-2.7726 0.0625 Fred (3)
New Multiplicative Win Ratings:
 2.8904 18.0000 Whindy won 2 of 2
 2.5903 13.3333 Marty won 2 of 4
 1.3218 3.7500 RussW won 2 of 5
 1.1632 3.2000 Steve won 2 of 5
 0.9163 2.5000 MarkH won 1 of 4
 0.8755 2.4000 Dudley won 1 of 3
 0.8755 2.4000 RussD won 1 of 3
 0.2877 1.3333 Jason won 1 of 2
 0.1054 1.1111 JP won 1 of 3
-0.2231 0.8000 Clay won 0 of 1
-0.2877 0.7500 Clayton won 0 of 1
-0.5754 0.5625 JonathanC won 0 of 2
-0.7985 0.4500 William won 0 of 3
-0.9163 0.4000 Dan won 0 of 4
-0.9163 0.4000 Fred won 0 of 3
-1.3218 0.2667 Daniel won 0 of 5
These are the new multiplicative ratings (see July 3 for details). Dan and a reader from Finland (hi Mikko!) emailed me asking for more explanation of how the ratings work, so I made a new ratings info page with more explanation and examples. (And it is fun to know that the RussCon Report is read in Finland since I took Finnish in college though I never got very good and have forgotten almost all of it!) I've also added a "FAQ" link to this new ratings info page at the top of the Report.

Marty is the Devil and Whindy is Vice-Devil! I am Vice-Vice-Devil. Then Steve, then MarkH.


Quit Slashdot.org Today!

No more JPEGs - ISO to withdraw image standard thanks to stupid Austin company claiming they own patent to JPEG

A coworker is on the recently released Negative Step "Conquering Punk" 10" release with the bad cover so I made that my wallpaper at work! You should too!

Toilet Paper Algorithms and other writings of Don Norman

Weird art site

Review of Big If, an odd-sounding novel set in the computer game biz

you should know better than to pick up a duck in a dungeon