September 11 2002 RussCon Report

the two towers

Game Results
Meta Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
Ratings | FAQ
15 of us played 13 games. A lower turnout, perhaps due to it being the anniversary of the WTC attack.
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If we don't play boardgames and make silly jokes, then the terrorists have already won... It's been a year since the two towers fell in New York. A lot has changed, and a lot that should have hasn't, depressingly. But some good things haven't changed, thank goodness.

I know some folks took the day off to reflect on the past year. I find my thoughts ranging over past, present, and future... 20 or 25 years ago I was reading books like The Two Towers (and now here we are, expecting the Peter Jackson movie in a few months), watching movies like Ralph Bakshi's Wizards, and listening to music like Al Stewart. It was very cool to see Al Stewart live Thursday night. I'd forgotten so many of the songs, and it was really a delightful treat to hear them performed live after so many years, in a small venue, and rekindle that interest. His song "Roads to Moscow" (about the WWII Russian Front) performed live literally sent chills down my spine.

The silent movies (Arsenal and Safety Last) were also both cool. It was amazing seeing Harold Lloyd perform his own dangerous yet funny stunts on the side of a 12 story building with no safety ropes or nets, especially since we learned that he'd previously lost a finger and a thumb in an accident. There are more free silent films on the way in the Dovzhenko retrospective. I find it magical to watch movies made 70 or 80 years ago, with live music by modern musicians. I am left with a feeling of optimism despite events of terrorism and war.

some familiar faces play battle cry at millenniumconBoardgamers and miniatures gamers should be aware MillenniumCon 5 is coming up in a couple months: November 22-24. Our Most Assiduous Reader will recall that Brady's Settlers tournament 5 years ago at MillenniumCon led to RussCon As We Know It. The photo is from Brady's Battle Cry tournament at MillenniumCon 3, where JP defeated me in the final round, thus winning the nice Battle Cry set painted by Brady which lives in my living room.

This was Kara's last RussCon for a while, as she's moving to Houston. Good luck!

Game Results

TakeItEasy4JP 3 Marty 1 RussW -1 Kara -3
Settlers3JonathanC 2 MarkY -1 BradS -1
RockPaperScissors2Kara 1 BradS -1
Tichu2( Zack Ben ) 1 ( Whendy MarkH ) -1
Cartagena5MarkH 4 Clayton 2 William -1 Steve -1 Zack -4
Drakon4MarkH 3 William 1 Steve -1 Zack -3
StephensonsRocket4TimG 3 JP 1 JonathanC -1 RussW -3
Guillotine3BradS 2 Ben 0 MarkY -2
WhatsThatOnMyHead4Ben 2 MarkY 2 BradS -1 Kara -3
Carcassonne6TimG 5 Whendy 3 Clayton 1 JonathanC -1 JP -3 RussW -5
Tichu2( Ben Zack ) 1 ( William MarkY ) -1
ChineseChess2MarkY 1 William -1
Drakon4JP 3 JonathanC 0 RussW 0 Steve -3

We hadn't played Take It Easy in a while. It's that "hexagonal bingo" game where players try to fit a sequence of randomly chosen tiles onto their grid to maximize their scores. It's quite fun, even though it is parallel games of solitaire.

Drakon continues to be popular, with universal agreement that its expansion is one of the best game expansions in a long time. I note as an aside that MarkY is insane to refuse to play it.

Stephensons Rocket is of course the greatest of all Knizia train games, and once again it was proven to be folly to mess with someone else's railroad in the early turns, as Sea Biscuit did to me, and we ended up in 3rd and 4th place. He shall pay for his insulin!

hall of shamehall of shameA 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, I had to rely on my feeble memory and guessing skills to deduce which Mark was meant in several entries. MarkY and MarkH both show up frequently, so please remember the Y and H...

Meta Game

Zack was the Meta Devil. Here is the Meta Game he mailed out:
If you want to play-
When you arrive, draw a card from the box. It will have a number on it. Keep the number confidential. If you win a game you may trade numbered cards with any one player in that game. If you place second in that game you may trade with any one player other than the winning player; place third...
Person with the highest numbered card at the end of the night wins.

Zack wisely did not tell us full info about the distribution of numbers. It turns out 21 was the highest number, and Sea Biscuit ended the evening with that card, so Sea Biscuit is the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Sandra Bernhard, excuses for bad behavior, part 1
Pogues, Essential
Social Distortion, White Light White Heat White Trash
The Sundays, blind
U2, Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?

These 5 CDs all have a cover of a Rolling Stones song: Sympathy for the Devil, Honky Tonk Woman, Under My Thumb, Wild Horses, and Paint it Black.


New Multiplicative Rank Ratings:   
 3.1781 24.0000 TimG (2)
 2.3026 10.0000 MarkH (3)
 2.2618 9.6000 JP (4)
 2.0794 8.0000 Ben (4)
 0.9808 2.6667 Clayton (2)
 0.4055 1.5000 JonathanC (4)
 0.4055 1.5000 Marty (1)
 0.2231 1.2500 Whendy (2)
-0.4055 0.6667 BradS (4)
-0.8109 0.4444 MarkY (5)
-1.2685 0.2813 William (4)
-1.6094 0.2000 Zack (4)
-2.0794 0.1250 Kara (3)
-2.0794 0.1250 Steve (3)
-3.5835 0.0278 RussW (4)
New Multiplicative Win Ratings:
 3.1781 24.0000 TimG won 2 of 2
 2.3026 10.0000 MarkH won 2 of 3
 2.3026 10.0000 JP won 2 of 4
 1.6740 5.3333 Ben won 3 of 4
 0.8755 2.4000 Zack won 2 of 4
 0.3409 1.4063 JonathanC won 1 of 4
-0.1178 0.8889 MarkY won 2 of 5
-0.2877 0.7500 Kara won 1 of 3
-0.2877 0.7500 Marty won 0 of 1
-0.4055 0.6667 Clayton won 0 of 2
-0.6931 0.5000 BradS won 1 of 4
-0.7985 0.4500 Steve won 0 of 3
-0.8755 0.4167 Whendy won 0 of 2
-1.0454 0.3516 RussW won 0 of 4
-1.8971 0.1500 William won 0 of 4

TimG is the Devil, especially glorious since one of his 2 wins was as a first-timer in Stephensons Rocket. MarkH is Vice-Devil. JP is Vice-Vice-Devil. Ben is Vice-Vice-Vice-Devil.


Tolkien fans will surely want to see the groovy 1960s-era music video of Leonard Nimoy singing The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins...

For some reason, the United States Embassy in Stockholm has a very nice page showing the history of US flags, including the layouts of the various numbers of stars from the original 13 to today's 50.

Jeb 2002!

September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Valid HTML 4.01!i rode a tank held a general's rank when the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank