October 16 2002 RussCon Report

Game Results
Meta Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
Ratings | FAQ
21 of us played 17 games, with new folks Martha (BradS's SO) and DaveE (friend of JeffF's).
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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.


I'm doing some experiments with CSS on this webpage, partly just for my own edification since I've avoided CSS for so long, so let me know if you have any problems viewing it. (I don't expect any since it's pretty basic stuff, and I'm validating it all.) I'd resisted CSS due to a perception that it was wacky stuff that wouldn't work reliably in different browsers, but further research has led me to believe that time is past, especially if one avoids the dark obscure corners of CSS. This page is also HTML 4.01 (strict instead of transitional). I have some ideas for more interesting and obviously visible enhancements to the RussCon pages in the future. In my copious spare time.

I'm amused that wired.com redid their website a week ago to use XHTML and made a big deal about the benefits of XHTML (rightly so, as XHTML fixes many of the inconsistencies and hacks in HTML), but many of their own pages have XHTML syntax errors. I guess amid all the talk about the benefits of standard valid XHTML it didn't occur to them to validate their own pages. I emailed them about this irony; I'll be curious to see if they start validating their pages or if their front page is valid by the time you see this link. (Some errors I saw yesterday there are gone now, but then their front page content is always changing anyway.) A common mistake seems to be writing & instead of & in source. Unclosed and misnested tags are common too. Browsers are so big and bloated partly due to trying to handle and recover from ill-formed HTML. The problem of bad code is of course hardly unique to the wired site... I've become interested in HTML syntax and validation and browser issues over the past few months and it amazes me how few websites seem to care about having valid HTML (and then wonder why their pages don't work in some browers). Oh well, it also amazes me how many C/C++ programs don't compile without warnings either, or have serious bugs like memory leaks and use of uninitialized variables that would have been easily caught by running lint on the code...

A reminder that there are 2 more weeks of the Dovzhenko silent film series at the Alamo for free at 7pm on Tuesday nights. (It's extended a week probably to show the one that was cancelled 2 Tuesdays ago due to a Fedex shipping problem.)

Game Results

Exxtra6William 5 Ben 2 JP 2 MarkY -1 BradS -3 Martha -5
PuertoRico5Daniel 4 RussW 2 Dan 0 Zack -2 Clayton -4
ZirkusFlohcati3JeffF 2 Dawn 0 RussD -2
PuertoRico5Matt 4 DaveE 2 JimG 0 JonathanC -2 Whindy -4
Settlers3BradS 2 Fina -1 Martha -1
ZirkusFlohcati5DaveE 4 JimG 2 Matt 0 JonathanC -2 Whindy -4
Carcassonne3RussD 2 Clayton 0 RussW -2
Drunter&Drueber4Whindy 3 Martha 1 BradS -2 Matt -2
Tichu2( MarkY Ben ) 1 ( JP William ) -1
LordOfTheRings2JeffF 1 ( Zack Daniel Dan ) -1
Cloud93Matt 2 Ben 0 Whindy -2
Cloud93Matt 2 Ben 0 Whindy -2
Cosmic4DaveE 3 JonathanC 1 William -2 RussD -2
WordThief3Matt 2 Daniel 0 Ben -2
Tichu2( Dan JeffF ) 1 ( Zack Whindy ) -1
Bluff3Matt 2 DaveE 0 Daniel -2
PuertoRico5JimG 4 PJ 2 MarkY 0 RussW -2 JP -4

3 games of Puerto Rico in one evening ... truly it is the hot new RussCon game! The final game ended up surprisingly close. JimG finished with 45, then PJ and MarkY (both newbies!) tied with 44 points (and PJ won the tiebreaker), then I had 43... but JP trailed far behind with 30something. PJ, JP, and MarkY are all famous agonizers, so this was a long game, too...

RussD soundly trounced me and Clayton in Carcassonne.

There were 2 Cloud9 games recorded... so I took it at face value. Let me know if that was really the same game.

Meta Game

JimG was the Meta Devil. Here is the Meta Game he mailed out:

As I've always been fond of a good old scavenger hunt, and as we can't really leave the house to do it, and as we're all gamers anyway, this week's metagame will be the Game Equipment Scavenger Hunt!


What is the goal, you ask?? Arrr, listen close, matey, and yer'll find out!

Sorry, slipped into piratery after watching The Ship (History Channel) all night...

Anyway, your goal will be found on a randomly chosen 3x5 card, a deck of which will be available for your gaming pleasure (might just be a piece of paper instead). On your goal card will be a list of items; your object is to collect as many of the items as you can.

But, here's the catch: your opponents will be providing the "items"!

Those playing the meta game will, when starting a new game, secretly select an implement (that is, singular!) used in said game (eg die, card, tile, counter, etc) and write down its description on another 3 x 5 card (you'll hopefully have a few of these at night's end). The implement should be fairly generic described (don't write down 'Vortex tile' from Drakon, just 'tile'; 'wooden token' and 'token' are the same).

Following items are the only items eligible to be described on 3 x 5 card:

At the end of the game, starting with the losing player* and working upward through scores to the winner, you must if possible exchange your card with that of another player in the game. You are allowed to ask one and only one of the other players a Y/N question about their card, which they must answer truthfully. Players who have already traded a card may decline to trade again; otherwise, a player offered a trade must accept it.

Winner: First player to achieve a goal completely; if no one completes a goal (entirely possible), then the player that most closely completes their goal.

Tiebraker #1: If two or more players most closely complete their goal, then the player who played less games wins.

Tibreaker #2: If two or more players meet Tiebreaker #1 requirements, then the player who faced fewer total opponents wins.

Tiebreaker #3: Hell, roll a freakin' die!

I will be first referee on disputed calls; Russ W will be second referee. You risk showing your goal to others at your own peril ("Let me go back and face the peril!"; "No, its too perilous!")!

*I like it this way; you've already lost the game and probably any chance at being the devil, and ruined your average to some extent, so maybe you can win the meta game!

This game turned out sort of weird in that it became obvious you should always write down an item on your goal list, and by choosing your games correctly, you could win the Meta Game in 4 games. However some of us found ourselves in games that didn't have components we needed for our goal. In any case, Matt ended up completing his goal first, so he is the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Marillion, Clutching at Straws
A Fistful of Dollars, Music composed and conducted by Ennio Morricone
Sinéad O'Connor, I do not want what I haven't got.
Scavengers in the Matrix
U2, The Joshua Tree

I tried to grab another meta theme, but I still haven't found what I'm looking for.


New Multiplicative Rank Ratings:   
 5.3107 202.5000 Matt (7)
 3.6889 40.0000 DaveE (4)
 2.4849 12.0000 JeffF (3)
 2.3026 10.0000 JimG (3)
 0.6931 2.0000 PJ (1)
 0.4055 1.5000 William (3)
 0.4055 1.5000 MarkY (3)
 0.1054 1.1111 Ben (5)
 0.0000 1.0000 Dan (3)
 0.0000 1.0000 Dawn (1)
-0.1823 0.8333 Daniel (4)
-0.4055 0.6667 Fina (1)
-0.5108 0.6000 BradS (3)
-0.6931 0.5000 RussD (3)
-0.9808 0.3750 JonathanC (3)
-1.0986 0.3333 RussW (3)
-1.6094 0.2000 Clayton (2)
-1.7918 0.1667 Martha (3)
-1.7918 0.1667 JP (3)
-2.0794 0.1250 Zack (3)
-4.7230 0.0089 Whindy (6)
New Multiplicative Win Ratings:
 5.4931 243.0000 Matt won 5 of 7
 2.4849 12.0000 JeffF won 3 of 3
 2.3671 10.6667 DaveE won 2 of 4
 1.1632 3.2000 JimG won 1 of 3
 0.8109 2.2500 William won 1 of 3
 0.6286 1.8750 BradS won 1 of 3
 0.4055 1.5000 RussD won 1 of 3
 0.2877 1.3333 MarkY won 1 of 3
 0.1054 1.1111 Daniel won 1 of 4
-0.2231 0.8000 PJ won 0 of 1
-0.2231 0.8000 Dan won 1 of 3
-0.4055 0.6667 Dawn won 0 of 1
-0.4055 0.6667 Fina won 0 of 1
-0.5641 0.5689 Whindy won 1 of 6
-0.6286 0.5333 Clayton won 0 of 2
-0.7056 0.4938 Ben won 1 of 5
-0.7340 0.4800 JonathanC won 0 of 3
-0.8518 0.4267 RussW won 0 of 3
-0.8755 0.4167 Martha won 0 of 3
-1.0986 0.3333 JP won 0 of 3
-1.6094 0.2000 Zack won 0 of 3

Matt seems to have kicked ass and is the Devil (as well as the Meta Devil)! JeffF and his visiting friend DaveE are Co-Vice-Devils. Then JimG. Then William and PJ.

Valid HTML 4.01! a fistful of fingers