March 12 2003 RussCon Report

guardian of rivendell

Game Results
Ratings | FAQ
Meta Game Results
Dan's Meta Meta Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
18 of us played 14 games. Welcome new guy Justin who just moved to Austin in February. And the weather is actually warming up enough into springtime that we turned on the AC.
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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 have added a russ blog! Movabletype is pretty damn cool I must say; I wish I'd done this years ago. Over the weekend I did a lot of pondering about blogs and wikis and other content automation methods. Lately I've been wanting an easy way to put up short articles on various topics (e.g. HTML info and peace issues) without manually creating entire pages like I've done historically. I'm not sure a blog will meet all my needs, but I'm quite impressed with the quality of movabletype. It even meets my obsessive-compulsive anal-retentive desires for generating valid XHTML code, unlike many other blog packages. I recommend it highly if you want to set up a blog system on your own server (as opposed to using a 3rd party server that hosts blogs, e.g. It's also an enjoyable opportunity for a little geeky tinkering.

If you are into activism for peace and justice, this could be a busy fun weekend...

Hopefully I'll see some of y'all at some of these. If anyone wants to carpool or hook up, let me know!

There is a new game store Thor's Hammer which is on 183, just north of Kerbey Lane and Serrano's, in the same shopping center as the old SimTex office (for you old-timers), which is conveniently across 183 from my current office. Some cow-orkers and I went to check it out (after the traditional Monday 2-for-1 enchilada lunch at Serrano's). Like Great Hall, they have tables set up for gaming. They have some German-style games, but it's mostly focused on RPGs and miniatures (as you might guess from the store's name!) There's also a section of used sf books. Worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood. But Great Hall is still the best in my book.

Game Results

TallyHo2JamesK 1 Fina -1
GalacticTakeover2JamesK 1 Fina -1
GalacticTakeover2JamesK 1 Fina -1
Carcassonne2Clayton 1 Justin -1
LOTRTheTwoTowers5Steve 4 Carly 2 Marty 0 Matt -2 JimG -4
Vampire2Justin 1 Clayton -1
Entdecker4MarkG 3 Whendy 1 JP -1 RussW -3
UnionPacific4JimG 3 Whendy 0 RussW 0 MarkG -3
Exxtra5JimG 4 Matt 2 Steve 0 Carly -2 Ben -4
SettlersStoneAge4MarkH 3 Dan 1 TimG -1 William -3
PuertoRico4Carly 3 Matt 1 JP -1 Steve -3
Exxtra4MarkH 3 TimG 1 Dan -1 William -3
CarcassonneHunters4RussW 3 Clayton 1 MarkG -1 Justin -3
Euphrates4Matt 3 Steve 1 TimG -1 JP -3

Fina's son James returned after a long hiatus due to school nights (his other visit was 2002-08-14), and he proved to be quite the gamer, winning Tally Ho and Galactic Takeover (which is a cute gussied-up Dots And Boxes with a UFO theme and a 3x3 grid; the rules come with references to Conway and Berlekamp's work on combinatorial game theory and serious discussion of strategy!)

There was incentive to play Entdecker since Whendy pointed out it has friendly natives with leis.

The 2nd quarter of the Barbu game started last week was played. I guess we'll have to wait 2 more weeks to find out who wins.

We had quite an excellent close game of Union Pacific, including a tie for 2nd place. I've been playing this game more lately and rediscovering how enjoyable it is.

I notice Exxtra is really getting played a lot lately, often several times per evening, and it always leads to lots of excited laughs and shouts! It also usual has a huge score spread -- it probably says something about that game that even the players who are still stuck batck at start still get into the excitement of it. I heard that in a game this evening TimG lucked out rolling 3-3, 1-1, 3-3 all in the same turn, and then ended with a great roll like 6-0 or 7-0.


New Multiplicative Rank Ratings:    
 2.7726 16.0000 MarkH (2)
 2.0794 8.0000 JamesK (3)
 1.7918 6.0000 Matt (4)
 1.3863 4.0000 JimG (3)
 1.3863 4.0000 Carly (3)
 0.6286 1.8750 Steve (4)
 0.4055 1.5000 Clayton (3)
 0.4055 1.5000 Whendy (2)
 0.0000 1.0000 RussW (3)
 0.0000 1.0000 Marty (1)
 0.0000 1.0000 Dan (2)
-0.4055 0.6667 MarkG (3)
-0.4055 0.6667 TimG (3)
-1.6094 0.2000 Ben (1)
-1.3863 0.2500 Justin (3)
-2.0794 0.1250 Fina (3)
-2.1972 0.1111 JP (3)
-2.7726 0.0625 William (2)
New Multiplicative Win Ratings:
 2.7726 16.0000 MarkH won 2 of 2
 2.7726 16.0000 JimG won 2 of 3
 2.0794 8.0000 JamesK won 3 of 3
 0.9400 2.5600 Carly won 1 of 3
 0.8109 2.2500 Steve won 1 of 4
 0.8109 2.2500 RussW won 1 of 3
 0.8109 2.2500 MarkG won 1 of 3
 0.6523 1.9200 Matt won 1 of 4
-0.2231 0.8000 Marty won 0 of 1
-0.2231 0.8000 Ben won 0 of 1
-0.2877 0.7500 Clayton won 1 of 3
-0.2877 0.7500 Justin won 1 of 3
-0.5754 0.5625 Whendy won 0 of 2
-0.5754 0.5625 Dan won 0 of 2
-0.5754 0.5625 William won 0 of 2
-0.8630 0.4219 TimG won 0 of 3
-0.8630 0.4219 JP won 0 of 3
-2.0794 0.1250 Fina won 0 of 3

MarkH is the Devil! JimG and JamesK are Co-Vice-Devils. Then Carly and Matt.

Meta Game

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

Tonight we celebrate the culture of Polynesia. Score big by honoring the cultures of Hawaii, Phoenix, Tonga, Cook, Samoa, Tuvalu, Easter Island, French Polynesia, the Line & New Zealand.

  1. Play Polynesian games (umm, I don't know any): 1 point.
  2. Wear Polynesian garb (muumuus, Hawaiian shirts, batik, leis, palm hats, pearls, shells, etc.): 1 point.
  3. Consume Polynesian food or drink (bring anything, drink from a 1950's Tiki mug, etc.): 1 point.
  4. Play Polynesian music: (bring a CD, drum, conch shell, maracas, sticks or other instrument for the 9 p.m. jam session): 1 point.
  5. Dance Polynesian dance: (perform the hula, fire dance, etc.): 1 point (1 minute minimum, to music).
  6. Show off Polynesian tatoos: 1 point (must be true Polynesian style).

Maximum score is 6 (one point per category). Scoring by honor system. Ties broken by die roll.

Points earned:

  1. Entdecker (has friendly natives with leis): MarkG, Whendy, JP, RussW
    Settlers Stone Age (has boat paths to Polynesian islands): MarkH, Dan, TimG, William
    Kahuna (South Seas Magic for Two): William brought it specially, but no one ended up playing... I wanted to play it!
    Tahiti (Clan Warfare in 750 AD): I set this out for decoration, but it's too wargamey for RussCon...
  2. Hawaiian shirts: RussW, MarkG, Dan, JimG, maybe others
  3. Kiwi candies consumed by RussW, MarkG, Dan, probably many others
  4. Authentic Polynesian CD: MarkG
    para-Polynesian CDs: RussW, Dan
    live instrument playing: Dan
    bogus attempt to convince us Jimmy Buffett is Polynesian music: JimG
  5. Dance Polynesian dance: RussW, MarkG, Dan
  6. Show off Polynesian tatoos: curiously, no one did this!

pacific islands The late-night Polynesian dance by MarkG, Dan, and me (which interrupted our Carcassonne game) seemed to amuse and confuse Clayton and Justin. Excellent! Thanks Dan for the incredibly authentic accompaniment on your, um, Polynesian duck call thingie.

There was some debate whether the Maori member of the band OMC was Polynesian; Dan later emailed me that Encyclopedia Britannica calls calls Maoris "Polynesian people of New Zealand". Approximately 10.5% of New Zealand is Maori. The map Dan found suggests New Zealand is indeed part of Polynesia. There was also some debate whether Jimmy Buffett and the Florida Keys counted as Polynesia. I think I will not dignify that one with any further discussion. :)

The mailing list discussion of Polynesian games led to JimG mentioning the various solitaire WWII Victory Games like Ambush (Battle Hymn), Tokyo Express, and Carrier. That brought back memories! Sometimes I perversely miss the days of those wargames that took all day or all weekend to play with their dozens of pages of rules, large hex maps, and zillions of counters. The solitaire ones seem especially obsolete now with the rise of computer games, yet there is something ineffably charming those cool old wargames.

So anyway, like last week, we had a 3-way tie between MarkG, Dan, and I (all with 5 out of 6 points) -- the random tie-breaking again worked out in Dan's favor! So we get a triple run of Dan's Meta Game action!

Dan's Meta Meta Game

The 4th installment of Dan's Meta Meta Game!

This week: Carly, Clayton, JamesK, JP, RussW, TimG, Whendy, William each win a $1.30 Guardian of Rivendell stamp!

son of
Ben 1
Carly 11
Clayton 11
BradS 1
Fina 1 1
JamesK 1
JimG 1
JP 1 1
MarkG 111
MarkH 11
Marty 11
Matt 11
RussW 1111
Steve 1
Tim 1
TimG 11
Whendy 1
William 1 1

I am now the only person to have won a stamp each time. Just 2 more to go and I'll have a complete set! Can I do it? Stay tuned and find out in 2 weeks!

Evening's Soundtrack

The Alan Parsons Project, The Turn of a Friendly Card
Iggy Pop, Brick by Brick
Porno for Pyros, Good God's Urge
Psychotica, Psychotica (swapped with Tubai Choir, Polynesian Odyssey)
Henry Purcell, Odes and Funeral Music (swapped with OMC, How Bizarre)

P for Polynesia! MarkG brought the traditional Polynesian music by Tubai Choir. Dan brought New Zealand band OMC which has a Maori band member. I supplied Porno for Pyros which has the nifty song Tahitian Moon. I'll also mention the reverberating metaness of the Alan Parsons Project and Iggy Pop albums both having songs from JimG's song lyric Meta Game ("Turn of a Friendly Card" and "Candy").

I'll also mention that I saw Talk To Her at the Dobie after go club the night before, and the opening scene has Henry Purcell music. Within about 5 seconds of the movie's opening, I was ecstatic, thinking "Oh my god, is that Michael Nyman? No it's Purcell! Cool!" Talk To Her had a later scene which was tailor made for me and my eccentric movie tastes too, heh.

Valid XHTML 1.0! i don't know if i'll make it home tonight
but i know i can swim under the tahitian moon