March 26 2003 RussCon Report


Game Results
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Meta Game Results
Dan's Meta Meta Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
14 of us played 12 games.
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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.


the pianistSunday I finally saw The Pianist. That night Adrien Brody won the Best Actor Oscar for his wonderful role in this film which takes place during the WWII German occupation of Poland. I've been an admirer of Adrien Brody for a few years now, based on Summer of Sam and Liberty Heights. This was the first time in years I didn't watch the awards on tv; I wish I'd seen his acceptance speech. He said, "It fills me with great joy, but I am also filled with a lot of sadness tonight because I am accepting an award at such a strange time. And you know my experiences of making this film made me very aware of the sadness and the dehumanization of people at times of war."

I highly recommend The Pianist. It's not an easy or happy film, but it certainly gives a vivid portrayal of the effects of war on the civilian population of a city.

There are occasional problems with the russcon mailing list (with mail being delayed or lost). Plus it's hosted by Marty's friends at and Marty will be moving away soon. So I'm considering moving the mailing list to yahoogroups. I am on many yahoogroups mailing lists (for webcomics, software, games, etc.) and personally am happy with them. The benefits we would gain include:

The drawbacks are that emails have an advertisement appended, and that it might be a brief hassle for you getting set up if you're not already on any yahoogroups lists (I'm not sure whether it's a hassle now or not). If I make this move, I should be able to move all the existing email addresses over to yahoo, so in theory it should be pretty simple and transparent. Possibly the only real change from your point of view would be that to post messages to the russcon list, you would email them to a different email address.

So this is a solicitation for feedback; if you have any opinions or questions, let me know.

Game Results

Blokus4RussW 3 MarkH 1 Dan -1 Fred -3
Barbu4Ben 3 William 1 MarkH -1 Dan -3
Entdecker3RussD 1 RussW 1 Clayton -2
Acquire3RussW 2 JimG 0 Fred -2
Exxtra5JP 4 Dan 2 MarkG 0 Ben -2 Matt -4
Bluff3MarkG 2 MarkY 0 Justin -2
DurchDieWueste3JP 2 RussW 0 RussD -2
Tichu2( Ben MarkG ) 1 ( Matt Fred ) -1
Carcassonne5JP 4 MarkY 2 Clayton 0 Dan -2 RussW -4
SettlersStoneAge4Justin 3 MarkH -1 William -1 JimG -1
Guillotine3MarkY 1 Justin 1 MarkG -2
Phantan4MarkY 3 MarkG 1 Ben -1 JP -3

Ah, a satisfying win in Blokus as I got rid of all my pieces. Sadly, my 1-square piece was my penultimate play rather than my final play, but still pleasing. Poor Dan suffered a series of smackdowns early.

The epic 4-session Barbu game finally concluded. Congratulations, Ben. 5 years ago, we had a Titan game that lasted 2 sessions, but I think this 4-session Barbu game is a definite RussCon record breaker. Of course they weren't playing Barbu the whole evening all 4 weeks.

The 3-player Entdecker was quite suspenseful and surprising, with several very large islands. Clayton began to pull ahead in the chip race and on the victory point chart. I was behind and thought I was going to finish last, but somehow managed to pull out a joint victory with RussD with Clayton finishing last, to my surprise.

We also had a 3-player Acquire. Fred had early good fortune and started many chains. But what killed him and JimG, I believe, was that Fred's first chain was Imperial (with 3 hotels, not just 2). (Or maybe Continental, I don't remember for sure. $500/share, in any case.) We got into a 3-way race for shares, as no other chains started for a few turns, and Imperial showed no sign of getting taken over any time soon, so then I decided this was being too costly and bailed out of that Imperial race. So JimG and Fred ended up broke for a long time, and I had money to buy shares in other chains, merge, and get bonuses. Lather, rinse, repeat. I ended up with almost twice as much cash as JimG who had 2nd place. Also Jim had bad luck on starting chains early on. I think Fred started 8 and I started 3 before Jim even got to start one.

3-player gaming continued with a pleasingly close Durch die Wüste; JP beat me by just 2 points.

Phantan is some card game I know nothing about, except that it's good that it was played, narrowly averting possible disaster.


New Multiplicative Rank Ratings:   
 2.9312 18.7500 JP (4)
 2.4849 12.0000 MarkY (4)
 1.2809 3.6000 RussW (5)
 1.0986 3.0000 MarkG (5)
 0.9808 2.6667 Ben (4)
 0.6931 2.0000 Justin (3)
 0.1178 1.1250 William (2)
-0.2877 0.7500 JimG (2)
-0.2877 0.7500 MarkH (3)
-0.6931 0.5000 RussD (2)
-1.0986 0.3333 Clayton (2)
-1.7918 0.1667 Dan (4)
-2.3026 0.1000 Matt (2)
-3.1781 0.0417 Fred (3)
New Multiplicative Win Ratings:
 4.0298 56.2500 JP won 3 of 4
 2.2618 9.6000 RussW won 3 of 5
 1.5686 4.8000 Ben won 2 of 4
 1.3863 4.0000 Justin won 2 of 3
 1.1632 3.2000 MarkY won 2 of 4
 0.1823 1.2000 MarkG won 2 of 5
 0.0000 1.0000 RussD won 1 of 2
-0.5754 0.5625 William won 0 of 2
-0.6931 0.5000 JimG won 0 of 2
-0.8630 0.4219 MarkH won 0 of 3
-0.9163 0.4000 Matt won 0 of 2
-1.0217 0.3600 Dan won 0 of 4
-1.3218 0.2667 Clayton won 0 of 2
-1.3863 0.2500 Fred won 0 of 3

JP is the Devil, so perhaps he is not as lame as I thought! MarkY and I are Co-Vice-Devils. Ben and MarkG are Co-Vice-Vice-Devils, then Justin. Fred is the Generous Angel.

Meta Game

JP was the Meta Devil. Here is the Meta Game I mailed out since JP is lame:

JP forgot to design a Meta Game and told me to make one if he hadn't done one by Wednesday afternoon...

So this evening's Meta Game is JP IS LAME!

JP must be punished. He must pay for his insulin. Earn a meta point each time you finish a game more highly ranked than JP. High score wins!

Ties broken by whoever has the fewest lameness points (a lameness point is earned by finishing a game more lowly ranked than JP).

Further ties broken randomly.

Initially, it was believed by me, JP, Jay, and others that a happy side effect of this Meta Game was that JP couldn't win it. However, as JP later explained:

At RussCon, we realized that there was a way for me to win this meta-game.

All I had to do was win all my games, while playing as many people as possible. Thus, I would end up tied with everyone with 0 meta points, and tied with the small number of people I didn't play against with 0 lameness points. Then I'd just have to win the random tiebreak.

I nearly pulled it off, too, winning 3 of 4 games.

JP only lost to 3 people, in the Phantan game: MarkY, MarkG, Ben. So each of those three is tied with 1 meta point. Now MarkG and Ben had 1 lameness point from losing to JP in Exxtra, and MarkY had 1 lameness point from losing to JP in Carcassonne. So they are tied in lameness points as well. So we randomly broke the tie, and it was discovered that Ben is the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

Dan's Meta Meta Game

The 6th and final installment of Dan's Meta Meta Game!

This week: Clayton, Fred, JimG, JP, Justin, MarkG, MarkH, MarkY, each win a $2.00 Boromir son of Denethor stamp!

son of
Ben 1 1
Carly 11
Clayton 11 1
BradS 1
Fina 1 1 1
Fred 1
JamesK 1
JimG 1 1
JP 1 1 1
Justin 1
MarkG 111 1
MarkH 11 1
MarkY 11
Marty 11
Matt 11
PJ 1
RussD 1
RussW 11111
Steve 1 1
Tim 1
TimG 111
Whendy 1
William 1 1

Alas, I was one stamp away from winning a complete set, but as Dan observed when emailing me my sad news, "Horrifying, these games of chance." Oh well, Boromir is lame anyway. Corrupted by the power of the One Ring and all.

Many thanks to Dan for moderating this meta meta game and supplying the swell prizes! 23 people won stamps in this meta meta extravaganza.

Evening's Soundtrack

The English Patient, original soundtrack recording
Evita, the complete motion picture music soundtrack
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, original motion picture soundtrack
Star Wars, the original motion picture soundtrack

To my surprise, it took a while before anyone detected that this was all Oscar-winning movie music.

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