April 16 2003 RussCon Report

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Game Results
Ratings | FAQ
Meta Game Results
Dan's Meta Meta Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
20 of us played 17 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 Texas Showdown on May 3 is a conglomeration of various progressive/liberal causes, at least some of which I suspect many folks are interested in. I plan to check it out.

I am getting seriously into esperanto since I first mentioned it last week. I have set up an esperanto links page. Some cow-orkers and I have a public irc channel #esperanto at irc.distributed.net, in which we chat in fractured esperanto and help each other study and learn it while waiting for slow compiles and whatnot. Anyone interested is welcome to join. Dan has already joined us, and he and I began translating "Lords of the Rhymes" lyrics into esperanto. There is also a local group that meets every few Sundays; next one is April 27, 3pm, at Borders Books down in Westgate. If anyone is interested in more info or in getting together to study or chat, let me know.

At this point, I've had "aye" votes from DaveB and JP, and "nay" votes from Fred, William, and MarkG on moving the russcon list to yahoogroups. The main objections raised have been advertisements on the emails and some people having occasional lost email issues (possibly related to hotmail accounts). Anyone else have opinions or questions?

Game Results

Carcassonne3BradS 2 BobR 0 RussW -2
Drakon3Dudley 2 BobR -1 RussW -1
CarcassonneTraders3JP 2 Steve 0 Fred -2
Exxtra2Dudley 1 PJ -1
Tichu2( Dan MarkH ) 1 ( Ben JimG ) -1
Exxtra4Ben 3 Dan -1 MarkY -1 MarkH -1
Vampire3BobR 2 RussW 0 Clayton -2
Vampire3Justin 2 Fina 0 RussD -2
Settlers3BradS 2 Fina -1 Justin -1
Eleusis5Ben 3 MarkH 3 Dan 0 Fred -2 MarkY -4
Cosmic5Allen 4 JimG 1 Deborah 1 Dudley -3 William -3
DieHanse5BobR 4 Steve 2 RussW 0 JP -2 Clayton -4
Tightrope4Allen 3 Dudley 1 Deborah -1 William -3
Bluff4MarkY 3 RussW 1 JP -1 Steve -3
Can'tStop4William 3 Allen 1 Dudley -1 Deborah -3
CarcassonneTraders3Fina 2 Justin 0 RussD -2
Exxtra6Allen 5 Dudley 2 JP 2 William -1 Deborah -3 Justin -5

Die Hanse is a German game I bought years ago; it was last played around 1994, I'd guess, when some of us gamed in the evenings at the SimTex office on 360. I remember it getting a lukewarm reception back then. JP was curious to try it, so we did. It has an interesting central idea: in an n-player game, there are n ships. Each player controls half of 2 ships, sharing control with their left and right neighbor. E.g. on my turn I move the green and purple ships. On Bob's turn he moves the purple and red ships. On Steve's turn, he moves the red and orange ships. Etc. This is kind of neat, and encourages/requires some communication and planning with your neighbors ("We both want ore, so shall we move the ship over here?"), otherwise you can end up in a useless power struggle moving the ship back and forth like drunken sea captains. Overall it's got neat stuff, and I think our only serious complaint was it took too long. There's some chaotic luck in it, including the initial distribution of goals: all of us are going for 3 randomly determined types of goods, and all of us had all of our goods shared with at least one neighbor, except poor Clayton who wanted one type of good that neither of his neighbors wanted, and perhaps not coincidentally came in last. All this would be ok if it was short, but it's not. We spent a good 2 or 3 hours on it. Probably it would go quicker with experienced players, and less agonizing.

I am solemnly obliged, perhaps even honorbound and morally compelled, to briefly mock Clayton for choosing to bring out his sixth set and end the Vampire game under circumstances which ensured him last place, to the delight of Bob and me.

Carcassonne has a new expansion that appears sufficiently different that I'll track it under the name CarcassonneTraders. It adds wacky new meeples including pigs, and apparently weird lengthy new ways of scoring. I got mixed impressions from those who played it.

Eleusis is a card game of deducing patterns which Ben (I believe) introduced last week (but was not recorded by mutual consent), and it got played again this week. I should probably give it a try.

A special public service announcement for William that Allen is spelled "Allen" not "Alan".


New Multiplicative Rank Ratings:
 5.1930 180.0000 Allen (4)
 2.3026 10.0000 BobR (4)
 2.1972 9.0000 BradS (2)
 1.6094 5.0000 Ben (3)
 1.3863 4.0000 Dudley (6)
 1.3218 3.7500 MarkH (3)
 0.6931 2.0000 Fina (3)
 0.5108 1.6667 JP (4)
 0.4055 1.5000 Dan (3)
-0.4055 0.6667 JimG (2)
-0.5108 0.6000 MarkY (3)
-0.6931 0.5000 PJ (1)
-0.6931 0.5000 Steve (3)
-1.0986 0.3333 Justin (4)
-1.0986 0.3333 RussW (5)
-1.2040 0.3000 William (4)
-1.7918 0.1667 Fred (2)
-2.1972 0.1111 RussD (2)
-2.4204 0.0889 Deborah (4)
-2.7081 0.0667 Clayton (2)
New Multiplicative Win Ratings:
 4.4998 90.0000 Allen won 3 of 4
 2.1972 9.0000 BradS won 2 of 2
 1.8971 6.6667 BobR won 2 of 4
 1.6094 5.0000 Ben won 2 of 3
 1.3218 3.7500 MarkH won 2 of 3
 0.8109 2.2500 Dudley won 2 of 6
 0.6931 2.0000 William won 1 of 4
 0.5878 1.8000 MarkY won 1 of 3
 0.4055 1.5000 JP won 1 of 4
 0.2877 1.3333 Fina won 1 of 3
 0.1054 1.1111 Justin won 1 of 4
-0.1054 0.9000 Dan won 1 of 3
-0.6286 0.5333 Clayton won 0 of 2
-0.6931 0.5000 PJ won 0 of 1
-0.8109 0.4444 RussD won 0 of 2
-0.9163 0.4000 JimG won 0 of 2
-0.9163 0.4000 Steve won 0 of 3
-0.9163 0.4000 Fred won 0 of 2
-0.9808 0.3750 Deborah won 0 of 4
-1.7272 0.1778 RussW won 0 of 5

Allen is the Devil! (Probably just lucky...) BobR and BradS are Co-Vice-Devils! Ben is Vice-Vice-Devil. Dudley and MarkH are Co-Vice-Vice-Vice-Devils.

Meta Game

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

This week's MetaGame will be a take-off of the Apples to Apples game.

I'll have a stack of slips of paper for your use at RussCon. Grab a few when you get to Russ's.

A round of the MetaGame will be played at the end of every game that has three or more total players.

On a slip of paper, write down a single word that applies (in your mind, for whatever reason, using whatever form of logic or illogic) to the winner of the game (assuming it's not you).

Now repeat the process for the losers (except yourself).

So, for a game with N players, you will generate (N-1) words on slips of paper.

Everyone then gives their slips (with the words) to the appropriate person. The person getting the should shuffle them face down. Try to keep it secret as to who wrote what, or the game isn't as fun.

So. Each person will receive (N-1) slips.

Each person then reads the words out loud to the others. Then each person decides for themself, which word they find to be "the best" for themself.

The person who's word was chosen, gets a token (I'll provide these as well). If more than one person used the same word, all of those slips are discarded and cannot be the winning word for that round.

At the end of the night, whoever has the most tokens can choose to take the prize (I'll get something for that, too) or choose to be MetaDevil for next week. The second place person gets what the first place person rejected.

If there is a tie, those tied read out all the words they've garnered throughout the night and we vote on who should win.


Keep the slips that describe you as you move from game to game (for the possible tie-breaker and for amusement value).

If the same word is used to apply to you after different games, it's not discarded (assuming a single occurance). The word(s) are discarded only if two or more people in the SAME GAME use the same word (or close variants).

Example: I play a game with Russ, JP, and Marty. Russ and JP both write the word "cute" to apply to me. Marty writes the word "postcard." Russ's and JP's cards are discarded and Marty wins by default. Later, I play a game with Clayton, Russ, and Fred. Fred uses the word "postcard" to apply to me, while Clayton and Russ use the words "lugubrious" and "christ-like." Fred's word is NOT discarded.

I encourage everyone to participate even if you fear becoming MetaDevil for next week. Remember, you can always take the prize if you come in first. And you can always give up the MetaDevil honor and let the next person take it instead.

We ended up with a 3-way tie (Deborah, JP, and I all earned 6 meta points). So at the end of the evening, those still around voted (with Australian-style Single Transferable Voting, i.e. you rank the candidates) and Deborah won 1st place. She chose to be the Meta Devil and design next week's Meta Game! The ballots for Deborah were then transferred to their 2nd place candidates to see who won 2nd place (out of me and JP), and I won, so I got William's prize, which is a nifty wooden puzzle box with a marble inside a hidden maze: you try to get the marble out. (I knew this was the prize from hanging with William at Great Hall Games before seeing Spun on Tuesday night. Spun was a cool movie. But I digress.)

A few interesting factoids learned about RussCon attendees:

Dan's Meta Meta Game

Not all the New Zealand LOTR stamps have been claimed by winners, so here again is the table of winners to remind those who haven't yet claimed their booty.

son of
Ben 1 1
Carly 11 1
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 11
MarkY 111
Marty 11
Matt 11
PJ 1
RussD 1 1
RussW 11111 1
Steve 1 1
Tim 1
TimG 111
Whendy 1 1
William 1 1

Thanks again to Dan for moderating this meta meta game and its unexpected sequel!

Evening's Soundtrack

Fiona Apple, Tidal
The Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour
Ethos, Triskelion
Eve's Plum, Cherry Alive
George Harrison, All Things Must Pass

Various references to and mentions of apples!

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