August 13 2003 RussCon Report

(photo of monday night lightning by Greg Hewgill)
Game Results
Ratings | FAQ
Meta Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
14 of us played 13 games. A smallish turnout, as perhaps people were frightened by the tempest.
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There was no RussCon last Wednesday (August 6) since I was out of town for The Best Week Of The Year on what one might call a vacation. I ran the self-paired tournament for the first time since the guy who's been directing it for years (Chuck) finally burned out. With help from Chuck and from RussCon's own JP, I was able to pull it off pretty well as far as I can tell, and I'll probably do it again next year. I won no prizes this year other than winning my table in the 9x9 tournament (and then losing my 2nd game of the finals playoff). JP won 2nd place in the 1K band. The week is a blur and I was exhausted by the end of it and probably need a real vacation now, but it was nonetheless a good fun week.

I feel reenergized about go now. I tried to log onto KGS and found my account had expired since I'd not played on KGS for so long! Sheesh. No wonder I'm not been getting stronger at go. Clearly I need to play more go. My user name russ had not been snapped up, so I just recreated it.

wedding There are rumors of matrimonial bliss on the way for RussD and Pauline! The RussCon Management congratulates the happy couple and wishes them good luck!

I recently joined, an interesting and potentially useful looking social networking site that seems to be becoming popular; if anyone else has an account there, let's add each other as friends. You can find me as Russ Williams (duh!)

Game Results

Tichu2( MarkG Ben ) 1 ( Whendy MarkH ) -1
CarcassonneHunters3Matt 2 JP 0 RussW -2
Trendy3MarkH 2 JimG 0 MarkY -2
Clans4Matt 3 William 1 RussD -1 Pauline -3
Clans4Pauline 3 Matt 1 RussD -1 William -3
TooManyCooks3MarkY 2 MarkH 0 JimG -2
UnionPacific4RussW 3 Marty 1 Whendy -1 Clayton -3
Bluff5MarkY 4 Whendy 2 Clayton 0 Marty -2 RussW -4
Zero5JimG 4 RussD 2 William 0 Pauline -2 Matt -4
Exxtra3Ben 2 MarkG 0 JP -2
Carcassonne3MarkY 2 RussW 0 Clayton -2
Guillotine3RussW 2 MarkY 0 Clayton -2
Tichu2( JP Ben ) 1 ( Matt MarkG ) -1

It was good to play Union Pacific again... truly a classic train game. We had an unusually exciting game as near the end very important pieces of stock kept becoming available that caused people to change rank in holdings in large companies.

A funny situation arose in Carcassonne as I wanted to play a tile that would be off the edge of the table, and I thought the rules prohibited that, but we looked it up and couldn't find such a rule, so I guess I was thinking of some other tile placement game. Thus we moved all the tiles over a bit, which was tedious. There was some discussion whether such "meta" rules where the legality of a move depends on physical layout of the players' table were pleasing or not. In the abstract, I think it seems more pleasing for a tile placement game like Carcassonne, Drakon, etc. to be conceptually unbounded. On the other hand given the practical tedium of shifting a large number of tiles away from the table edge, I can see the usefulness of such pragmatic rules.


Rank Ratings:      
 2.7081 MarkY
 2.4849 Ben
 0.5878 Matt
 0.5108 JimG
 0.4055 MarkH
 0.0000 MarkG
-0.1178 RussD
-0.2231 RussW
-0.2877 Marty
-0.4055 JP
-0.4055 Whendy
-0.6931 Pauline
-0.9808 William
-3.5835 Clayton
Win Ratings:
 2.9957 MarkY won 3 of 5
 2.4849 Ben won 3 of 3
 1.4508 RussW won 2 of 5
 1.2809 Matt won 2 of 5
 0.8755 Pauline won 1 of 3
 0.7985 JimG won 1 of 3
 0.0000 MarkH won 1 of 3
-0.1178 JP won 1 of 3
-0.4055 MarkG won 1 of 3
-0.5108 Marty won 0 of 2
-0.7985 RussD won 0 of 3
-0.7985 William won 0 of 3
-1.2040 Whendy won 0 of 3
-1.3218 Clayton won 0 of 4

MarkY is the Devil! Ben is the Vice-Devil. Matt and I am Vice-Vice-Devils. Clayton is the Generous Angel.

If you are confused how the ratings work, you could peruse the FAQ.

devil graph

Meta Game

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

I've been in a tie for meta-devil hood at least 4 times in the last few months since I started coming to Russcon. This is the first time that the random elements rolled in my favor, so let's hear it for ties!

One meta-point will be awarded for each game played in which a player ties in the final score. (That should show up as two or more players with tied scores in the report book.) If two or more people tie for meta-points, the person whose total points in the book for games played the night of August 13th is closest to zero is the meta-devil.

Ironically no ties were scored in any games. (There was some debate about whether players on a team were tied, i.e. Tichu, but the team is a single player in such games.) Clearly we should have played Can't Stop. Maybe some Blokus. Anyway in the absence of ties we went to the tie breaker (sum of devil points closest to 0). Due to a data misentry in the book, it was mistakenly believed that 3 people (MarkH, MarkG, and Whendy) all had a total of 0 devil points at the end of the evening, and we randomly broke that tie in favor of MarkH. But later when entering the data I noticed that the wrong devil points were entered in a game (the unique winner in a 3-player game earns 2 devil points, not 1!) and so only MarkG and Whendy had 0 devil points. So I randomly broke that tie and found Whendy is the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!


Evening's Soundtrack

Jen Hamel, Fine Small Storm
The Deluge, music from the play by Kirk Smith
Genesis, Wind & Wuthering
Pink Floyd, Obscured by Clouds
Henry Purcell, The Tempest

Monday night was an amazing storm. I have never seen so many damaged and destroyed trees in my neighborhood. Driving to work the next day there were branches, leaves, and fallen trees all over the place. I got home monday night and my power was out. William and Clayton's place (near mine) had no power for 24 hours, and it kept going out for small shortages at my home and office for several days. Even the night of RussCon late at night were a couple of apparently emergency tree repair/disposal trucks at work a few houses down from mine. Pesky nature.

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