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2004-04-28 RussCon Report
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14 of us played 11 games. Welcome new guy Mike who's part of the Ed/IBM group.
Intermittent visitor Crash reappeared after a bit of an absence, revealing that this would probably be his last RussCon due to imminent relocation to Los Angeles for a new job with Sony. (Miraculously he still retains enthusiasm for computer game development!) I shall miss his occasional appearances, which usually included enjoyably geeky conversations about languages and the history thereof. It was pleasing that this last appearance was no exception, including mention of the letter þ (thorn, apparently still used in Iceland, which enjoyably tied into the movie Seagull's Laughter which I'd just enjoyed at the Dobie) and which was represented by y in early printing, hence the now-kitschy "ye" in phrases like "ye olde shoppe" ("ye" was originally pronounced "the"). Good fun... sorry to see Crash leave Austin.
Latest gross food is "Buffalo Blues" potato chips. Whendy thought they were too spicy hot, but everyone else thought the blue cheese taste of them was godawful - either way, not recommended as a food item.
MarkH's die which he brought back from Japan - got some actual use (for determining first players and such) and perhaps will help everyone learn the symbols for the first 6 numbers... 一 二 三 四 五 六 ...
Our Most Assiduous Reader knows that for the past week I was experimenting with the use of digital email signatures. While theoretically a good idea, this technology still doesn't seem quite ready for prime time and caused some email recipients to have worries, confusions, and hassles; therefore some of you may be pleased to notice that I have quit using it and reverted back to plain old regular insecure email.
There was further discussion and information about Ricochet Robot prompted by last week's Report, which confirmed a robot stopped on a diagonal wall may later move any direction, and that the original German rules didn't have the lame "losing player gets to go first" nonsense.
Ricochet Robot's designer, Alex Randolph, passed away at the age of 81 apparently on the very day of RussCon this week. Several games of Ricochet Robot were played in Randolph's honor this week. (Little did I realize that only a week after drawing the little green robot for last week's Report, I'd write a little elegy for the robot's creator.) Alex Randolph created many games over the years, including Raj (the outrageous bidding game) and Halunken und Spelunken, both often enjoyed at RussCon. He also designed Twixt, the classic 2-player pure strategy game which, when played at RussCon, usually resulted in JP kicking my ass.
|RicochetRobot||2||RussW 1 Ben -1|
|RicochetRobot||2||RussW 1 James -1|
|SanJuan||4||MarkH 3 MikeC 1 Fred -1 Clayton -3|
|PrincesOfFlorence||5||Marty 4 JP 2 Fina -1 Whendy -1 Daniel -4|
|Can'tStop||4||Ben 3 RussD 0 Pauline 0 Fred -3|
|Cribbage||2||William 1 MarkY -1|
|EinfachGenial||3||MikeC 2 MarkH 0 Clayton -2|
|RicochetRobot||3||RussD 2 Justin 0 Pauline -2|
|EinfachGenial||4||Daniel 3 Marty 1 Whendy -1 JP -3|
|SanJuan||4||RussW 3 Matt 1 Crash -1 JimG -3|
|SanJuan||4||JP 3 Marty 1 Matt -1 JimG -3|
|Oh,Pharoah!||3||William 2 MikeC 0 Clayton -2|
|Tichu||2||( Ben Fred ) 1 ( MarkH MarkY ) -1|
|Carcassonne||3||Justin 2 MikeC 0 Clayton -2|
|ArkOfTheCovenant||3||RussW 2 Whendy 0 Crash -2|
|RicochetRobot||3||MarkY 2 RussW 0 Crash -2|
|SanJuan||4||Matt 3 Justin 1 JP -1 MikeC -3|
Since Alex Randolph passed away, we played his Ricochet Robot several times. I managed to beat Ben, and during our game Fina's son James (a newbie to the game) watched curiously and often noticed shorter paths than either of us! I think his chess playing has paid off in Ricochet Robot skills. So he wanted to play me, which we did, but then he decided to bail out after I was ahead 4 to 2: as Ben observed, it is much less pressure being a spectator than a player! He then created various imaginative solitaire variations. :) I later played again with MarkY and Crash (another newbie), and MarkY totally kicked ass, gaining 13 of the chips (I got the other 4). Perhaps MarkY is more powerful than the fabled Jeffles...? Perhaps a Ricochet Robot tournament is called for, to determine the true master!
There was a new Knizia game Einfach Genial which I'm told I'll like because it's vaguely go-like, and which Daniel kicked ass at.
There was another new game San Juan, which is a card game version of Puerto Rico. I liked it. I won, to my surprise: my production was lower than anyone else's: I only had one indigo plant and one sugar mill the whole game. But possibly the difference between the different commodity types isn't as important as in Puerto Rico? Hard to tell. I also got a chapel early on which let me squirrel away a victory point every round (but that's a double edged sword as it caused me to have a card shortage most of the time early on). Anyway, this one looks like it may become popular, as it was played 4 times the night it appeared here! I'm curious to play it again.
Dan Bern, dog boy van
Big Black, Songs About Fucking
Jane Jensen, Comic Book Whore
Tenors, Greatest Hits
Trout Fishing in America, Truth is Stranger than Fishin'
CDs with comic art on the covers!