News Results Ratings Meta Soundtrack Links

2004-06-02 RussCon Report

Previous Next Archive
russcon home taglibro kofc cc


17 of us played 17 games.

If you want to read a very long rambling report about the Flipside which may have way more information than you want to know, I wrote a lj entry about it. The short version is: 4 nights camping, very crowded and hot, weird fun people, giant burning monkey. Thanks again to Chad and Anderson for telling me and JP the scoop on this, and to Whendy and JimG (and JP's friend Matt) for loaning some handy camping equipment to me and JP.

Game Results

ZirkusFlohcati4Clayton 3 Tim 1 RussW -1 JP -3
Tichu2( Ben Whendy ) 1 ( Jeffles MarkH ) -1
RicochetRobot5RussW 4 Tim 2 JP -1 KevinY -1 Binkley -4
CarcassonneCastle2Clayton 1 Matt -1
Crokinole2Ben 1 Whendy -1
RicochetRobot7JP 5 Tim 5 Jeffles 2 RussW 0 KevinY -3 Marty -3 Binkley -6
SanJuan4KevinY 3 Clayton 1 Marty -1 Binkley -3
TheBigIdea5Tim 4 Ben 2 Whendy 0 Jeffles -2 RussW -4
Crokinole2Ben 1 Whendy -1
Crokinole2Whendy 1 Alex -1
Drakon4KevinY 3 RussW 1 Jeffles -1 Binkley -3
CarcassonneHunters4PJ 3 Pauline 1 RussD -1 Clayton -3
Drakon4Jeffles 3 RussW 1 Binkley -1 KevinY -3
AgeOfMythology4Daniel 3 Matt 1 Alex -1 JP -3
Crokinole2Jeffles 1 Binkley -1
Crokinole2Jeffles 1 Binkley -1
Crokinole2Jeffles 1 Binkley -1

Yay Ricochet Robot! I did great the first game and pretty mediocre the second game (which Jeffles almost won, despite joining only halfway through).

San Juan finally got played again?! And I missed it? Darn!

The Big Idea is another Cheapass Game with really fun flavor text, and pretty decent gameplay. It involves entrepreneurs hawking new products to venture capitalists (like Love Cheese - it's like a cheese... but you can share it with someone special! or the Zen Robot - it's a high-tech robot... but it puts you in touch with the universe!) The combinations of widgets and descriptions have absolutely no practical gameplay effect in the sense that there are simply 2 types of cards that have meaningless flavor text on them, yet your choice of combinations is psychologically important because you want to get other players to invest in your product (instead of the other players' products) in a simultaneous decision investment round, and the rational goal is to invest in the one you think lots of other people are also likely to be attracted to, and you even give a brief sales spiel for your product, so it's like Once Upon A Time in a strange way... blending storytelling (or marketing blather in this case) with actual game mechanics in an unusual interesting way. Perhaps the only real downside was it seemed to take a bit longer than needed, but I suspect part of that was because we were newbies, and because we were rather getting into the roleplaying/storytelling/marketing aspect of it...

Age of Mythology was some long more complex sounding wargame with lots of plastic figures. That's all I know about it.

Two games in a row of Drakon! The first was quick, so we played again, and the second took longer due an early appearance of Drakon tiles and tile shifter and tile stealer and not much gold... so progress was slow, but eventually Jeffles made a big breakthrough, getting 2 gold into a chest and holding 2 more gold, so Binkley and KevinY promptly stole all his tiles, which led to the inevitable whining about what a mean game it is that can let someone end up all screwed over with no tiles to place. Of course he went on to victory anyway, since I had no real choice but to follow his gold-rich path and get 4 gold myself and then lay down a tile (which untrapped him from our mutual dead end) and let him go on to win, giving me 2nd place, before Kevin and Binkley stole all my tiles too! Thus never let it be claimed that someone who's lost all their tiles is screwed and can't win. Besides, no one ever said it would be easy looting a dungeon!


Rank Ratings:        
 3.9608 Tim
 2.7726 Ben
 2.1848 Jeffles
 1.3863 Daniel
 1.3863 PJ
 1.0986 Clayton
 0.4055 KevinY
 0.4055 RussW
 0.4055 Pauline
 0.0000 Whendy
-0.2877 Matt
-0.4054 RussD
-0.6931 MarkH
-1.0987 Marty
-1.0987 Alex
-1.8073 JP
-9.2103 Binkley
Win Ratings:
 2.3514 Tim won 2 of 4
 1.9253 Jeffles won 4 of 8
 1.9253 KevinY won 2 of 5
 1.8563 Ben won 3 of 4
 1.5041 Clayton won 2 of 4
 1.3863 Daniel won 1 of 1
 1.3863 PJ won 1 of 1
 0.4543 JP won 1 of 4
 0.1868 RussW won 1 of 6
-0.2231 Whendy won 2 of 5
-0.2877 Pauline won 0 of 1
-0.2877 RussD won 0 of 1
-0.6242 Marty won 0 of 2
-0.6931 MarkH won 0 of 1
-0.9808 Matt won 0 of 2
-0.9808 Alex won 0 of 2
-3.5032 Binkley won 0 of 8

Tim is the Devil! Ben and Jeffles are Co-Vice-Devils. Then Clayton, Daniel, PJ, and KevinY. Binkley is the Generous Angel!

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

I finally noticed an inevitable floating point roundoff issue in the ratings program: notice that Jeffles and KevinY both have win ratings of 1.9253; the program was treating them as not equal (and thinking that Kevin's was slightly higher), so I explored and found that they differed much further out (Kevin = 1.92529086185257770 and Jeffles = 1.92529086185257747)... those numbers are just the natural logs of the multiplicative win ratings (to normalize them around zero instead of one, as nicely suggested by Dan and/or JeffF long ago, if memory serves). I computed their win ratings by hand and found both are 48/7, but floating point errors crept in (since the factors that produced 48/7 are different for the 2 players) causing them to be 6.85714285714285765 and 6.85714285714285676. I have been aware of this risk for a long time but procrastinated doing anything about it since it apparently was never being a problem in practice. But really, the ratings program ought to be using some sort of exact precision or rational number math package, but I'm too lazy to fart with it now seriously, so instead I simply just now hacked it to postprocess the computed ratings by rounding them off to 4 decimal places (which is what will later be displayed), on the shaky assumption that any errors beyond 4 decimal places are likely to be due to roundoff error anyway. For single evening sessions that assumption seems safe, though I worry about cumulative ratings over large numbers of games... If anyone can find an example of a similar roundoff error (where 2 players have the same rating but due to roundoff error they got treated as nonequal ratings) in any previous Report's ratings, I'll give the first finder a free boardgame of their choice from among a set of my old games I want to get rid of, woot! Also, after making this change, I noticed that the final normalized ratings (after taking the log of them) differ a fair amount for the low scores, e.g. Binkley's rank rating changed from -8.8128 to -9.2103 when rounding to 4 decimal places before taking the log. So that's a displeasing property of this quick hack fix... But at least the relative positions between players do not change, of course. But I shall need to investigate some public domain C++ arbitrary precision arithmetic classes to properly solve this. (Suggestions of nice easy-to-use packages welcome.)

I used GraphViz to generate the graph image.

devil graph

Meta Game

Fina was the Meta Devil and emailed out the following Meta Game:


Since I will not be at this weeks RussCon, I thought I'd let someone else who won't be there have a chance to be Meta Devil.

Everyone who does NOT come to RussCon on the 2nd may be eligible to be MetaDevil, if they request to be included in the random drawing. Email RussW by the end of Wednesday June 2 if you are NOT coming to RussCon and want to included in the lottery!

People who emailed to get lottery tickets (in order of receipt): Dan, MarkG, Jay, JeffS. A quick toss of my traditional Meta Game die from my original edition of TSR's Dungeon reveals that MarkG is the Meta Devil and will design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Antietam, Everywhere Outside
The Geraldine Fibbers, Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home
Hooters, One Way Home
Aimee Mann, Lost In Space
Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here

This one goes out to all our RussCon homies out there who weren't able to be here...

mi vidos vin je la renversa flanko Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.0!