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2004-12-29 RussCon Report


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18 of us played 31 games! A large turnout for the RussCon between Christmas and New Year's. We got to meet JP's new girlfriend Shari. And a large number of games were played, perhaps for meta reasons.

Despite frightening rumors to the contrary, last week was not JimG's last RussCon, because he stayed in town doing a little more work in the final week of the year. Supposedly this week's was in fact JimG's last RussCon! Not the first time a major RussCon figure has teased us like that...

There will be the second of this holiday season's White Elephant Gift Exchanges next RussCon (2005-01-05). Perhaps it will be an ideal opportunity to dispose of a suboptimal gift you recently received!

I hope everyone had a fun safe New Year's. Several of us partied at JeffS's till the wee hours. Then after just a few hours sleep, I down with Whendy to DaveB's insane 10:00am wedding in San Antonio, which was nice - congrats to DaveB and Kim, about whom I had heard many nice things from Dave; this was the first time I actually met her. Since she chose bagpipes to be played after the wedding, she's cool! Occasional RussCon-attending new parents Whindy and Rob were there too with their new baby Sydney Valentine Corell aka Syx. After all that, I was rather tired!

Game Results

Brawl2Garrett 1 Omar -1
HookOrCrook4Tim 3 Whendy 1 Clayton -1 RussW -3
Attika4KevinU 3 Chad 1 JimG -1 Jeffles -3
Entdecker4Fina 3 RussW 1 Whendy -1 Clayton -3
Brawl2William 1 SarahM -1
Brawl2Omar 1 Garrett -1
Tayu2Chad 1 Jeffles -1
Exxtra3Chad 2 Jeffles -1 Whendy -1
Exxtra3Jeffles 2 Chad 0 Whendy -2
RealLife5Jeffles 4 JP 2 Whendy 0 Chad -2 Shari -4
RoboRally4James 3 Tim 1 Omar -2 Garrett -2
Tichu2( Jeffles Whendy ) 1 ( JP Shari ) -1
SaintPetersburg4KevinU 3 Clayton 1 RussW -1 Fina -3
Exxtra3Omar 2 Chad 0 Garrett -2
Attila5William 4 RussD 2 SarahM 0 JimG -2 Pauline -4
Vampire4RussW 3 Clayton 1 Fina -1 James -3
Tichu2( Chad William ) 1 ( Garrett Omar ) -1
Bluff6Chad 5 SarahM 3 Garrett 1 Clayton -1 Omar -3 William -5
Zero3RussD 2 SarahM 0 JimG -2
LostCities2SarahM 1 JimG -1
Tichu2( Jeffles Whendy ) 1 ( JP Shari ) -1
Zero3William 2 SarahM 0 RussW -2
CarcassonneCastle2Clayton 1 RussW -1
Exxtra4Omar 3 William 1 Chad -2 Garrett -2
Blokus4RussW 3 JP 1 Whendy -1 Shari -3
Zero4RussW 3 William 1 SarahM -1 Chad -3
Brawl2Omar 1 Garrett -1
Brawl2Garrett 1 Omar -1
Bluff7Chad 6 RussW 4 SarahM 2 William 0 Clayton -2 Garrett -4 Omar -6
SaintPetersburg3Chad 2 RussW 0 Clayton -2
Tayu2RussW 1 Chad -1

Brawl got played a half dozen times, for meta reasons: it is very fast.

Entdecker was a textbook example of not judging the situation by the current scores. Fina was way behind in points, but had dropped dudes on a large forming island, which ended up scoring big and catapulting her into a last-minute victory.

I hadn't played Zero in a while. I sucked my first game, but did well in the second one, actually scoring zero in 2 of the 4 rounds and handily winning. I enjoyed it more than I remembered enjoying it.

Tayu came down to another close game, where I could mathematically prove Chad couldn't win. I think I had 4 times 8 points, and he had at most 5 times 6.


Rank Ratings:    
 4.2609 Chad
 3.1135 William
 2.7726 KevinU
 2.7726 RussW
 1.7918 Tim
 1.7918 RussD
 1.6094 Jeffles
 1.0217 SarahM
 0.0000 James
-0.2877 JP
-0.4054 Fina
-0.5232 Whendy
-1.6094 Pauline
-1.7638 Omar
-2.1848 Clayton
-2.8896 JimG
-3.9900 Garrett
-4.3820 Shari
Win Ratings:
 4.7309 Chad won 6 of 13
 3.1825 William won 4 of 8
 2.7726 KevinU won 2 of 2
 2.7081 Jeffles won 4 of 7
 2.3308 RussW won 4 of 11
 1.1676 Omar won 4 of 10
 1.0986 Tim won 1 of 2
 1.0986 James won 1 of 2
 0.8755 RussD won 1 of 2
 0.8109 Fina won 1 of 3
-0.2231 Pauline won 0 of 1
-0.5108 Whendy won 2 of 8
-1.1996 Clayton won 1 of 8
-1.6094 JimG won 0 of 4
-1.6581 SarahM won 1 of 8
-1.8971 JP won 0 of 4
-1.8971 Shari won 0 of 4
-2.0107 Garrett won 2 of 10

Chad is the Devil! William is the Vice-Devil. KevinU is the Vice-Vice-Devil. Then me and Jeffles.

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

I used GraphViz to generate the graph image.

devil graph

Meta Game

William was the Meta Devil and designed the following Meta Game.

Mix 'N Match


I hope that this game promotes people to play many games this week and to play games with many different people.


There will be a box with a bunch of slips of paper. Each slip will be numbered. For every slip, there will be exactly one other slip with the same number. The basic goal is to get pairs of matching slips. The person with the most number of matching pairs at the end of the night is the MetaDevil for next week.


When you have finished playing a game, you may randomly take one of the slips remaining in the box. If there are not enough slips for all of the players, then the draw is done in rank order. In other words, the winner gets to draw first.

You may tell, or show, others what numbers you have. You may NOT lie about the numbers on your slips. You may NOT give away any slips for "free" (there will be a trading phase).

At the start of the next game you play, and before the game starts, you may offer to trade slips with any of the other players in that game. Trades are like in Settlers in that both parties in the trade must get at least one slip as part of the trade.

You may, at your discretion, made public deals about game play as part of the trade. The deals cannot violate the rules of the game. All deals must be honored to the best of your ability.

Deals can involve non-game actions. For example, "I'll trade you these two slips if you give me that slip and get me a soda from the fridge at my request."

Deals are binding only for the course of that game.

[NOTE: Since you will not have any slips when you start your first game of the night, you cannot make any MetaDeals at that time.]

When the slips run out, trades can still occur. But remember, trades can take place only at the start of a game. So NO trading whatsoever unless you are about to start another game.

When you leave RussCon (or go to sleep), note in The Book the number of matched slips you managed to obtain (and the highest numbered slip). The number of paired slips is your MetaScore. If there are ties, the person with the higher (or highest) numbered slip is the MetaDevil.

If you leave RussCon for the night (or go to sleep) and have any unmatched slips, you must put those slips back into the box. You may keep any/all of your matched pair(s) of slips. If you choose not to keep your matched pair(s) of slips when you leave (or go to sleep), you must put them back into the box.

I will be taking all remaining slips home at the end of the night (when RussCon ends for all participants). If I leave before the end of RussCon, Russ W. will take over.


You must play an entire game from start to finish in order to draw a slip from the box. So, if you quit/leave before the end of the game or if you start in the middle of the game (such as with Ricochet Robot[s]), you do NOT get a slip.

You may not look at the slip numbers when drawing a slip from the box.

You may trade only before the start of a game. There is no limit to the number of trades you can make. You must try your best to finish the game you start.

Only "official" RussCon games count for playing a game in this MetaGame. So, you cannot play the game "Rock" and get a slip. You cannot play, "Flip a Coin" and get a slip. Use common sense.

Since I will be late, Russ W. will make rulings if there are questions or conflicts. I will take over when I arrive. I will also be participating in the game.

Apparently no one figured out in advance that the numbered slips of paper in the box were dollar bills torn in half. That was amusing! As a meta meta observation, I think if a meta game has people collect tradable things at the end of a game, they will inevitably compare and want to trade the things they have just collected, so people erroneously traded several times right after collecting slips, instead of trading at the start of a new game. Aside from that glitch, the meta game seemed to go well. 30 dollar bills were used to create 60 matching slips. 28 meta points were earned. Two non-matching slips were left over, which means 2 slips vanished, perhaps accidentally taken home. The final scores were:

Due to the four-way tie, we compared serial numbers in our sets (which was reminiscent of checking the dates in sets in By Hook or Crook) and found that William had the highest number, so he won his own Meta Game and is thus the Meta Devil again and will design next week's Meta Game!

Evening's Soundtrack

Nico, The End
Pink Floyd, The Final Cut
Radio Werewolf, Songs for the End of the World
R.E.M., Out of Time
Richard Strauss, Four Last Songs + Death and Transfiguration

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