June 24 RussCon Report

We were back up to our usual insanely large crowd, with 18 of us, finally winding down around 2:30am. We had 3 visiting dignitaries from Chicago: Eric, Peter, and Ronald. I enjoyed finally playing a boardgame with Ronald, of whom I'd heard many legendary tales of boardgaming prowess and unique individuality. He is one who is immediately detected, even by a humble Chuy's waitress, to be an unusual character.

Normally we play shorter games on Wednesday night, but in honor of Ronald's visit, we played a game of the classic railroad game 1830. (For those unaware, I programmed SimTex's PC version of 1830.) In actuality, it ended up not taking too long because I ignominously went bankrupt! O the humiliation: the ruthless Ronald dumped the gutted New York New Haven on me, and I never recovered. Ronald took 2nd, beaten by his arch-nemesis Eric, so at least I was comforted by the knowledge that my tormentor suffered his own humiliation.

Marty won Entdecker. Thanks to JeffF for spotting a rule we'd been playing wrong: when a group of squares becomes inaccessible, they are supposed to be filled in with solid land. We'd been erroneously saying they don't get filled in (if they're more than 1 square), which sometimes left lots of uncompletable islands to the end.

JonathanB won El Grande.

Cosmic Encounter was played (and William missed it!), with a 4-way joint victory shared by Jay, JonathanC, JP, and JeffF.

Peter and RussW each won a game of Titan the Arena.

RussW won Loewenherz (which sure is different with only 3 players).

Marty won Minion Hunter, which I've never played but sounds analogous to Chaosium's long out-of-print Arkham Horror.

So Marty and RussW both won 2 games, and Eric, JonathanB, Jay, JonathanC, JP, JeffF, Peter all won 1 game each.

Donuts were supplied by Kinesoft, proud sponsor of the 1998 Summer RussCon Games.


In other news, Go has been spreading like wildfire through my office, even through strange unholy bargains: I (a decidedly non-twitch non-action non-realtime gamer) played Quake in exchange for a coworker learning Go. Now he's hooked. If any RussCon folks not yet bitten by the Go bug want to learn the greatest and oldest boardgame of all, I'd be happy to infect, er, introduce you!

Some may recall that my 5-disc CD player was on the fritz. (Hence the little 3-disc Aiwa of recent weeks.) It's been repaired and seems to be playing well again. Hoody-hoo! We can resume the great eclectic 5-disc shuffles! Now if only the receiver would quit cutting out one speaker every now and then...

Saturday JP, RussD & I experimented with playing hotseat Heroes of Might and Magic 2, the PC fantasy wargame. It was enjoyable, but JP kicked our butts twice. He's quite the expert, having once played for 52 hours straight, with no sleeping breaks -- he swears this is true. He also swears to having won many of the scenarios at the impossible difficulty setting. Sheesh. The random map generator is not as good as the one in Warlords 3. JP also got a new car (a Saturn) that day -- congrats.


Evening's Results:

Rank ratings:
 0.5000 James (2 games played)
 0.3750 JonathanB (2)
 0.3636 JonathanC (2)
 0.3571 Marty (3)
 0.3333 RussW (3)
 0.2500 Peter (2)
 0.1818 JP (2)
 0.1429 Ken (2)
 0.0000 Clayton (1)
 0.0000 Dawn (2)
-0.1429 EricH (2)
-0.1429 Ronald (2)
-0.1875 JeffF (4)
-0.2143 Jay (3)
-0.5000 Doug (2)
-0.5556 Tim (2)
-0.6250 RussD (2)
-1.0000 Brady (1)

Win ratings:
 0.7087 RussW (3)
 0.6000 JonathanB (2)
 0.6000 Peter (2)
 0.5789 EricH (2)
 0.4696 Marty (3)
 0.4400 JonathanC (2)
 0.4400 JP (2)
 0.0141 Jay (3)
-0.2727 JeffF (4)
-1.0000 James (2)
-1.0000 Ken (2)
-1.0000 Clayton (1)
-1.0000 Dawn (2)
-1.0000 Ronald (2)
-1.0000 Doug (2)
-1.0000 Tim (2)
-1.0000 RussD (2)
-1.0000 Brady (1)

For those unfamiliar with The System, your win rating tells how well you performed in terms of winning (where 2nd and last place are equally bad -- winning is all that matters), while your rank rating takes into account your rank (so 2nd place is better than 3rd). (Some people play only to win, some people play to maximize their rank.) Both ratings range from -1 to 1. I then combine these results by defining:
Biff >= Eugene iff both of Biff's ratings are >= Eugene's ratings.
Biff > Eugene iff Biff >= Eugene and Biff != Eugene.
E.g., this week RussD > Brady, and Dawn = Clayton. This gives a partial order on the players.

Alas, the partial order this week is rather gnarly, so I'm not going to supply a picture of it. James, RussW, and JonathanB are all undefeated on the partial order. JonathanB ends up on top though, when you look at the #levels and #players measures... he's > everyone except James and RussW. This agrees with my intuition (since JonathanB is after all 2nd place on both lists, while RussW is 1st on one but 5th on the other, and James is 1st on one but 10th on the other.)

The numbers are:
(#levels below you - #levels above you) and
(#opponents below you - #opponents above you)

JonathanB 9 15
RussW 9 13
Marty = JonathanC 7 11
Peter 7 10
James 7 8
JP 5 6
EricH = Ken 3 4
Dawn = Clayton 1 3
JeffF = Jay 1 -3
Ronald -1 -7
Doug -3 -11
Tim -5 -13
RussD -7 -15
Brady -9 -17

So JonathanB pipped me (he's > JonathanC and Marty in the rank ratings, and I'm not, hence his #players measure was 2 higher than mine!) and JonathanB is the Devil, with the rights to the dining table and his choice of games on Wednesday July 2.

After several weeks with no Extra Average awards, Dawn and Clayton share the Extra Average award this week. Brady takes the coveted Archangel award (hey, he'd never played Loewenherz before, but JeffF & I both had...)

See you Wednesday!