July 8 RussCon Report

[First, a warning: There will be NO RUSSCON on Wednesday Aug 5! I will be in Santa Fe at the US Go Congress, which is possibly the greatest weeklong vacation a person can enjoy, except for a visit to the Orgasmatron Farms of Rigel 7, or an expensive German brothel.]


On July 8 there were 16 of us, a pretty respectable turnout!

It started out slow, though, so we gave the Dilbert card game an inaugural run. Due to a minor rules misinterpretation, we ended up in an infinite loop drawn game, so for the first time in recorded human history there was a complete tie in a RussCon game! Jay, William, Clayton & I share this glorious joint victory...

I'm told that James won Samurai Swords (and in the absence of other knowledge, I made the other 4 players tie for 2nd).

Jay won a 7-player game of Settlers ("Peanut! Peanut!"). (William the Devil amazed us all by choosing a big Settlers game over Cosmic Encounter.)

Doug won the ever-zany Cheapass game Give Me The Brain.

JP won my new TimJim game Mystic War. It was fairly entertaining and quick, but has a high luck factor.

JonathanB won WizWar. I was killed early on after coming oh-so-close to getting 2 treasures home.

Newcomer Ryan won Titan the Arena.

Marty won Medici.

JP & I each won a game of Fight.

James won Entdecker.

So James, Jay, JP & I won 2 games. William, Clayton, Doug, JonathanB, Ryan, Marty all won 1 game.


Grand Plans for the Future:

There was some discussion of trying to start an email game of Nomic (that parliamentary procedure game where changing the rules is an integral part of the game). JP was kind enough to post the webpage of the Nomic creator: http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/nomic.htm

There was also some discussion of trying to make a tournament of AI players programmed to play the simple elegant game Fight. It occurs to me that the tournament would need time limits (lest somebody try to brute-force search the entire game tree), and a meta-rule for AI players which crash or use up their time. Probably the simplest would be "the crashing AI comes in last that game, followed by the already-eliminated players, followed by a joint victory tie among the remaining players."

This being the real world, probably neither of these will actually happen, but I mention them just in case.


The Evening's Ratings:

Rank ratings:
 1.0000 James (2 games played)
 0.3571 Jay (3)
 0.3043 JP (5)
 0.2632 Marty (5)
 0.1429 Kelly (4)
 0.0385 William (6)
 0.0000 Ryan (4)
-0.0333 RussW (7)
-0.2000 JonathanB (3)
-0.2222 Clayton (2)
-0.2500 Dawn (1)
-0.2500 JonathanC (1)
-0.2500 Tim (1)
-0.3333 RussD (3)
-0.3571 Doug (4)
-0.5000 Brady (4)

Win ratings:
 1.0000 James (2)
 0.6744 Jay (3)
 0.5011 JP (5)
 0.4421 JonathanB (3)
 0.0714 Doug (4)
 0.0667 Ryan (4)
-0.0303 Marty (5)
-0.0641 RussW (7)
-1.0000 Kelly (4)
-1.0000 William (6)
-1.0000 Clayton (2)
-1.0000 Dawn (1)
-1.0000 JonathanC (1)
-1.0000 Tim (1)
-1.0000 RussD (3)
-1.0000 Brady (4)

Combining these we get the partial ordering:

           / | \
          /  |  \
         / Marty \
        /    |\   Ryan
       /     | \   |
      /    Kelly\  |
  JonathanB  |   \ |
      |\  William RussW
      | \    |    /
      |  \   |   /
      |   Clayton
      |      |
    Doug    Tim = JonathanC = Dawn
       \     |
        \  RussD
         \   |

This partial order then gives the total order:
Tim = JonathanC = Dawn

But it's already obvious: JAMES IS THE DEVIL! Thus he gains hegemony over the dining table and wields great influence over what gets played there. Should James show up late, then Vice-Devil Jay seizes the reins of command. Completing the deadly Triple-J Triumvirate is JP. JonathanB is working his way up to the Big-J Boys.


Cultural News:

Those in the mood for an unusual & cheap ($5) one-act play might enjoy "The Head" at Public Domain theater on Congress Ave. It concerns a mortician entranced with dead body and his colleague who tries to snap him out of it. I thought it was a surprisingly good blend of dark humor and serious human drama, plus some mystery (how did she die?). Plus it's one of those unusual meta plays where one of the actors is dead the whole time and just lies there (as an attractive female corpse) for 40 minutes. It's put on by some of the folks from Flame Failure (Drake, Doc Recon, Wormwood) (for those in the know).

Also be aware that The Who's Tommy is playing at Zach Scott! I've not yet seen it but intend to.


See you Wednesday July 15!