Sep 2 RussCon Report

There were 15 of us, including welcome newcomer Jonobie, sometimes known as Peter, but that's apparently a long story. We'll stick with Jonobie since we already have a Peter. Speaking of names, JonathanC is officially now known as Sea Biscuit. That's not a long story, and is explained later.


It was an unusual evening of drawn out games, often quit early...

Australian Rails was won by JeffF, by mutual consent of the other players who all tied as losers.

Cults Across America was also called early, with joint victory for us all (Doug, Russ, Ken, Marty, Jay, JonathanC). This session had much more destructive combat than the first game, with no sign of a winner any time soon. Several of us were willing to continue, but several were getting bored with it. There was a consensus that it seems to take longer than a game of its light nature ought to. Still, several of us would be willing to try it again on a weekend when there's less time pressure. Any game with all those Lovecraftian places on its map can't be all bad.

New attendee Jonobie won her first game of Entdecker. JeffF & Tim tied for last -- their unequal gold was recorded in the book, but as far as I dould tell from the rules, gold is not a tiebreaker. I am confident JeffF will show me the rule section proving me wrong, as he already enlightened us about the wrong way we handled sealed-off land areas!

Russ won Medici, pipping Marty by one point (thanks, Doug and Wendy!) But Marty's not bitter, not at all!

WendyWhi won her first game of the lightheartedly tasteless Guillotine.

Tim won an interesting close game of Before I Kill You Mr. Bond. This Cheapass game hadn't been played by most of this group until ArmadilloCon when I finally convinced folks to try it. I still maintain it has some interesting tactical elements and is not the broken pathetic game people believe it to be! Indeed this session went rather interestingly, with final scores of 8, 12, 15, 16.

Ken won Settlers with the Staedte & Ritter expansion. I observed that this game took much longer than standard Settlers. It seemed to get mixed reviews. It adds lots of new toys and rules.

Thus Russ & Ken won 2. JeffF, Jonobie, WendyWhi, Tim, Doug, Marty, Jay, and JonathanC won 1.


Evening's Soundtrack:

We had a numerological theme this week...

Black 47, (self-titled)
L7, Hungry For Stink
Sun 60, Only
3 Mustaphas 3, Shopping
U2, Achtung Baby


Rank ratings:
 0.3750 Ken (2 games played)
 0.3750 JeffF (2)
 0.2500 Jonobie (2)
 0.2500 WendyWhi (2)
 0.1538 RussW (3)
 0.1538 Marty (3)
 0.0909 Alfred (3)
 0.0000 James (2)
 0.0000 Tim (3)
-0.2000 Clayton (1)
-0.2500 Dawn (2)
-0.2500 Jay (2)
-0.3077 Doug (3)
-0.3077 JonathanC (3)
-0.6667 Brady (1)

Win ratings:
 1.0000 Ken (2)
 0.6364 Jonobie (2)
 0.6364 WendyWhi (2)
 0.5385 JeffF (2)
 0.5385 RussW (3)
 0.2857 Tim (3)
-1.0000 Marty (3)
-1.0000 Alfred (3)
-1.0000 James (2)
-1.0000 Clayton (1)
-1.0000 Dawn (2)
-1.0000 Jay (2)
-1.0000 Doug (3)
-1.0000 JonathanC (3)
-1.0000 Brady (1)

Combining ratings into a partial order gives the pretty diagram:

           /   \
          /     \ 
         /       \
WendyWhi=Jonobie JeffF
         \       /
          \     /
           \   /
            / \
         Marty \
          /     \
      Alfred    Tim
          \     /
        James  /
            \ /

Ken is the Devil next week. There were rumors that he might stake out the dining table for Successors. On the other hand, we bought many new games at Dragon's Lair on Thursday at 30% off, so there are many new possibilities. Thursday night we played Ursuppe, Spammers, and a game with a long German name about the Nile. Ursuppe is quite original in theme, as each player is a species of amoeba. Shoppers, remember that the 30% off sale is also good on Monday...

Should Ken not show up on time, JeffF, Jonobie, and WendyWhi are tied as Vice Devils and will work out dining table claims among themselves.

What an upset! The normally devilish James ends up with the Extra Average Award this week (for winning no games and coming out ahead of the same number of players he came out behind, i.e. win rating = -1 and rank rating = 0). How the mighty have fallen.

Brady narrowly missed the rare and dangerous Reverse Brady Maneuver since he tied for last place in his one game played, instead of coming in dead last. A close call, that.


Subtle Ratings Issue (Joint Victory, Joint Loss, Everybody Tied):

For those interested in the subtleties of the ratings math, I had initially not entered the Cults Across America game under the mistaken belief it could have no effect, since we all shared a joint victory and thus earned 0 game points from it. But in fact that was false: here are the results without that game entered. Note that win ratings are unaffected, but the rank ratings are changed: correctly including the Cults game basically pushed the participants' cumulative rank ratings towards 0 (helping people who were otherwise losers, and hurting winners).

(Bogus) Rank ratings:
 1.0000 Ken (1 game played)
 0.3750 JeffF (2)
 0.2500 Jonobie (2)
 0.2500 WendyWhi (2)
 0.2500 RussW (2)
 0.2500 Marty (2)
 0.0909 Alfred (3)
 0.0000 Tim (3)
 0.0000 James (2)
-0.2000 Clayton (1)
-0.2500 Dawn (2)
-0.5000 Doug (2)
-0.5000 JonathanC (2)
-0.6667 Brady (1)
-0.6667 Jay (1)

I made this error a couple weeks ago when 6 players lost Arkham Horror together -- I did not count the game, and in hindsight I should have. I've added it to the database, so it will be factored in next time I compute complete cumulative ratings. I trust we will all sleep better at night knowing this.


ArmadilloCon Report:

Last weekend was ArmadilloCon. Our very own Marty volunteered as a tournament director for Settlers, Kill Dr. Lucky, Give Me the Brain, and Fight! Approximately 60 different people stopped by the crowded gaming room over the weekend to participate in sessions of about 30 different game titles (if memory serves). It was the first time ArmadilloCon had seriously tried to get gaming going, so hats off to Marty for his pivotal role in making it happen. It was very enjoyable, and we got to meet new gamers and have fun (especially playing Dalmuti until 4am Saturday night, when we really started getting silly and punchy).

Jay was under the influence of some really remarkable drugs which inspired him to dub JonathanC with the brilliant moniker Sea Biscuit.

"Can I call you Sea Biscuit?"

Maybe you had to be there.


Cultural News:

The indie film to see is Buffalo '66. This stars Vincent Gallo and Christina Ricci (who's also currently in the wonderful film The Opposite Of Sex). He's just been released from prison and we soon learn he's told his dysfunctional parents a stupid glamorous lie about where he's been the past 5 years. He's a great antihero, and Gallo does a great job of simultaneously giving you sympathy for him and insight into his David Lynchesque family background, yet you also think he's a real jerk. It's got some really dark funny bleak humor, and a very intense climax, plus great cameos by Anjelica Huston, Ben Gazzara, Jan-Michael Vincent, Mickey Rourke, and Rosanna Arquette. Kevin and Clayton, take note: a song from In The Court Of The Crimson King is used in this film! That scene alone was worth the price of admission for me.

A very interesting looking weird con is Oct 1-4 in Denver. Check out for more info.


See y'all next Wednesday!