Oct 21 (Pre-Pre-Halloween) RussCon Report


16 of us convened for gaming, including one newcomer Voss. Tim was the Devil since Jay was not in attendance. I can't believe he'd miss being the Devil at RussCon just for a silly thing like preparing for a 2 week trip to China the next morning.


Daniel won Titan the Arena.

Wendy won Entdecker.

Gangsters [if I read the handwriting correctly] was adjourned as a draw among Harry, Kevin, JP, and William.

Steve won Downtown.

Jeff won Elfenland (squeaking past Elfmaster Marty).

JP & Marty each won a game of Durch Die Wueste. This is a wonderful game! It combines the territorial strategy of Go with the subtle beauty of pastel camels. Not recommended for the color blind. And it's played on a hex grid, so you know it's a Real Game. Check it out! It's my new favorite German import!

Daniel won Settlers.

Kevin won Dungeon Dice.

Tim won On the Banks of the Nile. This is another German import set in North Africa. It's good, but not as cool as Durch Die Wueste. Its rules are weirder than many games, which is cool but makes it slower to learn.

Harry conquered Ken in For The People.

And 7 games of Raj were played! JP won 3, Russ won 2, and Harry & Tim each won 1. The outrageous bidding game is proving quite popular. I highly recommend it, plus it's dirt-cheap at MacFrugal's, $3 or $4 for nice quality components!


JP brought Twixt, a 2 player pure strategy game, and methodically trashed William, Ken, and me. I don't count 2 player pure strategy games in the ratings, but nonetheless I wanted to give JP his due for this skillful feat. I recommend Twixt! The concept is simple: you're trying to connect the north & south sides of the board, while your opponent tries to connect the east and west. The rules are quite simple, yet lead to complex strategy, analogous to Go. (Of course Go is superior.) (Which reminds me: some of you need to play more Go, and I think you know who you are, Dave. Tuesday night, Dobie Mall food court, Austin Go Club...)


The RussCon management is gratified to receive the following correspondence regarding the Oct 14 RussCon Report's implication that For the People takes overlong to play. On this subject Mr. Ken B. of Austin, Texas writes:

"Just to keep the record straight Harry played not one, but three games of FtP. The first was against Alfred I think and ended when Alfred resigned a bad situation to play another game. The second was between Harry and I. I won with a daring assault deep into Illinois to take the USA capitol a second time. Anyway I thought I'd let you know lest you think FtP actually takes 7 hours to play."

So noted, and the ratings records have been adjusted accordingly. In the next few weeks, watch for another cumulative ratings report, based on data meticulously gathered and analyzed over the past 10 months by the trained scientists in the RussCon Engineering Labs!

And on the subject of games not being recorded, Mr. Daniel H. of Austin, Texas writes:

"Actually I played that balloon game and came in 3rd I believe. It was the one that James won. *shrug* I really doubt that makes me more devilish but I feel horribly insulted that you would think I would come over only to play 1 game!!! *grin* Don't bother to update the report on my behalf only do it if you feel you must."

Thus by a careless omission in recording was a fellow gamer unjustly traduced and accused of "pulling a Brady Maneuver" as the old saying goes. Additionally Mr. James P. was deprived of the glory of his Montgolfiere victory. Furthermore, if no one in a game remembers to record the results, the loss to statistical gaming science is incalculable. Truly this was a dark day in RussCon history.


Evening's Soundtrack:

The Doors, self-titled
Grateful Dead, In the Dark
Nirvana, In Utero
Queen, Classic Queen
Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble, Live at Carnegie Hall

The theme of the evening was dead singers. Who wants to live forever?


Rank ratings:
 0.7143 Marty (2 games played)
 0.5000 Harry (4)
 0.4000 JeffF (3)
 0.3750 JP (11)
 0.3333 WendyWhi (2)
 0.3171 RussW (10)
 0.2941 Steve (4)
 0.2381 Tim (5)
-0.1111 Clayton (2)
-0.1333 KevinH (5)
-0.2500 Daniel (9)
-0.3333 Brady (6)
-0.3333 Jonobie (1)
-0.4286 William (10)
-0.6667 Ken (5)
-1.0000 Voss (2)

Win ratings:
 0.6667 Harry (4)
 0.5238 Marty (2)
 0.5000 WendyWhi (2)
 0.4769 Tim (5)
 0.3964 JP (11)
 0.2500 JeffF (3)
 0.1628 Steve (4)
 0.0629 Daniel (9)
 0.0105 RussW (10)
-0.0244 KevinH (5)
-1.0000 Clayton (2)
-1.0000 Brady (6)
-1.0000 Jonobie (1)
-1.0000 William (10)
-1.0000 Ken (5)
-1.0000 Voss (2)

Harry and Marty are Co-Devils! Whoever gets here first may stake out the dining table and suggest the games played there. Next in succession is Wendy, then Jeff & JP are tied. The whole partial ordering is too messy and nonplanar to draw with my humble ascii art.

Newcomer Voss receives the Generous Angel award.

JP wins the newly introduced Dedicated Award for playing the most games.


Next week is Halloween... test out your costume early at RussCon! Anyone in costume moves up 5 levels in the ratings for the following week. If you're a Halloween wimp and don't do costumes, then at least wear black or dark clothes! But costumes are encouraged. And if anyone wants to join me for Sixth Street on Halloween, let me know.

Look for the Jack-o-lantern. Enjoy the spooky music.

And bring your SCARY games... We gotta play Ghost Party! Dark Cults! Arkham Horror! Plague and Pestilence! Black Death! Lunch Money! Kill Dr. Lucky! Dungeon! Cults Across America! Black Morn Manor! Monsters Ravage America! Dark Tower! Which Witch! Dr. Ruth's Good Sex Game!


This is The End.