Nov 11 RussCon Report


There were 20 of us, plus a brief visit from a woefully misguided cable guy who thought I might want to pay money to watch television.

William stepped up the campaign for alcoholism, bringing some upscale brand of bourbon. JP became inebriated. Sea Biscuit and Dawn had to take a shower in my bathroom. Things seem to be getting weirder lately. No word from Brady on the results of his scientific experiment in my refrigerator.

William also brought his newly purchased German import Fossil, which saw much play. Kevin and Steve each won once, and JonathanB aka Squeaky won twice! (William also brought the new card game It's Mine, but it's a twitch game and no one wanted to play it.)

I braved Trainsport Austria again, and lost money again: 3 out of 4 games now, I've ended up with less money than I started with. Madness! In this game, Eric won, and startlingly Laurie, Squeaky, Alfred and I ALL ended up with less money than we started with, so Eric's victory was most glorious. I find it to be a game with fascinatingly elusive strategy, but I enjoy it.

Squeaky won the classic free Cheapass game Fight! One hopes this will goad him on to continue the AI tournament project!

Vas and Daniel each won games of Settlers.

Laurie won Master Labyrinth, garnering all 3 of her secret spell ingredients.

Kevin won Auction.

Dawn won Guillotine.

JonathanR won Rollout. As I understand it, they called the game midway through and tallied scores then. Apparently this game takes the most broken element of Supremacy (the economic system) and leaves out all the fun mushroom clouds and nuclear winter. The best thing about Supremacy was being able to take out your frustrations with the rules by destroying the world!

Outrageously, no games of Raj were played this week.


RussCon's First International Visitor:

Next week, Wednesday November 18, will surely go down in the annals of RussCon history as we receive a special guest visitor from England, Andy on a business trip (who posted on looking for Austin gaming). If we're lucky, he'll bring along some games unavailable in the States, maybe even the elusive and legendary Quo Vadis! By Special Executive Privilege, I decree that our International Man of Mystery is the Honorary Guest Devil next week.


World RPS Society:

Our field correspondent Dave B. alerted us to the website of the World RPS Society. Don't miss out on the subtle beauty and fascinating strategy of RPS! Your gaming experience is woefully inadequate until you visit this site. Don't delay -- do it NOW!


Settlers Ties Redux:

Mr. Dave B. of Austin, Texas idly speculates:

A tie in Settlers is an interesting idea. I would refer to the rules to find the exact wording of when you gain and lose points - it is possible that you only tally your own score on your own turn. Or maybe you can only take longest road/largest army from another player on your turn.

Mr. Bryan P. of Seattle, Washington confidently asserts:

Regarding the Settlers scenario William brought up... ties are not possible. It clearly states in the rules that you can only win on your own turn.

Thus our most assiduous reader Bryan gets the award for actually RTFM. Indeed, the 1st and 2nd edition Mayfair rules agree: "The winner is the first player to have 10 Victory Points on their turn." (And note they say "have" not "get", which makes a difference -- very clever, these Germans!)

So in this unlikely scenario where I build a settlement earning myself 10 points and earning you the longest road and 11 points, I would win and you'd come in second.

Also note that this has more of an impact on the expansion rules (for more than 4 players) if you use the German rule that after a player finishes his turn, each player gets a chance to build, starting with the player to his left and continuing clockwise. This means that if Alf finishes his turn, Chuck builds to get his 10th point, then Bert takes his turn and gets his 10th point, then Bert wins on his turn even though Chuck got his 10th point after Alf's turn and before Bert's turn! I'm sure we've done this wrong in the past (ending the game as soon as someone got 10 points, even though it wasn't their turn). In effect, everyone resigned at that point agreeing to preserve the current ranks...


Gobelin version 0.2:

Squeaky has revised the rules for his game Gobelin. We'll have to try it again sometime soon! We didn't play it this week, but bring it along next time, Squeaky.


Evening's Soundtrack:

Barry Adamson, As above So below
David Bowie, Heroes
Marilyn Manson, Antichrist Superstar
Rammstein, Sehnsucht
The Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

The mystery of the common thread was more challenging this week, and no one guessed it. See below for the shocking answer.


Rank ratings:
 1.0000 KevinH (2 games played)
 1.0000 Vas (1)
 0.6667 JonathanB (4)
 0.4286 Daniel (3)
 0.3333 JonathanC (2)
 0.2000 Ken (1)
 0.1667 WendyWhi (3)
 0.1538 Steve (4)
 0.1429 JonathanR (3)
 0.0833 JP (4)
 0.0000 EricH (4)
 0.0000 Marty (1)
-0.0769 Laurie (4)
-0.1429 Alfred (2)
-0.2941 RussW (5)
-0.3333 Clayton (1)
-0.3846 Dawn (4)
-0.6000 Brady (1)
-0.8571 William (3)
-1.0000 Tim (2)

Win ratings:
 1.0000 KevinH (2)
 1.0000 Vas (1)
 0.8310 JonathanB (4)
 0.4118 Daniel (3)
 0.3889 JonathanR (3)
 0.0345 Laurie (4)
 0.0345 Dawn (4)
 0.0323 Steve (4)
-0.0204 EricH (4)
-1.0000 JonathanC (2)
-1.0000 Ken (1)
-1.0000 WendyWhi (3)
-1.0000 JP (4)
-1.0000 Marty (1)
-1.0000 Alfred (2)
-1.0000 RussW (5)
-1.0000 Clayton (1)
-1.0000 Brady (1)
-1.0000 William (3)
-1.0000 Tim (2)

Wow, for once the top rankers are very consistent between the rank and win ratings! Kevin and Vas both had perfect records; however, Vas pulled a Brady Maneuver (winning just 1 game and leaving), while Kevin won 2, so Kevin would be the Devil! Vas would be Vice-Devil. Then JonathanB is 3rd place, then Daniel is 4th. However, if our distinguished out-of-town visitor Andy shows up at 7, then he is the Special Guest Devil.

Meanwhile, Tim gets the Generous Angel Award. Marty gets the Extra Average Award. There is a 6-way tie for the Dedicated Award.

The partial order graph from these two ratings is planar this week:

             /  |  \
            /   |   \
           /   JonC  \
          |     |   Steve
          |    Ken   /\
         JonR   |   |  |
         /|\  Wendy | Eric
        / | \   |   | /
       /  |  \  |  / /
      |   |   \ | / /
      | Laurie \|/ /
      |  / \   JP /
     Dawn   \   |/
       \     \Marty
        \     \ |
         \    Alfred
          \     |
           \   Russ
            \   |
              \ |

I made this graph while under the influence of William's bourbon, so errors may lurk.


Cultural News:

The Houston-based Celtic band Clandestine shall be appearing at UT's Cactus Cafe this Friday night! I'll be going to hear them again. Bagpipes, fiddle, guitar, and conga drums, with ethereal singing. Don't procrastinate, they usually fill the venue!


The common theme of the the evening's soundtrack? All 5 of these bands were on the soundtrack to the David Lynch film Lost Highway! If Jay had been here, I bet he would have guessed it... or maybe not. BTW, Jay should be back from China around now with his new baby, so God knows if we'll ever see the proud father again.


We can be Heroes
Just for one day