Nov 25 RussCon Report


A larger turnout than expected, just before the Thanksgiving holidays. Your RussCon support is most gratifying. I can't believe that a slow night still brings 15 of us together for gaming! I hope everyone had a fun Thanksgiving weekend.


As an experiment in brevity, here are the evening's game results in short form (as passed along to the boys in the lab for statistical analysis). The number after the game is #players. The number after your name is (#opponents beaten - #opponents beating you). E.g., in the Cosmic game it appears Ken and JeffF won a joint victory (from the notes in the book, anyway). This format lets people double check their results (which wasn't as feasible when I simply reported who won what game). The drawback is that this just-the-facts approach deprives you of my witty and charming prose.

Bohnanza 5 Daniel 4 William 1 RussW 1 Clayton -2 Jay -4
Guillotine 5 Daniel 4 RussW 1 William 1 Jay -2 Clayton -4
Euphrates 4 Ken 3 JonathanB 1 KevinH -1 Steve -3
Fossil 5 Ken 4 Marty 2 James 0 JP -2 JeffF -4
TrainsportAustria 4 RussW 3 Jay 1 KevinH -1 Clayton -3
Cosmic 5 Ken 3 JeffF 3 Doug 0 Daniel -2 William -4
Entdecker 4 KevinH 3 Harry 1 RussW -1 Clayton -3
ModernArt 5 JeffF 4 William 1 James 1 Doug -2 Ken -4
DurchDieWueste 4 RussW 3 JP 1 Clayton -1 KevinH -3
Raj 4 JP 3 RussW 1 Clayton -1 KevinH -3
Fight 3 JP 2 Clayton 0 RussW -2
Acquire 4 Marty 3 Harry 1 JonathanB -1 Steve -3
Edison 4 Doug 2 William 2 James -2 JeffF -2
TitanArena 5 Steve 4 JonathanB 1 Marty 1 JP -2 RussW -4
Bohnanza 4 William 3 Doug 1 James -2 JeffF -2
PlagueAndPestilence 4 JP 3 RussW 1 Marty -1 JonathanB -3
It'sMine 3 JeffF 2 William 0 Doug -2


Witty and Charming Prose (as if I would deprive you of this):

The universe nearly collapsed in upon itself, and the galactic polarity reversed: I actually WON a game of Trainsport Austria! Hoody-hoo! After ending with less money than I started in 4 of 5 games, this was a most welcome reversal of fortune. I shall cherish the memory always. Excuse me while I gently wipe away a tear of joy.

We played the first RussCon session of Plague & Pestilence, a game I own and have played plenty in the past. William knows the designer. This game is good silly fun, in the spirit of the old Nuclear War card game from Flying Buffalo, but it's set in the dark ages, with rats and fleas instead of missiles and warheads... Too bad all the cards look so similar, though.

Edison got a 2nd chance, and they played it the suggested way, in teams. Doug & William were victorious over James & Jeff. Those mad inventors! So was the game ok? Should I paint the miniatures for further play?

William's new German card game about growing beans (Bohnanza) is quite clever and enjoyable. It encourages a lot of trading and diplomacy, too. Check it out.

I'm pretty darn certain a game of Squeaky's very own design Gobelin was played, but apparently it was not seen fit to record the results.


Evening's Soundtrack:

The Aquabats, the Fury of the Aquabats
Eric Binkley, Left
Dollshead, Frozen Charlotte
Mention, Makeshift Town
THC, 11 songs from unreleased demo tape

This week's common theme was intentionally obscure and difficult. One noble guess was "Bands that all have vowels in their names" -- close, but not quite, thanks to that pesky THC. In fact, these were all bands which I saw live at Computer Game Developer's Conference in Long Beach earlier this year. If you ever get a chance to see the zany Aquabats live, do so. Trust me.


Rank ratings:
 0.5000 Daniel (3 games played)
 0.4000 Ken (4)
 0.3571 Marty (4)
 0.3333 Harry (2)
 0.2632 JP (6)
 0.1667 William (7)
 0.1034 RussW (9)
 0.0500 JeffF (6)
-0.0625 Doug (5)
-0.1538 JonathanB (4)
-0.2000 Steve (3)
-0.2143 James (4)
-0.3333 KevinH (5)
-0.4545 Jay (3)
-0.6364 Clayton (7)

Win ratings:
 0.8298 Ken (4)
 0.6000 Daniel (3)
 0.5385 JP (6)
 0.3702 JeffF (6)
 0.2308 Steve (3)
 0.0714 Marty (4)
-0.0323 William (7)
-0.0576 RussW (9)
-0.1429 KevinH (5)
-0.4059 Doug (5)
-1.0000 Harry (2)
-1.0000 JonathanB (4)
-1.0000 James (4)
-1.0000 Jay (3)
-1.0000 Clayton (7)

Ken and Daniel are incomparable to each other and greater than everyone else, so both are the Devil this week. I could rule that Ken is the Devil using # games played as a tie-breaker, but Daniel does an entertaining Devil-voice schtick, so I'll leave it to fate and see who gets here first.


Cultural News:

If you're a play-going sort, I recommend All My Sons at the Acting Studio. Most of us only know Arthur Miller from his famous plays Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. All My Sons is an earlier play of Miller's, and it's a terrific script, a very harrowing and intense story set a couple years after World War II. Chris wants to marry Ann, the former girlfriend of his brother Larry, who's missing and presumed dead in the war, though his mother can't accept that Larry is dead. Meanwhile Ann's father is in jail for knowingly manufacturing defective engine parts which caused the deaths of about 20 pilots in the war; Ann's father worked with Chris's father, who was cleared of all charges. All this and more comes to a head one tragic evening: romance, death, family loyalty, and the seamy underbelly of American capitalism. Strong stuff. Oh, and if not's obvious: don't see this play if you only like happy escapism. Duh. Plus there aren't any light sabers -- sorry Dave!


Beware the midget pirates!