Dec 30 RussCon Report

We were back up to normal numbers again, and even had some new folks (Laurie's friend Samantha and Daniel's friend Chris). 19 of us convened for gaming this time. It was too bad that proto-RussCon ovum Bryan from Seattle wasn't able to make it.


Games Played:

Rainbows 5 JonathanC 4 RussW 1 James 1 Dawn -2 William -4
Landlord 6 Jay 5 WendyWhe 2 Daniel 2 ChrisDanielsFriend -1 Doug -3 KevinH -5
Rainbows 5 EricH 4 RussW 2 Laurie 0 Dawn -3 Sam -3
Rainbows 5 EricH 3 Sam 3 RussW 0 WendyWhe -2 Harry -4
Rainbows 5 Sam 4 WendyWhe 2 Harry -1 EricH -1 RussW -4
TitanArena 4 Daniel 3 Dawn 1 Laurie -1 ChrisDanielsFriend -3
Raj 4 WendyWhe 3 Harry 1 EricH -1 RussW -3
QuoVadis 4 Harry 3 RussW 1 William -1 WendyWhe -3
Elfenwizards 5 Steve 4 Doug 1 Jay 1 Marty -2 KevinH -4
QuoVadis 4 WendyWhe 3 RussW 1 Harry -1 William -3
ChineseCheckers 3 James 2 JP 0 EricH -2
Guillotine 6 JP 5 EricH 3 RussW 1 Clayton -1 Harry -4 WendyWhe -4
Elfenland 6 Daniel 5 ChrisDanielsFriend 3 Dawn 1 Laurie -1 Sam -3 JonathanC -5
Guillotine 6 Harry 5 RussW 3 Clayton 1 EricH -1 WendyWhe -3 JP -5
Raj 4 Harry 3 RussW 1 JP -1 Clayton -3
Raj 4 RussW 3 JP 1 Harry -1 Clayton -3
Fight 3 JP 2 James 0 RussW -2
Elfenwizards 6 William 5 Marty 3 Doug 1 KevinH -1 James -3 Steve -5
Spammers 5 RussW 4 JP 1 William 1 James -2 Doug -4

Rainbows was a neat little game I got for Christmas in Houston from Nan's Toys. I'd never heard of it before, but saw Alan's Moon name on a German import, so what the heck. It was pretty clever, fun, and fast. After 4 games, the score distribution was:

135 (Eric the Luckychaun)
120 x2
110 x4
100 x6
-10 (William, channeling my Trainsport Austria aura)

Devil Kevin brought Landlord, another German import impulse purchase, but from the grumblings of the crowd, it sounds like it had problems as a game. Perhaps errata exists.

JP finally got folks to play Chinese Checkers. He can die a happy man now.

Marty showed up (Happy Birthday!) and brought his new German game Elfenwizards. William was dying to play it all evening, and finally got into a game, won, and decided he didn't like it.

We also played Spammers the right way this time, and it was fun. However it has a weird long endgame where people jockey for position hoping to get enough of the powerful special effects cards to get the winning conditions and then survive a round of the other players beating on them. Rather difficult to get the game to terminate. It's a little like ThroneWorld in this sense: you have an initial empire building period where you do relatively small scale things, then all of a sudden a critical threshold is passed and somebody's about to win, and all hell breaks loose for a while. The powerful cards are VERY powerful. The first time I played it (with Ken and WendyWhi) I don't believe we hit upon the strategy of hoarding special cards. Hoarding special cards is what makes it hard to achieve victory, especially with a large number of opponents who all get to pound on you when you're winning. I believe we should try it again with fewer players and see what happens. It was fun in any case, even if it did take till after 4am to finish...

By the way, last week there was an unrecorded Settlers game: JP won, William 2nd, Harry last.


Evening's Soundtrack:

Alex De Grassi, Deep at Night
Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Pushing the Salmanilla Envelope
Subrosa, Never Bet the Devil Your Head
VeggieTales, A Very Veggie Christmas
Tom Waits, Swordfishtrombones

These are all CDs I have received as gifts from various people.

(Thanks to Clayton, WendyWhe, Lou, my mom, and KevinT respectively. Well, maybe I shouldn't thank my mom for that VeggieTales CD...)


Rank ratings:
 0.7692 Daniel (3 games played)
 0.6667 Jay (2)
 0.1852 EricH (7)
 0.1702 RussW (13)
 0.1250 JP (7)
 0.1111 Marty (2)
 0.0588 Sam (4)
 0.0303 Harry (9)
-0.0625 WendyWhe (8)
-0.0769 ChrisDanielsFriend (3)
-0.1053 William (5)
-0.1111 JonathanC (2)
-0.1111 Steve (2)
-0.1176 James (5)
-0.1667 Laurie (3)
-0.1875 Dawn (4)
-0.2778 Doug (4)
-0.3750 Clayton (4)
-0.7143 KevinH (3)

Win ratings:
 0.8095 Daniel (3)
 0.6552 JonathanC (2)
 0.6552 Steve (2)
 0.6129 Jay (2)
 0.5849 Sam (4)
 0.2121 Harry (9)
 0.1126 EricH (7)
 0.1111 JP (7)
 0.0526 WendyWhe (8)
-0.0385 William (5)
-0.1489 James (5)
-0.2648 RussW (13)
-1.0000 Marty (2)
-1.0000 ChrisDanielsFriend (3)
-1.0000 Laurie (3)
-1.0000 Dawn (4)
-1.0000 Doug (4)
-1.0000 Clayton (4)
-1.0000 KevinH (3)

Daniel is the Devil! I expect to hear appropriate sound effects. However, by Special Imperial Decree, there is a co-Devil, our visiting astronomer Mike, so whoever gets here first gets to stake out the dining table. Who is Mike, you ask? Read on...


An Astronomer in Austin:

Some of you may remember Evil Mike Brotherton, another proto-RussCon ovum dude. He will be visiting us live & direct from Lawrence Livermore Labs next week! Look for a RussCon appearance by Dr. Brotherton.

The reason? I quote from a press release:


AUSTIN, Texas - A team of researchers from six institutions, including the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, have discovered a quasi stellar object with one of the most luminous starbursts ever seen.

The team's findings will be announced today by Livermore astronomer Mike Brotherton during the 193rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas.

Brotherton, a post-doctoral fellow with Livermore's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, headed the nine-member team composed of scientists from Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

[Local gamer makes good! Hoody-hoo!]

One of the newly discovered quasars, in the constellation of Sextans, was unique as it was observed with one of the most luminous starbursts ever seen. Starbursts are events that create firestorms of stars, normally through the collapse of a gas cloud.

[And now, wait for it... the inevitable fart joke...]

"We believe that the amount of gas involved here is as much as one-tenth the mass of the Milky Way, Earth's home galaxy," Brotherton said.

[Mike refers to a now-infamous session of Supremacy many years ago at Jay's house. An entire room of gamers was frantically vacated due to the amount of gas involved. This event was later known as The Long Night of the Gas Giant.]


Welcome to the ultimate Christmas party with all your favorite VeggieTales characters!