Feb 17 1999 RussCon Report

There were 13 of us, and sure enough my luck was lousy in the games! Plus, The Book was never located, so I've got a new one started.


Games played:

SafariJack 4 Tim 3 Alfred 1 RussW -1 Clayton -3
Rainbows 5 Tim 3 Daniel 3 Alfred 0 Clayton -2 RussW -4
Medici 6 Clayton 5 Marty 3 Harry 1 Bob -1 Alfred -3 Ken -5
Tutanchamun 6 Doug 5 JP 3 Bob 1 Ken -1 Marty -3 James -5
Acquire 6 Doug 5 Daniel 3 JP 1 RussW -1 James -3 Tim -5
WizWar 4 Bob 3 Harry 1 Tim -1 Marty -3
Halunken&Spelunken 4 Harry 3 Bob 1 Tim -1 Marty -3
Kahuna 2 Marty 1 Bob -1
QuoVadis 5 Bob 4 JP 2 James 0 Brady -2 RussW -4
QuoVadis 5 RussW 4 Bob 2 James 0 Brady -2 JP -4
LastChance 4 JP 3 Brady 1 Bob -1 RussW -3

There was also a notation with Bob 15, Marty 15, Harry 14, Tim 14. I have no idea what game this was for or what it means.

The game of Last Chance was quite peculiar. JP won by the rest of us all being successively eliminated (due to going broke)! We've never seen that before.

The Rainbows scores were 100, 100, 85, 80, 55: unusually low. The new Rainbows cumulative score distribution:

165 (Russ)
120 x2
110 x7
100 x11
85 x2
-10 (William)

Thanks to Daniel for introducing Alfred and me to the joys of Blood Bowl. (Since this was a bumbling teaching game, and Daniel took over Alfred's position after a few turns, and we quit at half-time, the result was not recorded.) My Orc team, the Trepanators, was really hurting by halftime, with half the team sidelined. Still, I gloriously scored a touchdown on the 2nd turn, so that was cool. I can't decide if I actually enjoy playing Blood Bowl or if I just like the idea of it. But I remind everyone who's interested that Daniel wants to start a league with regular games every week. It sounds like a weekly game commitment might be too frequent for some of us.


Laser Quest News:

A bunch of us want to play Laser Quest. I have gotten info from them. We will have the place to ourselves for $375 for 3 games, up to 30 of us. Jay gets in free since he was the Settlers champion, and the rest of us split $375. There are currently 16 people who definitely expressed interest. Some of us will bring friends. So expect it to cost you $12 to $25, depending.

It looks like the best option is Monday night (one person who replied can't do it then -- sorry!). Now I'm not going to be free March 8. March 15 might be ok; I'm not sure yet. (Remember, I will be out of town a lot of that week, and there's no RussCon on Wednesday March 17.) This coming Monday Feb 22 is obviously too short notice. So all you folks interested in this, let me know which of these dates are preferred or impossible for you:

March 1, March 15, March 22, March 29...

We can apparently pick our time, too. Tell me any time constraints you may have, but please be flexible. I'm thinking 7:00 pm sounds reasonable, since that gives time for people to get dinner, but will have us done by 9:30 (for you early-to-bed early-to-rise type people).


Settlers Data:

I did a little analysis of the 22 games played at the recent Settlers tournament.

In the 14 4-player games:

Position #Wins DevilPointSum
1        4     -5
2        5      7
3        2     -1
4        3     -1

In 8 3-player games:

Position #Wins DevilPointSum
1        6     11
2        1     -4
3        1     -7

Evidently the first player does quite well in 3-player games. In 4-player games, it's less clear-cut. It looks like the 2nd player does best. The 1st player also has a good chance to win, but they may also do very poorly, whereas the 2nd player seems likely to rank high even if they don't win.

Of course I hesitate to draw any firm conclusions from this relatively small dataset, but it's interesting nonetheless. Certainly other factors such as map configuration and the set of players are also significant.


Evening's Soundtrack:

Tori Amos, Boys for Pele
Love and Napalm (a Trance Syndicate compilation)
Marillion, Script for a Jester's Tear
Ennio Morricone, A Fistful of Dollars (soundtrack)
Natural Born Killers (soundtrack)

No one attempted to guess this theme, perhaps because it was a hard one. All these CDs involve guns one way or another. Why guns? I blame it on playing too much Half-Life lately.

I'm confident that if JonathanR or Sea Biscuit had been here, one of them would have gotten it eventually. Where were you guys when I needed you?


Rank ratings:
 1.0000 Doug (2 games played)
 0.6667 Daniel (2)
 0.4545 Harry (3)
 0.2857 Bob (8)
 0.2381 JP (5)
 0.0000 Clayton (3)
-0.0556 Tim (5)
-0.1667 Alfred (3)
-0.2727 Brady (3)
-0.2941 Marty (5)
-0.3913 RussW (6)
-0.4444 James (4)
-0.6000 Ken (2)

New Win ratings:
 1.0000 Doug (2)
 0.2222 Daniel (2)
 0.1667 Clayton (3)
 0.1667 Tim (5)
 0.0909 Harry (3)
 0.0357 Bob (8)
-0.0476 JP (5)
-0.0870 RussW (6)
-0.1765 Marty (5)
-0.2000 Ken (2)
-0.2222 James (4)
-0.2727 Brady (3)
-0.3333 Alfred (3)

Doug is the Devil! Daniel is Vice-Devil. Clayton and Harry are next in line. Bob wins the Dedicated Award for playing 8 games.


RussCon Author Makes Good:

Watch the SF shelves for Silver Birch, Blood Moon. This collection is one in a series edited by Ellen Datlow that are unusual (and often weird dark) spins on traditional fairy tales. Wendy Wheeler has a short story published in it! I read Wendy's story years ago (ah, these publishing lags) and recommend it. A cheaper small paperback format is due this fall.


Batman vs Superman Redux:

Mr. Adam L. of Austin, Texas writes:

If in an open environment, Superman wins hands done. But I would probably have to put my money on Batman if it was a cage match.

Mr. Brady S. of Austin, Texas writes:

If the level of Batman's genius rises only to the level of Kryptonite bullets, then it's a wonder Superman wasn't wasted by Lex years ago. I should remind you that in your graphic novel, Superman is shown clearly moving faster than a speeding bullet. He could then dodge (at least) every bullet he fired- provided he saw Batman fire them.

Moreover, Superman can fly back in time and woo Batman's mother away from his dad long enough before he could be born. I'm sure he could think of that.

Imagine: Batman shoot's the kryptonite bullets. In self-defense, Superman races back in time to prevent his assailant from being born!


You only live twice!