May 19 1999 RussCon Report, Phantom Menace Edition


I blame George Lucas for low attendance tonight. Brady the Devil missed his chance to rule the dining table because of watching Star Wars Episode 1.

A little after midnight, half of us (6 of 12) went to see Star Wars. For those interested, the Tinseltown North 1:15 show was virtually sold out, but the 1:45 show was only half full. We got there around 12:30, got our place in line, and played a couple games of Bluff on the sidewalk.

I will not spoil the movie, which was enjoyable overall, but I trust I speak for us all when I say "What the HELL were they thinking with JarJar?!?! At least last time they waited till the THIRD movie of the trilogy to introduce the kid-appeal cutesy stupid primitive buffoon alien race!!!"

Sorry, had to get that off my chest.


This was also my first post-Kinesoft RussCon.

I'm terribly sad to lose daily contact with the wonderful bunch of friends I have at Kinesoft, but my heart says it's time to move on and live the dream. Yeah, yeah, another small game startup... My cohort Brendan & I are in for an interesting year, I'm sure.

Good luck to all the gang at Kinesoft. So long, and thanks for all the pizza!


Game Results:

LetzteParadies 5 RussW 4 Jeffles 2 Jay 0 Marty -2 Clayton -4
LetzteParadies 5 RussW 0 Marty 0 Jay 0 Clayton 0 Jeffles 0
Palmyra 3 James 2 JP 0 Bob -2
LetzteParadies 4 JP 3 James 1 Bob -1 Marty -3
Titan 3 JeffF 2 Tim 0 Doug -2
Elfenwizards 5 Jeffles 4 Doug 2 Steve 0 RussW -2 Jay -4
Can'tStop 4 RussW 3 Jeffles 0 Steve 0 Doug -3
SettlersAlexander 4 Tim 3 JP 1 James -1 JeffF -3

Das Letzte Paradies (The Last Paradise) is Marty's latest Knizia acquisition. It involves developing an island with villas and hotels, but often you prefer to leave an area as a natural preserve. It's sort of like another German game, Downtown, but simpler and more elegant. It's also cool because it's the first game I've played which uses the auction mechanism where the high bidder gets it, but pays the amound of the second highest bid. (Previously, I'd only read about this in game theory books.) It also has an interesting quirk: if you end with less money than you started with, then you cannot win, even if you have the most money. Hence the second game recorded above, where all 5 of us lost, even though I had the highest score. This raises an interesting wrinkle in the ratings system, where "everybody loses" means that there are no meaningful rank distinctions. I don't like that, but I'm not sure how to adapt the system easily to accomodate "everybody loses" and also preserve rank information. (Perhaps add a 6th player, TheGame, who won?) But this does imply that it might have been in Marty's interest (as 2nd place person) to help me win, since then I'd have gotten 4 points and he'd have gotten 2, instead of both of us getting 0 points. This also implies that if you know you're finishing low ranked, then it's in your interest to make sure no wins (since you prefer 0 points to negative points).

Titan was chosen by Doug (as Devil), in an odd situation; Doug, Tim, and Jeff were completing a game started outside of RussCon (with some other non-RussCon folks). So we just recorded it as a 3-player game here.

There was also a game of Groo started but unrecorded in the rush to see Star Wars. I think JP won.

I'll also recommend The Big Cheese. I played that with Dawn and Sea Biscuit a few days ago. It's another clever simple game from Cheapass. (And hopefully they'll bring it to RussCon soon.)


Evening's Soundtrack:

The Geraldine Fibbers, Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home
Leonard Cohen, Cohen Live
Dead Can Dance, Aion
Eve's Plum, Envy
The Sweet Hereafter, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Some music I associate with job changes for various reasons. Personal and unfair, I know.


Rank ratings:
 0.6000 Tim (2 games played)
 0.5000 JP (3)
 0.4000 Jeffles (4)
 0.3333 RussW (4)
 0.2500 James (3)
 0.0000 Steve (2)
-0.2000 JeffF (2)
-0.3333 Jay (3)
-0.3333 Doug (3)
-0.4545 Marty (3)
-0.5000 Clayton (2)
-0.6000 Bob (2)

New Win ratings:
 0.4000 Tim (2)
 0.4000 RussW (4)
 0.2000 JeffF (2)
 0.1333 Jeffles (4)
 0.1250 JP (3)
 0.0000 James (3)
-0.1250 Clayton (2)
-0.1667 Jay (3)
-0.1818 Marty (3)
-0.2857 Steve (2)
-0.3333 Doug (3)
-0.4000 Bob (2)

Tim is the Devil! JP, Jeffles, and I are Co-Vice-Devils. Bob is the Angel.

Doug, JP, Jeffles, Jeff, Jonobie, and I share the Special Dedicated Award for seeing the 1:45am Star Wars. DaveB and Darin were also in line there.


Teach me something, rip out my hair,
Send me flying through the air.
Do something, why don't you fuckin' do something,
I'm so bored I sleep...



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