April 11 2001 RussCon Report

Game Results
Meta Party Game Results
Evening's Soundtrack
20 of us played 19 games.
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Marty and Jeffles were off to the Gathering of Friends this week! One assumes they'll have lots of stories to tell when they get back. There are disturbing rumors Dan will be out of the country for a while after this coming RussCon.

Game Results

Knights6Kara 5 BobR 0 Daniel 0 Clayton 0 Clay 0 Brady -5
ChallengeYahtzee4Tim 3 Dan 1 RussW -1 JeffF -3
Tayu2RussD 1 Brady -1
Andromeda4Brady 3 RussD 1 BobR -1 Daniel -3
Bluff5WendyWhe 4 Clayton 1 PJ 1 Steve -2 JonathanB -4
6Nimmt4Dan 3 JonathanB 1 Tim -1 Allen -3
TitanArena5WendyWhe 4 Clay 2 Daniel 0 Kara -3 BobR -3
ResPublica3Allen 2 PJ 0 JonathanB -2
DragonDelta3Allen 2 JonathanB 0 PJ -2
Carcassonne4WendyWhe 3 Clay 1 Steve -1 Clayton -3
Metro6JeffF 5 Tim 2 WendyWhi 2 RussW -1 Bob -3 Dan -5
Dragon'sGold4RussW 3 Tim 0 Dan 0 Bob -3
Vampire3Clayton 1 Carly 1 JP -2
Carcassonne5BobR 4 RussW 2 Bob 0 RussD -2 Brady -4
Instinct3JonathanB 2 Allen 0 RussW -2
Settlers4JP 3 JeffF 0 WendyWhi 0 Carly -3
Can'tStop3Carly 2 JP 0 PJ -2
Brawl2JP 1 PJ -1
Brawl2JP 1 PJ -1

JeffF brought a rare and dearly purchased (25 cents) copy of Challenge Yahtzee. It's sort of like bingo or duplicate bridge or Take It Easy since we all work from the same rolls (but we individually choose which dice to keep or reroll). I hadn't played any form of yahtzee for years. It was kind of fun!

Dan brought several new games including Metro, which is vaguely like Streetcar, but with no race at the end, and you're trying to build long not short routes.

Dragon's Gold was extremely reminiscent of Orcz, I thought, so much so that I hypothesize there was some influence one way or the other. It was quite enjoyable, but took us a long time to complete, so we had to take not one but two score snapshots, which was an amusing annoyance since scores are secret, and one can't compute one's score without knowing the other players' scores, so we had to record "I have 3 greens" and then after the game was over compare notes. This of course is not a problem with Dragon's Gold, just an amusing consequence of the Meta Game. It uses a minute timer after each battle: the participants have just one minute to negotiate distribution of the spoils. And we weren't using the advanced rules (with special effects cards). I don't know why it took us so long.

carcassonneGod bless Carcassonne, it's a RussCon treasure.

Another oldie but goodie was played: Instinct is essentially a rather bland vanilla seeming trick-taking card game, but I quite enjoy it, perhaps because it's so simple (my puny mind can't handle weird trick-taking games like Mu). Plus it has the cool art, like skulls! You bid exactly how many tricks you'll take in a hand; if you take fewer or more, you earn no points. One odd thing: this game took almost 2 hours to finish. Squeaky reached 95 points after a few hands, but then it took him another hour to make a contract and finally pass 100 to win!

Meta Party Game Results

Brady was the Meta Party Devil. Mailing list subscribers will be aware of his initial proposal which was the most controversial meta game in all history, since it changed the rules of the "real" games being played. This spawned an unusually lengthy and interesting email thread. Since there was some strong resistance to this meta game, here is the replacement Meta Party Game Brady emailed out:

"Devil Take The Hindmost" is dead.

There's a new meta-party devil game in town called "Snapshot."

"Snapshot" is true meta game. It will not impact adversely on your Devil rating and there are no frightening features. You are strongly encouraged to play your best.

Object: To score the most Russcon devil points during the "Snapshot" time checkpoints.

How to play: Come to Russcon. Play games as you normally would.

Scoring: Beginning at 7:30 p.m. and every 45 minutes thereafter until 10:30 p.m., a snapshot of the Russcon gaming scores for all games currently in play will be taken. I (or anyone that sees a time checkpoint has arrived) will announce "Snapshot!" At that point, players must record the current standing of everone in their respective game groups on a slip of paper. Write the name of the game, the individuals involved, and their current devil points, (+3, +1, 0, -2, etc.) and the word "Snapshot" followed by the time. (The time isn't especially important, the word SNAPSHOT is!) At the end of the evening, all the Snapshot tallies will be gathered up. Russ will compute the mean scores of every player just like he would normal Devilhood standings. (Or whatever it is he does with the scores after Russcon.) The person who would normally be the "Russcon Devil" for the Snapshot scores is instead the new Meta Party Game Devil. Special colored notepads will be provided to keep track of your Snapshot scores.

Scoring for games beginning and/or ending on a time checkpoint: If games are being set up, are in their first round of turns, or are being scored when "Snapshot!" is announced, those games are NOT counted in the Snapshot Metagame tally.

Time checkpoints: 7:30, 8:15, 9:00, 9:45, and 10:30 p.m.

Russcon Devil scoring: After recording the snapshot scores, continue play. When the game is over, record your scores in the Russcon Notebook. DO NOT record Snapshot scores in the Russcon Notebook!

Abstaining: If an individual does not wish to be included in the final Snapshot Metagame tally for Meta Party Devil, they need to let the scorekeeper know to strikethrough their name on the Snapshot tally for that and every game they play. Since they are involved in the game, all scores will stand. They simply decide to forfeit being the Meta Party Game Devil

Special cases: If you are playing a game where points are hidden from view, ask a third party russconner to record your scores and keep the tally away from the players. (I think placing the tallies face-down on the piano top may be a good idea.) If no points have been scored yet or it is in doubt what the true standings are, do not record the Snapshot. Record the scores at the next Snapshot time checkpoint if the game is still in play at that time.

Notes: I will provide handouts with these rules on them at Russcon. Tell your friends in hiding that "Hindmost" is dead and that "Snapshot" is being played instead. If they ask to explain it, just tell them, "We play like always, only we also score Devil Points during certain times to ultimately determine the Meta Party Devil. It is not Hindmost. That's all you really need to know."

That is all. We'll take care of anything not covered on the wing at Russcon.

This proved to be a good and clever meta game. Since that lazy bastard Brady snuck off, trained RussCon technicians were obliged to compute the winner. And the award goes to BobR! BobR is the Meta Devil and will email out the next Meta Party Game!

After careful pondering, I'll state officially that after the controversy of "Devil take the hindmost", future meta games will not introduce new rules into "real" games. (As always, the meta game might cause players to play differently in a real game, but they shouldn't alter the rules of the real games.)

Evening's Soundtrack

Peter Gabriel, 1
Peter Gabriel, 2
Peter Gabriel, 3
Peter Gabriel, Security
Peter Gabriel, So

This evening's soundtrack has been rated PG.


Rank ratings:
 1.0000 WendyWhe (3 games played)
 0.3333 JP (5)
 0.2857 Tim (4)
 0.2500 Clay (3)
 0.2500 WendyWhi (2)
 0.2222 Kara (2)
 0.1818 JeffF (3)
 0.1111 Allen (4)
 0.0588 RussW (5)
 0.0000 Carly (3)
 0.0000 BobR (4)
 0.0000 RussD (3)
-0.0714 Dan (4)
-0.0714 Clayton (4)
-0.2308 JonathanB (5)
-0.2500 Daniel (3)
-0.4167 PJ (6)
-0.4286 Steve (2)
-0.5000 Bob (3)
-0.5385 Brady (4)

New Win ratings:
 1.0000 WendyWhe (3)
 0.4444 Kara (2)
 0.2857 Carly (3)x
 0.2727 JeffF (3)x
 0.2222 JP (5)
 0.2222 Allen (4)
 0.0625 BobR (4)
 0.0000 Tim (4)
 0.0000 Dan (4)
 0.0000 Brady (4)
-0.0588 RussW (5)
-0.1250 RussD (3)
-0.1429 Clayton (4)
-0.1538 JonathanB (5)
-0.2500 Clay (3)
-0.2500 WendyWhi (2)
-0.2500 Daniel (3)
-0.2500 Bob (3)
-0.2857 Steve (2)
-0.5000 PJ (6)
WendyWhe played and won 3 games and is the Devil! JP is Vice-Devil.


sex nymph It seems several people have become addicted to an online version of 6 Nimmt! Dan graciously supplied me with this screen shot...

snapshot into the light
I'm shooting into the light